What’s the definition of racism? Well, it seems to me that a person is racist if they treat people of a different skin color differently than they treat people of their own skin color. So, if a white person treats a black person differently than they do a white person, then the white person is a racist. Because they’re discriminating on the basis of skin color. So, who are the real racists? Conservatives? Or Progressives?
According to new research by Cydney Dupree, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Yale SOM, white liberals tend to downplay their own verbal competence in exchanges with racial minorities, compared to how other white Americans act in such exchanges. The study is scheduled for publication in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
[…]Dupree and her co-author, Susan Fiske of Princeton University, began by analyzing the words used in campaign speeches delivered by Democratic and Republican presidential candidates to different audiences over the years. They scanned 74 speeches delivered by white candidates over a 25-year period. Approximately half were addressed to mostly-minority audiences—at a Hispanic small business roundtable discussion or a black church, for example. They then paired each speech delivered to a mostly-minority audience with a comparable speech delivered at a mostly-white audience—at a mostly-white church or university, for example. The researchers analyzed the text of these speeches for two measures: words related to competence (that is, words about ability or status, such as “assertive” or “competitive”) and words related to warmth (that is, words about friendliness, such as “supportive” and “compassionate”).
[…]The team found that Democratic candidates used fewer competence-related words in speeches delivered to mostly minority audiences than they did in speeches delivered to mostly white audiences. The difference wasn’t statistically significant in speeches by Republican candidates… There was no difference in Democrats’ or Republicans’ usage of words related to warmth.
More testing confirmed the patronizing white supremacist attitude of whites on the political left:
They designed a series of experiments in which white participants were asked to respond to a hypothetical or presumed-real interaction partner. For half of these participants, their partner was given a stereotypically white name (such as “Emily”); for the other half, their partner was given a stereotypically black name (such as “Lakisha”). Participants were asked to select from a list of words for an email to their partner.
[…]The researchers found that liberal individuals were less likely to use words that would make them appear highly competent when the person they were addressing was presumed to be black rather than white. No significant differences were seen in the word selection of conservatives based on the presumed race of their partner.
Conservatives aren’t racist at all – they’re color blind.
One of the reasons why I get along so well with white conservatives is that they don’t patronize me with low expectations, the way that white leftists patronize non-whites. The view of white progressives is similar to the view of white supremacist racists – they think that there is something defective about people like me because of our non-white skin color.
White supremacists and white progressives agree on this: that non-white people aren’t competent enough to make our own decisions. We need help from big government in order to do what whites can do without help. We need to be told what to think for our own good, and shamed if we step out of line. It’s amazing to me that white racist progressives are seen as “compassionate”, when they are the ones who actually believe in the racial inferiority of non-whites.
BLM parent group M4BL is pro-abortion: “we demand reproductive justice that gives us autonomy over our bodies and our identities.”
BLM parent group M4BL is anti-capitalist. The alternative to capitalism is removing the freedom to buy and sell and putting the government in charge of resources. When government power is absolute, all checks and balances against evil disappear and atrocities become inevitable. I know of 100 million people who didn’t have a good time in anti-capitalist countries, especially minorities.
BLM finds racism in everything with no concept of forgiveness. While masking the much larger and real causes of black inequality in the US. More on that below.
These goals don’t seem very Christian.
Some Christians say they only support the slogan “black lives matter” but not the organization. They’re probably friends with people who call themselves “National Socialists” and enjoy re-explaining to everyone they meet how it’s not actually the German kind. To each their own. Yet better slogans could be used to support black people.
Avoid the slackidasical “all lives matter” retort. That distracts from the real issues:
Black inequality in the US is real. But BLM promotes a false narrative, blaming it entirely on modern systemic racism. If that’s true, why are blacks 3 times more likely to receive government assistance than whites? Why are police are about twice as likely to use lethal force against whites under arrest than blacks (although more likely to use non-lethal force against blacks)?
Before getting to the real reasons let’s first dig into that last source. It comes from the left-leaning Center for Policing Equity. The wording in their report focuses on specific localities where the police are harsher on blacks. But the overall data tells a different story. In tables 6 and 7 on page 20, police are 1.73 times more likely to use lethal force against whites under arrest than blacks, and 2.41 times more likely to use lethal force against whites under arrest for violent offences. Black Lives Matter and the left-leaning media would never tell you this.
Don’t police just arrest blacks way more than whites? Yes, absolutely. You can even find stats showing unarmed blacks are 5 times more likely to be killed by police than unarmed whites, a product of being arrested much more frequently. But unfortunately (trigger warning) it’s because in the US, blacks commit significantly more crime:
I looked up the FBI data this meme links to, converted it to rates per million and got the same result. Non-lethal crimes have a similar proportion by race.
What are the Real Causes of Black Inequality?
Perhaps the court systems are racist and blacks are convicted of murder more often? One could speculate so, but murders involve more investigation than most crimes, and you’d have to argue the system is so biased it only makes it appear as if blacks are 12.8 times more likely to kill whites than whites kill blacks. Quite a stretch.
Use careful grace in sharing these stats, as they’re easily abused by the small number of people wishing to paint blacks as an unredeemable, inferior race. Instead consider the better explanations for black inequality:
2.7 times more black children (65%) grow up in single parent homes than white children (24%). 17% of blacks were born out of wedlock in 1940 but that number is >70% today. Other races also increased but not nearly as much. We know broken families are strongly correlated with poverty, poor education, crime, and many other ills.
As noted, blacks are three times more likely to receive government assistance than whites, a number that’s changed very little in 40 years. If welfare programs lifted people out of poverty, by now shouldn’t we see more than a slight decrease in blacks on welfare? Rather I suspect welfare increases rates of fatherlessness: women don’t need a man when the government pays the bills.
Universities, employers, the government, and the media use “soft racism,” giving special treatment to blacks, sometimes causing an unhealthy and unnecessary inferiority complex.
Due to this persecution narrative, and fear of being called racist, poor behavior among blacks isn’t called out, worsening the broken family cycle. Even being used as an excuse for the poor behavior of the recent rioters. Black CNN journalist Don Lemon received a “firestorm of criticism” for pointing to out-of-wedlock births as a problem among blacks.
I’m curious. Will you argue that fatherlessness leads to negative outcomes among whites, but a 2.7x greater rate among blacks doesn’t significantly increase their negative outcomes? Really?
Perhaps it’s even possible that police target blacks more frequently because these issues actually do lead them to commit more crimes, causing some police to subconsciously be more suspect of blacks? I don’t know if that’s true, but if so who is at fault?
Is Racism Still a Major Issue?
Before continuing please read this piece by conservative commenter David French (white), who adopted his black daughter from Ethiopia. He describes how through many incidents it made him realize racism is still alive and well in America.
Meanwhile, the black economist Thomas Sowell offers a contrary view:
Who’s right? David French says he used to think there were almost no racists. I’m still in that place. I don’t know anyone who is racist other than one or two people I met on strange corners of the internet. After adopting his daughter French discovered that yes, of course racism still exists, outlining several real incidents of bias against her. For example his daughter’s friend said, “My dad says it’s dangerous to go black people’s neighborhoods.” Alt-right trolls even made a cruel meme of his young daughter in a gas chamber.
Such memes are of course reprehensible. But French uses the wrong benchmark. The real question is not if racism exists, but if blacks face greater external hardship than other groups? People who are too smart, dumb, fat, thin, short, tall, attractive, ugly, rich, poor, Christian, or amoral. Or any other category. Almost everyone belongs to at least one. French doesn’t address that question.
Compared to Christian Persecution in the US (Yes, Really)
I can’t answer for most of those groups. But I am a Christian. I’m very glad to live in the US with its many Christian freedoms. I don’t even feel comfortable talking about Christian “persecution” in the US because other parts of the world have it so much worse. Yet there are still examples of anti-Christian discrimination here:
I know a Christian friend who was kicked out of her PhD biology program for being a creationist. An intelligent, articulate, and polite one at that. I used to think people like her must’ve just been belligerent, but I hear similar stories from nearly every creationist or intelligent design proponent I speak to. Many keep their beliefs hidden. Books and documentaries are filled with such stories. Well known professor and textbook author Larry Moran has even called for universities to flunk by default any students who believe in intelligent design: “Flunk the IDiots.” Forbes later wrote a glowing bio of Moran for his stance. Imagine the outrage if Moran called to flunk all black students!
In 2016, hapless Chinese scientists published a paper in the journal PLOS One, stating that the human hand shows “proper design by the Creator.” The remark was in passing and the rest of their paper had nothing to do with the evolution or design. As soon as this was realized, I watched as the backlash unfolded in the comments section. Five editors of PLOS One requested the whole article to be retracted (rather than the wording removed), two of those editors said they’d resign if it wasn’t retracted. Two others said the editor who approved the paper should be fired. And five scientists commented, saying they’d boycott PLOS One. Then the paper was retracted. Even though the Chinese researches explained they only meant to say “mother nature,” and English wasn’t their first language. No other issue with their research was found. That backlash was only for a translation issue. Imagine if they’d been Christians who actually believed God designed life.
Practicing Christians are no longer allowed to hold certain jobs in the United States. A county clerk like Kim Davis cannot in good conscious abet two people into a lifelong commitment to live in sin, yet was jailed for refusing. California once banned all judges who volunteered with the Boy Scouts because the group previously required heterosexual scout leaders.
Many friends often tell me they can’t publicly speak out against homosexual behavior in fear of losing their jobs. I doubt their employers have issue with vegetarians saying meat is murder.
And of course secularists make memes, sometimes violent, mocking Christians all the time. So what.
Imagine if I took the crime stats above and marched around with signs about “white genocide” or “systemic racism” because blacks are more likely to get welfare or whites more likely to be shot while under arrest. That’d make me a complete narcissistic jerk. Or worse if I used it to justify arson, looting, and violence. Yet I’d still be more correct than Black Lives Matter because at least the data supports me.
I don’t think there’s anything special about hardships faced by US Christians. You could make a similarly troublesome list for hardships of unattractive and overweight people, probably worse. I’m not planning any protests for them or for US anti-Christian discrimination. That’s too minor compared to many greater injustices in the world. And please don’t take this and claim I’ve said racism no longer exists. The experiences of David French’s daughter are bad things that need to stop. But unlike in decades past, I’m not convinced it’s currently any worse than hardships faced by any number of other classes of people for a wide variety of reasons.
The Media Amplifies Racism for Profit
A couple weeks ago I posted to Facebook about Israel planning to ban their only Christian news station for proselytizing. Two friends commented that it was a great idea, because Christians indoctrinate people. I get similar comments often. Oh woe is me! But imagine if they’d instead called for banning black history? Call CNN! We found another Amy Cooper!
Although sometimes doing well, George Floyd had a long and sometimes violent criminal record. Nobody thinks he deserved to die. I’m glad the officers involved are being investigated. But put his case in perspective. People do awful things for many reasons. In the United States each year we have:
250,000 deaths from negligent medical errors
1,500 dead from child abuse.
1,000 suspects killed by police (with 90 to 95% attacking police or another person). Among a total police force of more than 800,000.
85 police officers killed.
Despite all that, the deceptive media amplifies any incident with a white perpetrator and black victim. Everyone knows about George Floyd, but few have heard of Tony Timpa (white), who in 2016 also begged for his life as police suffocated and made fun of him. The media gets away with this bias because almost everyone actually does hate racism, leading to collective outrage. So much that it brings riots, looting, and buildings on fire. Plus news media profit from increased news viewership of these riots. While the media ignores many greater injustices in the previous list.
The leftist media then uses Black Lives Matter as a front to push ridiculous leftist policies like defunding the police. Oh you’re against BLM? Racist.
Black inequality in America is real. If you love people of all races as Christ commands, then you should want to solve this problem. That can only be done if we tackle the real causes, and not the left-leaning media’s exaggerated racism narrative that masks them.
Does God care whether we people marry and have children?
Does God care whether Christian parents raise their children to know him?
Should government promote bearing children?
What are some effects of declining birth rates in other countries?
What are the economic effects of declining birth rates?
Who has the right to decide how children are trained: government or parents?
What does the Bible say about parents having to raise children to know him?
Does the government have the responsibility for training children?
What do educational bureaucrats think of parents training children?
What do school boards think of parents training children?
Should school boards be elected by local, state or federal government?
Should Christians be opposed to government-run education? (public schools)
How should schools be viewed by parents? As a replacement or as a helper?
How are schools viewed by those on the left and in communist countries?
How can you measure how supporting a government is of parental rights?
How is parental authority viewed in left-wing EU countries like Germany?
How is parental authority respected in the United States?
Should parents have a choice of where their children go to school?
What is a voucher program? How is it related to parental autonomy?
How does competition (school choice) in education serve parental needs?
Why do public school teachers, unions and educrats oppose competitition?
How well do public schools do in educating children to achieve?
Does the government-run monopoly of public schools produce results?
Does paying more and more money to public schools make them perform?
How do teacher unions feel about having to compete in a voucher system?
Does the public school monopoly penalize the poorest students?
Does the public school monopoly penalize children of certain races?
Does the public school monopoly cause racial prejudice?
What else should parents demand on education policy?
Is it good for parents when schools refuse to fire underperforming teachers?
This podcast is just amazing! This is what we need to be teaching in church. Church should be the place where you go to learn and reflect about how to tailor your life plan based on what the Bible says. And I think that this whole notion of free market – of choice and competition benefiting the consumer (parents) – applies to everything that government does, especially education and health care. The genius of America is that our Founding Fathers engineered a system that reflected all of this knowledge of economics, which then made it much easier for individuals and families to enjoy liberty and a higher quality of life. If we want to keep the benefits, we have to remember why these decisions were made at the founding of our nation.