Racism. "Black lives matter." White privilege. Protesting, violence, looting and riots. Police misconduct and abuse of authority. How do I sort it all out?
For my own sanity, after having read countless articles, blogs and listened to podcasts and videos, I have written these points to clarify what I believe. In these points, obviously I am not trying to give a full defense of them, but rather simply to elucidate them. Which do you agree with?
1. Racism is the stereotyping of a race to demean or discriminate against them. The corollary is also true: racism can express itself as elevating one race over others.
2. Racism is real. It is evil. It has both historical roots and present expressions. It should always be exposed, resisted and rejected.
3. Racism is at heart a human issue—it has been with us since the beginning. To be countered, there must be a change in the individual human heart. The church must be a place where there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, but all are one in Christ (Galatians 3:28). Only the Gospel can achieve this.
4. There have been and are societal structures and laws that are racist—that demean and discriminate against people of a certain race, and must be identified and changed. (Think Jim Crow laws.)
5. The opposite of racism is not favoritism to compensate for past racism, but equal justice for all under the law, and equal opportunity to better oneself or one’s situation.
6. I am not a racist. My denial does not absolve me from racism. Neither is my denial a de-facto proof of my racism.
7. “Black Lives Matter” as a value or sentiment or rallying cry for protesting against racism is commendable, and something I wholeheartedly embrace.
8. The international organization, “Black Lives Matter” has an agenda that goes far beyond abolishing racism, to include open borders, redistribution of wealth, the more radical gay and transgender agenda, the toppling of the American government and the establishment of a socialist system. As a citizen of the United States with a voice, I stand against these goals. (If and when they clearly repudiate these goals, I would stand with them against racism.)
9. Law Enforcement Officers are mostly good. Some badly abuse their power, and darken the perception that all cops are bad. Defunding or even dismantling the police is a terrible idea for civilization. That said, certain police reforms are arguably needed (e.g. choke holds, asset forfeiture).
10. White privilege (or privileges given to those who are Caucasian) exists. There are also privileges given to those who are citizens, or who are born into a certain economic class (middle or upper class). Our sex/gender gives us some privileges that the opposite might not have. Being born without a handicap gives us privileges. The problem is that life is not, and will never be perfectly fair—meaning everyone must experience equality of outcomes through an imposed Marxist Socialism. Instead, we ought to promote freedom to improve oneself and one’s situation, and encourage personal responsibility.
12. On the conservative/liberal spectrum, nearly all news media as well as social-media pegs the left side, while promoting itself as neutral and unbiased. A fair amount of propaganda is unwittingly consumed regularly and shapes our society’s outlook and values.
13. We have lost our ability to discourse rationally, to listen well to each other, to argue facts and perceptions without being nasty or name-calling. We polarize. Censorship is happening, and the First Amendment has mostly been ignored. We are fast becoming a nation where we do not reason with dissenters, we silence them.
14. There is a mob-mentality at work in our society. It is about being louder, and more threatening, and demanding conformity to the rule of the mob. We see it in the fact that one must confess (almost religiously), “Black lives matter,” without adding to it (e.g. “Black lives matter. Blue lives matter. Indigenous people’s lives matter”), or modifying it in any way” (e.g. “Because all Lives matter, black lives matter”). The only acceptable confession is, “Black lives matter” (then shut up).
15. Many real problems are tangled together, though not necessarily related: racism, abuse of power by law enforcement, white-privilege, media bias and censorship, political polarization, and the breakdown of morals and families. Each of these spheres intersect, but do not necessarily and completely footprint each other. For instance, some abuse of power may be racially related, but not all is. Some protesting is violent and leads to rioting and looting, but clearly not the majority of it. To address problems, we must think clearly about real causes and address them, without assuming motives.