‘Mormon Land’: Scholar Joanna Brooks explores past leaders’ racist views and how white supremacy took root in the faith

(Tribune file photo) Brigham Young, second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In 1852, Mormon pioneer-prophet Brigham Young put The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on a path toward a racist practice barring blacks from the priesthood. Some 126 years later, in 1978, church President Spencer W. Kimball ended the policy.

But racist doctrines and white supremacist views from Mormon pulpits and within Mormon pews hardly started with the priesthood ban and certainly didn’t stop with its removal.

Scholar Joanna Brooks, a professor of English and comparative literature at San Diego State University, explores these uncomfortable teachings and the sometimes-ugly undercurrents in her new book, “Mormonism and White Supremacy: American Religion and the Problem of Racial Innocence.”

In this week’s podcast, she discuss how coming to terms with the past and present could help the church and its members build a brighter, more inclusive, more equitable future.

Listen here: