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...and Prejudice

Continuation of prior post.

Let us hear from a non-Christian opponent of racial pride.  The following quotations are from "The Little Book on Racism and Politics," (1990) by RP Dickey, the American poet.  This book is in the form of a series of "pensees" on race, a few of which I have selected:

Racial pride and racial prejudice have a good laugh.      Prejudice:  They actually feel that they're as good as us!     Racial pride: They actually feel that they're as good as us!  p.24

Prejudice means prejudgment.  When a person is prejudiced about something, he has prejudged that thing.  If you prejudge yourself (favorably) because you are a member of race X, then of course by the same token someone else can prejudge you (unfavorably) for being a member of race X.  Clearly, racial pride is arrived at by the exact same mechanism, the same kind of self-deception, the same kind of irrational leap, that it takes to get to race prejudice.... p.28

    in the country of Racism, Pride and Prejudice are the twin capital cities p. 28.

Morality is solely an individual matter.  Neither the evil or the goodness of any of your ancestors has anything to do with your evil or goodness....     The outstandingly accomplished members of your race are not to be respected because they were of your race but because they were different from most members of your race, therefore their greatness lies in their individuality, their own person, their distinctive quality.  p.29

    As long as there is racial pride, there will be racial prejudice.  Racial pride legitimizes racial prejudice.  The reason it legitimizes it is that it, racial pride, is prejudice.  Apparently, the fact that it is favorable prejudice obscures for many people that it is hardcore prejudice pure and simple.  p. 30. There seems to be no way out of the dead end of racism. Why is that?  It's because it is not yet recognized that racial or ethnic pride is a vital part of racism -- the pride feeds the prejudice -- and  that as long as there is racial pride there will be racial prejudgments.  You can't have one without the other.  p. 31

    Racial pride will interfere with your liberty.  Racial prejudice will interfere with the liberty of others.... Freedom is color blind.  p. 31.

I call Mr Dickey's position that of classical humanism or classical reason.  Fortunately for him, Mr Dickey did not live to see the day when not only would racial pride/prejudice rule the academic and political worlds, but any criticism of the supreme value of racial identity would itself be considered evidence of racism.  Now let us briefly consider the Christian position on the importance of racial heritage.

The Christian assessment of the role of ethnicity in human identity was put most succinctly and most forcefully by Paul in Philippians 3:

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law,  faultless.  But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss  for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them "skubalon" (garbage), that I may gain Christ  (Phil 3:4-8).

Garbage? Really?  That's pretty strong language, but not strong enough for King James.  The KJV translates "skubalon" as "dung"!  Paul, like Dickey, absolutely rejects racial pride, though for different reasons.

So we are presented with 3 alternatives in assessing the value of our race as a component of our identity: 

    a. For the modernist viewpoint, ethnicity (including skin color and even hairstyle) is "my contribution to society."  It is a positive, perhaps THE positive quality that an individual possesses.      b. For the classical humanist, racial pride is irrational.  Our value comes from our own moral choices and accomplishments. c. For the Biblical Christian, it is "garbage" or worse. Our worth is determined by Christ's redemptive work on our behalf.

The great fraud of modernism's capitulation to the neo-racists is manifested in the ethical imperative of "respect."  You are supposed to respect me for my sex or ancestry, or my gender orientation or my handicap... or my weight problem or my hair color or my left-handedness, or any other quality that the grievance junkies can come up with.  Witness the adulation of diversity for its own sake on every college campus in America.

The antidote to this fraud is simple. Just say no -- do not respect those who demand it for their biological qualities or pedigree.  Yes, they will call you a racist and a sexist -- even if you are a minority or a female (in which case you are called a traitor to your class).  Never mind -- those who base their self-respect on these qualities are unworthy of the respect of either humanists or Christians.  

For a fuller exposition of the passage in Philippians, please link to

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