The Church of England’s most prominent cleric, Justin Welby, said he is “ashamed of our history” and of his supposed advantages as a straight white male.
The Archbishop of Canterbury was speaking ahead of a vote by the Church’s General Synod to “lament, on behalf of Christ’s Church, and apologises for, the conscious and unconscious racism experienced by countless black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) Anglicans in 1948 and subsequent years”.
1948 was the year the Empire Windrush ship landed hundreds of Caribbean migrants in Britain, firing the starting gun on a wave of mass migration to the kingdom from its former empire which continues to the present day.
“I am almost beyond words. Personally, I am sorry and ashamed. I’m ashamed of our history and I’m ashamed of our failure,” Welby said of his Church’s “conscious and unconscious racism”.
“It’s shaming as well as shocking. It is shocking, but it’s profoundly shaming,” he continued, somewhat redundantly, in a speech which even he described as “incoherent”.
Archbishop of Canterbury apologising for ‘white advantage’. Tell that to white lads from former pit villages and the like, statistically way more likely to underperform against boys in other groups. Why has the diversity debate left white working-class boys behind? pic.twitter.com/OEsR55iEtq
— Darren Grimes (@darrengrimes_) February 14, 2020
“I have white advantage. Educational advantage. Straight advantage. Male advantage… I’m not ashamed of those advantages; I’m ashamed of not knowing I had them,” Welby said.
“[T]here is no doubt when we look at our own Church that we are still deeply institutionally racist. Let’s just be clear about that. I said it to the College of Bishops a couple of years ago and it’s true,” he added, as part of a long harangue on what he sees as an excess of white people in England’s established church.
“Most of us in here [at the Synod], almost all of us, the vast majority of us – well over 85 per cent; and remember 15 per cent is roughly the BAME in this country, so if we were representative it would be 15 per cent – but well over 85 per cent, over 90 per cent, are white,” he complained.
He failed, however, to address the fact that a very significant portion of the 15 per cent ethnic minority share of Britain’s population belong to the Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh faiths, who you would not reasonably expect to see represented at an Anglican assembly.
Tory MP: Talk to Working-class Men Dying of Lung Disease About Their ‘White Male Privilege’ https://t.co/zs7eiIG8F2
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 13, 2020
“I get loads of lists to approve. I get shortlists and longlists and lists of panels for interviews. We’ve just about got past the point in the last two or three years where they’re not all male. But they very, very seldom have minority ethnic people on them – either in applications for lay or clergy posts, senior clergy posts,” Welby said elsewhere in his speech.
“I’ve been trying to play nice. I send them back with a more or less polite note saying I’m not absolutely sure this is what we want. But we cannot go on playing nice – really, can we, I don’t think?” he added, appearing to suggest he thinks it is time to start shutting white people out of Church positions more aggressively.
He gave no indication that he intends to resign from his own prestigious role to make way for an ethnic minority archbishop, however.
Archbishop Welby Attacks Brexit, Tells Brits to Welcome Mass Migration and ‘Change with the Newcomers’ https://t.co/CObytOaTyt
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 25, 2018