Back to Part 2: Issues of the Right In General
Note Regarding 2008 election:
My gladness at the election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United states is that it is perhaps the ultimate validation of the black fight for equality in America. I now feel more finally accepted as a people from society at large, and we can begin to move on. It will not end all of our problems, but would be the crowning acheivement in a struggle that began hundreds of years ago with becoming free from slavery, and then gaining free rights in society.
When addressing inequality in this country; I would think it is finally time to move on from a focus on race, and acknowledge like both Malcolm and Martin in their final years that economics is the new discriminatory means. Recent economic developments should make this clear; where CEO's can run financial instituions into the ground; threatening the whole economy, and even if they are forced out; they still walk away with millions of dollars. They can go as far as having the government spending billions bailing them out, and the leaders will think nothing of continuing on with ridiculously lavish retreats, such as $89,000 pheasant hunts, as if nothing happened. (And I thought the $2000 wine tasting classes I used to hear about in the '90's were as extravagant as one could get!) And when exposed, they do not even offer an apology, when asked! Even if we think capitalism is good, we should finally realize that something clearly is wrong here. And while the heads of these large corporations in the spotlight may still be white; the other end of this economic divide is becoming increasingly color blind. The problem with these leaders is not, or at least should no longer be that they're all white; and blacks and others don't have their piece of the pie "up there". It's that those people (whichever race) simply have taken too much of the pie, and there's less and less left for everyone else.
So those of us struggling should not look at the current crisis, as well as the already rising prices of living, in terms of race. To do so is to miss the real issue and allow the conservatives to deflect the criticism by claiming unfair and inaccurate race-baiting, and dismiss the whole criticism made of the system. The issue is becoming more and more along the lines of class. Conservative rhetoric for the past 30 or more years has been blatant in justifying these trends; often in terms of "deserving" and "undeserving" groups of people, and the poor essentially blamed for the plights of the middle class, through such code words as "taxes" or "social programs". (And "class war" rhetoric being called "Marxist", even though is only an observation of obvious trends). Yet it would be not only the "middle class"; but also the rich who would be defended against these taxes, and ignored would be how the greed of the rich would be what really hurt the middle class the most, along with the poor.
This even came to play in the campaign debates, where McCain (and other conservative supporters such as Gingrich, even) kept throwing the charge of "redistribution of [your] wealth" at Obama, even when he made it clear that his plans would be better for the middle class than McCain's "tax cuts for all" (Including these same rich. And while the middle class would get tax cuts, they would get taxed on things such as health care!) So "redistribution" occurs anyway; only most of it ends up flowing upwards, instead of trickling downward!
But it's not really greed, some will even tell us. It's their hard earned "right" in a "free market economy", where they "pulled up their bootstraps" and "took risks". So then, a whole "entitlement" mentality breeds, resulting in the crass "stop at nothing" greed we see in the crisis. But then such observers never seem to put together that if you promote a total "winner takes all" survival of the fittest paradigm; then most people will suffer for the sake of the powerful few; as "all" means "all", and the "winners" won't stop just because everyone else does without. Conservatives have imagined or assumed that these people are so good and honest and worthy, and that they care about the interests and good of America. But they are essentially following "the law of the jungle", and are only concerned with their own interests. And these observers; usually coming from the conservatives and libertarians, generally claim to represent what's best for the middle class, and are not saying that we should all be happy with nothing. Yet all they do when things don't work out is fix blame; usually to the "liberals", or their "interests".
However, to those who recognize how class is the pressing issue; the solution is usually government control. But since the ultimate issue is corruption of power, then all government does is just shift the problem. So the conservatives are right that more government is not the answer. We should move away from this, as it becomes their other main source of deflection. Their opponents are just trying to create "bigger government" and institute socialism! Aren't we tired of hearing this stuff already?
What's needed for now is an increasing of economic awareness.
How awareness could change the situation:
This is what leaders such as Sharpton and Jackson (shown shedding tears at the acceptance speech), along with any other liberal leader should focus on, instead of race (or more government), if they REALLY want to continue the legacy of King and others.
Yet, this page remains for the sake of those who still hold racist sentiments, as well as to maintain awareness of what people holding on to racism still believe. Plus to continue to address the issues that do continue (such as in "Ignored Methods of Oppression"; many of them subtle "defacto" realities, yet still really need to be cleaned up). Besides, the page's ultimate conclusion is the point that was just made above; that the underlying issue behind racism and economics alike (along with all other discord) is ultimately the universal human problem of sin, anyway. This has not changed.
See also, 2010 Update to Rightwing series
The Persistence of the Race Issue and its Underlying Causes
The Theological Underpinnings of the Ideologies
The link of Mild and Christian Conservative rhetoric to true hate groups
How Trashing the Media Can Support Racism
Is "White Solidarity" the same as Black Solidarity?
Charges of "Whining"
The Blame Game
The Misunderstood Meaning of The Iceman Theory, and how it can apply to all
The ignored methods of oppression
Every Group Sinful, but Bearing God's Image
Racism may not be the Ultimate Issue, but it is apart of our self-exalting nature
•Succession of means of domination
Desire for Past Rule
The struggles of minorities and other weak in this country have received little validation from the historical conservative Christian voice. The most obvious dark spot in the conservative movement is, of course, their extreme racist past. It was mainly conservatives, especially in the "Bible Belt", who were running around in sheets, terrorizing blacks, and even burning what was supposed to be the very symbol of the Lord in whose name they did these acts. It was they who promoted segregation, and even further back, in slavery days, instead of "abortionists", it was the "abolitionists" they were screaming about.
When civil rights came along, they could no longer openly spout racism and maintain their respectability in society, the tax exemption for their institutions, etc, so the southern conservatives (grudgingly) toned it down (while then beginning to turn the focus toward the government that was forcing them to stop with its "restrictions", and the society with its "egalitarianism", and later "political correctness"!), and of course never realized what a big sin it was like they had been preaching so hard on other sins; especially the Big Three: communism, atheism/other non-"fundamental Christian" beliefs, and the sexual revolution. It was during the 50's, when blacks were still segregated and lynched, that the same Conservative America fired up its righteous war against Communism, humanism & atheism, and sexual immorality. You had McCarthy, who was so suspicious of everything being some Communist infiltration. Yet you never heard him mention the Klan or the Mob. Not until recent times can you find more and more Christians (other than blacks or liberals) starting condemn racism as sin. (It was probably Francis Schaeffer who was the first in the conservative church to really address it, and that had gone largely ignored as his call to fight abortion is what caught the church's attention).
Even if one argues, somewhat justifiably, that blacks, from the middle class to rich sports and movie stars are so much better off now, still, as was emphasized before, many people still feel the same way they did when racism was more open, and still bear a lot of resentment to the gains that have been made, evident in ongoing conservative rhetoric. It seems not only are the supposedly outmoded liberal programs for minorities attacked, but verbal pot-shots are still taken at the minorities themselves (including immigrants) in association with this.
The Theological Underpinnings of the Ideologies
Tony Campolo The Success Fantasy, pp.143-144, speaking of groups such as the Puritans in early America: “…certain Protestants, particularly those in the Calvinistic traditions, have twisted Reformed theology in order to make wealth the evidence of divine election…there were some Calvinists who wanted concrete evidence that God had chosen them to be saved. The doctrine of predestination declared that God had already decided who would be saved and who would be lost. However, these Calvinists still wondered what the evidence or signs of divine election might be…Many Christians answered that the saved would know of their election because they would economically prosper. Thus, prosperity became the evidence of a right relationship with God.”
It is obvious a whole host of problems that would erupt later on could be traced to such an ideology. If wealth is a sign of God's election, then right there, the "Barbarian" Africans and Indians then are not only divinely cursed (as evidenced also by their demonic religion), but also their enslavement or eradication is "justified". After all, the land, its treasures, the labor, and general power over people were all forms of proserity!
It was from here that a heavy reliance on the Old Testament came into play, with the account of the conquering, driving out or killing of the Canaanites ordered by God, and the preaching of prophets like Elijah becoming the models for the "Christian" mission, with Church and secular state going hand in hand. (Rome was pretty much doing this, and now Protestant groups would follow suit when they got their own land and freedom). If the people could not be enslaved for long, then oppression would continue.
The elevation of the people to equal status in society would be tantamount to the Israelites mixing with the pagans, and here we see the roots of the nation's racism and segregation. Sure enough, many blamed the country's supposed moral "downfall" on allowing the cultures to mix, and it even spread into the Church in the form of the "contemporary versus traditional" debates. (Supposed 'judgments' on the nation in the form of terrorism and natural disasters are even said to be a result of this by some).
Racism eventually becomes replaced by class war, in which you still had one group on top, and others below. People could cross from one side to the other now, thouhg it was often still difficult, especially if you did not have the talent (athletic, entertainment, business savvy) or connections and other opportunities, to be able to move up. Those on the top side, were said to be "deserving" because of their "hard work", (while still appealing to "divine providence"); while the poor are considered to be lazy. Citing a so-called "Protestant work ethic", the Christians often led this fight, to get the government to stop taxing the well-off so much, and supposedly giving it all to the "undeserving". Hence the basis of the Christian Right's "Christian America" concept.
Yet the Right's rhetoric ignored how the powerful at the top are often greedy and dirty dealing. Hence, this doctrine of, as it were, earthly rewards for Christ's Elect is a hallmark of the Right-wing today. It also manifests itself in the popular Christian teaching today where leaders preach "contentment" to the masses, (with God sending all our pain for good to "build character"), while they themselves live very well off, believing God is rewarding them for their "service"; as well as the Health and Wealth teaching that extends the material blessings to the people as well (after they give to the preacher first, of course).
This would also explain why the Right thinks its views are so automatically "right" and the rich uncritically defended. I see a striking parallel of this with this belief of wealth as a sign of election. Hence, blessed and regenerated by God and imbued with "the new life", what they do is always the right thing, and they thus need no moderation or regulation from the government, or protection from through institutions such as unions. If one doesn't like what they get under their rule; it's that person's fault for not "taking risks" and pulling themselves up like they did. So no matter what; they're never at fault, not even in part; and are never guilty of vices such as greed. It's all They're victims of the attacks of the "enemies" of God and America. They're the "chosen ones". It's "just the truth", God's truth; the absolute truth; no gray areas, no proof needed; you either accept it, or are blind. (This is basically the type of feedback I and others have gotten from conservatives in debates over the years).
Even if one THINKS they don't really believe this, it is a holdover from that earlier ideology which carries on in diminished forms through party platforms people follow.
The link of Mild and Christian Conservative rhetoric to true hate groups
People like this who spend so much time knocking aspects of different culture get very angry if you suggest their agendas are an attempt to find identity in a particular culture or race. But all of those Christians and other conservative groups who don't mention race but deny it with a passion, yet still preach other doctrines of IDENTITY (the roof of self-ism)— whether moralistic, religious or political (take back country, Reconstructionism, classic church hymns and KJV only, bemoaning loss of past society; constant blasting of societal changes, PC, multiculturalism, egalitarianism, etc. in favor of nationalism, separationism; conspiracy rhetoric, anti-government, defending gun rights and militias, ad nauseam) are still one small step away from, and of similar spirit as the professing racist Christian Identity movement and others. Just look at the following Resister statement by military men: "The US military has become a slave service for the wealth redistribution schemes of internationalists and gangs of weeping do-gooder mystics. One need to simply note the circling of media carrion-eaters to predict in which third world toilet these altruists will flush hundreds of millions of US tax dollars and the lives of US servicemen..." (Quoted in Rowan, p.27)
Now look at similarity with one Christian Right leader's statement: "We want the pagans and God-haters and egalitarian socialist planners to bear blame for leading our country into a wasteland" (Quoted in Horton, p.40)
Catch the message of this booklet from the height of the Civil Rights era:
Citizen 1-64, p.8
We are fighting for our children, grandchildren, nation, churches, schools. The fate of this nation rests in the hands of those white people who today oppose racial amalgamation. If the white people of these United States submit to the unconstitutional destructive forces of integration, the malignant powers of mongrelization, communism and atheism will surely destroy this nation.
The racist rhetoric of the civil rights era and before bears a strong resemblance to modern conservative rhetoric. All the same issues were there. There was the same concern over the erosion of the fabric of American society, and the role of Communism and atheism in it; the same quabbling over the Constitution, the same claim that their system actually maintained race relations, —that everything was really good as it was; the same anti-liberal, anti-media, anti-govt./Supreme Court, and individual and states rights pleas; the same concern about 'families' and the fate of the nation. —The same defensiveness! It looks almost as if it were the same people who wrote that old rhetoric, having lost the race war then turned focusing on the other issues (religious freedom, schools, tax, abortion, homosexuality, etc.) —trying to hold onto "what was left".
Bob Herbert, Op-Ed Columnist, "The Ugly Side of the G.O.P." September 25, 2007; excellently captured this method of changing the issues:
This is the party of the Southern strategy — the party that ran, like panting dogs, after the votes of segregationist whites who were repelled by the very idea of giving equal treatment to blacks. Ronald Reagan, George H.W. (Willie Horton) Bush, George W. (Compassionate Conservative) Bush — they all ran with that lousy pack.
Dr. Carolyn Goodman, a woman I was privileged to call a friend, died last month at the age of 91. She was the mother of Andrew Goodman, one of the three young civil rights activists shot to death by rabid racists near Philadelphia, Miss., in 1964.
Dr. Goodman, one of the most decent people I have ever known, carried the ache of that loss with her every day of her life.
In one of the vilest moves in modern presidential politics, Ronald Reagan, the ultimate hero of this latter-day Republican Party, went out of his way to kick off his general election campaign in 1980 in that very same Philadelphia, Miss. He was not there to send the message that he stood solidly for the values of Andrew Goodman. He was there to assure the bigots that he was with them.
“I believe in states’ rights,” said Mr. Reagan. The crowd roared.
In 1981, during the first year of Mr. Reagan’s presidency, the late Lee Atwater gave an interview to a political science professor at Case Western Reserve University, explaining the evolution of the Southern strategy:
“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger,’ ” said Atwater. “By 1968, you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”
You can see here the bridge that connects the racist Right to the religious Right. What is the
main leftist conspiracy in the view of both branches of the Right? "Wealth redistribution", or
"egalitarianism". The old racism of the 50's and 60's (such as Citizen) blasted the left, including
the Communists, for trying to destroy America by making everyone equal, either on a national
level, and also an international (the New World Order). So when Christians make a point to
jump into "egalitarian"-bashing, they blur the line between themselves and the racists. And the
Christian Identity movement further links the two, embodying both Christian and racist
sentiments. And of course, there are still Christian institutions that do practice minor forms of
racism, while emphasizing God and holiness, such as mild forms of segregation being justified as "opposition to the one-world scheme". There was even an upstate NY Christian magazine, that ran an article about the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper, where the hardworking ant has all his hard earned riches taken away by the government, and given to the lazy grasshopper, who squanders it all away, and cannot even maintain the house that was given to him from the ant. It even mentions the NAAGB ("...Green Bugs") and talks about Kermit singing "It isn't Easy Being Green" on Oprah. (This can now be seen at the site of its original author, at http://www.warroom.com/antgh.php. Other versions omit the "NAAGB" remark, and often substitute ACORN in some form). Once again, the message is that the problem in this country now is that big bad government is giving all our hard earned money to these lazy destructive minorities who don't work, and try to get our hard earnings for nothing at all. We are all good, and they are all bad. This quadruple slap in the face is one of the most racially insulting pieces of propaganda I've ever seen, and it was in the pages, not of Aryan Nation, but Christian literature. (And now has caught on, and is spread around by many).
I don't know of any welfare people who have ever gotten rich from that system, but the rap stars and producers, plus sports stars (who got rich off of the 'legitimate' capitalistic system which values entertainment and showers it with millions) all keep their estates as nice as any rich white, even though many of them are still just as ghetto-minded as any black welfare recipient, so just what is this statement saying? The website (by a Particular Baptist), which advocates the Confederate constitution, cites this in a plea for secession. It can be really hard to tell where this movement ends, and the Christian Identity begins. Yet many conservatives, including many of these same people keep screaming "why is everyone still whining about racism?"!
A milder form of questionable teaching tries to explain away the plight of blacks as their own doing, perhaps a "curse" from God for some kind of "sin". The Chick tract "Love the Jews" (formerly "Jeopardy")1 suggests that all the famine in Africa is the result of the leaders of those nations "breaking off diplomatic ties with Israel", and therefore coming under the divine "curse" of Genesis 12:3! This is amazing, as that verse doesn't even deal with the question of whether a nation is required by God to have "diplomatic ties" with Israel as a form of "blessing" them rather than cursing them, and thus avoiding the "curse". Israel is a nation with its share of wrongs, and it has to live in this world with everyone else just like any other nation. I don't see Christians who emphasize blessing the Jews doing anything for them other than telling the US and Europe to support their political battles (which God said He would resolve upon His return). Yet Gen.12:3 is always appealed to, as if we could siphon "blessings" off from God just by giving Israel political favors. It seems Conservatives, who decades ago would have banned Jews to the same "colored" segregated facilities as the blacks, (is traditional conservative Christian society 'cursed' then?) have now seized upon the Jews as the ultimate "scriptural" validation of the age-old notions of "chosen" races and "cursed" races; "chosenness" defined as entitlements to special rights and priveleges over others,2 and the Christian West grafted into the chosen family because of their acceptance of Christ. In fact, this even makes them surpass "stubborn stiff-necked Christ-rejecting Israel", which is a stereotype some of these same Christians who are supposedly so "pro-Israel" will still turn right around and spew out. This was the whole basis of the covered up anti-semitism in Church history. (paying back the "murderers of Christ", forgetting that all of us are "Stubborn" and "stiff-necked" and necessitated Christ's death.)3. In fact, one person who was formerly published by Chick, not only claims all the violence in black communities is an "unbroken curse" from our tribal warfare (as if Europeans had no barbaric wars), but also, in the midst of emphasizing the divine curse on Israel's enemies, then goes on and says that the Jews placed themselves under a "curse" of Jesus' blood in Matt. 27:25, which includes "all that happened to them"! (which would include the Holocaust). No Nazi could come up with a better "scriptural" justification of their actions, but this person is telling us other people are cursed for "cursing" the Jews! (all of this is one reason many Jews themselves are highly suspicious of these Christians coming and "befriending" them). And while Africa brought itself under such a curse, the European nations that bred Hitler and his Nazis are all prosperous now, recovering from WWII. Why is this? All Chick said about them was "God killed Hitler and his dream", but is this even true? His dream seems to live on in these countries, in groups on the far right. But it's only Africa that remains physically "cursed", at least for now. This just shows how the often troubled Black-Jewish relations are often used by some to further put down blacks. (And making it worse, is that our most outspoken spokesmen in the issue are people like Farrakhan and some other Black Muslim leaders who are obviously biased, and even leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have said and done things that have questioned their relationships with Jews). Africans and other nations are also said to be cursed because of their idol worship. This may have a lot of truth, but the problem arises when they contrast that the nations that "followed God" became blessed. This of course, is the closest thing to a scriptural support of the West (meaning Caucasian race, with Israel included) being "blessed", and much of Asia, Africa and the tribal Americas being "cursed", thus echoing precisely what the colonizers and racists have always claimed. Of course, to do this then, all of the sin, and resulting "curses" that have been identified in Europe and America, must be blamed on others; particularly the Left, and often the influence of the dark-skinned races with their idolatry and sensuality (sometimes even the Jews; even among the "pro-Israel" Christians and others!). So we wind up with these naturally "good" people who always followed God properly, and thus earned God's "blessings", and whose society was polluted by outside forces. Basically, a fundamental attribution shift that states that "Their plight is a curse from their own sin, and our plight is a curse from other people's sins"! This denies the Scriptural teaching that ALL have sinned, and that God was not always followed properly, even though His name may have been used; and the further scriptural reality that "material" blessings are no sign of divine blessing, (especially the historical reality of the way many of them were gained) because God may allow the wicked to prosper, so prosperity is no sign of God's approval. (It could even be a sign that God has given people over to their sins).
A new line of rhetoric, often preached by black conservatives, pretends to acknowledge historic racism, but now says that that's the past and our continued plight now is just our own "patterns of self-destructive behavior". This has a grain of truth, but it still assumes blacks are worse than everyone else, while the whites are basically "civil" and "productive", and thus earning all their prosperity and power. But once again, is all well in the white community with their kids getting involved with Skinheads and other hate groups, satanic hardcore rock, individual acts of school violence that far surpass anything in black schools, and the adults with the mass murders, the Mafia etc, and just as many drugs; maybe not crack, but other highly destructive ones? Just look at the entertainment today, with more and more sex and violence. All of this is "destructive patterns of self destruction", but the white community still propers. Why is only the black community kept down by their "behavior"? It must be more to it than that.
1)I had contacted chick.com about "Jeopardy", and at that time their answer was that it was out of print (making me think they rethought that statement, realizing how offensive it could be). But then a few years later, it reappeared with the new title. I responded again, and this time they simply reiterated that "We believe Gen. 12:3 still stands", and did not address my objections to their interpretations, except that "all of these issues could not be addressed in one tract" (I wasn't asking them to address them, but to reconsider them) In recent times, they have come out with black versions of some of the tracts, with the leading characters, and even the angels and God figure being colored! But this outward move means nothing if the negative ideologies are still held onto.
2) "chosenness" is really a burden of carrying God's message to the world, and being servants, not specially privileged people.
Chick also argues that America is coming under a curse for turning her back on Israel; siding with her enemies —because of oil. What I find highly ironic, is that we are still being attacked by the Arabs for our siding with Israel. As some have pointed out, first, we went over there way back in the 40's, raped the land and people to get the oil, then put the Israelites in to keep an eye on the Arabs. So it seems the only reason we were ever for Israel in the first place was to have a base to get near the oil. We only used Israel, so naturally would cast her aside when finished with her. Once we got them back into the land, they wanted more, and we weren't willing to trample on the Arabs' rights but so much (since we are now trying negotiate with them directly for the oil). This ulterior motive would seem more deserving of the "curse" than anything else we have done!
And now we still occupy many of their lands, including Saudi Arabia itself, with its holy sites. The TIME article "Roots Of Rage" (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101011001-175979,00.html) covers this perspective. One good Christian article; Christian Research Institute's "Witnessing to Muslims" by Don McCurry (http://www.equip.org/free/DI225(1-2-3).htm) points out "We need to remember, when seeking to witness to Muslims, that we are working in an atmosphere poisoned by the memories of these and more recent (e.g., the U.S.'s two invasions of Lebanon) Muslim casualties. If we exhibit any form of cultural superiority, religious triumphalism, or selective amnesia concerning the sins of the West, perceived as Christian, we only make matters worse." This has been a major problem in the message of Christians, as seen above in their assessment on their own societies in the modern era.
Of course, we claimed to be fulfilling biblical prophecy by moving out the Arabs to make way for the Jews, but it struck me when I first got saved and was reading the whole Bible through, and looked up prophecies about Israel, that God did say His people would come back to the land. But He said HE would do it, not man and his sword (Hosea 1:7). Even the most religious of the Jews— the Hasidics, are against Zionism, for this very reason! Yet Christians always uncritically sided with Israel, even though the way they were bombing people out of Palestine didn't seem right, even if it was originally their land, and God promised it back to them, ultimately. Even Philip Yancey, in his Back Page editorial in Christianity Today says "In Middle East Conflicts, they always side with Israel, ignoring injustices against the Palestinians—hasn't God promised to bless His chosen people in the latter days?" ("Compassion Confusion", 9-3-01)
3) Calvin and especially Luther were very harsh on the Jews with such rhetoric, and Lutheranism in Germany had a big part on the Holocaust. Is all of Protestantism "cursed" then? Of course, Chick blames only the Catholic church for antisemitism
When Christians and other conservatives talk about how the soul of the nation was lost in the 60's, you can almost read between the lines a reference to the above quote: "See what we said? That's where it all started, and now all is lost!" But most wouldn't dare say that directly. More radical conservatives do slip it out in various forms, though. The forces of "Political Correctness" have forced them to drop race from the rhetoric (looking at the old rhetoric, except for the references to race, the new rhetoric is identical—the above quote sounds so modern!) They've grudgingly bowed to PC that much (to maintain their voice and respectability in society), but then what do they now do, but spend all their energy knocking PC (and "multiculturalism", "enlightenment", etc.) If they had their way, and there was no "political correctness", and they could say whatever they want; you wonder if a lot of the racist rhetoric would then reappear!
Just look at the message of the militias. Conservatives who during the cold war were so "rah, rah, America!", and accused the Left of trying to destroy the country started making more attacks on our government than Russia ever did. Waco and gun control may be the issues that triggered the Oklahoma bombing and other unrest, but what is the big deal with guns; why do these groups want guns so much; who are they so afraid of, or who were their main enemies or objects of aggression before the government became the big scapegoat? Blacks and other "minorities" (including ["illegal"] immigrants)! This is what it all really boils down to. What is at the heart of their anger toward the government; Where did all of this begin? First, it forced their parents and grandparents to stop persecuting blacks and make them equal. As was mentioned before, it was the Communists who were behind this. Then, it took their hard earned tax money and gave some of it to poor blacks. To top it off, now this traitorous government is trying to take away the guns these militia groups and individuals had planned to use on any black who got too close. So the government itself has now become the "enemy" of "the people", and the ones these people can claim they are protecting themselves from, citing the "New World Order" threat.
Underlying all of these issues, many whites have a great deep-seated fear of retaliation for what their predecessors did to minorities, if they should gain power —especially if Hispanics (who have just passed blacks as the largest minority in this country, by the way) become the majority within the next century as predicted. You'd be surprised how many are terrified of this —they feel the people would ruin the country and abolish the Constitution, and are lashing out at immigration policies because of it. (One group even proposes a conspiracy by some Mexican political movement to take back the American southwest!) This motivates them to try to keep other groups down and stay in control. Any sign of the loss of this power or majority status, and they react as if they have already been overtaken and subdued. This is another way "victim" mentality is used to justify victimizing others. While arguing that "This land wasn't the Indians' either", "Africans sold each other into slavery", etc, still one group's sins do not justify the other (Especially since we were supposed to be the "Civilized Christians", and especially given how defensive we are about being taken over, tyrannized, overtaxed, overregulated, or others taking our land from us— Why is conquest wrong only now?)
This fear is a God-given guilt complex, (people sense they've 'got something coming to them') and people need to repent before Him, the judge who repays sin (Pr.28:13) instead of being defensive before men and trying to justify it with unbiblical notions of being a better culture. The liberals are suffering the same thing, and their pushing for multiculturalism is only a different response [opposite extreme] to the same feelings.
There may be some who would want revenge, but both blacks and Hispanics are generally more forgiving, and by the time any group surpasses the whites, who will be thinking about getting revenge? (Remember, the white liberals would be in the minority too). The only way there would be any problem is if conservatives are still fighting, trying to keep everyone else down so they could be in control.
People are worrying about so many ridiculous things that have nothing to do with the Savior's will for our lives now. What good will having an English speaking country with its original constitution be centuries from now when people living today have gone into eternity? (And what about the Return of Christ, with His Kingdom?) This is precisely what the Christ-rejecting Pharisees were concerned with. It is also another staple of racism. (All about "me" and my prominence in the world). And once again, how can people who keep defending the colonization of America then scream at the idea of being taken over by another group as being so wrong? God is the one who makes the nations (Acts 17:26). If you try so hard for self-preservation, you wind up fighting against God. (Armageddon will be basically the powers of the earth fighting to preserve themselves, pointing at each other as the evil they have to defeat!). No, I'm not saying we're outside His will for defending our nation (as people may retort). There's a big difference between defense and "trying so hard for self-preservation", when it becomes an idol which we confuse with the Gospel itself and we base our defense on unbiblical notions of superiority, and the determining factor is the "self", not the nation (which in that case would be but an extension of the self).
The excellent movie Bowling For Columbine will of course be dismissed as just more propaganda "unfairly" blaming guns (instead of the usual scapegoats of morality, liberalism, or as actor and NRA president Charlton Heston, interviewed in the film claimed, our ethnic diversity!!!) But if you really observe it, Michael Moore really goes beneath a simple blaming of guns (He is even a member of the NRA!) He interviewed a Canadian official and found that that country has just as many guns as ours, but only a tiny fraction of our homicides!. This would be the very type of fact the conservatives would seize upon to prove that the problem is not guns. But here, Moore clearly highlights that point. So then what is our problem? One of the things the official pointed out was that "we look out for everyone; make sure everyone is taken care of..."*. This is precisely the thing that is fiercely spat on, sneered at, scoffed at by the gun-loving conservatives here. "Bleeding heart liberal pablum puke!" as the outspoken Morton Downey Jr. would call it. How many times did we hear Hillary Clinton's It takes a Village To Raise a Child bashed across the entire right? (along with everything else she does, even after no longer being the First Lady) No, what we insist on here is a rugged individualism**, where everyone looks out for themselves. "Let the cream rise to the top" we often hear, and those who can't keep up fall to the wayside. "Nobody is owed a living here!" But the problem is, we have not been able to completely dispose of those fallen by the wayside. We do cross paths with them, and they even wander into our neighborhoods at times. Argue all you want about how unjustified they may be, but they will react to us, sometimes violently, criminally! So then the people maintaining their right to rise to the top then have to do it in constant fear (recall Matt.6:19!); hence the obsession with guns! THIS was the point of the movie. Ironically, conservatives not too long ago, looking at the urban black culture, especially as it is reflected in the modern rap industry, decried a so-called "culture of death", but as they seek guns as the solution (which as was mentioned before, makes it easier for the much dreaded black criminals themselves to get them, and the guns that kill people in New York City are often traced to conservative Southern states!), they too are apart of this "culture of death"! Look at the popularity of mafia-related shows and movies, plus the rest of the violence on the small and large screen, and the violence of the militias (such as Oklahoma City), and the various serial/mass murderers and I don't see how blacks can be singled out as being particularly violent or crime-prone. Yet people will boldly claim, "but it is well known that the blacks commit the most crimes". This is highly debatable. It is made to look like blacks commit the most crimes, because for one thing, it was a well known tactic of the media to show pictures of black suspects much more often that white ones. (Yet, once again, this "liberal media" is biased against whites in favor of blacks, right?). Even the prison statistics do not take into consideration factors such as blacks being singled out for arrest, whites being more able to buy their way out through bail or other means, plus the harsher sentences for crimes that blacks are more likely to commit (discussed below). Then what about all the crimes people do and get away with (never even reported, etc.) Comparing "which race does the most crimes" is irrelevant, if the Conservatives are serious about "erasing race based" distinctions. (They use this to argue against programs, but still emphasize black crime —to further claim we do not need help through programs). This can only lead to discrimination, and I don't mean the "reverse" kind.
*Even the so-called "ghetto" shown looked like one of our good neighborhoods!
**our faith in which, is one of the "humanistic elements" of the views of critics of "humanism", who "seldom have attacked faith in humanity in any consistent way", according to Mark Noll, Nathan Hatch and George Marsden The Search for Christian America, Crossway, 1983, quoted in Horton, Beyond Culture Wars, p.71
At the very bottom of this whole "culture war", with its longing for the past, and wanting to cut everything concerning blacks was nothing more than a poorly disguised backlash on civil rights itself. People today think racism is such distant past memories, viewed on old black & white news footage, but we fail to realize that many of the sick racists of Civil Rights period are still alive! Some violent segregation activist in his twenties in the 1950's and 1960's is only in his 60's or 70's today! He may not be out leading protests any more, but instead is at the age where he has risen to the top levels of business and government (and maybe even religion), and thus still bears considerable influence from behind the scenes! (Their children who sat on their parents' shoulders to watch lynchings can be even younger!)* These people did not just disappear off the face of the earth, or change all their old beliefs. As one recent columnist put it, "Did they change their philosophy, or did they simply change their tactics?" Much of their philosophy still undergirds modern Conservative mindset. Many foundations and think tanks finance certain political candidates, talk show hosts, and other media figures. We need to take a look at all of the beliefs of these behind-the-scenes organizations, and what they really stand for.
And still we are often treated as though we were worthless, when one NYC mayor a few years ago says "Oh well at least they're alive, aren't they", and then when an unarmed man is gunned down by plain clothesed policemen with 41 shots, the defense wins the case by claiming "If only he [the victim] had just did what they asked!" [i.e. face them instead of turning away]. (And this after the case was moved as far from the NYC black community as it could get, since it couldn't be trusted to be fair and objective, while black criminals are often tried right in the heart of the white community). So even apart from the debate as to whether the cops were actually guilty or not, this would mean that anytime whites in plain clothes confront a black man, he must stop and do as they say. (They could be mob hitmen, robbers, kidnappers, etc. for all he knows, but nevertheless, he must assume they are police, else, if they do happen to be police, they are justified in killing him). This sounds like it is right out of the Jim Crow south, yet it went by without hardly a thought!
*People apparently do not realize how truly sick and desensitizing this was. And the children who were "treated" to such spectacles would sickly react in one of two possible ways: to think this was OK, and passionately resent the societal forces that forced it to change. OR, those who knew it was wrong would fiercely lash out against not just this, but also their whole background, and the rest of its values, including religion, politics and so-called "morality"! Can't we allow for the possibility that many of the radical "anti-God" or "anti-traditional American values" liberals we despise so much might have been some of these children reacting to the horrors of such occurences?
How Trashing the Media Can Support Racism
A lot of racist attitude gets through by couching it in moral language (welfare, out of wedlock pregnancies, laziness, etc; with plenty of "statistics" focused on), and then the societal language (taxes/spending, programs, hardworking taxpayer, multiculturalism, biased media, etc.) So the message is gotten across as clearly as the old messages. So then when the more radical Rightists come along with equally inflammatory rhetoric, such as the “[scientifically proven] ‘inferiority’” of Murray, Hernstein and others, and talk show hosts like Bob Grant and others, they can pretty much get away with it. The media may jump all over it, but it’s already established in the Right that the media is “biased” toward the left anyway, so that is not only discredited, but also gives the Right even more credibility, and the entire Right, even those who themselves don’t put things that way, will support it— that the media is attacking them simply because they have “the facts” that destroys their “multiculturalism” and “radical egalitarianism” (Bork* defending Murray/Hernstein) or their immoral leftist politics (D. James Kennedy** defending Limbaugh). It is widely believed that there is just something wrong with minorities, and these liberals are trying to rob the hard working to wrongly make everything “equal”. So even the more radical racists actually get away with a lot more hate rhetoric, than do people like Farrakhan, for instance. It is so close to what passes as legitimate moral, ethical, patriotic conservative “values”. And the insistence that the conservative voice is unfairly silenced just throws suspicion off themselves and further casts them as the victims. Conservative media has had a tremendous voice, and has even swayed elections and the general political landscape over the last 2 decades. (Liberals may influence education, which naturally has an impact, as well as the general news media, but the Conservatives are right there challenging everything these institutions do, and any talk show hosts or newpaper columnists defending the liberal viewpoint are not as popular as the conservatives). So for the very voices who make this force so outspoken to be complaining that they are silenced (Limbaugh: "I am the equal time"), you wonder what else they want. Perhaps they want to be the sole voice and silence everyone else. If you think that is farfetched, then look at the utter irony of the notably conservative media empire that arose claiming to be everything Accuracy In Media and others shouted that the liberal media wasn't: "Fair and Balanced reporting". "We report, you decide". Yet, the local NYC newspaper owned by this company frequently published pictures of the French as "weasels" for not supporting us in the wars in the mideast, and you often see other such pictures or caricatures of people right on the front page! Why don't they just report, and let me decide that? No, they are going to do the very thing they have condemned the liberals for; forcing their own views or ideology on me, but this is considered "fair and balanced" merely because it is the conservative view! (after all, only an idiot wouldn't see that those lousy French are weasels for not supporting us; it's 'just the truth', right? Meanwhile, conservatives following this mindset seriously proposed renaming French fries and French toast!) Shows us how much better and more truthful the Right really is!
*Bork's Slouching Towards Gomorrah for instance, looks like a nice Christian book that all the evangelicals could agree with. Yet if you look at it carefully, black culture seems to figure prominently in this "slouching", plus the fact that he would defend the Bell Curve theory. He is also liked by Senator Jesse Helms who was against Civil Rights.
** [In his book on Character] This is in no way to suggest that Kennedy is in any way connected with racism, but it's Limbaugh who is questionable (such as mocking the concerns of minorities and others), and with this plus some other personal issues, someone like this does not need to be defended by Christians.
Is "White Solidarity" the same as Black Solidarity?
Is "White Solidarity" the same as Black Solidarity?
Many racist groups even have the gall to demand the rights for their own groups, complaining that if minorities can have such groups, why shouldn't they have theirs. People think one "solidarity group" is just as good as another, but the question is, what is the purpose of these groups? If one group represents those who were oppressed and still fight for denied rights of the minority group, then what could a group for the power holding "majority" possibly be for? To "gain power", which would mean taking back gains made by the other groups? Despite all the "reversely discriminated against victims" rhetoric we hear these days, that's the only "advancement" whites could possibly make. Already, such groups that do exist (and there are many) are simply trying to restore the past system of inequality, and this is why the whole idea is condemned. Likewise, even having a Martin Luther King holiday followed by Black History Month is dismissed as "unbridled racial histrionics allowed to run rampant ". As one person says to me, "Would public school officials be so quick to celebrate 'White History Month' if such a month were declared? I think not. I am not a racist, but I do get tired of multiculturalism and its overemphasis on the importance of being in the racial minority. I can't celebrate being 'white' without being accused of being some kind of redneck. But blacks get an entire month in the public schools devoted to celebrating themselves and their culture." That's because of the fact that white culture is still dominant, and blacks and others have been so put down (and our culture attempted to be eradicated) that we must try to celebrate it in order for our culture to survive. Besides, Black institutions, celebrations, etc. are inclusive meaning that whites are in no way barred, but that the "blackness" of it is only emphasized to give downtrodden blacks out there something to look up to. So-designated "White" institutions, however, have historically been defined as exclusive, and the memories of the past still stick in the public consciousness, plus as was just mentioned, the fact that there are still some that wish to exclude others, or uphold whiteness under a premise of racial superiority which supposedly justifies inequality. As was just pointed out, what would be the purpose of a "White History Month"? The conservatives have not cleaned up their past of racial hatred, so they cannot expect people to not be suspicious of any efforts of so-called 'solidarity' for their group. When people stop despising others, (including blaming for perceived social or economic problems) maybe then this apparent disparity will even out.
Even with a lot of the political rhetoric shifting elsewhere (particularly to international affairs), still, Conservatives continue to make the same old stereotypical statements about the black community. Especially around Martin Luther Kings' birthday, followed by Black History Month. We are told that no other immigrant group gets these celebrations. Yet, "they chose to work hard, rather than whine, and they eventually assimilated successfully."
So just WHEN did all of this laying around (i.e. being "lazy" and "not working hard") and "whining" occur? Slavery? Will you honestly say that in slavery, when we began our life here (as opposed to most others), is when we began "laying around doing nothing"? I guess all that stuff about cotton fields and chain gangs and whips is also PC revisionist "Roots" fairy tale style mythology, right? We were just laying around living off of the backs of massa, right? And "whining"? If you accept that there was slavery, then how much "whining" could we have done when if we looked back at the master wrong, we were called "uppity" and slapped or whipped?
Or was it after slavery, with Jim Crow and segregation? Now, blacks were able to speak out more, but it still was not "whining". They were legitimately demanding equal rights. Or was that wrong in itself? I guess the other groups didn't do the same, but only "worked" their way up? Well, what about that then? Did we begin "laying around trying to get something for nothing" then? No, most were stuck in menial labor jobs making almost nothing, and going home to horrible living conditions, as was stated above. It was almost slavery without the whips. Compared to those more favored in society, who did not have such bad working conditions. Who really worked "harder"? Someone in menial labor, or someone sitting behind a desk, or inheritors, traders, investors, etc.? But it's always the latter who are credited with doing all of this "work", while the former did no "work". After all, it's the living conditions that prove who does the most work, because this system was always perfectly fair, and everyone always gets exactly what they deserve, right?
So after all of this, the entire fabric of society unraveled. Even the children of whites rebelled, and then guilt-ridden liberals then sudenly began promoting Civil Rights. Now, programs for blacks began, and many people took advantage and either lived off of welfare, or got jobs they weren't really qualified for. But before you take this as proving our "laziness" after all; this was late in the game. You cannot compare us to European immigrants and say that they are "workers" and blacks are "whiners", because blacks had been here longer than they, and did work without whining all of those years, because most of the newcomers assimilated way before this, while blacks were just then finally getting full acceptance, but only by force, and with much resistance from the old order establishment.
So the reason why all this "work vs. whine" rhetoric is such an offensive slap in the face is because given what blacks have gone through in this country, they handled it quite well, and many have still come through strong.
Today, really, how many blacks are "whining"? You have people like Sharpton and Jackson asking for reparations, or bringing up some charge during a racial incident or other political issue. But, believe it or not, they do not speak for all blacks. Just their band of followers. I see many blacks in workplaces discussing this who are against reparations, and feel blacks need to do more for themselves. So then what is all of this "whining"? Could this be voices of guilt ringing in people's own heads? (Guilt because they identify with the entities that are being questioned, and refuse to admit any wrong, becoming defensive of it, as if they were directly guilty). Just as the liberals may have acted out in guilt one way, the defensive conservatives would react to the same guilt the opposite way. By denying all the guilt from the past and lashing out and blaming blacks for everything. You want to talk about "whining"? Who's really doing all of the "whining" now? Who for one, is "whining" about others' supposed "whining"? Who did all the complaining about taxes being taken from them and given to undeserving welfare minorities for at least the past 25 years, while the taxes did not even prevent them from remaining the richest nation on earth? Yet we still have to hear these comments from them every February or election year when this topic is brought up in discussions or in politics.
And then, there is the frequent accusation of people making Afica and other lands paradise, while blaming "whitey" for all their problems, and "telling lies" against American and other Western historical figures, when Africans had enslaved and sold each other into slavery, and they will add all the black violence today. First, who ever said "Africa (or the native Americas, or anywhere else) was so "good", and all we did was sit around peacefully, and the white man came and ruined it? That's the way Conservatives think about the downfall of their civilization (someone else ruined it), so don't pin that on anyone else. —Yeah, everyone knows the African were the barbarians, and it was Christian European civilization that was the peaceful haven where all was well throughout the centuries, until this century when the liberals forced integration of black culture and immorality thus ruining our "godly heritage", as we have heard and keep hearing from many conservatives. So of course, how DARE anyone reverse that! But nobody ever said that about Africa. So once again, as with the "whining" charge, people accuse others of the very thing they are doing, and hear these voices coming out of their own guilt. Instead, we all have heard the worst about the continent, portrayed as some savage jungle. Even the liberal educators who are supposedly so biased against Western heritage in favor or Africa always in their documentaries and books show the people in a light that makes them look like nothing but backward jungle bunnies, and further supports all the stereotypes (For instance, showing the women naked on top, showing some unattractive elderly tribeswoman, and never any pretty younger ladies, etc.). So the reason you have heard such an emphasis on the good of Africa and the bad of Europe, is because it was ALREADY sorely unbalanced on the side of Europe. Unless you are saying that the racist history that completely devalued Africans and others, and exalted Europeans was right, you cannot accuse anyone else of "revision".
The point of people who condemn slavery today was not who started it, but that this, as conservatives keep reminding us, was supposed to be the "Christian" civilization, but slavery as it was practiced was contradictory to that. How can we, in the very same breath as reciting the higher "morality" and "culture" of our civilization, over the supposed "barbarians"; then point to the barbarians' behavior as an excuse for our acts of barbarism? (i.e. like a guilty child pointing to another and saying "but he does it too"). We were so "Christian"; so we are held up to that standard. We complain so much about "liberals" and the younger generations with their rebellion and anti-American/Western sentiments, but we had taught them this grand view of our Christian heritage, but when they looked back at it honestly, it did not measure up to any biblical standards.
To repeat what I had mentioned way in the beginning; while "slavery" may have been in the Bible and not condemned, as people keep saying now; it (especially the NT) was closer to the "indentured servanthood" that we had here at first. (Some of the African slavery may have been such as well). What is being condemned today is "manstealing" which is condemned in a list of sins in 1 Tim.1:9, 10. Even if you argue "the Africans did it too"; besides the fact of who were the Christians and should have known better, still, I'm sure Africans who sold others into slavery did not strip them of their identity as people. Why would they; they were the same people. They did not tell them they were cursed because of their skin or culture. It is totally different from what happened over here at the hands of another people. And even those who sold them to the Europeans probably did not know what was in store for them over here.
Finaly, there are so many hard-lined right wingers, who are opposed to all advances blacks have made, and defensive and in denial of the past, and praise their hostory as being so good, and thus them "deserving" of all they have and more, THIS is why people keep reminding them of "what happened so long ago". Because left up to them, they would have us believe, like I said, that all was well in their civilization; all was well with slavery; Africans are no good, and "cursed", and thus deserve all the bad that happened to them; all the advances they made were undeserved; thus, they have corrupted our godly society, and that they should be re-segregated, and perhaps re-enslaved! Telling us about black violence today still does not justify all of this. The patterns that began with slavery are what set all of this in motion, and it was much more intense that anything other groups went through. It is very hard to get out of that cycle. Yet people expect them to all of a sudden snap out of it, in order to prove everything here was so good all along. Some are able to find opportunity and make it. Some can't. Some are truly messing around. But it is an awful lot of people you are expecting to just get over it all of a sudden. So after all of that, it is taking time for these effects to be completely erased, and the people who benefitted from their fathers doing this should not now be rushing us to "get over it". (It's amazing that people can stand and tell others how fast they should heal). So yes, some may "whine" while wallowing in "destructive behavior". But this is no excuse for conservatives to deny the truth and be defensive, and try to prove that they were really innocent after all. So yes, there may be many using this as an excuse who could do more for themselves, but their lack of excuse is no excuse for anyone else.
Then, there is the response that "they [blacks; we all; etc.] should simply consider themselves 'American'". The reason why many don't is perhaps because of all of this animosity they can still sense coming their way from conservatives, which is based on stuff that is not even true for all of us (e.g. "whining"; wanting something for nothing and thus being "undeserving"; eroding culture, etc.) It sometimes seems we are still basicallty unwanted, especially when blamed for the country's problems. All of this is why blacks still feel a need for "solidarity". In an ideal world, "solidarity" and "history months" would not be needed. While it is true that a lot of progress has been made, and they are not needed the way they once were, still, as long as things are not ideal, we cannot expect people to react as if it was ideal. (Still, there are many blacks who do feel they are no longer necessary).
Even pointing all of this out gets a response of "just being bitter over 50-150 years ago" as one person said on a board. I'm dealing with NOW, and this type of retort is exactly what I am talking about. Someone says something on the issue, and people hear these voices in their head and lash out with the same old ignorant stereotypical jargon.
Reacting defensively, they see what they think we all say.
We are even criticized for trying to change others' attitudes toward us. We should be doing that by instead "black America changes their attitudes about themselves from being constant victims and feeling sorry for themselves to becoming successful Americans. The better life that they will build for themselves will slowly but surely change attitudes of most white Americans toward blacks and will win more respect than whining". But it's OK for people who say this to be bitter about our "bitterness", and whine about our "whining", and spend so much time trying to change our attitude toward whites or the system, and telling us what to do. Once again, every single thing you are criticizing us for is precisely what you are doing! What is this; only one side has the right to be annoyed at what others say? The conservatives like this are the ones who constantly talk of "freedom of speech", and certainly use it to complain about everything they don't like, but it is wrong for blacks to ever voice any dissatisfaction with anything. We have no right to stand up for ourselves and correct misguided lies and half truths about us? No; we have to all shape up first to command change of people's views, while those other people get to sit and wait, judging our progress as too slow. Meanwhile, they don't have to correct anything about themselves to change people's view of them. Something like this is a heated debate, so people shouldn't accuse others of being "bitter" when their tone is sharp as well. And yes, there are black people who are messing around and can do more for themselves, and leaders whose motives and statements are sometimes questionable, but that's people; who are fallen in sin like everyone. It does not justify constantly rehashing these same old stereotypes. (it is the same human nature that makes some blacks want to get over makes people on all levels, up to the rich (who have more strings to pull) also get over, so it is sickening seeing blacks get singled out and tagged with this as if they were morally "inferior"; —everyone else works, but they only whine). But this is the attitude of those who call an entire race of people lazy whiners based on a few vocal people. (Sharpton, Jackson, etc). People hear them on the news, and suddenly they imagine a whole race of people is out to crucify them. but this is what their own head thinks they are saying based on those overgeneralized stereotypes.
The whole problem in this "whining" debate, is that when people constantly deny sin and point blame elsewhere, and then others come and shift their side's share of the blame back where it belongs, it sounds to the guilty conscience of the deniers like ALL of the blame is being shifted to them, and they hear things to that effect that nobody has actually said, and then lash out accordingly "oh, you're just blaming us [whitey, conservatives, etc.], but no, you're blaming the wrong people; it's them over there"! That is a very common human defense mechanism. But we have heard all about all the sins of the left or blacks and others for long enough; now it's time for the right to admit to their own sins. Maybe then, all the "whining" and pointing back at them they complain about will subside.
The Blame Game
More Rowan quotes:
Blacks have always argued that affirmative action did not exclude anyone; it was a program of inclusion. But many white Americans believed that any preference based on race, in any way or form, was "Un-American." People who had never lifted a finger to achieve a "color-blind society" cried unctuously that affirmative action was an affront to the concept of a society in which skin color is meaningless. (p.107)
In the mid-1970's the idea had arisen that whenever a member of a racial minority got a scholarship, a job, or anything else worthwhile, some white person who deserved it more was being cheated. Suddenly, when the issue was reparations, making amends for three centuries of brutalizing black people, white lifelong racists rose up to demand "a color-blind Constitution." (114)
The level of bigotry is so high in America today that anyone with two dimes to rub together wants to think, "Welfare is money I'm busting my a__ to get and give away to some slut who keeps having babies and eating steaks while I can't take my kid to Disneyland." (p.160)
Rowan also stresses the irony of people thinking all blacks are criminal because of all the reports of crime committed by blacks, reminding us that the horrendous crimes committed by white people do not make anyone think all white men are serial killers. (p.184-187)
The ultimate proof racism is still alive and well is the intensity which blacks are blamed for
everything wrong in the country [by some]. Everything from the fear of crime (of course!), to anti-govt.
rhetoric ("welfare spending") to "new world order" fears (an international "wealth redistribution
scheme" in which our hard earned money is flushed down some "third world toilet"), and even
morality and abortion, since blacks are seen as more morally loose (because we didn't have all
the sexual hangups, guilt&shame, that European Christian based civilization did). People who
will deny with a passion that there was any wrong in all the conquest and slavery, blasting the
liberals for "rewriting history", and will even criticize minorities for "whining" over the past or
perceived present injustices, will themselves turn around and co-opt the very victim rhetoric they
simultaneously criticize in others. To this day, many still think blacks just want "whitey's money" (their own words) for nothing, and keep bashing the liberals because of this. So the richest most comfortable members of the richest nation on earth are now the oppressed deprived victims, and the poor are the prospering benefactors. (Meanwhile, white CEO's can jack up prices, jack up their salaries, while lowering quality and cutting jobs, not only "wanting", but effectively getting the same "hard working white man's money", but this is ignored, if not accepted as an earned right).
People in the past as well as today will ironically revolve their whole lives around blacks: if they're coming this way, we've got to get out of here; One moves in, then immediately, as if by some magical force "there go the property values". First the suburbs, then further out, then other states altogether. Not just families, but businesses as well (this is even alleged for a popular sports team being moved by its owner across the country decades ago). Even those who remain "are...so determined to change rules and boundaries [such as school district lines—occuring right in my neighborhood even as I write] to limit the exercise of black political power" as Rowan points out (p.154). In a quote from columnist Gary Wills regarding the oft cited belief that "blacks are taking over": "Obviously, blacks occupy a large amount of psychic space, no matter what their numbers are. All in all, if blacks could really do what people are claiming, they would be superhuman, and we should yield to them as our natural leaders" (p.118-9). Lately, the fear and rhetoric has shifted to Hispanics (who have just passed blacks as the largest minority), and the code word for them is "illegal immigration", with a whole new outcry.
When we stay on welfare, they complain about tax money, laziness, etc; when we get a job, they say it should have been theirs. (Especially since, the odds are, that someone had to be forced to give him the job, which they also ignore. If the job is in govt. then that is tax again, as govt. is "too big"!). It's like we're all just supposed to be shoeshine boys and store stock men! Meanwhile, no one even notices how the politicians lead them along and leave them hanging. Like all the Flat Tax proposals of the 1996 presidential campaign, in the midst of all the mostly conservative complaints about how huge and complicated the IRS and its codes were. Questions of how fair it was for people on either end of the scales aside; it was a nice idea: the government withholds exactly what you are to be taxed, and you just check over a small card to make sure everything is right, and send it back. So much better than the complicated returns of today. When Forbes brought this idea into the race, then all of the other candidates, including Clinton, came up with their own versions of it. When he dropped out, then you didn't hear about it anymore. The threat was gone, just back to business as usual. It just goes to show how Welfare was all anyone really cared about regarding the tax code; everyone was too focused on that to see these politicians slyly pulling their legs to compete with each other. Now they got their way, and Welfare was largely reformed, and the tax code is no longer as much of an issue. Yet, how much more money are people getting, if Welfare was the whole problem?
And with all the right's complaining about Govt. Spending, they never attack the government leaders' large living either. Not only did you have the ongoing instances of thousand dollar contracts for small items, some huge airport built in the middle of nowhere, but in the height of the wrangling over the deficit, millions were spent on brand new federal office buildings near where I worked, so that judges and other officials could have luxurious offices with marble halls and bronze doorknobs, and no one in the entire Right said a word. The biggest irony was in the midst of this whole period, when the federal government was shut down over this wrangling about the deficit. Middle income government workers just stopped receiving paychecks, (needed for rent/mortgage, food and other bills) while both Clinton and Gingrich's six-figure incomes kept coming. Once again, no one said a word, except the media, and even that was a brief mention. The focus was entirely on Welfare, and now that that was reformed, their anger has been largely quelled. It's like the leaders deserve everything they have, and it's only the poor who deserve nothing. Through decades of inflation, recession and deficit, seven, eight, nine and ten-figured executives (both business as well as government) and also sports and entertainment figures are totally sheltered from all of this, living as if money is falling from the sky. (even if a business fails, the executive still gets nice six figure severance packages and can start over elsewhere). At the same time, they cut back, since there is "no money". Meanwhile, conservatives fight for the rights of many of those people, while blaming everything on liberals and minorities (including nonwhite immigrants), and it seems the general population goes along with that, gritting their teeth about waste and greed, rising prices, or about getting layed off while the CEO gets a raise, but still demanding only reduced taxes from the government, instead of calling into question why prices and the cost of living are so high in the first place.
As was said on the last page, people seem to think "you can't change that; it's too entrenched", or "that's just the market", but then it seemed that the high taxes and liberal programs like welfare and affirmative action were also entrenched back in more liberal days, but with enough outcry, they began to be overturned. But why only those things and not high prices and executive largess? Some liberals tossed around ideas such as salary or price caps, evoking cries of socialism and denial of freedom from conservatives. As it is, rent control is even criticized by some, (because after all, the poor landlords are facing rising costs as well), but I wouldn't be able to live where I do without it, and as policies like this are overturned, the middle class is being swept out of the city, and many blacks moving upstate or to Pennylvania to commute; —if they don't relocate altogether back to the South! Yet this disparity doesn't seem important enough to many. Once again, it seems like people want their money back from undeserving minorities, not from their fellow "productive" [usually white] leaders.
To repeat, Americans are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for sports and entertainment, thousands for theme parks and other vacations, more thousands for materialistic consumption, as well as accepting an overpriced basic cost of living; yet when they see that their pocketbook is empty, the only thing they demand to be cut is social programs and foreign aid. May this be deliberate? Once again, who is behind the voices telling everybody that the problem is taxes spent on programs and not executive greed? Even though there may be a few who abuse the programs, still, caring for the poor and downtrodden had a high priority in the Bible; about as much as sexual morality and prayer, so why don't conservative Christians think the blatant reversal of priorities, above, all of which promotes selfish self-interest, might help lead to God "removing His hand of protection" from this country? I'm not suggesting that that is necessarily the case, but it shows that those who like to pronounce judgment are just as much caught up in the materialism and class warfare as what they criticize in the rest of the nation.
Also ignored in all of the tax rhetoric is how most of it is not specifically for minorities at all, but for Social Security programs such as Medicare and FICA, which is for all of us when we retire. Remember, the cost of living is high, and all but those at the top who have amassed millions for life will need some sort of assistance (even social security and pensions by themselves often aren't enough). Many are still against these, even, counting on private charity and friends and relatives as the preferred security net. But these are usually the same people fighting for the rights of companies to charge as much as they want, so in their desired society, prices may still be too high for even these. People want all their money now, but don't think about their parents, or even themselves in the future. Once again, if we don't like Social Security tax, why not challenge why it should be so hard for the elderly to live otherwise?
The Meaning of The Iceman Theory
This theory of racial anthropology is associated with CCNY professor Leonard Jeffries and is
quickly dismissed as "hate rhetoric". But it is ignored that it was based on a book written by a
white scientist. The basic premise is that Europeans derived their ambition and desire for control
from living in a harsh cold climate in the ice ages, where food was scarce. The book is based
heavily on evolutionary theory, as it attempts to go back to the supposed ancestors of man, yet
the basic premise seems to have a lot of truth. Obviously, such a climate would negatively affect any
people. It also seems to explain the sexual repression of the past. Being colder, they all had to be
covered up, and at the same time, they were crowded into caves, and this heightened the sense of
embarrassment (shame) about the body. Meanwhile, the colored people lived in warm climates
with plenty of food, and their bodies were mostly uncovered, so they were in touch with their bodies and nature in general, and not as ashamed or repressed. (A too hot climate had a similar effect as too cold. People from
the desert also seem to be locked into struggles for power, and much of the middle-east conflicts
are the "ice" people and "sand" people fighting for control). This is why blacks and Indians (and
Hispanics, who are a mixture of both), seem like such sensual people with sensuous
music/dance, and were associated with sexual looseness by white society. (Romankowski: blacks
accused of infiltrating southern white teenagers with sensuous rock beats; Rowan: by being
sexually immoral, white girls seen as acting like black girls, and the old obsession with black
males and their phalluses). They were probably just as monogamous as any other people (it was
actually the Greeks and Romans who were more orgiastic than anyone else; coming from a
repressive environment originally, the human nature rebels and goes to the opposite extreme.)
But coming from a repressed mind-set from a cold environment where the body was covered
from head to toe, and the music and worship became rigid (as was touched upon in the section
on fundamentalists and music); it does appear to them that the Africans and others are immoral
sexual barbarians, and at the same time "lazy".
Of course, these "sun" people were fallen too, and their sensuousness has often crossed the line into immorality, both in the ancient tribes, and in modern urban culture and music. Also, while the cold climates led the "ice" people to tend to want to conquer nature, the "sun" people's being in tune with nature usually led to the worship of nature.
So once again, the Gospel message shows through with flying colors. Blacks' openness with sexuality and nature may have been created by circumstances and perverted by the sin nature, so the whites' modesty and ambition were also distorted into repression and desire for control. This can be seen in such things as the many desires to attain the unattainable, to be number one— the setting and breaking of world records, the climbing of the highest mountain, the struggle to be the richest or most powerful, (the rampant materialism the church complains about), and even the unnatural thin craze gripping the nation through the media, leading many to starve themselves or become anorexic. (And this is another area where the Church, from the most conservative on down has been completely influenced by society, with books saying any amount of fat on wives is sinful and even detrimental to marriages.) And given all the scorn at the "backwards", "primitive", or "lazy" peoples of the world, according to Biblical prophecy, this western "diligence" is the very thing that will culminate in Satan's master scheme, as the Beast power, with its ruler ("The Antichrist"), and the huge army opposing him from the north and east; all of them heading to Armageddon, will be the final outgrowth of this world dominance scheme.
Jeffries and others may have added hateful rhetoric to this thesis, but in itself, it deserves attention. It fits in with the whole concept of the Fall and it has largely been reversed, as the cold northerners moved to the south, embarking on a massive conquest scheme, and the more easygoing "sun" people were easily captured and placed in equally desperate situations where survival becomes at any cost, as in the American ghetto streets with the drugs and gangs, and now the desert blight has spread to more African countries, and the people didn't have the resources to adapt to it. The ambitious whites, with the power they have amassed, can now go anywhere in the world they want, and often kick back in the tropical paradises the sun people once ruled.
So it went both ways, but still, this theory won't go well with conservatives, because it is much
less glamorous than the traditional assumption, pitched with force by the right, that white
ambition comes from their ethical and moral superiority (and that their control is their
God-given, "blessing", and their "rights"); and that the black plight comes from their
natural/ethical inferiority, and perhaps even a divine curse! Most would deny this, but when they
dismiss the other side; the story behind their ambition and control, and why blacks are the way
they are, and not provide a better explanation, then the prior assumption is what is left to stand.
The ignored methods of oppression
But dismiss this is what they have done. They think the tough situations society has created for them is just an excuse. "Why don't they just 'get over it'?" "They just want to be 'lazy' and get a 'free ride'" is what we hear. Go to any conservative website with a discussion forum (including Christian ones), and you may be amazed at how widespread this type of rhetoric still is.
But they forget or ignore the actual details of the oppression. There has been a lot of focus on
just slavery and segregation, and people first of all wonder why that stuff centuries or
generations ago would have such an effect (ignoring the dehumanizing psychological/emotional
effects which alone are significant!) Some will even claim that all the racism in the past has not had a more detrimental effect on blacks than liberal social policies aimed to help poor blacks (but then are seen as trapping them in a cycle of welfare dependency and fatherless homes.) They contend that if the black community at large adopted the morality and lifesyle disciplines taught by institutions like BJU, they would not have nearly as high rates of crime, substance abuse, and illegitimacy as they do now. There would not be more black men in prison than in college, and that the worsening problems of blacks in America directly parallels the implementation of liberal social solutions in the past 40+ years, and that liberal good will has been more destructive to black people than the supposed ill-will by those in the past.
But just look at the moral effect of the racism of the past, where Christianity was first denied to them, then used to keep them in place ("slaves be obedient to your masters", etc). First, this caused the black church to become more of a social club or emotional crutch to help them deal with the tough situations, as they only had a very cloudy distorted form of Christianity from their masters. For example, you may have heard how churches would have to be used as stations in the Underground Railroad, with hymns containing coded escape plans. You can criticize this as totally irreverent to the things of God, but should there have been a need for such things in the first place, if the people who had introduced them to "Christianity" had been following the Bible themselves? Of course, such a practical "faith" was often not the life-changing life in Christ, so the black church and community that formed around it remained largely worldly. Even the much fabled holy-rolling hellfire preacher would often be in the bars or other sinful places right after the service, and their scaring people and pacifying them every Sunday simply pushed many away (later to be picked up by the Black Muslims and others) just as was happening in the white churches. Emotionalism became more prevalent, with doctrine almost totally unimportant, (a trend which many conservatives today are alarmed at as it has spread to modern white evangelicalism). This was inevitable, as church had come to serve to ease the pain of what they were suffering. Then, when they finally gained their freedom, it all became more evident, leading to the appearance of blacks being more loose and immoral (including the music and dance), which further validated the racists who insisted that their influence would corrupt their white society. When you're brushing off persecution, you have less time to be doing other things, such as robbing each other, fingerpopping/"jiving", having babies all over the place, and other forms of sinful decadence. etc. So when they finally gained their freedom, what kind of moral guidance were they left with? Like the whites, they had a form of godliness from the old church, but not the power, so they too became more openly secularized.
So now, in the middle of this century, whites also rebelled against their culture, and part of this was helping to gain blacks their rights, and otherwise elevating their status in society. Sometimes this was noble, sometimes there were ulterior motives behind it (as I've said, even the Black Muslims and others were suspicious of the white liberals). Meanwhile, much of the worldly black church had now become a political movement (as well as still a social club/bingo hall), and sided wholesale with the liberals, giving rise to King, Jackson, later Sharpton, etc.
Now this was the past we have been discussing so far, which people still deny should affect us this way. But it didn't end there. What hasn't even been mentioned much for example, is how even as these doors began opening up for blacks in society at large, teachers and guidance counselors would then begin telling black kids things like "oh, don't be a doctor or lawyer; work with your hands". This you may have heard of in Malcolm X's story; it was widespread in his generation (my parents and grandparents' generation), and in the north as well as south! Yet, all of those people who took those authorities' advice and did forego moneymaking careers for low-paying menial labor jobs, landing them in the ghettoes, did it all to themselves through their own "laziness", RIGHT?! (Actually, they did wind up doing more 'work' than anyone else in those jobs!) In fact, it was noted both by Malcolm X and others, that even the much despised black criminal was using talents that could have been channeled to positive uses. You have to be smart to succeed as a good criminal. Else you quickly get caught. A lot of the graffiti also could have been channeled into great art. Yet, we were discouraged, and often there were no doors of opportunity to use these talents constructively (and make money off of them). Just what else were they supposed to do? The conservatives shout "pull up your bootstraps like our fathers did!", but all of this proves they would have, had there been more opportunity!
Carl Rowan (p.151), commented "How the hell was I, or my bright Jim Crowed schoolmates in McMinnville, Tennessee, supposed to beat white kids on IQ tests when we blacks were not even allowed to to read a book in the town's only public library?" And the children of these people, now the kids in the street, and welfare parents everyone complains about, had seen what their parents went through, and how it was still hard for them to get a good job in a racist society (it got easier in civil rights days, but then there was a conservative backlash in the 80's). They figured, "why work?" Just 'get over', and thus the "laziness" stereotype actually became a self-fulfilling prophecy! And on top of that, the same conservatives who cry out about this, defend corporate welfare and other loopholes on the grounds that if you see a legal way to get around the system, you should go for it! It's the same exact reasoning the welfare people use! It was so amazing to see some business executive interviewed in the 1992 election say that if he loses money (because of liberal Democratic policies or taxation) then "why should I work?". This shows that their "work" is purely selfish— they need millions, or they are being deprived. Christian writer Tony Campolo in his book Is Jesus a Democrat or a Republican mentions the folly of so-claimed "poverty" at $100,000! Yet they can't take that thought and try to understand why many blacks who make almost NOTHING don't want to work. When I think of getting hurt in a poor neighborhood down the street from me, it's not from being assaulted I worry about, but being taken to the local hospital, which has such a bad reputation (the entire staff was said to have tuberculosis at one time!) that if you were in a serious car accident right in front of it, you would be better off to be taken injured miles away to another hospital. I also notice the quality of food (especially meat and vegetables) sold in the supermarkets. The newspapers still list the worst run down apartment buildings in the city, and all of them are in the minority neighborhoods of Brooklyn and the Bronx*. Are blacks and hispanics the ones doing all this to themselves? Who are the leaders at the top of these organizations who control the quality of them? And the education system is horrible as well. We have heard the conservatives complaining a lot about public education, but that is been about which theory of origins should be taught, and the debates over prayer, the 10 Commandments, and condoms. But never the quality of education for the poor. It seems that in their ideal system, the poor kids would be taught Christian morality, but still not learn how to read or write or function in society, leaving them to be what else— obedient servants!
*My mother years ago worked for a Manhattan assemblyman, and once a white lady made a complaint about a bad condition in her building and added "This shouldn't be happening to me; I'm white!". This made it obvious that people know full well that there is more than one standard, despite the claims that the effects of racism are all imagined or self-imposed!
Then, when blacks got wise politically, and tried to organize, and educate the people as well as
mobilize to gain some power, the movements were infiltrated and destroyed from within (or
manipulated by the government as in the case of Malcolm X's death), and the leaders killed or
imprisoned. Then suddenly out of nowhere came all these drugs, pumped into the
neighborhoods, which forever destroyed the mobility of the organizable groups that remained.
They became gangs who would now kill each other, (as well as terrorize others in the
neighborhood). It was commented how during this Cold War period, we could stop a Russian
microchip from coming into the country, but not the drugs, and the pushers and hoodlums on the
streets did not have any kind of international clout to be able to bring them in! All of this
brought the neighborhoods down even further. And then of course, there were the landlords who
let the buildings get run down, and often abandoned them. (Malcolm X: "And where's that slumlord at? On some beach in Miami!") If the idea that treating people like
animals makes them more likely to act like animals is too much of a behavioral "excuse", then
just look at the allowing of the deterioration of the buildings the neighborhoods was made up of,
by their owners. Many fires were from people using dangerous fuel heaters because heat was not
supplied, and then arson for bigger insurance collections of the landlords ("fire for higher") was
a big scandal a couple of decades ago. And the abandoned buildings would also become fire
traps with the homeless and junkies trying to keep warm or light up drugs in them. But the
people themselves are blamed for all of this. Yeah, those lazy "grasshoppers" destroy everything given them, right?
At this same time were enacted the Rockefeller Laws, finally being seriously challenged after 30 years, which imposed heavy jail sentences on people for just carrying drugs. On one hand, it made sense to try to be tough on drugs to discourage their use and sale (and the other crimes that go along with them), but in practice, all it did was wind up filling the prisons with youing black men for relatively minor violations (even murderers and other violent felons get out easier; in those cases, the system becomes the commonly charged, "revolving door justice". So first time drug offenders had to do hard time, but violent offenders are released, arrested, released, and so on, to terrorize their own neighborhoods again and again!). This became the ultimate proof to everyone from the racists, to many average citizens, that blacks really are a plague on society, or a least some problem-prone people who do not deserve anything else but ostracization. Stevie Wonder's hit "Living For the City" (released the same year) covered this by portraying a black man escaping the harsh realities of the deep south, and as soon as he arrives in New York City, someone asks him to just "run this across the street for me". Judges were stripped of all power to take such mitigating factors into consideration; the prosecutors had all the power, and the long sentences were mandatory. So this person spends decades in jail, and comes out as yet another homeless vagabond whose whole life was ruined. Just think of how many other otherwise innocent, naive black men entered the system that way, and were now hardened by the horrible prison system, where the fellow inmates manage to continue all the shady dealings and crime, terrorizing the weak, etc. they had been doing in the streets, with sodomy now added to the many forms of assault. This is no "correction" or "rehabilitation"; it's just disposal; getting rid of them, hoping they never come back to haunt you again. But some are actually encouraged to return to crime, after all, it is no better for them in the streets, no one will want to hire them, and it may have even been better in prison (certain food and shelter; the power and status they may have had, etc). And others have pointed out that these harsh sentences were mainly for drugs blacks use, while drugs whites use (which may not be as bad as crack, but still are very destructive) get much lighter sentences. Yet, once again, the fact that the prisons are filled with black men just proves that they are to be feared, and that they are just "unproductive", "trying to get something for nothing", and that the past, when they were kept more in check, was "better". People today are accusing the black figures arguing against this law of just trying to justify drug use, and it may or not to a certain extent be true, but still, the law is plain unfair and should be changed.
And in all the cries of "reverse discrimination" with
the whites as the cast-out victims now, no one seemed to even consider the fact of all the refused
business or home loans, and jobs that blacks have faced —which necessitated the "reverse"
policies the conservatives complained about in the first place. It's just as Rowan said: "suddenly... lifelong
racists", who didn't mind being the ones who were favored because of race, and "who had never
lifted a finger to achieve a 'color-blind society'" only now demand an "end" to "racial
preference", that reparations is the issue. In other words, people were for "race-based hiring"
when it was in their favor; but now that the tables have turned, and they feel like the un-favored,
now have they accepted "equality" of the races.
All of this is how things got this way with blacks in this country. It is not just the liberals (or blacks' own innate problems as some still think), but the whole foundation of racism in this country, and no, it has not all cleared up just because some have (grudgingly, in many cases) yielded to the changes. This is why racism is still such an issue, and it will never change completely as long as people keep pointing at the other party.
Dinesh D'Souza states: "Myths don't die easily. When I first argued in The End of Racism that racism was no longer the main obstacle to black progress, and that cultural pathologies such as racial paranoia, excessive dependency on government, and high crime and illegitimacy rates were preventing blacks from achieving their full potential, Glenn Loury joined the civil-rights leadership in responding with an indignant shriek." (http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/forum/race/dsouza3.htm). How did all of this start? It was just a conspiracy between the liberals, trying to destroy western society, and the blacks trying to get a free ride, right? So all of this is what set in motion all of the problems of today. Yes, there are some blacks messing around, who could do more for themselves, and individually, they will be held responsible for their sins. There are others genuinely trying who just can't pass a certain line. I could have fallen into this group if I didn't have a father in the system who got me started with a good job. (before that, I too was relegated to minimum wage dept. store jobs and had no seeming way to rise above that (other than the military, as is being pointed out a lot now), because employers for good jobs are picky on skills and experience, and it costs a lot to get those often. If you already have a disadvantage, it is very hard to rise above it) But a lot of this would have been avoided if there wasn't such a determined aim to keep this people down in the past. You cannot expect them to just snap out of it one day. Things are getting a bit better, slowly, but it takes time for things such as that to wear off.
No one wants to hear this or the "psychobabble", as some put it (regarding the psychological effects of negative conditions); They want to believe that
"there's just something wrong with those people" (whether moral, spiritual or social/cultural). People complain about blacks getting jobs through affirmative action, when someone more "qualified" may have deserved it better. But then they also complain about them getting that much needed "qualification" through college admissions granted also by affirmative action. This is not to even argue as to whether affirmative action has run it's course, and should be ended now (which is fairly debatable). But most of the people complaining the loudest about it are highly resentful that such a thing would have ever existed. (Yet, they didn't mind the financial, educational, and yes, racial barriers these programs helped alleviate in the past). So just what were these people supposed to do when nobody wanted to hire them? How can they live in a society with such high costs of living (totally unchallenged by those opposing the programs) requiring jobs that themselves often require significant levels of education (which are still increasing). All that was left was welfare, but this was the most berated program of all. Many black males were left with minimum-wage jobs, and could not even support a family, and the women they impregnate have to fend for themselves (it is a little easier for them to find an office job they can live off of, and this further destroys the black family). Then, here came the moralists saying this is just because of laziness and immorality. Behind them came the bell-curvers saying that the fact that they can't seem to rise above their financial/social plights in the first place is because of their "lower IQ's" (genetic inferiority). Both then use this as further proof that programs to help blacks are a waste, and that the money is better off given to the more "productive" white taxpayers. This conservative rhetoric machine is well rigged; even though a lot of the moralists may not agree with the bell-curve position, still, one view supports the other in the grand scheme of things, and both views agree on the same ultimate agendas.
But then let's assume then that it is true that the blacks are lazy and/or genetically inferior. So they didn't deserve the help needed to have a chance in society. Once again, what were these practically useless people supposed to do? All of this is pointing in one definite direction: if not expulsion from the country "back to where they came from", the only way left they could survive in this country would be a form of slavery. If not whips and chains again, then the next best thing: menial jobs paying next to nothing, with no benefits, and terribly poor living conditions (all that would be affordable with such pay), but instead pushed out of the cities ("taken back" through gentrification and ridiculous skyrocketing rents), out of the way where the other classes wouldn't otherwise have to be bothered with them.
All of this shows that this whole agenda is ultimately coming from unrepentant segregationists bent on turning back 40 to 150 years of racial progress, as was suggested above. This may seem ludicrous now, as they don't have the power to do that now, but it must begin by swaying people with "victim" rhetoric. Something has been wrongfully taken from the "hard working American taxpayer", and we must fight to get it back. Anything can be filled in as the "something", making it an ambiguous variable, subject to a person's interpretation, and can easily be denied when one is suspicious of possible racism (just like the "code words" peppering much of this rhetoric). Unfortunately, many sensible and well meaning people have allowed themselves to get caught up in this by not examining where it is coming from, where it is leading to, and buying into it because it is made to appeal to their fiscal and social interests. Then they wonder why there is still all this fuss about racism.
And at the bottom of it all were racist publications like the Willie Lynch Letters, which planned this destruction of blacks exactly the way it happened! (Dehumanize them, keep them dumb, and let them destroy themselves). So now many kids find more money and a more sure 'career' in crime and drugs. Girls find stability in prostitution or getting pregnant out of wedlock and living off of welfare or unemployment. If the kids in crime die, what did they have to live for anyway?
Of course, there's also the highly paid black sports and entertainment personalities (the much touted "proof" that blacks have "made it"), but then it was always said that blacks were "bred" for those things (as one sportscaster put it), but still the main power bases in business and governmant have still been reserved for the white male. (Besides, if the racists had their way, they probably wouldn't be so highly paid)
But people continue to absolve themselves of all of this with "personal responsibility"— i.e. "Those slum dwellers only can be responsible for their condition". Some, such as the Christian author Rebecca Brown (formerly published by Chick; now published by Whitaker House) will even add "generational curses" carried down through ethnic groups and families (starting from our ancestors' tribal warfare and demon worship —Unbroken Curses), yet on the other hand everyone says "I cannot be held responsible for what my fathers did to theirs". I wonder if many of the very people— the landlords, businessmen & employers, educators, government officials, etc. who did the things above, ride through these areas in their limos or commuter transportation saying "Look at those people! There's just something wrong with them!" And modern conservative rhetoric backs them all the way.
These are the points that need to be emphasized so that the conservatives can no longer hide
behind their pseudo-moral 'EXCUSE' of "personal responsibility", ignoring that their fathers
were in power and abused it, and God holds rulers responsible for this, (Ex.22:21); and that
people today are perpetuating and trying to carry on the legacy of the past, making them equally
Every Group Sinful, but Bearing God's Image
What it comes down to is that all people, (black and white, Western and non-western, Christian
and non-Christian) are a mixture of good (made in God's image), and bad (fallen in sin). This is
not the teaching of 'ecumenical egalitarianism', but of the Bible! Every group has what is called
its "cultural sins"; certain traits and habits that are passed down from generation to generation, and it
influences nearly everyone in the local environment. So to a certain extent, all racial stereotypes have
some basis of truth. But as any mention of that group's sins is taken as racist, and people are
much quicker at pointing out the sins of the other group and ignoring their own, it is better to deal more with your own
group's sins. Writers like Dinesh D'Souza correctly point out how victim rhetoric is used to justify a group's
own sins; yet unfortunately, his works are not balanced— focusing on black victim rhetoric and
reactions, and not pointing out how white society does the same exact thing, and to a much
greater extent at that (whining louder, often in the very process of criticizing blacks' "whining"!) And theirs is more effective, but with even less justification, (due to their power). Therefore, he lends credence to the conservative idea that whites are the true victims. D'Souza has come here and gotten involved in these issues, taking sides, but not realizing how he would have been treated had he been here decades ago when racism was much more open, and what detrimental effect it would have on him and his children. So the Gospel teaching leaves no room for this insistence on the Right, that there are some who 'really are' better (The West culturally, the "Judeo-Christians" morally, the Right politically, and
the whites socially) And notice how it's always the ones teaching this who are apart of the 'better'
group. No one ever says that anyone is better than them at anything. (Phil. 2:3—"through lowness of mind, let each estemm others better than themselves). Just like no one
ever says "We were wrong; we must change". They support this by softening the guilt of the
West's sins. When it comes to conquest, "those liberal revisionists make the African's or Mayan's
civilization out to be some 'tropical Eden' destroyed by ruthless conquerors...; but what about the
tribal warfare and human sacrifice?"; in slavery: "well, they were sold into slavery by their
fellow Africans". In overall history "Well, look at all we've done for them; the world is better off
because of us; where would they have been without us?". But this wasn't the point. Everyone is
well familiar with the horrors of tribal life; this society has always made a point to cast it in the
most negative light possible. No one ever denied that. But we just refuse to bear the brunt of our
sins. We spend so much time pointing out others' sins and how we're better, so we can't ever
admit that we were worse in at least some ways. (And this is how we wind up proving ourselves
to be so good in the first place.) So for everything we did wrong, the victims were still more
wrong, and besides, our good more than makes up for it.
Despite their portrayal as being nothing more than the demoniac jungle bunnies we've seen in past representations, Africans had been quite gifted by God, and one of these gifts was their mathematical command. In the Egyptians, it produced wonders such as the pyramids, in the Moors, many skills picked up by the West, and in other tribes, it was music. (A University of Seattle study is even cited by critics acknowledging that rock is based on "mathematical formulae" and "calculated frequencies" that affect the body as well as the mind. This is what it has made it as well as jazz and other forms so catchy.) Plus all the art and fashions, though they are different from classical western styles. But conservatives, while blasting the "revisionism" of liberals, ignore all of this and act as if everything good came out of the west. Meanwhile, they forget the squalor and rampant filth and disease of Europe in the past, which far exceeded tribal conditions.
In light of the terrorist attacks, self-justifying comparisons of ourselves with other have run rampant. WorldNetDaily.com links of columnist Michael Medved, with contributions from Pat Buchanan and others had an article shortly after 9-11 "Why anti-Americans must focus on the past":
>This analysis [of Arab terrorism] of course begs the question of why so few descendants of black slaves or victimized Native Americans become mass-murdering terrorists.
(This is the same logic of the Russian leaders, cited above, finally "admitting" the superiority of the west upon the fall of communism in comparison to their own people). But I'm surprised they could say this, as much as this conservative movement focuses on black street crime. Our "terrorism" is different from the Arabs who have their own lands and IDENTITY, because we were stripped of all that and kept dumb and oppressed. But look at the anger behind black revolutionaries of the past and present, the "gangsta" or "cop killer" style of rap, and the street violence, then you see the same thing, just on a smaller scale. And the Indians are now such a small group, most on their own reservations, so what would they do? Of course, it's not the blacks or Indians themselves they are praising for being more "civil" than the Arabs and others, but rather the "superior" American society for making them more civil. But once again, how really was this accomplished?
Referring to a certain activist:
>Her girlish glorification of Islam reaches for the distant past precisely because the Muslim present offers so little worthy of romanticizing. Reviewing Muslim history of the last three centuries, what, exactly, could anyone praise or admire? Which Islamic society has achieved justice or progress for its own people, or contributed anything of worth to the world at large? We hear endlessly about the medieval Arab invention of the zero, or the glories of 13th-century Spain, precisely because the recent record of this decaying civilization remains consistently dysfunctional and disgraceful.
It is so amazing how boldly one could tear down an entire other culture like this, and Christians blindly accept and pass on this rhetoric. Everything is judged by us (the West). Meanwhile, they forget about the moral decline of the West, conservatives just got through complaining about and blaming for our loss of morale or "divine protection". (Conservatives thus focus just as much if not more on the past!) I guess they just blame that on Clinton and the other liberals. We are rapidly following right behind the Arab civilization, because we too like them take God as our mascot (who exalts us) but ignore what His Word has to say to us. Of course, in the area of morality, we are leading them in decline, causing the very terrorists themselves to operate on a notion of them being superior to us! They too (like some of our own moral leaders) see this country as a cesspool of sin, that is corrupting their children with our godless entertainment that goes over there. Their religious leaders, and some of ours seem to be in agreement that this country's evil is being judged by God through temporal tragedies. The difference is that the Islamic fundamentalists believe they themselves are God's instruments of judgement, while the Christian fundamentalists have lost the moral influence over "their" people, and simply attribute "judgment" to God directly, (through the use of other peoples they also regard as wicked). But all of this is just the fallen nature of man, and all cultures will fall, either on their own, or by Christ's direct crushing of them at His return.
>In one sense, our present predicament offers a peerless opportunity for American patriots: For the first time since the Cold War, we can compare our country with an implacable real-world adversary, rather than measuring ourselves against some abstract ideal. The struggle of the present remains so clearly focused between barbarism and civilization, liberty and tyranny, that it's hardly surprising that our opponents resort to pathetic attempts to manipulate the past.
This brings out a major point. They were actually happy that there was once again someone "worse" they could compare themselves with, so they can prove themselves "better"! (After the fall of the
old scapegoat of communism). We can now resume justifing ourselves by not being as bad as someone
else. But in the judgement, nobody will ever be justified by such self-righteousness. Our
individual acts or expressions of sin may not be as bad as another country's, but our NATURES are
all the same, and stand equally condemned by God, who does not grade on a curve (top 50% of
people will pass). Ultimately, it is individuals God judges, so the whole idea of a "righteous"
culture won't do anybody any good on the Last Day. Nobody is going to get off any easier
because they were from the "good" nation; if anything, more will be expected from us. We even picture them as attacking us simply "because we love 'freedom'".
In other words, "they are attacking us only because of our goodness". It's like right out of a cartoon; here are these innocent little characters, minding their business and then the big bad guys come and attack them just to be mean, and the valiant super heroes who easily quash the villains, because "truth" and "justice" are on their side, and always prevail. This was all the same stuff we claimed when the Communists were the main concern (Our cold War rhetoric definitely reminded me of the Superfriends versus the Legion of Doom)
Unlike the Soviets, I have never heard the Arab terrorists state animosity for our style of government, but I have heard them complain of our intrusion on their lands, and the encroachment of our decadent culture. We just cannot admit that we have stepped on people's toes in this world, whether right or wrong, and that people will retaliate, right or wrong.
>But if Americans are supposed to feel guilty for their shortcomings, then what other nation should inspire them as an example of greater moral purity and selfless generosity?
Why not forget nations (since scripture concludes ALL under sin), and really look to Jesus instead (instead of demanding everyone else to pray to Him in school whether they even believe in Him or not).
Meanwhile, in the years since, people continued to decry how "it's OK to bash the white man and tell lies about our history and forefathers", even while their rhetoric continues to take pot-shots at minorities, and they don't see that as a double standard. One person on a board even called "Roots" a "fiction". So what do they believe about history? All African slaves were sold by their own people, and the whites treated them much better than their own people did, and all was well until the forces of evil enforced equality and through the modern "multicultural" agenda, "egalitarian" liberals have ruined the culture. This is what it always seems to lead to. Another commentator says something like "we tell the children America did many horrible things in the past, [as well as no cultures being better] and then expect them to defend the country". Does this mean we should cover up the dark spots of our history, and pretend they never happened? Or maybe, our "superior" culture was incapable of such things, so they didn't happen. This will just further make the rest of the world despise us as self-righteous liars, and further bring disrepute to the name of Jesus Christ. (And yes, there may be antiwar people around, but it doesn't seem people today are particularly unwilling to defend the country. In the news, it was reported that ROTC enrollment is now on the rise, from grade school on up).
Doesn't all this seem too good to be true; like maybe our self-exalting nature is coloring our world-view? Even if they were better, what would be the point? That they can champion the 'better' groups (themselves), and at the same time, their abuses in the past are justified as their right, or as not as bad as others, or are overshadowed by their good? That their demand for power in the present is everyone's obligation? This person even goes as far as stating: "Westerners are always being lectured as to our need to honor other cultures. Isn’t it about time those from the backwards nations of the earth reciprocate with due homage and deference?" (And these people wonder why there is so much racial sensitivity and "political correctness" and they are so "lectured"!) When newspaper columns report atrocities going on in Iraq and elsewhere, compare this to how we don't do those things, and then conclude "this is another example of how our culture is superior", what is the point? Statements like that have a PURPOSE. They are appeals to the people we are trying to convince of this. In trying to drum this national superiority into the heads of the "liberal establishment", what are we asking of them? May it be a claim that we are the rightful dictators of the earth, being the moral "superiors"? All this tooting of our own horn can only serve one purpose: to justify our demand to be the rulers of the world (we're the best, so we would be the best rulers), and this makes us just as bad as the Arabs, Communists, and anyone else who puts their trust in world rulership. The reason national/cultural superiority has been criticized by the liberals in the first place is because in the past, it was used to justify slavery, racism, and other injustices against people (who were looked on as "savages"), and in the present it is used by extremists such as the terrorists. This is why people keep saying no culture is "better", because while we may not fly planes into other people's buildings now, we have done comparable things in the past. And who knows, we may do it again in the future. Might our superiority rhetoric justify someday stomping out these modern 'savages' who don't think and act the way we think is right? That's precisely the way the terrorists themselves think! We must not think that "we would never do that; we don't do things like that!", because the same serpentine nature that is in the foreign terrorists is in us. This is not to say that we should never fight these peoples. But inasmuch as the focus shifts from defense, to taming the "barbarians", we are already on the road to becoming just like them! All of this "superiority" language lays the basis for the people saying it to oppress others when the right circumstances are present. The ultimate proof of this is that before the 9-11 attacks, the most violent attack on our soil was done by one of our own, and one who held conservative beliefs, including the same criticism of our moral bankruptcy (in contrast to our innate superiority), and its need for purging! We may have executed him while the Arabs encourage their extremists as one pointed out, but then he attacked his own country; the Arab terrorists are not attacking theirs!
And what is the criterion for our notion of "superiority"? The good outweighs the bad! This is pure "works-righteousness"— justification by our supposed moral/political goodness (The same exact reasoning the average unsaved person uses as to why they think they will go to Heaven). In all of this arguing, we have completely forgotten that man is completely sinful before a Holy God. It should be the Christian Right that emphasizes this, but instead you had the "conservative book club", with books that insist that some "really are better, yes BETTER"; just helping support the secular (Non-Christian, unbiblical) conservative myths of superior races; and "culture" is just a broader term for races. Horton, in Beyond Culture Wars, shows how we have become just like Nebuchadnezzar, with "my great kingdom I have built". He also points out how all of this is just holding up the fruits of modernity as the basis for our merit. (All the while criticizing modernity!) Now is the time we need to ask ourselves, are we making "the LORD [our] Refuge" (Ps.91:9), or "Lies our Refuge" (Is.28:15)?
As for the "Judeo-Christian" label we've heard thrown about so often, he says:
But Christian Conservatives often naively assume that "Judeo-Christian" means all is well. Just as the blessings of this age cannot be understood apart from this heritage, so too the curses must not be ignored. The "Judeo-Christian tradition" is fallible, even if Scripture is not. Much evil has been done under this name, and the appeal to the "Judeo-Christian tradition" does not exonerate bad ideas. That tradition is a mixture of paganism and revealed religion; it is not only the story of what Moses was doing on top of the mountain (receiving the truth from God), but also what the people were doing down below (worshiping the golden calf). It is a tradition that combines faithfulness and unfaithfulness. It is itself secularized, and we must never treat the "Judeo-Christian tradition" or civilization as if it were a direct product of divine revelation, or even scriptural reflection. (p.51)
Racism may not be the Ultimate Issue, but it is apart of our self-exalting nature
White conservatives (and perhaps even some liberals!) are tired of hearing about racism, feeling they are actually free of it since they bear no active animosity against others (especially as popular jargon associates or even defines "racism" purely as "hate"). Christians would once again point out that the real issue is "sin", and of course, the Bible "has the answer" for that. This is right: what most people, both the guilty and the ones pointing it out don't realize is that the cause of racism is our natural tendency to exalt ourselves. People are self-oriented and naturally put themselves above others, and this includes their group (the extension of the self) as well. This is why the Bible tells us think of others as better than ourselves. Because God knows we are inclined to the opposite. Proof of this is that even Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and others began seeing that an issue that was underlying race was class. There were many poor whites who were being cheated by the system, and of course, some blacks got a bit of power and also became corrupted. But of course, you can go beneath the class issue too. The root of the problem is self-ism. The reason people make an "ism" out of their race (or class, religion, political ideology, etc) in the first place is because it is apart of their SELF. When you get down to the root of social inequities, it is just plain selfishness, and race, class, or whatever other division we seize upon, is only a means to an end— Self.
|Think of it as a person who wants to be number 1 —at the top, in the world. First he uses nationality and skin color, especially since other groups were less advanced and easier to conquer. Then he builds a whole philosophy, political system and even religion to help convice those like him that they are better. This of course keeps him at the top. But times change, and there is a great outcry against such abuses of fellow humans. So in order to maintain his esteem among others (important to keep his position in the world), he can no longer emphasize race. So he takes the power he has already amassed and builds on that a whole new direction, where he is still on the top. This now is money. The lines of class formed by money are still largely drawn across the old racial lines, but it is possible for people on both sides to cross over to the other group. So you let some blacks gain money as sports and entertainment figures, and even fewer in politics and business. It would have been nice to keep all blacks down, but oh well. At least one benefit now is that we can deflect the criticism of those still complaining about race-based discrimination. But the main objective was for the person to keep himself at the top, and even changing the parameters still achieves this. And in the new world emerging, the key is money. Of course, in the real world, it is not a single person doing all this, but whoever can get power will use whatever means available to get into the exclusive club at the top.|
So because of self exalting being tied in with our fallen nature, it does creep out in the form of the race issue and others, which people will tend to think is "different" in this case, since it is not directly connected with conscious negative feelings toward others. So both defensive conservatives and the accusing liberals (media, black writers & speakers on the issue) need to realize that sin is the problem. So the conservatives are right that "race" is being made into too big of an issue, and that "the Bible has the answers". But they are wrong in assuming that making the issue "sin" totally absolves them of all guilt. After all, they too are still sinners, so they too are still susceptible to looking down on others, and the very fact of my premise that "the truth" always seems to justify or exonerate them is proof of this. Fundamentalists' hostility towards Catholics and modern Bible translations is not directly connected with racism, but I see it as cut from very much the same cloth. These are yet other issues where they are "superior" (religiously, this case) to others. So as much as this movement decries the "me-ism" of modern civilization, this is the driving force behind them as well. They themselves are drowning in it in their desire to reconstruct an old societal order that was far from perfect, but was beneficial to them. Even while they point at others. As I said before, they don't realizing that stamping God's name on their ideas doesn't make them any more His word, or any less self-oriented. This is further illustrated in the fact that they were so for capitalism during the Cold War, or when defending it against liberal policies, but are against it when it comes into the church in the form of CCM or "market driven strategies". They only rally behind it when it's useful to them or when it represented their interests as in the Cold War or partisan politics. And as much as they condemn ecumenicalism and the New World Order as being the great endtime deception, they themselves are the very ones commanding everyone to worship the Beast (Rev.13— Roman Empire and the European cultures that came out of it, including Anglo-America. It is NOT just the Catholic cultures!) by making it God's pure civilization with the pure music, art, Bible translation, and church traditions, and all others being inferior.
Rowan, p.111; quotes a letter writer responding to one of his newspaper columns who says quotas are unfair because when she was a teacher, the black kids "never did their homework, and spent the whole day causing trouble" and would "rather make big money hustling drugs", and then tells him that he should "just teach love, not hate".
We've heard this statement thrown around a lot, but people don't even know what it means.
When we think of "hate", we think of fist-shaking, teeth-gnashing animosity. But most racism
isn't this, so many people who are racist can now point to the responding anger of black speakers
and writers as the real "hate". Just like this lady can spew out classic racist stereotypes of blacks and
then accuse Rowan of hate. Beginning with the anger of the Black Muslims and other groups in
Civil Rights days, "preach love, not hate" became the politically correct byword that the racists
who needed to listen and practice it would now simply throw back at the black leaders and white
liberals who criticized them. Just like the current cross-claim of "[reverse] discrimination".
People like this will still think nothing of smugly putting blacks down, though. This is not seen
as "hate", but believe it or not, biblically it is. The "hate" Jesus spoke of, regarding one parents, for example, really means to regard less. So Jesus was only telling us to regard our parents and our lives less than our commitment to Him. But all of this rhetoric about the inherent
worthlessness of blacks or other cultures would surely count as this kind of "hate". And they
don't know what "love" is either, because their idea of "love" always places them at the top of the
sociological and/or economic ladders.
Desire for Past Rule
John Woodbridge, in "Culture War Casualties: How warfare rhetoric is hurting the work of the Church" (Christianity Today, 3-6-95, p.20-26) brilliantly exposes the true motive of Christian's modern "culture war rhetoric": "to secure a more orderly...society in which to live out comfortable and self-satisfied lives". This is at the bottom of it all. These selfish motives "make it easy to understand [why] they exhibit explosive reactions to anyone who 'crosses' them", and why "the disagreeing 'other' automatically becomes 'the enemy'". Sine's Cease Fire and Horton's Beyond Culture Wars also excellently point this out.
This explains the praise of the past, for back in the 50's and before— the ideal "father knows best" era, they had that secure, comfortable, self-satisfied life they miss so much, while minorities were treated like trash, and even many of those "postcard" families had little love. But THIS is what they want to restore, "not so much...a vital Christianity" as Woodbridge and Sine point out. As they also show, it's just part of the same "duty to self" ethic, that has been sweeping the whole middle class the past couple of decades. Many of the Christians who have been foremost in criticizing this strain in secular society are themselves caught in the undertow. This is the only reason people who enjoy more prosperity and convenience than anyone else in history can make such a big fuss over taxes.
Columnist Carl Rowan brilliantly laid down the racial aspect of this longing for the past:
There was a time when if the white man said "pick cotton!", my great granddaddy picked cotton. There was a more recent time when if a white man said, "boy, you can't come in this library", I didn't go into the only public library in town. Even the lowliest of white men was lord in the presence of the most accomplished black man. Well, no longer! The changes of the last half century have must have wounded the psyches of millions of American white men. All of a sudden, it's a black cop who's arresting him; a black female giving him his TV news; a black "Colin Powell" he's saluting; a black judge to whom he's saying "Yes, Your Honor"; a black doctor ministering to his injured child in the hospital emergency room. His world is scary, because black people he once abused, or dismissed as lowlife jokes, have moved with some authority into what was once his Caucasian-dominated world. I know how painful it is for a white man to get a female supervisor, and how a "twofer" —a black woman boss— puts a strain on his manhood.
But it isn't just the workplace. The white men who indicate they're ready to fight someone also used to be kings in their families. They were the sole breadwinners, which made them admired— and feared— by their wives and children. Untrained or disinclined, to enter the job market, women treated white males as gods. But now hosts of those wives "bring home the bacon" in bigger slabs than their husbands do. A new independence for women permits many of them to say "Get lost!" to their husbands and get divorces, and that has brought a terrible measure of insecurity into the lives of white males. It is now impossible for them to drive women out of the labor force, so they direct their anger at black males.
The "angry white males" don't seem to comprehend the fact that black men suffer more than they do because independent women now represent a huge portion of the work force. Because black men are still so cheated that they "bring home the bacon" in tiny strips, they find it harder to sustain a marriage with an intelligent, working black woman. So the trauma, the breakdown of the black family, is incrementally larger than the white family.
Under the rules of scapegoating, the white male gets to believe fervently that he has to pay for the collapse of black families— for their crime, their welfare babies, their failure in the workplace and everywhere else. The "angry white male" is the worst scapegoater in the land, blaming someone else for the fact that he doesn't feel as manly as he once did.
The white American male's ego and self-esteem have taken a terrible beating. He now comes home and watches his children singing the songs of black superstars, doing black dances, sporting black hairdos, and popping black slang.
In his anger and fear, the "angry white man" forgets that it is mostly white men who get rich off rap music and "black" clothes and the filthy mouthed black comics his kids watch on HBO. This troubled white man forgets that he still holds all the levers of economic power in America; that all American children go to schools where the white man's literature and history and culture are taught. There may be a black college president here, a black best-selling author there, a black cabinet member here, and a black opera star there, [and a "multicultural" educational program here and there] but there is not a single sign anywhere that African Americans are taking over any major element of American business or cultural life.
Sadly, millions of whites do believe that the leaders of their government have embarked on "social engineering" and federal giveaway policies that will cheat whites and waste American resources on masses of blacks and Hispanics who are both undeserving and incompetent.
(The Coming Race War In America, p. 104, 105, 1996 by CTR; Little, Brown &Company)
So when it all fell apart in the middle of this century, then, the rulers of society became the victims. Their "God-given rights" were taken from them by the Left, the young. Taxes and privileges were taken from them and given to unworthy blacks. And since most of the rebels threw out the idea of God, undermining the divine mandate for race and class oppression, as well as their control over society's sexuality, then the Christian leaders could additionally charge society with being 'anti-God', and many have wagged their finger, warning of 'judgment', harking back to Sodom and Gomorrah and other rebellious cities in the Bible. But at the bottom of all these nice prophetic sounding cries, was these people's loss of control over society. Now, they couldn't even scare anyone with God and Hell anymore. They lost it all (except for those way, way up in power, who ironically, are always sheltered or even defended by conservative rhetoric.), and now is frantically struggling, through rhetorical warfare to hold on to what they have, and try to regain what they have lost. Just look at the message of all the top talk show hosts —Limbaugh, Grant, etc. Basically defending his honor against those who would put bring him down to the level of men responsible for their actions, past and present. Limbaugh has a big audience in conservative Christians. People who complain about society's sexual mores, are entertained by someone who says he only likes the women's 'movement' — "from behind"! But no matter. He provides the rhetorical justification they need. This is what they are fighting for. Limbaugh is the epitome of the "wolf in sheeps clothing", and it's precisely his ability to appear "innocent", "lovable", comical or non-serious, and even supporting of "Christian values" that is what makes him potentially dangerous. When not making his snide jokes and sarcastic remarks about liberal personalities, and minorities' and women's issues on his shows (often disguised as "jokes"), he comes with a smile: "I'm just a harmless little fuzzball", and "You decide if I'm the most dangerous man in America, or just a sensitive guy" (as he said in a NYC TV ad for the radio station that carries him). But his rhetoric often supported the notion that the main problem in this country was the "bleeding heart liberal" government, and it's "programs", and that they are thus too favoring of minorities, such as blacks, Indians and the Third World, (plus the "immorality" associated with them) and at the expense of everyone else. People (including Christians) are easily swayed, becoming "dittoheads" because it touches many of their thoughts. In the nineties, it looked like this country was heading for a race war over these and other issues (hence, Rowan's and Pannell's books), and if his rhetoric would have helped motivate the militias and others, (all sharing his views on the government) to further react, then —"you decide" if he was dangerous or not! Of course, things have died down a bit now, but as I've said, people still feel the same ways, so it could always flare up again in the future, with conservative rhetoric guiding people's actions.
All of this is what causes all the "racial oversensitivity" which Conservatives complain of today. This even extends into fictional animation! Fans of classic theatrical cartoons lament the editing of these films' references to blacks, Asians, American Indians and others, claiming "revision". I too think that "Mammy Two Shoes" from Tom & Jerry should not always be edited, and that "Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarves" (one of the infamous "Censored 11" of the Warner Bros. library) was an interesting idea. It is a shame that racial strife is such that such artforms cannot be looked at more objectively. But many of these references were very offensive (blacks' humongous lips, for instance), and American whites were not so stereotyped. As many people today have not changed such insensitive attitudes towards others (all one has to do is listen to people talk when they're not aware you're listening), this touches on still wounded nerves and sore spots and thus causes suspicion when such caricatures are shown; so the restrictions of "political correctness" continue and grow. This is why Senator Trent Lott could get into trouble for his remarks arguing that the country would heve been better off if Strom Thurmond had become president. One conservative online commentator tries to argue that "The positions taken by the Dixiecrats were more a stance against Communism than about blatant hostility towards Blacks. It must be remembered at that time world Bolshevism was on the prowl sniping at various social issues in the hopes of igniting a full-scale revolution with the hopes of destroying America’s constitutional republic".
While there may be some truth to the first point—even Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam were suspicious of the white Left which they saw as using the Civil Rights cause for their own agendas, still there is no evidence that the Right in America was willing to give in on segregation and other injust racist laws on their own timing, if only the liberals wouldn't have forced them, and the Communists get involved. Many hard-lined racists (including Citizen and others) claimed their policies were what would make race relations better (as well as preserving the integrity of society), but it was obvious, they were only trying to maintain the staus quo, while coming off as the victims of some undue attack. If Thurmond believed that Whites of the South should not allow Blacks into their homes and churches (as was admitted), why would he ever grant them "the rights due them such as free speech and the right to make free market transactions"? Likewise, the demand for "freedom" from "totalitarian government", including the plea for "states' rights" in the past, was also used to maintain racial oppression —both slavery, and the same issues came up again during civil rights. People have resented the govt. for these types of "intrusions of freedom" ever since. Once again, we were focusing so much on the evil of the Communists, yet if we had spent some energy cleaning up the racial evil going on here, it would have been less for the Communists to try to manipulate. How could we even fight them sucessfully with so much turmoil going on here? (we ultimately won the battle, but lost the war, as people rebelled, and the ideas we were fighting still took root over here, as conservatives so complain about).
People basically had to be forced to do the right thing in the race issue, and while I'm not advocating government coersion, still, what else could be done? People suggest something that boils down to "just let the racists have their way, in fact, have more of a 'backbone' in defending the old ways, and it will all ['eventually'] work out somehow in the end". Do you really think that is realistic? With all those hard-line racists from just 40 years ago, nothing would have changed, if not things reverting backwards (They were already reacting against the changes being made so far). And the extension of the logic of some conservative and libertarian writers/speakers seems to point that way sometimes. For instance, in light of the terrorist attacks, many are saying "See, racial profiling is good after all! How else can we catch these 'troublemakers' before they do harm to us?". Hard to argue against that, but you'll never know what thinking like this will lead when the right circumstances allow. Suppose blacks are one day included in the same class (many have always seemed to think that way!). With all the emphasis both on Western superiority, as well as the problems of blacks, such as crime, immorality and laziness, (as if we really commit more of these things than anyone else), people don't realize that racism, such as the slavery and segregation of the past, begins with ideas. If we are so sub-par with human or Western goodness, then maybe we should be enslaved or separated where we cannot cause anybody else trouble, after all!
You cannot simply condemn all the sensitivity and censorship without addressing the problem that led people to that approach. Another benefit of a Thurmond presidency would have been "Whites would not have had to put up with an incessantly growing list of demands that can never be satisfied nor should be under traditional conceptions of justice. Having now achieved equality with Whites, radicals today agitate for outlandish reparations checks. Had a President been more willing to put a gentle but firm foot down back then, the likes of Julian Bond and Randall Robinson might be more appreciative of the freedoms they and 'their people' enjoy today." This is just a smokescreen issue. There are relative few asking for monetary reparations; mainly Sharpton and Jackson, and their followers. What the majority wants is to be treated fairly, (and we have not completely "achieved equality"!) and not be blamed for problems in this country, or have our concerns mocked and dismissed everytime someone wants to jump on the liberals (As Limbaugh and the rest of these conservative commentators always do). All blacks do not want your money. (I wish Sharpton and the others would have been more involved challenging such conservative rhetoric for the last 25 years playing on people's fear of blacks, or blaming Welfare for high taxes, instead of asking people (who they know don't want to be bothered giving up anything [else] to blacks) for money. I wouldn't be surprised if it's some conservative behind-the-scenes force that is pushing that, because it makes for the perfect straw man they can easily blow away, and claim the whole civil rights issue is just some excuse to get something for nothing.) It is true that things have already gotten better for many blacks, as some keep reminding us. But then if you really look at the black community at large, not as many blacks are complaining and demanding as much (even though Sharpton and his allies make it seem so). Yet conservative complaining about our complaining is not going down; in fact, it sometimes seems to be growing, as the above statement reveals that they perceive that our demands are growing. And it's still highly ironic to see people telling others to be "appreciative" in the same breath as complaining about what others (who have much less than them) get supposedly at their expense, or even just want. Why can't the upper middle class, who have more than most in the world be appreciative of all the abundance they have and stop resenting blacks and liberals? How much more do they want? Is it that they deserve all and others really deserve none? If they don't like this insinuation, then they need to check this gross double standard.
The resentment of our basic rights in the past is precisely why "...one would assume Lott had suggested Black folk belong out in the fields singing songs and picking cotton while he sits on the porch in a white Colonel Sanders suit sipping sun tea." Because that is exactly what would have happened if we just let people like that have their way. People resented blacks ever being freed from slavery, and they hadn't given up on restoring it. We wouldn't even have these freedoms you are telling us to be "appreciative" of today, (and which some people still seem to think we shouldn't have). That is why the past is constantly brought up. To show that little has changed in people's agendas. So what Lott said was very suspicious. There are too many people who romanticize the past and blame all the social changes for everything that is wrong in the country today. It is remotely possible he didn't mean it that way, but he, being a high ranking public figure was responsible to realize how that would be taken (especially given the much complained about "liberal bias"). Uttering questionable stuff like that only justifies the black racists, who feel they are only defending their race. It should start with those who lead the country. The same issue occured with Limbaugh's statement regarding a black football player being hyped up by the media only because he was black, when supposedly he wasn't really talented. As one who has always scoffed at blacks' issues, (especially as pushed by the liberals), anything he says on race is going to be questioned, and as much as he focuses on the "political correctness" of the liberal media, he knows it! (What an occasion to once again showcase the oppression of the media. Unfortunately, the pill scandal erupted at the same time, hurting his image!) Why is he rambling on the liberals unfairly favoring blacks? Hasn't he and countless others harped on stuff like this countless times? It's not making the liberals change their policies, so what is the point of rehashing the same rhetoric over and over (unless you really do have negative feeling about the people concerned)? If one instead got their own lives in order instead of always pointing outward, things like this would be avoided.
The conservative commentator defensively compares all of this to "far worse things are being said and done by the Left with the leftist media turning a blind eye. Unlike that Communist Nelson Mandela [and various other "Dark Continent" leaders] and as Nancy Pelosi would like to, Trent Lott has oppressed no one". But OK, if those leaders' successors were to clean up their ways, and someone (associated with a faction that has historically favored those old ways) then comes and says that it would have been better if they had stayed in power, this person is not himself doing the oppression that their forebears did, but he would still be chastised as insensitive, and mistrusted. Once again, what would people like Lott and Thurmond do, if we could get all of these dratted liberal "egalitarians" out of the way, and they had the power once again? You still wonder why someone like this, who argues for our "superiority" would constantly appeal to these people they claim we are superior to as justification for our behavior. If we are so much more "civilized" than Eskimos, Africans, etc., then we should hold ourselves to God's standard, not "they oppress their people, so why can't we be allowed to?" Remember, "To whom much is given, much more is expected" (Luke 12:48).
Also questioned is the criticism of Lott defending BJU's tax exempt status, which was revoked because of its interracial dating ban. "Are we going to penalize religious institutions every time one pursues an opinion contrary to the sensibilities of the prevailing elite but in no way infringes upon matters of public safety?" Of course, the leader of the school himself used the same reasoning. What they don't understand is that these social issues like that can infringe on public safety. Segregationism has been beaten down into a relatively small cornered fringe now, but still, ideas can spread from small sources (Just look at how Hitler captured the minds of his people and grew to great power), and if enough people are convinced that blacks are some plague that needs to be separated, then there are enough people who will gladly restore the segregation of the past, if they had the power, and you could have more unrest like we had in the past (but of course, this is all the fault of left-wingers who incite the minorities to do anything but submit, right?). "So we are dangerous segregationists now if we only mate with those within our own race. Guess that includes somewhere up around 90% of the population (including Black folks)" is the response. Marrying within one's race is one thing, but forbidding and condemning others for marrying outside the race, in God's name (which let's not forget, this school did; making it a divine command by misinterpreting certain OT scriptures and ignoring NT scriptures on who "separation" is from) does make a red flag go up to most people. It certainly should concern those who care about God's truth and its correct presentation to the world. It's amazing that people who themselves are almost tyrannical leaders can cry "oppression" when something bigger than them steps on their toes, and it's amazing that those who decry such "oppression" from the Government can defend it in a non-govt. enterprise. Are such people simply mad that they aren't allowed to be the totalitarian dictators?*
And even though the liberals may not be interested in God's Word, still this is one area where where they happen to be in agreement with God's principles. Also, as for defending "religious institutions", did these people feel that way during Civil Rights when the govt' infiltrated the the Black Muslims and other black activists? If the govt' thinks something is potentially dangerous (especially rhetoric that influences people even if there is not [yet] any action!), they they will go after it. There is NO conspiracy against Anglos (who runs the govt.?) and conservatives!
*We have here what is called the "big fish/little fish syndrome". The medium size fish justifies his eating the little fish with "that's life", and is thus initially happy with his status in the game. --|That is, until the big fish comes and eats him! This is especially true of the Christians in society today, which strikngly parallels the Jews in the first century. The Jews had many pivileges under the Romans, such as trade, and even immunity from the demand for emperor worship. The Jews used this to persecute those among them who had become Christians, for their allegiance to Jesus would mean expulsion from the synagogues, and with it, the immunity from emperor worship. So the Christians were at the mercy of both the Jews and the pagans. However, the Jews were not content with this, as for them, it was still domination by the Romans, and they did not like this. Sometimes there were emperors and governors who treated them badly. So their whole desire for the Messiah was to crush the Romans and make them the Rulers they felt God had promised to make them. Even as they harassed Christians, they themselves got more impatioent, and the zealots finally rose up, tensions grew, and then there was the final war with the Romans that brought the entire Temple system down. Today, we have a miniature repeat of this with the conservatives, both secular and Christian, who enjoy all the comforts and privilege of upper class living in this country. Leaders make their money, and build bigger empires, and travel the world conducting their business just like any other executive. But society no longer wants their God as their mascot, and no longer want to listen to their rules of morality, or ethics, or even finance and other political issues. So they are angry, and cry persecution, and often lash out at society, such as blaming whatever calamity falls on all the liberals and godless, thus further alienating themselves, and creating further conflict.
In the sixties, the chant from the mainline denominations was "the world sets the church's agenda". Conservative preachers berated them for it as they pounded their Bibles, but in the eighties and nineties, many of them have become themselves soldiers in the army of the new Social Gospel, the "liberation Theology of the Right" as one Christian Reconstructionist has been so bold as to call it. The only difference now is that the part of the world that sets the church's agenda is the white, upper middle class Republican establishment rather than monorities, the poor, and the Democrats.
In the 1950's, during the civil rights movements, most evangelical leaders remained silent, insisting that the purpose of the church is not to interfere in politics. They lashed out at the mainline liberals for confusing social action with the Gospel. Certainly, in the latter criticism, they were justified, but to remain silent in the face of obvious injustice—injustices which find clear parallels in Scripture—is a guilty silence. We have never repented of that silence as a body. I have never heard remorse from evangelical leaders at political rallies and conventions.* During the sixties and seventies, as Francis Schaeffer reminded us, the children of Christian parents rebelled along with everyone else, because they saw the church as little more than a place where white, middle class American self-interest was baptized and the ethic of "personal peace and affluence" received its justification from the pulpit. In the eighties, we went a step further, and, realizing that those values of the fifties were no longer the status quo that we could simply baptize each Sunday, we entered the political arena to fight for them. It stood to reason then, since we were silent when blacks were being denied voting privileges, it would take something more near and dear to our own hearts to get us to our feet: free enterprise capitalism. While the scriptures were said to be unclear about racial injustices, suddenly the Bible became a textbook for the right to excess and greed.
*Since this was written, the Southern Baptist Convention has made a public repentance of the past. They now, ironically, are
being regarded as too moderate by the more radical independent Baptists!
A new tactic now, is instead of denying that the Bible covers the issue, you claim the opposite: "The Bible has the answer". One recent author, criticizes CCM for saying that we have to address issues like racism, as well as hunger, social and economic injustice, the nuclear threat, AIDS, "as if the Bible didn't have the answer". He continues "Evangelicals who have had the discernment to reject this liberal social gospel are now embracing it in music!" Notice, the issues are still associated with "liberal social gospel" (in order to dismiss them), but this time we are told the Bible does have the answers for them after all. But this "answer" is not even addressed, as the issues are once again brushed off. These are all the same issues the conservatives had not only ignored as moral, biblical issues, but took the Right-wing position which always exalted them, and/or put down the victims or in each case. But now, "The Bible contains 'all things that pertain unto life and godliness' (II Peter 1:3)". But what exactly does this mean? Conservatives like this have yet to take racism and the other issues above and apply any real Biblical answers to them. In fact, when their institutions are exposed as having segregation policies, the leaders completely deny any wrong, and appeal to "freedom". No Bible support, (except for "do not judge", "liberty", and other scriptures they usually rebuke less conservative Christians for using). This is just another way of ignoring it, and could this be because of the guilt Horton refers to? Meanwhile, they continue to pitch a conservative "social gospel" of the reconstruction of the pure culture.
Just think, why would conservatives picture the early part of this century and before as so great and utopian? WHO was the only group/class of people who it actually was better for back then? Not women, minorities or children! (As for the sexual part of society's rebellion, they are mainly against this because of first, the neurotic fear of sex which was rampant in the past (and is what caused the sexual revolt), and also its association with jungle "barbarians", plus, it is a big sign of people's defiance of the old moral order, of which outward sexual purity seemed to be the most important thing, especially with all the other atrocities that were not acknowledged as sins or moral blotches.)
The whole "purity of our heritage" concept is the same thing racism is. People claiming to be somehow better than others. It's no longer fashionable to openly spout racial purity, so we find other things— doctrines, politics, culture, country, 'morality, and 'values' to make us better. (And it's largely the same culture that originally held racial purity, and sometimes still does subtly now). And it is patently racist to say that a racist past was pure. That people even regard (some of) the evil in this system, past or present as good, shows a distorted morality/value system, among the very ones who condemn the falling values and morality of society. Isaiah 5:20 says "Woe unto them who call evil good".
I could take Rowan's statement and modify it for the Church: "There was a time, when if the Church said 'THOU SHALT NOT...!', everyone tried to be good, or at least hide their sins. When the preachers said 'YOU SINNERS!', everyone jumped, and was shaken with fear. But that control was lost as well. All of a sudden, it's agnostic intellectuals in education who are shaping society, and a liberal media and judicial system telling the church what it can and cannot say. Everyone now scoffs at the Church, regarding its teachings as old and outdated. And what's worse, many churches have conceded to the societal changes, and the teachings of Darwin, Marx and Freud are being taught from pulpits, (as many have complained). Now, homosexuality is even rapidly being accepted by these churches, as gay priests are ordained (as well as women)..."
But Christ was not Lord in the old societal order. A race, gender, and generation of MAN was. This is the way the Christian world was ever since the church mingled with Rome, an obvious ploy of Satan to destroy the "faith once delivered to the saints". All of this is the legacy of Rome, which also fell under the weight of its own pomp and corruption. Since Christ was not really Lord in it, we cannot be so shocked that the societies we've created do not accept Him.
The reality of it was that it was a society based on ABUSE by control. The white male was king, and minorities were abused (oppressed), women were abused, children were abused, and in the Church, "sinners" were abused. So after centuries of slavery, and then Jim Crow racism, and a century full of Great Depression and several major world-shaking wars, the whole social order fell apart, and all these abused groups began rebelling. All the talk of "returning to the values of the past" is returning to the "father knows best" era, when the white male had all these groups under control, and the leaders of society could just continue to enjoy the spoils of conquest and slavery and abuse without any negative consequence to themselves. In marriages, for instance, conservatives (especially Christian fundamentalists) can point to all the divorce, even among other Bible-believing Christians as "just being apart of the worldly modern mindset". David Cloud, in his comments on Peter Ruckman's 2 divorces (in which the wives left him for unbiblical reasons) says "Divorces do not occur in a vacuum" (i.e. the bad atmosphere that creates them), and that it is "NOT 'ruling well' his own household", as 1 Timothy teaches. People can point at divorce as proof of this, but does that mean that all is well in all those "conservative" homes where the father "rules"? I've seen many fundamentalist leaders and their wives, and they look all happy and content, but often, it looks like just a face, as phony as the metaphorical "post-card" used to describe such a picture. Many of these men are totally unreasonable, as is evident in their teachings and condemnation of the world and church. They all might not be as bad as Ruckman, but the attitudes are pretty much the same, only not carried quite as far. So if Ruckman's personal life is in such disarray, it is evident that these other fundamentalists secret lives can't be much different. So this would of course carry over into their family life. Many old-time marriages suffered the same "anger, carnality, hostility, bitterness and sin" Cloud describes, but on the part of the wives and children, it is repressed. It's only the husband/father who is allowed to convey any anger, and it is often carnal, bitter, hostile and sinful, even though they won't admit this. But only instead of breaking up, the family members "submit" to it, sometimes living in misery, but make themselves "content", as they live to please all the man's wishes. The men who always are on the benefitting end of this, think they are obeying the Bible by preaching "submission" and "contentment". Both are biblical virtues, but the way they are being used, is for unbiblical control. Once again, God can see everything, and many more men, including these fundamentalist leaders, would be disqualified from "Biblical leadership", if the truth was made known. The children saw or lived through all of this teeth-gritting "submission" and pseudo-"contentment", and rebelled, as they did in every other area of life. They had no direction—no alternative. Their parents taught them nothing but "submission and contentment" (their "biblical answer" to everything, rendering psychology, therapy, or any addressing of the issues unnecessary), but this alone does not solve anything, especially given that our sinful nature cannot be controlled by simply repressing it. They knew this was not healthy. So all the people of today know is ending the bad relationship. Both generations' method of handling the problem is acutally running from it. Submission and Contentment are virtues commanded all of us. But you wonder how people can be practicing "submission" when they are so busy trying to control everyone else, and how they can be practicing "contentment" when they spend so much time complaining that everyone is not submitting! "Man is the head of the house", yes; but then also, "Christ is the Head of man". How are they really submitting to Him?
So, you look around, and society and the world truly have gone amuck. Yet, it was precisely those old values that helped set much of this in motion. 40 years ago, it was wrong to be a minority and persecution of minorities was not only OK, but was also the preservation of the divine moral order, and of society itself. Now, homosexuality is bursting out all over, and this battle bears an eerie echo to the old race problems. Rhetoric on both sides almost identically parallels the arguments for and against racial equality (like I say later, it looks almost as if conservative society shifted to this, since having lost their grounds on race). Yet, now that the "discriminated against" group really is wrong (unnatural/ungodly) according to the Bible, nobody's going to listen to that idea of right and wrong. The same people once thought (and some still do) that people's racial differences were somehow wrong, or at least the mixing of the races, so all anyone sees now is that discrimination is discrimination, and it's all wrong, regardless of what the issue is. As Michael Horton has said, "how can we avoid creating the impression that our opposition to [issues involving homosexuals] is really based on moral absolutes and not on bigotry when we are proven bigots where the issue has nothing to do with an immoral lifestyle?" (Beyond Culture Wars, p. 34)
What's ironic is that many if not most of the Christian defenders of morality insist homosexuality and other vices are "an attempt to destroy American culture". They never even mention it as being unnatural, an argument that can be used for non-Christians who only believe in what is "natural" or material. They preach it as sin against God (when many don't believe in God, or in Biblical concepts of Him at least, so what does that mean to them?), and then always make American culture the great central casualty of all this and all other evils or things they don't like. —like this is the only country in the world. Or it's God's particular nation, like the biblical kingdom of Israel. If people don't accept God and scripture as absolutes, then who do they think determines an earthly human institution such as a society to them? All of this exposes the true self-serving nature of the so-called "family values" movement. They're concerned most about their authority—in this institution called "society". Not God or the people's souls. God is just used to give them some hyper-earthly AUTHORITY. Horton even suggests that they do not need God back, except as a way of getting America back. And this whole "American culture" theme was the staple of racist ideology, and still is. They use the same exact arguments and fears.
As I've said, it was precisely these old corruptions that first blurred the lines of right and wrong, so those absolutes came to be seen as indeterminable, ever-changing, or dependant on the viewers' perspective or experience. So then relativity then became the only "safe" view of things. Out of this, was PC borne. But people, looking through the eyes of self-interest will favor the past, even if they don't feel they support the racial and other inequities that characterized it.
While the secular world, both liberal and conservative will continue in their ways apart from God, Christians, often allowing themselves to get caught up in this carnal "culture war" are the ones who have the bigger responsibility to get their priorities right. As I have said, the Gospel is the answer for all the strife in the world, and it is we who must shape our world view by it in order to proclaim it correctly and be the light this dying world so desperately needs to see, instead of just another part of it. Says Horton: p.166,7:
If we want to see God's name hallowed or revered in our day, judgment must begin not in the world, but in the house of God. We have severely damaged God's credibility in our age, and that is something we are all going to have to come to terms with if there is going to be reformation [or revival]. We are the ones who are regenerated and are being reshaped into the image of Christ. We are the ones whom God has taken from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation to be a kingdom of priests, a city of hope in the middle of the hopeless cities of the modern kingdoms.
But the problem in our day is that we are not this counterculture the New Testament describes. We are extensions of the cultural, social, economic and racial divisions already present in the city of man. The statistics demonstrate that evangelicals are about as materialistic, self-oriented, and hedonistic as the unbelievers. It is an irony that at a time when evangelicals are the most worldly themselves, they would be at such a judgmental and even self-righteous pitch.[bold added]
He continues on p.221: "I am utterly convinced the world would be instantly attentive if it saw a church on its knees in repentance for its own sins. Imagine what would happen if, next week, instead of a full page ad in the major newspapers demanding our rights there appeared an ad with the following lines:
In recognition of our sins against God and our neighbors, by seeking our own interests and confusing our own aspirations with the will of God, we ask for your forgiveness. Our witness has often been marked by our own greed, power, scandal, self-righteousness, and competitiveness even with each other. We have not modeled the life of God's Kingdom, nor have we served our chief purpose in terms of proclaiming the eternal realities which give hope and meaning to our lives here and now. When you came to our churches for bread, too often you were given stones. When you sought water to quench your eternal thirst, we were too busy with secondary pursuits. As we have received God's forgiveness, we ask for yours. And if you want to give us another hearing, we would like to get to know you—regardless of your ideology, politics, beliefs or values. We may not agree with you, but this time, you'll hear something about God and His kingdom. This time, we'll give you bread. We promise.
As he says elsewhere, (p.276) the world may not believe better arguments, but just might listen
to a church that searches for them.
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Translations?(Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1995)
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The Jesus I Never Knew (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995)
What's So Amazing about Grace? (Grand Rapids, Zondervan Publishing, 1997)
WORLD TRADE CENTER MEMOIRS
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