Louie Giglio apologises for 'white blessing' comments

Louie Giglio discussing race with Lecrae and Dan Cathy(Photo: Instagram/Louie Giglio)

Louie Giglio has apologised after suggesting that 'white privilege' instead be called "white blessing". 

The Passion City Church pastor made the comments during a sit-down conversation on race with rap artist Lecrae and Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy. 

He said that white Americans understood "the curse that was slavery" but they "miss the blessing of slavery that it actually built up the framework for the world that white people live in". 

He went on to say that "a fuse goes off" for a lot of white people when they hear the term 'white privilege' because "they don't want somebody telling them to check their privilege", as he suggested there was a need to move beyond language that could be a "trip-up". 

"Let's get down to the heart, let's get down to then: what do you want to call it?  And I think maybe a great thing for me is to call it white blessing, that I'm living in the blessing of the curse that happened generationally, that allowed me to grow up in Atlanta," he said. 

Giglio faced criticism for the comments when they were shared on Twitter by Washington Post reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey. 

Theologian Kyle J Howard said the idea that 'white privilege' should be replaced with 'white blessing' was "so deeply frustrating". 

He said that while he believed Giglio was "genuine" and "truly desiring ethnic harmony and justice", there should have been less talking and more listening. 

"I truly wish white pastors would realize they aren't equipped to be leading these conversations," he wrote.

"Many need to come to terms with fact that their perspectives are so skewed that their opinions are unhelpful. They need to humble themselves & listen & learn w/o giving hot takes [sic]." 

Responding, Giglio said he was "not seeking to refer to slavery as blessing - but that we are privileged because of the curse of slavery". 

"In calling it a privilege/benefit/blessing. Word choice wasn't great [sic]," he said. 

"Trying to help us see society is built on the dehumanization of others.  My apology, I failed [sic]." 

On Instagram, he added, "Not a great choice of words. I failed. Trying to help my demographic move forward. But failed. I'm not above saying I'm sorry." 

The conversation came at the end of Passion City Church's Sunday service and can be watched in full below: