Saturday 19 February 2022

Squires: This is the Squires agenda: Speak truth to error

 One of the most fascinating and frustrating things about being a black person with views described as “conservative” is the constant assumption that you are trying to advance a nefarious, self-serving “agenda.”

People on both the left and right will claim any black person with whom they disagree is doing the bidding of a white puppet master. Some people assume money is the motivation. Others assume it is for political power.

I typically don’t respond to those accusations because I am reminded of the verse in Proverbs that says, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be like him.” I’m also reminded that the next verse says that failing to answer a fool may make him wise in his own eyes.

This is why I think it is important to state my agenda clearly.

The goal of every word I write and speak is to apply a biblical worldview to matters of culture and policy in order to promote human dignity throughout every level of society. My work is rooted in the belief that human life has inherent worth and value because we are all created by God.

My views on God and man shape every position I take, from my views on sex and sexuality to the role parents play in educating their children.They also impact how I think about issues of race, and I openly acknowledge that parts of my agenda put me at odds with both black liberals and conservatives.

Many of the bad ideas I am fighting against are propagated by black liberals, particularly the ones who think the keys to racial equality are bigger government and 

better white people. These are the people for whom black lives only matter when they are taken by white police officers or vigilantes. They are also the people who argue that conservatives who oppose abortion and want to see more black babies born are promoting white supremacy.

They scoff at any version of “bootstrap” politics because they think black people draw strength by feigning helplessness. They simultaneously see white people as the source of their oppression and liberation. Their entire worldview is marked by confusion.

The majority of black intellectuals, journalists, entertainers, elected officials, and athletes belong to this group. Names like Michael Eric Dyson, Joy Reid, and Nikole Hannah-Jones should come to mind because everything they produce is tied to racism in one way or another.

The past week also taught me that my agenda will occasionally put me at odds with black conservatives. This is a group with whom I share a do-for-self ethos and an abiding belief in the power of individual agency.

I part ways with my compatriots on the right when they dismiss the importance of culture and tie black progress to economic empowerment and more conservatives at every level of government.

My recent Twitter debates on hip-hop after the Super Bowl halftime show – a PG performance by rap’s standards – started after I saw black conservatives citing the charitable contributions of artists to justify the proliferation of self-destructive lyrics and images for over 30 years.

There is no amount of money anyone could pay me to sexualize my wife and daughter and gangsterize my sons for the gratification of a willing audience. That would be the epitome of selling out. Temptation may come to my family, but I’ll be damned – literally – if I am the one that feeds them into the devil’s mouth.

Some of these people are hyper-vigilant about attempts to “erase history” when it comes to anti-CRT laws, but their words and actions dismiss the work of prominent black psychologists like Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark, advertising guru Tom Burrell, and activists like C. Delores Tucker. All of these people understood the impact of negative stereotypes transmitted through music, television, and film. We need that type of wisdom and moral clarity now more than ever.

There are also many Christians of all shades who share my worldview but are advancing ideas that clash with my agenda.

This includes black evangelicals who are more likely to use social media to castigate a smirking white teenager in a MAGA hat than a black teenager leading a carjacking ring. Joining them on the racial justice battlefield are a legion of white evangelicals who believe black people who commit crimes are motivated by wealth inequities and systemic racism, but white people who commit crimes are motivated by greed and white privilege.

Their brand of ethnic partiality and paternalism is even more dangerous than that of the secular left because they twist the Bible to fit their agenda.

This is how pastors, theologians, and Christian commentators end up arguing that “whiteness” is rooted in theft, enslavement, and the pursuit of power. Apparently white people in America, a broad and culturally imprecise category, are the only group of people for whom specific sins attach to skin color.

I’ve never heard any of them say what characterizes “blackness” or the essential nature of any other ethnic group. These people preach Christ from the pulpit on Sunday but sound like Ibram Kendi on Twitter by Monday. Their bad theology has led to even worse sociology.

These conservative evangelicals are in danger of going the route of their liberal counterparts in traditional black churches who transformed houses of worship into centers of politics by accepting a materialist view of man incompatible with scriptures.

To one extent or another, all of these groups think they are speaking truth to power. My agenda is to speak truth to error.

The one group most people wish black conservatives would focus on most is white racists. Like most Americans, I deplore acts of hatred regardless of the victim or perpetrator. Thankfully, there is no corner of mainstream American society in which explicit anti-black bigotry from white people is tolerated or celebrated. That is a sign of the progress we’ve made as a country over the past 60 years.

Our ruling class is so committed to stamping out racism that it created a narrative around the Kyle Rittenhouse trial that turned Rosenbaum, Huber, and Grosskreutz into the modern Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner. Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner were civil rights workers who were abducted and murdered in Mississippi in 1964 by members of the Klan. Rosenbaum, Huber, and Grosskreutz – Rosenbaum a convicted child molester – were shot while attacking a teenager who came to a riot to defend a local business.

This is why cultural triage is so important. At a time when technology provides an endless stream of stories and videos, we must be able to assign the amount of time and attention spent on an issue by how prevalent, significant, and accepted it is.

In 2022, there is no chance CNN would run a column entitled “There's nothing more frightening in America today than an angry Black man,” but the network did publish one that made that claim about white men. The same author compared Joe Rogan saying the N-word to the events of January 6.

The people working to undermine the black family, getting rid of gifted programs and grades, and calling for police and prisons to be abolished are doing so in the name of equity and liberation. Their racial vanity projects are a far greater threat to black people today than neo-Nazis or QAnon enthusiasts.

I’m willing to fight for my agenda so that black people can stand in any environment with genuine confidence because the foundation of our identity is our Maker, not our level of melanin.

I want the knowledge of history – good, bad, and ugly – to become a battery that powers us into the future, not a shackle that weighs us down in the past.

I desire to see future generations, regardless of color, live in a peaceful, orderly society that values faith, family, and freedom. That is my agenda. I wish everyone was as clear with their own.

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