I’d like to continue the Fourth of July memory this week with some personal thoughts about the United States.
It’s been my privilege to study in-depth many founding documents of our nation and to teach that subject for years. I gleaned my historical understanding from primary sources through many gifted researchers, authors, and communicators from different racial and social backgrounds.
It’s natural for human beings to love and study their family, church, ethnicity, vocational and country heritage–despite the flaws.
Here’s why I love America–and will stand up for her freedom.
Happy Fourth of July Week from a troubled-but-still-the-free-est-nation in the history of the world.
Sometimes you read an article that smacks of the truth in a way you’ve been thinking but haven’t been able to articulate. The following is such a piece.
Great deception surrounds the racial turmoil in our country this Independence Day.
Are African Americans being used as pawns in the game?
The Myth of Systemic Racism in the USA
Andrew Klavan is an award-winning novelist who writes for the Daily Caller. He recently wrote an honest, no holds-barred refutation of the idea that America promotes “systemic injustice” against African Americans.
You hear that charge everywhere–especially by the Black Lives Matter organization. But I’ve yet to hear anyone back it up with facts or meaningful perspective.
The charge of “systemic racism” in America just doesn’t pass the history/reality test. Klavan uses a bit more sarcasm than I do but makes his point brilliantly.
Black Americans Are Being Used as Pawns by the Leftist Elite
By Andrew Klavan
“Of course, America is not a racist country. It is the least racist country, the only country even to attempt such a high level of multi-ethnicity with such comity and compassion. And there is approximately zero percent systemic racism here, if by systemic racism you mean barriers to advancement of a race built into our systems. That people dislike and distrust one another on tribal grounds is a fact of human life. That hasn’t stopped Jews, Irish, Jamaicans, Nigerians or anyone else from doing well here.”
“Why, then, is it a virtue to pretend? Why should I — an absolutely lovely person who has nothing but good will toward anyone who does not annoy me — apologize for anything I have not done? Indeed, I would like to declare right here and now that when you look upon my bald head, you should see, not atonement for some racial sin, but a great, big old imaginary tattoo telling antifas and Black Lives Matter they can both pound sand.”
“I am told that as a white man I cannot understand another sort of person’s ‘lived experience.’ I am not convinced. I know a fellow who is a racial bigot. He hates black people. We argue. He says: ‘If I am mugged or robbed, it will be a black man who does it. Why should I not hate them?’ I say: ‘Well, there is a history of prejudice and oppression that has made the black situation difficult.’ He says: ‘What do I care? I just don’t want to be mugged — and in my lived experience, it’s the blacks I have to fear.’”
“’Lived experience’ is not a proof of anything. Facts, as a friend of mine might say, don’t care about your ‘lived experience.’ ‘Lived experience’ is where you begin the search for truth.”
“Here is the truth. Seventy-two percent of black Americans are satisfied with the performance of their local police departments, according to a new Monmouth University poll. Researchers at Harvard, University of Maryland, and Michigan State University all similarly, in the words of one researcher, ‘didn’t find evidence for anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparity in police use of force across all shootings, and, if anything, found anti-White disparities when controlling for race-specific crimes.’ (This was reported by Jason Riley in the Wall Street Journal.)”
“There are more than 800,000 police officers in the United States: that’s somewhere around the population of San Francisco. Some of those officers are going to be bad guys. Even if it’s only five percent — which would place police officers somewhere between the angels and the saints — that’s over 40,000 villains in blue. Meanwhile, blacks commit a disproportionate amount of crime. Thirteen percent of our population committed 53 percent of the murders and 60 percent of the robberies in 2018. (This was reported in the Wall Street Journal by Heather Mac Donald.)”
“In other words, it is only a matter of time before a bad cop has an unpleasant encounter with a black person who is committing a crime. These are the two people least likely to extract a good outcome from the morass of history and sociology. Bad things are going to happen.”
“But since these bad things are not representative, why do I have to pretend that they are? Why should I think for even a moment that riots and looting are a justifiable response? I understand the anger these awful incidents cause, and I do believe reforms are desirable. But since, according to a Monmouth poll, 73 percent of Americans support the protesters’ cause, whom are they protesting against? And where’s the racism?”
“Impoverished black people are being used as pawns in the Left’s game of thrones. As Daniel Henninger wrote in the WSJ this week, “Fifty-five years of leftist policies have sent trillions of dollars’ worth of Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, public housing, rent subsidies and federal aid to public schools into poor neighborhoods governed by the Left, and very little in those neighborhoods has changed.”
“But those trillions of dollars represent patronage jobs and they create political dependency that keeps the Left in power while keeping poor black Americans poor. If they are not kept poor, Democrats will lose power and money. Why would Democrats help them then? It’s against their own interest. Instead, they inspire them to anger and disorder, creating the sort of crisis the Left will not let go to waste.”
“So, go ahead, white leftists. Kneel down. But if you debase yourself before a child without a father, he still has no father. If you debase yourself before a man without a job, he still has no job. If you debase yourself while destroying charter school programs and defending horrendous public housing — why then, you are a Democrat and well and truly debased. Kneel down.”
“Russian collusion was a leftist hoax. Brett Kavanaugh hysteria was a leftist hoax. The overlong pandemic lock down was a leftist hoax. So is systemic racism.”
“There are surely legacies of Jim Crow in this country. I have a heart for my fellow citizens who suffer from them. I strongly support the charter schools and housing plans and social and religious teaching that will ease their difficulties.”
“But what’s happening now will do nothing for anyone, except maybe the powerful leftist elites who are using those citizens for their own gain.”
Think about some of the truths Klavan mentions:
- America is the least racist large nation in the world (China, India, Russia don’t compare).
- Tribalism is a human reality, but never stops the advance of character and drive for success.
- A large majority of African Americans need and want the police in their neighborhoods.
- Doling out money never solves social problems. Faith and character do (Martin Luther King).
- Reforming some police practices will help while respecting their vital role in society.
- Kneeling changes nothing in the sociological world (while it’s great in prayer).
- The “hate police and destroy property” movement is the latest leftist hoax after Russian collusion, the Kavanaugh hearing, impeachment etc.
- African Americans are being used as pawns to destroy the American nation.
I can only think of two aspects of “racism as a system” in the USA. Both involve the same villain–the Democrat Party and its allies.
The first is the Dem’s endless rejection of school choice (vouchers) which confines many African American children to under-performing schools. That’s a rigged system. The second is the welfare state mentioned by Klavan which rewards “the masters” and imprisons its “dependents.”
African Americans vote regularly for these policies by giving Democrats 90% of their ballots.
So, what really must change to empower the disadvantaged among us?
Let freedom ring.
As Bernie Sanders becomes the front-runner in the presidential race and the Democratic Party appears to be morphing into the “Socialist Workers Guild,” it might be helpful to examine one of the extreme ideas that has emerged from those precincts.
It’s the notion that today’s American citizens should pay reparations (money) to all those descended from slaves.
I have news for the unthinking: Everyone’s ancestors were once slaves.
So, where do you begin–to be “fair?”
Everybody’s Ancestors Were Slaves
Yesterday Bill O’Reilly shared on his podcast (I recommend you sign up for it at billoreilly.com) that for the first time in his life he needs to vocally resist the ideas of the current Democratic Party because they would be disastrous for America.
Those ideas include open borders, the Green New Deal, socialism, killing babies after birth, climate change hysteria, Medicare for All, forcing LBGTQ norms on society, and a host of other radical measures.
Reparations for slavery is one of their absurdly hurtful proposals.
Megan Henney of Fox Business describes the issue (June 20, 2019):
“As the 2020 race begins to heat up, some of the biggest talking points and policy debates are beginning to come into focus. That includes the discussion of reparations for the descendants of slaves in the U.S., a policy that’s been addressed by several Democratic presidential hopefuls – a marked turn from previous election cycles. Both Hillary Clinton the 2016 Democratic nominee and former President Barack Obama opposed reparations.”
“Although critics argue that reparations are impractical to calculate how to fairly distribute, a new paper published in the Social Science Quarterly estimated it could cost between $5.9 trillion and $14.2 trillion ($150,000-$300,000 to every African-American). The author of the paper calculated that number based on the number of hours all slaves worked in the U.S. from when the country was officially established in 1776.”
Henney quotes some former and current Democratic candidates on reparations:
Cory Booker: “Our country is not truly free from the historically rooted and hideous legacy of slavery. I believe right now, today, we have a historic opportunity to break the silence, to speak to the ugly past and talk constructively about how we will move this nation forward.”
Booker has introduced a bill in the Senate that calls for a “study of reparations.”
Elizabeth Warren is one of the 12 co-sponsors of the Senate bill. She says, “We must confront the dark history of slavery and government-sanctioned discrimination in this country that has had many consequences including undermining the ability of black families to build wealth in America for generations,”
Another co-sponsor is Kamala Harris:
“When you are talking about the years and years and years of trauma that were experienced because of slavery, because of Jim Crow and because of all that we have seen in terms of institutional and legal discrimination and racism, this is very real and it needs to be studied. We need to look at exactly how the response should be played out.”
Julian Castro, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary and San Antonio mayor was one of the first presidential candidates to say he would consider reparations for black people in the U.S.
“I’ve long believed the country should consider reparations because of the atrocity of slavery. I also believe that we’re never going to fully heal as a country from the racial divide until we’ve addressed the tremendous wrong that was done with slavery.”
Bernie Sanders also co-sponsored Booker’s bill but has some concerns.
“I think what we have got to do is pay attention to distressed communities: black communities, Latino communities, and white communities, and as president, I pledge to do that…and I think there are better ways to do that than just writing out a check.”
Only former vice president Joe Biden has not endorsed reparations in the Booker “study” bill.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the following recommendation in the 2020 Democratic presidential platform this summer:
Every non-black in American needs to pay up for slavery.
Could any public policy be more absurd or expensive than that? (Unfortunately, that answer is yes but I digress.)
Have we so lost our common sense in the West that we forget that ALL our ancestors were once slaves to other nations?
- During the Roman Empire, half of its citizens were slaves–for nearly one thousand years. Should we send a bill to Italy?
- China and Mongolia made each other slaves for centuries–and finally built the Great Wall of China over the conflict (in which 2 million slaves died during its construction). Should Ulaanbaatar write Beijing a check?
- European nations took turns being the slaves for centuries. The Vikings made slaves of the Celts. The Visigoths enslaved the Slavs. Come to think of it, my German ancestors were slaves of the Goths for hundreds of years. Should I appeal to Angela Merkel for a reparations check?
- In the 20th century, the USSR enslaved numerous nations and the Imperial Japanese raped and oppressed the Chinese for a decade. Time to make that right with money?
As ugly as slavery is, during the seven thousand years of human history, more people have served as slaves of another culture than enjoyed the blessings of freedom. In some centuries they were the conquerors and in others the conquered.
Who should be paid? How far back should we go? What if you are half-slave? Or one-tenth?
We have been told by the New York Times via the “1619 Project” that America was founded on slavery. That was 400 years or ten generations ago.
Thank God a wiser group has countered their propaganda. The Woodson Center announced recently sponsorship of “1776,” a collection of essays and other material mostly written by black scholars and community and business leaders.
Their goal is to tell “the complete history of America and black Americans from 1776 to present.”
But not ask for money.
Coleman Hughes, an undergraduate student at Columbia University, is one of the contributors to “1776.” He says, ““Today, we are challenging that  false narrative. Any argument that says the institution of slavery is what makes America unique must grapple with the fact that slavery was practiced in almost every society on earth until just a few centuries ago, as well as the fact that most of those societies have done far less to acknowledge and atone for it.”
“To point to America’s worst sins,” Hughes said, “is to point out what is least unique about us.”
And you can’t pay for past sins.
God’s Word says it best:
“‘Doesn’t the child pay for the parent’s sins?’ No! For if the child does what is just and right and keeps my decrees, that child will surely live. The person who sins is the one who will die. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins.”
“Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness. But if wicked people turn away from all their sins and begin to obey my decrees and do what is just and right, they will surely live and not die” (Ezekiel 18:19-21).
In a book I co-authored this past summer about the life of Dr. Corinthia Boone, she recalls that her grandparents, who were children of freed slaves (just one generation removed), never demanded “a hand-out, just a hand up.”
Let’s follow their example–through the love of Jesus Christ.
Everyone’s ancestors were slaves.
Let’s leave the past behind–and offer a helping hand to everybody who needs one.