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A Fascinating Perspective on Racial Issues (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
February 18, 2021 5:00 am

A Fascinating Perspective on Racial Issues (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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February 18, 2021 5:00 am

Dr. Shelby Steele addresses racial division in America, examining the civil rights movement of the 1960s and comparing it to the campaign for social justice today. He reminds us of the importance of strong marriages and families as the solution to many societal ills. (Part 2 of 2)

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The seasons of your life are always moving forward, marriage, parenting, aging well and threw it all. Focus on the Family is alongside me with encouragement from a biblical perspective and now we have a tool that gathers our trust and guidance and support together in one place. The enhanced Focus on the Family with it you can listen to the Focus on the Family broadcast engage our social media counselor or make a donation all on the Focus on the Family at downloaded today from the app store or Google play we will be vengeance really goes all visual values is marriage somehow has to be brought back black community is Dr. Shelby Steele recently joined us for a really interesting conversation about racial division in America and offered some very helpful insights, reminding us that broken families are at the center of the problems we all face. This is Focus on the Family with your host focus president and author Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller John last time Dr. still give us a lot to think about as he shared some thought-provoking viewpoints about race relations. When we see incidents like the tragic death of George Floyd last year things spiral out of control and we see protests and violence around the country.

We saw similar response in Ferguson Missouri a few years ago I went there to meet with Christian leaders. After the death of Michael Brown. You know, one of the things I found in that city. Whether you're black or white. There was still quite a bit a unity about the town that they all share in the desire for everyone to build a better future and that's a good thing. Unfortunately, tragedies like these tend to divide us in that moment Dr. Shelby Steele has produced a new documentary called what killed Michael Brown and we'll talk about that today these issues are certainly controversial. I get that.

Shelby doesn't believe racism is a systemic problem like some of the media are pressing today and I get it. Other good people will believe there is a systemic problem and that's why we need to talk about all perspectives.

We all need to certainly take a deep breath step back and learn to honor and respect one another as God commands us to do and have that good dialogue, not shout past one another and I know Shelby agrees with that there should be more that unites us, especially as Christians, then divides us and of course there's always more work to be done, but we do hope that you find this to be really thought-provoking. Dr. Steele is a senior fellow at the Hoover institution specializing in the study of race relations and multiculturalism and affirmative action. If you missed it last time we do have a CD or free download of that first part of this two-part conversation just up by the episode notes and you'll find a link there, let's go ahead and do your part to the conversation on today's episode of Focus on the Family.

As Jim asked Shelby about racial division along socioeconomic lines. It seems to me you know why I grew up in a poor family.

I grew up in part, in Compton, California.

I spent third grade and part of fourth grade there. My point is, it seems to me that whether you're white or black as social economic issues are shared across racial lines, and that actually may be higher on your list that you've mentioned that the issue of poverty. The issue of the lack of opportunity may be higher on that list in my assuming that her would you agree with that. Absolutely those are serious problems. Racism again is simply this, just not there yet. In the in that regard.

I think that's where we may have the most hope of moving forward in the future.

Would you agree that around the social, economic, areas where some parity can come to the black community in terms of earning in and homeownership and all those kinds of things that actually make life in America far better correct if we set ourselves his glass that is we can begin to society is open to us society's solution in America today practices racial preference gives Blacks in my advantage. Try more does go places show so again that's that you is is a much deeper and more profound problem. Dr. Shelby, you received a lot of your education.

If I have this correctly from East St. Louis.

I was a tough neighborhood. Perhaps one of the toughest in the country describe that experience and what did you learn in that environment. Well I guess is that 11 had been involved as for me and Celeste and so forth. So when I graduated college small college, and I will overbalance I want to be a part on the front lines in social so Pres. Johnson's coming out great society want poverty and I went to East St. Louis, Illinois, which was the literally the poorest black community in America, 990 some percent population was on welfare really poor and inner-city.

It was the precursor to black class family down drugs crimes. We set up school so I taught in that program three years and it was an initiation I began to allow in college and I was the black leather demonstrations taking over the president's office. All is here suddenly was the naked reality real name written reality of black is semi and the love for one black.

This was the I've never seen anything quite like this is despairing and heartbreaking and it was emotionally difficult start that situation.

What I saw there. Go there was some people this is really good work. I did my try my best work myself, but the people who ran the program and some of the teachers so much money became available from the federal government that people began to suddenly Mercedes to work.

Suddenly things were. We will write almost any grant. We wrote would be fun. You just put me St. Louis there.

The money would come. The federal government, especially on so I began, then the other corruptions became self-evident.

He would teach the classes needed once a month and said it was more important it is.

Learn from mistakes to books given college credit for this, and you could bend the rules then, and so it became clear to me that after my really after my first year that I gave two more years and I could see this was also there was no future. I had a you you respond when you look at the amount of money the government since Lyndon Johnson and his programs back then, and America's programs that had to be voted on by Congress, but it when you look at it objectively. It seems like there hasn't been the gains that you would have hope for after $22 trillion being spent to help people out of poverty.

That example you just gave about East St. Louis is that what's broken is that why government is ineffective is his worst took the place of segregation and racism and slavery that liberalism is what you're talking about became and is today the new oppressor almost programs in the great society on that is mentioned among us all his programs at one thing, they have no faith in the people they're trying to help, don't leave that black people can lift themselves whether they just see they are selling faithlessness to the people that they're trying to help and so the more programs weaker Blacks get more family breakdown, the more I almost nihilistic worlds that they created in many cities where the normal rules of human behavior just simply this year were thousands and thousands of people of young kids shot and killed every year that's in a society overcome by nihilist meaninglessness by hopelessness so that that's the problem with people in the city, killing almost be.

But how, how do we turn that around. How do we get more awareness. How do we lower the death rate for black young men in the inner-city. So they're not shot by other black men in that same inner-city Focus on the Family we are out of place, we don't need fancy interventions with Eagles old-fashioned additional values the institution of marriage somehow has to be brought back into the black community as the centerpiece we have to find a way to celebrate marriage tunes support people in that institution as they make as they struggle to make their lives as they raise their children, child rearing, we need to focus on education, my goodness. We have the worst education system lacks in the world. Yet education is really the only way up and out so we need to ask more or those traditional family focused just focused I believe the black church is has to be one of the institution.

It really leads the way you but those the only things are going to work in a positive sense Shelby, when you look at the rage that we saw this past year with the death of Mr. Floyd which was a travesty and with the other deaths that you've talked about in terms of Michael Brown.

It there. There is a repeat scenario that occurs a white officer shoots a black young man, and sometimes even the evidence is insufficient that everybody jumps to conclusions. Everyone's you know, concluding that that officer was guilty of racism.

Sometimes that might be true. Sometimes it's not true but again the culture just moves quickly to the conclusion that this was racially motivated. Speak to that reality and then that rage that were seeing the looting, all of the outcome of it. What do we need to understand is the white community about what's happening there because many people are scratching their head. They don't see the linkage they don't get it. If white officer shoots African-American young man why are people than looting at Sears or some other store will makes it it makes the point of how low fraudulent impulse is boils down looting. There is no is no right what is the about incidents like that is that the trigger finger that shoots and kills the black teenager is white. If the trigger finger is black you about. So what is again thousands and thousands and thousands in 2016 there were in Chicago alone, there were 3000 people shop in one single year. Pres. Obama said almost nothing about it.

No one can say Michael Brown shot one kid in Ferguson Missouri in the whole world. Send the trigger finger and Michael Brown case white trigger finger in Chicago, almost black that tells you where America sees how the white trigger finger means white guilt black trigger finger doesn't like the white one does and so it explodes and we then the whole society goes with convulsion we renegotiate whether this raises the whether there is a racism in and what we should what we lost as a society is the capacity tells you look lax in the face and say where is racism and what do you yourself I want you.

Why would you allow yourself to live this way to suffering this way, you see what happens.

The usual means what you trying to get to and without Michael Brown was the victim white racism.

But I'll liberalism destroy the institution of the family destroy the public schools that he went to the housing that he lived in every area of his life was defined by white guilt rather than by what he really needs needed as a human being below the father needed a stable family what everybody is not racism that's little let me ask you in the documentary, which again was really well done and you talked about Michael Brown and Ferguson. In that incident you mentioned something that you call poetic truth versus objective truth and describe those two and how they play out in the race issue will is a narrative of an incident that serves mind leverage against white so here's a black teenager walking down the hot afternoon. Please nasty please really step onto the sidewalk. This though escalates goes on to what finally reason is that is all I have to shoot this one. Tragedy by any account so interested will you have to do that when you have to look at a situation like that what happened in Ferguson was the right away began to say trigger finger was white. The motivation was nonracist of racial animus that this policeman a slightly and disregards the value of their lives and she's so this proves Michael Ronstadt. Therefore proves that is a systemically racist side. That's what I call a poetic truth is a complete distortion of the actual objective truth that serves my leverage is a black with large white society. I can use Michael's death to say this proves that you really are and whites bring their hands in the anguish over this before and so the poetic truth is a grab for power is an exercise for racial power and will you race relations very much functions around the poetic truth. The black submit white race right right and it's so true, and I think that's one of the core reasons this perspective that you have that I wanted to hear from you but let's look at the two futures the future that we continue on the path we been on with that idea of grievance and victimization.

Where does that go six years from now were 60 years away from the great society and things of that nature and we spent the 22 trillion trying to lift people up out of poverty, etc. and I think a fair assessment would be that we haven't made in some respects. We haven't made much ground. But like you say you feel racism is inclined substantially with outliers.

Of course, but if we continue down the grievance victimization pathway. What is what is the society look like with that continued polarization versus what could be the better future and how do we get there yet to stand up to the fact that this country has actually made small progress around racism not very once lost and then we have to we have to instead of just what to give minority. We need to figure out what to ask of my Norton Sarah there has to be an ask you from this point on. We want to have a positive future.

As you put that the only way to get theirs to begin to ask for just spell out say is what you are in freedom now is the kind the level of responsibility one has to bear freedom one you you you know and then we can focus on the family and so forth is though that what you talking about. There is a family strong, no government has to a lot responsibility that had bears the burden well that's two glasses. It is anyone else. So somehow get beyond this is we follow God's will have to ask Blacks to take more wheat we had last to get to the point where we say we are responsible for our fate entire and went when America went to war as points from the Revolutionary war, we said that we have to we have to go to the end we had to give everything we've got.

Well, I think black Americans, and that point would stop assuming the world is our enemy. Most of the world as our friends these days of open is an America that is amazing. I know it's amazing what I was there.

Blacks and play baseball and go back to well you know we its that's not our problem anymore and we just got set the responsibilities of freedom don't get married. If you are not sufficient to support a family, don't have children.

If you can't raised in the not accounting for their development. Do not being responsible for. You can ask decided they'll never be able to do that. They tried 60 years now and will file a mine waste and we were in the 50s. Well, you every socioeconomic measure that sadly the result. And that's why your message is so intriguing about self-respect and you know being accountable etc. in fact, in the documentary there is a story, a pastor gave about a mule in a well that you elaborated on in the documentary described that for the listeners what what was said and and why was it so illustrative of the point you're making right now. I love that boy asked for a gross medicine church writing South that Woodlawn area.

The heart. You see, tells the story of his congregation. Farmer Bill falls as well and finally got my gun. My great meals down and well in doing so Situation and he says okay what I'll do is I will take I will fill a truck full of garbage and dirt and I will certainly garbage down the well. On top of you. So he does exactly that.

He goes against Jackson.

The third damage on you. You'll see is shakes off garbage and steps up on the dirt moves up farmer brings another load of garbage and dirt feel the same thing shakes off steps up on and on we go. The mule finally stepped out of the freedom and so this is Master Brooks's way of of talking about persistence of taking a bad situation, making a good of of not asking for fancy is dirt and garbage that the mule uses freedom so deliberate and so this is the metaphor that we as black Americans need to build an identity around is that our ingenuity in discovering possibilities to move ahead rather than constantly using our engine creativity to come up with ideas about how you press will will look poetic in talking about, you know, the demise we raised his on and on. I will poetic knowledge.

We need to get and use a little garbage and dirt and move up moving the three and again I think a dangerous idea.

The black some justice is the idea that we somehow can't be motivated to move ourselves and take responsibility until we get justice. That's a delaying tactic as a way of not facing reality.

We may or we may not get just fact is is a saying in the film.

We will never get ever enough justice to somehow equate to all the suffering we endured for centuries is no payoff that is no way that that was all that I get a check in record is this is all all illusion, and it keeps us from seeing that we have to be the motivation the activations we have to do it ourselves. We know matter what God gave us life you gave us infinite possibilities. Despite his cannot and he's asking us to take advantage of our freedom of our life will bless what is available to black Americans is is the whole world. We are blessed and we have to accept it would last and in rental and that an motivator again that Dr. Shelby's steel you've brought some objective truth to this issue of race in America. I so appreciated.

I'd encourage people to watch the documentary on Michael Brown and Ferguson.

I think you bring a lot of truth to that scenario and the reality that even with George Floyd that that was overt. Police brutality and I think many people would agree with that.

That's the statement you make at thank you for being our guest dear Focus on the Family, thank you for your emphasis on the importance of the family we wake up every day coming into the offices here and fighting for the family and for that importance of the family. Thank you for reinforcing that and it's good to have you on the program. Thank you thank you I enjoyed myself. I wish you and your focus all of this you know Jim I really found that fascinating conversation and I do hope that our listeners have been helped in some way. And certainly we want to direct you in our audience to some excellent resources on this topic Jeni to appreciate Shelby's insights in his admonishment to take a positive and thankful approach that's refreshing that he's emphasized the importance of strengthening African-American families through marriage and parenting and the need for educational opportunity and for black churches to help lead the way and then I think we all have a responsibility.

I like the point as well. I hope that you will pray and seek God about what he wants you to do to bridge any racial division that you may see right in your neighborhood that begins in your own heart and goes to your community. You know when I think of Michael Brown. I wonder how things might've turned out differently if a good Christian man and come alongside them and mentor him. Maybe you could be that positive influence for another troubled youth.

Also there's a great book.

I want to encourage you to read on the subject from my good friend Dr. Tony Evans. He was the first African-American to graduate from Dallas theological seminary. His book oneness embraced will challenge us to come together as brothers and sisters in Christ, with the Bible as our guide, and I want to urge you to get it from us today. Dr. Evans is certainly a gifted communicator and we'd love to send this book to you as our thank you gift when you join the support team make a donation of any amount today and will send that book oneness embraced reconciliation the kingdom and how are stronger together you can donate and get the book when you call 880 family 800-232-6459 or you can donate through the link in the episode notes and I will also mention the link we have for Shelby's compelling documentary what killed Michael Brown, John. Let me also say that will continue these discussions about healing racial division that will have future programs expressing various viewpoints and ideas to help us seek racial harmony that can only be found through Christ and I do hope you'll find is beneficial is the kind of programs on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here. Thanks for listening to Focus on the Family today. I'm John Fuller inviting you back next time. As we once again help you and your family thrive in price here asking people to define the word appreciate it's like when something does happen, it's telling someone they did a good job Focus on the Family invite you to give a gift, appreciate when you give a non-cash gift of stock, bonds or mutual funds will avoid capital gains tax deduction and help families thrive for generations to come. Find out more about non-cash gifts.

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