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Competing visions of racial justice

Culture | Anti-white and anti-Semitic statements spark debate over the meaning of “black lives matter”
by Collin Garbarino
Posted 7/21/20, 03:18 pm

A message of reconciliation from Terry Crews, an African American actor and Christian, didn’t sit well with left-leaning groups who attacked him for hurting progress toward racial justice. “If you are a child of God, you are my brother and sister,” Crews tweeted on June 30. “I have family of every race, creed, and ideology. We must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn’t morph into #blacklivesbetter.”

Critics accused Crews of naivety. In a July 6 interview, CNN host Don Lemon said Crews “stepped in it” and did not understand the Black Lives Matter movement. But Crews has remained committed to a message of unity. On July 15, he called out TV personality Nick Cannon, whose comments in a podcast seemed to confirm Crews’ fears about divisiveness.

In an earlier interview with rapper Richard Griffin, Cannon claimed humanity’s capacity for compassion was tied to having melanin, the pigment that darkens skin. Referring to white people, he said, “They’re acting out of low self-esteem, they’re acting out of deficiency, so therefore the only way they can act is evil.” He called white people “true savages” and said they were “closer to animals.” Cannon and Griffin also said various Jewish families controlled the world and blacks were the real Semitic people.

Cannon’s bizarre ideas about history and race have their roots in the teachings of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who claims white people are a race of devils created by a black scientist 6,600 years ago. In spite of his racist teachings, Farrakhan has often enjoyed popular and political favor because of his association with well-known African American activists such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

In a July 14 column for The Hollywood Reporter, former NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar chastised black celebrities for promoting Farrakhan’s ideas. In recent weeks, rapper Ice Cube, NFL player DeSean Jackson, and former NBA player Stephen Jackson used anti-Semitic rhetoric in their promotion of racial justice. Abdul-Jabbar warned that Farrakhan’s anti-white ideology “is the kind of dehumanizing characterization of a people that causes the police abuses that killed … George Floyd.” Former NBA star Charles Barkley echoed Abdul-Jabbar’s sentiment, saying, “I don’t understand how you beat hatred with more hatred. That stuff should never come up in your vocabulary, and it should never come up in your heart.”

Last week, ViacomCBS fired Cannon for his comments, removing him from his successful hip-hop comedy show Wild ’N Out. Lionsgate postponed plans for him to host a daytime talk show, pushing back the project to fall 2021. Fox, on the other hand, decided to keep Cannon as the emcee for The Masked Singer after he publicly apologized to Jews and promised to host a rabbi on his next episode of Cannon’s Class. At the same time, he excoriated ViacomCBS in a Facebook post, claiming the corporation was looking for an excuse to rob him of his “billion-dollar Wild ’N Out brand.”

Cannon discovered that in the world of social media, you can’t please everyone. After the backlash over his comments, he experienced another wave of criticism for his apology. “I hurt an entire community and it pained me to my core, I thought it couldn’t get any worse,” Cannon tweeted. “Then I watched my own community turn on me and call me a sell-out for apologizing.”

Associated Press/Photo by Patrick Semansky (file) Associated Press/Photo by Patrick Semansky (file) Washington football team owner Dan Snyder

No more passes

Just when the NFL team formerly known as the Washington “Redskins” seemed to have turned the corner from controversy last week, 15 women accused several former employees of sexual harassment and verbal abuse.

None of the accused men still work for the franchise. Last week, the club fired the director of player personnel, Alex Santos, and his assistant director, Richard Mann II. Larry Michael, the radio voice of the team for 16 years, announced his retirement on Wednesday. Other accused personnel had previously left. The allegations cover incidents from 2006 through 2019.

The Washington Post reported Thursday on the alleged inappropriate actions and remarks. They said Santos made unwelcome advances and comments and pinched a woman on the hip. Mann sent improper sexual text messages, the women said.

They also described Michael’s allegedly disparaging and sexual speech toward women, including once on a hot mic. Other accusations included a team executive telling women to wear revealing clothing and flirt with suite holders.

“We all tolerated it because we knew if we complained—and they reminded us of this—there were 1,000 people out there who would take our job in a heartbeat,” said Emily Applegate, the only woman to speak on the record.

In a statement Friday, majority team owner Dan Snyder apologized on behalf of the team, decrying the behavior and vowing to set higher standards. He has hired a Washington firm to address the accusations and review team policies and culture.

Earlier in the week, the franchise announced it would drop the 87-year-old name “Redskins” and its Indian head logo, which many saw as a slur against Native Americans. Increasing pressure from corporate sponsors finally pushed Snyder to make the change after resisting for years. —Sharon Dierberger

Facebook/Matthew Paul Turner Facebook/Matthew Paul Turner Matthew Paul Turner

Children’s author changes his story

Bestselling author Matthew Paul Turner, known for his children’s books When I Pray for You and When God Made You, revealed a surprising new chapter in his life last week. He announced on Facebook and Instagram he is gay and divorcing his wife.

Turner previously edited CCM magazine and has written several books for adults critiquing Christian fundamentalism. “Though my own faith evolved long ago to become LGBTQ+ affirming, my journey toward recognizing, accepting and embracing myself took much longer,” he said. He plans to continue writing for kids.

His wife, Jessica Turner, also a writer, posted she felt this is the right move for the family: “We have worked for more than a year on trying to make our marriage work, even in light of Matthew’s truth, but it wasn’t healthy or fair to us or our children.” The Nashville-based couple has three children. —S.D.

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Collin Garbarino

Collin is a correspondent and movie reviewer for WORLD. He is a World Journalism Institute, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Louisiana State University graduate, and he teaches at Houston Baptist University. Collin resides with his wife and four children in Sugar Land, Texas. Follow him on Twitter @collingarbarino.

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    Posted: Tue, 07/21/2020 05:27 pm

    Re: Competing visions of racial justice

    WOW - lots of stuff I never knew.

    Does the mainstream media report what these people are thinking? Or are only certain people listening in to this CRAZY stuff. 


  • Evie
    Posted: Tue, 07/21/2020 08:29 pm

    What is "Matthew's truth"?? Is it different from the Truth? How can any marriage or any relationship "work" if all participants have their own so-called truth? Very sad but also nonsensical.

  • RC
    Posted: Wed, 07/22/2020 09:38 am

    You are absolutely correct!  The fact that the ex-wife misuses the word “truth” does not change the reality that she sees Matthew as too crazy to be around their children. That is why they are divorcing. The only way LGBTQ people can live with themselves is to misuse the word “truth”.  It would be too much to see that they are really living a lie.

  • Big Jim
    Posted: Tue, 07/21/2020 09:37 pm

    Suggested new name for the (old) Redskins: the Predators  ;-)

  •  Peter Allen's picture
    Peter Allen
    Posted: Thu, 07/23/2020 11:25 am

    Gays (in reality I suspect most all bisexual) do not understand heterosexuals can't even concieve of committing homosexual acts.  If even for the sake of having children,  appearances,  or whatever other reasons they were formerly in a male female marriage.  Being bisexual implies you have a choice.  He made a choice to give into his animal brain.  The fallen part of us we ALL struggle with as we say no to affairs,  polygamy.  Divorce and remarriage (serial polygamy).  All the things that part of all of us wants.  Following Christ is a call to die to these desires.  Not to change our theology to live for the animal side that constantly pulls on ALL of us, each in a different way.  Live by the Spirit in freedom.    Freedom to live according to our original design. As God created...Male and Female. 

  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 07/24/2020 12:56 am

    Well said, Mr. Allen.