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Joe Biden said, you ain’t Black if you vote for Trump. Now Jemelle Hill says you’re racist if you vote for Trump. What you think of the President notwithstanding, isn’t this sort of labeling “racism”?

Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility is, according to John McWhorter, a professor at Columbia University, “one of America’s favorite advice books of the moment is actually a racist tract. Despite the sincere intentions of its author, the book diminishes Black people in the name of dignifying us.” Another critique of this book can be found here.

“Karen” is now being used as a racist slur against white women.

“The white culture, according to the museum, is evidenced by such priorities as the nuclear family, a strong work ethic, rugged individualism, and politeness,” so said the African American Museum in Washington, D.C., until a backlash forced them to remove the chart propounding these ideas. The museum also listed Christianity as a whiteness characteristic; this is a new racism being touted as “anti-racism.”

“Blackness” and “Whiteness” are now finding their way into public school curriculums

Going to National Parks is White, and racist?  According to a segment broadcast on ABC News, Yes.

PepsiCo, which owns Quaker Oats, announced plans to retire Aunt Jemima from packaging on its brand of syrup and pancake mixes because it's "based on a racial stereotype." Owners of Uncle Ben's, Mrs. Butterworth's, and Cream of Wheat also announced their products' packaging would be reviewed. Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream said its Eskimo Pie brand would be renamed. Trader Joe's will remove 'racist packaging' of brands including Trader José's, Trader Ming's.

Two great narratives about Black and White are presently in a Cold War.

If calling someone the “N-word” is a terrible racist slur that should not be used, and it is, why isn’t calling someone a “White supremacist” in the same category?

Describing businesses as “white-owned” or “black-owned” is not now simply descriptive but a way of promoting racial division, or what we used to call “segregation.” Something we worked to set aside in the 1960s is now resurrecting in 2020, in the name of anti-racism no less.

Identity politics in one source of this movement and at its worst identity politics is about class or ethic/racial warfare, which argues for inclusion but by definition is exclusionary, often arguing for silencing other views, rather than about ideals, constitutionally enshrined human rights and civil liberties for all. MLK, Jr worked for the latter and would not recognize much that passes for racial justice today, at least not as promoted by Black Lives Matter the organization.

One authority called racism a “mental illness.” Sorry. Not so. It’s sin. Medicalizing or psychologizing the problem won’t make it go away or make it any easier to understand, and certainly not resolve it.

Racism is wrong no matter who expresses it.  Substituting a new racism for the old is not a solution, nor is re-segregating America.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

—Church attendance is not OK (C-19 threat); Protests are OK (no C-19 threat). The illogic on this one is astounding.

—Government orders re COVID-19 pertain only to the virus and produce no collateral damage. Political leaders eager to lockdown states in the name of public health seem to believe their actions don’t have any ripple effects or unintended consequences, but unfortunately, they are wrong.   

Somerville, MA city ordinance (likely the first) legally recognizes polyamorous domestic partnerships, changing the definition of a relationship as an "entity formed by two persons” to an “entity formed by people." 

—Human beings are reducible to race, and racism is the root of every problem, so the solution is to re-segregate America.

Critical race theory promoting identity politics and racist ideology, criticizing traditional families as sexist or oppressive, and leveraging victimhood as a tool to power is good for society.

—American patriotism is passé, or worse, evil, because America is morally illegitimate.

—Lawlessness should not be prosecuted if it fits a “social justice” narrative. 

—Historical illiteracy or revisionism (a.k.a. falsehood) is credible if it advances a “social justice” narrative.

—“People will do what they do” passes for political leadership.

—Silence is violence. This one forgets this is a free country wherein people can choose to speak or not to speak as they see fit.

—To be White or “Whiteness” is ipso facto to be racist, or actually to be fragile and supremacist. Using or calling someone the "N-word" is considered a horrible expression of racism, and I agree, but why then is it OK to call people "White supremacist," also a racist designation?

—“Colorblind” is racist. Contrary to Martin Luther King, Jr’s vision for Blacks to realize their full rights and position as American citizens, many of today’s anti-racist agitators are propounding decidedly racist views.

—-Defund the Police. This is the most irrational idea currently getting traction. It’s about ideology not statistical reality and I am afraid for the cities buying this fantasy. 

In none of this am I suggesting racism does not exist or that we should not work toward liberty and justice for all. Nor am I saying everyone who cares about racial injustice embraces these ideas; they do not. These ideas represent extremes, though right now the extreme seems ascendant in media and public discourse. 

What I am saying is that much that is currently argued in the street and in media propounds failed and dangerous ideas that if adopted will result in more racism, less liberty and justice, and the destruction of liberal democracy. 

This is a substantially more threatening plague than C-19.

In the meantime, the absence of wise adults in the public square is taking an emotional toll on us all.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

1-Created by God in His image.

2-Time, place, demographics appointed by God, all nations from one man.

3-Uniquely gifted, individually significant with ultimate value.

4-Endowed with reason and moral responsibility, thus freedom and accountability.

5-Mandated to develop culture.

6-Fallen, deceitful hearts.

8-Need salvation by grace through faith in Christ.

9-Blessed fulfilling God’s purposes via faith, family, fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace), free enterprise.

10-All races, ethnicities represented in Heaven, the most diverse community ever.

11-No individual reducible to race, for while part of the beauty of Creation, this characteristic is not the sum of existence. 

12-God loves all, we are to love our neighbors, so racism has no place in God’s design.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Words you thought you understood may not now mean what you think they mean. They've been politicized, and some of these terms, while perhaps useful if defined based upon a Christian worldview, may be used in ways that are contrary to biblical values and a Christian worldview.

Examples of words with new meanings include: 

tolerance and intolerance, inclusion, rights, discrimination, gender roles, sex, patriarchy, Western family, racism and anti-racism, systemic racism, colorblind, privilege, white supremacy, justice, sexual equality, cultural relativism, cultural sensitivity, troll, Black Lives Matter—if you mean the organization as opposed to the phrase or movement. These are merely illustrative. There are many more. 

Some changing definitions emerge organically, meaning they come out of common usage.  All languages experience this form of semantic changeEtymology is the study of the history of words.

On the other hand, for ideological or partisan reasons, words can also be redefined intentionally, even at times with meanings in direct contradiction to the original, historic “dictionary definition.” 

Word meanings can be changed and used as political weapons that may be antithetical to a Christian worldview. “Tolerance” is one of those words. If this word means “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one's own,” then a Christian can use this word to good effect. But if this word means “'all values, all beliefs, all lifestyles, all truth claims are equal,” then a Christian cannot use this term and remain consistent with his or her Christian worldview.

I’ve always considered tolerance as a goal for one’s behavior toward others to be a low bar, particularly when the Word says to love our neighbors as ourselves, a much higher bar than simply putting up with others, even in the name of fairness or respect.

Black Lives Matter is the phrase of the moment, but it’s more than that, it’s an organization that stands for a list of goals incompatible with biblical Christianity. Yet Christians are using the term and the symbols, seemingly oblivious of the contradictions. My guess is that many if not most have not read the organization’s website and in their commendable zeal to stand for racial justice they buy into the latest politics.

The Sexual Revolution continues to redefine and politicize words, beginning with gay and moving on to hammer words like transphobia.

The point of all this is to say that words have meaning, and meanings have consequences.  

In Scripture, Psalm 34:13 enjoins us to “keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.”

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Since outrage is the new American pastime, I thought I’d get into the act and list a few personal “outrages.”

1-Abortion on demand, and the “women’s health” offered by Planned Parenthood.

2-Suppression of free speech and the First Amendment…in the name of tolerance?

3-Senseless rioting destroying neighborhoods as political “leaders” go AWOL.

4-Vandalization of America’s founding, ideals, names and places in an ahistorical cancel culture purge.

5-Surrender of public universities as bastions of free inquiry to political correctness totalitarianism and “safe zones,” whatever that is.

6-Adoption in public schools of the bogus “The 1619 Project” as a substitution for real, accurate, and actual American history.

7-Feckless kowtowing of politicians to the new religion of the Left (not classical Liberalism) that brooks no disagreement, demands absolute fidelity to its woke doctrines, offers no forgiveness or grace only shaming for those who question, postures eternal victimhood, and presents itself as the savior of America.

8-American professional sports turning into a politicized circus. 

9-Cultural appropriation, an undefined concept, used as a bludgeon to not just create guilt or yield change but to destroy careers and ruin lives for transgressions of the new holy list of wokeness. 

10-Big Social Media – FB/Instagram, Twitter, Google/YouTube – blithe censorship of content, including religious presentations, they find somehow dangerous to the accepted (i.e., their) narrative.

Meanwhile, genuine discussion about how to extend liberty and justice for all goes wanting. 

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Remember Aesop’s Fable about people foolishly killing the goose that laid golden eggs?  The idea is that short-term greed can motivate people to do stupid things that undermine their long-term well-being.

If we think of the USA as the goose, so to speak, then the golden egg is our individual liberty, including freedom of speech and freedom of religion, specifically as guarded by the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution.

So I could make the case that we are in the process today of killing the goose that laid the golden egg. 

    1. Government overreach responding to the Pandemic.

State governors and city mayors ran roughshod over constitutional civil liberties in the name of public health. Of course, not every decision they made was wrong or bad, but some of them were certainly unwise, even tyrannical. For example, in Michigan, churches were forced to close while abortion clinics, marijuana and liquor stores remained open. In Louisville, church attendees were threatened with surveillance. In Kansas City, an official wanted a list of all church members so his department could track them re public health. In Pennsylvania, churches were threatened by the governor, and in Minnesota churches sued a state public health official for that office's draconian and discriminatory treatment of churches. In California recently, churches were told not to sing during services. 

                 2.  Lawless riots overpowering lawful protest responding to racial injustice, police brutality concerns.

While peaceful protestors tried to make their frustrations about racial injustice known in cities across the country, they were soon and often over-run by people more interested in larceny, looting, arson, and destruction. 

In the name of racial justice, lawless agitators destroyed or defaced statues of Confederate officers, but then well beyond obvious connections to race,defaced or destroyed the statues of abolitionists, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, even Abraham Lincoln and Boston’s monument to the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, an all-Black group of Union soldiers who fought against slavery and the Confederacy. Minority businesses and neighborhoods have been burned or otherwise trashed. In Portland, a statue of an elk was burned, why, no one seems to know, other than anarchy.

Meanwhile, in many cities and states, politicians who earlier had quickly acted in aggressive top-down-power fashion re public health, either stood by helplessly or actually ordered police departments to stand down as mobs trashed their locales.

This kind of arbitrary action or no action vis-à-vis freedom of expression is, to say the least, concerning.

                 3.  Big Social Media Tech: Facebook and Instagram, YouTube and Google, Twitter, and Big Biz: Amazon, positioning itself as arbiter of what’s worthy communications base on its ideological, politically correct viewpoints.

Big Social Media Tech operates with near impunity, blocking content that disagrees with the “accepted” view of C-19 response—in the name of public health calling the blocked material “dangerous” or “misinformation”—block content shared by Christian worship leaders or conservative websites like Prager U, even some of President Trump’s tweets. Certain books that question the legitimacy of LGBTQ+ mantras are rejected from sale via Amazon.

Online communication companies were given protection from lawsuits under the Communication Decency Act, but this assumed they would function as neutral forums and thus could not be libel for what people posted. But of course, now, Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, and Google/YouTube are not neutral.

               4.  Politicians pandering to special interests, again with little regard for constitutional rights.

Politicians are not having their finest hour. Some think they can wield power without concern for constitutional limitations. Others stand by as rioters destroy their neighborhoods. Some politicians even bowed their knee in a bit of political theater making the photo opp they wanted but also making themselves look foolish. Meanwhile, politicians cannot find it in themselves to condemn rioters, this for fear of angering the mob.

               5.  Major public universities creating “free speech zones” and “safe spaces,” limiting discussion of certain topics to just these areas. 

The great day of the public universities as bastions of free inquiry is over. Today, public universities have been captured by people who really don’t believe in truth or a search for truth, or allowing others to hold views with which they are uncomfortable. Free speech on the public university campuses of America is at grave risk

The USA is not perfect.  Never has been. Its history has been checkered by great nobility and great ignobility, triumph and tragedy in social action. But the US is the “First New Nation,” the first and only country ever formed to advance the cause of freedom, including especially life, religious and economic liberty.

From time to time, I’ve reminded people not to confuse what biblical Christianity is about with how the Church or individual Christians, including me, behave.

America is like that. It’s America’s ideals that make it special, not always what we Americans have done.  

Then again, our forebears did a lot of things right as well as things wrong. They handed us a free country, that like Benjamin Franklin, who after a session at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, was asked by a lady what kind of country we would have. He said America would be “a republic, if you can keep it.”

We’ve been given a goose that lays golden eggs. I hope we don’t kill it.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.