Christian rapper Lecrae has responded after being part of a discussion in which Atlanta megachurch pastor Louie Giglio seemed to suggest that slavery was somehow a "blessing." The African-American artist was speaking with Giglio and Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy on the topic of racial reconciliation when Giglio made the bizarre remarks.
The Passion City Church leader said: "We understand the curse that was slavery, white people do, and we say 'that was bad.' But we miss the blessing of slavery, that it actually built up the framework for the world that white people live in and lived in." He went on to suggest that "white privilege" should actually be termed "white blessing" -- a remark that caused a major backlash on Twitter.
Giglio has since apologised for the comments, noting that it was "not a great choice of words."
"I failed," he said. "Trying to help my demographic move forward. But failed."
Many have since called on Lecrae to speak out about the controversy. On Twitter, he wrote: "Processing a lot. I think in my attempt to be diplomatic and gracious I missed an opportunity to care for the very people I came to represent. I knew I was uncomfortable but I was so excited to educate. I still have some gaps in my education.
"I have a lot of racial trauma. After spending the last few years battling racism within the evangelical church I was in a dark place. In that interview I feared going back there. I’m healing but not healed. I’m definitely protecting myself from a breakdown.
"I want to be clear I’m sorry for anyone who was let down and hurt. This was good for me in many ways. It burns but it burns in a helpful way. Lamentations 3 has comforted me. I’m grateful for the love. Even the tough love."
The multi-award-winning rapper also posted a video to Twitter noting that he was disturbed by the comment and has since spoken to Giglio personally about the matter.
He added: "Obviously I'm not OK with changing 'white privilege' to 'white blessing' -- that's a privilege of in and of itself.
"We talked about it and we are going to continue working through it."
In a video posted to his social media, Giglio apologise for using the term "white blessing" and said he is "so burdened by what is happening in our nation right now."
He added: "I'm heartbroken about where we are as a nation. One of the things that I'm most heartbroken about is trying to help myself continue to learn and to help my white brothers and sisters try to understand that white privilege is real."