An African American dean at a Christian University in Africa says today’s social justice and anti-racism movements are “poisonous” ideologies based in Marxism, which instructs Americans to “redistribute” justice to particular societal groups, while giving no consideration to the individual.
African Christian University Dean of Theology Dr. Voddie Baucham contends that leftists’ and Democrats’ narrative – claiming that African Americans are the most oppressed black people on the planet – is anything but true.
"I've been trying to talk about this from the perspective of the big picture, [but] unfortunately, when you talk about it from the big picture, people tend to think you just don't have empathy, you just don't have compassion, you just don't understand how bad it is,” Baucham told TheBlaze. “Me – who grew up in drug-infested, gang-infested, South Central L.A., born in 1969 – grew up during the crack era ... [and] raised by a single, teenage Buddhist mother."
Dispelling the left’s narrative …
Speaking as an African American – and from a wide array of experience domestically and abroad – Baucham wanted to point out a couple of facts he found to be true.
"I'm also an American who – as an expat in a foreign country – I've been to dozens of countries in the world, and there are two things I know: one, black people in America are the freest and most prosperous black people in the world. Period. Bar none," he impressed. "And the second thing is this: people outside of America just think that we are the most oppressed people in the world.”
The Christian scholar went on to tie his argument into the recent needless and tragic killing of George Floyd – who suffocated to death when a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his neck against the pavement with his knee for over eight minutes.
“People actually think that things like George Floyd are happening every day – that they're not an anomaly, but that they're commonplace ... it sickens me,” Baucham expressed. “It saddens me ... the reputation that black people have, that somehow we are weak and impotent, and that we can't do or be anything unless white people do it for us – which, by the way, is kind of racist."
He disagreed with this leftist narrative, which he stressed could not be further from the truth.
‘[African Americans are] some of the strongest people in the history of the world," the former California and Texas pastor asserted. "We overcame slavery, and now we're bowing and scraping like we need someone to do something for us.”
Instead of identifying as a member of a particular group or political party, the theologian said African Americans should embrace their autonomy and self-worth as children of God and appeal to Him to achieve victory – not man, institutions, ideologies or movements.
“Our individuality is at stake – our self-pride is at stake,” Baucham insisted. “And our trust in God as the answer and solution to our problems is at stake."
Not new to adversity
Last year, Baucham challenged racial tensions incited by the left through a sermon titled “Ethnic Gnosticism” – a term he crafted to address a popular misconception – and his message drew national attention.
“Ethnic Gnosticism is the phenomenon of people believing that somehow because of one's ethnicity, that one is able to know when something or someone is racist,“ he explained, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
Several years earlier – after the Ferguson riots when a white police officer fatally shot the young African American man, Michael Brown, Baucham also drew much criticism from the left for addressing black-on-black violence.
“I do believe there are systemic issues plaguing black men – these issues are violence, criminality and immorality, to name a few, and all of these issues are rooted in and connected to the epidemic of fatherlessness,” Baucham wrote in a November 2014 piece for The Gospel Coalition titled, “Thoughts on Ferguson.” Any truly gospel-centered response to the plight of black men must address these issues first and foremost – it does no good to change the way white police officers respond to black men if we don’t first address the fact that these men’s fathers have not responded to them appropriately.”
He then focused on the issue of violence.
“There is indeed an epidemic of violence against black men; however, that violence – more often than not – occurs at the hands of other black men,” Baucham continued. “In fact, black men are several times more likely to be murdered at the hands of another black man than they are to be killed by the police. For instance, in the FBI homicide stats from 2012, there were 2,648 blacks murdered. Of those, 2,412 were murdered by members of their own ethnic group. Thus, if I am going to speak out about anything, it will be black-on-black crime; not blue-on-black.”
As the dean of a Christian university in Lusaka, Zambia, he brought biblical morality into the picture to highlight the “real issue.”
“If a few black men being killed by cops requires a national ‘dialogue,’ what in the world does the overwhelming number of black-on-black murders require?” Baucham asked. “If the police do not see black men through the proper gospel-centered, image-of-God lens, what does the black-on-black murder rate say about the way we see ourselves?”
He went on to bring up criminal behavior plaguing black men.
“Low-income black communities like Ferguson know all too well that black criminals preying on their neighbors makes life almost unlivable,” the Southern California native pointed out. “Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, I know all too well what it’s like to have bars on the windows and doors for fear that thugs will break in to steal or kill. I remember being robbed at gunpoint on my way home from the store one day – it was one of the most frightening and disheartening events of my life. The fear, helplessness and anger I felt stayed with me for years, and it taught me an unfortunate lesson – the greatest threat to me was other black men.”
Sex out of wedlock and single moms raising their boys were also seen as major roots of the problem.
“The underlying malady that gives rise to all the rest of these epidemics is immorality and fatherlessness,” Baucham added. “We know that fatherlessness is the number one indicator of future violence, dropout rates, out-of-wedlock births and future incarceration, and in the black community, more than 70% of all children are born out of wedlock! Fatherlessness is the bane of the black community.”
He also spoke about about accountability.
“Nor is this plague forced on us – it is as common as morning dew, and as overlooked as dust under a refrigerator,” Baucham argued. “Where are the marches against this travesty? Where are the protestors who demand better? Where are the black ‘leaders’ who … oh, that’s right, they have just as many illegitimate children as anyone else. Again, it is common knowledge that this is the most immediate root cause of the ills plaguing black Americans.”