A pastor wanted white greeters only at a church in North Carolina. On Sept. 3, Time Magazine reported that pastor Makeda Pennycooke made a formal request to have "only white people" meet and greet worshipers at the door. Pennycooke wrote her request in an email and it is hard not to take it the wrong way.
"We are continuing to work to bring our racial demographic pendulum back to mid-line. We would rather have less greeters on the front door if it means that the few that we have will represent us the best," wrote Pennycooke, who is a black woman.
To request white greeters only because the church was a few that "represent them the best" seems pretty harsh. Pennycooke and the church have already issued apologies but many churchgoers are still confused and are left wondering why a black woman would make such a request. Bringing race into the scenario is the problem -- had Pennycooke just requested the "best," any race could have been selected for the position of "greeter."
"The email was sent by one of our longtime pastors in an attempt to emphasize that our greeting team reflect the racial diversity of our entire congregation. However, she admitted it was a mistake to over-emphasize any specific group and sent an apology email within 24 hours of the original email going out," said a church spokesperson.
Is having white greeters only racist?
© Effie Orfanides 2013