Who do you say I am? Ryan on Race and Culture Pt. 2

Posted by Ryan Foster on


Prejudice breeds in the unknown. What do I mean by this? White supremacists (real ones) don’t usually have any black friends. Without any knowledge or personal experience of other people, they can categorize all black people into one group and think less of them. One black person who is willing to put down their own prejudices and humbly engage in conversation and relationship can dismantle the worldview of most white supremacist. We can see this with the example of Daryl Davis’ infiltration of the KKK. One black man led to over 60 KKK members hanging up their robes. All he did was listen to them, ask questions, and treat them with the honor he expected for all men. Growing up, I heard a great deal of racist things said to me from kids who were just repeating what their parents said. Many times when I would explain how most black people would take what they said, they would go “oh ok, my bad” and we would move on. Many of those people became some of my best friends and would fight anyone who tried to disrespect me. Through building these friendships, I know white people are not inherently evil or bad. I know most of them strive to be good people and that it is wrong to stereotype them into groups based on their race (which is textbook racism, btw). 


On the flip side, pride and fear of the unknown fuel the prejudice. Many of the Marxist groups on the front lines of the protests for racial equality are attractive to the black population because they play on pride and the unknown. Shouting down all forms of authority, blocking highways, and destroying what majority culture values brings a sense of power that is intoxicating to the prideful and the hurt. But what is their goal? I asked a friend. His answer was the same as everyone else I have asked the same question- “to eliminate white supremacy.” I then ask “what does that look like” and they always fumble and say something along the lines of getting equality of outcome (instead of equality of opportunity), fair hiring practices, and the end of racism (at least in one direction). Do you see the flaw? The goal is for every single white person to think and act a certain way. It is a view that assumes people are inherently good (or bad to some) and sin is a construct that can simply be laid aside. This will never happen until Jesus comes. What this thinking actually results in is a society in which there is no margin of error. Every single hateful act a white person does to a black person in the entire country is a trigger! Even worse, when these groups throw things at police officers, destroy statues, and won’t decry the destruction of people's livelihoods, they create new stereotypes and breed more hate. Now the few real white supremacist groups can cite actual injustices to boost recruitment. Why can't we see this fact? Answer: Prejudices! In the mind of the prideful pre-judgers, all white people are racist supremacists and now they are just showing their true colors. No, actually you just destroyed their livelihoods and cultural artifacts because of their race, called them names, and stereotyped them. Ironically, these are the very reasons the Marxists point to as justification for their actions, citing slavery and Jim Crow laws. The Marxist groups, while shouting down the prejudices and stereotypes that lead to racial profiling, are operating off of prejudices and stereotypes themselves. If you do not believe me, just ask them questions. I have. They will justify their actions by grouping all white people or all police officers into one big group as the enemy (and cite the actions of one person or a tiny group) and any person who disagrees with their racist jargon is black listed. 

Useful Puppets

I should note here that most people who follow the Marxist groups are not Marxist themselves and many do not even know what Marxism is. Most of the people marching behind the Marxist leaders do not know their narrators are championing a philosophy that has led to the most innocent bloodshed in all of history (For a start of further study see Vladimir Lennin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, The Khmer Rouge/ Pol Pot and research fascism's Marxist roots). When the vehicle is fueled by anger and pride, truth is the blind-spot. Would people continue to virtue signal and expose every speck of dirt from history if they knew they shouted from a muddy mass grave? I do not know; pride is a stubborn master. Most folk just believe in the phrases and slogans the Marxist groups use and are mesmerized by the philosophies they speak that play on the pride, conceit, and covetousness that is already in their hearts. When there are dozens of ways to express the same message as the tainted slogan Black Lives Matter, why don't those who disagree with the group's values say something else? Do people care that the BLM organization promotes all the things that are destroying the black community? To play devil’s advocate, one could argue that  many atrocities have also been done by those who follow Christ. True, and many who claim to follow Christ are also justifying the destruction and division perpetrated by the Marxist groups. The real question is, what do the platforms people stand on actually proclaim and argue for? My question is why do those who oppose Marxist views still mark themselves with the Marxist branding? From a marketing perspective, if I created a brand that I wanted people to put their money behind, complete with hashtags and slogans, I would be ecstatic with the more people I saw with my branding. I would take pictures of them and present them before my contributors to get more money to legitimize and funnel into my movement. It's my slogan and my branding, I own the message that goes forth from it. I would own the narrative no matter what the people who exalt me say! In all of this I am not trying to say that there isn’t an issue to be addressed. I am simply trying to expose the motivations of the heart, which is what God sees. “When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Be careful, then, that the light within you is not darkness.” (Luke 11:34-35) 

Who do you say I Am?

I used to volunteer at a youth camp as a dorm counselor. The camp was about 90% white kids and they would give scholarships for a few inner city black kids to attend. In my dorm one year, there was one black kid in a sea of white kids, something I grew up with most of my life. He was rebellious and unruly all of the time. He intentionally caused problems and wouldn’t follow any rules. If they said "everyone quiet," he would talk louder trying to be funny (because in urban black culture this is what the cool kids do). If they said sit together with your dorm, he would sit on the stage or in the middle of a girls dorm. In the paintball activity, he shot the kids that were sitting next to him waiting to go. In team building, he intentionally sabotaged his team so they could not complete any exercises (until the whole team literally lifted him through it). The thing that made me most angry was all the Christian white people treating him like a special case. They would smile and talk softly to him and practically coddle him. Halfway through the camp, I got in his face when no one else was around and asked why he is acting like a charity case? I then told him all the white people thought he was a mentally disabled special needs case. I told him they were coddling him and talking light and condescending to him because they thought he was stupid. I told him I knew he was very intelligent and smart and I refused to treat him differently from the rest of the campers. From that moment on, he was a model camper and stayed by my side most of the time.

My family’s church is the product of a merger of a predominately white church and a predominantly black church that happened while I was away at college. The church is located in the inner city in a predominantly black neighborhood and is extremely involved in the community and the corrections systems. Through the church, they lead a statewide job training program within the prison and jail system. It is not uncommon for a large portion of our congregation to be ex-convicts and it is impossible to notice who is. As a reflection of the neighborhood, 95% of the youth ministry is black while many of the teachers are white. Each kid from the neighborhood comes in acting exactly like my camper. On a regular basis, the white teachers have to call in one of the black teachers to bring some form of order to the various break out groups. There is one kid, about 12 years old, that is a ringleader of chaos. He feeds off of the other kids laughing at his antics and can take over any activity in a matter of minutes. One day in the middle of prayer in the main church service, he was playing a game on his phone and had the volume up all the way. A few white adults tried to politely tell him to turn it down and he ignored them.Then one of the black men, who was also an ex-convict, got up and snatched the phone out of his hand. The boy’s sisters came running to me and said, “you need to get him his phone back or our brother will start yelling and flipping chairs in the middle of church.” All the kids taunted him and stared at him eager to see what he would do. I went over, sat down next to him, and started talking to him. He was very angry and told me to get his phone back or he was going to start throwing chairs (wonder where he got that idea?). I asked him why he would do that over a phone? He then told me about his medical history and how he can’t help himself because he has all these problems that send him into fits of rage. I told him to stop looking at the other kids and to look at me. I looked him in the eye and told him “Don’t let people tell you things about yourself, and don’t let these other kids play you like a clown.” I then told him I know he is smart and can control himself and that he needs to reject what people say about him. He calmed down and I told him I would get his phone, but he better turn the volume down. He agreed, and I got him his phone. Now he comes up to me quite often to show me his drawings and I have absolutely no problems with him.

Let's Re-Examine the Journey

There are so many conspiracy theories within our community as to why things are the way they are. Why 13% of the nation’s population comprise a majority in the prison system, why the worst schools have the highest minority populations, why on average we always test lower than all other races in reading and math, why we are more susceptible to various health issues, and so on. I have researched so many statistics and studies showing the various disparities and trend changes from the 1960’s to now that I could argue both sides of the issue for days. I have looked into books on race and culture from various authors using terms like supremacy, privilege, oppressor, and the like. I have read both Christian and non-Christian writings and articles. My findings time and again reveal TWO flaws that both deal with identity. Next article I will address the first one which is 'they take a subservient position.



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