The Salvation Army has faced backlash for an initiative dubbed “Let’s Talk About Racism,” where they reportedly ask white donors to apologize for their racism.
The resource guide was designed by the organization’s International Social Justice Commission and encouraged white donors to offer a “sincere apology.” The guide also discourages “colorblindness” and rallies staff members to “apologize for being white.”
More than just asking members to take accountability for their white privilege, the guide looked at its own history in the church’s alleged racial collusion, offering a way to tackle the issue through an “anti-racist” lens while infusing Critical Race Theory teachings.
The guide was met with heavy criticism, not only from donors who decided to revoke their contributions but internally.
“When I read the story, at first, I was like, ‘This isn’t true! It’s not possible, because it doesn’t fit the mission of the Salvation Army,'” said Major David Minks, commanding officer at the Fox Cities Salvation Army.
“It’s supposed to be to help us understand some perspectives in the world today,” Minks said. “It’s not endorsed or followed by the Salvation Army here in Wisconsin, and it’s not endorsed and used in this particular unit – it’s not something we use or follow.”
Following the backlash, the Salvation Army announced that they have pulled the guide.
“Elements of the recently issued “Let’s Talk About Racism” guide led some to believe we think they should apologize for the color of their skin, or that The Salvation Army may have abandoned its Biblical beliefs for another philosophy or ideology. That was never our intention, so the guide has been removed for appropriate review,” part of their statement reads.
The statement also adds that critics “have claimed that we believe our donors should apologize for their skin color, that The Salvation Army believes America is an inherently racist society, and that we have abandoned our Christian faith for one ideology or another. Those claims are simply false, and they distort the very goal of our work.”