Influential far-left activist Shaun King has caused an uproar on Twitter after he wrote that Americans should “tear down” depictions of Jesus as a white man, claiming they are a “tool for white supremacy”.
Numerous protests and riots have been taking place across the United States since the end of May, following the death of George Floyd. In the protests that followed, dozens of statues, including from leading figures like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, have been torn down and defaced across the country, resulting in what critics say is a full-blown assault on historical and cultural figures of the West.
“Yes I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down. They are a form of white supremacy. Always have been,” King tweeted. “In the Bible, when the family of Jesus wanted to hide, and blend in, guess where they went? EGYPT! Not Denmark. Tear them down.”
Now, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and its supporters are turning towards Churches and religious figures.
King was open about his intentions on social media and made a number of posts about the topic of removing both statues and depictions of Jesus and Mary as white Europeans.
Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down.
They are a form of white supremacy.
Always have been.
In the Bible, when the family of Jesus wanted to hide, and blend in, guess where they went?
Tear them down.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) June 22, 2020
He also labeled them as “tools of oppression” and “racist propaganda”:
All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down.
They are a gross form white supremacy.
Created as tools of oppression.
They should all come down.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) June 22, 2020
King added in another post that “white Jesus is a lie” and another “tool of white supremacy”
Many people harshly criticized King for his comments on Twitter. Social media users pointed out that non-white cultures have depicted Jesus in ways which resembled their local communities, including depictions of Jesus looking Asian in countries like South Korea. In Ethiopia, Jesus has been depicted as black for over 1,500 years.
Should these be destroyed too? The Holy Family weren't African or Chinese? pic.twitter.com/1CcEPciCYi
— Peter Bridgman (@Peter_Bridgman) June 23, 2020
These are not the first controversial comments King has made either.
In 2015, he accused Christmas and Easter of being tools for white supremacy and claimed that the “white Jesus” was “a lie made to maintain those systems of government and religious oppression against which the Biblical Jesus was opposed to.”
King was removed from the Black Lives Matter foundation due to accusations of fraud in gathering funds for the organization. Although he no longer belongs to the official organization, King, who has over 1 million followers on Twitter, is a prominent activist for the movement and routinely promotes the goals of BLM on his page.
Fox News stated that he lost his leading position at BLM after his race was called into question when he was accused of being a white person who was pretending to be black, resulting in King being derisively labeled “Talcum X” by his critics.
Many on social media, such as Breitbart editor Alex Marlow, pointed to the slippery slope conservatives had warned about, with protesters first claiming it was about Confederate statues, then slave owners, and now there are calls remove tens of thousands of depictions of Jesus and Mary because they look white.
This week, protesters in front of the White House also tried to topple the statue of the 7th U.S. President Andrew Jackson. In the last month, a statue of Tadeusz Kościuszko, a hero of both Polish and American independence, was also vandalized. Protesters also destroyed the statue of Junipero Serra, the Spanish missionary who founded San Francisco.