Last week the East Coast was hammered by a blizzard. Thankfully, my neighbor has a snow blower and he always says, “you can use it, just clear my driveway as well.” As I was snow blowing, and any time it snows, I always marvel at the snow’s pure appearance and how something so small can have a big collective impact. In a church hymn, there’s the song called Nothing But The Blood of Jesus. The refrain is, “oh precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow.” Although this is speaking about sin, I wish to speak on what some consider to be the touchy topic: race.
As an individual who has been subjected to racial discrimination by threat and racial epithets, I attempt to take it in stride. By looking to get even rather than getting ahead, one will not progress in life. With that in mind, here’s some quotes pertaining to race, particularly those who are black but can be expanded to include those who are not white.
Blacks were denied the LDS priest hood until 1978. This is due to Cain’s lineage and being less valiant in the pre-mortal existence since Mormons believe that people existed in eternity past.
The Book of Mormon states God cursed Laminates and made their skin turn black. Let’s turn to 2 Nephi 5:21 says, “And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.”
3 Nephi 2:15-And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites;
They claim to be God’s one true organization. Why did God wait until 1978 to have this revelation? Here is the text regarding it:
It goes with the Seventh Day Adventist as well. The most prominent member currently is the Republican Presidential candidate, Dr. Benjamin Carson. Let’s look at the founder, Seventh Day Adventist prophetess, Ellen White:
God cannot take the slave to heaven, who has been kept in ignorance and degradation, knowing nothing of God, or the Bible, fearing nothing but his master’s lash, and not holding so elevated a position as his master’s brute beasts. But He does the best thing for him that a compassionate God can do. He lets him be as though he had not been.
Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 1. 1858. p. 193
With those parallels in mind, let’s take our focus and turn to Jehovah’s visible channel of communication. I wish to look first at Jehovah’s Witnesses demographics. According to the Pew Forum website for American Jehovah’s Witnesses, approximately:
- 36% are White
- 27% are black
- <1% are Asian
- 32% are Latino
- 6% are other/mixed
I was unable to find anything for world statistics but if you look at the Yearbook for information, you will see that most growth is occurring in the Third World. Let’s just say hypothetically the numbers I presented reflect the world population. How does the leadership reflect this racial makeup?
I’m adamant in saying that there should NOT be forced diversity for diversity’s sake. But the first and only minority is Samuel Herd, appointed in 1999. Since he is the only minority of seven Governing Body members, he represents all diversity at 14.28%. How does the organization hierarchy rank? In your time as a Witness, how often did you see someone of a different race? I’m fully expecting that you take into account geographic variables that certain groups tend to live in certain areas.
Looking at the spouses, it is approximately 28.56% diverse since Geoffrey Jackson’s second wife is black.
If you’ve been listening to the show for a while, I was told by a Witness, “there’s a love that’s not matched by any organization but this one.” Is this how the organization view on race from the beginning? Let’s delve into the past of the Watchtower to find out….
The negro race is supposed to be descended from Ham, whose special degradation is mentioned in Gen. 9:22, 25
Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. 1898 Reprints p. 2344
Though once as black as charcoal, the Rev. Mr. Draper is now white. His people say that his color was changed in answer to prayer. Many years ago Draper was employed by a fair-skinned man, and he was often heard to remark that if he could only be white like his employer, he would be happy. While in the white man’s service Draper `experienced’ religion.
Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. October 1, 1900 p. 296, 297
Suppose a missionary and his wife removed to China; not only would the influence of the climate and soil be manifested upon themselves, but the same would be still more manifested in their children. Whoever will give careful attention to this matter will notice that each succeeding child born in that foreign country will have increasingly resemblance to the Chinese — the hair, the skin, the shape of the eyes, and in general all features will bear closer resemblance with each succeeding child. We can readily suppose that if so much change occurs in a few years, ten or twenty centuries under similar conditions would turn any white people into regular Chinese, even supposing there were no intermarrying.
Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. July 15, 1902 Reprints p. 3043
How could all men be brought to perfection and which color of skin was the original? The answer is now provided. God can change the Ethiopian’s skin in his due time. Prof. H. A. Edwards, Supt. of Schools in Slater, Mo., has written for the public press an elaborate description of how Julius Jackson, of New Frankfurt, Mo., a negro boy of nine years, began to grow white in September, 1901, and is now fully nine-tenths white.
Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. February 15, 1904 p. 52, 53
Recognizing that it meant either the success or the failure of the enterprise of the [Photo] Drama as respects the whites, we have been compelled to assign the colored friends to the gallery, which, however, is just as good for seeing and hearing as any other part of The Temple. Some were offended at this arrangement.
We have received numerous letters from the colored friends, some claiming that it is not right to make a difference, others indignantly and bitterly denouncing us as enemies of the colored people. Some, confident that Brother Russell had never sanctioned such a discrimination, told that they believe it would be duty to stand up for equal rights and always to help the oppressed, etc. We were obliged to explain the facts, assuring all of our loving interest in the colored people, and of our desire to do them good, and not injury. We again suggested that if a suitable place could be found in which the Drama could be presented for the benefit of the colored people alone, we would be glad to make such arrangements, or to cooperate with any others in doing so.
The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. April 1, 1914 p. 105, 106
Watchtower Jesus would have started his inspection and have read this. He approved of it as being “proper food at the proper time” by segregating people along different lines such as race.
For more information on Russell’s statements on race:
This extends further into the days of Rutherford with the following:
From a criminal viewpoint the desirability of sobering the southern negro speaks volumes for national prohibition.
The Golden Age. October 15, 1919 p. 44
A general convention of the Colored brethren has been arranged for September 3rd to 6th at Washington, D.C.
The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. May 15, 1926 p. 146
We quote again: “Mrs. Stowe felt herself so possessed that she became the conscious agent of a power other than her own. The story can less be said to have been composed by her than imposed upon her.” (Italics are ours.) “Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a work of religion; God wrote it,” she averred. But some of her contemporaries pronounced it the work of Satan; and they were quite right.
The Golden Age. November 30, 1927 p. 141
Irony here is that the book widely applauded today for helping to expose slavery was regarded as a work of Satan by the society.
The same page is says this: Centuries before, anticipating the settlement of North America by a liberty-loving people, and the founding of a government favorable to enlightenment, Satan had sought to forestall it through the voyages of Columbus and the resulting effort to people it with Spaniards and other backward races under the influence of Rome.
The Golden Age. November 30, 1927 p. 141
Question: Is there anything in the Bible that reveals the origin of the Negro?
Answer: It is generally believed that the curse which Noah pronounced upon Canaan was the origin of the Black race. Certain it is that when Noah said, “Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren,” he pictured the future of the Colored race. They have been and are a race of servants, but now in the dawn of the twentieth century, we are all coming to see this matter of service in its true light and to find that the only real joy in life is in serving others; not bossing them. There is no servant in the world as good as a good Colored servant, and the joy he gets from rendering faithful service is one of the purest joys there is in the world.
The Golden Age. July 24, 1929 p. 702
Ironically when it comes to the curse of Ham, the following passages are not mentioned where a curse extends only as far as the third or fourth generation (painful childbirth is a result to the connection of the original sin):
- Exodus 20:5
- Exodus 34:7
- Numbers 14:18
- Deuteronomy 5:9
Not much more is said but it continues into the days of Knorr with the following:
So if the Bible does not instruct Christians to fight slavery it would not sanction them to battle the lesser evil of segregation, at the expense of gospel-preaching.
The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom. February 1, 1952 p. 95
In race relations, do you see genuine improvement among the nations of the world? Most people readily say ‘no’; there are strong racial hatreds on every continent. But we read statements like this one concerning Jehovah’s witnesses:
I am struck with their genuine high regard for the people of all races. Unlike some who pay lip service to the doctrine of racial brotherhood, the Witnesses welcome all to their society—even to places of outstanding leadership—without reference to color or feature.—G. Norman Eddy in Journal of Bible and Religion.
The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom. January 15, 1973 p. 37
Regardless of how politicians and religionists view the matter, the Bible and science indicate that all races are equal and descend from a common source.
The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom. February 8, 1982 p. 15
However, in “due time” attitudes changed slightly. I would suggest that it would deal in part with the expansion into areas that would be considered minority majority areas abroad. Let’s move forward with yet another overt quote during the administration of Nathan Knorr.
Really, our colored brothers have great cause for rejoicing. Their race is meek and teachable, and from it comes a high percentage of the theocratic increase. What if the worldly wise and powerful and noble look down on them as foolish and weak and ignoble, not on an equality with self-exalted whites? It is to God’s ultimate honor, for he confounds the wise of this world by choosing those the world considers foolish and weak and ignoble.
The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom. February 1, 1952 p. 95
As one Colored brother in Cape Town says: “Supplies were limited, but this did not slow down the work.
Yearbook. 1976. p. 145
This is pertaining to South Africa. Why is there a need to call him “Colored” and not just leave it at brother?
The Bible-based Kingdom message proclaimed by Jehovah’s Witnesses has attracted thousands of South Africans. They have thus been able to rise above the racial and political turmoil and enjoy something unique in South Africa—racial harmony. Gert, a former member of the DR Church, discovered this. He explains: “Among Jehovah’s Witnesses, there is no discrimination because of race or language—hence, their worldwide unity.
Awake! June 22, 1988 p. 9
He didn’t read the 1976 Yearbook and its pretty obvious.
Apartheid laws affected the operation of our branch. When the Elandsfontein Bethel Home was constructed in 1952, the law required an additional building at the rear to accommodate the black and colored brothers. The law also required that they eat separately from whites in so-called African quarters. Later, it was arranged for them to eat in the Bethel kitchen. This was the eating arrangement when we arrived at Bethel in 1959.
The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom. April 1, 1993 p. 22, 23
In later years, David Taylor, a colored brother, also had a zealous share in spreading Bible truth in this field.
Yearbook. 2007. p. 79
So three more considerations for you and I’ll be done.
As you read over the Watchtower magazine, take a look at the anointed and those who are from heaven. Are there any minorities amongst them?
Look at things from the Biblical perspective, have you stopped to consider how many individuals who were most likely not of European decent were in the Bible?
I did a simple search for Africans in the Bible on the internet. This is a fascinating little read:
Jesus loves the little children, red, and yellow, black, and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world. However, when it comes to Watchtower Jesus, there is a preference for those who are white or of European descent.