Things I Think…

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205 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    there are few greater joys than offending and feeling offended. <<<

    Actually, being of British heritage where people apologize to the person who just stepped on their foot, I immediately feel queasy if I think I have offended someone and if someone offends me, I do a mental inventory to figure out where I went wrong. This is not piety on my part, just DNA, I reckon.

  2. Josh the Baptist says:

    #8 – I think all white people in this country do bare some responsibility for the racial inequality in our country.

  3. Michael says:


    How so?

  4. Josh the Baptist says:

    How can we not? It is so like us to say “There is a race problem in our country”…and then point at someone else. Until we all start realizing that we have been complicit and even profited from our racist culture, nothing ever changes. I can’t do anything about “that other racist guy.” I can do plenty about trying to make things better in my world.

  5. Michael says:


    If I don’t understand how I’ve been complicit, I can’t remedy it.

    I do know that as a person who has always lived in a place that is 90% Caucasian, there is much I’m ignorant about…

  6. John 20:29 says:

    Pontificated on this over on LinkedIn before I saw this post… Suffice to sat, it’s time for compassion and maturity on all sides.. IMHO

  7. Josh the Baptist says:

    It’s hard to explain in a quick blog comment. It probably takes years of opening your eyes a little at a time. I’m sure I’ll understand more years from now. But we’ll start with a really brief view of the issue that NFL players were protesting to begin with:

    Black men in this country do not feel safe being pulled over for a routine traffic stop. That sounds unreasonable to some of you, but just try to understand. My black friends and family all tell me the same thing. If they ever get pulled over, they go into panic mode, because they feel they might be shot. I’ve been pulled many, many times, and while unpleasant, I’ve never once felt in fear for my life.

    And since I’ve never had to deal with that fear, I assume that there fear is invalid and dismiss it. Meanwhile, nothing changes. Black men get shot, live in fear for no good reason, but that’s OK because it’s not my problem. That’s complicity.

    You could say black people should stop committing crimes, but then you’d have to ask yourself why they are in these places that are conducive to criminal activity to begin with. Are they genetically inferior? NO! We have robbed them of their culture, shoved them into little boxes like a sick social experiment.

    But I can sit at home and say I’m not guilty, It’s not my problem…but that will absolutely ensure that the problem continues.

  8. David H says:

    We are not individually complicit in the social injustice in this country. We are complicit if we kept sweeping it under the rug. And, in fact, that’s what’s been happening for decades. It’s hard to speak up in a community that doesn’t think they have a problem, or that one doesn’t really exist.

    I’ve spent years speaking up against racist hate groups, as a teacher, college instructor, and a home fellowship leader. For me there is no middle ground. That’s how we should be doing it. I’m not going to let slide the indifference to racism, and prejudice. For me indifference is a worse option than someone having the guts to flat out say, “I’m a racist, and I don’t like such and such group.” I’m tired of the deceit of certain leaders, who by their actions and words are racists, and bigots, but continually deny it.

    Sidebar, Back in 1996, I was a lecturer at a local community college. I was teaching US History, and Reconstruction in particular. During a class, I was lecturing about the KKK. I was outlining the horror of the Klan, and brought up Tom Metzger, leader of the White Aryan Resistance (WAR). Metzger lived about 30 miles from the community college, and was well known in the area. I made a crack about, “how can people follow a failed TV repairman.” Little did I know one of the students was a member of WAR. Said student, rose up and started telling me that Metzger was a nice guy, and “had great BBQs.” Then he stormed out. He went to the dean, and wrote a grievance about me. The dean called me into the office, told me not to be concerned, and threw away the complaint. Today, in this climate, I might actually lose my job.

  9. Michael says:

    Great stuff, Josh and David…

  10. Duane Arnold says:

    #7 Josh

    Agreed 150%…

    We see things in black and white (no pun intended). When I worked in Detroit, I was the minority – an interesting experience. I lived in the suburbs. Inviting an African American colleague to dinner was always an experience, such as, would this distinguished man and wife, both with Princeton PhDs, be pulled over driving through the suburbs to my home? It happened about half of the time. It was almost expected. By the way, I was never pulled over driving through Detroit…

    The question remains are we complicit. Possibly? In Detroit when any committee or board was formed, we always asked the question, “How many people of color are on the board?” It was not about quotas but to have a different perspective represented. Living in Indianapolis, I have never heard that questioned being asked… unless I ask it… and it is always uncomfortable to raise the issue. If I don’t raise the issue, however, I am complicit, even if in a small way. Just my opinion.

  11. Steve says:

    There is not really a racial problem in this country since I believe there is only one race: The human race. And we are fighting against each other. The false theory of human evolution has probably done more to accentuate the idea of different races which I believe creates these imaginary enemies in peoples mind. This is simply not true.

  12. anon says:

    but you vote democrat and democrats are the party of abortion and the sole reason we have the murdering of ‘the least of these’ in our nation.

    that discredits you right off the get-go. why should others listen to you if you can’t influence your own group to stop perpetrating such evil.

    leftist christians waving their finger at others is akin to the holocaust of the jews and you are a world war ii era german telling us to get our act together in other areas.

    until you leftists deal with the abortion log in your eye….

  13. Josh the Baptist says:

    Don’t know who that was aimed towards. I’m not a democrat?

  14. Michael says:


    1. I’m not active in Democratic party politics.
    2. I’m not a leftist.
    3. I oppose abortion.
    4. This comment is in violation of our commenting standards (see Pages on the right hand sidebar) and any further comments from you will now be moderated.

  15. Michael says:

    In conjunction with that policy, no responses to # 12 are necessary or desired.


  16. David H says:

    We can’t go backwards. In the present climate, that’s what is happening.

    The heinous blatant racism we’re watching right now, has always been an underground stream in American life. It’s been easy for people to hide it. Now in the present socio-political climate, it’s coming out in the open. Watching it happen is scary.

    I know folks that I used to call friends that started to plant their roots into racism. When we first met the family they were kind of “hippie Christians/Calvaryites. Things took a dramatic turn in 2008. With Obama’s election, it was like a switch flipped (as I look back. That was merely an appearance. The seeds had been there, albeit carefully hidden.). Almost without warning they began supporting “gun rights,” “birtherism,” and “the militia movement.” As the years wore on they became more and more strident. The seething hatred of minorities of all kinds was palpable.

    It’s been a tough year. I’m a continuation high school teacher in San Bernardino, CA. My students are almost all Latino, and African American. I’ve been at this school for almost three years, and I love these kids. I’ve seen the devastating hurt and pain my Latino kids feel. It breaks my heart. They’re tough kids, but you can feel a heaviness. Now, in a turn of a few words about a sport, my African American kids, are getting a proverbial beat down, again. Charlottesville was a turning point in the slide. I can’t get inside their heads, but they’re scared when it seems OK to be a white supremacist.

    I really don’t care about folks splitting hairs about hate, and racism. There is nothing even remotely redeeming about it. If you are a racist, it’s time to reflect on the horror that’s within you. I don’t see it happening.

    I didn’t devote years of my education studying radical groups in America to sit back and not speak up. Stand up and be counted.

  17. Jean says:


    I think the Sermon on the Mount is a gold mine of Christian theology. I can’t imagine why Mathew would have included that sermon in his gospel written decades after Christ’s resurrection if it is not preserved for His disciples of all generations.

  18. David H says:

    I’m with Jean. The Sermon on the Mount is crucial for living in Christianity. It’s not meant to be easy.

  19. Steve says:

    People should watch Ben Stein’s “Expelled”. To me racism is fueled by teaching human evolution.

  20. Michael says:

    Racism far predates the theory of evolution…

  21. David H says:

    Michael #20, I didn’t want to stir up a storm. Thanks.

  22. Steve says:

    It sure doesn’t predate it by millions of years!

  23. John 20:29 says:

    Somehow, as I see it, the thing we’re now calling racism has been around forever… one can be on the bottom side of the issue and still have the root that surfaces as racism… “whitie” and “gringo” carry a slur too… resentment festers even if the cause of it is justified
    IMV we first saw this flaw raise its head in a pair of brothers named Cain and Abel… Did Abel feel superior? dunno, maybe just a tad smug? dunno but Cain could have found a better resolution – I guess that’s obvious…
    What doesn’t seem obvious today is the humility needed on all sides to reach our better resolution… it will probably never involve those who like to feel superior by declaring another inferior – never ever … like the poor, these types will always be with us …
    But we can overcome evil with good, I understand…

  24. Josh The Baptist says:

    One more thumbs up for Jean.

    How would we say we follow Jesus if we say His teachings are not for us? Doesn’t make sense.

  25. Michael says:

    My internet has been down all afternoon and evening…
    Yes, thumbs up for Jean.
    I’m still waiting for Steve to share with us how a book written in 1879 caused racism…15 years after the Civil War which was about…racism.

  26. Josh The Baptist says:

    Darwin’s theory has certainly been used for racist ends since its inception, but no, not anywhere close to the beginning of racism.

  27. Steve says:

    I didn’t say that Darwin’s book on evolution caused racism. I said the modern theory of “Human” evolution is only fueling it in today’s climate. If you look at the Neo-nazi white supremacy type its not hard for me to see that Hitler was energized by a belief in making a genetic superior race. When you view humans as belonging to only one race, there is no such thing as racism. The term racism looses its power.

  28. Michael says:


    With all due respect, that’s silly.
    We have to recognize and address our sins against the other, not pretend like differences and prejudice don’t exist.

  29. Steve says:


    I’m not pretending differences don’t exit. But I would say the differences and prejudices we sometimes have are more related to culture than biology.

  30. filbertz says:

    Michael, without a doubt, racism continues to dog American society. The protests today create their own furor instead of focusing on the issue at hand. Kneeling at a pro sports game doesn’t energize/mobilize masses against racism, it apparently perpetuates racial backlash. As a white male, I’m largely embarrassed by the lack of empathy and understanding exhibited by the majority of my ilk, and the complete lack of willingness to engage in the process of trying to discover and explore the issue. As the parent of a son who is bi-racial (black and white) who could pass for Hispanic, Middle Eastern, or Black, I know the risks and dangers faced by minorities–just because of their skin color. I have yet, in 25 years, to engage in a conversation with another white person about the challenges my son faces simply because he’s minority–there is absolutely NO interest in knowing. There seems to be a commitment to status quo.

  31. Michael says:


    I wish you’d write something for all of us on the subject.
    You have a perspective that might open a few minds…

  32. filbertz says:

    while I have elaborated numerous times about why we generally don’t attend church, a significant reason has to do with how my kids were treated at church. The judgment was harsh, unwarranted, inconsistent, unloving, and, frankly, unchristian. My son who I referenced in the previous comment was scrutinized by the youth leaders as dangerous to boys as a hooligan and to girls for sexual exploitation. He was no rowdier than his buddies and actually more respectful of girls than his friends.

  33. JD says:

    My daughter was accused and abused and scrutinized as dangerous to boys and girls alike beginning at age 8 when the pastor called her a liar and banned her from Sunday school, because she told us what was going in there. Millstone anyone? It’s easy to for them to villify a child, but they’ll have to answer for that. We’ll never trust any church leader again.

  34. JD says:

    Yes that includes you, whomever you might be……
    And to prove the point, she was also raped by two boys from church, and leadership did nothing but ostracize and blame us and her.
    So let’s get together and have a good time next Sunday for some sweet fellowship and popular commercial song worship and we’ll even give you some money for your trouble. Eat gravel!

  35. John 20:29 says:

    My favorite grandson’s S.S. teacher told my daughter that he had a demon – they changed churches… My dearest friends’ son received a letter from their church questioning his faith and dropping him from membership because he was not coming regularly when he started college – they changed churches…
    When a church’s leadership is corrupt there is absolutely no reason to stay … IMHO. … but speaking of mindless sweeping prejudices …. ? ….

  36. Captain Kevin says:

    JD and Em, what’s that saying about power corrupts? Oh that people like these would look back and see the trail of tears they’ve created!

  37. Surfer51 says:

    Finally someone tells it like it is. Great job!

  38. Captain Kevin says:

    David H, I grew up in Oceanside, not far from Metzger’s town of Fallbrook. The two towns border one another, but couldn’t have been any less alike culturally. Metzger fit in quite well in his country town, but not so much in our more urbanized, seaside town. I went to school with blacks, whites, orientals, hispanics and a good sized population of Samoans. Racism just never entered the equation for me and my friends. A bygone era, to be sure.

  39. Brandon says:

    I find point 1 a bit hard to swallow, especially looking at the history. Kaepernick’s protesting started with sitting on the bench rather than kneeling. An American veteran in the NFL wrote him an open letter, not asking him to stop protesting but to consider posture. Kaepernick invited him to San Fran to talk (and he went). During the discussion the veteran explained how sitting could come off and asked him to consider kneeling because it’s both a sign of respect to the military and flag AND carries the message of protest that Kaepernick and Reid and others wanted to get across. In response, they immediately changed their posture out of respect. It’s a misconstrual of the short history of this protest to say that they haven’t listened. It is though an excellent tactic of those that want to silence the actual message of the protest to make it about something it was never intended to be.

  40. Steve says:


    I am white and have a daughter who of what you would call is mixed race. I could potentially engage you on this issue about racism. However the issue to me is not about race at all. If it were, why is there practically zero talk about the Japanese internment camps during ww ll. We never had a Japanese president have we? Possible we should if we really want to be serious about social justice but again this is not the issue. If you do an DNA test on all of us, you will find we have every possible race in us to some degree. How much white race DNA or black race DNA is enough to justify these kinds of arguments? We are all equal under God. There is one human race period and I don’t see the benefit of making these distinctions in biology to cause more segregation. I have yet to see this blog address the mixed race minorities that you have just brought up. I have to agree with you that it is super challenging for your son. Don’t give up though, I think he’s a precious gift from God.

  41. Josh the Baptist says:

    ” I have yet to see this blog address the mixed race minorities that you have just brought up.”

    If there is only one race, how can there be mixed-race minorities?

  42. Steve says:

    Josh, there really are not. Race is a recent made up term used to divide in my opinion. I only used this term to show the ridiculousness of these arguments. I’m not diminishing the fact people are discriminated on the basis of skin color. But to end this unfair discrimination we must to some extent become color blind all around.

  43. Scooter Jones says:

    Speaking of the NFL, here’s a CNN Money article about how the NFL receives hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies via tax payers.

  44. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Scooter, the tax subsidies are not forced on the tax payers – the are given to the team’s willingly. Look what happened last year in San Diego. The Chargers wanted a new stadium and they wanted the tax payers to pay for it. It came up on the ballot and was defeated.
    So the Chargers went out and found a different sucker city.

  45. Steve says:

    I just looked this up for curiosity. fascinating!

    Usage note
    Genetic evidence has undermined the idea of racial divisions of the human species and rendered race obsolete as a biological system of classification. Race therefore should no longer be considered as an objective category, as the term formerly was in expressions like the Caucasian race, the Asian race, the Hispanic race.Instead, if the reference is to a particular inherited physical trait, as skin color or eye shape, that salient feature should be mentioned specifically: discrimination based on color.Rather than using race to generalize about national or geographic origin, or even religious affiliation, it is better to be specific: South Korean, of Polish descent.

  46. filbertz says:

    Steve, from my vantage point, issues like Japanese internment, Native American displacement to reservations, Jim Crow laws, and so forth, are filtered from the conversation because of who controls the conversation–including the publishing and purchasing of textbooks. It has been fine, even embraced, in most schools to address the Holocaust in Europe due to the atrocities of the enemy, the Nazi party in Germany. When it is us, we don’t want the dirty laundry aired.

  47. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Now race issues work both ways. My ex son in law is of Tex-Mex heritage, so my grandkids have the ‘browner’ skin and the name.
    When my daughter, who is whiter than a GE light bulb feels she is denied services or placement for the kids has no problem playing the Hispanic card.
    Why are these special goodies in place? The point is everyone considers race probably more than they think about.

  48. Steve says:

    Fil, When you say ‘us’, I assume you are referring to our founding fathers in America? Yep, they were flawed big time. What does that have to do with most of us? For one, my great grand parents were immigrants to this country. I have no lineage back to the pilgrims and puritans who first started this experiment we all call America.

  49. Josh the Baptist says:

    Steve, that is the problem I was trying to address yesterday. You make no claim to guilt, yet enjoy the benefits that being white in America has brought you.You seem to want to say, “Hey, I never owned a slave, we’re all on equal ground.”, but one look out the window should let you know that is not reality. It is wonderful that you have no active thought towards degrading black people, but that’s not enough. For there to ever be change, and the world to exist as you want it be, we have to sacrifice to make things that way. Status quo is not good enough. Status quo is white supremacy in America.

  50. Steve says:


    What should I do about the past? What are you doing about the Japanese internment? What are you doing about reverse discrimination today? Believe me it does exist whether you want to deny it or not is your choice.

  51. Steve says:


    I’m unemployed right now but I have a lot of education. My last job in the DC area had more Indians and blacks than whites. I was a definitely a minority there. When I went to college there were more Vietnamese than whites. Sometimes white privilege is not all that its cracked up to be. And by the way my wife and daughter are not white. I’m certainly not making millions of dollars like some of these NFL players are. That’s for sure. So curious how me being a white fellow makes me culpable of racism. As MLD said there are probably some nice goodies for my non white daughter and non white wife can go after. But why are these goodies there in the first place is the question to ask.

  52. Josh the Baptist says:

    It will take longer for us to understand the white supremacy in our country than I can type out here on a blog comment.

    Reverse discrimination is backed up by personal anecdotes of a white guy not getting everything he deserves.

    That’s not the same as real discrimination, which has its roots in the very founding of our country, its laws and customs, and the people who represent us.

    For you to equate the two only goes to show the privilege that you have enjoyed in this country.
    I do not think that you are racist, not consciously anyway. I do think that everything you say promotes the status quo even though a huge majority of our black brothers and sisters say the status quo isn’t working for them. Why can’t we just listen to them?

  53. Steve says:


    Why do you keep mentioning our black brothers and sisters who have faced discrimination and make no mention of our Japanese brothers and sisters who faced just as much. Why so little attention for that group or for that matter any other group that has been wronged. Of course I listen to my black brothers and sisters and to insinuate I don’t is unbelievable.

  54. Josh the Baptist says:

    Steve, perhaps you could look at the history of our country and tell me the difference between those of Asian decent and those of African decent?

    No? Seriously?

    And you’ll notice I’ve consistently said White supremacy which would include all non-whites but the main group (other than Native Americans) is black Americans. I don’t know whwy you continue to argue against that.

  55. Steve says:


    You are living in the past. If you want to make me feel guilty because I am white, good luck. Close to 120,000 Japanese were put in internment camps during ww ll. Just imagine if we were to go to war with North Korea and get China involved. It seems like North Korea is flying missiles over Japan on a regular basis. How many of our Chinese Americans could possible be put in internment camps is staggering and this is present day not 200 years ago. The fact that you continue to want to live in the past is a testimony that you will never move forward. Seriously give me a concrete example of what you want me to do for the black community? I’m all ears. If its going on blogs like this and trying to make all the whites to feel guilty because they are part of white privilege is totally absurd.

  56. Josh the Baptist says:

    Are internment camps also in the past? Does that mean you are living in the past? Steve, you are a good guy, but you are stretching all reality not to have to deal with the race problem in our country.

    Concrete thing to do for the black community…well, I don’t know where you live and what that would entail. I think the first thing is to listen and understand there is a legitimate gripe. That would be a huge step in the right direction.

    I’ve been on this blog almost daily for the last decade. I’ve discussed to the best of my ability each topic presented. Today the topic was racism. I’m just discussing the topic.

  57. Duane Arnold says:

    #56 Josh

    I’ve recommended this book before, but I’ll do so again. For me it was a bit of a life changer –

    “Slavery By Another Name” by Douglas Blackmon

  58. Duane Arnold says:

    #57 Addendum

    And here is the PBS Documentary by the same name…

  59. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’ll read it Duane, though even the cover looks too painful.

    Such an immense issue. Another issue to look at is the privatization of the prison industry across our country in the last 30 years, how that has specifically affected the black community…and how those prisoners are making products that are sold for profit, while being paid pennies for the work. Oh, the whole thing is just so sickening and screwed up.

  60. Steve says:

    Josh said, “Are internment camps also in the past?”

    I certainly hope so but unfortunately in the much more recent past than black slavery. How ironic. Interment camps could easily come back with a vengeance 1000 fold with what I wrote above which you completely missed.

  61. Duane Arnold says:

    #59 Josh

    It’s worthwhile… As you know, my family is from the South. It helped me to understand a number of issues that were never discussed as I was growing up…

  62. Josh the Baptist says:

    I didn’t miss it Steve, it’s just a different subject.

    Of course, black people being discriminated against BY LAW is only 40 or so years in the past, but I guess that is ancient history.

  63. Steve says:

    No, its all the same subject and its all worth while discussing. The country is totally messed up and I don’t know any good solution to fix it. I still think the theory of one race which is biblical is our best bet but that was shot down pretty quickly on this blog. Oh well.

  64. Josh the Baptist says:

    Steve, saying there is just one race is going to fix our problems is just not realistic. Now, I of course agree with the idea. Serving jury duty last year, the judge asked each juror to stand and say which race they identified as. It was bizarre. There were only two answers, white and black. A couple of Hispanics and One Middle Eastern man (first name Muhammad), all said white. The 3 or four black people said black. I said “human”.

    But we can’t pretend their isn’t a long history of our country form its founding all the way to today of racial division.

  65. Michael says:

    I would suggest reading Foner’s book on Reconstruction, then the book Duane cited.
    Then get back to me about racial theories…

  66. Josh the Baptist says:

    I think it starts with compassion, really.

  67. Steve says:

    Michael are these books on American racial injustice? These issues transcend countries and cultures. As a biblical Christian my citizenship is in heaven and my patriotism to united states takes a much lesser back seat. I think these are probably good eye openers for us as Americans but what about our non American friends brothers and sisters? I really respect our American flag but I don’t think it really has any business being displayed in a church assembly which I have seen all too often. I’m actually quite offended when I see the flag on display in church.

  68. Xenia says:

    We don’t need to feel guilty because we are white but we do need to be aware of the fact that because we are white we have many, many advantages that others do not and many of us take these advantages for granted to the extent of faulting those who do not have these advantages. And if a non-white points this out to use we get defensive.

    Some white people are guilty, of course but I am assuming everyone here on the PhxP today are people of good will.

  69. Michael says:

    This is the only country I live in and the only one where I participate in political and social discourse.

    A study of the history of this country shows that racial and economic inequality has been baked into the system from the beginning.

    To believe that sometime in the recent past all that was disavowed institutionally and privately is preposterous.

    Guilt solves nothing…awareness of issues leads to honest work in solving issues.

  70. Xenia says:

    Things like “we’re all one race” and “racism transcends cultures” may be true but it doesn’t address the issue. If my three sons were black, they would stand a fairly good chance of being shot by a policeman if they acted even slightly suspicious. As blonde-blued eyed boys, they can (and often do) act suspicious without any worries. We have to take this stuff seriously and if the only way it can be brought to the attention of comfy white folks watching football from their Lazyboys, sipping a brewsky, is to protest at a game, then that’s what’s got to happen. Poor people with no media access are seldom heard; rich football players with a zillion cameras on them will be heard.

  71. Josh the Baptist says:

    Xenia, I agree, and when I speak of “guilt” I mean in a legal sense, rather than feeling guilty.

    Feeling guilty never helps anything. Understanding complicity in a never-ending system of oppression is motivational to changing things in any small way that I can.

  72. Xenia says:

    Josh, I agree that as a “race” the white people of this country, especially pre- 1900’s and into the 1960’s, are guilty of enslaving and oppressing another race. Individual people may or may not be guilty, depending on their actions. Yet we all bear some responsibility to make things right.

  73. Josh the Baptist says:

    ” white folks watching football from their Lazyboys, sipping a brewsky, is to protest at a game, then that’s what’s got to happen.”


    It’s really the perfect protest. It is the exact one that is getting tons of attention, all while being completely peaceful. That’s as American as apple-pie.

    That being said, I have always stood for the anthem. My dad was in during Vietnam, my Grandad saw battle in WWII. I stand, and make sure my children stand. My son told me just yesterday of some friends who joke around and pretend to take a knee during the anthem at school. I told him he better never do that, and he assured me he would not.

    But I know that my Grandad fought for people to have the right to protest peacefully in our country, so I also honor him by listening to their issue,

  74. bob1 says:

    #68 I agree

    Japanese-Americans who were interned during WWII were issued an apology from our government. Guess who acknowledged the injustices done and signed it? None other than Ronald Reagan.

    They were also each awarded a check for $20,000, tax free. I don’t understand why African Americans shouldn’t receive some kind of reparations.

    To say race is just a construct is extremely naive, in my opinion. We need to deal with things as they are, not as we wish them to be.

    I saw a quote from Ken Burns, in response to being asked what he’s learned from his latest documentary. He said, “Human nature doesn’t change.”

    I wonder if that isn’t the bigger issue here.

  75. Josh the Baptist says:

    ” Individual people may or may not be guilty, depending on their actions.”

    You may be right. The more I think about it though, I’m starting to disagree.

  76. John 20:29 says:

    the Japanese interment camps of WW2 look like an outrage from where we sit now, but the lay of the land was a little different mid 20th century…
    most ethnic groups, for a variety of reasons, tended to cluster in their own communities with little intermixing, thus, even the school children were not integrated… all theories aside the Pearl Harbor attack caught us by surprise and we were thrust into a fight for our lives…
    most Japanese, like most Mexicans, like most Blacks, like most Swedes, like most Germans etc. were loyal to this nation… the trouble was that some weren’t and they, like the heroic French underground in Europe, were about the business of helping what they considered their people. For some Germans that was Germany. For some Japanese that was Japan.
    War isn’t very pretty, the rules get set aside for survival and, since we couldn’t take – didn’t have – time to find the fifth column players, expediency took charge. The thing to be most ashamed of were the civilians who rushed in and grabbed these people’s assets – even to the looting of their homes…
    Why didn’t we round up the Germans? After the British heritage in this nation, the Germans were the most integrated into the mainstream… but some were caught (and some were shot, i believe)… it’s hard to look back down the tunnel of time and really grasp the times, i think

  77. Steve says:

    For oppression to be real you need an oppressor. You know the fastest thing to bring us altogether would be to have a common enemy. This is the truth. As a Christian our enemy is Satan not the other race.

  78. Josh the Baptist says:

    Black people in our country have been oppressed by a real oppressor for the entire history of the country. Just a little compassion.

  79. The New Victor says:

    In addition to required to register with the US government, thousands of Germans in both WWs 1 and 2 were indeed interred in prison camps.

  80. Dan from Georgia says:

    All theories aside, I agree that to make change one must become aware. And for me personally I have to be aware of what’s in my own heart and head before I point my finger at someone slse and yell “racist!”

    I’ll admit here that I have some racist thoughts and beliefs toward blacks. That is the truth, but I don’t bring this up to just air dirty laundry or look socially aware. I bring it up because it’s really there in my head and heart. I don’t like it, but in days when I feel angry or hurt I go to these dark places in my life.

    No, you will never see me at a white supremacist/rights rally. Nor do I wear a white hood. I never visit racist blogs or listen to hate rock. Those are all external displays of those dark areas of the heart and mind. For me it’s just hidden, but nevertheless it’s there.

    And I want something different in my heart. A while back someone mentioned that they grew up around all kinds of races, and hence racism was foreign to them. I envied that poster.

    So while I am disgusted by what happened in Charlottesville, VA a while back, I have to work on my own heart and mind. It does me NO good to debate theories.

  81. Josh the Baptist says:

    Wow. Great post Dan. Thanks.

  82. Steve says:

    Josh, just curious how much in reparations do we owe each and every black person in perpetuity in this country? Just trying to understand what you think is fair.

  83. John 20:29 says:

    bob1… over 360,000 free men died in the Civil War to gain the slaves their freedom… that’s a pretty big reparation

  84. Michael says:

    Most of the North wasn’t fighting for the end of slavery…they were fighting for Union.
    The North was wildly racist by todays standards.

    I don’t know how reparations would work…the bigger issue to me is the institutionalized issues.

  85. Josh the Baptist says:

    Steve – I didn’t call for reparations.

  86. filbertz says:

    My suggestion for dealing with those things of the past has to do with honestly educating the current generation of students on the deeds and misdeeds of our government, citizens, and various ‘special interest groups.’ The bias or slant in how history is ‘told’ needs correction. It currently glosses over so much of the truly horrible acts and policies that lead us to a racially divided society today.

  87. filbertz says:

    “lead” should be “led.”

    junior high spelling error…again.

  88. Anne says:

    Steve, your 82 appears to me to jump over the important primary first steps of an understanding and compassionate discussion of the subject, straight to a complex perhaps pot stirring debate too complicated to be resolved in a blog discussion. Without unity regarding the existence of an pervasive circumstance, thoughtful consideration on how to remedy the wrongs of past and present may be premature.

    80 I relate to your post so much dear Dan! Thank you!!

  89. Anne says:

    Yes, fil!! Always good to see you !

  90. John 20:29 says:

    Point taken, Michael… but the fact, the cost, remains… and if one adds in the Confederates the death toll doubles…
    the result was the end of slavery, but sadly, not of bigotry or politics
    The most important thing that the racial minorities have gained in the last 50 years or so was an open door to education… “a mind is a terrible thing to waste”… ?
    A lot of what was taken for inferiority where the blacks were concerned was the lack of education (not all – but those who prospered kept a low profile for a variety of reasons)…
    Today what the blacks and the whites now need to come to grips with is that thing called “baggage”… on both sides … no more excuses, no more stereotyping by history … rather we need compassion for wounds still healing and hard, swift punishment for bigots in power and prayer for wisdom and discernment … IMNSHO

  91. Michael says:

    Em @ 90…I concur.

  92. Michael says:


    You nailed it on the history…

  93. John 20:29 says:

    BTW and for the record – there is no citizen of the United States with more right to be here, more claim on the benefits of this nation than our Black Brothers and Sisters – if citizenship can be bought, theirs is certainly bought and paid for…

    now i pray for the wise to overcome the rabble rousers who will bring us all down with their tantrums veiled in sanctimony – on all sides… for every rogue cop who shouldn’t have a gun and a badge, we seem to have an equal number (or more) out there of citizens who think killing a cop is heroic

  94. filbertz says:

    some would call what I suggested “revisionist,” but I would assert that the revision took place earlier and now correction is called for.

  95. Michael says:


    I agree…but you also know how hard it is to get anybody to read anything today, especially history.

  96. filbertz says:

    Perhaps history writers could work on being a little more engaging… 😉

  97. Michael says:


    I have a list of podcasts and books that are utterly engaging…and I still can’t get people to listen or read.

  98. John 20:29 says:

    in my school days history was all names and dates – on the exams, anyway … yawn … there were a couple teachers who made the study of it very interesting, but come test time = names and dates … maybe that was good, but without context it doesn’t stay with you once the test is over

  99. Everstudy says:

    #84 “the bigger issue to me is the institutionalized issues”

    Which issues are institutional? Where is it legal to be prejudicial? I don’t think there are any institutions that are racist (not anymore).

    One thing I’m finding disturbing lately is how quickly and easily the accusation of racism is thrown around. Everything is, apparently, a dog whistle for racism, or just is racist. I watched a video of a couple Antifa members arguing, and a young latina woman started yelling at a white guy that because he was white, he was to blame, because he was white, he was racist. She said it was in his blood, in his DNA.

    She was basically saying he was irredeemably racist. There was nothing he could do to change that, something Josh alluded to in #4.

    Instead of looking at specific instances of racism, and dealing with it, everything is racist.

    The ghosts of slavery and Jim Crow still haunt blacks here, how much is maintained by politics and politicians that need the votes of a certain group? How much is cultural?

    But with the NFL players taking a knee… what has that done? It has taken one of the few things that unite us (sports), where people from all races, education levels and social classes could come together and attempted to divide us.

  100. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Which issues are institutional?”

    The absolute, entire, whole thing. It’s rigged. I’m sorry that it is. It’s very inconvenient for us white folks to think about. But it’s rigged.

    And I think I’m getting irritated which is not good for anyone. I just ask all of us to try and listen tot he person we disagree with. Listen for truth. Really listen.

  101. Duane Arnold says:

    As we have discussed this issue, my only wish is that we had some African American voices on this thread to give us their perspective… For most of us here, racism is abstract, not an ever present reality that we have to deal with in one way or another…

    Just saying…

  102. Steve says:

    @ 93. there is no citizen of the United States with more right to be here, more claim on the benefits of this nation than our Black Brothers and Sisters – if citizenship can be bought, theirs is certainly bought and paid for…

    You mean the blacks that served as slaves in our country I presume? Or do you mean the blacks that descended from those who served as slaves in our country? Or do you mean any blacks anywhere in the entire world that ever step foot in our country have this right as well? I’m curious how far this goes.

  103. Everstudy says:

    “The absolute, entire, whole thing. It’s rigged. I’m sorry that it is. It’s very inconvenient for us white folks to think about. But it’s rigged.”

    Then there’s nothing to fight. It’s hopelessly irredeemable.

  104. Josh the Baptist says:

    Everstudy. True.

  105. Steve says:

    Josh we had a black president and black attorney general for 8 years with a largely black cabinet. If you say the system is rigged, I’m scratching my head. BTW, Bill Clinton is still referred to as the first black president in some circles.

  106. Josh the Baptist says:

    How many white presidents have we had?

    Well, at least we have one token.

    Bill Clinton’s 3 strikes law has done more to destroy black communities than almost anything else since slavery.

  107. Muff Potter says:

    Josh @ # 78 wrote:

    “Black people in our country have been oppressed by a real oppressor for the entire history of the country. Just a little compassion.”

    And yet black people occupy many of the top slots in government, the medical and legal professions, and also the sports and entertainment industries. How exactly then does this oppression play out with more than just an Orwellian meme that white folks dare not critique in the slightest for fear of having a scarlet letter “R” sown onto their garment?

    The only thing I can think of is the natural aristocracy among men that Jefferson wrote about. It’s the only thing that can explain the aforementioned black folks in the upper echelons of the American experience.

    Equality of opportunity is alive and well.
    Equality of outcome ain’t never gonna’ happen.

  108. Josh the Baptist says:

    “And yet black people occupy many of the top slots in government, the medical and legal professions, and also the sports and entertainment industries. ”

    A. Have you ever actually looked at those numbers for govt, medical and legal? Or are you just saying, I saw one black doctor on TV, all is cool.

    AS far as sports and entertainment….wow. Don’t get me started.

    How could you actually look at the history of our country, say just since 1950, and say that there is anywhere near equal opportunity?

  109. Everstudy says:

    I think here is a good time to get terms defined…

    What is equal opportunity?

    What is racism?

    What is white supremacy?

    What is institutional racism?

    Until we can agree on what we’re fighting, we’ll talk past each other.

  110. Anne says:

    101- yes! What has changed my life completely was becoming friends, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, with other children when younger, later students, social workers and now especially mothers and grandmothers! Their lived perspective is vital to real understanding!!

  111. Steve says:

    Josh, if the entire system is rigged, what concrete steps other then just educating us on how rigged the system is to make things more fair? Is affirmative action fair and the way to go? Is having separate black segregation in Berkley’s dorm a problem with white supremacy? I truly do appreciate black history month but do we dare ever mention having a white history month or Asian history month? Its insane. There is even a black holiday called Kwanzaa because I guess Christmas is considered a white holiday and is racist. I could go on and on but justice probably will never be done until every single confederate statue is tore down and every new road is named after Martin Luther King jr. by some on the left.

  112. Josh the Baptist says:

    Is that what you’re afraid of?

  113. Muff Potter says:

    Much agreement here Everstudy.
    Until we can all agree to defined terms, talks will only break down. Much like the Paris peace talks did in those first attempts to end that stupid conflict in Southeast Asia all those years ago.

  114. Steve says:


    I agree, I think those who have made the claim of white supremacy and institutional racism on this blog post are the ones that need to define these terms. I start with Josh since he seems the most vocal and passionate about this.

  115. bob1 says:

    #105 we had a black president and black attorney general for 8 years with a largely black cabinet

    Here are the facts:

    The 21 individuals who filled Obama’s Cabinet-level positions included seven women, three Asian Americans, three African Americans and two Hispanics.

  116. The New Victor says:

    I think part of an answer may lie in the differences in the attitudes of those who grew up on the cusp of the civil rights movement and those who were born decades on this side of it.

    In any case, my kids’ school is 94% Hispanic. My son’s class is mixed 1st and 2nd grade. There is 1 white girl, 1 black boy, 1 Filipino boy, and my son, who is 3/8th white, 1/8 Filipino, and the balance Mexican (itself not a clear deliniation) and probably 1/4 Shoshoni-Bannock from my side. My son looks like a very tan kind of Asian kid.

    I volunteered in class last week and gave all of the kids reading tests to baseline their reading levels. The African-American 2nd grade boy scored maybe 3rd from the top of the class. He couldn’t quite get the word “deliciously” somewhat close to the correct pronunciation. I made sure to tell him to tell his parents how well he did. He had come up to ask me at recess.

    The next night, it was a back-to-school event. His mom and little brother were there. Being black, they may feel even more of an outsider than I do in our part of town. So I loudly said, “Derrick! Did you tell your mom how well you did on your reading test?” He kind of mumbled yes, and his mom, for the first time, turned to me with something other than a brief acknowledgment. “Yeah, he was telling me how well he did.” I told her to keep doing whatever she was doing, and that it was true. He was in the top three in the class. Then my ex started talking to her and it was a friendly chat. Seemed like everyone opened up to each other. I’m not saying this to get a pat on the back, but rather to illustrate that reaching out starts at home and in our communities, with our neighbors.

  117. David H says:

    Definitions are easy. Here’s your definitions.

    Racism – From the ADL – Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. Racial separatism is the belief, most of the time based on racism, that different races should remain segregated and apart from one another.

    White Supremacy – From the ADL – White supremacy is a term used to characterize various belief systems central to which are one or more of the following key tenets: 1) whites should have dominance over people of other backgrounds, especially where they may co-exist; 2) whites should live by themselves in a whites-only society; 3) white people have their own “culture” that is superior to other cultures; 4) white people are genetically superior to other people. As a full-fledged ideology, white supremacy is far more encompassing than simple racism or bigotry. Most white supremacists today further believe that the white race is in danger of extinction due to a rising “flood” of non-whites, who are controlled and manipulated by Jews, and that imminent action is need to “save” the white race.

    Institutional racism – OED – Racial discrimination that has become established as normal behaviour within a society or organization.

    Almost anyone can agree to these definitions. The problem is when someone doesn’t want to admit that they actually have racist, or white supremacists beliefs. Every one of us is brought up with bigoted ideas. You can hem and haw around it but they’re there in all of us. What matter is how you deal with those values, and beliefs. Do you keep them, and attempt to square them? Do you dig around in the Bible, and find pastors, and leaders who agree with them, and therefore justify them?

    One has to dig deep into themselves and reflect on who they are.


    My dad’s family was generally very open minded on race and ethnic relations. My dad’s family was also not Christians (in the modern American view). They were heathens (as my mom’s mom called them). I can never remember anything derogatory about others. That’s just the way it was. Granddad and Grandma’s house was open to everybody.

    My mom’s family not so much. My mom’s family, in fact, was self righteous in their bigoted views. It was a constant – “those people…,” “the Blacks…,” “the Italians…,” “the Catholics…” etc. (the sad thing was, they called themselves Christians. They had the little fish sticker on the bumper, quoted the Bible, and such. And until I was older that’s what I thought Christians were like).

    I was lucky that I was more influenced by my Dad, than my Mom. I will say, I did have to deal with the prejudice that developed in my heart. But, I did. I’ll never believe that someone cannot get those values, feelings, and beliefs out of their system. I did not think I would see the overt racism I saw in the town where I went to high school revived and thriving. The racists are running rampant. Confederate battle flags flying from the back of trucks, “Redneck Nation” window stickers. Anti-Muslim bumper stickers, etc.

    The worst thing I’ve witnessed in the past year is the openness of the Skinhead Neo-Nazi movement where I live. My son and I train at a local gym. Over the past several months it is being frequented by a group of Skinheads. I know, you’ll ask how do I know they’re Skinheads. I know by their identifying characteristics – Black Doc Marten steel toed boots with red shoe laces, swastika tattoos, white power tattoos, etc.

  118. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks David H and The New Victor. Good words to ponder. I think it was Duane the other day who alluded to using labels to talk about others as not an option for us believers, but we do that still. With the definitions, it is helpful, but let’s not obfuscate the issue or delay dealing with our own hearts. I will stress that we cannot tell one person “sit here in this place of honor”, and to another person “sit here on the floor and wait your turn…”

    Wait, did I just plagiarize someone’s published writing?

  119. David H says:

    As long as we refuse to deal with the deep social issues nothings going to change.

    I knew, back in college, that I had to put a lot of distance between myself, and a lot of people I knew. I knew a lot of racists and bigots. I’ve gone through the same gleaning process this year, after the election. I’ve had to say goodbye to a lot of friends, and family, at least for awhile.

    I wrote a lengthy research paper on “hate groups in America” for my education masters degree. The research was focused on hate groups in Southern California. The most arduous task was finding some white supremacists to interview. We were able to get a couple.

  120. Josh The Baptist says:

    I agree with David’s definitions.

  121. Steve says:

    This is all fine an dandy but Josh made a claim @49 “Status quo is white supremacy in America.”

    That’s just crazy. When you make statements like this, you really need to to define “status quo” now cause white supremacy is far from status quo in my understanding especially in light of how its been elegantly defined above.

  122. David H says:

    Josh, thanks.

    Steve, see how that works. I could define terms forever here, and it’s not going to help because you’re just going to keep requesting that terms be defined.

    I’m not good at dealing with folks throwing logical fallacies at me. Shifting the burden of proof is a logical fallacy. Begging the question is a logical fallacy. Continuum fallacy.

  123. Michael says:

    There is a vast amount of excellent literature on this topic from people of color that should be read by all of us.

    No one is going to (or should be) convinced by blog comments, but we all should care enough to educate ourselves on the matter.

    White folks talking to white folks about how people of color perceive society is less than helpful…

  124. Josh The Baptist says:

    Steve- Quickly, but I know it won’t be convincing.

    White Euro culture is the norm in our country. Success from other races depends on how well they assimilate.

    The underlying assumption is that white is better and everything else is inferior. I think it is overwhelmingly obvious that white supremacy is status quo in our country. I can’t imagine a real argument otherwise.

  125. Josh The Baptist says:

    “What folks talking to white folks about how people of color perceive society is less than helpful…”

    I’m assuming that first “what” was a “whit”e, and I disagree.

    Sometimes we unintentionally close our ears to minority voices. When a white guy says the same thing, people listen.

    More evidence of white supremacy.

  126. John 20:29 says:

    #102 – the people whose ancestral roots run back to the days of the cotton plantations and the slave traders, the people who have contributed their very flesh to establishing this nation called now the United States of America, the people who endured over a century of post Civil War “reconstruction,” the people who’ve demonstrated reason, grace and tenacity to move their people toward a good end: their piece the pie long overdue – ?

  127. Anne says:

    123 ??????

  128. John 20:29 says:

    To counter David H ‘s #117 … (think I’ve got correct reference I’m on this tablet thing) …
    I grew up in a very strong Christian home – Nazarene/Pentecostal roots – no manual
    labor on Sunday and ‘darn’ was skating close to swearing…
    There was not one iota of racism in that house… there was concern for the fate of the Jew and the Roman Catholic who married into the family, but never, ever was there even a hint of bigotry – I’ve told the stories here before of watching my grandmother’s concern for the black domestic workers (who had to be out of Glendale by sundown daily) and how upset she was at the internment of her Japanese produce grocer for whom she had high regard

    I do wonder, tho, why God seems to have chosen the white barbarians of 2,000+ years ago to carry His Son’s flag into all the world… Were we “the foolish and base confounding the wise?”

  129. London says:

    Josh, you’re doing a really good job on this thread.

  130. Steve says:

    ” I think it is overwhelmingly obvious that white supremacy is status quo in our country”

    Yet you have failed to give me any examples of this and the only thing I can think of is having Trump as president who the main stream media calls a racist. I never really heard this talk when Barrack was president. But what do I have to say, I’m just part of the basket of deplorables that voted for him.

  131. Josh The Baptist says:

    Steve- I’m sorry, it really seems obvious to me. I wouldn’t think I would have to be explicit about examples.

    Start with the arrival of white people to this country. Was it uninhabited? No, there was already a culture in place. Did the whites assimilate to that culture? No, they killed it off and established their own culture as the “status quo”.

    Then we can go to Manifest Destiny. Which racial culture reigned supreme in that bloodbath? Japanese? No. White European now stretched across the continent.

    Do I have to mention how black people got to this country? You’d surely agree that the white people enforced their superiority in that situation, right? Then for a couple hundred years black people had no rights in this country. To a large degree black people weren’t even allowed to read. Their family units were broken up when a plantation needed better breeding stock. BETTER BREEDING STOCK! And we’re talking about humans. Not white humans, mind you.
    Fast forward to reconstruction era and you’ve set a million people free. With no money. No education. Shattered families. In a land they never chose to come to. Was there equality during reconstruction, or probably white supremacy? Be honest.
    Fast forward another 100 years…ANOTHER 100 YEARS…and blacks are still now allowed equal education, not given the same jobs, nowhere near the same pay, aren’t allowed in the same restaurants, can’r drink from the same water fountains. Why? Because of the belief that whites are superior to blacks.
    So after 300+ years, we have a forty year stretch, where legally, we are much closer to equal. However, look at the populations of our prisons and you will see a disproportionate amount of black men serving longer sentences for lesser crimes than white men. Black people en large are still not given the same jobs and same pay as white people.
    And that is a bog post view of a subject that would fill a set of Encyclopedias. What I have just written is the status quo of this country. What I have written is white supremacy.

  132. bob1 says:


    I really think that what’s needed is the ability to be willing to experience some discomfort by reading books about the black experience in America. We’re gonna keep pedaling backward if everything we experience is just from our little bubble.

    One I have but I haven’t read the whole thing yet, is Michael Eric Dyson’s “Tears We Cannot Stop — A Sermon to White America.” Dyson is a Baptist pastor and you can tell!
    There have been parts that have created a lot of discomfort. But that’s called learning.

  133. Josh The Baptist says:

    Of course, to this point, I haven’t mentioned Trump, deplorables, or anything about politics at all. I’ve only asked that we try to empathize with Christian brothers and sisters in our country, who have not seen its history the same way we have.

  134. Duane Arnold says:

    This is one of the more important and thoughtful threads I have seen…

  135. Steve says:

    Its really condescending to many of us to say we are not aware of the horrid history in this country or that we are not compassionate. Our history collectively is really sad and sick. I grew up watching “roots”. I had black friends in school which had lots of blacks and was well integrated. However, we are not talking 40 years ago, we are talking now in 2017. All you gave me is a long list of sins from the past which most of the individuals who were part of that are long dead. So apparently the white supremacy that once thrived somehow is now secretly alive as the status quo. If you want to talk conspiracies we can but I prefer facts. I can tell you for sure that in today’s world white supremacy is not the status quo or Barrack Obama would never have been elected twice. Don’t forget Ben Carson who also was a serious contender in the running for the republican nominee. I never really heard him talk like you do though.

  136. Josh The Baptist says:

    Steve, why ask for examples if those examples will offend you?

    I gave you a brief history of our country from its inception until today. No conspiracy theories, only facts.

    You named two prominent black men.

    If you aren’t willing to examine yourself, just say so. I think as Christians, we need to be compassionate towards others, in this case towards other Christians who have been dealt a much worse hand in this country. You don’t have to though.

  137. Josh The Baptist says:

    And I am glad that black people can hold prominent places in our society. I wish that it wasn’t the exception to the rule, and it still doesn’t make 400 years of history magically disappear.

    Just listen to those who are hurting. All I’m asking.

  138. Steve says:

    Josh, what offends me is you keep telling me to listen to those who are hurting assuming that I am not. It offends me that you assume I know nothing of the tragedies of the past which is simply not the case. As a Christian of course I should examine myself. I ask God to reveal prejudices in my own heart as we all should. I told you I grew up watching “roots”. History is sad but the very essence of racism is to assume the worst of an individual simply because of the color of their skin and boy it kind of sounds like you are flirting with that idea. When you start throwing out this white supremacy notion as the status quo in today’s America, I’m not sure how to react. You are assuming the worst of people simple because they are white. If you are willing to label most of the whites in this country as racist which in essence you are doing you are definitely not helping with any kind of racial harmony and only causing more distrust.

  139. Josh The Baptist says:

    OK, Steve. You may want to reread what I’ve actually said, and ask yourself what it is that actually offends you.

    You say you are examining yourself and listening, and I believe you. Peace to you.

  140. Steve says:

    Josh, I will certainly do that. You many also want to reread all your statements and the tone of those statements and the assumption you made. Peace to you as well.

  141. Josh The Baptist says:

    I wrote too much today to reread all that 🙂

  142. j2theperson says:

    You don’t need to reread it all, Josh. I just read the whole thread and you came across as very reasoned, educated, and non-offensive.

  143. filbertz says:

    I think the term “white supremacy” is a hurdle that cannot be gotten over, despite repeated attempts to define/explain/clarify. I cringe when I read it because it is associated with a host of hate groups and misguided philosophies. “White entitlement,” “white assumptionism,” “white arrogance” are all terms that may get closer to what is intended in the discussion. If one can’t get past the words, we can’t get to the heart.

    if my effort to clarify is off-target, I apologize in advance.

  144. filbertz says:

    …”white dominance”…

  145. Steve says:

    Fil, your nuance is helpful. Thank you!

  146. John 20:29 says:

    One thing to remember, I think, in all these discussions of injustice…
    History is not planned ahead of time, but God has given us some hints as to how it will run its course… so?
    are we getting sucked in to thinking that we can reform the world? Time better spent thinking on The Kingdom? dunno … Just thinking… again … ?

  147. The New Victor says:

    filbertz- you forgot “white-splaining.”

    I’m surprised I haven’t heard this one yet….

  148. John 20:29 says:

    #144 that phrase has been rattling around in my head all day… white has dominated for perfectly logical reasons, but the times are very definitely changing now…

  149. filbertz says:

    TNV–isn’t that the same as “white-washing”

  150. filbertz says:

    my dad worked construction in the Midwest alongside men of all races. He set a tone for my family that we were no different or better than any of them–but what they lacked was education, opportunity, and confidence. The second and third rarely come without the first. Our educational record over the past two-hundred-fifty years has more reasons for shame than pride–from lack of education for non-land-owners, girls, minorities, the handicapped, those in poverty, immigrants, etc. Improvement has always been a tortuous road.

  151. Babylon's Dread says:

    Racism dishonors God who made us in his image. Much worse than dishonoring a flag that forms us in our image.

  152. Anne says:

    Here’s a pretty good podcast with transcript about racism, white supremacy, institutional racism. A good primer on how these topics are being defined and discussed among many educators, activists etc.

  153. Dan from Georgia says:

    “Racism dishonors God…”


  154. Steve says:

    So I will end as I started. Racism begins with the premise their are different races in this country. Evolution as its taught in schools re-enforces that premise. I think this dishonors God in that it ignores scripture in that we are all descendants of Adam and for that matter all descendants of Noah’s sons if you truly believe in a global flood. I don’t think “racism” is a good term to really describe what is going on at all. Injustice, yes. Discrimination on the color of skin, Yes. A distorted and warped view of history, Yes. Cultural conflicts and misunderstandings, yes. Racism, I don’t think so.

  155. Steve says:

    I have gone through Anne’s podcast and transcript a few times now. It’s worth both listening to and reading since the transcript and the podcast occasionally use different terms. I do have questions and most center on the term “white” and the specifically the term “people of color”.

    Since no one on here has seen me, I am wondering exactly what shade of “white” is needed to be classified as “white”? The lady said she was addressing “white” teachers specifically. This is really important because I didn’t realize exactly how “white” I was until I met my wife’s parents for the first time. Her mom in particular said, “He’s very white” to her. Also just very recently in the local Walmart I was referred to casually by a stranger patron as “white man”. I didn’t take offense but it was rather strange. So from these two incidents I guess I am “white” by all standards. Although for my daughter I do worry deeply how she will be treated growing up. Will she be called “white” or “PoC” or “other”?

    The next question I have is what constitutes peoples of color (“PoC”). If my in laws classified me as “very white”, I assume most would classify them as “PoC”. But this is where I am a bit confused. PoC seems to be a rather vague term that encompasses a broad spectrum of folks. Is PoC reserved only for what most would consider very “black” or possible “brown” or does it include all minorities now? Does it include “yellow” folks. Are “yellow” folks more of Asian, Alaskan, Filipino or Hawaiian decent? Are “red” folks the Native Americans? And seriously here, no one has mentioned mixed folks other that fil and myself. Also with the intersection of other oppressed groups as she mentioned does PoC now encompass LGBT folks who use the rainbow for identification?

    Although this podcast is interesting, it does leave me scratching my head if this really is the way to go. I personally think going “color blind” is the way to go but apparently, she vehemently disagrees. However, I will honor and call people whatever they feel comfortable with. Also, I think some education needs to be done on the first settlers that came here and apparently wiped out the Native American Indians. I don’t think this was all about “white supremacy” at all. More education needs to be done on the hero “Squanto” who miraculously was able to speak English to the earliest settlers.

  156. Josh the Baptist says:

    It’s not that complicated, Steve.

  157. Josh the Baptist says:

    “More education needs to be done on the hero “Squanto” who miraculously was able to speak English to the earliest settlers.”

    Is this the beginning of an argument that our country’s treatment of Native Americans has been fair? IF not, then what?

  158. The New Victor says:

    Attitudes were so bad in the 30s that there used to be something called The Brown Paper Bag test. If your skin wasn’t lighter than that, you were barred from certain establishments. I’d fail, so would my son, unless we lived somewhere with no sunshine. My daughter is on the edge. Their mom has lighter skin due to more of three Filipino influence, two of her brothers are very dark due to more of the Mexican influence. We’re mixed. My birth mother was born on the Shoshone reservation. Feel kind of marginalized in this national debate, but that’s ok.

  159. Xenia says:

    Squanto had been kidnapped by an Englishman years earlier and returned to North America before the Mayflower episode. That’s how it is he “miraculously” spoke English. The only miracle is that he survived the ordeal because while he was in England, his native village was destroyed by an epidemic.

  160. Steve says:

    Josh, its very complicated. You can’t even define what “white” is. Yet your entire assumption is about “white supremacy”.

    About the Native Americans, I don’t know nearly enough about our history to say it was fair or not. It probably wasn’t. But for a lot of the plight of the Native Americans I think it was disease that killed of most of them that the Europeans brought with them unintentionally.

    But the way you frame it as some kind of grand conspiracy of “white supremacists” to wipe them out. White supremacist lingo comes from Hitler that you end up inserted back in time to convince us all that the entire founding of our country was completely rigged from the beginning. We mind as well completely start over with that mindset which I get is what you are advocating for. Lets scrap the constitution. Get rid of it all, the entire thing. But if you had any sense at all, you could potentially see that God has been sovereignly intervening with our history from the beginning. But is that ever taught in public schools. Never.

  161. Xenia says:

    I don’t know nearly enough about our history<<<

    Easily remedied!

  162. Michael says:


    It has been rigged from the beginning.
    The vote was only given to white, male, landowners.
    We have a very dark history regarding race relations and the oppression of the poor.
    Those are easily verifiable facts.

    The Constitution is probably the most brilliant political work ever written.

    In terms of God’s intervention, this country has a rather mixed record of acting like a “Christian nation”.
    This is true of every nation on the planet for all of history.
    We have been successful in creating empire and the nominal Christianity that overlaid us has been of benefit in terms of general decency.

    I thank Him that the entire narrative of this country isn’t blamed on Him in public schools…

  163. Xenia says:

    Here’s something interesting, just a snippet from history.

    English colonists had a different view of the natives than the Spaniards had. Now to be sure, both groups treated the Indians abominably, but the Spaniards considered the natives to be humans created in the image of God so they sent missionaries. That’s how the missions system in California came about. Still didn’t work out all that well but the intent was there. The Spaniards were accustomed to people with darker skin, such as the Moors who dominated the Iberian Peninsula for centuries and built beautiful buildings, etc.

    Not so with the English. They were very unfamiliar with dark-skinned folk and were more inclined to regard them as sub-human. (Read some Victorian-era fiction to see how even at that later date, dark folk were considered sub-human and whoever it was up above in the thread who mentioned Darwin- yes, that played a part later.) The English tended to see the natives as vermin to be exterminated rather than souls to be saved.

    Of course this isn’t true for each and every Spaniard and Englishman but it was the tendency.

  164. Josh the Baptist says:

    “You can’t even define what “white” is. Yet your entire assumption is about “white supremacy”.”

    Predominantly European heritage. Easy.

    “White supremacist lingo comes from Hitler that you end up inserted back in time to convince us all that the entire founding of our country was completely rigged from the beginning.”

    “White Supremacy” dates back to at least the 1600’s with the false Racial Science.

    “About the Native Americans, I don’t know nearly enough about our history to say it was fair or not. ”

    One might not want to speak so much about things he does not know about. The definition of ignorance, right?

    ” But if you had any sense at all, you could potentially see that God has been sovereignly intervening with our history from the beginning. ”

    I believe that God is sovereign, but some times His ways are hard to interpret. We can’t assume because of perceived success that God has approved. That was the mindset of many of the early settlers though, and for sure of the Westward expansion, and slave-owners…etc., you get the point. I disagree that those movements were “of God”.

  165. Steve says:


    As far as I remember the Squanto incident happened before the vote was given to white male landowners. Just saying. And I hear Xenia but I have heard conflicting reports regarding Squanto than what she has written. Not sure who is right.

  166. Josh the Baptist says:

    Steve – Why don’t you just say what it is that you have heard about Squanto, and how that justifies our treatment of Native Americans?

  167. Michael says:


    You have a narrative that you’ve embraced and facts aren’t going to affect you.
    You have done all you can on this thread to obscure the fact that we have real racial injustice in this country.
    You believe in Manifest Destiny and the baptism of the conqueror.
    You will be of no help and no small deterrence to the actual solving of our national problems.

  168. Xenia says:

    When I was a child I had several years of American history classes in school, in elementary, junior high, and high school. I don’t recall the Mexican American War of the 1840″s ever being taught other than dates given. Imagine my surprise when I took American history at college and discovered it was a war of American aggression on the part of the US for the purpose of expanding US territory! (Manifest Destiny.) I learned that American troops got as far as Mexico City. Mexico lost about one third of its territory and we got California, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Nevada for our efforts.

    Right you are, Steve, the things that aren’t taught in school are shocking!

  169. Xenia says:

    Steve, what is your source about Squanto?

    We even know the name of the man who kidnapped him and took him to England.

    You brought him up, not me. Who cares if he lived and died before the Constitution was written? You cast doubt on his story; I provided information. You doubt what I have written and now I have asked you to offer us your sources.


  170. Xenia says:

    And I hope you have a better source than David Barton!

  171. Michael says:


    I’m so grateful for your love of history.
    May your tribe increase!

  172. Xenia says:

    Squanto: 1600’s
    Constitution: 1787

  173. Xenia says:

    Thanks, Michael.

    I appreciate Steve’s calm tone in this discussion.

  174. Michael says:


    I concur about Steve.

    However, when I am king, people will have to read real history books and pass a test to get their drivers license. 😉

  175. Josh the Baptist says:

    Steve’s a good guy.

  176. Steve says:

    The Squanto story came from Eric Metaxis.

  177. Josh the Baptist says:

    Oh boy. 🙂

  178. Steve says:


    National problems? We don’t have a nation when its completely rigged. Its all fake news. My bets aren’t on this country at all.

  179. Michael says:


    Whatever you do, don’t quote Metaxis on Bonhoeffer…I might have a stroke.

  180. Michael says:


    We do have a nation and it behooves us all to understand it’s history.
    We can do better and as Christians we’re called to do better.
    No one here wants to destroy anything, but build on the good we have.

  181. Xenia says:

    It is good to be aware of the past and realize it affects things today. I can’t do anything about slavery, etc. but I can have empathy for those who are the victims of the past. It can affect how I behave toward people now.

    I was telling my black neighbor that I was waiting to get my DNA results from He said “Girl, you be 100 percent cracker!” We had a good laugh and by golly, when my results came, turns out I am about as white as a person can be without being Icelandic. 25% Celtic, 25% Scandinavian, the rest Anglo-Saxon. That pretty much adds up to Yorkshire, where all these groups attempted to kill each other over the years of the Dark Ages and later. When I visit York, they all look like me, just shorter.

    So I am proud of this heritage! I like northern European culture! I have gone back to school to get an MA in medieval northern European language and literature! I mean, I really love this stuff! BUT, and here’s the big thing, as fond as I am of it, I don’t think it is superior to any other group.* I expect African Americans and Mexican Americans to be just a proud of their heritage and I need to respect that.

    * I don’t mean to say that I believe all cultures are equally good. There have been some and still are some very depraved cultures. But the people themselves… no superiority or inferiority in the individual people. All are equally created in the Image of God.

  182. Xenia says:

    The Squanto story came from Eric Metaxis.<<<

    Steve, you are gonna have to do better than that. Sorry, Bud.

  183. Josh the Baptist says:

    Here’s Metaxas’s story on Squanto. He gets the facts right, but does a little Christian revisionism in interpreting the story. Still, it says nothing for the horrid treatment that Native Americans have faced throughout our countries history. I don’t even see why it would be applicable, assuming Metaxes’ fantasy is 100% accurate.

  184. Xenia says:

    But we can ask ourselves why it is important for some people (not talking about you, Steve) to denigrate the Indians? What’s up with that? Why must the Squanto story be doubted? The only reason I can think of is to justify the English desire to exterminate an entire people group. We call that genocide where I come from.

  185. Josh the Baptist says:

    Xenia, it is hard to look in the mirror and see the bad guy.

  186. Xenia says:

    I read the Eric M. article and it does not call the Squanto story into doubt at all.

  187. Xenia says:

    So I retract my 184 which I foolishly wrote before I actually read the article Steve linked to. There are those who wish to denigrate the Indians but this article is not an example of that.

    I am not a fan of Eric M so I prejudged his article before I read it. Mea culpa.

  188. Steve says:

    Xenia, where are your sources from? I would need to actually read Mextaxis’s book to figure out his primary source. By the way I suppose we could trash Metaxis scholar ship but he did write a biography on Wilberforce called Amazing Grace that was about his attempts to end the slave trade. I’m hard pressed to call Mextaxis a White supramicist when he is willing to use precious time writing something like this to bring it all to our attention. But some may see it differently.

  189. Josh the Baptist says:

    Who called Metaxas a white supremacist?

  190. Michael says:

    Metals is not a scholar.
    He’s a hack who tries to turn historical figures into 21st century conservative evangelicals.
    Neither Bonhoeffer, nor Wilberforce fit that model at all.

    I’ve never heard him referred to as a white supremacist…

  191. The New Victor says:

    Mexico to this day reels from the effects of the casta system which was based in large part upon color. My ex’s grandmother was pleased that our kids looked lighter skinned than her other great grandchildren. Watch any novella (which are far better than American soaps) and compare the skin tones of the stars as opposed to the laborers.

    The Mexican American war is even more complex than just America picking on a weaker nation. It can be more correctly understood by studying what was going on in Mexico at the time, and why Texas declared independence (a salient fact not taught in the Chicano studies my ex took at the time… that class told only one side of the story, and ignored what precipitated Texas succeeding).

  192. Xenia says:

    “More education needs to be done on the hero “Squanto” who miraculously was able to speak English to the earliest settlers.”

    ” And I hear Xenia but I have heard conflicting reports regarding Squanto than what she has written. Not sure who is right.”


    This is where the Squanto discussion got confusing because in these 2 post it sounds like Steve is calling the Squanto story into question which to my ears says “It didn’t happen like everyone thinks it happened.” Steve graciously supplied his source and the article says pretty much what I said. He didn’t call the Squanto story into doubt AT ALL, in fact, he added so interesting info. So I am left wondering what has been called into doubt about the Squanto story? Nothing has been called into doubt, that’s what.

    That’s why I jumped the gun in my premature criticism of Eric M’s article. I (wrongly) assumed Steve was linking to it because it “calls the Squanto story into doubt.” It doesn’t.

  193. Xenia says:

    So to answer Steve’s questions about my sources I would say they are the same standard history sources that Eric M himself used in his article.

  194. John 20:29 says:

    listen to New Victor… IMV – history is just never black and white
    the treatment of the natives by the Conquistadores, the Spanish caste system, the land grants… but the “explorers” did provide the Native Americans with horses… 🙂

    BTW – both Old World (Russia, too come to think of it) pushes into the New World brought ambitious types looking to make a buck by any means possible, both the English (they wanted to subdue everybody – ask a Scot or an Irishman) and the Spanish explorers brought Christ to the New World… European leaders were all hand in glove with various forms of Christianity… it’s been an interesting symbiosis in my view… God gets His work done in spite of man, however

  195. Xenia says:

    Victor is right about the caste system in Mexico. There’s a special name for each group, depending on the percentages of Spanish, black and Indian blood.

  196. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “…and pass a test to get their drivers license. ?

    But will they have to show the driver’s license to vote?

  197. Michael says:


    Of course…it won’t be a problem after my amnesty declaration… 🙂

  198. Steve says:

    Xenia, I didn’t mean to call your Squanto story wrong. I probably should have said incomplete. When you said the “only miracle” in the story is what concerned me. There are probably miracles in lots of stories which are never told.

  199. Xenia says:

    That’s ok, Steve. We were both talking at cross purposes there for a bit. 🙂

    God bless.

  200. filbertz says:

    My fear is that so little reliable documentation of key historical figures exists that accuracy in the historical record will be difficult to establish and support. The ruling class or group always controlled the record keeping and when the ‘oppressed’ or ‘enslaved’ were denied basic education, the voice of those classes is effectively squelched. Improvements can be made, but a honest and truthful accounting of American history will be challenging. May I be roundly be proven wrong.

  201. Bart says:

    #10 – mic drop *boom*

  202. David H says:

    Hey filbertz,

    There is a lot of really good historical work done in the areas we’re discussing.

    Page Smith’s “Tragic Encounters: A People’s History of Native Americans” is very good. Now, mind you, this is a “Leftist” interpretation.

    Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” is another good work. Again, “Leftist.” Zinn had worked with Page Smith.

    Roger Ransom, and Richard Sutch, “One Kind Of Freedom.”

    Leonard Pitt, “Decline of the Californios: A Social History of the Spanish-Speaking Californians, 1846-1890.”

    Edmund Morgan, “American Slavery, American Freedom.”

  203. John 20:29 says:

    #200… isn’t that true all the way back in recorded history? maybe, like interpersonal relationships, it’s just too complicated to explain? – dunno

  204. filbertz says:

    DavidH–thankyou for the suggested resources.

    Interesting though, your caveats reveal the lenses that history is often looked at–left, conservative, socialist, etc. colors the “interpretation” and presentation of the events.

  205. David H says:


    I’ve learned over the years that things are better served if someone knows the interpretive framework. A good historian tries to be objective, but we all come to the subject with an agenda. So, I find it better to say what it is up front. I’ve used Howard Zinn’s book when I’ve taught college level American History. It’s based on excerpts from primary sources.

    I’m a university trained historian. I wasn’t able to complete my dissertation due to financial circumstances. I was taught to be as objective as humanly possible. However, one has to learn to discern the bias of authors and scholars. And, we all have them.

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