For my detailed comparison of the conditions of black American slaves compared to English farmworkers (c. 1750 to 1875), see this:


For proof that the American Civil War (1861-1865) was caused by and fought over slavery, not abstract political philosophical disputes about the merits of political centralization versus de-centralization, see this:


For a general analysis of why Islamic theology on average causes more violence and terrorism by its believers compared to adherents of other faiths, see this:




Malcolm X’s Autobiography and the Black Muslims’ Invention of Tradition and Historical Mythology Critically Analyzed from a Christian Perspective


[“Alpha 2 Version”]


Eric V. Snow


Hate produces more hatred.  Oppression inevitably creates the desire of the oppressed to indiscriminately strike back against the oppressors.  Hence, during the New World’s actualized slave revolts (not just mere conspiracies), the mentality of the combatants was to kill or be killed.  However, forgiveness is ultimately more powerful than vengeance, mercy triumphs over judgment, and the work to restore human relationships is better than severing them still further.  In the light of such general truths, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” needs some careful critical examination.  Above all, the central problem with reviewing this work’s analysis of race relations stems from the moral requirement and intellectual honesty to admit the high levels of oppression and chronic mistreatment that black Americans have historical received from the white majority while also exposing this book’s many historical errors and incorrect solutions to arguably the central problem of American political history.  So the main purpose of this critical analysis of Malcolm X’s autobiography is expose the Black Muslim movement’s historical mythology, the invention of tradition, the stoking of racial hatred, and the folly of promoting racial separation and strife over racial integration and harmony.


In physics, Newton’s third law of physics states that every action/force produces an equal and opposition reaction.  What is true of blind, dumb inanimate matter also often applies to human relations as well.  The chronic oppression, hatred, and mistreatment of the white Christian majority inevitably produced the “blowback” anti-white racism of the Black Muslim movement.   Although famously after his pilgrimage to Mecca, Malcolm X himself pulled back from indiscriminate anti-white racism, he still spent most of his public career of approximately 12 years fanning the flames of such hatred.  A near death bed partial repentance about race relations doesn’t begin to make up for all the damage inflicted in the prior years during which he basically inverted the worldview of the KKK, by substituting “white” for “black” and “black” for “white.”  Black racism isn’t morally superior to white racism, although many white liberals and blacks continue to deceive themselves in this regard.


In this context, it’s well worth describing in detail the historical mythology and invention of tradition of the Black Muslim movement, which Malcolm X did so much to promote and popularize.  I suspect he may have downplayed in his autobiography some of the odder aspects of Elijah Muhammad (Poole’s) racist theology as he turned towards a more orthodox, non-racist form of Islam near the end of his life.  This aberrant theology is hardly a dead letter; Louis Farrakhan still very much upholds it, the man whose rhetoric likely directly led to Malcolm X’s assassination.  Many years ago, when I was a grad student in history, my Pakistani roommate and/or his visiting friends objected to Farrakhan’s racist beliefs when he came to MSU to speak because they said Islam isn’t racist.  From an orthodox Muslim viewpoint, the American Black Muslim movement’s relationship with Sunni Islam is comparable to the differences of (say) the Mormon Church to traditional Protestantism or Catholicism because it has so many doctrinal deviations from core Muslim beliefs. 


Let’s summarize Malcolm X’s own version of Elijah Muhammad’s crackpot racist theology about the origins of the human race’s differences.  (See generally “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” as told to Alex Haley, New York:  Ballantine Books, 1973, pp. 167-171.  This edition is used throughout this essay).  After the moon separated from the earth, the first humans were black people who founded the holy city of Mecca.  Among these black people were 24 wise scientists.  However, one of them created the especially strong black tribe of Shabazz, from which America’s blacks descended.  Around 6,600 years ago, an evil black scientist, with a freakishly big head, named Yacub learned how to breed races scientifically.  He preached in Mecca, converted many, and caused such trouble that the authorities there exiled him and 59,999 others to the island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea.  (This is the island that the Apostle John said (Rev. 1:9) that he received the visions and words to the book of Revelation). 


While in exile, an embittered Yacub decided to get his revenge against others by creating a devilish race of bleached-out white people.  He set in motion a plan that lasted generations through the hands of his successors.  He had to start with 59,999 black people, but he selectively bred them for lighter skin in a plan that lasted generations.  Those who had some trace of brown were allowed to have children, but not those fully black.  Babies who were too dark were to be killed at birth.  After 200 years, only brown people remained on Patmos, and then only red people remained after 200 more years.  After another 200 years, only yellow people remained.  Finally, after yet another 200 years, only whites lived on the island of Patmos.  These people were blond, blue-eyed savages, living in the nude shamelessly and walking on all fours.  After 600 more years, these white people went to the mainland and, after just six months, set the blacks to fighting against each other.  They had long been living peacefully together, but the presence of the whites turned a paradise on earth into a hell.  So then the blacks of Arabia punished these whites by gathering them together, chaining them up, and leading them to live in exile in the caves of Europe.  After 2,000 years, Allah raised up Moses to bring them out of their caves and to civilize them.  It was prophesied that the devil white race would rule the world for six thousand years.  The first whites to accept what Moses preached to them became the Jews.  According to “Yacub’s History,” the incident in which Moses made a serpent for Israel to be healed from a plague from God when they looked at it in faith (Numbers 21:6-9; John 3:14) is preposterously interpreted to mean “that serpent is symbolic of the devil white race Moses lifted up out of the caves of Europe, teaching them civilization” (“Autobiography of Malcolm X,” p. 170). 


After the white race had ruled the world for six thousand years, the original black race would give birth to someone “whose wisdom, knowledge, and power would be infinite” (p. 170).  Who is this alternative Messiah and God in the flesh?  Fard claimed to be “God in person” (“Autobiography,” p. 164).   Likewise, “Elijah Muhammad teaches that the greatest and mightiest God who appeared on earth was Master W. D. Fard.”  (“Autobiography,” p. 170).  In addition, Fard said that he was the Mahdi (Muslim Messiah) and that “black people, God’s children, were Gods themselves” (“Autobiography,” p. 212).  All orthodox Muslims would have found this teaching to be the worst kind of blasphemy, since they are utterly insistent that God is one Person only (Quran, Surah 37:4; 5:72, “Unbelievers [i.e., Christians] are those that say:  ‘Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary. . . .  He that worships other gods besides Allah shall be forbidden Paradise and shall be cast into the fire of Hell.” Surah 2:158 (cf. 3:1):  “Your God is one God:   there is no God but He, the compassionate, the Merciful.”   Muslims reject the standard Christian teaching that converted men and women are “sons of God,”  Such a text as Surah 3:60 leaves no room for other gods besides Allah:  “Abraham was neither Jew nor Christian; but he was sound in the faith, a Muslim; and not of those who add gods to God.”  Similarly, Surah 3:143 warns:  “We will cast a dread into heart of the infidels because they have joined gods with God without warrant sent down; their abode shall be the Fire; and wretched shall be the mansion of the evil doers.”   God has no sons according to the Quran, Surah 10:68, which is a reply against Christian theology:  “They say:  Allah has taken a son (to Himself). . . .  You have no authority for this.  Say you against Allah what you know not?”  Furthermore, we have this reasoning in Surah 6:101:  “How could He [Allah] have a son when He has no consort?”  God is never called a “Father” in the Quran either.  Orthodox Muslims reject any idea that anyone is a son of God or God, thus rejecting the clear teaching of the New Testament.   


Fard appeared among some of the original black people who had been brought in as slaves to North America in order for them to understand and learn about the white devil’s true nature at first hand.  Fard was said to be half black, half white.  In 1931 in Detroit, Michigan, while posing as a seller of silks, he met Elijah Muhammad and taught him for several years before permanently disappearing c. 1934.


[Incidentally, the teachings of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, a/k/a  Jehovah’s Witnesses, likely directly influenced the doctrines of the earliest Black Muslims, whether it be Fard, Poole, and/or others ( ( ( Both groups were and are staunchly opposed to the Deity of Christ.  They also, at least at the time Malcolm X lived, shared similar views of conditional mortality (often mistakenly called “soul sleep”), which maintains the dead are dead and not alive in heaven, hell, or anywhere else until the time of the resurrection.  Elijah Muhammad’s views of the state of the dead didn’t match those of orthodox Muslims.  As Malcolm X himself explained (“Autobiography,” p. 228):  “But I was to learn later that Mr. Muhammad’s teaching about death and the Muslim funeral service was in drastic contradiction to what Islam taught in the East.”


(Furthermore, as documented here, there are good reasons to believe that Wallace Dodd Fard/Ford was born in the United States and not in Mecca, had a number of aliases, wasn’t black at all but Arabian, abandoned his family, and had a history of petty crime.]


Malcolm X commented:  “I was to learn later that Elijah Muhammad’s tales, like this one of ‘Yacub,’ infuriated the Muslims of the East.”  (“Autobiography,” p. 171).  It would be interesting to know what those “tales” were and how much Malcolm X himself believed in them and preached them publicly for 12 years before turning to embrace a more orthodox Islam.  He may well have decided to not include them in his autobiography for this reason despite their (likely) importance to the Nation of Islam and their public preaching in the 1950s and 1960s. 


Today’s academic analysis of intersectionality (i.e., that people can be oppressed or mistreated based on different or multiple parts of their identity simultaneously or alternatively) never informed Malcolm X’s views of women.  He saw everything that happened, even when it wasn’t fully accurate or correctly qualified, through the prism of the white oppression and mistreatment of blacks in America and elsewhere in the world.  However he had absolutely no consciousness of the feminist construct that men, as a class, oppressed and/or mistreated women, as class.  He would have found the views of (say) Simone de Beauvoir’s “The Second Sex” (1949), Beatty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique” (1963), or Gloria Steinem’s “After Black Power, Women’s Liberation” (1969) to be utterly alien.  Consider the following demeaning over-generalizations about women in his autobiography, which he would have found simply outrageous had similar stereotypes been aimed against blacks:


When writing about his first girlfriend “Sophia” (one Bea Caragulian, who was white and was married to another man at this point), he described their financial relationship this way (“Autobiography,” p. 138):  “Sophia always had given me money. Even when I had hundreds of dollars in my pocket, when she came to Harlem I would take everything she had short of her train fare back to Boston.  It seems that some women love to be exploited.  When they are not exploited, they exploit the man. . . . . Always, every now and then, I had given her a hard time, just to keep her in line.  Every once in a while a woman seems to need, in fact, wants [his emphasis] this, too.  But now, I would feel evil and slap her around worse than ever, some of the nights when Shorty was away.  She would cry, curse me, and swear that she would never be back.  But I knew she wasn’t even thinking about not coming back.”


His friend “Shorty” was too kind to women, in his judgment (“Autobiography,” p. 138):  “He had never been able to keep a white woman any length of time, though, because he was too good to them, and, as I have said, any woman, white or black, seems to get bored with that.”


Notice how Islam’s view of women, at least as Malcolm X heard it in the Nation of Islam, reinforced such views (“Autobiography,” p. 230):  “Every month, when I went to Chicago, I would find that some [Muslim] sister had written complaining to Mr. [Elijah] Muhammad that I talked so hard against women when I taught our special classes about the different natures of the sexes.  Now, Islam has very strict laws and teachings about women, the core of them being that the true nature of a man is to be strong, and a woman’s true nature is to be weak, and while a man must at all times respect his woman, at the same time he needs to understand that he must control her if he expects to get her respect.”  Although conservative Christians could agree with a certain amount of this viewpoint (as per such texts as Ephesians 5:22-33; I Peter 3:5-7), it nevertheless seems to be unbalanced.  The word “control” is particularly objectionable, since it implies continuous enforcement of obedience in a harsh, even violent, manner.  I would be the first one to defend intellectually the idea that men and women have innately different personalities, using such works as George Gilder’s “Men and Marriage,” Steven Goldberg’s “The Inevitability of Patiarchy, and Peter Blitchington’s “Sex Roles and the Christian Family” as evidence.  Nevertheless, Malcolm X doesn’t appear to qualify his suspicious negative judgments of women hardly any or bring to bear the idea of self-sacrificing love in this crucial context.  The old Medieval concept of chivalry basically maintained that the strong (men, in general) should use their strength to protect the weak (which included women in general) instead of exploiting or attacking them.  It’s a fundamental error to focus on making women respectful and obedient within marriage while ignoring the crucial requirement for husbands to be self-sacrificing and loving to their wives.


As has been described in many places, Islam places women in a second-class status under the provisions of the Sharia law, which merely reflects the teachings of Muhammad as found in the Quran, the Hadith (saying attributed to Muhammad), and Sunna (his personal example).  For example, General Zia al-Haq of Pakistan, after he took power in 1977, implemented standard provisions of the Sharia law that included stoning as a legal punishment for adultery and that rape can’t be legally proved against an offender unless four men witness it.  Now if a rape victim didn’t have so many male witnesses to prove a crime, then it is often reasoned that the woman was guilty of adultery instead, and should be stoned.  (Irshad Manji, “The Trouble with Islam Today,” p. 125).  All the discriminatory provisions of the Sharia law as enforced in Saudi Arabia ended up treating women as minors in the custody of their husbands, fathers, or (adult) sons.  They couldn’t show up in court even when accused of murder and (until very recently) weren’t allowed to drive cars.  In an rather notorious case, during a 2002 school fire at a girls’ school, the religious police forced the students to re-enter the school to reclaim their “abayas” (full-length body coverings), helping to kill fifteen girls and injuring dozens more.  The legal requirement for girls to keep their faces covered in public was deemed more important than saving their lives.  (Manji, “The Trouble with Islam Today,” pp. 151-152).


The Quran itself has a number of statements that clearly subordinate women to men in general, not merely a wife to her own husband, and make them into clear social inferiors.    A son’s inheritance is to be twice the size of that of a daughter (4:11):  “For the male is the equal of the portion of two females.”  The testimony of two women is valued to be equal to that of one man (2:282):  “And call to witness from among your men two witnesses; but if there are not two men, then one man and two women from among those whom you choose to be witnesses . . . “  Men in general are deemed superior to women and have the authority to beat [“chastise”] their wives (4:34):  “men are superior to women on account of the qualities with which God hath gifted the one above the other, and on account of the outlay they make from their substance for them. . . . But chide those for whose refractoriness ye have cause to fear; remove them into beds apart, and scourge them:  but if they are obedient to you [the husbands/men], then seek not occasion against them.”  Men are to use women instrumentally in the way that a farmer plows his field (2:223):  “Your wives are your field:  go in, therefore, to your field as ye will; but do first some act for your souls’ good.”  Men also are allowed to marry up to four wives, if they can treat them equally without partiality, and may have sex with their slaves (4:3):  “Marry but two, or three, or four; and if yet still fear ye shall not act equitably, then one only; or the slaves whom ye acquired.”  The Quran plainly permits the marriage of girls who haven’t yet had menstrual periods (65:4):  “As to such of your wives as have no hope of the recurrence of their times [periods], if ye have doubts in regard to them, then reckon three months, and let the same be the term of those who have not yet had them.”  Hence, conservative Muslims inevitably oppose any laws concerning statutory rape if they would restrict child marriage, especially if such laws would make Muhammad himself look bad.  For after all, he married his favorite wife, Aisha, the daughter of his right-hand man Abu Bakr, when she was perhaps six or eight years old.  Inevitably polygamy, combined with the widespread practice of child marriage, puts women in an strikingly inferior position under the authority of men.  The Sharia law’s provisions merely build upon such texts and the relevant hadith when it subordinates women to men as second-class citizens.


 So given all sorts of highly specific, legalistic provisions in Islamic law that regulate the conduct of women in everyday life and subordinate them to men, Islam’s worldview about women certain confirmed and did not challenge Malcolm X’s suspicious view of them.  Beatty Friedan, the author of “The Feminine Mystique,” and Malcolm X would not have gotten along well, since Malcolm X couldn’t have recognized that women can be oppressed as a class by men.


In part because of his long experiences as a criminal, drug seller, and hustler, Malcolm X developed a deeply suspicious view of other people.   Consider in this context this statement (“Autobiography,” p. 396, his italics):  “I don’t completely trust anyone . . .  not even myself.  I have seen too many men destroy themselves.”   It wasn’t merely because of his being mistreated by whites in the past he was always distrustful of the motives of even seemingly well-meaning liberal whites, but it was also because of years of living half like an animal in the concrete jungle of New York, being always on the look out for attacks by the police or fellow hustlers and criminals, black and white.  The same goes for his suspicious view of the mysterious power that women can have over men (“Autobiography,” p. 230):  “[At that time] I wouldn’t have considered it possible for me to love any woman.  I’d had too much experience that women were only tricky, deceitful, untrustworthy flesh.  I had seen too many men ruined, or at least tied down, or in some other way messed up by women.  Women talked too much.  To tell a woman not to talk too much was like telling Jesse James to not carry a gun, or telling a hen not to cackle.  Can you imagine Jesse Jackson without a gun, or a hen that didn’t cackle?  . . .  Even Samson, the world’s strongest man, was destroyed by the woman who slept in his arms.  She was the one whose words hurt him.”  He told Alex Haley directly (“Autobiography,” p. 396):  “You can never fully trust any woman. . . . I’ve got the only one I ever met whom I would trust seventy-five percent.  I’ve told her that. . . .  I’ve told her like I tell you I’ve seen too many men destroyed by their wives, or their women.”


Another common weakness that Malcolm X displayed, although he realized his error towards the end of his life, was the mistake of chronically exalting Elijah Muhammad as a religious leader.  Many, many people have fallen into this trap over the millennia.  Israel committed it when they wanted a king to lead them in battle rather than having the invisible but almighty Jehovah as their king (I Samuel 8:4-5, 19-20).  We can see it with people who are guilty of overly admiring athletes, musicians, singers, and actors.  The bobby soxers who shrieked Frank Sinatra’s name or the girls and young women who roared during the Beatles early concerts in America are particularly good examples of this phenomenon in our pop culture historically.  A political, if fictional, version occurs in Tolstoy’s “War and Peace,” when it describes Rostov’s near adoration of Czar Alexander I.  For the real life version, we can see it even in the United States in how much many people have admired Obama and Trump as leaders.  More chillingly, the cases of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao come to mind as well, regardless of the perhaps 100 million people or more they collectively killed.  The same human weakness appears when people are overly loyal to religious leaders as opposed to God Himself.  In this regard, Malcolm X constantly and repeatedly exalted Elijah Muhammad excessively relative to Muhammad or even Allah Himself.  True, part of his motive was for a good reason:  He wanted, out of humility, to keep people from seeing him as the leader of the Nation of Islam and to demonstrate his loyalty and appreciation for Elijah Muhammad’s teachings that rescued him from the degradation of his life before and during prison.  Nevertheless, he constantly exalted Elijah Muhammad’s name and authority in ways that a Christian would hesitate to do concerning anyone than Jesus Himself.  


Let’s specifically illustrate this weakness of over-exalting the person of Elijah Muhammad from Malcolm X’s own autobiography.  He later on had enough perception and intellectual honesty to admit this error (“Autobiography,” p. 372, his italics):  “I guess it would be impossible for anyone ever to realize fully how complete was my belief in Elijah Muhammad.  I believed in him not only as a leader in the ordinary human sense, but also I believed in him as a divine leader.  I believed he had no human weaknesses or faults, and that, therefore, he could make no mistakes and that he could do no wrong.  There on a Holy World hilltop, I realized how very dangerous it is for people to hold any human being in such esteem, especially to consider anyone some sort of ‘divinely guided’ and ‘protected’ person.”  Much like what has happened with many a Christian minister and evangelist as well, Malcolm X’s views of Elijah Muhammad were destroyed by the sexual scandals he got involved in, including having a number of children out of wedlock with his secretaries and then being subjected to their paternity lawsuits.  (He also had his own private jet plane and eventually could command a motorcade of cars before going to rallies.  “Autobiography,” p. 252).


Consider carefully how Malcolm X would ask people to commit themselves to his religion.  At the Black Muslim equivalent of the “altar call” to commitment, he routinely said things like this before people would publicly stand up to accept (“Autobiography,” p. 217, his italics):  “Will stand who believe what you have heard? . . .   How many of you want to follow The Honorable Elijah Muhammad?”  (“Autobiography” p. 238, his italics):  “Who among you wish to follow The Honorable Elijah Muhammad?”  Notice that it isn’t the prophet Muhammad or Allah who is exalted here, but the leader of his unorthodox sect of Islam.  They aren’t reciting the Shahada (“testimony”) with belief, which is the traditional way for a convert to accept Islam as his or her faith:  “I bear witness that there is no god but God.  I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God.”  The utter lack of balance here is obvious, especially compared to when a Christian accepts Jesus as his personal Savior.  Clearly the Nation of Islam grossly and excessively exalted and over-emphasized Elijah Muhammad (Poole) as its leader.


Malcolm X, spotting a classic error of traditional Christian art, skewers a misrepresentation of Jesus while mistakenly proclaiming that the physical appearance or race of the Savior is important (“Autobiography,” p. 224, his emphasis):  “The blond-haired, blond-eyed white man has taught you and me [i.e., black people] to worship a white Jesus, and to shout and and sing and pray to this God that’s his God, the white man’s God.”  Of course, as he presumably noticed during his life, a good majority of “white” people don’t have blue eyes nor blond hair, including yours truly.  But let’s not dwell excessively on his false over-generalization about the physical appearance of most whites/Caucasians.  There are several much deeper errors here, which should now be examined.


First of all, it should be noted that all pictures of Jesus violate the Second Commandment (Exodus 20:4-5, KJV):  "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:  for I am the Lord thy God am a jealous [i.e., one demanding exclusive devotion] God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me."

So how should we apply these words as Christians today? What exactly is a "graven image"?  The basic purpose of these words is to prohibit people from using or making statues or pictures of the true God or any false God.   However, it doesn't prohibit all religious art or all kinds of representational art in general (which is how the Amish misinterpret this commandment).  For example, in Exodus 25:19 (RSV), God told Israel to make the ark of the covenant, the most holy object in the temple, with two angels on it:  "Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end; of one piece with the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends."  Similarly, in the temple of Jehovah that Solomon had built, angels were included (I Kings 6:29):  "He carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubim and palm trees and open flowers, in the inner and outer rooms."  So God doesn't prohibit religious art in general, including drawing angels. 

So what the second commandment intends to prohibit are pictures or statues of any god, including the true God, as confirmed elsewhere by Moses (Deuteronomy 12:2-3):  "You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, upon the high mountains and upon the hills and under every green tree; You shall tear down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their Asherim with fire; you shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy their name out of that place." 

At this point, this analysis leads to a rather controversial conclusion:  Does the second commandment prohibit pictures and statues of Jesus?  Well, if Jesus is God (as per John 1:1-2, 14; 10:30-33; 20:28; Hebrews 1:8), and the second commandment bans pictures and statues of God, then nobody should be making pictures and statues of Jesus.  The early church, before the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine in the 4th century A.D., generally avoided making pictures and statues of Jesus.  The Puritans of England in the 17th century, as well as some in the Eastern Orthodox Church in the Medieval/Byzantine period, also made a point of destroying religious pictures and statues ("iconoclasm") in churches at times.  Their permanent compromise about iconoclasm was to prohibit statues or three dimensional art, but to allow paintings and two dimensional art that portrayed Jesus, Mary, and other officially selected saints. Therefore, people shouldn’t have in mind a specific pictorial representation of Jesus in their minds anyway, blond and blue eyed or not.


Furthermore, others have been aware that Jesus wouldn’t have been blond and blue-eyed anyway.  For example, the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt evidently had the presence of mind to use a Jewish Sephardic man as his model for his painting of Jesus, “Head of Christ, drawn from life.” 


Second, the physical appearance and ethnicity of Jesus as a (Sephardic) Jew is completely irrelevant spiritually.  Ethnicity and race, since the time of Jesus’ death and resurrection, don’t bear on matters of spiritual salvation.  Jews/Israelites and Gentiles are all on the same spiritual footing in God’s sight.  As Paul proclaimed (Galatians 3:28):   "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  Similarly, Paul told the Colossians:  “A renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all and in all.”  What gave Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad, and the Black Muslim movement such resentful energy was the failure of white American Christians to following these texts when they discriminated against fellow believers who professed the same Savior that they did.  Malcolm X (“Autobiography,” p. 241) quotes with approval from a frequent visitor to the Atlanta mosque about the failures of Christianity as practiced in America concerning matters of race:  “’It has been evasive when it was morally bound to be forthright; it separated believers on the basis of color, although it has declared its mission to be a universal brotherhood under Jesus Christ.  Christian love is the white man’s love for himself and for his race.  For the man who is not white, Islam is the hope for justice and equality in the world we must build tomorrow.’”  The inconsistency, hypocrisy, even brutality, of the whites opened the door for such a religious charlatans as Elijah Muhammad and W. Fard to walk through to capture the spiritual hearts of the blacks who joined the Nation of Islam.


But now, we have to ask a serious question:  Has Islam historical taught the superiority of the Arab people and language over other believers because Muhammad and the first Muslims were Arabs?  Has Islam, through the Quran, the Hadith (purported sayings of Muhammad), and the Sharia law, been an agent of Arab cultural imperialism on people of other nations and ethnicities?  In the quote above, the collegian maintains that Islam provides hope for equality and justice for non-whites.  Has it really worked out that way in practice in the long term?  So famously, Malcolm X made a serious point of repeatedly stating how well he was treated during his Hajj to Mecca by others who were white by any standard Western or European definition and about the general unity of believers on that occasion.  (For example, see his “Autobiography,” pp. 346-347).  However, there has long been racism and prejudice among Muslims as well concerning ancestry, ethnicity, and skin color.  It appears that Malcolm X was utterly ignorant of this reality, as he was about mainstream Islam in general outside the United States, yet it can be easily documented. 


Let’s examine closely the situation of a little known ethnic minority in modern Turkey:  Afro-Turks.  They are the descendants of slaves imported into what’s now Turkey when it was the Ottoman Empire before the slavery (under European, especially British, pressure) was officially abolished in 1857.  (Manji, “The Trouble with Islam Today,” p. 146, quotes Mecca’s chief cleric as declaring, “the ban on slaves is contrary to the Holy Sharia,” as his response to emancipation).  In practical terms, it really continued for decades more.  An estimated 1.3 million African slaves were imported into the dominions of the Ottoman Empire.  At the peak some 15,000 to 18,000 slaves were being taken annually from Africa by the Ottoman slave trade.  The overland trip across the Sahara Desert was particularly dangerous; many slaves died en route.  They suffered the exact same cultural erasure that the Black Muslims, including Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X, describe that slaves suffered when they were imported into Colonial America and other New World locations.  (For example, “Autobiography,” p. 258, quoting Elijah Muhammad, his emphasis:  “You don’t know nothing about your true culture.  You don’t even know your family’s real name.  You are wearing a white man’s name!”)  They were forcibly converted to Islam, they had their names changed, and they had to put behind themselves all of what they had done in their prior lives in Africa when enduring the new conditions found under Ottoman rule as slaves.  Today their descendants face the same kind of problems with racism and discrimination from other Turks that American blacks have often long faced from whites.  (For documentation of these points, click on the links below).


However, a much deeper structural flaw at the foundation of Islam stems from the privileged position that Arab Muslims see themselves as having in the Islamic world because Muhammad and the early Muslims were all Arabs and the Quran was written in Arabic.  As a result, Islam has been a tool of Arab cultural imperialism under the guise of a religious cover. It would be as if Christians of Jewish descent still controlled culturally and theologically Christianity despite the great majority of believers are of other non-Israelite gentile ethnicities.  Furthermore, to press the analogy further, it would be as if everyone who couldn’t read and speak Hebrew would rank as an inferior believer compared to those who could.  Manji poses this analogical question this way (“The Trouble with Islam Today,” p. 139):  “Do Christians make each other feel inadequate for not knowing Greek, the original language of the New Testament?”  Without realizing the trap that he was falling into, Malcolm X accepted Arab cultural imperialism unthinkingly when feeling so inferior to other Muslims because he couldn’t pray in Arabic.  (See “Autobiography,” p. 335).  Well, why should that be intrinsically important if believers can be of any nation, race, or ethnicity?  Can’t the all-knowing, almighty loving God understand and accept prayers in any language, so long as they are done sincerely and faithfully?  Why should Arabic be any more privileged than Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, the original languages of the Bible?  It’s a great skill to be able to read these languages since it can give a deeper understanding of Scripture than reading it in translation.  However, having such abilities doesn’t make a Christian spiritually superior, morally better, or intrinsically better than other Christians who don’t. 


The Islamic world’s sense of religious superiority, indeed, their ethnocentrism, stemmed from the doctrine of jahiliyah, “the Age of Ignorance,” or period of moral darkness that filled the world before Islam arrived.  As Manji explains:  “The charade is, Arabs have assumed that the various non-Arab peoples they’ve conquered were also morally ignorant.  The conquered have effectively been taught that because the Koran attributes darkness to the pre-Islamic period, all wisdom prior to Muhammad carries the weight of blasphemy and applies to every Muslim, outside of Arabia no less than inside.”  She cites V.S. Naipaul as noting that Arab cultural colonization was more successful than Western was while recounting his travels in Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia:  “No colonization had been so thorough as the colonization that had come with the Arab faith. . . . . It was an article of the Arab faith that everything before [it] was wrong, misguided, heretical; there was no room in the heart or mind of these believers for their pre-Mohammedan past.”  (as in Irshad Manji, “The Trouble with Islam Today,” p. 141). 


People normally only complain about, resist, and/or counterattack the imperialists/conquerors who presently or recently caused problems for them.  So therefore the presently oppressed normally ignore history before the current/most recent controversy since they have forgotten about when their ancestors were the conquerors/oppressors in bygone centuries (such as the Turks, Arabs, Chinese, Aztecs, Incas, and Zulus during their periods of expansion as empires).  Consider in this light another insightful comment of V.S. Naipaul (New York Review of books, January 31, 1991, as quoted in Warraq, “Why I Am Not a Muslim,” p. 198):


I have to stress that I was traveling in the non-Arab Muslim world.  Islam began as an Arab religion; it spread as an Arab empire.  In Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia—the countries of my itinerary—I was traveling, therefore, among people who had been converted to what was an alien faith.  I was traveling among people who had to make a double adjustment—an adjustment to the European empires of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and an earlier adjustment to the Arab faith.  You might almost say that I was among people who had been doubly colonized, doubly removed from themselves.


True, Naipaul doesn’t recognize how fundamentally arbitrary the adoption of one culture over another can be to unanalytical, average people, which intrinsically makes the level of alienation less.  His generalization here also doesn’t recognize the historical difference between the places where Islam initially was spread by the sword (Iran and Pakistan) and by conversion (Malaysia and Indonesia).  Nevertheless, despite these qualifications, are we willing to condemn Islam’s earlier conquests with the same passion brought to bear against the West’s later conquests?  Is this time difference a reasonable basis for objecting to some situations of conquest/imperialism more than others?


Manji insightfully sees Muslims as having been culturally conquered in many regards by the tribal Arab customs of the 7th century A.D.   For example, in the context of citing the Koran’s statement that to God belongs both the east and the west so one turns towards God when facing in any direction, she comments (“The Trouble with Islam Today,” p. 140, her emphasis):  “Seems to me that in Islam, Arab cultural imperialists compete with God for the mantle of the Almighty. . . .  Why, then, must Muslims bow to Mecca five times a day?  Isn’t that a sign of being desert-whipped?”  Manji cites (p. 137) the journalist Fareed Zakaria as describing Indonesian and Malaysian  Muslims who are abandoning the architecture of local cultures (such as Hindu and Javan) because “they are seen as insufficiently Islamic (meaning Arab).”  One key cost of conforming to the tribal mentality encouraged by Arab culture is a lack of intellectual independence and freedom; instead, every Muslim is expected to close ranks and to uphold blindly the beliefs of the group on all major and even minor issues, including the Arab-Israeli conflict.  Because (Arab) tribalism is at the core of Islam, it’s very difficult to extricate Islam from this mentality and the specific customs of the original tribe that upheld this faith.  As she explains the problem (p. 138):  “Can the norms of the desert be dislodged from islam?  If not, we have no hope in hell of reform. . . . Why would religion be so hard to extricate from local customs—tribal customs—is there wasn’t something profoundly tribal about Islam to begin with?”  This is a key reason why the oppression of women as practiced by the Taliban, such as prohibiting almost all work outside the home and the wearing of the burqa, can’t be casually written off as mere “local tribal custom.”  Partly, this is because the Quran, the Hadith, and the Sharia law authorize, even command, a lot of this kind of oppression, regardless of any Muslim’s ethnicity or nationality.  But it’s also because Islam enshrined both the mentality of 7th century Arab culture about the subordinate role of women into its main sources of authority in such great legalistic detail and because it has a tribal mentality about the collective male ownership of women and their responsibility to live up to the good image of the tribe.  The Arabs also feel morally superior to any converts to Islam because of the teaching of “jahiliyah,” which maintains everyone was in total moral darkness before the time of Muhammad’s ministry.  The Arab Muslims have applied this concept to all the conquered peoples who converted to Islam, thus allowing them to claim spiritual superiority over them.  Therefore, the non-Arab converts to Islam, regardless of cultural heritage or nationality, often end up feeling that everything before the arrival of Islam was pagan, wrong, misguided, heretical, in error, etc.  Having analyzed different examples of Islam’s intrinsic Arab tribalism, Manji makes this crucial summary point (“The Trouble with Islam Today,” pp. 140-141):  “To parrot the desert peoples in clothing, in language, or in prayer is not necessarily to follow the universal God.  But you wouldn’t know it by the myths with which Islam has been propagated through the centuries.  These myths have turned non-Arab Muslims into clients of their Arab masters—patrons who must buy what’s being sold to them in the name of Islamic ‘Enlightenment.’”


Manji discusses the racism that she felt Arabs expressed against her as someone of East Indian descent.  In one case, during a public address at one North American university, a group from the local Muslim Students Association came out to protest her appearance as a liberal gay Muslim.  One of the Muslims present shouted a reply to her statement that Islamic practices vary from place to place throughout the world by saying, “Why the difference the practice?  Because Pakistanis are not real Muslims.  They’re converts.  Islam was revealed to the Arabs.”  Instantly, the South Asian members of the Muslim Students Association “spun their heads away from me and toward [this critic] in horror and hurt.”  The Muslims not of Arab descent immediately recognized the prejudice implied by this statement, that only Arabs practiced true Islam. “Throughout my years at Queer-Television,” as Manji also reported, “An inordinate number of Muslim viewers tore into my spiritual credentials on purely ethnic grounds.”  One critic, a self-identified “proud Arab,” called her a “lying, pig dyke” since an “Indian peasant” like her would have no understanding of Islam.  So instead of attacking her lesbianism by citing Islam’s sources of authority, such as the Quran, the Hadith, and the Sharia law, these Muslim critics tried to invalidate her beliefs by attacking her ethnicity!  (See “The Trouble with Islam Today,” p. 135). 


Let’s briefly zero in on the subject of slavery.  The historical truth about Islam’s record concerning slavery destroys the emotional impetus driving the grievances and mythology of the racist Black American Muslim movement of Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad.  It’s important to realize that slavery, serfdom, and other forms of forced labor was basically a universal condition of the human condition and most civilizations in history. The Bible records the existence of slavery in both ancient Israel and in the Roman Empire, which involved whites owning whites in almost all cases. It was a legal institution that had nothing to do with race. Slavery was hardly some kind of unique problem or sin of the West’s. After all, a key reason why the trans-Atlantic slave traders could get slaves was because Africans sold other Africans into slavery; it was an institution that already existed in Africa that the Europeans took full advantage of for their own purposes. Now, when we examine the record of Islam, it is very bad when it comes to human rights, including slavery. They tolerated legal slavery long after Brazil abolished it in 1888, the last major Western country to have it. For example, Saudi Arabia had legal slavery up to 1962.  So when Malcolm X visited Saudi Arabia in order to go to Mecca, they had only abolished slavery two years earlier.  Oman and Yemen abolished slavery in 1970 and Niger theoretically only abolished it in 2004. The (Christian) West eventually developed a guilty conscience and abolished it. The Arab/Muslim world ended up abolishing slavery only under the pressure of the West, such as when the British under their Raj (colonial rule) in India routinely suppressed slavery, infanticide, and Suttee (the (normally forced) suicide of Hindu widows on their husbands' funeral pyres) wherever their rule effectively reached. The Royal Navy after Wilberforce valiantly worked to end the slave trade and then slavery in the British Empire became one of the most effective forces against slavery in the world. Even much more recently, during the civil war in the Sudan, the Arab Muslim north often enslaved the (darker) people from the Animist/Christian south, which is now independent from Khartoum's control. The Islamic world has a very bad record when it comes to slavery. A reasonable approximation is that the East Africa slave trade, dominated by Arab Muslim slave traders, took at least as many Africans into slavery as the far better known trans-Atlantic trade did. The Muslims are in no moral position to judge the West when it comes to slavery of Africans. They also routinely captured and sold into slavery white Europeans captured by their pirates. (One reasonable estimate was that they captured and sold a million white Europeans). It was one of the key businesses of the Barbary pirates in North Africa that Jefferson chose to fight rather than pay tribute to, like the European powers did. For an exposure of the bad historical human rights record of Islamic civilization, I would suggest reading Robert Spencer's works, such as "Onward Muslim Soldiers" and "Religion of Peace?" We should reject the left's attempts to historically whitewash Islamic civilization's imperialism, intolerance, and human rights abuses. If the West's record is dark, the Islamic world's record is pitch black once one knows something about it in detail.  (For more on this subject, click here:


The West figured out an antidote for its own problems, such as (for example) creating an antislavery movement in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  Eventually the West forcibly imposed this cultural value on the more benighted regions of the world, such as in India and East Africa, where slavery had been independently practiced before the Western imperialists arrived.  For example, under the British Raj in 1860, the Indian rulers of Patiala, Jhind, and Nabha agreed to outlaw formally female infanticide, sati, and slavery.  (Lawrence James, “Raj:  The Making and Unmaking of British India,” pp. 326-27).  Although the “Christian” transatlantic slave trade swallowed up 10.5 million people, the Islamic slave trade in the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, and Sahara engulfed an estimated 17 million people from the seventh to nineteenth centuries.  As Robert Spencer commented, since the Muslim world never developed its own native abolitionist movement, “When the [Islamic] slave trade ended, it was ended not through Muslim efforts but through British military force.”  (See “Religion of Peace?:  Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t,” p. 97).  Even in recent years, the Sudan (during its civil war) and Mauritania have openly practiced slavery while many in Niger still flout its ban on the peculiar institution.   The practices of Arab Muslims enslaving black Africans in the southern Sudan during Sudan’s long civil war showed once again that the West had no monopoly on slavery influenced or based on skin color.  Manji (“The Trouble with Islam Today, p. 37) quotes Charles Jacobs of the American Anti-Slavery Group, who describes the brutal, oppressive conditions the slaves endured:  “Khartoum’s onslaught has rekindled the trade in black slaves, halted (mostly) a century ago by the British abolitionists . . . [A]fter the men are slaughtered, the women, girls, and boys are gangraped—or they have their throats slit for resisting.  The terrorized survivors are marched northward and distributed to Arab masters, the women to become concubines, the girls domestics, the boys goatherders.” 

A key teaching of Scripture is that ethnicity doesn't matter in God's sight in affecting someone's spiritual status. The classic text, of course, is Galatians 3:28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." So if we are Christians, we shouldn't regard our ethnicity or that of others as important compared to our status as Christians. This goes for friendship in the faith. The late Ian Boyne of Jamaica said that spirit is thicker than blood. Since I"ve been in an academic setting at a standard major secular state university (Michigan State), I can assure you that there is an nearly endless amount of denunications and criticisms of the mistreatment of blacks by whites all the time in our culture in the United States, and not just under slavery. It's hard to avoid not hearing about it, one way or another. it's not like it doesn't get any coverage or attention. There is far more self-criticism by Westerners about their own history than the Muslims or the Chinese engage in, for example, about their own. The problems of racism and ethnocentrism can be found in all cultures and ethnicities. The Muslims as well as the Chinese were fully convinced about how superior they were to the Western "infidels" and "Outer Barbarians" long after they had become militarily and technologically inferior to the West (i.e., into the 19th century). Furthermore, does any Muslim ever criticize the two great imperilalistic jihads of the Arabs and Turks? Do any Chinese or Japanese seriously criticize their own nations' records of imperialism? The Japanese, for example, have had a very hard time criticizing themselves for their aggressive and atrocious record during World War II, which killed 7 million Chinese and brutally treated people of other nations that they invaded. A crucial mistake is to assume that only white people have an evil human nature when it's actually universal, as per Romans 3:23. Only a lack of historical knowledge, such as of the appalling record of Arab Islamic Civilization in the enslavement of black Africans, can make the perspective of Malcolm X in his Autobiography at all plausible. For example, the Arab Muslims have a strong ethnic superiority complex that comes from Muhammad and the first Muslims being Arab and from the Koran being written in Arabic. (Look at Manji's "The Trouble with Islam Today" for evidence on this point). The Arab Muslims prioritized their own language and culture over that of others who became Muslims, thus often assimilating them to their culture. The situation in Islam would be like as if Christians who didn't know how to speak Hebrew are inferior spiritually to those who could, and that non-Jewish converts are inferior to Jews because Jesus and the first Christians were Jews. Malcolm X didn't realize it, but when he felt that he had to learn Arabic to pray to Allah, he was assimilating himself to Arab culture and admitting that it was superior to his own. Christianity intrinsically has far less of this kind of bias and prejudice than Islam does. Sure, plenty of racists have professed the name of Christ, but it also happens that there are plenty of racists who have professed the name of Muhammad as well. The latter just get far less attention than the former, but they are probably proportionately about as common. What was the Arab Muslim north doing to the Christian/Animist black south of the Sudan? Waging war against them and selling them into slavery during a long civil war before the country of South Sudan was formed. That happened to black people within your lifetime and mine; it wasn't 150 or 200 years ago. So then, are there any Muslims who publicly feel guilty about the sins of their civilization and denounce them, such as their great imperialistic wars (i.e., the great jihads of the Arabs and then the Turks)? Will any Muslim say that anyone could pray to Allah in any language without saying prayers in languages other than Arabic are inferior? Perhaps fortunately for his view of humanity, Malcolm X didn't run into any Arabs who plainly felt superior to him as a black Muslim, but there are plenty of such people around, as Manji will tell you, who has felt the prejudice directed her way for not being an Arab Muslim, but one of South Asian descent. Then we can easily find cases of imperialism by black kingdoms in Africa, such as what Mali, the Ashanti, and the Zulus did. Human nature is universally evil. Because a slave labor force is necessarily unmotivated because work effort isn't hardly rewarded, I doubt that the random collection of slaves captured in Africa during various wars and sold to the Europeans were of any special high or low class. Their work output was never doing to be impressive, being driven by the lash and not by positive incentives that motivates a free labor force. They were simply average people who had the grave misfortune of being almost randomly captured and then brutalized under an intrinsically exploitive system of labor. Slavery and other systems of unfree labor have been a nearly universal institution of the human race. The remarkable aspect of the Western world was that eventually some people developed a guilty conscience about it and abolished it throughout the Western World, including the Americas (Brazil was the last major holdout, 1888), about one hundred years after the Quakers first started to form anti-slavery and abolitionist societies. That is, the West saw its sin and then decided to act on it. That's why the British went around the world fighting the slave trade in the 19th century after they have abolished it, famously under the influence of Bishop Wilberforce. So then, where' the Muslim equivalent or Wilberforce? The Turks only gave up slavery under pressure from the West; it wasn't because of a native-born reform movement that grew up organically among Muslims. So the question really is whether people who criticize the West's imperialism, ethnocentrism, racism etc. can see that their own culture in previous centuries was guilty of the same sins as well. How many self-critical Muslims and Chinese are there? Do any blacks in Africa today feel guilty about having slavery and selling slaves to whites? You'll have a hard time finding any, but the self-critical Westerners are a dime-a-dozen. I merely call for some kind of balance. Many important contributions to the human race come from the West, such as the concepts of limited government, universal human rights, representational democracy.the rule of law, modern science and technology, etc. Then most of the West's sins are also found in other civilizations and cultures as well, such as slavery, racism, ethnocentrism, imperialism, etc. So then, they don't have any moral basis to judge and condemn since they are guilty of the same sins. It's only because of historical ignorance of the history of other civilizations that allows non-Western peoples to play up the sins of the West while ignoring their own in prior centuries before coming under the control of the West. This ia particularly true of Islam (Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad were appalling ignorant of the real history of Islam, such as Robert Spencer relates), but it's also true of China, Japan, India, etc. So then, if our ancestors are all guilty of the same sins, and we all live in glass houses, who is anyone to cast the first stone? As Paul wrote in Romans 2:1: "Therefore, you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. This is what I call "moral equivalency." Everyone's ancestors are guilty of the same things, so it's best to call bygones, bygones, and to forgive one another.

I suppose the main point in response here would be to learn something about the spirit of Joseph in forgiving his brothers in Genesis 50:20. A most interesting story that I have heard two or three times from the pulpit over the years about the duty of forgiveness goes like this; A Jewish woman, who had been placed in a concentration camp by the Nazis, later on converted to Christianity. Years later, it could have been ten or twenty, she gives a public speech and a man in the crowd spots her, whom she recognizes. He was a concentration camp guard at the camp she had been held in, and he remembered who she was also.. In the intervening years, he too had converted to some kind of Christianity. He went up to her after her speech to forgive him and held out his hand. She initially rejected shaking his hand, but after remembering Christ's words, she accepted it the second time that the former camp guard extended his hand and asked to be forgiven. I suppose you feel that you are in this situation, although you never were a slave, but she had been an actual prisoner of a concentration camp during World War II. So I would encourage you to forgive other people, including white ones, if you blame them for your personal situation and for that of other people who had black ancestors who suffered. But then we have the issue of facing the future, as per Glasser's "Reality Therapy." We need to let go of the past and dwelling upon it if we wish to accomplish something in the future. Otherwise, we're like the mother of Ismeralda in Victor Hugo's "Hunchback of Notre Dame," who endlessly focused her life on how she had been victimized when her baby had been kidnapped from her and another baby (who later grew up to be the Hunchback) was substituted in her place. People who focus too much on their victimized status can't move forward even when the old barriers against them fall away, as has been the case in the United States since especially the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, over and above the three post-Civil War Amendments in which the North tried to do the same thing before giving up and letting the white Southern establishment take over again. The opportunities are now available here for people who are black, which is why many have chosen to immigrate voluntarily to the United States over the past 40 years. Now, we could examine the benefits that Western civilization has brought to the world. My favorite example is the British colonial administration of India, which took over from the decayed Muslim Mogul rulers. The British systematically ended up abolishing slavery, female infanticide, and suttee, the practice of Hindu widows being forced to kill themselves on the funeral pyres of their recently deceased husbands. They also ended a enormous amount of banditry and disorder in the countryside, such as by putting down the Thugee cult, which the screenwriter of "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" clearly was aware of. A modern system of education was imposed and the railroads were built. Even though the Raj has been faulted for not building enough irrigation projects, they still did a lot more than their Muslim predecessors had done. It's also worth remembering that Hindus will say the Muslims killed some 70 million Hindus in India. That is, Muslim rule was far harsher than British rule. Both were imperialistic, but one clearly helped India far more than the other. The result of British rule is that India became democratic, which is also the case of Trinidad and Jamaica. Such principles as the rule of law and democracy were taught to the native ruling class of India, which created a democratic political culture that's totally missing in (say) China by comparison. So, can you admit that Western Civilization has also benefited people around the world as well?

The basic issue is one of political philosophy here. Are people to be treated as individuals or as members of groups? Are collective groups to be punished or rewarded indiscriminately for the actions of some in the group? Should people be punished for the sins of their ancestors? Are there any white Americans alive today who actually owned slaves? For that matter, do any have parents or even grandparents who owned slaves? The next problem is that the great majority of whites never owned slaves in the pre-1865 period. Those in the North didn't by the time the Civil War began. A good majority of the white Southern population didn't own slaves either; it was a mark of being the equivalent of "upper middle class" to actually own a slave since they were expensive to own. Then there's another problem. Many whites immigrated here long after slavery had been abolished. My Swedish grandmother is a great example. She arrived in 1914. So should white people whose ancestors weren't even living in the United States be forced to pay reparations to blacks who never were slaves themselves? Furthermore, suppose a white person could show that his ancestors fought in the North's army during the Civil War. A good number of them died as well.. Should the descendants of the members of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) be excluded from paying reparations since they helped to free the slaves? Another problem is that a number of blacks weren't slaves in the United States, but free immigrated here voluntarily. Should they be paid reparations by Americans (as opposed to the British, French, Dutch, whoever, if from the Caribbean islands)? Suppose people's ancestries are mixed. Obama is half white. Should he get only half as much as someone who is fully black? Or does he get nothing because the black part of his ancestry cancels out the debt owned by the white side? So then, we would need to junk the "drop of blood" rule for awarding reparations. Everyone's ancestry would need to be examined carefully to identify who to reward and who to punish and who (well) comes out even because of a mixed ancestry. It's also folly to assume all whites are rich and all blacks are poor. Should we redistribute by force money from poor whites to rich blacks, like Oprah Winfrey? Should a billionaire who never was a slave receive a reparation's check paid in part by middle class whites? The poor and working class whites of the Appalachians don't have any "white privilege" to speak of. Furthermore, one could easily argue a lot of "reparations" have already been paid. Affirmative Action/race quota plans, which often reward blacks who are better off economically than many whites who are excluded, are a good example. That is, I can't see it as "social justice" to admit a real "Theo Huxtable" to college in preference to a white autoworker's or coal miner's son. Also the "War on Poverty" has poured some $22 trillion into the hands of the poor over the past 55 years. That hasn't done them much good, as the like of Charles Murray's "Losing Ground" argued decades ago. I think any reparations, if they ever paid by the government, will have any long run benefits. They will end up being mostly wasted and causing people to work less, just as the welfare state's handouts have done. So not only will reparations be an injustice for whites to pay, they also will have the same negative effects that the welfare state's handouts have had on the poor. The policy should be one of forgiveness at this point in the game, especially when we should argue that the blacks who sold other blacks into slavery should pay the reparations bill as well.

My master's thesis, which is 1/4 of what is posted on my Web site, is a comparison of the conditions of English farmworkers during the industrial revolution with American slaves in the century before the Civil War. I'm well acquainted with the graphic details of the intrinsic brutality of the South's "peculiar institution," to say the least. I think people in general should read Kenneth Stampp's 1956 book, "The Peculiar Institution" to be educated about it historically, which famously finally overthrew Bonnell' Phillips' then reigning racist historical analysis of slavery. To try to answer your question more directly, although it will seem trite and evasive, a lot of life is about how we fix our own futures by our own actions and efforts and forgiveness (as Joseph said to his brothers, Genesis 50:20).. To focus on the past, including how we were personally injured by others (including issues that have nothing to do with racism, such as mistreatment by others within our own families). Notice that recent Asian immigrants generally just went to work and try to get a good education and good jobs, even if they know there are inevitably some racists about who dislike them. They actually make more money per capita than whites do on average, which shows that their ethnic background is no barrier to financial success. Harvard was sued by a group of Asian Americans for racial discrimination against them because America's leading university didn't want to admit too many of them, much like the Ivy League colleges didn't want to admit too many Jews as well two or three generations ago, another group that does better on average financially than other whites despite all sorts of discrimination (and worse, to say the least). If we focus too much on how we've been mistreated in the past and identify ourselves as victims, it becomes a barrier to progress to actually improving our lives. Here the psychological point of Glasser's book "Reality Therapy," which has nothing to do with race relations, is worth some thought in this context. The other point is that everyone has ancestors that have been oppressed, to one degree or another. Whole nations have eventually treated almost all of their people worse than blacks were treated in the South under Jim Crow, such as the USSR, China, India (remember what caste is?), etc. The Roman Empire was full of slaves, which was mostly about whites owning whites. Medieval Europe was dominated by some version of serfdom, which meant the peasants couldn't leave the land that they were born and lived on, even if they couldn't be sold separately from it. (However, in the later Russian version of serfdom, they indeed could be sold separately from the land, thus making their system under the Czar about the same as American chattel slavery). So I don't think what I say here will be of much comfort. However, my main point in my comment above was that Islam has a long, awful history of enslaving black people in Africa, especially in East Africa along the Indian Ocean. Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad (Poole) had to have been completely historically ignorant to have seen Islam as offering hope to black people in place of Christianity from a cultural viewpoint. A current prominent critic of Islam, Robert Spencer, would be able to tear into the historical mythology behind the Nation of Islam movement. I'm sure that Spencer would be willing to debate Farrakhan publicly if given the chance, but if Farrakhan accepted such a challenge,, he wouldn't know what would hit him. Anyway, here's my analysis of the quality of life, standard of living, the control mechanisms of the master class, the methods of resistance by the subordinate class, and the gender division of labor of American slavery compared to English farmworkers. It's a long read, a book, but by linking to it here, I'm try to show that I really do know something about this subject. I'm not the best at expressing sympathy and empathy, but here's a try at it.

It's best to start with this text about human nature: "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), which merely summarizes the points made in verses 9 to 19. No culture, ethnicity, race, or nation is free from sins, such as aggression, ethnocentrism, racism, etc. Any empire is built on some kind of aggressive warfare, whether it be the Zulu Empire or the British Empire. When the British famously encountered the Zulus at Roark's Drift in what is now South Africa, neither was native to that area. Both were conquering empires and it's a deception to pretend that the Zulus, merely because they were black like native people of what become South Africa, were moral superiors of the British. Likewise, the Aztecs and Incas were indeed victims of Spanish imperialism, but they died by the same principle that they had lived. He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. This leads to the concept of "moral equivalency." That is, if we really know the details of history of different cultures, and not just a selective retelling of them, we'll soon discover all the ethnocentrism, aggression, oppression, slavery, racism, whatever, that other cultures are also guilty of. Therefore, no one can judge another since everyone lives in a glass house. Furthermore, "justice" should consist of dealing with people as individuals, not as members of collectives, past or present. Individuals sin and can be punished. Punishing indiscriminately groups of people which including the innocent is wrong. The West, because it developed a self-sustaining science, the industrial revolution, modern technology, and modern methods of bureaucratic/military administrative structures, was able to dominate other areas of the world. But even the likes of Bernard Lewis, the great "orientalist" scholar, saw Western imperialism as the response of the West to the aggression of Islam under the Turks. That is, the history of the world didn't begin with 1500 or 1800 A.D. The Muslim world and the Chinese civilization were both terribly ethnocentric, and didn't realize how the West had become clearly superior to them until c. 1750 (for the Ottomans) and c. 1842 (for the Chinese, after the thoroughly disreputable Opium War). One general estimate of the number of Hindus killed by the Muslims is 70 million, which is 7 times the number of Africans killed by the Belgians. Many blacks will know of the atrocities committed by King Leopold in the Congo; few know of the atrocities committed in the name of Islam over the centuries, including an enormous amount of aggressive Jihadist warfare, thanks to the historical mythmaking fog generated by the Nation of Islam movement, which my Pakistani roommates and/or visiting friends objected to as racist when Louis Farrakhan came to visit MSU when I was a grad student there. It's fine to point out that Europe has mostly thrown away it's belief in God, and America is following behind. That's the fault of the left's secular ideologies, however, and can be blamed on the likes of Darwin, Hume, Marx, Freud, etc.

The broader issue needs to be faced about the criminal justice system in the United States, which is the problem of managing black-on-black crime, which is very disproportionately high compared to white-on-white crime in how murders, etc. occur. I've called for reform of the police in certain regards, such as making it easier to sue them through limiting qualified immunity and by making it easier to fire bad cops through some kind of "employment-at-will" system. However, in order to stem the problem of violence, it's necessary to fix problems in family structure, especially illegitimacy. Here we face the main point of the 1965 Moynihan Report. "The Negro Family: A Plan for National Action." That is, a lot of social pathologies are caused by fatherless families. Charles Murray took the same idea, and then applied it to working class whites in "Coming Apart." In this opinion piece below, written over 25 years ago, he predicted well the problems that have occurred among working class whites (i.e., those without college degrees) as their marriage rates have fallen and the rate of babies born out of wedlock has risen. So the problem here isn't "hatred" by whites, but the main driver of inequality between the races are the economic effects of "family instability," that is, divorce and illegitimacy, in the America of 2020, unlike the America of 1950. Notice that Asian Americans, who have lower rates of illegitimacy, have higher incomes than whites on average. If recent immigrant black groups such as those from Nigeria or the Caribbean have higher incomes than whites on average, that shows that racism isn't a major barrier to financial advancement.


 Isn't Affirmative Action institutional racism against whites and Asian Americans when objective measures like test scores are used to judge who enters and who doesn't? That is, much like the NBA and NFL is disproportionately black, we shouldn't expect that all sectors of society will have exactly the same percentage of people of each race in them based on their percentage in the population. It's necessary to explain what these systems are and what would need to be changed. Jobs and admissions to elite colleges should be based exclusively on merit, such as test scores and high school grades, or experience and educational credentials. Furthermore, if someone can be fired and removed from their jobs for mere words (verbal disagreement) as per the cancel culture's intolerance of dissenting views, those who are punishing those people aren't oppressed or victims. They obviously have great power to get rid of people that they don't like. Someone who is "oppressed," has to take whatever is done to them by their superiors, which is hardly the case in America today for any member of any ethnic group, unlike the case in 1950. The main cause of inequality in American society is differential levels of "family instability," such as divorce and illegitimacy and a culture of poverty, such as not valuing education, which is a traditional problem from of the South's culture. (See Frederick Law Olmsted's "The Cotton Kingdom" for documentation about this before the Civil War, but the differential has persisted for both whites and blacks from the South, including when they moved up North to take industrial jobs in the general 1915-1970 period). When people don't value education, then they end up poor more often. By contrast, notice that Asian Americans by and large are better off on average than whites are in income precisely because they have fewer babies out of wedlock and less divorce and they value education more. If racism is so pervasive, why do they have more financial success more than whites do? All liberals should acquaint themselves seriously with the thesis of the Moynihan report, which is merely updated and generalized to whites through Charles Murray's "Coming Apart" and "The Coming White Underclass." Fatherless families cause the crime rate to go up, which is the result of the values of liberals in promoting the welfare state (which gives financial incentives to women to not marry) and because of their irreligious anti-biblical values, which undermine marriage and promote sexual promiscuity. This problem with a culture of poverty and family instability is why blacks commit a disproportionate number of crimes and are disproportionately poor today, unlike the case in 1950. Whites are merely going down the same path, and there will be more equality as a result: Compare the conditions of whites without a college degree with blacks, and it's hard to find the former are at all "privileged." If you don't wish to debate politics, then feel free to tell me. I've run into liberals who simply don't wish to debate such issues. Let me know if that's the case, and I'll cease and desist. But if you wish to have an intellectual, fact-based debate that will avoid name calling, I'm quite willing to supply one. It's necessary also to treat people as individuals, and not a parts of groups if we really want "justice." Indiscriminate punishments of groups whose members aren't necessarily guilty of anything racist is simply morally wrong. People need to be held accountable for individual acts, not for those by their ancestors or other members of their same group. This is a fundamental difference between the right's and left's political philosophy on this issue, so it has to be kept in mind always. Look carefully at the arguments in this attached opinion piece before replying, for it is the foundation for conservative analyses of race relations, although in this case, it is applied also to whites. This piece is over 25 years old, but it has proven to be right, as the  conditions of the white working class show today.



When something bad happens to us, is our first general tendency to blame others or ourselves? Did we do something by our own free will that's inflicted misery upon ourselves? Or do we always think that someone else is to blame for all or most of our troubles (or successes)? Naturally enough, if we can find some plausible or semi-plausible way to blame others for our own problems, that lets us off the hook. We aren't guilty then of mismanaging our own lives.

In psychology, this is known as the "locus of control." If we attribute to outside sources our successes and failures, we have an locus of control that's outside ourselves. If we attribute to our own selves our successes and failures, we have a locus of control that's inside ourselves.

In this context, it's worth remembering the old children's story, "The Little Engine That Could," and the nature of self-fulfilling prophecies. If the pessimist thinks he is going to fail, it's much more likely to happen. If the optimist thinks he's going to succeed, that also much more likely to happen on average. So if someone gives up, thinking, "They won't give me a chance because of my sex and/or skin color," their evidence against the rest of society's unfairness/racism is a product often of their own decisions based on their own free will.

Fundamentally, belief in individual responsibility will produce people who will try to fix problems and who will make better decisions on average. If people don't believe in free will and individual responsibility, they will pronounce themselves victims and passively wait for others to fix their problems for them, which isn't very likely to happen. The current conditions of poor people in inner cities, areas which have been under the control of liberals for two generations in many cases, shows that strategy isn't working well based on practical experience. Even an activist, big government doesn't help much a lot of people who suffer, often cause of their own decisions (such as having a baby out of wedlock, dropping out of high school/church, choosing the wrong man/woman for a romantic/sexual relationship, take drugs, etc.)

If this official definition of race is true, then many supposedly “brown” people are “white.”  “White (Not Hispanic or Latino)  A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East.”


In this opinion piece, Dennis Prager does a good job of explaining that the idea of individual responsibility comes from belief in the biblical worldview. The left trains people to blame America for their problems when much of our misery is really self-inflicted.



This opinion piece is interesting for making the same kind of point that Ayn Rand made decades ago in her essay, "The Age of Envy." Like Israel, America really is hated for its virtues and successes, not so much its flaws. Otherwise, the left would hate other countries which have far more human rights violations and kept slavery far longer than America did, such as many Islamic countries, Brazil, etc. Where are all the "woke" leftists who should be denouncing passionately the practice of slavery in African countries to this very day under the auspices of Islam? Where are all the leftists who would violently denounce Stalin's and Mao's killing of perhaps 100 million people in the past century? America's sin is far less than theirs, yet it gets far, far more attention. This kind of selective outrage points to an appalling bias. It would be like hearing a neighbor heatedly denounce another neighbor who has burglarized some homes while completely ignoring another neighbor who is a routine mass murderer. So it's necessary to investigate the psychology here, which is that people who are rich and successful (or nations which are rich and successful) are hated because of their mere wealth, not because of their sins (or collective human rights violations). As Rand observed, no one envies Albert Schweitzer or some other great humanitarian known for self-sacrifice, although theoretically they should be if the left really believed in their altruistic code only. After all, I could easily make the case that almost all citizens of the USSR and Red China in 1950 had fewer rights, were poorer, and were more oppressed than even the blacks of rural Mississippi in the same year. That's not to excuse past racial oppression in the United States, but most other nations which are great powers have had far worse historical human rights records than the United States has had. Furthermore, as the current regimes that rule Russia and China today show, they remain authoritarian dictatorships or near dictatorships with few political rights for their people; how far would these "woke" leftists get in protesting and rioting if they happened to live in Moscow or Beijing instead? This opinion piece by Dennis Prager is well worth reading in this light.


Do we judge famous historical people by the most important things they did that influenced other people? Or do we judge and condemn them based on one or two criteria only, which often aren't tied to their main activities that impacted others? Furthermore, which moral yardstick should be used to judge and condemn others? Is racism the only one that should be used? Or do other moral criteria matter as well, such as (say) avoiding sexual immorality? Should we harshly condemn people using yardsticks of which they were ignorant of in their time and place historically? Or should we cut them some slack? (Of course, liberals supposedly don't condemn or judge anyone, but we know that isn't really true . . . )

To give a provocative, but true example, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was indeed guilty of both adultery and plagiarism (of his doctoral dissertation) despite being a minster. However, we remember him not for those faults, but for how he found a way to get white Americans, especially in the South, to recognize the equal right of blacks under the law through leading a movement dedicated to using non-violent tactics of protest. it would be grossly wrong to focus on the man's flaws in light of his great achievement in how he influenced others so positively overall.

In the case of Winston Churchill, he was a racist who very much believed in the British Empire. Had he won re-election in 1945, the recent history of India may have become much more like that of Vietnam than I would care to admit. However, what was his main achievement? He recognized the danger that Hitler posed long before the British establishment would admit it, and then mobilized the British people to fight Germany during World War II. Had Hitler's racist regime won World War II, blacks and Africans in general would have been treated like the Jews were. So then a moderate racist beat a much more dangerous man who was a fanatical racist as well as a totalitarian. It's best to focus on the main thing that Churchill got right, not on what where he was wrong, based on contemporary standards of which he wasn't aware of.

A key problem with attacking the statues of the Founding Fathers of the United States concerns a one-dimensional condemnation based on current understandings of race relations, ignoring what good they did in other areas of their lives. In the case of George Washington, had he had the same level of power lust that Napoleon had, our national history would have been a lot more like a banana republic than we would like to think, such as that of Mexico or Peru, even if all the other Founding Fathers remained equally responsible. Furthermore, they set in motion a a political system that eventually supplied the "promissory note" that Martin Luther King Jr. asked on behalf of American blacks to be cashed. That is, the rhetoric about freedom and and equality under the law eventually couldn't be confined to whites alone, despite all the inconsistencies, brutalities, and hypocrisies committed over many generations.

By contrast, the political systems of such nations as China and Russia, which oppressed nearly everyone all the time throughout almost all their histories, not just ethnic minorities, never could have been criticized much as "inconsistent" or "hypocritical." They were built on oppression and remained so nearly consistently despite some lip service to paternalistic ideals and sacrifice to the collective. They never could have supplied a "promissory note" to be cashed by someone pointing out how mistreated his or his group were. For most of China's and Russia's history, no one had a right to vote, to freedom of religion, to freedom of speech, to freedom of the press, to freedom of assembly, etc. Most white Russians in 1950 were more oppressed by Communism under Stalin (who killed perhaps 20 million people, more than Hitler did) than blacks were in rural Mississippi, the worst possible place to be black in the American South under segregationist racial oppression. (See Richard Wright's book "Black Boy" about how he felt about living there. One chapter or section was entitled "Stealing North," about how he engaged in fraud while working for a movie theater to get the money to move away).

So it's worth remembering America and the native English speaking nations in the past 120 years have repeatedly stood up against dangerous authoritarian and totalitarian threats (the Kaiserreich of World War I, fascism/Nazism/Imperials Japan, Communism, and radical Islam). The dangers to freedom and equality under the law of any kind that these movements have posed show that we should be thankful that America, Britain, and the British Commonwealth won World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and still resist radical Islam's political power. It's best to look at what is being done and has been done correctly, given that these are worldly governments as well. They are the best of a bad lot, on this side of the millennium. Most nations, especially if they are great powers and empires, have had far worse human rights records than the native English speaking nations have had.

When we look into the abyss, thinking what would have happened historically had Hitler and Japan had won World War II, or Stalin and Mao had won the Cold War, it's best to emphasize the glass as 80% full, instead of focusing excessively on the 20% that has been historically empty. Malcolm X didn't see World War II as a black man's war, but Hitler looked at it differently. American blacks would have met the same fate as the Jews if Hitler had taken over the world. The British were indeed the imperial colonial rulers of India, but Gandhi and Nehru would not have wanted to see what would have happened had Japan successfully invaded a large chunk of India in the same way that they had taken a huge part of China, where the rape of Nanking occurred and some seven million Chinese civilians died. We should judge and condemn people and nations by a much broader measure than just race relations when there are many other ways for people to be oppressed and mistreated. Communism wasn't officially racist at all, yet it killed some 100 million people in the last century while destroying all the rights and freedoms listed in the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights and impoverishing whole nations in the process. That is, there are lots of other ways to be oppressed besides on the basis of race, which is a key flaw in the reasoning of Malcolm X in his autobiography: he was oblivious to how women could be oppressed and what Communism was doing in the world as he wrote.

So it's fine to remove in an orderly way the statues of the Confederates since people fighting for an evil cause (slavery and racial oppression) shouldn't be honored in public places. But it would be wrong to judge Washington, Jefferson, Churchill, and others by a contemporary moral yardstick of race relations which they were ignorant of in their time and place when they had much larger achievements to count in their favor.

I don't agree quite with all that the author of this opinion piece says, since I have no sympathy for keeping up monuments honoring Confederate leaders, but it still makes good points overall.


What are the values that make Western Civilization more functional and successful on average compared to other cultures, such as those of China, India, Islam, Africa, etc.? That is, why are people wealthier on average and have more freedom from government control in this civilization compared to others? Why is democratic capitalism, which in turn assumes decisions are based on reason, individual rights, and the rule of law, more successful than the authoritarian socialist/communist alternatives? Part of it goes back to the values of the people in question. To the extent people accept these values, they will be more economically successful on average, such as to the extent they support creativity, which is often a product of specific individuals, not a vague collective, as the philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand would remind us..

The Smithsonian Institution, among other official authorities, has put out a list of the values of "white people," which really are just those of Western Civilization, which in turn are traditional values that have stood the test of time. People who practice these values on average will have happier, more financially successful lives. It's not that these values are perfect, since in some cases they aren't entirely biblical, such as when they shade into materialism. Nonetheless, people will be much happier on average in this world if they practice such values as delayed gratification, plan for the future, believe 'tomorrow will be better," progress is best, use time wisely and carefully, accept the Bible's religion, reject polytheism, believe in self-reliance and personal independence, have an internal "locus of control" (i.e., our life outcomes are mostly an individual responsibility), have a father as the leader and main financial support of the family, the nuclear family is primary over the extended family, etc., etc., etc.

There's always a deep irony in that if Europe and America are such racist hellholes for people of color, then why do people of color try to enter these countries legally and illegally as immigrants en masse when given the opportunity? Why come here to be endlessly mistreated . . . unless there are some kinds of benefits to coming, such as escaping poverty and other types of oppression in their home countries? The success of the West and the failure of Islam by comparison isn't mere happenstance, even if it is always undergirded by God's promises to Abraham and his descendants who have the birthright blessing and the promise of the Messiah. So much modern progress would have been impossible without driving irrational polytheism from the minds of men, for example, about which I have written elsewhere. (See the Roman Catholic philosopher of science Stanley Jaki for more on that subject). There are objective reasons for the West's success and why other civilizations have tried to appropriate aspects of the West's culture for their own purposes (such as Japan and China have done, often with great success).

So look at this list of values cited by Rush Limbaugh from the Smithsonian, and then consider how they make our lives happier on average compared to people of most other cultures on average. After all, anyone of any race, culture, or ethnicity can adopt them and benefit from them. In this case, traditional values are indeed functional and time tested, even if many of these values have been attacked by many in the West, such as the hippie/counter-culture's attacks on delayed personal gratification and being time conscious. We reap financially what we sow when these values are rejected.




Here's the same graphic and set of characteristics of Western Civilization again from another source. Notice that this criticism ironically borders on fitting certain traditional stereotypes of those who aren't white. That is, if someone criticizes white people for upholding "hard work is the key to success' and "rational linear thinking," that implies other groups don't believe in these values.


Does belief in the Christian God make a culture objectively superior to another one that doesn't? If the God of the Bible really exists, and all the other gods are just figments of people's imaginations, is it "intolerant" to believe so? The Bible makes it clear that salvation can only come through Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12): "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Jesus Himself made this clear on the night before He died (John 14:6): "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." The God of the bible, Jehovah, makes it clear that no other gods exist (Isaiah 46:5, 9-10): "To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal and compare Me, that we should be alike? . . . Remember the former things of old, for I am God , and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure." Isaiah elsewhere ridicules idolatry and the worship of false gods using wood and metal statues, such as in Isaiah 44:14-15: "He cuts down cedars for himself, and takes the cypress and the oak; . . . Then it shall be for a man to burn, for he will take some of it and warm himself; Yes, he kindles it and bakes bread; Indeed he makes a god and falls down to it." So if the God of the Bible exists, then any other god doesn't. They are mere deceptions, such as the gods of the Hindu pantheon, including Shiva and Vishnu.

So then, what should we think of the objection by this Jamaican singer to singing a song using the words of "Mandalay"? In this 1890 poem by the famed British writer Rudyard Kipling, he refers to a statue of Buddha in this manner: "An’ a-wastin’ Christian kisses on an’ eathen idol’s foot." The British soldier here in the poem is portrayed as loving Burma so much that he he does this mistakenly. Sir Williard White "felt uneasy singing lines about one god being superior to another." So he influenced the BBC to avoid singing this traditional song for this occasion: "Much-needed discussions are taking place challenging assumptions of cultural superiority and the inequalities caused by them. As a proud human being, I couldn’t sing such sentiments with a clear conscience."

This is cultural and moral relativism with a vengeance. In other contexts, this same liberal surely would object to someone who felt that "sometimes" racism is OK. That is, liberals have their own set of moral absolutes, but try to deny it in order to sound "broad minded" to the mushy-minded middle. For example, what liberal would ever object to this statement: "Racism is immoral in all places at all times"? Is a country that condemns racism morally superior to one that enshrines racial superiority in the law? Feminists likewise believe in a set of cross-cultural absolutes as well. What feminist would deny this moral claim: "Rape is immoral in all places at all times"? The British Raj in India made a point of abolishing suttee, the practice of Hindu widows being made to kill themselves publicly on the fires burning up their dead husband's bodies. Wouldn't Mr. White here admit, if asked, that the British were right to impose their superior culture's values concerning the treatment of women upon the Hindus of India by force? Incidentally, the British Raj also forcibly ended slavery and the infanticide of female babies as its reach extended across India. Wouldn't he also say that the culture of South Africa under Apartheid and the American South under Jim Crow was morally inferior to a society that treated all people of different races the same under the law?

Similarly, a civilization that accepts the God of the Bible's existence is superior to one that doesn't. For those skeptical of the Bible, I would refer them to the works of such writers as Henry Morris, Joshua McDowell, Lee Strobel, and others. The bible, through its proven historical accuracy and fulfilled prophecies, has shown itself to have a supernatural origin to those willing to look into it with an open mind, an attitude normally lacking among liberals who claim to such an attitude. There's plenty of objective evidence and good reasoning backing faith in the bible.



It would be interesting to resurrect Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad (Poole) of the (American) Black Muslim movement to get their comments on this news story. Islam has a long, sordid history of slavery, including of black Africans in East Africa. Saudi Arabia abolished slavery about two years before Malcolm X visited Mecca there in 1964. Either out of ignorance or pure mendacity this history is ignored by many today.

You'll never hear anything about this from Black Lives Matter, because that organization doesn't really care about black lives. It is a Marxist organization using real, exaggerated, and imagined racial injustice to try to destroy the United States. "Mauritanian Anti-Slavery Activist Maryam Bint Al-S...


In the same spirit, notice this author's reasoning, which is a good exercise in "moral equivalency." That is, historically, all races and cultures have been guilty of using slavery and forced labor, so there's no moral superiority for anyone in this regard if we read history back far enough. The real issue is that there is no moral superiority here because people of every race/ethnicity have been guilty of slavery, ethnocentrism, racism, imperialism, aggressive conquest, empire-building, etc. This includes the Indians. The Aztecs and Incas are particularly good examples, but the tribes in North America had their own interminable conflicts and conquests. So if we look further back than (say) c. 1500 or c. 1800, we'll find the Muslims, Mongols, Chinese, etc., also engaged in aggressive conquests of one kind of another. When the Zulus famously fought the British at Roarke's Drift in South Africa, they were no more native to that area of Africa than the British were. The Zulus were engaged in aggressive empire-building as well, and thus weren't the moral superiors of the British. This is what I call "moral equivalency." Since everyone's ancestors are equally guilty, it's best to stop trying to claim a victim status, for the ancestors of today's victims were aggressive imperialists and oppressive rulers of empires or nations also. (It's another issue to explain how being a victim somehow unlocks the wallets of other people, instead of being like Thomas the Tank engine, and making oneself useful to others instead. The other issue is that justice isn't about groups of people, but individuals. Hence, no white alive today owned slaves, nor did their parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents. Why should they be punished or blamed? The same reasoning goes for the Indian Wars. This is a fundamental difference of political philosophy between the left and right, since the left wants to punish all whites indiscriminately for the sins of their ancestors even when many whites aren't well off and many whites never owned slaves or even enforced the Jim Crow segregation



What would be the most powerful and effective way to reduce inequality in America among and between the races? What would be the best way to reduce poverty among children and children when they grow up? We really need to find ways to reduce "family instability," i.e., divorce and illegitimate births. Children who grow up without fathers in the home are much more likely on average to grow up poor, to do badly in school, and to commit crimes. An enormous amount of social science research, one way or another, confirms the thesis of Daniel Moynihan's "The Negro Family: A Plan for National Action" (1965). More recently, Charles Murray, such as through his essay, "The Coming White Underclass" and his book, "Coming Apart," has generalized Moynihan's thesis by applying it to whites, especially the work working class (i.e., those without college degrees).

The differences between blacks and whites in marriage rates, and the difference between college educated whites and those with a high school education and less, used to be much smaller than they are today. As a result, working class whites, especially in rural areas, often suffer from the same social pathologies that afflict the inner cities, but they receive much less attention despite the obvious similarities in causes and results. America's life expectancy actually has been falling in recent years because of the opioid epidemic and (to some degree, like Russia) alcohol abuse. A lack of family connections and commitment to another person of the opposite sex in marriage has contributed to an enormous amount of unhappiness in American society that simply can't be fixed by income "redistribution" (i.e., legalized plunder) programs or an increased per-capita GDP.

This differential between the college educated whites and others drives an enormous amount of the inequality that liberals and leftists all around us decry, but their own views on sexual morality make it impossible to fix this major source of trouble for society. Indeed, between their liberal skepticism about religious belief, their active hostility to traditional Christian views of sexual morality, their support for the counter-culture/Bohemian lifestyle that is indifferent to the needs of children when it interferes with the "self-fulfillment" of adults, their promotion of easy divorce laws, sex education classes designed to attack committed monogamous heterosexual marriage, and their support of the gay and transgender agendas all combine to promote family instability.
This then leads to a lot of the economic inequality that they complain about all the time. They don't perceive how their political/social agenda is causing the very problem that they decry endlessly.

The BLM activists, being anti-Biblical leftists above all, discount and ignore the role that committed black fathers can play in reducing family instability. They merely repeat feminist nostrums and ideas about the "community" raising children, which obviously hasn't worked well over the past half century. Free school lunches, welfare, and what was called Food Stamps are a poor substitute for a father's active concern and support during childhood. One of the great tragedies of blacks during the past 60 years was that as legal equality was finally officially granted and began to be implemented practically, the out-of-wedlock birthrate got out of control, thus greatly hindering their progress as a group. By contrast, we find Asian Americans, who have a family structure more intact than that of whites and have a better culture of support for academic excellence than whites do, being over represented at our elite universities. Indeed, Asian Americans are suing Harvard for implicitly placing a quota on how many can be admitted to their school, much like Jews were similarly discriminated against two generations ago and more for the same kinds of reasons (i.e., outperforming whites and others on test scores and other objective measures of academic skill).

This opinion piece is good for pointing out the flaws of the official BLM ideology in discounting the importance of black fathers, as per feminist ideology, in forming successful, stable family units.


"The first to plead his case seems just, until another comes and examines him." (Proverbs 18:17) "He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him" (Proverbs 18:13). When we start examining the specifics of this controversial police shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, it's easy to see how a jury could easily let the cops off. The prosecutor could even land himself in hot water for prosecutorial misconduct, just as occurred in the Duke lacrosse team case. What seemed to be clear based on the initial media reports proved to be simply false later when more information became available. it's worth looking into this detailed examination of this shooting with an open mind about whether the the cops were justified or not.


This opinion piece makes a good point that allowing these statues honoring the heroes of the Confederacy, i.e., the leaders of rebellion, treason, and insurrection in favor of keeping other human beings in unending bondage, should have only been a temporary measure lasting a generation or two at best. That is, to smooth over the feelings over those who had so violently risen against Washington's authority as a measure of reconciliation and forgiveness. It should be noted, from a worldwide historical perspective, the gentleness with which the North dealt with the defeated rebels was extremely lenient; most of the leaders and even many of the average soldiers under arms, in other nations and in other times, would have been summarily executed, imprisoned, stripped of their property, or otherwise legally punished.

For all the bad press and reputation that "Reconstruction" has received, such as in the novel "Gone with the Wind" and elsewhere, the South's supporters of the Confederate cause actually got off very lightly indeed. (Consider, for example, what condign, terrible punishments that the Babylonians and Assyrians inflicted on rebels against their rule by comparison. Research what the Romans did against the Jews when they rebelled in 66-70 A.D> and 132-135 A.D., such as in the works of Josephus). Even such a man as Robert E. Lee, who opposed slavery personally, honorably and very skillfully fought for an evil cause because his loyalty to Virginia exceeded his loyalty to the Union. In this regard, he could be compared to Irwin Rommel, the "Desert Fox," during World War II, who repeatedly dispatched capable British generals before Montgomery took command of the Eighth Army.

At this point, it's time to move all of these statues honoring Confederates into museums. We shouldn't operate in the spirit of Ingsoc in Orwell's "1984" and try to erase the past by destroying them. Instead, we need to face the past, admit that such people were honored for various (bad) reasons, learn some lessons about not repeating the past, and then move on. We shouldn't permanently honor those who led an evil cause by an immoral means through keeping up these Confederate statues in places of honor in public. it's simply necessary for (white) Southerners to admit squarely the deeply problematic aspects of their heritage, to be very polite and oblique.



Is victimhood the passport to value? That is, if people can claim to be victims, they are allowed to reach into other people's pockets by force if necessary, and regular moral rules and laws are suspended for them. Victims don't have to produce or create anything to get something, such as money or a job, from other people. They need not work themselves or have to develop any personal merit or achievements of their own in order to feel entitled to others' financial support. Prager's opinion piece is ominous here about how this kind of mentality is taking over the left in America: Anything goes, if you can plausibly claim to be a victim. Any act of aggression is thus whitewashed. Furthermore, victims have a "locus of control" that sees their lives as the result of outside forces; any idea that their own decisions based on free will have impoverished them or jailed them is discounted and ignored. Thus, perpetual victimhood abolishes all personal responsibility.

It takes a lot to build a civilization, and though it is much easier to destroy a civilization, it takes a lot to do that, too.But now we have four


This is a good opinion piece for explaining why when people see themselves as victims, they blame others for their problems and don't take the initiative to improve their own lot in life by their own actions. So there's a heavy psychological cost for proclaiming oneself to be a victim. It becomes a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy: Someone says he is poor because of racism, and then because he doesn't get a (good) education, doesn't strive to try to find (good or just any) jobs, etc., then he can continue to blame racism for his poverty. The left's endless propaganda about how racist America is thus causes the level of inequality to get worse because many blacks (or other minority group members) just give up or don't try hard. There's no way to quantity amount of this effect (i.e., the percentage of inequality caused by it), but it's inevitably got to be part of it. Promoting victimhood and rewarding people who proclaim to be victims is simply destructive.


The liberal view has its own key blind spots. One point, a key philosophical one, is whether we regard people as individuals who happen to be members of groups or whether we treat people primarily as members of groups and only secondarily as individuals. Hence, we end up with Affirmative Action/race quotas keeping East Indian and East Asians out of Harvard and Yale, which isn't a collective punishment that they would deserve any more than the Jews of a couple generations ago from the same schools and colleges. Do we punish people for their own sins and treat them as individuals? Or do we punish people automatically and collectively as members of ethnic/racial groups, regardless of their beliefs and/or actions? A color blind society assigns and rewards people by criteria based on merit, job performance, performance on academic tests relevant to success in college, etc. Thomas Sowell, the conservative black economist, has made a point of documenting how varied forms of race quotas from around the world, such as India's attempt to advance the cause of the "Untouchables" has backfired when merit is discarded in favor of assigning so many people "slots" based on unchangeable characteristics (ethnicity, race, gender, etc.) Another key point here, when making the case from a conservative viewpoint about the current state of race relations in 2020, as opposed to the time when Malcolm X wrote, is "the Moynihan thesis." Actually, that was unveiled shortly before he was assassinated by some (black) members of his former sect of Islam, which is deeply ironic considering all the hatred he had poured out upon whites in America for about 12 years before the last few months of his life. The problem is that people may have all sort of opportunities offered to them, but they don't take advantage of them, in part because of what is politely called "family instability" (i.e., divorce and babies born out of wedlock) and its effects on children. The poverty rate of married black couples is much lower than that of black single parent families, which means that racism simply isn't the main explanation of poverty among blacks. Liberals simply have to reckon with the devastating effects on average (note the qualifier, I know there are exceptions) have on children raised in homes with single parents, especially boys. (Girls seem to do much better when raised by homes headed by females compared to males). There's all sorts of social science research available on this point, which was first brought to public attention by Daniel Moynihan's "The Negro Family: A Plan for National Action." At this point in American history, this family instability has been spreading to non-college educated whites. The collapse of stable marriages among a large chunk of the white working class has led to their impoverishment as well, just as it did in a prior generation to blacks. Of course, here the problem that's worth analyzing is the origin of this problem. Both of them have their roots in liberalism, not conservatism. One of them is the welfare state's unintended effects of giving single women who have babies out of wedlock a subsidy for their behavior and they don't see any serious consequences from it when "Uncle Sam" automatically bails them out. The key book documenting this argument is Charles Murray's, "Losing Ground." The other point, which is a spiritual/social/moral one, comes from liberalism's criticism of Biblical standards of sexual morality and the promotion of the bohemian/hippie lifestyle as against the bourgeois viewpoint of prudent/self-restraint. Inevitably, this has practical effects: Divorce destroys family wealth that has been created, illegitimacy keeps it from being created to begin with. Fixing either of these problems I deem to be nearly hopeless in the current state of our culture and politics. Finally, there is the "self-fulfilling" prophecy problem, but not in the usual liberal normal viewpoint about (black) students living up to low expectations of a (white) teacher. That is, if blacks and other minorities are constantly told that white racism is rampant and that they have no chance, they will give up and make themselves poor or poorer than they otherwise would have been. I reminded, in this context, of a man I know, an immigrant from Trinidad, who has become (evidently) a millionaire while working in the IT security business and in real estate despite arriving in America as a teenager with nothing more than what is in his suitcase like the the rest of his family. He now has seven children and is married to a white wife. He didn't get some kind of guaranteed "slot" at a college and then at a big corporation trying to fulfill Affirmative Action quotas, but simply went to work and saw opportunities as an entrepreneur. He didn't believe the left-wing pessimism on racial issues, but took advantage of what opportunities a capitalist society provided him. (He actually hasn't gone to college, but that hasn't held him back). So this psychological issue can't be dismissed, even if it can't be quantified. Constantly focusing on discrimination instead of opportunity for those who do the three things that will keep most people out of poverty regardless of race (i.e., don't have children before you are married, finish high school, and take any job that you can get once you are done with high school) is really ultimately not conductive to helping blacks and other minorities out of poverty. It's necessary to focus on the "culture of poverty" of the poor also, not merely how much residual racism that remains in American society. The crucial, summary point is this: In 1965, the main problem blacks had was their treatment by whites, not their failure to take advantage of the opportunities freely given to them; but now the shoe is on the other foot in the year 2020. Moynihan is much more right now than he was then on average. For the Charles Murray piece that takes the Moynihan thesis and applies it so presciently to the white working class, read this piece here, rewritten some 25 years ago. He has been proven undeniably correct in his predictions.


What would be an effective way to reduce police brutality? A crucial step would be to make it much easier to fire bad cops. Because most police officers in major cities, however, are members of unions, they are often very hard to fire for cause. Arbitration, grievance procedures, strict confidentiality agreements, and other measures are used by police unions to shield their members from accountability. They aim to reflexively protect members at all costs regardless of how much public support is lost for them because they keep abusive police officers on the job.

Confidentiality agreements that hide the bad conduct of many abusive police officers from the public gaze need to be eliminated. Government organizations, such as the police, need to be transparent to citizens about what complaints their employees have against them, such as under Freedom of Information requests. Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd, has no less than 18 complaints against him, but the specifics of only two of them are publicly known. This kind of practice needs to end.

After the George Floyd riots and protests end, will the liberal mayors of Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, Detroit, Los Angeles, etc. in the months and years ahead be willing to take on the police unions in order to make it much easier to fire bad cops? Will they suffer long police strikes, work stoppages, "blue flu" outbreaks, a loss of political support/votes, etc., in order to make the police more accountable by making it easier to terminate bad cops at management's discretion? Some kind of version of "at-will" employment needs to be imposed on the police unions' membership or incidents like what happened to George Floyd will keep occurring. Indeed, if the police unions can't be made to see reason on this matter, it may be necessary to break them through long strikes that starve out their members or simply outlawing them or restricting legally their ability to bargain about matters related to hiring and firing by legislative fiat. It's time for these liberal mayors to take on police brutality by making it much easier to fire bad cops.

Notice, in particular, that this is up to liberal mayors and city council members to do this. The Federal government (i.e., Trump) has almost nothing to do with it, and even state governments don't have much role to play here, beyond perhaps restricting the power of police unions to bargain and/or to strike.

Notice how a key aspect of liberal ideology backfires against them here. Reflexively liberals favor unions over management in most cases, and they seek to make it hard for management to fire bad workers even when there are no unions in non-governmental workplaces. They fear the abusive, arbitrary power of managers, not realizing that it makes average workers unaccountable when it's nearly impossible to fire them. In most cases, this merely leads to more inefficiency and laziness on the job. However, in the case of the police, the result is much more deadly, and obviously has inflamed race relations as well. This favoritism, most ironically, has made police brutality more common by making the rank-and-file police officers less accountable when they use abusive or even unnecessarily deadly tactics to arrest criminals. Both conservatives and liberals should be able to agree on this kind of reform of the conditions of employment of the police.


Here is another related legal issue that needs reform that could make it easier to sue the police for abuses: "Qualified immunity." it's somewhat complicated if we aren't lawyers, but it has been made too hard to sue the police for abusive conduct if it hasn't been exactly committed before.


The police unions mechanically protect bad cops even when it undermines the public's confidence in the police as a whole. They are going to have to change this priority of theirs and sacrifice the bad cops more. That can only be done by imposing some kind of "at will" employment on members, or removing from the jurisdiction of arbitrators all matters related to hiring, firing, promotions, and demotions. That last one could be imposed by legislative fiat potentially, thus avoiding the long strikes that police unions would inflict on whatever liberal politicians would actually bravely seek reform of the terms of collective bargaining for their police unions.




Here's some more evidence for my thesis here in this opinion piece. Unionization makes the police less accountable, which results in inevitably more brutality:
"There’s forthcoming research in the pipeline suggesting that when police unionize, killings escalate, with the killings concentrated among minority suspects. This work is still tentative, but you can read a Twitter thread from one of the authors here."


One insight that I picked up years ago from “Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus,” is that when people are emotionally upset, they make exaggerated attacks using “you” against other people. Hence, the wife who washes the dishes way too many times compared to her husband will say out of frustration, “You NEVER wash the dishes!’ The husband, like a scientist poking a hole in a scientific hypothesis, will reply with something like, “Well, I did wash them last Sunday night.” He thinks that gets him off the hook by finding an exception to the over-generalization of his wife, but that’s not the case. She wants equality or at lot more help in this task, but made the mistake of making an over-generalization. So the hazard is that when we are angry, we make false over-generalizations that make the other side defensive or just plain angry, which is an injustice also. This insight isn’t true of disputes about housework in families. It’s also true about disputes at work, in religious matters, and in politics. Upset, angry people engage in harsh, exaggerated rhetoric that’s false. The emotional release involved may briefly make the one engaging in it feel better, but the damage inflicted by the angry words makes things worse in the long run for the relationship in question.

So in the context of politics, when we see that Derek Chauvin, the police officer most directly responsible for killing George Floyd in an utterly unnecessary manner through choking him, people’s angry reactions to this blatant injustice can indeed backfire when they making over-generalizations (like saying it is “open season” against black men) and engage in violent actions, such as rioting that destroys innocent people’s property. Liberals should be reminded of the obvious: Attacking innocent people's property is another injustice. Social justice isn't achieved by whitewashing and excusing violence. Sure, Chauvin should be put into prison for what he did. But to attack all these other innocent people's property is wrong. To say ALL or even MOST (white) police officers are racist is also wrong, especially in largely liberal cities controlled and run by liberals for decades in the year 2020. It’s not 1950 or 1910 anymore. (I’ll mention the research of Heather MacDonald for those who wish to have more evidence in this matter). When Micah Xavier Johnson murdered in cold blood five police officers and injured nine others in Dallas in 2016, which has a big city police department that really had tried to fix problems with police brutality, he was morally wrong as well, especially since his crime was premeditated. So can a “Black Lives Matter” activist admit that shooting innocent police officers is wrong also?

The liberals who excuse and support these riots against innocent people should be reminded that another set of injustices doesn't remedy what was done against George Floyd. One injustice doesn't fix another, but simply makes more people angry. Furthermore, they should be reminded of what happened after a series of violent race riots in the United States in the 1960s. One Richard M. Nixon, who promised "law and order," got elected in 1968. That is, these liberals will help ensure the re-election of one Donald J. Trump if they keep this up. (In the 2016 election campaign, he made a point of supporting “law and order,” which his opponent simply wouldn’t repeat also). That’s because, as the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes would remind us all, the most important core function of the government is to protect people from the violent attacks of other people, or otherwise life is “nasty, brutish, and short.” People frightened of violent crime will vote differently: That’s how Rudolph Guiliani got elected mayor of New York in 1993 as a Republican despite Democrats overwhelmingly outnumber Republicans in the five boroughs after violent crime spiraled out of control under Dinkins, the one and only black mayor that New York has had.

In this context, Christians should also remember the principle of the Bible that “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.” That is, we shouldn’t hate other people, or otherwise we don’t have eternal life (I John 3:14-15). One of Scripture’s hardest teachings is that we should love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48). This includes people of other races and who have other belief systems than ours (political and religious).

Here’s an important government reform that should be implemented the next time when city governments have contract negotiations over pay and working conditions with the police unions. An important thing to change would be to make it much easier to fire police officers on an "at-will" basis. That is, they need to be stripped of union protection (via grievance procedures) and any civil service protections that they have. The one cop who was guilty of killing George Floyd had had a number of complaints made against him over the years. if we want accountability from civil servants, it's necessary to make it much easier to fire them. In this regard, the liberal desire to insulate average employees from the whims of their bosses' possible injustices has backfired. When it is hard to fire those same average employees, we end up with much more injustice on average, such as from not being able to discipline and fire bad cops.

Notice a key point here of my procedure in this analysis. This is a balanced statement that sees wrong on both sides. I’m not going to let either side off the hook. There’s no knee-jerk defense of the police going on here. Both brutal police officers and the rioters should both be condemned. To ignore the injustice caused by rioting against innocent people’s property, most of whom are probably good liberal Democrats who voted for liberals Democrats all or most of their adult lives, is simply wrong. After all, in Hennipen County, where Minneapolis is, voted for Hillary Clinton more than two-to-one against Donald Trump. The people who control that city politically and culturally would condemn racism just as much as the rioters would if asked. Rioting should be condemned too, not merely police brutality. Simply put, the end (stopping police brutality) doesn’t justify the means (violent rioting). Two wrongs don’t make a right. To commit another set of injustices doesn’t eliminate the prior ones.


When does a gay black female and a straight white man have in common? Well, if they are both liberals and both mayors of major cities, they seek to shut down churches during the Wuhan virus epidemic. Lori Lightfoot of Chicago and Bill de Blasio of New York have the same basic policies. A politician's Ideology matters far more than race, gender, and sexual orientation. Notice that identity politics is a liberal obsession about personal characteristics that in today's America, not 1950's America, hardly matters operationally for almost all policy decisions by politicians. We can count on liberals to act like liberals, regardless of anything else about their identity. They will seek to increase regulations on business, promote abortion, advocate for gun control, raise taxes, support gay marriage, etc. In this case, notice the cutting comment by the pastor of this church that he seeks the same accommodation that Wal-mart, liquor stores, and abortion clinics receive.


The supposedly high tolerant liberal mayor of New York has the same policy towards churches that equally liberal mayor of Chicago has. Notice how liberal politicians use the Coronavirus epidemic to attack institutions and businesses that they dislike and would shut down in normal times if they had similar dictatorial powers all the time (e.g., churches and gun shops).



Does Western Civilization actually have a worse record of human rights violations than other civilizations? Or was it the first civilization that made it possible to control and/or eliminate dictatorial leaders and abusive governments in a systematic way? Is Western civilization "objectively superior" to other civilizations/cultures? The recent major fire of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris has raised issues about the contributions of Western Civilization to humanity in general, since this cathedral was such a symbol and representation of its heritage. The core reality is that Western Civilization is based upon a synthesis of three main strands of culture: 1. Judeo-Christianity. 2. The classical Greek/Roman culture. 3. The Germanic/Nordic people’s culture (i.e., that of the invading barbarians of Rome). The basic principle to consider, although liberals and others short on specific historical knowledge may not be aware of this problem, is the need to use the same moral yardstick consistently concerning the West’s sins and those of other civilizations. Such problems as imperialism, ethnocentrism, slavery, the oppression of women, etc., are basically universal problems of human society since humans have an evil human nature, as Scripture and much practical experience reveal, even if many liberals remain in denial while optimistically claiming that human nature is good, malleable, and perfectible by state action. This opinion piece below does a good job of taking apart many of the standard attacks made by liberals; it’s acutely incisive when it points out that American liberals (here in the spirit of Alexander Hamilton) admire and want to copy Europe and the EU’s way of operating, which is (well) a version of (ahem) Western Civilization.


A comparative standard is needed when morally judging Western imperialism: Either condemn other (local, native) varieties of imperialism just as strongly, passionately, and without any qualification or excuse-making, including that of the Muslims, Aztecs, Incas, Chinese, Mongols, and Zulus. Or relax, and admit, “Well, if we go back far enough in history, we’re all likely about equally guilty, so let’s stop judging either other.” If a white American or Englishman is supposed to feel guilty about America’s or the West’s history, in fairness liberals academics should also ask their Muslim friends: Do you feel guilty about all the evil things done in your nations’ or civilization’s past? And if they say so privately, would they be willing to publicly condemn past Islamic imperialism (and associated sins) in their native language in their nation’s media with the same passion and lack of qualification liberal academics typically denounce the West’s? Or, much like the typical (non-immigrant) Frenchman was proud of Napoleon’s conquests, would these Muslims say they are proud of Arab and Turkish imperialism? Granted the centuries of Islamic invasions of the West before c. 1700, millions of slaves taken by the East African slave traders and Barbary pirates, the oppressive rule of religious minorities on a par with blacks’ conditions under Jim Crow, and the Arabs’ ethnic contempt for those of other nations even when they became Muslims, Muslims are in a very poor position to cast the first stone against West’s treatment of them over past roughly 275 years. Fundamentally, we should react the same way the men with stones did when Christ challenged them to cast the first stone at the woman caught in adultery (John 8:9): “When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest.” Even when the target of ire is indeed guilty, those making the condemnations are likely equally or more guilty when their nation’s or civilization’s past is examined when using the same value judgments. If everyone's equally guilty, once we go far back enough in history, it’s time to just relax and stop condemning.


Selective outrage based on double standards should be rejected because it has no respect for equality under the law, of the concept of the rule of law among all nations, which needs to have one standard applied to all nations universally. Furthermore, the eighteenth-nineteenth-twentieth century West, had to learn on its own about feeling guilty about mistreating women, conquering other countries, holding slaves, racism, discriminating against religious minorities, etc. By contrast, the Muslim/Arab world can much more easily learn from and copy a (superior) civilization that has found a way to fix its human rights problems. It's hard, then, to say the Arab Muslim world is really "ignorant" in the way the eighteenth-nineteenth century West was, yet who gets condemned far more by the liberal-left academics? Who was/is really "ignorant," and thus semi-excusable? When people have low expectations of others, they tend to live up to those lower standards, much like black students living up to the low expectations of their white teachers by getting low grades ("self-fulfilling prophecies.") It's much like a co-dependent wife enabling her alcoholic husband by constantly cleaning up after him and excusing him rather than confronting him about his problem: This is the general Western left-liberal academic world's mistake with the Islamic world, concerning its historical past and ugly present. Instead they should apply to Muslim nations in principle the same advice William Glasser gives in "Reality Therapy" for individuals: Sure, you had a bad past, but what are you doing to do now to change your present behavior so you have a better future? Their (condescendingly) low expectations about Arabs and/or Muslims ability to operate a democracy and to follow standard present (Western) human rights norms are self-fulfilling prophecies also, and thus discourage reforms in by the "alcoholic" while they spend so much emotional energy, passion, and work in denouncing the past sins of Israel, America, and/or the Western world. Nothing today can be done to have given the vote to women, to give equal opportunity to hiring Irish Catholics, or to have freed the slaves in the the America of 1845; Something can be done concerning allowing women to drive and testify against men in court in Saudi Arabia, give the dhimmi equal rights under the law, and to free the slaves in the Sudan. So which problem should we direct our emotional energies towards condemning: What can't be fixed since it's in the past, or about what can be changed, since it is in the present?

Furthermore, all this Western liberal excuse making for radical Islamic terrorism makes more terrorism occur. Unless the barbarians are clearly condemned as acting like barbarians, they will continue to act like barbarians. If Muslims are deemed to be moral inferiors of the West of whom little is expected of them morally, they will indeed live up to those low expectations. Liberals are well acquainted with self-fulfilling prophecies in a classroom characterized by "soft" racism: When a white teacher expects little of her black students but more of her white ones, both groups tend to live up to those different expectations in their levels of academic achievement. The same dynamic is at work when liberals chronically excuse the sins of Muslims while holding the West to a much higher (double) standard. Likewise, the liberal academics' relationship with Islam is much like the co-dependent wife's with an unreformed alcoholic husband. She keeps cleaning up after him and making excuses for him, regardless of his bad behavior when he has free will and can learn from the superior example of other husbands. Without firmly challenging her drunkard husband's bad behavior, she can only expect it to continue, and not improve. So if Muslims are "victims" of a traditionally backward, undemocratic culture that oppresses women, keeps slaves, oppresses religious minorities, and is intolerant of the public expression of dissent, that should be condemned today with the same level of passion, anger, outrage, wrath, and righteous indignation used about these problems when they characterized the West 200 years ago. Furthermore, condemning the West's bygone sins won't help anyone victimized by them back then; to condemn publicly and routinely the treatment of women, religious minorities, and slaves in Muslim countries today just might help those victims out since they are still alive to benefit should conservative Islam modernize theologically and legally (i.e., change the Sharia). Unlike the West, which had to figure out on its own that these practices were immoral without a superior civilization to copy (which is much, much harder), the Muslim world today can't claim to be "ignorant" of the currently superior example of the West in these areas. All they need do is copy the West, much like Japan did in the 19th century after Comodore Perry showed up, or Turkey did under Mutafa Kemal, which is much, much easier. To point this out isn't racist, but Christian. So then, ironically, could the soft bigotry of low expectations by liberal scholars about the Muslim world's human rights problems actually be racist at least in effect if not in intent?



Do we judge famous historical people by the most important things they did that influenced other people? Or do we judge and condemn them based on one or two criteria only, which often aren't tied to their main activities that impacted others? Furthermore, which moral yardstick should be used to judge and condemn others? Is racism the only one that should be used? Or do other moral criteria matter as well, such as (say) avoiding sexual immorality? Should we harshly condemn people using yardsticks of which they were ignorant of in their time and place historically? Or should we cut them some slack? (Of course, liberals supposedly don't condemn or judge anyone, but we know that isn't really true . . . )

To give a provocative, but true example, Dr. Martin Luther King jr. was indeed guilty of both adultery and plagiarism (of his doctoral dissertation) despite being a minster. However, we remember him not for those faults, but for how he found a way to get white Americans, especially in the South, to recognize the equal right of blacks under the law through leading a movement dedicated to using non-violent tactics of protest. it would be grossly wrong to focus on the man's flaws in light of his great achievement in how he influenced others so positively overall.

In the case of Winston Churchill, he was a racist who very much believed in the British Empire. Had he won re-election in 1945, the history of India may have become much more like that of Vietnam than I would care to admit. However, what was his main achievement? He recognized the danger that Hitler posed long before the British establishment would admit it, and then mobilized the British people to fight Germany during World War II. Had Hitler's racist regime won World War II, blacks and Africans in general would have been treated like the Jews were. So then a moderate racist beat a much more dangerous man who was a fanatical racist as well as a totalitarian. It's best to focus on the main thing that Churchill got right, not on what where he was wrong, based on contemporary standards of which he wasn't aware of.

A key problem with attacking the statues of the Founding Fathers of the United States concerns a one-dimensional condemnation based on current understandings of race relations, ignoring what good they did in other areas of their lives. In the case of George Washington, had he had the same level of power lust that Napoleon had, our national history would have been a lot more like a banana republic than we would like to think. Our history would have been much more like that of Mexico or Peru. Furthermore, they set in motion a a political system that eventually supplied the "promissory note" that Martin Luther King Jr. asked on behalf of American blacks to be cashed. That is, the rhetoric about freedom and and equality under the law eventually couldn't be confined to whites alone, despite all the inconsistencies, brutalities, and hypocrisies committed over many generations.

By contrast, the political systems of such nations as China and Russia, which oppressed nearly everyone all the time throughout almost all their histories, not just ethnic minorities, never could have been criticized much as "inconsistent" or "hypocritical." They were built on oppression and remained so nearly consistently despite some lip service to paternalistic ideals and sacrifice to the collective. They never could have supplied a "promissory note" to be cashed by someone pointing out how mistreated his or his group were. For most of China's and Russia's history, no one had a right to vote, to freedom of religion, to freedom of speech, to freedom of the press, to freedom of assembly, etc. Most white Russians in 1950 were more oppressed by Communism under Stalin (who killed perhaps 20 million people, more than Hitler did) than blacks were in rural Mississippi, the worst possible place to be black in the American South under segregationist racial oppression. (See Richard Wright's book "Black Boy" about how he felt about living there).

So it's worth remembering America and the native English speaking nations in the past 120 years have repeatedly stood up against dangerous authoritarian and totalitarian threats (the kaiserreich of World War I, fascism/Nazism/Imperials Japan, Communism, and radical Islam). The dangers to freedom and equality under the law of any kind that these movements have posed show that we should be thankful that America, Britain, and the British Commonwealth won World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and still resist radical Islam's political power. It's best to look at what is being done and has been done correctly, given that these are worldly governments as well. They are the best of a bad lot, on this side of the millennium. Most nations, especially if they are great powers and empires, have had far worse human rights records than the native English speaking nations have had.

When we look into the abyss, thinking what would have happened historically had Hitler and Japan had won World War II, or Stalin and Mao had won the Cold War, it's best to emphasize the glass as 80% full, instead of focusing excessively on the 20% that has been historically empty. Malcolm X didn't see World War II as a black man's war, but Hitler looked at it differently. American blacks would have met the same fate as the Jews if Hitler had taken over the world. The British were indeed the imperial colonial rulers of India, but Gandhi and Nehru would not have wanted to see what would have happened had Japan successfully invaded a large chunk of India in the same way that they had taken a huge part of China, where the rape of Nanking occurred and some seven million Chinese civilians died. We should judge and condemn people and nations by a much broader measure than just race relations when there are many other ways for people to be oppressed and mistreated. Communism wasn't officially racist at all, yet it killed some 100 million people in the last century while destroying all the rights and freedoms listed in the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights and impoverishing whole nations in the process.

So it's fine to remove in an orderly way the statues of the Confederates since people fighting for an evil cause (slavery and racial oppression) shouldn't be honored in public places. But it would be wrong to judge Washington, Jefferson, Churchill, and others by a contemporary moral yardstick of race relations which they were ignorant of in their time and place when they had much larger achievements to count in their favor.

I don't agree quite with all that the author of this opinion piece says, since I have no sympathy for keeping up monuments honoring Confederate leaders, but it still makes good points overall.


What is the "elephant in the living room" concerning the recent protests, riots, and even assassinations of police officers? What great truth must never be uttered or admitted directly? What is a leading "thought crime" against our politically correct rulers in the media, government, and elsewhere? Well, the basic issue is that a very high percentage of violent crime is committed by blacks, especially young black men, compared to their percentage of the population. The basic issue is that stating this obvious truth is deemed offensive, yet it is arguably the greatest obstacle in improving race relations in America. That is, if the black violent crime rate suddenly fell to be equal to the levels committed by whites, far fewer black men would be shot by police, whether mistakenly, justifiably, or on purely malicious and racist grounds. Furthermore, there's a certain silent but large number of blacks who suffer from the fear of becoming victims of crime from their fellow blacks and/or have been victims. They are the types of people, as mentioned in Heather MacDonald's article below, who want the police to be around more to be protected.

It's fine to say that the police could be better trained in de-escalating techniques and that it should be easier to fire bad cops. Between civil service protection and/or union protection, it can be very hard to fire bad police officers. Here liberalism's policies in making it hard to fire bad governmental bureaucrats come home to roost when liberals running city governments suddenly face the problem of disciplining bad police officers. Furthermore, there's no denying that in some cases police shootings aren't just errors, as may be in one case in Tulsa , but may be motivated by racism, as was likely in one case covered up in Chicago. However, any careful analysis of the specifics of most of these cases will yield the result that in most cases, the use of deadly force by the police is justified. MacDonald's article, most interestingly, has a very interesting report of a research study which found that black and Latino officers were much more likely to shoot their weapons mistakenly against blacks than white officers.

MacDonald's article here, for which I’ve placed the link below, goes through the basic statistics. For example, in New York City, whites are 33% of the city's population, but commit less than 2% of all shootings, 4% of all robberies, and 5% of all violent crime. By contrast, blacks are 24% of the population, but commit 75% of all shootings, 70% of all robberies, and 66% of all violent crime. Each year nationally around 6000 blacks are murdered, which is a greater number than that of all whites and Hispanics killed each year despite blacks are only 13% of the national population. In Los Angeles, blacks between the ages of 20 and 24 are killed at a rate 20 to 30 times the national average. Who is killing them? It's almost entirely other blacks, not whites, not Latinos, not police officers of any color. Blacks between the ages of 14 and 17 kill at a rate ten times that of whites and Hispanics of the same age combined.

Consider the differences in the numbers of people shot in two nearby neighborhoods in New York City's borough of Brooklyn. The per capita shooting rate in Brownsville is 81 times higher than that of Bay Bridge. As a result, the police aren't "over-policing" mostly black neighborhood of Brownsville or under-serving that of Bay Bridge, which is mostly white and Asian. Instead, they are responding to the calls and needs of victims.

Furthermore, the more aggressive tactics of the police inaugurated by Rudolph Guliani and continued by Michael Bloomberg in New York have saved at least 20,000 minority male lives. The number of murders in New York went from 2,245 in 1990 to 333 in 2014. The main people whose lives were saved were blacks and (secondarily) Latinos. Black Lives obviously mattered to Guiliani, yet most Black Lives Matter activists hate him with a passion. Strong law and order policies will save far more lives than they cost, especially when the demands of "Black Lives Matter" activists will cause the police to "back off" from policing black neighborhoods. It's already been argued that's what's been going on in Baltimore and elsewhere in response to race riots: The murder rate has gone up, in what's been dubbed the "Ferguson Effect." That in turn would mean many more blacks will start dying, and then the police would be condemned as racist for not protecting blacks. So one can see the problem here: The police are condemned as racist for enforcing the law too much and for not enforcing it enough, depending on the circumstances. How can they win?

To look at the killings by the police in context, in 2015, about 50% of all people killed by the police were white (493 deaths) and 26% were black (258 deaths). Furthermore, a great majority of those deaths were justifiable: The police shot people who were threatening them or other people with violent force. Furthermore, about 40% of all cop killers have been black despite blacks are 13% of the population. According to MacDonald's calculations, the chance of a police officer being killed by a black man is 18.5 times higher than the chances of an unarmed black man being killed by a police officer. Unjustifiable shootings are almost a rounding error when we consider that 6000 blacks die each year and 93% of them were killed by other blacks.  If there were “Affirmative Action” concerning murders, about 63% of all blacks should be killed by non-Hispanic whites instead. We can see this when even in many of the high profile cases, such as Ferguson, Baltimore, Staten Island, etc., the police officers were exonerated once more evidence was brought in and witnesses (including black ones in the case of Ferguson) said that the police officer(s) in question acted reasonably. This could well happen concerning the Milwaukee and Charlotte cases, in which for some reason, rate riots were triggered by black cops shooting armed black men who didn't obey orders or were otherwise threatening.

When we consider that blacks have a murder rate about 4 times higher than the national average, that rate of deaths at the hands of the police is actually LOWER than would be expected. We don't have race quotas/Affirmative Action in place for violent crime: The relevant percentages to compare are criminals committing crimes, not the general population's racial statistics. So the black community has a challenge: What will they do to reduce the violent crime rate of their own community? Then fewer police officers of whatever race would show up on crime scenes and commit fewer errors (or racist actions) as the case may be.

Of course, we could examine the root causes of why the black crime rate is so much higher than that of whites (or even Latinos). A key factor is the collapse of the black family through rising out-of-wedlock birth rates and the replacement of black fathers with checks from Uncle Sam for financial support. In many inner-city neighborhoods, the out-of-wedlock birthrate exceeds 70%. The white working class family is heading the same way at this time, true, but their breakdown hasn't been as complete among whites as it has been among blacks nor has it lasted as long. (Read Charles Murray's prescient piece, "The Coming White Underclass" for that kind of analysis). For when there are no good male role models in the home, inevitably teenage sons will find maladaptive ways to express their masculinity against their mothers, such as through violence and causing other mayhem with their friends (i.e., gang members). Fathers who are in the home help to maintain order.

Furthermore, fathers in the home also help guide their sons who get into trouble with the law to act the right ways to get lighter punishments. Their children aren't as apt to want to express the values of the street, such as wanting a "rep" and not expressing remorse before judges and prosecutors for what they have done. Inevitably, this non-quantifiable aspect of how people act after being arrested affects the sentences that they receive when they have less parental guidance to tell them how to act when in trouble with the law, especially when mom's advice is already being ignored as it is. The liberal welfare state that replaced fathers in the home and the liberal counter-cultural values that condemn sexual restraint as sexual repression, as found in countless movies, TV programs, and songs, have promoted family instability through divorce and illegitimate births. All the left's philosophical attacks on the truth of the Bible and moral absolutes have had similar practical effects decades and generations later on how average people have less discipline and willingness to maintain their family lives' intact.. So notice that the root causes of the high black crime rate, to the extent when one black man shoots another black man it isn't due to their own free will, lie in liberal polices and beliefs, not conservative ones. Poverty can't be said to the main cause when American blacks have higher incomes than most people in the world who have lower crime rates, especially when other countries are compared with America which are poorer yet less crime ridden.

Another problem which receives little attention, but it's another elephant in the living room of American race relations, is the black on white crime problem. For example, in 2012 blacks committed about 560,6676 violent crimes against whites, but whites committed about 99,403 violent crimes against blacks. (National Crime Victimization Study data). The Bureau of Justice Statistics stopped publishing its own statistics about interracial crime in 2008, which likely wasn't a coincidence with Obama's first term's beginning: Liberals don't like such facts interfering with the "narratives" that they care to push in the media. When considering that blacks are around 13% of the population but whites are around 62%, this is very disproportionate. Theoretically, if we had "Affirmative Action" or race quotas concerning inter-racial crime, it should be that 5 times more crime should be committed against blacks by whites rather than the other way around. This leads to a key thought crime of mine, from a liberal viewpoint: How much of this black on white crime was motivated by black racism? We can't read anyone's hearts, of course, but if we're going to avoid judging about that in this case, the same kind of charity should be exercised when judging and condemning white who commit crimes against blacks, including white police officers.

Of course, this line of analysis leads to another heretical thought crime of mine: If people should be judged strictly by standard criteria and the facts of their own personal cases as they fit the law for criminal justice matters, should not this same principle carry over to college admissions and job placement? That is, the principle behind Affirmative Action/race quotas contradicts the demands of the "Black Lives Matter" movement when it comes to how blacks should be treated by the criminal justice system. According to Affirmative Action/race quotas/racial preferences, people have to be judged and sorted by the race first of all when their grades or qualifications don't match those required by colleges and employers. So I agree that the demands of the Black Lives Matter movement are correct when it comes to equal justice under the law when it comes to arrests, convictions, sentencing, etc. But then, liberals can't turn around and demand that people be judged as worthy of special treatment because of their race, not their qualifications and skills as required by employers or colleges. So therefore, the principle of equal justice under the law for all individuals requires the scrapping of Affirmative Action and race quotas, at least for governmental employers and institutions, such as state colleges.

It’s indeed true that "Black Lives Matter." But then again, "All Lives Matter." It's fine to say the police make mistakes, their methods could be improved, and that bad cops should be fired or even imprisoned, depending on what errors or crimes they have committed. But it's also important for the black community to ask itself as well this question: What could we do to reduce the violent crime rate of our young men?  That’s obviously the much bigger problem in terms of deaths.  We do have free will before God to act better than we are now.

For my detailed comparison of the conditions of black American slaves compared to English farmworkers (c. 1750 to 1875), see this:


For proof that the American Civil War (1861-1865) was caused by and fought over slavery, not abstract political philosophical disputes about the merits of political centralization versus de-centralization, see this:


For a general analysis of why Islamic theology on average causes more violence and terrorism by its believers compared to adherents of other faiths, see this: