I was watching a local Dallas, Texas, television station interviewing protestors in a crowd that had descended on Dallas City Hall after the killing of George Floyd. Individuals in the crowd were asked, “Why are you protesting?” Some said, “I’m protesting against police violence.” But most gave an answer that really surprised me. Over and over I heard these words: “I’m protesting against systemic racism.” Young protestors in the streets using an academic phrase?
Providing a Definition
Now, that is not a phrase that would naturally roll off the tongues of street protestors, nearly all of whom were in their teens and twenties. It had to be supplied by the protest organizers. I kept hoping that the TV interviewer would ask one of the people what they meant by the phrase because I was certain none of them had the slightest idea what it meant — either because of naiveté or a lack of historical knowledge and perspective.
The word, systemic, is defined as something that is ingrained throughout a whole system — something that is intentional, methodical or implemented according to a plan. Thus, “systemic racism” in reference to a nation would mean that everything in the society is designed to discriminate against one or more races. The former policy of Apartheid in South Africa would be a classic example.
Now, with that definition in mind, just try to wrap your brain around the insanity of someone in Dallas, Texas, protesting against “systemic racism.” The top governmental official in Dallas is the City Manager, who is a black man. Additionally, the Mayor is a black man, the Police Chief is a black woman, the District Attorney is a “progressive” black man, and the Sheriff is a black woman. The previous Sheriff, who resigned to run for Governor, was an Hispanic lesbian. I ask you, where is the “systemic racism”?
I happen to know very well the meaning of “systemic racism.” That’s because I grew up in it. I was born in Texas in 1938, and I was raised in the 1940s and 50s when racism was interwoven in the fabric of our nation. Everything was segregated, and I mean everything — schools, hotels, sports arenas, restaurants, public transportation, movie theaters, churches and yes, even drinking fountains.
One of the most important ways of keeping blacks “in their place” was to deny them the right to vote. There were a variety of barriers to voting, like the poll-tax, which was essentially a voting fee. This technique was not outlawed until the passage of the 24th Amendment in 1964.
Literacy tests were another technique used to limit black voting. An illiterate white person would always miraculously pass the test, while a black who could read and understand Shakespeare, just never could seem to read well enough to qualify.
Always lurking in the background in many states was the Ku Klux Klan, which was more than willing to intimidate blacks from voting.
Blacks were mainly confined to manual labor jobs. Access to professions like law, medicine and teaching were highly limited. The military was segregated.
So, where are we today with regards to racism? Systemic racism is dead. The legitimate protestors in our streets today who are denouncing systemic racism are too young to appreciate how far this nation has come since 1960. Instead of condemning our nation, they should be celebrating its freedom and its advancement for racial equality. And they need to realize that the great accomplishments of the Civil Rights Movement were gained peacefully under the leadership of a Baptist preacher who believed in non-violence.
They also need to realize that if systemic racism was still a reality, millions of white Americans would not have been outraged by the killing of George Floyd, and the policeman responsible would not have been arrested and charged with a crime.
As for those protestors who have resorted to violence, most are thugs and hoodlums who could care less about racial equality. They just want to ride the issue as an excuse to loot and burn to satisfy their greedy and irresponsible hearts. And then there are the anarchists who desire to exploit the issue as a way of venting their fury against law and order and Judeo-Christian values.
Does the elimination of systemic racism in our nation mean that there is no lingering aspects of the problem? No! There are still racists in our nation among all groups. White people do not have any exclusive franchise dealership on racism. There are black racists. In fact, the two loudest racist voices in America today are both blacks. They are Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton.
The most important factor in all this — applying to blacks and whites and citizens of all colors — is that there is a famine of the Word of God in our land today (Amos 8:11).
We have kicked God and His Word out of our public schools and the public arena. Church attendance has fallen to an all time low. Parents are distracted and are neglecting moral training. And our kids are being bombarded on television and the Internet with violence, blasphemy and immorality. The result is that we have raised a whole generation of moral pygmies who are willing to kill each other over a pair of tennis shoes.
The Answer to Racism
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Franklin Graham went to every state capital in our nation to hold a prayer rally. He was not there to endorse any party or candidate. He just wanted people to join him in praying for our nation. He began each rally with the same words: “I have no hope in the Democratic Party, and I have no hope in the Republican Party. Zero hope. Our only hope is God.”
Franklin Graham was 100% correct with these insightful words. The answer to continuing racism in our nation is not politics or violence or socialism. The answer is Jesus. That’s because He transforms hearts and turns haters into lovers.
When responding to racial issues, Christians need to be salt and light, speaking out in behalf of righteousness. But Christians also need to be discerning. I’m issuing this warning because Christians tend to think the best of everybody, and this naivete often gets them in a lot of trouble.
Take the Black Lives Matter organization, for example. No Christian should be affiliated with it in any way. Just check out its website and you will see that it is a radical left-wing socialist organization that opposes the biblical view of marriage and supports the Sexual Perversion Movement. Its leaders are committed to violence, and they are virulently anti-Semitic.
Now, notice, I did not say avoid identifying with the slogan, “Black Lives Matter.” I’m speaking, instead, of the BLM organization. It is an abomination that is fomenting racism by playing the race card with respect to every event it possibly can.
For more about what the organization Black Lives Matter believes, watch the following videos or read the blogs from our Prophetic Perspectives series:
Do black lives matter? Or course they do! In fact, all lives matter, including precious babies in the wombs of their mothers.
And that concern for life should also apply to the elderly and the increasing efforts to get states to pass laws legalizing euthanasia. I have always said that if a society will allow parents to pay doctors to kill their children, the day will come when children will be allowed to pay doctors to kill their parents.
All human beings are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). That image is sacred. Life is sacred (Deuteronomy 30:19).