Thoughts on Our Cultural Riot

Protesters set up a guillotine outside the home of billionaire Jeff Bezos on June 28, 2020. A flyer promoting the march on Bezos's home called for an end to his "abuse and profiteering" and to "abolish the police, the prisons, and Amazon."
  • It is unequivocally true that black lives do indeed matter. This is obvious to the point of banality.
  • Racism in America today is real. "What I find most heartbreaking," Randy Alcorn writes, "is the intense pain felt by black brothers and sisters in Christ whose life experiences are so different from those of us who are white. Love means trying to put ourselves in their shoes and seeking to dialogue and understand why their views differ from ours—and why if we were black we would probably think very differently than we do about racial prejudice and instinctively trusting the police."
  • “I personally integrated the schools in the South and had to walk past angry mobs yelling names at me,” adds Kay Coles James, the former dean at my alma mater. Even in the year 2020, things like “driving while black” are real problems. “We don’t make this stuff up,” she says. “It’s real and it happens.”
  • "We've come a long way on the issue of race in America," U.S. Senator James Lankford recently said on the Senate floor, "but we clearly have a very long way to go." 
And Yet ...
  • “Pointing out that there are things that we need to fix in this country,” says Mrs. James, “is not the same as equating that this country is a racist nation. It is not. .... I believe that the Founders gave us a gift, a gift of a form of government that allows us to work through our problems to fix them. No other country on the Earth, none is as exceptional as this nation.”
  • "The pretext for this entire nationwide riot is that America is a racist country," the Claremont Institute declares. "America is not a racist country. America is a country that has strived, imperfectly but passionately, to live up to its founding promise that all men are created equal. There is not—and will never be—a greater barrier to racism, or to tyranny in any form, than this American idea."
  • Black economist (and former Philly cab driver) Walter Williams puts it well: As a group, black Americans have made the greatest gains, and in a shorter span of time, than any other racial group in history. Nowhere else on earth could such progress been achieved except in the United States of America.
  • Civil rights leader Shelby Steele says "blacks have never been less oppressed."
  • Civil rights leader Robert L. Woodson says "there are a small group of people hell-bent on destroying this republic. They are using our birth defect of slavery to devalue our founding principles and virtues, and using race grievance as its weapon. We must resist."
  • Gallup finds that 81% of blacks want police to spend the same amount of or more time in their area, whereas 19% want police to spend less time. Why do pallid progressives insist on whitesplaining to blacks that they don't really know what's best for them? Doing so seems—oh, what's the word?—racist.
  • "The 'institutional racism' canard bears no resemblance to reality—not in police forces, and not in America," Andrew McCarthy writes. "The most dangerous threat to the African-American community in America is not cops. It is liberals. The United States is not institutionally racist. The political system, the criminal-justice system, and academe overflow with political progressives. The notion that they would tolerate racism in their institutions would be laughable if sensible people were encouraged to think about it rather than mindlessly accept it."
  • Obviously, we should "hold officers accountable who use excessive force," Heather Mac Donald writes. "But there’s no evidence of widespread racial bias."
  • "Activists have shoehorned the George Floyd episode into a pre-existing narrative about race and policing," black columnist Jason L. Riley writes. "The reality is more complex. The data don’t show racial bias in police use of deadly force. A few viral videos don’t prove otherwise." 
Racial Reconciliation
  • "Should we reconcile blacks and whites who were caught up in bitter enmity with each other? Of course." Unfortunately, "the current received wisdom among respectable white folks is that ethnic harmony can be achieved if only they adopt the demeanor and posture of a guilty Labrador Retriever who ate the slippers. But you cannot develop a relationship with your brother by crawling on your belly. Stand up, look your brother in the eye, and talk to him like you were both Christians. If a black brother comes to me with an admonition or rebuke, and he has an open Bible with him, may God give me the grace to hear him out completely. If I come to him with an open Bible, may God give him the grace to hear me out in the same way. But if anybody, white or black, comes to me in the name of that bitch goddess intersectionality, I have absolutely no time for that crap. I am a Christian, and don’t want to lend an ear to any prophecies from that woman Jezebel. There is no proclaimed gospel in the New Testament that does not begin with the word repent. And when we preach this gospel to sinners, white or black, we must name the particular sins that they need to repent of. We do not urge them to turn away in a mild and inarticulate dismay from anything they may or may not have done that was less than proper. The only thing we can repent of is sin. And sin is defined by the Bible. It is a sin for cops to abuse suspects they have apprehended. It is a sin to loot a Target. It is not a sin to be white or black.
  • Sadly, "there are many 'gospel-centered' very white preachers today who, if directly commanded by the archangel Gabriel to go and preach repentance for specifically black sins to black men and women, would choose rather to wet themselves. This is because they do not love black men and women, but rather themselves. Because they love themselves, they want to be seen as being all about racial reconciliation. But seeming and being are two different things. White men can never bring about real reconciliation with black men by flattering them."
  • "Seeing African Americans, or Muslims, or Jews, as part of victimized minority collectives is a toxic formulation that ensures that we are never treated fairly as individuals—and denies us the ability to exercise real power," writes Zaid Jilani.

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