“This is not what our ancestors wanted for you.”
I saw this message in response to something I said last week about the relative silence of corporate media outlets when the deaths of black men don’t advance the left’s political interests.
I am used to people not actually engaging the arguments I make in my writing. This response, however, prompted me to consider a very important question: What would the generations of black men and women who contributed so richly to this country’s history and culture think about the social condition of black people in America today?
My initial thought is that they would be grateful for the progress we have made as a nation since our founding. Despite the horrors of slavery and legal segregation, black people in America today are more prosperous and enjoy a higher standard of living than any other people of African descent at any point in history.
I also think the black people who built families, churches, homes, businesses, institutions, and communities in the face of overt racism would be extremely disappointed with the path their descendants are on today.
One of the main reasons is that the politicians, pundits, performers, professors, and preachers who compose the “Afristocracy” (i.e. the black leadership class) today have become the single greatest impediment to large-scale progress in the black community.
The explanation is quite simple: They abandoned the values that were passed down to them and they have no vision to pass on to subsequent generations.
Black leadership in previous generations was powered by the church and the belief that the Bible is a model for earthly liberation, a source of eternal hope, and the basis for moral instruction. The civil rights movement was powered by people, most notably Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who made their appeals using biblical language.
The post-Christian black leadership embodied in the founders of Black Lives Matter has been a failure. Its practitioners use the same language of liberation as the previous generations, but they believe freedom will be achieved through the equitable redistribution of resources. Gone are the days in which black leaders spoke the language of transcendent moral truths. That framework has been replaced by an obsession with power and transactional politics.
The leaders of the BLM movement identify as radical feminists, lesbians, and Marxists. Their ideological foundation rests on the belief that men and marriage oppress women. It should come as no surprise that they listed the destruction of the nuclear family as one of their guiding principles. Dead black men helped Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors strike book deals and purchase expensive homes. Men who advocate biblical sexual ethics and believe the natural family (i.e. husband, wife, and children) is the foundation of civilization are not nearly as valuable to them.
Many black churches preach a false gospel of “social justice” that is indistinguishable from that of the BLM atheists. They too are consumed with acquiring political power. Men like Rev. William Barber stand in churches and promote abortion as a human right. These churches are ready for Souls to the Polls but don’t preach repentance from sin. They have their ballots ready and their Bibles closed.
The abandonment of the biblical worldview has had a downstream effect on the pursuit of knowledge as well. At one point in American history, it was a crime to teach slaves how to read and write. The landmark Brown v. Board of Education case was the most prominent example of black leaders fighting for full citizenship through education. Now college is where black students go to unlearn eternal truths and forsake timeless wisdom.
Marc Lamont Hill, professor at Temple University, is the first academic I heard argue that men can get pregnant.
Michael Eric Dyson, professor at Georgetown University, is the man who diminished the importance of fathers on MSNBC, then went on Fox to encourage white people to create individual reparations accounts to atone for their privilege and address racial inequality.
Brittney Cooper, professor at Rutgers University, is the person who said the black community does not need nuclear families to thrive.
Carl Hart, professor at Columbia University, is the man who writes approvingly of his own heroin use and said he would rather his children interact with drugs than with the police.
Greg Carr, professor at Howard University, is the person who said that women leaving Texas to seek abortions were channeling the spirit of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.
I have a difficult time believing that the black students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the late 1800s or integrating into predominantly white schools in the 1900s ever thought this would be the fate of their intellectual progeny.
The corruption of these black intellectuals reflects the inevitable result of disconnecting knowledge from morality. The Afristocracy has also become a barrier to progress because it has no affirmative vision for the people its members claim to represent.
When you love someone, you do everything you can to help them. Sometimes that looks like a word of encouragement as they struggle with a difficult situation. At other times, love is expressed through hard truths spoken with care and compassion. The Bible says a father disciplines a son he loves but ignores an illegitimate child. This is why families have interventions for relatives struggling with substance abuse.
A desire to help people live healthy and productive lives is also why people go into the field of medicine. If one thinks about America today like a hospital, it is clear that the most educated black cultural physicians today focus exclusively on the patients with the most resources and privilege, while leaving the disenfranchised and destitute waiting in the hospital waiting room.
Dr. Ibram X. Kendi speaks the language of equity, but his surgical center says “Whites Only.” He spends his days treating NPR listeners for their metastatic racism. He thinks he can help black people by healing white people.
He and his colleagues tell their privileged patients what books to buy and offer to help reshape every aspect of society in their image – for a modest fee. Like Ta-Nehisi Coates, the Afristocracy believes the main problem black people have is white supremacy.
What he and his peers will never do is say anything to black people that requires us to change anything that we do. The most common messages from black leaders today to the black masses are reminders to vote and encouragement to protest.
It would be a pleasant surprise to hear a black politician, social commentator, or intellectual on MSNBC say anything close to, “Black lives won’t matter until we stop killing each other in the streets.” Any attempts to honestly discuss violent crime in big cities are typically met with deflections about “white-on-white violence” or claims that redlining and gentrification are the real culprits forcing black men to murder one another.
This is the Afristocracy’s dirty little secret: Black leaders put all their time, talent, and treasure into fixing white people. It is easier to get the NAACP to do a campaign with B-list white actors to “take responsibility” for racism than it is to get famous black men to promote the beauty and benefits of marriage and fatherhood.
One of the biggest steps the people in the black leadership class could take to correct their ways is to simply preach what they practice. These people brunch on Sundays, vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, put their children in private schools, attend exclusive wine tastings, hire nannies, have monthly appointments with cleaning ladies, collect art, and invest in real estate.
Their lives are a testament to hard work, focus, and dedication, but they are so committed to painting themselves as oppressed that they don’t say anything about what they did to get where they are. For them, it’s always about what other people must do to rescue black people. These are people with bulging waistlines who refuse to tell beggars where they found bread.
I have a hard time believing this is what our ancestors would have wanted. Black men and women didn’t marry in secret during slavery or put their families back together after emancipation so that over 70% of their descendants would be born to unwed couples.
Black men didn’t resist the hangman’s noose to have their great-grandsons gunning down fellow image-bearers in the streets.
Ruby Bridges didn’t withstand racist taunts and threats to desegregate an elementary school in New Orleans so that black students today could be taught that math is racist or some kids have no gender.
None of these things are what the ancestors wanted for us. And they are definitely not what we should pass on to our descendants.