Many of you will know me as a man given to passion. I hold this truth to be one of my best assets among many (insert humor [partly]). I am passionate about several things. Most of them typical of Western masculinity. They include sports and politics. As a committed Evangelical, my #1 passion is my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This passion reigns supreme with no close second. But for the sake of this blog, I want to use my love of sports to make this blog post thesis.
Several of my college fraternity brothers and I have developed a tradition of attending one Chicago Bears away game each season. What began as a male-only excursion has morphed into a father-son event and, on some occasions, a husband-wife event. This tradition reached its pinnacle with an overseas trip to watch the Bears play in London during the 2019 NFL football season. Due to my familial love, I extended the London trip to include my eldest daughter, my only son, and his finance besides my wife, Monique.
I can remember one of our early trips. This trip was a father-son excursion to Detroit. We were on our way from the airport to our hotel. There were probably 14-16 of us in total, and we were taking the hotel shuttle from the Detroit Airport. One of the passengers on the shuttle run noticed the large retinue of African American males with several young African American youths. After being informed of our august group’s purpose in Detroit, he (African American) proudly shared with us how proud he was to see African American fathers spending time with their children. Now, I know our new admirer meant no harm whatsoever; yet, I can still recount how his admiration struck me as ironic and some odd and remorse level, profoundly sad.
You see, the expectations for African American fathers have become so low that fathers who actually take time to spend with their own children is considered a revelation. I mean, I was not taking time out of my schedule to spend time with a disadvantaged child; I was spending time with MY CHILD, my own flesh and blood. You know the child I chose to bring into the world.
Yet, this is what happens when one comes to understand how tragically absent African American males in the African American home have become. Depending on what study you regard as definitive, well over 70% of the African American homes in American have no adult male authority present.
When we as a society can regard an African American male as a celebratory figure because he takes the time to spend time with his own flesh and blood, the bar has been lowered far too low. We are now pawns to the culture of low expectations. Wholly foreign to Dr. King’s illustrious dream of one day African Americans being judged, not on their skin color but their character’s content.
I present this background to set the stage for the thesis of this blog post. Our culture is partaking in what some regard as Soft Bigotry. Instead of holding everyone to the same rigorous standard, some in the culture arbitrarily have lowered the bar, all in the name of social justice. It is part and parcel of what some coin in elite culture as being Woke.
Some, even some well-intentioned, people have succumbed to this debilitating mindset. Whereas the stated intention is liberation, it, in fact, enslaves and marginalizes the very people it seeks to uplift and empower. It destroys the concept of merit and perseverance and endears fears of tokenism and pity.
Upon their arrival upon prestigious institutions of higher learning, many African Americans live under the constant suspicion they are there merely due to preferential treatment. I want; no, I demand that my peers judge me on pure merits. Don’t trivialize my station in life by stating I am a good blogger by African American standards. I want to be simply known as either a good or a bad blogger, period. I feel nothing heroic when Caucasian fathers spend time with their children, so I do not want commendation for doing what should be instinctive for any fully functioning and engaged father.
I pause to interject the Bible agrees with this philosophical approach. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ says, “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them (Luke 6:32).
As an aside, this is why our culture’s tolerance and naïve embrace of the BLM organization is so troublesome. BLM openly and without apology rejects what it calls “Western Patriarchy,” and the larger society blithely goes along with this foolishness. Just when the African American desperately needs a more robust male headship anchored in the home, BLM radically calls for just the opposite. This rejection of Biblical male headship is pure demonic inspired rhetoric brought in through the front door.
I demand that my beloved grandson, Malachi, rise or fall in life based on his merits. It is naïve and utterly devoid of critical thinking to receive that Malachi will receive or should deserve equal outcomes. The best a righteous society can provide is an equal opportunity.
According to this orthodox, Biblical worldview, any governmental institution’s sole role is to ensure all its citizenry inherits and can engage in an atmosphere where there are no artificial barriers that will impede human flourishing.
Equal outcomes are untenable and grossly sophomoric of an expectation. If someone outhustles Malachi, then Malachi should not rationally expect the same result. One of the divine expectations of advanced age is wisdom. It moved the Apostle Paul to write, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things (1 Corinthians 13:11).
As I bring this blog post to a close, I want to clarify that African Americans’ societal progress will not improve with an continued atmosphere of low expectations. It will only improve when we demand of the African American what we demand of every single person created in the Imago Dei of God. There will always be an exception to the rule: some people are born with factors outside of their control, so I never naively speak in absolute terms.
Still, in the main, we all should be held to the standard. So, judge this blog post on its own merits. Please do not do me any favors with Soft Bigotry. I want to stand or fall based on the eloquence of my argument. I do not desire to be considered a great grandfather to Malachi, all things considered. I want the die to be cast as yea or nay simply based on the same standard we hold for all grandfathers, relatively speaking.
The one solvent for the Evangelical is we long for the day when we will stand before the Righteous Judge who will administer His court with exquisite perfection. He will know all of the possible counterfactuals and possible permeations. His keen insight will be without equal or dispute. No one will be able to object, “you did not consider such and such” or “if you only knew such and such.” Similarly, there will be no Soft Bigotry on that great judgment day. Just yesterday, I shared with a female Caucasian Sister in Christ how much I felt for the typical Evangelical Caucasian, given the racial climate we regrettably find ourselves in. Many of my Caucasian brethren find themselves between the proverbial rock and hard place. Even if they felt strongly about a situation, they cannot express their heartfelt sentiment for fear of being labeled a racist. As an African American, I do not possess such a liability. So, let me state what I know most Americans believe in homes all across this great land: Everyone should be afforded a fair and unfettered opportunity to flourish and let the chips fall where they may and may the best man win in the end.
As a result, I reject Affirmative Action.
Empirically, it has been a colossal historical failure of epic proportions
It is inherently unfair as it takes from those more deserving and gives to those less deserving
I understand the sentimentality behind leveling the playing field, but we have demonstrable evidence that Affirmative Action is not an efficient remedy. Time and space do not permit me to litigate the merits vs. demerits of Affirmative Action. I only want to sound a call that Soft Bigotry will only continue to cripple the African American community.
No one with any semblance of pride wants to win based on pity. Most sane people only want to win based on merit. Humans come programmed with this sense of fairness in their DNA. So, to my Caucasian brothers and sisters, I cannot speak en toto for all African Americans, but I believe I can safely say for many African Americans when I say hold us to the same standards you do everyone else. We want what everyone else wants, what Dr. King said so eloquently desired in Washington in 1963. We want to be judged primarily, if not exclusively, on the content of our character. It will be quite messy along the way, but messy is this entire enterprise we call the Human Experiment. As always, let me know what you think. Until then, keep your hands to the plow and seek to serve for an Audience of One.