• Mario Moore

I DON'T SEE COLOR: A BOOK REVIEW OF WHITE AWAKE

Some have heard the saying, or have said, “I don’t see color! I just love people.” Physically speaking, if this is true, I would contact your physician. Yet, spiritually speaking, this type of color blindness must be addressed by the Great Physician. While this statement is filled with the best intentions, it comes based upon the inability to perceive white culture and its impact on fellowship and discipleship with people who are black and brown. Daniel Hill walks through his own journey of discovering racial ideologies and white culture’s dominance over others. Being confronted by this issue by his friend of Indian descent led him down a path of frustration, confusion, dialogue, and sanctification.


Identity Issues

“Our identity is typically shaped by two fundamental questions: “Who am I?” and “How do I fit into the world?” While these questions apply to the formation of individual identity, they are also relevant to the explorations of cultural identity.” (Hill, 27)


We all have identity problems. Outside of Christ we are identified as sinners and against God. This sin nature has stained our identity before God and our ability to see it in ourselves, culture, and others. While all are created in the image of God, white people often categorize their own perspectives and cultural patterns as the norm, or right, and all others as variations of the norm, or even worse, wrong. Hill recognized white cultural identity played a role in how he views society, media, and even the gospel. Hill describes seven stages in addressing cultural identity.

  1. Encounter - Someone who this is the first time engaging issues of racism and white supremacy. Many in this stage never engage the conversation or they enter into...

  2. Denial - Often those here begin to reason how the ideals of race and racism are not important, or as often said, “not a gospel issue.” Many stay in this position often due to partisan divides. Nevertheless, some become...

  3. Disoriented - As they recognize so many viewpoints and cultural perspectives can cause a sense of confusion as they try to understand and discern. This overload can bring inadequacies to the forefront of their minds. This ultimately leads to a sense of…

  4. Shame - As issues with cultural identity are constantly observed, it can lead some to become self-condemning. They struggle to distinguish between the notion that “I am bad” and “I did/saw something bad.” White people must learn to avoid falling into a shame spiral and instead appropriate the guilt of their discoveries in a way that yields healthy outcomes.

  5. Self-Righteousness - On the other end of that spectrum are those that become overly proud of themselves. Their pride takes over and they can possibly become confident in their own righteousness like the Pharisee (ref. Luke 18:9-14). A sense of humility would promote constant learning and…

  6. Awakening - Yes, to other cultures, but the focus is being awakened to a biblical understanding of the imago dei and the sins associated with racism and white supremacy that stain it. Without a spiritual conviction and change there can be no right…

  7. Active Participation - Most would jump to this chapter to figure out what they should do. Hill would redirect you to #5. With a right heart posture, the practical points could serve some use.


I recommend this book because it is particularly important for white Americans to address this subject matter, but they must do so with the right goals in mind. That we would “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).


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