Diary

A white guy's response to Jesse Williams' BET awards speech

 

Before you even read the rest of this diary you might be wondering why I’m writing it at all given that this speech took place last month.  To be honest, I had more important things to write about, and I didn’t think the typical trivial awards speech was worth writing about.

But after seeing so many black people and white liberals offering up breathless praise for it on social media, I just couldn’t take it anymore and decided I had to watch the speech for myself and offer my opinion on it.

 

I figured it must be filled with silly catchphrases and emotional appeals that have no basis in logic, and that it must be devoid of facts, otherwise it wouldn’t be so popular with people who are driven by their emotions.

That turned out to be the case.

For those who haven’t watched it, it’s easier just to read the transcript, it cuts through all the drama and noise.  The following are my thoughts on the speech:

 

 

 

Jesse Williams said,

“this award isn’t for me, it’s for the organizers and activists all over the country .. . that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.”

Talking in generalities like this is meant to blur the reality of the situation and stir up emotions without actually focusing on the problems poor black people all over the country face.

What is “the system”, and who built it?

What about the poor white people all over Appalachia?  Did the system cause them to be impoverished too, or is their poverty just coincidental?

I think the above quote sums up not just the entire speech, but the entire mentality that many black people have fallen prey to in this country, which is the victim mentality.  It can’t be the fault of black men for leaving the women they get pregnant, or the fault of young black women for not waiting til marriage to get pregnant and not looking for the kind of man who will actually stick around and be able to provide for her and their child.

No, it must be the fault of the nebulous “system”, even though if you ask people what that is, they’re often at a loss for words because they haven’t thought through the argument.

Surely this system can’t be responsible for all of the problems black people are struggling with in this country.  But phony black “activists” like Jesse Williams can’t even concede this simple point because to do so would force them to admit that there are things individual black people can do to help themselves and even escape the vicious cycle of poverty they find themselves in, and that would put people like Jesse Williams and the other racial grievance peddlers out of work.

Don’t get me wrong, many of these problems I’m describing aren’t unique to the black community-  there are plenty of white deadbeat dads too, I would know cause mine was.  But the problems are simply more pronounced in the black community.

 

“It’s kind of basic mathematics – the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.”

 

So you’re saying black people don’t know who they are?  If so, whose fault is that?  Surely it can’t be “the system’s” fault since it has only oppressed you and therefore can’t also be responsible for teaching you about yourselves.

How did you get here?  That’s a good question you should ask yourself.

You claim that the system has always been oppressing you, so it hasn’t changed, right?  And yet by almost all measures, black people are worse off now in terms of their own behavior than before the civil rights movement began.

Rates of crime, drug use, out of wedlock births and single motherhood, abortions, and unemployment are all higher now than they were back then.

That would indicate something else has changed within the black community.  This is in fact the case, with the major change being the breakdown of the black family.  As I’ve argued in previous diaries,  this is what is really at the root of most, if not all of the problems we currently see within poor black communities.

Poor black kids, especially boys, growing up without fathers has a ripple effect on the entire community that affects every area not only of their lives, but of the lives of everyone they interact with and get to know.

 

“Now, this is also in particular for the black women in particular who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.”

 

 

If you really mean that, you can start by mentoring the approximately 70% of young black boys in this country who are growing up without a father.  You can teach them the values of hard work, individual responsibility, service to others, humility, and respecting women, among other things.  If more of them had positive role models growing up to help make up for the absence of their fathers, maybe so many of them wouldn’t be impregnating and deserting young black women.

Furthermore, if you wanna do better for black women, teach them that the gov’t can’t replace a father, and that they should wait until they get married to have a child because marriage is the number one factor that determines if someone stays poor or escapes poverty.  And when they do wait til marriage, they should only wait for a man who has the ability and character to provide for their family and raise their children the right way.

It would also help to teach them to develop their own God-given skills and abilities and to make it a goal to be as educated as possible instead of having kids at an early age, which they often aren’t ready to take care of.

 

But I don’t hear the race hustlers like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton talk about these things and about self-empowerment in general.  I guess it’s a lot easier to just blame white people and “the system”.   A lot better for their career too.

 

“Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people everyday”.

 

As a conservative, I’m more than willing to admit that there are bad police officers, and that many police departments around the country are badly in need of reform.  I’ve also written about that here and here.   As I’ve made clear in those writings, it’s not so much a race thing as it is an “us vs them” thing.

This tribal mentality has taken decades to develop and won’t be gotten rid of in a few short months or even years.  But stirring up racial tensions and always blaming the police for every accidental death of a black person only makes the divide grow deeper, rather than beginning to erase it.

So instead of blaming everything on the police, why aren’t you working with politicians and community leaders from both parties who are interested in finding solutions to this problem?   I don’t see you doing that.

“So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.”

 

 

This doesn’t even make sense.  Rights come from God, not man, therefore they don’t have a “function” like an on or off button.
This quote exposes the major and fundamental flaw in not only this line of thinking, but in the entire BLM movement and in black power movements before it.  They’re completely secular and therefore rely on the power of man and the gov’t to give them what they want.

But that inevitably will lead to the very rights they seek being restricted because gov’t doesn’t give you your rights, God does, therefore gov’t doesn’t care about your freedom, or lack thereof.

To be truly free, you must first look within yourself and find out what habits and ideas are already enslaving you.  It is sin that truly enslaves us, not man.  Man can only enslave the body, not the soul.  It is sin that prevents us from becoming close to God, who is the source of all knowledge and love, and who alone can make us truly free.

 

There are people on both sides of this debate who are afraid of more violence in the future, and to them my message is this:   In the Bible Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Instead, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

There will always be violence and evil in the world, and most of the time it will be out of our control.  But we can control how we live our lives, and we can avoid the traps Satan sets for us, which are far more dangerous than any person or thing that can kill us physically.

 

“Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better than it is to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that toEric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.”

 

 

Yes, those deaths were tragic and indefensible, but it’s absurd to compare the living conditions of the average black person today to what their ancestors went through in the past.  The truth is, it is so much better to be a black person today than it was during the time in our nation’s history when slavery was legal.  That should be rather obvious.

You don’t even have to compare black people’s lives to their ancestors to get a good perspective of how far we’ve come.  Just compare them to the poorest people in any country in Africa, or any third world nation for that matter.  It’s not even close.

Our poor people don’t have to worry about bombs dropping on their heads from living in a warzone, or being killed by radical Muslims just for not sharing their faith, as so many black people in Africa have been.  They don’t have to worry about the AIDS epidemic that has ravaged Africa for decades, or the outbreaks of infectious diseases from things like the Zika virus and malaria that so many Africans have died from due to not having access to even basic healthcare.

You might wanna think about that the next time you imply that black people in America have it no better than their slave ancestors.

 

“There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t leveed against us – and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so… free.”

 

This is true for all Americans, not just blacks.  The great thing about the military is that it takes racial grievances out of the picture, because there’s simply no room for that victim mentality when you’re being shot at and need your fellow soldier to cover for you.

It’s funny you complain about paying taxes, yet black people vote almost exclusively for white Democrats who do nothing but raise your taxes and give you handouts, and what has that done for you?

Look around at all the major cities in the US with the highest rates of crime and poverty among blacks.  They’re all run by Democrats.  How come you aren’t complaining to them about being oppressed?

 

 

“And let’s get a couple things straight, just a little sidenote – the burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job, alright – stop with all that.  If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression.  If you have no interest, if you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do.  Sit down.”

 

Jesse Williams, what have you actually done to directly impact and improve the lives of poor black people?   Your “activism” doesn’t count.  I’m talking about real changes that black people can point to in their lives on account of your actions .  Making films and giving speeches isn’t gonna help the young black boy growing up without a father right now who needs direction in his life and a positive role model.  Seems to me you’re all talk and no action.  Kinda like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

Like them you don’t even once mention the epidemic of black on black violence in inner cities around this country that has only gotten worse under Democrats, including the one in the White House.

 

 

In case any black “activist” is reading this and thinks I’m out of line for saying all this because I’m a “privileged” white person, I can assure you I’m about as far from privileged as a white person can get.

My mom got pregnant during a troubled period in her life and was taken advantage of by my father.  He abandoned my twin brother and I after we were born, and we never saw him or heard from him after that.  My mom has had health issues her entire life, and so I’ve had to work for everything I’ve ever wanted and needed in life because she couldn’t provide anything for me, she was too busy fighting her own demons.  I paid my way through high school and college without receiving a penny from my mom or anyone else.

I made it to where I am today through hard work, perseverance, and more than anything, the grace of God.

So don’t tell me I’m somehow privileged just because of the color of my skin.

I could go around in life blaming my father for all of my struggles and failures, but I haven’t done that, although I’ve been tempted to at times.  It’d be easy for me to make excuses for myself, because I never had the advantages that kids who grew up with two good parents had.  But I haven’t spent more than a minute making those excuses for myself, for two reasons:

1) I realized early on that those excuses aren’t gonna do a single thing to put food on the table for me, pay my bills, or make me a better man in any way.

2) I call myself a Christian, so if I truly believe in God, I must also believe that everything happens for a reason, and that nothing, not even the worst things, happen without Him allowing it.  In fact everything that happens in our lives, even the unimaginable horrors and abuses some of us go through, is either allowed to happen by God through His permitting will, or caused to happen directly through His ordaining will.

Therefore I believe that God allowed me to grow up without a father for a reason, one that only He can know.  But I have to trust that He wouldn’t have allowed it to happen if it wasn’t in my best interest from a spiritual and eternal perspective.

I think poor black people, and in fact all people who are disadvantaged or disabled in this life, should have a similar attitude, instead of one that looks to blame others for the circumstances they find themselves in.

 

Not only that, but unlike these hashtag activists on twitter who claim to be fighting for black people, I’ve actually helped black people throughout my life.

In college I worked in Americorps in inner city Cleveland, teaching kids about everything from the environment, to literacy, to math.  Then, years later, I tutored young black kids at an elementary school.  After I graduated I also volunteered at the Cleveland Food Bank, which was used predominantly by poor black people.

To be sure, many people have done a lot more to help others than I have, but on the other hand, how come I didn’t see any of these black activists anywhere I went when I was in the projects and in run down neighborhoods working with these kids?

But I guess I’ll never be famous because I didn’t give a speech pretending to be the leader all black people look up to. Which is fine by me, cause I’m perfectly content being irrelevant.  In the end, fame is a fleeting thing that never brings true happiness.  I think Jesse Williams will learn that lesson the hard way.

 

 

“We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil – black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though… the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”

 

You’re right, whiteness is an invention, and God is the inventor.  So if you’re angry at white people, blame God, cause He created us, just like He created you.  Although that’s pretty ironic since you’re half white, so I guess half of you is to blame for the oppression of your other half, at least according to your own logic.

It’s odd that you blame white people for “ghettoizing” black people.  I think they’ve done a decent job of doing that to themselves by destroying their communities, making it impossible for businesses to set up shop there and bring the jobs they need, and not doing the things necessary to help themselves and their families escape poverty.

When a black kid tries to spend his time studying and avoiding the things that are popular within black culture, he’s accused of being an Uncle Tom, of selling out, or of “acting white”.  So he often gives up on his education in exchange for being accepted by his peers, and this traps him in poverty, continuing the vicious cycle.  So who’s “ghettoizing” black people, if not themselves?

 

What’s sad to me is that people like Jesse Williams and Deray Mckesson make everything in their lives about race, and by doing so actually trivialize the true cases of racism and racial disparities that still exist in our nation.

Only small minds use race as a crutch to cover up their intellectual deficiencies and blind spots, and to avoid the harsh truths of the world and within their own lives.

I hope by writing this diary I can in some small way open peoples’ eyes to what’s really going on in the black community and who’s looking out for them.  We need to have open and honest conversations not just between white and black people, but between people from all walks of life, different religions, and different ideologies, in order to actually begin to heal the divisions among us and solve the problems we all face.   I’m willing to do my part to be part of the solution and not the problem, are you?