Jamie Grace Harper and Dee-1, recording artists popular among Christians, say they have lost followers after calling out racism in the religious community.
“I lost about 3,000 [T]witter followers after sharing my personal stories as a victim of racism and articles about things like white privilege and how to be anti-racist,” Jamie Grace wrote July 15 on Twitter. “So to everyone that’s still here… thank you… and… Nothing’s changed on my end!! Still [B]lack!”
The award-winning singer, songwriter, and actress shared days prior how a White pastor had told a member of her team, “If I had known Jamie Grace was [B]lack I definitely wouldn’t have brought her here.”
The unidentified pastor told this to her merchandising manager as she set up a promotional banner in the lobby of his church years prior, according to the artist, who is known professionally as Jamie Gracie.
This is not the first time the married mother has told of that specific experience. In 2019, she revealed several racist remarks that have been directed her way by other professed Christians or said in Christian contexts. For example, Grace previously revealed that, when she was 12, a “kid” in her youth group called her the n-word at a Christian concert.
A lot of my Christian friends have suddenly developed very strong and vocal opinions about conspiracy theories and not wearing masks but last month texted me and tweeted they didn’t know what to say or think about injustice against black people.
Me a little confused. pic.twitter.com/LF5FIeiOun
— Jamie Grace (@jamiegraceh) July 19, 2020
Jamie Grace, 28, has been revisiting those experiences in recent months to highlight how “racism is very much thriving in many Christian communities.”
In response to her most recent tweets, some followers responded by telling her that “not all [W]hite people are bad” and that she “should be using her platform to unify people” instead of calling out racism.
Jamie Grace has thanked fans who responded positively to her sharing her experiences with racism, and invited them to keep moving the ball forward.
“Now that we’ve established that, what will you do about it?” she tweeted. “How will you search your heart to make sure it is clear of discrimination and bias? And if you have checked, and it’s clear…how will hold your community accountable? How will you actively raise anti-racist children? How will you uplift the voices of [B]lack men and women beyond a retweet?”
While Jamie Grace pushed her fans to take action against racism, rapper Dee-1 chose to go another route with fans offended by him putting a spotlight on racism in Christian communities with his music.
The Christian rapper known for the popular and relatable 2016 track, “Sallie Mae Back,” has no issues severing ties with presumed fans who reject the message behind his newest single.
Dee-1, who recently released a song called “Racist Christians,” posted a farewell video to his social accounts Tuesday in response to disgruntled fans threatening to drop him.
“That either means you’re in denial that racism exists in Christianity or that you’re just mad that I called it out,” Dee-1, born David Augustine Jr., says in the clip.
“Racist Christians” is my new song. Some have thanked me for this. Some have unfollowed. I can feel change being sparked though, so i’m at peace. Enjoy: https://t.co/EppoGCdSVz pic.twitter.com/vpyr5rcBAX
— Dee-1 is on Tour (@Dee1music) July 18, 2020
In his song “Racist Christians,” Dee-1 raps: “Racist Christians, I been searching for you / I been wondering where you live and what kinda church you go to / Do you pledge allegiance to Christ and not to the enemy? / If so then how do you justify racism and white supremacy?“
In addition to suggesting that Christians who have been taught racism can change, Dee-1 mentions the notorious slave “bible,” cops who kill Black people but face no consequences, and that silence on racism is “violence.”
Though most fans seemed to embrace the Louisiana rapper’s message, some of his social media followers have called the song “nonsense” and one-sided for failing to highlight “[B]lack people who hate [W]hite people and are racist toward us.”
“Some have thanked me for this. Some have unfollowed. I can feel change being sparked though, so I’m at peace,” Dee-1 said days before posting his farewell video.
The May 25 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers has re-energized conversations about racial justice and white supremacy, and inspired some Christians to advocate for Black lives via protests and other means. Some, like Jamie Grace and Dee-1, have been calling out contradictions on race among White Christians.