podcast episode about reparations with Duke Kwon and Greg Thompson

S4 E15 | Reparations: Imagining Ways to Repair and Restore with Duke Kwon and Greg Thompson

Why should Christians in particular participate in the work of reparations? Duke Kwon and Greg Thompson, the co-authors of Reparations, talk with Amy Julia about white supremacy, the harms and thefts of centuries of racism, and the imaginative, beautiful, restoring work of reparations. (Scroll down for book giveaway details)


Show Notes

Duke L. Kwon is the lead pastor at Grace Meridian Hill in Washington, DC, and Gregory Thompson is a pastor and the executive director of Voices Underground. They are the co-authors of Reparations: A Christian Call for Repentance and Repair.

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Reparations: Imagining Ways to Repair and Restore episode | Duke Kwon and Greg Thompson

“[Reparations is a] Self-conscious act of restoring that which has been stolen by white supremacy through restitution, where we are culpable and the act of restoration, where we are not culpable but still responsible to work and love.” – Greg

“If we understand racism for what it really is, the harms go far beyond personal relationships. They go deeper, they go longer, they go wider, and for centuries.” – Duke

“At the essence of racism is not hate, not interpersonal hate, but rather hierarchy. There is a system and a culture that privileges and advantages people that are at the top of that hierarchy, namely white people, and then disadvantages those who are at the lower rungs of that hierarchy.” Duke

“As a white person who has been at times a bystander, at times a beneficiary of this system, but yet believes that it’s wrong, what are my responsibilities?” Greg

“We are calling people not simply as white people to engage in the work of reparations. If that were our only argument, then I would have no place in it. We’re calling the Christian church—everyone who bears not whiteness per se but everyone who bears the name of Christ—because the Church itself as a community, as a corporate entity, was complicit in, and actually active perpetrators of, the evils of white supremacy.” Duke

This is in some way a call for American Christians to reimagine. We’re speaking to the imagination…Could it be true that our theological tradition actually invites us to this? [reparations]” Greg

“We talk in the book about the theft of not just wealth but also of truth, the way in which the truth about Black dignity has been stolen, not just with our words and rhetoric, but with images.” Duke

“…we invented education, markets, city planning—I’m not worried about our creativity once we start asking questions. What I’m worried about is our resistance to asking questions.” Greg

To enter to win a copy of Reparations:

1. Share this podcast episode on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and be sure to tag Amy Julia Becker when you share.


2. Go to this episode post on Amy Julia’s Instagram and tag a friend in the post’s comments.

Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 3. Giveaway made possible by Brazos Press. Shipping to continental US addresses only

Thank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.

Head, Heart, Hands, Season 4 of the Love Is Stronger Than Fear podcast, is based on my e-book Head, Heart, Hands, which accompanies White Picket Fences. Check out free RESOURCES that are designed to help you respond to the harm of privilege and join in the work of healing. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.

👁‍🗨Accessibility: You can read the transcript for this episode here, or see this episode with subtitles on my YouTube channel.

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