VeggieTales creator creates viral video explaining racism

July 13, 2020
(Video screengrab)

In June, Phil Vischer—creator of VeggieTales and voice of Bob the Tomato in the popular Christian animated series—posted a now viral video called “Race in America” that attempts to answer the question: “Why are people so angry?”

Filled with graphics, photo montages, factoids, and comic asides that make the concept of systemic racism accessible for all ages, the 17-minute tutorial garnered more than 2.8 million views in the first week.

“The average black household has one-tenth the wealth of the average white household,” Vischer said in the video. “This didn’t happen by accident. It happened by policy.”

In an interview with Religion News Service, Vischer said he designed the video to reach “white Christian America that wants to know what’s going on but just doesn’t have time or easy access to the data.” 

Beginning with the end of the Civil War, the video enumerates the damage segregation, discrimination, and law enforcement have done to black lives and black wealth in the United States, intentionally and collaterally.  

Vischer said he made the video—which is part of Holy Post, his nine-year-old podcast with pastor and author Skye Jethani—to reach white Christians, hoping to change their attitudes about racial injustice. He said he has been delighted, though not surprised, to find that the video has also reached what he called the “great middle . . . those whose values are represented neither by Fox News nor MSNBC.”

“My own family is diverse enough in belief, not in faith but politically,” he said. “I thought, if I could make this work for my whole family, it probably would work for just about anybody.”

After his seemingly breathless run through policy matters that condemn North and South, Republicans and Democrats, Vischer concludes, “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. . . . Care.” —Religion News Service