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A pressure-relief valve about God, and just about everything else.

Lest We Forget…

 I deal a lot with the topic of racism on my blog. I hate it. As a Christian, I find it impossible to juxtapose racism and true saving faith. As a result of a posting of Pastor Ben Parkinson’s sermon a couple of weeks ago, I received some comments from a couple of fellows which pull the curtain back from what is hidden in the hearts of many. I don’t know if they claim Christianity, but I think that their views are echoed by many who populate white evangelical churches.

I have met some truly wonderful people in this blogging endeavor — white black and otherwise —  and I want to be clear that I know that they and multitudes do not share these racist perspectives!

It is just that, in the Utopia that is my diverse church, I can easily forget that not all people have the desire to love honestly and openly.

Mr. Roach, whose comments follow, is one of the people who has poured cold water on my way of thinking and reminded me of racism’s thriving heart. He is a conservative in the vein of Hannity, Limbaugh, Buchanan, Rove, and yes, even Reagan. He has been kind enough to openly share the true nature of a lot of the rhetoric we hear nowadays. His comments (part of the thread entitled, “Go, Tell it in the Suburbs”) follow a lengthy discussion on Affirmative Action, reconciliation, and reparations, etc. You may check it out further to get the context… Please excuse his language. I did not edit any of it.

We paid at the office, home boy. Have you seen a rich white person’s tax return lately! Wow, it’s a lot of dough going to welfare queens, midnight basketball, and paying for all those section 8 housing vouchers.

 To this, I replied:

  1. Who are you, Mr. Roach? Do I know you? Did we grow up in the same neighborhood? Or the same city?
    How is it that I am your “home boy”? Or ANY kind of “boy”?
    No, I’s ain’t privy to you white folks’s bidness, NawSUH!
    But I know THIS: There are a whole lot more white folk on welfare than black folk!
    I know that a whole lot of white folk know how to manipulate the tax laws so that they don’t pay nearly as much as they (you) should! That’s a lot of your hard earned tax money going to military defense, too, buster! Law enforcement, fire departments, etc! Thank you, Mr. Roach, for not scurrying back into the cracks while the light has been shed on your (and so many other of your compatriots’) true feelings, as is the norm for those like you, Mr. Roach.

So, you think that you have summed up what the black experience is, huh? Section 8 and basketball. You got us all in a bag, huh? I think YOUR comments sum you up, buddy.

There is a whole lot more behind why blacks in this country are in the state we are in, and your either admitting it or throwing up racist smoke screens do nothing to change the facts.

  1. And one more thing: Basketball was just fine when it was George Mikan and Bob Cousy, wasn’t it? It was just fine when black folk were not allowed to play against whites.But now, since it is not being dominated by those who look like you, Mr. Roach, it is turned into a racist cliche! Just like dancing, singing, and ANY other activity that ALL people love to partake of! If you don’t get to be the best at it, the SUPERIOR one, why not just act like Aesop’s fox and act as though you never wanted the sour grapes anyway! Turn something great into a negative.Michael Jordan is “naturally gifted” but Larry Bird “works hard.”Why don’t you tell us what YOU want, Mr. Roach. Tell us where YOU want black folk to go and where YOU want us to go. As if we don’t already know. Since we can all jump so high, I guess it would be peachy with YOU if we leapt to the moon, hunh?Comment by maxdaddy | February 27, 2008 <!– @ 3:24 pm –>|
  2. Roach continued;

Actually, I don’t want you to go anywhere, unless you hate this country like Michelle Obama. Then you can move to the country of your choice.

I just don’t want to see any more affirmative action. Do well in sports, you’ll get people’s respect. Do well because affirmative action, and white people think what you worry they think: These black people around us sure are kinda dumb, incapable, privileged, and all the rest. It’s little different than nepotism or legacies; if you don’t get somewhere on your own merits, you’ll never have the respect of others, nor will you have self-respect.

Midnight basketball, incidentally, is a feel good social program designed to reduce urban crime. It gives kids a place to go. It also has never been shown to have any effect whatsoever. I don’t care if blacks do well in sports, but to make a big deal about sports over other more attainable middle class jobs is silly, and it leads to a lot of young people haveing unrealistic “hoop dreams” that would better be directed into hard work in algebra class. 

Affirmative action doesn’t threaten me. I’m a lawyer and I make a lot of money. Affirmative action, however, is unjust. It also makes people like Michelle Obama feel bad about herself. Affirmative action is the mirror image of Jim Crow. I support merit, IQ tests, and treating people as individuals when individual information can be found out through things like standardized tests, GPAs, etc. For this reason, high IQ Asians have done very well, in spite of the supposed epidemic of white racism. Why is that do you think?

As for whites resisting blacks for centuries, that’s certainly not true of all those whites–including my relatives–who came over around 1900-1924 is it? I mean, we were broke and I’m the first one to go to college, so I don’t feel too bad about rich Southern plantation owners because they have nothing to do with me and my bloodline or family. I do know, however, that I like blacks that act like white people, and I don’t like whites that act like (most) black people. I like civilized behavior, and most majority-black areas don’t have it. But I’ll give anyone a chance, particularly if he does well in school and is as smart as his white competitors. But I see no reason to cut blacks any breaks with affirmative action. Slavery was 150 years ago. Jim Crow ended at the very latest in 1965. It’s time to take some personal responsibility for your individual and collective circumstances. Racism didn’t make a cult of the pimps in the 70s. Racism doesn’t make blacks call “doing well in school ‘acting white.’” So get the fuck over it already, grow up, act white (i.e., civilized), and you’ll do just fine.

emphasis added

Comment by Mr. Roach | February 28, 2008

I am sorry if this disturbed you. Imagine how I feel. I know that every day I leave my front door, or turn on the TV I face the possibility that my neighbors, or the guy walking in the store ahead of me, or the mechanic, the real estate agent, the waiter, the potential boss, the cop, or the LAWYER all feel the same way. Yet I am not bitter, not hateful, not perpetually angry, not the victim, and not the failure. It is life. It is my America, OUR America. This Roach, Mr. Roach, has done me a favor!


February 29, 2008 - Posted by | Affirmative Action, Arrogance, Black Life, Christianity, Civil Rights, Conservatives, Diversity, Larry Elder, Personal Responsibility, Politics, Race, Racial Reconciliation, Racism, Religious Right, Republicans, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity


  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Eric Hundin

    Comment by Eric Hundin | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  2. […] unknown […]

    Pingback by Jim Crow Laws » Blog Archive » Lest We Forget… | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  3. Don’t forget — Mr. Roach calls himself “A believing Catholic” (what does he “believe”?), which is quite interesting, but not surprising. Slave owners were “god fearing”, and most white supremacists take off their hoods, to go to church on Sunday. Go figure.

    Plus, he says EARLIER in his post that he “doesn’t feel TOO bad about rich southern plantation owners…” These are the same plantation owners, who treated human beings like cattle — human beings who DIDN’T ASK TO COME HERE. These human beings weren’t on section 8, welfare or dreaming of basketball hoops. There were no “affirmative action benefits” So, if he hasn’t got enough brains/soul, to not say something as profoundly stupid and cold-hearted as that (as a “believing Catholic”), then I can safely say that we expect WAY too much civility from him. The clue phone is ringing — he needs to answer it.

    He needs Jesus in his life, just like the rest of us.

    Thanks, friend. I didn’t know he claimed to be a Catholic. But… There are no tests to pass to be able to walk into a church and sit down! Means nothing.

    Comment by anappygirl | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  4. I’m not sure if this helps or hurts my struggle to overcome my personal racism. I am glad that people that have accused me of stirring an empty pot can see that I ain’t making this stuff up. Mr. Roach represents many but not nearly all of the hearts of white America. I’d even say they are in the minority. But please believe a bigoted rich white lawyer has more influence than most of my good-hearted, non-racist, white neighbors combined. Things like this don’t make me hate white people but it does send me to God for more grace as I try to obediently love my neighbor as myself.

    Rick, that is the right way to go! Well, well said.

    Comment by Rick T | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  5. ugliness.

    This is just gross and ugly and it scares me.

    Sara. I really appreciate your heart. I appreciate you always visiting, and being so kind. I am sorry that this upset you. I just wanted to show the feelings that lie behind a lot of the, “just get over it” rhetoric. We are not paranoid in this country. These things happen. We do not (usually) play a “card” when we point to occurrences such as this. What Roach said angered me. But it doesn’t hurt at all like it hurts to have people say we are seeing things that aren’t there. He was just bold enough to reveal what we see every day in one way or another.
    Don’t let this distress you too much. And PLEASE don’t stop coming by!
    God Bless You, Derrick.

    Comment by sara | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  6. Oh, Derrick, I was talking about Mr. Roach’s talk being ugly. I’m glad you shared it – I’m just sorry it exists. And if you thought I meant you were wrong to share it.

    Comment by sara | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  7. That is, I’m sorry if you thought I was saying you shouldn’t share these things. I think you should.

    Comment by sara | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  8. I’d like you to show me what’s racist in what I said. I don’t believe in racist affirmative action. I wish blacks well, but don’t feel any personal responsibility for their betterment. I do think a toxic culture causes most black problems. I do think black leaders and individual blacks spend too much time cultivating grievances rather than improving themselves, and this leads to great hostility to whites unless they lick your boots and are able to dodge your all-too-promiscuous accusations of racism. Slavery was wrong. Jim Crow was wrong. Mistreating people on account of their race is wrong. I believe this as a Christian.

    But not feeling guilty, ashamed, or responsible for the racist acts of others, not bearing the sins of the entire white race since time immemorial (and long before my people even came to this country) . . . no, these attitudes are not racist or wrong. They’re normal. They’re as normal as black failures to take responsibilty for their own role in their own problems, both in this country and in Africa. As for the alleged endemic racims, it is in the past, a long time ago, etc. You don’t know what racism is if you think what I said is racist, since I basically say “act OK you’ll get treated OK (i.e., judged by the ‘content of your character’).”

    Your definition of racism amounts to: anyone who doesn’t agree with me.

    Comment by Mr. Roach | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  9. Sara, I absolutely understood where you were coming (from). I just know that this stuff is upsetting!

    Roach, I gotta go. I’ll get to you when I return. There are some GLARING inconsistencies in your statement. Once more, and then I’m done.

    Comment by maxdaddy | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  10. No, “Mr. Roach” you said a WHOLE lot more than “Act Okay and you’ll get treated…Okay”. That’s the trouble with commenting on someone’s blog: You can’t erase what you said, after you come out of your stupor and realize your poor judgement.

    From the whole “homeboy” opening statement (very disrespectful and condescending), to the “get the f&*ck over it” closing comments (profane and totally inappropriate), you’ve shown nothing but contempt. Derrick has been very accomodating.

    You “wish us well”. Well, thanks for that!

    You said it, sista!

    Comment by ANappyGirl | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  11. My friend, Dan, posted this comment on the other post on this subject, and I thought it needed to be put here as well…

    Mr. Roach,

    As a white man, I can understand the source of your reasoning. After all, as much as it shames me now to admit it, I once thought many of same things that you do (although I hope that I would have been a little bit more humble in the way I’d have expressed them). I think the main reason why so many white people think that way is that they haven’t a clue what it is truly like to grow up as the downtrodden minority in a raciallized society. You point out that other minorities, such as Asians, have done quite well for themselves in America. I would submit, however, that have not experienced generation after generation of oppression in our society at the hands of the white majority. In fact all other foreign groups who make up our society today came to America of their own volition with a desire to make a better life for themselves; African-Americans were brought here in chains to help build up this great society we all now enjoy and were, by and large, not even given an education in return. When slavery finally ended, the white-dominated society still denied them equal opportunities to make a better life for themselves. To this day, even though there are now laws in place to “prevent” discrimination, predominantly black communities still don’t have access to the same quality of resources that predominantly white communities do. That is the legacy of slavery and is why what happened 150 years ago is still relevant today.

    Think about it like this, if you faced even a fraction of the challenges growing up that most black people do, do you think you would be where you are today? Do you think you would have done so well in school if your parents could only have afforded to live in a high-crime, inner-city area where you had to walk to school through neighborhoods filled with drug dealers, gang members, pimps, & prostitutes? Do you think you would have developed the work ethic you have if you watched your father sit around collecting SSI/disability checks because it was better money than he could earn if he got a job? Do you think you would have developed the networks you have if most of the adults in your family were earning minimum wage (if they were employed at all)? Do you think you would have aspired to be a lawyer if you were consistently discouraged by people around you from having such lofty dreams?

    The truth of the matter is that you, whether you realize and acknowledge it or not, are the product of a VERY priveleged life (as am I). I didn’t get to choose whether or not my parents were married or present in my life … that was a blessing I experienced. I got to provide no input into what kind of opportunities my dad had to make a better life for his family … that was a blessing my whole family got. I didn’t EVER have to question whether I was smart enough or wealthy enough to go to college or do whatever I wanted with my life … I was blessed to be surrounded by people who helped and encouraged me.

    I’m not trying to say that all black people face these exact challenges, but the reality is that many (if not most) do. But it is not our place as white people to tell them to ignore the fact that they may have few, if any, examples of “success” among people they know and just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and work a little harder. Quite honestly, if the situations were reversed, I doubt that I would be able to do any better.

    Which brings me to the issue of affirmative action … to overcome the myriad of struggles our raciallized society throws thier way, a typical black person would likely have had to work an order of magnitude harder than I did to build up the resume that I have. I believe that is something that is not typically considered when deciding between generally “equivalent” candidates. While I don’t believe affirmative action is the perfect solution (no solution will be perfect until Christ’s return), it is one way to move a small step towards restoring the balance of opportunity in our society. And it is this out-of-balance society, whether you contributed to it or not, that is to a large degree responsible for how well you’ve done in this life (although I would be concerned if I were you for what comes after this life!)

    I may not be able to fully and vividly communicate to you what I’ve come to see as the great advantage we have had in our lives by just being white, but luckily there are others who do a great job of this. I highly recommend you listen to the sermon Derrick referenced in his original post. Ben Parkinson does a phenomenal job and gives a lot of great examples. If you aren’t changed after you hear that sermon, I’ll pray for God to soften your heart.

    If you are interested in learning even more, there are many great books out there. I particularly like one called “Divided by Faith” by Emerson and Smith. It evaluates the history and reasons behind the racial division within the evangelical Christian community in America (which is really just a microcosm of the condition of the greater society, with the paradox that Jesus taught and modeled the contrary to his followers).

    I truly do hope that your opinions on these matters do not come from a racist heart, but rather come from a lack of appreciation for the entirety of this issue. I’ll be praying for you, and others who share your views in this matter.

    Comment by Dan | February 29, 2008 | Edit

    Comment by maxdaddy | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  12. My two cents … okay five cents:

    1. I agree with Dan and think he summed up the ‘other’ white perspective well.

    2. Like “Mr. Roach”, my ancestors also came over in the early 1900s, very poor, and worked hard to get to the middle-class level they are today (my pop is psychiatric social worker, my mom a psychiatric nurse and politician). And while I know they worked hard and sacrificed quite a bit – they never had to deal with being excluded from society because of the color of their skin. They never had bricks or fire-bombs thrown through their windows (nor ever feared that), never had a cross burned on their lawn, never had to pee in a “special” but separate bathroom, go to school somewhere else, and could eat, work, live and read anywhere they wanted to in public.

    And while times have changed and certain laws are no longer on the books, the reality is that the economic dis-advantage that resulted from years of enslavement leaves many blacks living in areas that the more economically advantaged (typically whites) moved away from. (Commonly referred to as the “white flight”.)

    3. Associating “civilized” behavior with white behavior is racist; telling someone to “act white” is racist; saying that most black areas aren’t civilized is racist. These statements presuppose that the “white” culture is superior to the “black” culture and behavior.

    “Racism: 1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”

    4. For the record, according to the government – this is where our taxes go:
    19% National Defense
    04% Veterans and Foreign Affairs
    13% Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc. (down from last year)
    06% Unemployment and Social Services
    36% Social Security, Medicare, etc. (down from last year)
    08% Interest Payments (up from last year)
    02% Law Enforcement
    12% Physical, Human and Community Development

    To “Mr. Roach” – one white dude to another:

    a. Your distinction of “black” areas from “white” areas is a striking observation and to me infers that you have some strong (negative) stereotypes and “us vs. them” mentality.

    b. Freedom of speech aside, why is it “Mr. Roach”? Do you have a first name?

    c. I gotta ask – what’s with the target practice silhouette? I don’t know you at all but after reading your posts and viewing your “picture”, my pysch training leads me to characterize your behavior as borderline narcissistic with passive-aggressive tendencies. I hope my initial impressions are wrong and encourage you to consider a less-aggressive picture to represent you on the web – like flowers, or a picture of your kid, or a dog … or nothing at all.

    d. If you really think that midnight basketball is a waste of tax money – I challenge you to do two things: 1) investigate where our tax money really goes – to include all the pork that white politicians put in for their white business friends, and 2) go down and volunteer to help out with one of those basketball leagues. You may experience a different side of the “black” community and you may even like it!

    e. I don’t remember a passage in my bible that says “act OK and you’ll be treated OK”. Again, your statement presupposes that your way of acting is the right way and that the only way “blacks” will get fair treatment is if they act according to your standard. And while I don’t think that a few paragraphs are going to convince you that your comments drip of racism, I ask you to think about it … Luke 6:45 “For out of the overflow of his heart, his mouth speaks.”

    Give hope, not fear. Peace,

    WOWWWWWWW!!!!!! I wanted to say some stuff, but if I do, it’ll be almost an insult to this brilliant missive! Marc you summed the whole thing up with surgical precision! I am in awe.

    Comment by Bones | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  13. Derrick, I imagine you don’t have a choice as to whether or not you deal with this stuff both online and IRL. So even though I don’t think I have anything informed to say on the subject, you are my brother in Christ and I stand with you. I don’t scare easy. 😀

    Thanx, Sara!!

    Comment by sara | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  14. Associating “civilized” behavior with white behavior is racist; telling someone to “act white” is racist; saying that most black areas aren’t civilized is racist. These statements presuppose that the “white” culture is superior to the “black” culture and behavior.

    Why doesn’t “Mr. Roach” get that? It’s quite simple, and doesn’t require the superior intellect he claims to have.

    Comment by anappygirl | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  15. Mr. Roach. I do think that your tone and attitude have softened. I wonder why…

    My brilliant friends have done a more succinct job in showing you (as if you needed showing) the bigotry of your comments than I could. I would like to add a few things.

    It is interesting that NOW you are a Christian. ou made no mention of it before I made a post out of your comments. Your words are your testimony. What kind of Christian are YOU? The Klan were “Christians”, too.



    You used words — which have been pointed out to you — which are nothing more than codewords.

    I am not quick to shout, “racism”, but I am not loath to do it, especially when it is so obvious as in your case. And I WELCOME disagreement, sir. If you look at my blog in context, I support my arguments, but I don’t shoo folk away who disagree with me. Do not confuse being called out with being slandered. If you are THAT, you did it with your own words.

    And if you ARE a Christian, I pray that the God you serve (in what capacity?) will open your heart and show you that compassion and honesty are just as much Christian Values as are Fiscal Responsibility, Small Government, and all the other Great Republican Planks! Do you READ the Bible? The parts where the “Haves” are taught to tend to the needs of the “Don’t Haves”?


    Two more things;

    1. Don’t think that I don’t ride Black people for the ills we cause ourselves, buster! I have done it on this blog, and I do it in real life! In part because I know that it fosters the rhetoric you and yours spout! “Watch ’em all kill each other!” One can do BOTH, which I pointed out in the original post. We ALL have tasks to do, and bear some level of culpability. I will show OUR faults, as WELL as yours!

    You have turned what was a legendary line in a legendary speech to an empty cliche. The only time you use it is when you want to refute A.A., which you claim, hurts you, or when some preference is made in favor of a minority over you. I am sick of it. I cannot convey how angry it makes me. These are the actions of Hypocrites, and it is as obvious as a second doggone NOSE!!!

    You can visit all you want. You may comment as often as you like. If you hang yourself with your own vulgar words, I will post them. The God you claim knows your heart whether you admit it here or not. I will pray that He do a miracle and change that hard, prejudiced heart. Not much would make me happier. But, as my lung capacity is not what it once was, I will not be holding my breath.

    Comment by maxdaddy | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  16. I’m new at this blogging thing and trying hard to limit my comments because I know some folks don’t like to read long ramblings of a middle-aged white guy. I’ll try harder next time ….

    I don’t consider myself an emotional guy but continue to be really disturbed by some of the replies I have read in response to recent blogs on “racial” issues. I hear them in life as well and am using this forum to share several random and at times unrelated thoughts that won’t leave me alone:

    1. I really appreciate this blog b/c the posts are from the viewpoint of a well-educated, well-grounded, and talented African American whom I respect. Derrick doesn’t shy away from being “black” (see the grocery list), nor does he shy away from calling out fellow African American (especially believers) – but he also doesn’t shy away from expressing his frustration with white America. His articulate and considerate thoughts have been helpful for me to see life through the eyes of another person. Skillful writers can do that.

    2. I will be the first to admit that I am racist and would offer that we all are on some level. I don’t think that should shock anyone because we are all sinners. God challenges us to live in the Spirit, not the Flesh. So while my natural, reactive inclination may be to judge others by physical differences, the Spirit encourages me otherwise. That doesn’t mean I still don’t think those thoughts but I try (try is the key word) to “take those thoughts captive”.

    3. That being said, I don’t see myself as racist even though I know I have racist thoughts that pass through my head. I think there are several differences – one being that I am trying to learn and feel that I am open (trying to be honest with myself), two – I desperately try not to act on any of those thoughts, and three – I am deliberately trying to reprogram my brain to not think those thoughts. As the pastors at Fellowship Memphis exhort: it’s not good enough to not be racist, we have to be anti-racist. For too long I have sat back in silent disagreement with people like “Mr. Roach”.

    4. It is with that mindset I respond to blogs like this one. Just because there aren’t segregation laws on the books, lynching’s, attack dogs unleashed on people, etc.. (physical manifestation of racism), that doesn’t mean that racism doesn’t exist. From a medical analogy – just because I don’t have an open wound doesn’t mean I’m not sick.

    5. In that vein, I agree with several of the modern day (white and black) authors in that racism is much more covert today and manifests itself through more subtle and mental means (vice physical as pointed out above). To highlight this point, I want to bring up the #1 issue that continues to bother me in these post – that being some language and word choices used to address others.

    My underlying motivation for these thoughts comes from Lk 6:45 and Eph 4:29 – neither of which specifically throw race into the conversation. (Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.) THAT is exactly why it disturbs me b/c I have read too much unwholesome talk directed at a “people” group (i.e. blacks).

    Besides dropping the F bomb – take for example the following phrases: “home-boy”, “welfare queens”, “section 8 housing vouchers”, “cult of pimps”, “toxic culture”, “act white”, and “southern plantation owners”. ALL of those phrases conjure up some very strong images of racism and the mistreatment of African Americans, and they all smack of negative stereotypes. To use those phrases with people you personally know nothing about (other than they are African American) – is not wholesome. In and of themselves those phrases don’t mean a person is racist but it’s hard not to jump to that conclusion. At a minimum those phrases are disrespectful, inconsiderate and insensitive.

    What do I mean by that? Well if Tracey (who I don’t know) wants to refer to herself online as “anappygirl”, that is her prerogative. But if I don’t know her, I would never approach her and start a conversation with her by telling her she is “nappy”. As pastor Ben said – that is not my voice in the conversation. Similarly, I would not start a dialogue on race with “home-boy”. The term “boy” immediately invokes a master-slave mentality and isn’t needed (or desired) in the conversation. I liken this to the “noose” and confederate flag discussion I hear all too often. I personally don’t think there is anything evil about either of those two inantimate objects – HOWEVER, like the words above they are symbols that invoke deep seeded emotion. Nooses simply aren’t used today (due to industrial advances) so why do we still see them popping up? Same with the flag … it’s okay for white confederates to hold onto their history but not okay for African American’s to remember theirs? That, by definition, is hypocrisy.

    My point here is not to spawn a new discussion on these topics but simply to point out that our tongue (read the book of James) is powerful. Using words or phrases that we all know are condescending and/or derogatory is uncalled for and unwanted – here on the web or in another other setting. (See Don Imus, et al.)


    PS – Rick, this is what happens when you cancel practice … you give a troubled mind an opportunity to express itself. 🙂

    Comment by Bones | March 1, 2008 | Reply

  17. I’m getting a little bored with this conversation. You can imagine, I hope, that I have heard all of this ersatz Marxism before in college, because I had a habit of freely stating my views without fear of condemnation.

    I think the heart of the matter is what has been brought up above: Associating “civilized” behavior with white behavior is racist; telling someone to “act white” is racist; saying that most black areas aren’t civilized is racist. These statements presuppose that the “white” culture is superior to the “black” culture and behavior.

    I don’t think associating “white” behavior with civilized behavior is racist. Whites have set the cultural standards in this country. Those standards are why our country is such a desirable place to live. Those standards aren’t merely white but the product of a distinct, historical culture: northern-European, Protestant, English, merchant-oriented, devoted to the rule of law and free markets, largely middle class, orderly, lacking a “Latin” culture of corruption, etc. The great diversity of white countries ranging from chaotic Albania to orderly Sweden should show that the term “white” in America is merely a crude short-hand for the historical majority and its values.

    Whites have certain group tendencies. So do Asians. So do Hispanics. So do blacks. We can agree, I hope that not all behavior is civilized. That not all cultural expressions of civilized behavior are equal. Using one of the best barometers of civilized behavior–crime–we know that whites commit crime at much lower rates than blacks. It’s basically a 1:10 ratio. So, even though blacks make up 12% of the population, they make up 50% of the armed robbers and murderers. Here’s a link to the facts:

    The next question is why? The usual response of the left is that this is a product of poverty and also a product of resentment, anger, and bad habits that have persisted long past slavery. I think both of those tendencies play a part. So in this sense I’m not a racial essentialist. I think genetics, IQ, and other inherited traits may play some part too, but I don’t know the mix, and I don’t think we should forget that human behavior can be adjusted through a combination of rewards, punishments, examples, and expectations that make up the culture. For example, I think black culture has been better at serving the goals of group advancement in the past, including during the high water mark of black economic advancement from 1900-1960 which featured the Harlem Rennaissance, the effective campaign against lynching through the NAACP, and the rise of participation in higher education through black colleges with high standards and good teachers and mentors.

    But the fact genetics doesn’t explain everything also doesn’t change that there is a white-black difference in behavior. And all of us with eyes see it every day and experience it in far less damaging ways than violent crime, i.e., surly staff at fast food restaurants and government agencies, aimless kids with gaucho clothing at the mall, the “bling bling” culture of rims and other depreciating assets, and the threatening kids we were happy to away from after high school. This is not exclusive to blacks, of course. Whites who act this way are generally considered “low class.” Blacks who don’t act this way are castigated by fellow blacks for “acting white.” This is of course more true in cities than in rural areas of the South, where the black churches and the black family work hand in hand to hold the line so to speak.

    So it’s not exclusively the domain of blacks or whites to behave badly, but blacks do it more often, and, unlike whites who behave badly, many excuses are made instead of outright condemnation. More important, if bad behavior is marginal to white communities and freely condemned among them by every institution of culture, bad black behavior is more normal, common, and acceptable in black communities, leading to more of it. This isn’t just in silly pop culture songs talking about how going to jail is “keeping it real,” it’s also in things like the movement to re-enfranchise felons or the lack of shame in promiscuity, as evidenced by the unpunished single motherhood of so many black women.

    I think whites should confidently as a majority demand that everyone meets the same, reasonable, minimum standards, and that we shouldn’t be cowed by accusations of our racist past. Yes, we should learn our history and recognize the damage slavery and segregation did to black families. But that doesn’t mean that ten generations after slavery and two or three generations after anyone has seen a colored water fountain, that whites should have to feel guilty for demanding blacks don’t sing songs glorifying cop killers, cheer in the streets when murderers like OJ are released, threaten nice white ladies at the mall, riot when they are unhappy about something or other, sell drugs in open air street markets, goof around in school and wonder why their grades aren’t very high, and, most important, allow historical wrongs to create a guilt-based society where whites are disarmed from demanding adherence to reasonable standards.

    Black leaders used to know this; back in the fifties it was common for black elders to shame their children with the phrase, “Be a credit to your race.” But the current ethos is one of constant passing-of-the-buck and constant-excuse-making by whites. And, as a consequence, the black family has sunken to a lower low after the 1960s then it ever had under the ravages of slavery and the economic impediments of segregation. Today something like 4/5 black kids are born to single mothers, with all of the usual problems that entails.

    In short, for a lot of reasons, some not having to do with race, blacks in America do worse in life, commit more crime, contribute less to high culture, do more poorly in school, achieve less, and have lower standards in every measure of human achievement. Whites have failed themselves and failed blacks by not taking up the torch of cultural and civilizational leadership, self-consciously as the majority with a duty to set the tone and standards of the society. Non-whites who “act white” succeed just fine in America; I believe this explains why Asians whose values are similar to whites, do so well, even though many have been here very shortly, their parents barely speak English, and they have few of the resources even blacks have. White racism has little to do with contemporary black failure, because most whites are as liberal as the self-hating whites in this thread and always find an excuse for bad black behavior o, just as bad, refuse to recognize it when it exists, whether it’s rioting in LA or young people hootin’ and hollerin’ in the middle of a restaurant. Blacks need to get over the racism explanation because it has little to do with what’s going on today: the decline of black standards that had risen steadily from 1900-1960, the explosion of illegitimacy , the rise of a “drug culture” among urban blacks, and the hair-trigger and totally ungenerous lookout for white racism, even among well-meaning liberal whites. I think the best thing I can do for this country and my race, the results of which I believe will also help the black race, is fight for the improvement of my people, encouraging our self-identification and confidence as the dominant majority in America freely imposing standards on the whole society, once again.

    Comment by Mr. Roach | March 1, 2008 | Reply

  18. Derrick I have been reading your blog for a while now and I know that you are a follower of Christ. I learned a long time ago until White America start to teach that hate is a sin and preach about it from the pulpit the Mr. Roachs of the world will continue.

    He will one day be the minority then what? His children will have to deal with all that hate his generation put into the world it’s not going to be pretty. Derrick some of his comment are just down right hateful. How did a hateful person like this find his way to your site?

    Hey, Ann! I go to your blog all the time, too!
    They teach that at my church, but I know we are in the minority. From EITHER racial perspective.
    He found my blog, I think, because Affirmative Action, which he hates, was one of the tags on a post of mine.

    Comment by Ann Brock | March 1, 2008 | Reply

  19. “Mr. Roach”,

    I honestly applaud your ability to put together a coherent and “civilized” reply to this discussion without resorting to overtly derogatory statements, curse words, and extreme bigotry.

    (THIS Time! Derrick.)
    However, I think that you are in the minority here … at least on this blog and we will have to agree to disagree on several points.

    1. One being the definition of racism b/c your own words state that the aggregate “white” culture from history and Europe is the definition of civilized behavior. In my book that is racism because it submits that one race is superior to another.

    2. Two being your assertion about human behavior modification as the end-all-be-all to overcome what seemed to be a dis on someone’s genetic makeup. John B. Watson, who some consider the father of behaviorist psychology, was a contemporary of Freud … but those early theories of psychology have significantly matured since the 1920s. To assert that simple behavior modification will solve the problem fails to recognize the entire field of modern day (and accepted) psychology.

    In a nut-shell, modern psych is binned into five main avenues that almost all agree are inter-related and co-dependent (biological, behavioral, cognitive, psychoanalytic, and subjectivist). Here is a common definition of the viewpoint I think applies here:

    “The subjectivist perspective contends that human behavior is a function of the perceived world, not the objective world. Like the cognitive approach, the subjectivist perspective drew from the Gestalt tradition and reacted against the narrowness of behaviorism.”

    My question and challenge to you is this – what are you doing to help shape a POSITIVE perception of this world to others, especially blacks for which you have such strong negative opinions of?

    3. Three being your use of data to support your viewpoint. The FIRST thing any student of science or any statistical field is taught is the concept of CAUSATION and CORRELATION. Simply put, correlation of data does not necessarily imply causation. So while your correlation of crime to the black community appears convincing, you have jumped from correlation to causation and asserted that black behavior is the reason for the higher crime rate.

    I read the “color of crime” report for a class long ago and the methodology and structure of the research leaves quite a bit to be desired from the scientific standpoint. The author – a self proclaimed white nationalist who invites neo-Nazi’s to his lectures – makes some powerful and, in my opinion, skewed causation statements. Then he throws the racism defense card at the end to cover his statements. [See for a very good analysis of this “data”.]

    Several points here:

    a. I’m a data guy and do scientific analysis for a living (Systems and Operations Analysis). I can make numbers lie any time I want – so reading someone’s interpretation of that crime data isn’t very convincing.

    b. What strikes me most about the data contained in the “Color of Crime” is the narrowness of the data. Meaning, while it contains some very good (and I believe accurate) data about crime and color – it conveniently leaves out any other related data. For example – I didn’t read anything about the racial breakdown of the police force as a whole (higher than the national average), the color of the officer conducting the arrest or producing the crime report, the social-economic status of those committing the crime, and the time or location of those arrests. Drawing a conclusion (causation) without that data is incomplete. Though I no longer have the paper, I read a research article a few years back that showed a stronger correlation between income and crime then race and crime. If you follow that rabbit hole – then reducing poverty will decrease the crime rate. That same report showed another high (negative) correlation between education level and crime; follow that rabbit hole – increasing the education level will decrease the crime rate. Humm – maybe they’re onto something there.

    My point here is that perhaps there are more blacks in jail because there are more white cops looking for black crime (racial profiling). Maybe the numbers show that blacks commit more crimes because those crimes get reported at a higher rate than white crimes (by a population that is mostly white). The biggest unknown in any dataset is the data you don’t have … in this case the conclusions are based on reported crime but you cannot (or should not) safely assume that “reported crime” represents the entire set of ‘all crime’.

    All the science-guy stuff aside, the black community acknowledges that there are some glaring issues they are dealing with. You systematically point out some of their admitted sore spots … I don’t see the corresponding list for whites. Here’s a start for you: Jasper TX, Jena 6, Rodney King, Timothy McVae, Columbine, VA Tech, Illinois Mall massacre, etc., etc… I’m beginning to think that your knowledge of the African American community is quite shallow and gained through movies, TV, and music.

    I’ll beat this drum again – what are you doing to help them address their problem? What are you doing to help their perception of America so that they can “do well in school” so that you will accept them as civilized? Behavioral modification doesn’t work – so sending more blacks to jail, telling them to get over it, invoking the “guilt-based society” card (which is the corollary to the racism card), and verbally insulting them (African Americans) is NOT helping. And I hope that while you fight for the improvement of “your” people you can find time to fight for the improvement of ALL people.


    PS – I never did get your name.

    Wow!! I have no adequate words…

    Comment by Bones | March 1, 2008 | Reply

  20. Well, Bones, that was a very erudite dodging of my basic point.

    Number one, if population A invents writing, the wheel, discovers fire, and abolishes slavery, while population B lives in huts, is illiterate, has no significant technology, and has a narrow, parochial outlook, is it “racist” to say Population A is more civilized. I don’t think so. It’s true civilization was discovered historically by distinct peoples in different times and places. It’s certainly not the exclusive domain of the white race, and, needless to say, the white race has at times acted barbarically, particularly against other groups who it perceived to threaten that civilization. That said, if Rome, the ancient Sumerians, and the Aztecs were in some sense civilized, then we can admit too, I hope, that European Gypsies, Rwandan Hutus, and Australian Aborigines are not. Because if we can’t make some judgments about and between cultures, it is truly impossible to have this discussion. You’re just declaring at the beginning that the category is not a real one, that all behaviors are equal, and that we can’t make any group judgments of any worth.You may believe that, but then that’s the end of the discussion. This is why I used the crime example, as crime is something almost everyone agrees is wrong, is a sign of a cultural or civilziational problem, and it creates problems for everyone. So just let me know if rape and non-rape are morally equally and the rape rate too, and then at least everyone will know that you’re intellectually honest and consistent.

    On the correlation-causation point, I’ve always found this a somewhat laughable and pseudo-sophisticated point. How could one ever prove causation in social phenomena in your view? David Hume basically rejected causation in the natural sciences, arguing we can only notice correlation in greater and greater degrees of detail and regularity. I think that’s the case here. Further, causation is not the issue. I don’t necessarily care how we got here other than to find a way out.

    I do care, right now, as I must live, that blacks behave badly as a group and whites are uncommitted to stopping this. How it got to be this way, whether the same habit or gene causes both black poverty, black illegitimacy, and black crime, I don’t know, but I assume that all of these things are somewhat endogenous, largely related to and in a sense caused by genetically caused differences in IQ. (I’m sure you know, as a scientist, that the mean black IQ on every test devised (including culturally neutral tests like Raven’s Matrices) is 85 vs. a white and Asian average of about 100, meaning the average is 1 standard deviation below, which creates a lot of problems en masse.)

    As I said above, a lot of things in group behavior coalesce in some kind of opaque mixture go into how a group behaves, including history, genetics, contemporary culture, and beliefs. I don’t the mixture, the exact causes of behavior. Indeed, most relationships in human life are statistical in nature. X behavior yields X% more of some other behavior. It’s rare to have 1:1 correspondence. So we know that illegitimate kids have higher crime rates, but we also know not all of them do. Well, it’s kind of like that in making judgments and measurements across racial cohorts. We’re talking about broad, group trends, which are very relevant.

    Your psychological point is also of the psuedo-sophisticated variety. I’m not saying I know all the ins and outs of any one person’s psychology, I’m saying that every group in power in the history of the world had a rough sense of practical psychology that includes the following completely uncontroversial (I hope) truisms: Punish something, you’ll get less of it; reward something, you’ll get more of it.

    Color of Crime’s data was narrow. Sometimes we wish we had more data than we do, but lot of life must follow 80/20 rules. But when it’s compared to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the numbers are very similar, and it’s clear over-arrests are not the cause of this imprisonment disparity. As for the likely poverty of many of the offenders, that doesn’t matter so much to me because people in life don’t run around with their 1040s stapled to their foreheads; their race however is visible, both to me as a potential victim and also to one another as a source of group identity. It’s undoubtedly true richer blacks commit less crime than poorer blacks, but, so what? I’m not saying I wish they weren’t richer, but, speaking of causation and correlation, isn’t it logical that the traits that make other people rise out of or stay out of poverty–industry, frugality, long time horizons, high IQs–are also what cause both higher black poverty and higher black crime. We must recognize this reality and realize that far from addressing root causes which may well be unchanging, we should at the very minimum control the damage through self-concious imposition of standards and, where appropriate, differential treatment, i.e., disparate prison sentences, disparate rates of school discipline. That is, I don’t favor two justice systems or different treatment of the black race, I favor utter indifference by whites about any disprate impact of imposing the same high standards on all the groups in our society.

    Comment by Mr. Roach | March 2, 2008 | Reply

  21. Wow … I’m almost speechless here as you surgically dismiss most of modern science and research standards in one fell swoop. But I’m not surprised with your reply and disappointingly I expected it. I disagree with so much written that I will simply repeat that we will have to agree to disagree, and sum up my previous posts:

    1. Racism (taken from the “civilized” and accepted dictionary):

    A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

    Your continued use of population A (saviors of the world) versus population B (obviously the bad black people here and in Africa) – labels you racist. And as a previous blogger wrote – the fact that you are a lawyer and maintain these thoughts is disturbing. I really hope and pray that you are unbiased as you uphold the Constitution and our laws.

    2. What are you doing to help shape a POSITIVE perception of this world to others, especially blacks for which you have such strong negative opinions of?

    3. What are you doing to help them address their problem? What are you doing to help their perception of America so that they can “do well in school” so that you will accept them as civilized? And I hope that while you fight for the improvement of “your” people you can find time to fight for the improvement of ALL people.

    4. Using inflammatory language that you know is abrasive doesn’t help race relations – here in America and elsewhere around the world. Next time you deal with a member of the uncivilized “population B”, I highly recommend you use more “civilized” language as they extend grace to you.

    Mr. Eckardt

    Comment by Bones | March 2, 2008 | Reply

  22. @Mr. Roach,

    You try to hide behind stats and “educated guesses”, and the bottom line is this: You have only contempt for black people. Let’s be honest, okay? Please. Your long-windedness is aggravating. Just pull out the confederate flag, the noose, and the blood hounds. Let’s find us a “black boy”, and a Poplar tree, shall we?

    When you addressed Derrick as, “homeboy” (a MAN LIKE YOU who DEFINATELY doesn’t fit the bad-behaving, surly, uneducated, “gaucho wearing”, white-old-lady-harassing stereotype you so willingly embrace)you displayed your true colors. Your cover is blown. Your credibility is non-existent. Stop lying to yourself, first and foremost. Even when we “do white”, we’re never as good as white, right?

    Your type of “soul sickness” can only be corrected by a heart transplant.

    1John 1:9

    You SAW where he said some of this stuff was GENETIC, right…? This dude is dangerous!

    Comment by anappygirl | March 2, 2008 | Reply

  23. @Derrick
    Oh yes! VERY DANGEROUS! If we’re genetically inferior, how the heck do you work around that? Too “Hitler-esque” for me.

    Tracey, that was some GREAT information! As was Marc’s link, too. (He goes to my church, plays percussion, and is in the Navy) One good thing to come from all of this is that it has educated me through links like these! Thanks, Derrick.

    Comment by anappygirl | March 2, 2008 | Reply

  24. Mr. Roach,
    Concerning the human target thing, from one perspective it looks like a threatening jesture when taken with your ofensive and vulgar language. But may I ask if that target is symbolic of you? I sense that fear is probably a word that you cringe at associating with yourself. Yet your words suggest the extreme frustrations of being unable to change society and the fear of someone taking what you worked hard for, or getting what you desire to attain. I don’t know how long you’ve been a Christian but its hard sometimes to trust that God will correct the sin in others (and ourselves). I’m not saying that Christians shouldn’t confront things but we have to be very careful when we do lest we fall into sin ourself (Gal. 6:1). We are commanded to be a light and a light cannot force others to walk its path it can only make it easier for them to.

    Mr. Roach, I believe you do want the African-American race to prosper but your spirit in which you spoke is heard much louder than any bit of truth you may have offered. But be encouraged! You have been lead to Derrick’s blog for perspective. You have claimed the name of Christ so I can only assume you are a work in progress. All have fallen short of the glory of God. I pray for you, Derrick, and all of us who have read the above dialoge and struggled with the feelings it has evoked. May God give his people tough skin and soft hearts.

    “…and put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him–a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircuncised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” Col.3:10-14

    Thank you, Rachel, for your scriptural perspective.
    I think you have given Mr. Roach far more credit for compassion than his words reflect. It would be an ENORMOUS sign of God’s Grace if this man’s heart were truly opened.
    Thanks again, Derrick.

    Comment by Rachel S. | March 3, 2008 | Reply

  25. @Rachel

    I don’t know if Mr. Roach has been born again. I’m not trying to call him out for being a sinner, cuz we’re all in the same boat.

    However, there’s a difference between being a “practicing Catholic” and being a Christian. The former can indicate that a person is wrapped up in the traditions/rituals/history/religiousity of the Catholic church. It may have nothing to do with hearing, believing and receiving the message of The Gospel. Christians do struggle with sinful attitudes — but the key is that there IS a war going on. To “struggle” means there’s a battle. If a person can live comfortably with their sinful behavior/attitudes, and experience no conviction from The Holy Spirit, there is no “struggle”, and that person needs to examine THEMSELVES. 2Cor.13:5

    God gives us the grace/power/means to “correct” what is wrong. We must repent. The Holy Spirit convicts. We respond, or don’t respond (dangerous) to that conviction. Just like we can’t force others to see the light, God does not force us to repent. God will reveal what is wrong (thru His Word, The Holy Spirit, OTHERS, etc.) He will graciously drop all kinds of “spiritual hints” that we’re not walking in our calling. But we gotta do the work, with the power He graciously provides, to change.

    Folks here have been very nice (I’ve been the least nice) to Mr. Roach, considering. I’m the first to admit, I have a VERY HARD time, with smarter-than-God white folks, who think they have all the answers to why blacks(and everyone else, who’s not white) “just don’t measure up”. Perhaps because I’ve read some of Mr. Roach’s blog, I don’t get the “frustration but well wishes for blacks” that you see. I just don’t buy it.

    Mr. Roach’s tone changed, once folks asked him how he could be a practicing Catholic, AND a lawyer, with such a warped view of black AND white america. He never really answered it, but chose to take us down the long road of, “Well, the studies show that blacks score lower than all other races on IQ tests, and they commit more crimes!”. He would RATHER believe that we’re not as smart, prone to violent behavior, etc., rather than believe that “studies” are often biased and don’t always present the total picture. People can find a “study” to support just about any belief they have. He knows all of this, but acts as if we don’t know that.


    Comment by anappygirl | March 3, 2008 | Reply

  26. “People can find a “study” to support just about any belief they have. He knows all of this, but acts as if we don’t know that.” It’s true. But is it really a solution to throw up your arms in despair whenever you encounter complexity, facts, studies, math, numbers, etc.?

    The human target thing is a play on the term mansizedtarget, which is a euphemism from the military, as in, “he can engage a mansizedtarget out to 500 meters.” It’s not meant to threaten anyone. It is meant as a mockery of euphemism and half-truth.

    Someone asked, “What are you doing to help shape a POSITIVE perception of this world to others, especially blacks for which you have such strong negative opinions of? What are you doing to help them address their problem? What are you doing to help their perception of America so that they can “do well in school” so that you will accept them as civilized?” Why do I have to do anything? Why is it whites are always expected to “rise above” race consciousness and parochialism, but all the other tribes get to organize, plot, scheme, engage in mutual self-help, and otherwise work to advance themselves at the expense of the historical, white majority in America’s elite? What have rich blacks ever done for poor whites in Apalachia or in Russia, Romania? What have rich blacks (and there are plenty), even done for poor blacks for that matter? Whites have the highest rate (not raw amount *rate*) of charitable giving in this country. It is we who started the foundations, the children’s homes, and all the rest. Almost all the black chariteis are really just tribal organizations seeking out tribal goods,i.e., UNCF, NAACP.

    If they can organize to take our power and prerogatives, why can’t we organize to keep them? (Incidentally, I don’t favor that sort of thing, other than as a defensive measure. I favor a complete indifference to racial disparity in outcome. I favor standards that evaluate individuals, so much as that is possible. It’s the same reason the world of sports is so excellent, so devoid of racism (relatively), and so effective at finding human excellence.)

    I did start this whole exchange obnoxiously and would like to apologize for that, as well as the foul language. Like lots of people, I do have a weakness for spouting off on the internet. When I saw what I thought was becoming a serious discussion with Christian people with whom I have some common ground, I switched gears.

    I would appreciate it if people didn’t presume to judge whether Catholics are really Christians. We were Christians in the only Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself at Pentecost. I realize people can go through the motions with Catholicism, but the same is true of any organized religion. While I don’t favor government programs like affirmative action, I also do beleve in the basic brotherhood of man, that those to whom much is given much is expected, that blacks and whites are historical members of this nation to whom we both owe some basic loyalty as fellow citizens. I believe, for this last reason, that illegal immigration is a bad thing particularly because it’s bad for poorer, rural, and blue collar whites as well as urban blacks. I just think it’s greedy, corporate America seeking cheap labor and has nothing to do with “diversity” or whatever flavor-of-the-month ideology we’re supposed to be celebrating.

    I do not, however, retract my basic worlview insofar as it demands an essentially majority-white leadership of America, as it’s something I’ve arrived at after a lot of searching, study, and personal experience. It’s only part of the picture; look at my blog. Racial issues of all kinds are not the most prominent. And, with ideological fellow travellers, I’m often playing devil’s advocate, as I was writing on another blog recently that any expression of white pride or white nationalism must be tempered by Christianity, or else we become monsters.

    Anyway, take care.

    Comment by Mr. Roach | March 3, 2008 | Reply

  27. Mr. Roach,

    I wasn’t debating whether Catholics are Christians. Most Christians I know identify themselves as…Christians. For me to say, “I’m a practicing Baptist” COULD indicate that I identify most heavily with Baptist teaching/tradition. I didn’t say that was the case for you. I stated that there’s a difference between being a Christian, and having an allegiance to a particular denomination.

    I’m a black American. I’m a Christian. If you imply that blacks are genetically inferior, uncivilized, barbaric, etc., you won’t get a round of applause, and the warmest welcome.

    AND I might add that if you make the suggestions, Mr. Roach, that you do (i.e. genetically inferior races), you are not a Christian in the sense that the Bible teaches. From one man God made every NATION of men. There IS no genetically superior or INferior race! Wars have been fought because of that kind of thinking. You are not the same kind of “Christian” that I (and, I suspect, the rest of us) am, if you hold to this. Information has been given in this thread to show that the stuff you referenced came from a racially skewed agenda, in much the same way that Kinsey’s data on human sexuality was gathered with an agenda in mind.

    How can we be one Body if some groups are, by NATURE, dumber and more prone to uncivilized behavior? How can a foot be “grafted in” if the DNA of the rest of the body rejects it? You are forgiven for your calculated (not spur of the moment, off the cuff) language. Your thought process is still troubling.
    p.s. Sorry, Tracey, for hijacking your comment!

    Comment by ANappyGirl | March 3, 2008 | Reply

  28. No problem, Derrick! I don’t feel “hijacked”!

    Mr. Roach,
    Despite my obvious anger at…you, I don’t hate you. Not in the least — not that it matters to you, but I’m just settin’ the record straight.

    I am deeply troubled by your words, though. You sound very “detached” when you speak about blacks — like we’re a different species, and I think that’s what really got me going. It’s like we’re not quite human. The evolution didn’t reach all the way down to…us. There’s no affinity, which is scary.

    We have a responsibility to all humanity, regardless of our race/ethnicity. As a fellow human being (if not as a Christian), you should have the desire to work towards the betterment of all — the results will benefit…all, not just black people. If we fall off the earth, there’s more at stake, than us being stricken from the history books. We do bring something to the table, other than slam-dunking ability. God didn’t create a “garbage race”.

    Yes, we have our own responsibilities and have failed miserably, in some key areas, along the way. I, like Derrick, have no problem looking at our situation, with a sharp eye, and naming and claiming our wrong in the mess — past and present.

    Comment by anappygirl | March 3, 2008 | Reply

  29. Our genetic differences are simply a matter of science. Science is showing these differences more and more every day. Group traits have nothing to do with whether we’re human, capable of moral behavior, free to choose, made in the image of God, and all the rest. But whether someting is unsettling or can be abused has nothing to do with whether it is true.

    Comment by Mr. Roach | March 3, 2008 | Reply

  30. Yeah. Fine with YOU. Just as long as YOU’RE in the genetically Superior group!

    From the Harcourt, Brace & World Standard College Dictionary:
    racism (ra’ siz um) 1. A belief that people differ significantly and systematically, as in ability, intellect, etc., because of racial differences.

    I mean, that is YOU. And all who think like you! Your NAME is practically IN the definition.
    You CANNOT be THIS AND a Christian! God is not a racist, sir!

    You have used what appears to be skewed data to support what you wish to make true. Believe what you will, but the more you type, the clearer the picture becomes.

    Comment by maxdaddy | March 4, 2008 | Reply

  31. You have used what appears to be skewed data to support what you wish to make true. Believe what you will, but the more you type, the clearer the picture becomes

    Yep, that’s the bottom line, Mr. Roach. You want to believe that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. Your argument is very raggedy, yet you still try to support it, with data that proves what you believed all along.

    Comment by anappygirl | March 4, 2008 | Reply

  32. You are not addressing the merits of the issue. Incidentally, most genetic research shows Ashkenazi Jews have the highest IQs, clocking an average of 115, which is one standard deviation above the white median. At any top university, where 40% or more of the profesors are Jewish, this is pretty apparent. Asians too may have a slightly higher average IQ than whites. I don’t care about these facts or feel bad about them, any more than I feel bad about the fact that West Africans dominate short distance running events in the Olympics or that East African dominate long distance events. These differences are genetic.

    I invite you to go to the website and learn more.

    As Solzinyetsin said, “Live not by lies.” Just labeling a whole category of fact “racism” and ignoring the merits does not impres me. Truth does not contradict truth. Science does not and cannot contradict well grounded Christian truth. Let me guess, you don’t believe in evolution either. If you don’t, you are disqualified from being taken seriously on any scientific question.

    Comment by Mr. Roach | March 4, 2008 | Reply

  33. You say:
    “Let me guess, you don’t believe in evolution either. If you don’t, you are disqualified from being taken seriously on any scientific question.”

    Let ME say one more thing, and that’s IT: If YOU believe in evolution (which I knew from the moment you introduced your genetic theories!), you are categorically disqualified from being taken seriously on any Christian question. The two cannot be reconciled. And God is the Chief Scientist, not ANTI-science. I’m done.

    Comment by maxdaddy | March 4, 2008 | Reply

  34. There’s no such thing as a “Christian Evolutionist”, Mr. Roach. You know better than that!

    Comment by ANappyGirl | March 4, 2008 | Reply

  35. This thing has gotten way off track from what I believe is the essential point of this issue. Who cares what science has to say about genetic inferiority/superiority of different races? Not me (and I make my living as a scientist)! Far above and beyond my identity as a scientist, I am first and foremost a Christian. So, let’s see what Christ has to say that is relevant.

    A man once asked Christ, ‘which is the most important commandment’. His response: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

    Mr. Roach, you also claim to be a Christian, but do realize that your point of view in this matter in no way embodies what Christ laid out as the most important commandment? Oh sure, you love your rich, white, “civilized” American neighbor, and while that is part of the group to whom Christ referred, it is only a very small fraction. Jesus goes on in another passage to say, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that.” (Luke 6:32-33)

    James has plenty to say that is relevant to this issue and many of the comments that have been made:
    “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” (James 2:1-4,8-9,12-13)

    We, as Christians, have been called by Christ to love others and serve those in need. I think you may even agree that the black community is in desperate need. Can black people do a better job helping themselves? Of course they can. But rather than worry about what other people are (not) doing, let those of us who can help start helping. Jesus was the only man who ever walked this earth without sin. He would have had every excuse in the world to condemn those who had made poor choices in life. The culture of his time would have openly accepted him if he had avoided those who were poor and sick. So what did he choose to do? He humbled himself and loved and served those not only who couldn’t do for themselves (the poor and sick), but also those who had made poor choices in life (the tax collectors and the adulterers). Christians are called to be like Christ. So what are you doing to be like Christ? If he were here today, do you think he would praise you for your “objective and intellectual” study and observations of the plight of black people in our society today? Do you think he would join you in spreading the rhetoric of the genetic intellectual inferiority of the black man?

    Mr. Roach, what you have written has not offended me as much as a white man (I expect that there will be white people with your views), as it has as a Christian. I implore you, if you are indeed a Christian, to read the bible, discuss these issues with your priest (or others who know the bible), seek the wisdom of the Lord, and confess your sin. If you have indeed been called into relationship with Christ, I believe that your life will be truly changed.

    If you do not experience such a change, I ask you to please refrain from calling yourself a Christian. Please know that I do not say this lightly or hatefully (in fact, I am praying right now that your life will be transformed). However, your current views, opinions, and actions are in direct contradiction with the scriptures and with the spirit of the teachings of Christ. I believe that one of my duties as a Christian is to keep the faith and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ pure (just as Derrick does with regard to ‘Prosperity Preachers’). When you contradict the letter and spirit of the law (scripture), that is heresy and must be rooted out of the church.

    Ultimately, I cannot make you refrain from calling yourself a Christian. However, if you’d have done as much “searching, study, and personal experience” with the bible, you’d know for yourself that this title is not befitting someone with your views.

    GREAT! Thanks, Dan!

    Comment by Dan | March 5, 2008 | Reply

  36. Oh, Derreck, so presumptuous.

    First, Jesus is the Logos, the Word, Reason itself, the Truth Made Flesh. Truth cannot contradict truth. Does anyone disagree with this? Is it possible science, which looks for truth, and finds confirmable truths that let us put a man on the moon and cure diseases and build great skyscrapers, that this same method is wrong in the field of genetics and biology? If something is true, Jesus wants us to know it, whether it’s about birds, bees, the sun, the planets, physics, or genetics and race. Most everyone here has ignored the facts and said they don’t want to discuss them because they’re inherently unsettling. They’re not. They’re facts. They’re like the color of our skin, another unavoidable fact.

    Further, these facts are about groups. Even if blacks in general have a particular that, that doesn’t say this or that individual does. We don’t need to worry in educational and workplace settings, because smarts and skills (and other relevant traits, including honesty, work-ethic, and character) can be tested in various ways. I do agree that facts about human beings must be applied charitably with an eye to the good of every individual, that no one group or person can be a “sacrificial lamb” existing only for the benefit of the overlords, but we are not duty-bound to deny or ignore the truth.

    Second, you’re assuming because I don’t like affirmative action or government attempts to create material equality through socialism, or because I think the history of the white race is more good than bad, or because I recognize facts about race and our group tendencies that I cannot deny (other than by lying), that I have no love for black people. This isn’t true. I have a certain love for all humanity. Obviously my love for my own–my family, my countrymen, the white race–is more. But it’s no more “hateful” for me to believe this, then it is for the Christian Barack Obama to believe in the black nationalism of the kooky church he goes to in the south side of Chicago.

    It’s natural that our affections and our charity is often devoted at least first to our own communities. My question, I asked above, is that it seems whites are unique in expanding their orbit of affections to include non-whites. Can anyone here cite to me a significant act of generosity to whites by blacks as a charity or otherwise? I’m sure it’s happened individually, but I’m talking something major, like the NAACP or UNCF or things of that nature.

    You say, “We, as Christians, have been called by Christ to love others and serve those in need. I think you may even agree that the black community is in desperate need.” I don’t agree. Poor, urban, low SES, low-performing blacks, perhaps, but the recipients of affirmative actions are people like Barack Obama’s kids. I saw it in college. Further, some of the recipients of various aid are people hurt by the aid they receive, i.e., multigenerationally poor single moms with a brood of illegitimates living in housting projects.

    Incidentally, I’ve helped poor people, black and white through programs through Church and the Streetlaw program in Hyde Park, Chicago. I taught English to poor Lithuanian kids in Eastern Europe. I tutored (mostly black) kids on Chicago’s South Side. I’ve devoted free time as an attorney to poor people of every race. I’ve devoted many pages to arguing with conservatives and publicizing war crimes against Hashim Awad, an Iraqi murdered in cold blood, with whom I have no further connection. And, though somewhat jokingly, I have in a sense “paid at the office.” There is something to be said for that since the government triple tithes us folks up near the top, i.e., 33% or more of our money is taken, at least some of which goes to the poor. And I don’t even think this is a bad thing or a bad policy in general. I believe in a social safety net for all poor people and am content to pay for it.

    You also make two unproven assmptions. One, you assume equality of outcome and treatment is always good and the sole mark of justice. Second, you assume states and cultures and general rules applied by society as a whole are the same that should apply between a person individually and God. Neither proposition is true, or at least neither is obvious.

    First, people should be treated justly but also differently based on their differences. Children aren’t adults. Men aren’t women. Foreigners aren’t our countrymen. Poor aren’t rich. And blacks aren’t whites. We should treat people differently insofar as they are different with an eye on justice, not because it’s bad or a necessary evil for the people in question, but because treating groups different can be aimed hopefully at their good and the good of the whole society. This works in practice by recognizing the disorder of the black community, the moral leadership role to be played by whites, and also by paying taxes and working through charities to make sure the innocent and deserving poor are given a fair shake. But the “help” whites should provide is mainly what they did in the past, particularly in the North under the rubric of “moral and cultural leadership.”

    As I said, the black problems in this country go beyond a crime rate 7-10X higher than whites, but icludes “surly staff at fast food restaurants and government agencies, aimless kids with gaucho clothing at the mall, the ‘bling bling’ culture of rims and other depreciating assets, and the threatening kids we were happy to [get] away from after high school.” White should condemn this stuff. Black leaders should too, instead of making excuses for hoodlums like the Jena Six, the most recent example (along with the likes of Huey Newton, OJ Simpson, and the ’92 rioters in Los Angeles) of black leaders’ apologies for black criminals who prey on whites and blacks alike.

    The Bible itself mentions this need for social order and hierarchy in many ways, encouraging masters to treat servants well, and also in St. Paul’s analogy of the Church to the Body, where different people having different functions, akin to different constituent parts of the Body of Christ. So I think we’re all in this together, but that doesn’t mean I’ll lose sleep if one group has a more subordinate role because of God-given differences in intellect and other traits. See 1 Pet. 2:18-29, among others. And, as I said above, Jews, not my white trash Irish and Italian peasant ancestors, are the real winners in the IQ stakes. I’m certainly the outlier.

    Further, the other mistaken assumption above, is the failure to distinguish individual and collective action. For Christians, there is a division of labor. Government exists “to bring terror to the wicked.” Romans 13:1-7. I don’t think I have that right. But the law in its operation does, and the state is entrusted with this. This includes terrorizing criminals of all races, and if this means more blacks get punished (as they are nowadays), then so be it. Because punishment is not a bad thing, but a good thing when imposed in accord with God’s mandates. It is a good thing for criminals to be punished, both for their own sake, to lead them to repentence and to pay back their injustice, but also for the benefit of society as a whole.

    Jesus wants us to live in accordance with the truth, tempered by justice, mercy, and love. I believe any properly ordered race relations should follow this mandate, and that means getting rid of the envy-driven policies of socialism, affirmative action, reparations, and also jettisoning the narrowly selfish and short-sighted embrace of thuggish criminality by too many black excuse-making leaders. At the same time, it means getting rid of slavery (check) and Jim Crow-style laws designed to hold people down (also check). I feel whites have done their part; when will the black leaders–other than few exceptions like Bill Cosby–do theirs? And, while we’re on the subject, when will they do it not just for the good of blacks, but also for the good of whites, whom black people too are supppose to love?

    Comment by Mr. Roach | March 5, 2008 | Reply

  37. You cannot dig yourself out of a hole with a shovel!

    Comment by maxdaddy | March 5, 2008 | Reply

  38. Brilliant as always, Maxdaddy. You’re a real intellectual. I feel like I’m in the presence of St. Augustine on this blog.

    Comment by Mr. Roach | March 6, 2008 | Reply

  39. Thank you for indulging my obtuseness, Mr. Roach. We cannot all be as genetically gifted as you.

    Comment by maxdaddy | March 6, 2008 | Reply

  40. Well handled brother Derrick. That we might be attacked by a Roach for the boldness of our thoughts.

    HEYYY, MAN! Long time-no see! Thanks,

    Comment by Doulos Christou | March 19, 2008 | Reply

  41. This “Roach” character is definitely hilarious and quite entertaining! This would actually be the first time I’ve actually encountered a “civilized-savage”. I think it’s a waste of time to endulge ignorance of such magnitude. This guy has clearly fixed his mind to actually believe this ignorance he spouts. To deal with the truth at point could be fatal…..he might kill himself. Let us pray that God softens his heart and open his understanding.

    Comment by Jon Rych | April 2, 2008 | Reply

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