"Who had 'the creator of VeggieTales and voice of Bob the Tomato carefully narrates the history of race in America over the last 100 years' on their 2020 bingo card?" one Twitter user asked, pointing to a new video by Phil Vischer that explains why people are in the streets protesting racism and police brutality to an audience that may actually want to understand. Specifically, "why are many white, conservative Christians calling for racial justice?" Vischer asked. "Didn't we end discrimination years ago?"
"Slavery ended 150 years ago, the civil rights movement was 60 years ago, racial discrimination is illegal now," Vischer, co-creator of the popular Christian animated series VeggieTales and host of the Holy Post podcast, continued in the video. "Heck, we even had a black president. So why are people still upset? We're going to go through history and we're going to look at some data, and we're going to go quickly so this video doesn't go too long." The video is 17 minutes, but it packs a lot in, including scripture:
"So where are we?" Vischer summarized. "The average black household has 1/10th the wealth of the average white household. This didn't happen by accident, it happened by policy. We, the majority culture, told them where they could live and where they couldn't. Then we moved most of the jobs to the places we told them they couldn't live. When the predictable explosion of unemployment and poverty resulted in a predictable increase in drug use and crime, we criminalized the problem. We built $19 billion of new jails and sold grenade launchers to the police. As a result, a white boy born in America today has a 1 in 23 chance of going to prison in his lifetime. For a black boy, it's 1 in 4. And that is why people are angry."
Vischer has been studying this issue for a while. He covered systemic racism in a 2014 podcast and he wrote this script with his brother Rob, dean of the St. Thomas University Law School in Minneapolis, with whom he taught a class on Black Lives Matter that led to a 2017 podcast that led to this video.
"I'm not here to tell you what the right solutions are, because I don't know," Vischer said. "I'm just here to ask you to do one thing — it is the thing that begins every journey to a solution for every problem. What am I asking you do to? Care."