BLM and police violence

New Warhorn Media post by The Warhorn Editors:

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Excellent episode. Great discussion. You did a good job representing what is justified, even in the extreme views on opposite sides of these issues. You did so without compromising the truth or morality. And without looking like you are trying to play both sides, or placate or incite everyone.

Good practical admonishments and suggestions throughout. Thank you.

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Agreed. This was very helpful. Thank you @AndrewHenry and @AlexCosta.

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I really appreciated Alex’s Golden Corral story. I had not considered that side of the race question. It has caused me to think more about how to be welcoming and hospitable.

Thanks

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It is true that Carol Jenkins was murdered in Martinsville, but she was murdered by an Indianapolis man. She was also followed and harassed by two white men from Bloomington. The history museum on Sixth street in downtown Bloomington used to be a blacks only school.

Yes, there are cities that have bad reputations, and the reputation Martinsville had in decades past was earned. But those of us who live in Bloomington shouldn’t feel too proud when we sneer at surrounding counties, as our own history is also stained with racism.

Also, Martinsville of 1968 is not Martinsville of 2020.

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Hey everybody, it’s been a while. I wanted to start a new topic on current events given the insanity surrounding the shooting of Jacob Blake and responses different people and organizations like the NBA and other sports leagues. I couldn’t figure out how to create a new topic so I’ll submit a response here. Thank you for your kind words for the podcast, BTW. I didn’t actually read your comments until a few days ago.

I would like to say that I was a little bit reserved when making the podcast with Tim and Andrew. In light of the events of this week, I would like to share some of those thoughts here.

First, I want you all to know in case you have wondered… It isn’t that bad being black in America. Is it worse than being white in America? Slightly. But the difference isn’t as significant as it is being portrayed pretty much everywhere. Have I experienced racism in my life? Yes, and some of those dozen to two dozen experiences have been painful. People want you to believe something different though. They want you to believe that it’s a day to day struggle and we live our lives in constant fear and misery at the hands of their white oppressors. That’s just not true. This is among the best of times and best of places to be a black man or woman. The problem is that we’ve been conditioned to have extreme reactions to negative events that are caught on camera.

Still, the question arises. How can we make things better? Fear of the bogeyman can be just as crippling as the actual presence of the bogeyman himself and fear is at an unbelievably disproportionate level in comparison to the actual threat. So we can do something, right?

I don’t know. I don’t know what else white America can do that will actually be helpful. Black people on the other hand can do a great deal. Black pastors and leaders need to rise up and urge their communities and congregations to stop pointing fingers out there and start looking inward. We need to fast and pray and repent of our licentiousness, abandonment of our children, our effeminacy, and our hatred of authority among other things. And we need a negro prophet or two or fifty (HT Joe Bayly) to rebuke us harshly in the same way Paul told Titus to rebuke the Cretans for their many sins.It can’t be a white man. There’s just too much baggage. It has to be a black man or men. And then maybe we’ll see healing along the racial divide in this country. Honestly, I don’t see a godly way forward without heavy doses or repentance from the black community. So if you actually want to be helpful, pray that we repent. Thanks.

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@AlexCosta
Agreed. “The oppressors are called to repent, but so also are the oppressed”. Not sure where I saw that (Joe Bayly?).

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I know of a black pastor in DC that has basically stopped using the word ‘racism.’ Too much baggage. Instead he speaks of the sin of partiality. That way nobody can wiggle out through defining the word in such a way that it is impossible for them to be guilty. I think both blacks and whites in the US have done that with the word racism.

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9 posts were split to a new topic: “Race” “racism” and biblical language

I agree. I think “racism” as short-hand for “race-based partiality” is great. But a friend of mine was recently explaining how black people can’t be racist because they don’t have a history of perpetrating systemic oppression onto white people. When the definition changes to some type of marxist confusion, then the term loses its usefulness. As long as the speaker and the hearer understand the word to have the same definition it works, but when they have different definitions, confusion arises. “Race-based partiality” doesn’t very easily allow for that confusion.

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I think using “partiality” as a preferred term for racism is wise, as the ‘racism’ term has now got so much baggage it is near-unusable. And partiality is not restricted to ethnicity, by any means (James 2:1ff).

(I have a separate theory that over time, most human societies have struggled to know what to do with their “poor”. When “the poor” are dominated by people from a particular ethnic group - or the people in a particular ethnic group are mostly poor - then the situation is compounded).

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There have been black prophets, but they’ve all been dismissed as Uncle Toms and cancelled.

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Dinesh Desouza wrote a book called The End of Racism. I found it helpful in thinking through the social complexities of the topic.

Basically he argued that true racism came out of the Darwinian evolutionist camps, when people began to apply Darwin’s taxonomy of animals to man. Before that point though slavery certainly existed, it was not clear cut between ethnic lines. In fact is was mostly tribal and economic.

Desouza basically argues that while the evil of human taxonomy is the sort of moral evil implied by the word racism, it largely doesn’t exist any more on any substantial level.

The post-modern view of racism basically condemns self-interested rationalism, and personal risk-management choices as being the same as a human taxonomy.

But what is interesting are the studies of high risk job workers like taxi driver. They found that it was true that blacks had a more difficult time getting a cab ride, but most of the cab drivers that refused to pick them up were themselves black. Their discrimination was clearly not on the basis of a racial taxonomy, but based on their knowledge of risk within their industry.

Basically, everyone is an actuary to some extent or another. They may or may not be any good at it, or they may have bad information guiding their judgements, but most people are not denying their own self interest in order to hurt a group of people whom they have deemed subhuman.

This of course does not deny that men are sinful, and may out of selfish interests harm others within a particular people group, carelessly or even with malice. But that is not the problem facing society today according to Desouza, except now perhaps maybe for a minority of black youth who are currently taking their sin on the streets to a whole new level.

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Right, they have a lot in common with the prophets God raised up in Israel. They were mostly rejected. Sometimes the people heard and repented. I pray that we’ll hear and repent soon and God won’t have us completely destroy ourselves from within.

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My wife and I began our family by adopting twin boys from Kenya. They are now 25. We have six more children ages 14 to 5. Since George Floyd was killed our twin, adopted sons have expressed lots of frustration and agreement with the idea that America is a systemically racist country and a pretty bad place to be black.

Our relationships with our sons haven’t been the same since Floyd’s death. There was a period of time where they expressed a need for a break from their “white family” (both immediate and extended) after which they didn’t talk to any of our white family members for an indefinite period. It’s been brutal.

The most brutal part has been how quickly, at least it seems to me, they moved from how you’ve expressed what being black in America is (the best place and time to be black but with some painful experiences) to see with “new eyes” that this is a place where blacks are systemically opposed and excluded as a way of life. They’ve taken their very few negative experiences along with the recent events as the “gospel” of white America’s systemic oppression of blacks.

In the podcast, you expressed that your greater fear is that the idea of racism is much more of a problem than actual racism. This has been our recent experience and it has been very difficult.

Any thoughts on how to care for our sons? We love them. We’ve called. We’ve listened. We’ve read things they’ve asked us to read. And, we’ve asked them to reciprocate with us. Any thoughts? Thanks.

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Brother, this is gut-wrenching. I’m sorry you’re going through this.

I don’t have much to say. Off the top of my head, a couple of thoughts have popped into my mind and I’ll be happy to message you if I can think of anything else.

I don’t see a path forward for you where you’ll be able deliver hard truths to them even though that’s what they desperately need. If you do, I think you’ll put yourself at risk of committing a sort of unforgivable sin in their minds and they could completely cut you off. If you and your wife were black, it would be an entirely different story, which is ridiculous, but that’s reality for many black people right now. George Floyd wounded many of us in ways that I could have never expected. And even though there’s evidence suggesting that there were other issues that led to his death, we’ve passed a point of no return.

I’m sure you’re already doing this, but the most potent tool you have in your arsenal to give them your unconditional love and be a rock for them. As long as you don’t pander to them, that will help in some ways.

If you’re giving each other resources and they’re actually considering the stuff you’re giving them, Voddie Baucham’s sermon on Ethnic Gnosticimmight be helpful. I would encourage you to listen to it first before deciding whether or not to send it to your sons. In the sermon, he opposes the idea that black people have a sort of higher knowledge about what it’s like to experience oppression and suffering and he warns against the pitfalls against such a mindset. It may be a long shot, but perhaps it will open a door to you being able to speak some truth into their lives. Voddie in general might be helpful considering that they would be hearing many things you’d want to say to them from the mouth of a black man.

Other sources that might strengthen you or give you some ideas.

Mark Robinson’s social media Facebook. Twitter
Michael Griffin Facebook

If I can think of anything else, I’ll let you know.
Love,

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Alex,

In general do you think it would help for people to be better educated about our racial past, or is that just a road for more resentment. In my experience most white folks conception of race relations is centered around slavery and the Jim Crow south. But where I live, for instance, we never had formal Jim Crow laws or Black Codes, but there were a string of lynchings and mob arsons between 1900 and 1910 that caused the relatively large black community in this area to flee. This cost not only many lives, but also the value of those peoples homes, land, businesses, etc. was lost. Most people in my community have no idea that this happened, or if they do they haven’t thought about the multigenerational ramifications.

Also, due to media representations, I think many people believe that the normal experience for a black person in America is urban poverty. But less than 50% of black people live in urban areas (this has been declining for years) and only about 25% are in poverty (higher than other groups, but still not the norm). I wonder if a better understanding of the success of many Black Americans in leaving poverty and the inner city behind would help temper down the revolutionary fervor?

I think Alex is right about this. It isn’t the right time for facts and logical arguments when people are in stages of grieving. But when they are ready, I have found the writings of a number of black authors who challenge the modern narrative on race very helpful. Of course, they are considered pariahs and have been dismissed and canceled by the illiberal left, but their work is very much worth your time. I recommend Dr. Shelby Steele, Thomas Sowell, and John McWhorter. If/when they are ready, introduce them to Larry Elder. Start with this video here of Elder talking about how “racist” America is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phPXTWJhnYM

Heather MacDonald has also researched police violence and racism extensively. Her latest video was published today on PragerU, but all are worth a viewing, at least as a starting point: https://www.prageru.com/presenter/heather-mac-donald/

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Speaking as a non-American, facing up to the less pleasant aspects of your country’s history is going to be a necessary step along the way. In my own country (New Zealand) we have needed several years to work through the issues created for our native people, from the negative impacts of British colonisation in the nineteenth century. We will need many more.

South Africa had a Truth & Reconciliation Commission to help it through the legacies of apartheid, and there’s still a long way to go there.

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Gut-wrenching is right. I’m so sorry. We also have an adopted son from Ethiopia. He’s 15, and struggling to make sense of all of this.

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