Singer Kirk Franklin told white Christian leaders on TBN’s Praise show to push past “kumbaya moments” and to begin speaking against “social injustice happening in the streets.” Franklin’s conversation included the network’s president, Matt Crouch, Tony Evans and Robert Morris.
“This is not a conversation of me attempting to make white people feel bad for being white,” said Franklin. “It is to give a bigger perspective on the heartbreaks and the hurts, that black and brown people in America are looking for the church to be a safe haven but at times it isn’t always answering to that call.”
The discussion comes after Franklin announced in October 2019 that he will boycott the Dove Awards, the Gospel Music Association and the Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN) after his speech about a white cop who killed a black woman in her home was edited. “Today I feel like quitting,” he said in a video released on Instagram. “I am heartbroken that I even have to share this with you.” The 21-time Dove winner also mentioned the five Dallas police officers killed by a sniper by a black man in 2016. “When police are killed, we need to say something. When black boys are killed, we need to say something. And when we don’t say something, we’re saying something.”
Gospel Music Association President and Executive Director Jackie Patillo quickly responded and was apologetic for the missteps that happened relating to the editing of Kirk Franklin’s Dove Awards acceptance speech last year. Additionally, they accepted responsibility for the misunderstanding and communicated it was unintentional. She stated that it inflicted and troubled many in the African American and Gospel community by giving the perception of social issues that touch people of color aren’t relevant.
“I do know that for a lot of black and brown people, just even the optics of what just happened can be very problematic, because throughout history a lot of times white people have sometimes come across that the issues are fixed with the kumbaya moment,” added Franklin during his TBN appearance. “The kumbaya moment is really, for this generation, is antiquated.”
Morris, the founding pastor of Gateway Church in Dallas, Texas, said that as a white Christian, “your heart should break; it absolutely should break,” said Morris of Franklin’s story and other instances of racial injustice. “And then you should say to your brothers, ‘How can I be a part of the solution?’”
TBN’s “Praise” is scheduled to air with Franklin on March 12.
Corine Gatti-Santillo has spent two decades as an editor, investigative reporter and web content strategist; her work has appeared in The Christian Post, LifeZette and CBN, among other outlets. She is host of the program “Mom on the Right” on The Liberty Beacon TV. She and her husband, Rocky, live in Virginia with their infant daughter and yellow lab Maggie.