What is a racist? Am I?

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What is a racist? Am I?

Post by steve » Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:46 pm

This email I received may interest some of you:
Wow Steve!

Of all the white people that I encounter, listen to or admire you would’ve been the last one in my opinion to deny the overwhelming racism & police brutality that exists in America!!! I am very shocked at the response you gave about George Floyd, the frustration you displayed in your voice by talking about it and your lack of compassion!

Responses and the denial like yours is why racism and division amongst “the black church” black Christians, “the white church” and white Christians will always be separated!! You mentioned a good way to tell if a person is racist is to ask a white Christian father whether he would allow his daughter to marry a white non-Christian vs a black Christian, and if he chooses the non-Christian white person then it’s a good sign that he’s racist! That has to be the most ridiculous example of “explaining racism” that I’ve ever heard in my life!! So what if both the black guy and the white guy were both Christians and then you ask that same dad who would he prefer?! Trust me Steve, we don’t have to look very far (or come up with silly examples like that) to determine if a person is a racist or not!!!

Steve, with your platform, your influence, and the radio show you’ve created, as a teacher of God’s word you have the prime calling on your life to answer and give biblical instruction on many topics, which you’ve done so gracefully over the years! However this past Tuesday, June 9th you chose to stop an entire series of questions just because you became frustrated?! I’ve listened to your radio program for years and never during the time that I’ve listened have I EVER heard you start the show off encouraging people not to ask a specific question until Tuesday’s broadcast! And you specifically said no questions about the George Floyd situation... Wowwwww!! I know better but if someone that was listening for the first time and doesn’t know better (especially because of our current racial climate) could’ve easily seen that very statement as being racist!

Your claim for avoiding it was, “because it has become politicized”? Wow, really? What hasn’t become politicized!? So, I can agree with that (personally I despise politics and will never vote another a day in my life because of the evil structure that’s intertwined in the institution of politics) but to avoid the hurt, the pain, the overwhelming disparity between black people and white people, the root cause of protest, riots and looting... all which I might add can be discussed biblically but you dropped the ball, you avoided it and that’s part of the reason this cancer of racism lives on!... WHITE LEADERS, WHITE PASTORS, WHITE TEACHERS (THAT ARE NOT POLITICALLY INFLUENCED) refusing to do anything about it!!! So is that your suggestion now anything that get politicize just avoid it?

Further Steve, for you to say you’ve “already covered it” or to send your callers to your website because you’re tired of talking about it was a cop out! A blown opportunity! Scripture is forever pregnant with solutions and answers for God’s children! New life, new revelation is possible every time we open up the word of God. You never know what part of the George Floyd situation that the caller needed biblical advice understanding?!

I’m extremely hurt & dissapointed...

You dropped the ball Steve!! 😢


Hi Marcel,

Thanks for writing. You do not know how many angry responses from “race-identified” listeners I receive every day. I say “race-identified” because this is more generous than the term racist. The word "racist" is a judgment of someone's heart that often has no bearing on reality. It has become a heinous slander hurled at people who give no evidence of being really racists—a practice that I should think people in minority groups should object to, since it removes the real word “racist” from the lexicons of communication, leaving it impossible to easily address and condemn the actual cases.

If the word cannot be defined precisely, then it provides no information, and serves only as an invective to be thrown by people who have political agendas at their enemies. In other words, it ceases to be a word that decent people can use in a sentence, and becomes a mere tool of hateful slander which no decent person would engage in.

You called me a “racist.” If you can give me an authoritative definition of that word, and then demonstrate that it applies to me in anything that I have ever said, done or thought, then I will own it, and repent of it. Racism is a sin. I know that you will not be able to do anything like this, which means it is merely a case of slander. Those who identify themselves with a political or racial cause are partisans, and have no scruples against bearing false witness. People who identify with Christ do not slander. It is against Christ's teaching to do so.

I will stand by my suggested self-test for racism, since yours does not meet the qualifications for any real definition of the word. Let me give the actual definition of racism, and then show that my test will reveal if it is present, where yours would not. I will use the definition found in English dictionaries (since that is the language we are speaking):

Racism is:

prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.

the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

As you can see, the majority of people that you describe as “racist,” including myself, do not fit these definitions. In short racism is judging people primarily on the basis of their race, apart from their character or other personal considerations. By this definition, Martin Luther King (like all good people) condemned “racism,” while modern SJWs advocate it.

My test of racism: "Would I object to my white daughter marrying a black, Christian man more than her marrying a white, non-Christian man?" would perfectly illustrate whether I identify myself and others by race, or by Christian commitments. If I would object to the black Christian suitor over a white non-Christian one, all other things being equal, then this is a racist inclination. If I would not, mine is a Christian inclination. It is a question of who it is with whom I principally identify—with my racial group or with Christ and God's people.

Now lets examine your test: "If my daughter had two suitors—one black and one white, but both wonderful Christians—would I choose the white man or the black man?" In this case, my choice might have nothing to do with whether I identify primarily with my race or with Christ. I might object to one man over the other on any number of grounds, since there would be many reasons for my preferring one Christian man over another as a son-in-law, and a father to my grandchildren—even if both were white.

In my test, stated above, it is a choice between race and spiritual affinity. In your test, spiritual affinity (the most important factor) is a given. Any choice between the men would necessarily be on other (though not necessarily racial) grounds. In such a case as that which you proposed, I might choose the black man or the white man. However, if I preferred the white man, there would be no grounds for saying this was on a racial basis (unless I was otherwise known to be a racist). I might choose one man (white or black) over the other, based upon the kind of life he could provide for my daughter and my grandchildren—or upon consideration of Christian leadership, character, compatibility, or economic issues. In other words, my preference might be merit-based.

In the case you present, the choice of the white candidate, should that be my decision, would not actually reveal anything about racism, as (for all anyone knows) I might otherwise have preferred the black man, if he was a better choice on the basis of my criterion. Your test would only work on the assumption that there are no factors, other than race, to consider in choosing a spouse. When it comes to true definitions, this would itself be a racist assumption.

Your test would only work if your definition of racism is as follows: When the white guy wins, and the black man loses, the decision was racist. We might as well say the same thing about those who are drafted into the NBA or those who win gold medals in the Olympics. Would you say that a white man, who ran against a black man and clearly beat him in the one-hundred meters, should be deprived of his gold medal, because he had white privilege and the judges were therefore racists? I would not. It seems to me that those who would argue such a case are the racists.

In the matter of “racist” police actions, should we not reserve that label for cases where the police were less fair to a black person than to a white one in equal circumstances? For example, suppose a black man is detained on drug and counterfeiting charges. If the police treat him, because he is black, differently than they would treat a white man detained on the same charges, this would be a racist action. I know (I think everyone knows) that there are many such cases.

However, if the police shoot a man who is a violent criminal, who happens to be black, do we know whether the same officer would have done differently in a case where the violent criminal was white? It would certainly require a detailed inquiry into each case to determine whether racism was involved in the shooting or not. If the cop was himself or herself also black, would this impact the question?

How much fair inquiry goes into the cases before they are declared by the Left to be "racist"? Both the shootings of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin were instantly judged by the leftist media to be cases of racist violence against blacks until juries hearing the evidence determined that racism was not a factor.

George Floyd was tragically killed by a white policeman. Was this because of his race? We do not know until the case and evidence are heard (as they will be). One of the p[olicemen on the scene, not objecting to the treatment of Floyd, was a black man himself. Was his lack of concern due to his racism? If not, then how do we know what motivated Chauvin? Chauvin and Floyd knew each other prior to this incident. If the cop indeed hated George prevously, do we know that it had anything to do with his race? Might it have been the criminal history that slanted his opinion of Floyd? or something in his personality? We do not know. Perhaps it was because Floyd had become a Christian (though he was not being a very good example of this at the time of his apprehension and tragic death). The case has not been fairly tried to discover this. Perhaps it will turn out to be a crime of brutality against Christianity, rather than against race! I am not arguing about the the killing, but of the charge that the killing was racially motivated. Do we know? How? Nonetheless, the media did not wait to even ask this question before setting the nation on fire, causing greater violence and destruction of race relations than did the Watts riots, by declaring this injustice a “racist” action on the part of police. Would it not be more honest to say, "Until the case is tried, we know nothing about the presence or absence of racism in the story"?

It is a sad fact the almost 50% of violent criminals in this country happen to be black men (who comprise only 6% of the population). That is not a “racist” observation. It is a statistic. I might wish that this fact was not true, but I am not in charge of creating the facts. To instantly object to bringing up such a consideration would be to reveal one's own racist leanings. If indeed nearly half the violent crimes are committed by black males, and if we were to learn that the police have arrested and shot more black men than white men, might we at least consider that the police might deal similarly (whether justly or unjustly) with criminals of all races, and therefore more black men, per capita, suffer from police actions than do Hispanic, Asians or Whites, simply because more black men, per capita, commit violent crimes? One might defer judgment about the percentage of police actions that are racially motivated, until we can examine the actual cases to see whether race, or something else, was the motivating factor.

When it comes to the shooting of "unarmed men,” the police seem to be racially skewed in favor of leniency for Blacks. Another well-known statistic is that, in 2019, of the unarmed men shot by police in this country, nine of the victims were black, and 19 were white. Of course, some of these unarmed men, of both races, were violently resisting arrest at the time they were shot, so there were even fewer cases, nationwide, of what might be called completely unjustified police shootings than the small numbers already given—and whether any of them were racially motivated or not would also have to be examined case-by-case.

Most white people (including very many white police persons) do not principally or significantly identify themselves, or others, by race. Some identify by gender, age, sexual identity, religion, career or the clubs and hobbies they pursue. I know hundreds of people of numerous races, but few (especially white people) who would identify themselves primarily, or even consciously, by their race—or really care about what race another person is. Many of my black friends, likewise, live, to a large degree, without interest in the racial identities. On the other hand, some white people (whom most of us would regard as more Neanderthal than Causasian), as well as some people in certain racial minorities, do identify themselves, primarily or exclusively, by their race. It seems to me that this attitude is the one closest to the dictionary definition of "racism."

Please be good enough to send me a suitable definition of "racist" along with the demonstration that anything about me fits that definition, and I will repent. If you cannot do this, then, perhaps, you should repent.

In Jesus (my only identity),

Steve Gregg

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Re: Steve is a racist

Post by steve » Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:57 pm

In all fairness, this critic wrote me back pointing out that he, technically, did not call me a racist, and does not think that I am. I took some of his points and statements to indicate otherwise, but I may have misread his intentions. In any case, my discussion of the definition of racism remains relevant to many in the ongoing discussion.

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Re: Steve is a racist

Post by Homer » Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:31 pm


Great response!

Regarding racism, there are some interesting facts. Statistics inform us that, surprisingly, over the last four years about twice as many whites have been shot by police compared to blacks, in the USA. But then whites outnumber blacks by almost five to one. One the other hand police have many more encounters with blacks, particularly young black men. Some of the shootings likely result in a fear factor, as related by none other than Jesse Jackson, Nov. 27, 1993, at a meeting of "Operation Push" in Chicago:
There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved…. After all we have been through. Just to think we can’t walk down our own streets, how humiliating.
What happened to George Floyd should of course be prosecuted and any racism among police must be corrected. But Black people have a much bigger problem with black on black crime among the young.

It will be interesting to see Marcel's definition of racism and whether Jesse Jackson is a racist.

IMO from 80+ years of observation racism is a sin of the flesh afflicting most all people. We need Jesus.

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Re: Steve is a racist

Post by Darrell » Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:41 am

Foremost I'd like to thank you for your ministry. It has been such a tremendous blessing to me though the years and I have learned so much. I've always appreciated your "even-handedness" approach to the Scriptures and how you do your best to explain the various opinions or views on some of the more difficult topics. I've listened to you since 2005 and cannot recall a time where I thought you said or supported anything that was even a hint of racist views or agenda. May our FATHER in Heaven bless you (and all christians) with an abundance of patience, wisdom and boldness during this time of chaos in our nation.

I think it was Holy Hubert who said it best "the problem isn't skin it is sin".
It was true when he said it (early 70's) and it remains true today. Until we address the cause the best we can hope for is to suppress the symptoms. Racism = symptom, Hate = cause.

May GOD bring revival! Isa 45:8 ESV Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit; let the earth cause them both to sprout; I the LORD have created it.
And as HIS children may we refuse to be silent until HE does.

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