Would The History Channel's Series "The Bible" be as Popular If It Didn't Feature a White Surfer Jesus Dude?
A twisted complement to how the whiteness of Jesus has been historically naturalized in the West is how the same ahistorical image adorns many African-American churches (as well as those of Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, and others) in this country and throughout the world.
Is there any greater example of the twisted nature of the color line, and the power of internalized white supremacy, than how many millions of black and brown folks kneel and pray before the image of a white god--an image which has long been used to justify and legitimate white supremacy and racial exploitation--on the most segregated day of the week?
Black and white Christians pray to the same mythologized and historically inaccurate image of Jesus; yet, they do not pray or worship together in the same churches.
Research shows that white audiences will not watch TV shows or movies which they judge to have too many people of color as characters. A historically accurate version of the Bible, which embraced the demographic realities of the era such as HBO's epic Rome series, would be a revelation. Unfortunately, many in the American public would be unwilling to hear such a basic truth, for it would be too upsetting for those who have internalized whiteness and white privilege even on matters of religion and faith.