I was talking to person of color yesterday about the lack of a major church led peace rally in response to the Black Lives Matter riots, and the conversation ended with me essentially being called a racist.
How did we get there?
This person, a self-professed Christian who happens to be biracial, seemed like a person who might want to have one of those “difficult discussions” or race that supposedly never happen. I said I wanted to see church leaders hold an MLK style march on Washington where hundreds of thousands of Christians could unite with a message promoting peaceful protests.
I was then informed that there are apparently 1500 peaceful protests that I don’t hear about. I responded that I have no problem with those protests, or those who are just regular folk who believe that too many black people are being killed by police. My problem is with those at the top who pour millions of dollars into the “movement” and bus professional agitators to a location seeking to set the city on fire.
I was told that I was uninformed because I did not know about the 1500 protests. An interesting indictment, because this person 1) was unaware of the millions of dollars given to BLM by George Soros and other big money donors; 2) was unaware that unions are busing in paid agitators; 3) has watched none of the shooting videos; 4) knows very few of the names of the victims.
As I provided the statistics about how only 200-250 blacks are killed by police each year. How 70-80 of those cases are justified. Maybe 10-15% are questionable, and the remaining 10-15% are absolutely unjustified. These statistics are all available from government sites (FBI, CDC, etc.). This person actually told me that those statistics cannot be trusted.
I was even told that my opinions are based on videos, not what actually happened. Although they admitted to not watching any videos, this person believed that perhaps the evidence that I saw with my own eyes was possibly falsified. I suppose my eyes are deceiving me.
In arguing about justified shootings, I informed them that if one of my little ginger daughters pulled a gun on the police, I would expect her to be shot as well. It is NOT a racial issue.
“Have you ever lost someone close to you?” I was asked. Thankfully, I have not. However, according to this person, losing someone is extremely emotional and I cannot expect someone in pain like that to behave rationally.
I told them that if someone walked into my house and killed my family, I would more than likely be filled with rage, but I would not set fire to my innocent neighbor’s house. I understand the outrage. I get that the community may be hurting. I know that they seek justice. I do not believe that burning down a local CVS is proper exercise of the outrage and pain.
This person challenged my Christianity. They asked how a Christian could be okay with black people being killed. I told them that I am not okay with it, but there is no reasonable way to stop all of these shootings. No matter what training is implemented; no matter how many cameras are on the person and vehicles of police officers, perpetrators will still pull illegal firearms out and aim it at officers, thus, justifying shooting in self-defense.
This person told me that they have to be scared for their spouse and children because they are black, and might be shot during a routine traffic stop. I told them that out of a population of 350 million people, fewer than 100 are killed by police for “no reason.”
I also have to teach my daughters to not mouth off and especially not pull out a weapon on a police officer. I told this person about being personally harassed by police several times in my life. I have been pulled over for no reason many times. I was sucker-punched by a black man during a basketball game and looked to the police for help as I was 17 at the time. The officer harassed me for 20 minutes, trying to get me to admit that I said the “n word,” which I did not. No witness said I did, but the officer could not believe that I was punched just for playing basketball despite a dozen or so eyewitnesses that backed up my story.
Having grown up as a pale, ginger boy in an all-black neighborhood, I got into fights. I was bullied and the victim of racism. I had to go to private school because it would have been worse for me had I gone to a public school.
This, apparently, is why I have “racism in my heart” now according to the person I was conversing with. I was a victim of racism, so now I must be racist. There is no evidence of this during my entire lifetime, yet I suppose I must be.
I mean, I also had some bad run-ins with white people. The only other white kids on my block broke into my house while we were at church and stole all of our video games and systems (and yes, there were many). In fact, I got into fistfights exclusively with white people in high school. Reflecting on this made me realize that I must also be racist toward white people. They were all men too, so I must now be a man-hating sexist. Makes sense, right?
I was also told that my obvious outrage over being called a racist was more proof of my racism. The conversation ended when I asked if they had ever had a bad incident with a white person, and they simply said “not until now.”
“Wow.” I left the conversation with that one word response.
This is the never ending cycle of circular reasoning and straw man arguments that keeps people quiet about race in America today. Whenever the subject is broached, white people become racists. A conversation beginning with a call for unity and healing ended with charges of racism and personal attacks.
Unfortunately, I am too stubborn to run from the topic. I will still talk about race, and I will do so with some academic authority on the subject. I will do so with research, statistics, social theories, and actual data. I refuse to believe that one “must be black” to discuss black issues. With that logic, no blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Islanders, etc. should be able to discuss white issues, which, if you use the liberal academic talking points of the day, are all issues. The default of our society is white and male.
Women can talk about men. People of color can talk about whites. Yet the reverse is not allowed? Who is the racist? Who is ethnocentric now?
A “discussion” requires two people. If we are to solve any social problem, the “opposing” groups must engage in a dialogue. It is the basis for understanding one another. I look forward to being called “racist” more often, so long as I continue to press for conversations about tough issues. I can live with that, because I know that the Truth is on my side.