Thursday, October 19, 2017

Education and Cancerous Ideologies

Thursday, October 5, 2017, 17:00
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by Dr. Joe Renfro, EdD

There are many ideologies bombarding our world and our nation at this time in history with many of them being ultimately cancerous to our society with much of it taking place or related with to education. Much of this might develops from various quasi-truths that ultimately distort truth and develop into cancerous growths in a society.

When I was a little boy my family in the 1940s often after church went over to Asheville, North Carolina, to watch the Asheville Tourists play baseball, and I recall the great respect, dignity and honor that was displayed by all as the national anthem was played. Who have ever thought that the ball players at an athletic event would refuse to honor our nation and reject the pledge of allegiance and national anthem? Who would have thought athletes would be kneeling in protest because of their political ideology instead of praying to God thanking him for the blessings he has bestowed on this land?

America, unlike other nations, was founded on ideas, principles and values such as God-given liberty, freedom, individual rights, personal responsibility, and unity. A nation, however, built on ideas and principles cannot maintain its national identity nor survive if those principles are not taught, learned and reinforced. Schools today don’t teach reverence to the founding principles of our land through civics courses, and we are witnessing forces seeking to fragmentize the unitedness that made this nation great—a divide and conquer force that cancerously feeds upon itself.

Isaiah 5:20-23 (KJV) says: “ Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! … Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! There are forces at work often very much under the guise of good intentions that are very much at work through cancerous quasi-truths. These forces are attacking our culture through the so-called intellectual elites, who by half-educated political activism and quasi-truths seek to lead our land away from the founding principles that made our nation great. We need to see what is happening and not to be beguiled by it.

Dr. Ben Carson, who I deeply wanted to become the President of or nation because of his profound wisdom and intelligence united with his true Christian commitment, recently addressed the attack on our land by those who publicly protest against our land at sporting events, kneeling in protest during the national anthem.

He said: “Last week I saw a story about pre-adolescent players being drawn into the ‘take a knee’ protests,” Carson wrote. “Does anyone honestly believe that encouraging even our youth to believe they are victims of our society will actually help us come together?”

Carson in reference to “our youth” most probably was relating to an article, “8-Year-Olds Take a Knee to Protest National Anthem at Illinois Youth Football Game” where the football team under the influence of their coach league caused controversy, when they took a knee to protest the national anthem in emulation of protests started last year by Colin Kaepernick, a former pro-NFL bi-racial, football player. The coach added that one of his players replied saying, “Because black people are getting killed and nobody’s going to jail.” This is indoctrinating those 8 year-olds into great error under the flag of fighting against what they call “white supremacy,” an opinionated term that is but an accusation with negative undertones, true or false.

It is sad when anyone is killed, but the blacks whose deaths inspired the creation of the Black Lives Matter movement were killed by law enforcers merely doing their jobs, as the courts ruled.

In the Freddy Gray case three of the six officers were not white but part black, and neither was the community guard white who killed Trayvon Martin white, as he was Hispanic. The fact that three of the six officers charged in Freddie Gray death are black ‘shows this is not about race’, said a family source from Freddy’s family. Plus, when arrested Freddy could scarcely walk, suggesting the injury that led to his death may have before his arrest. But quasi-truths can be created out of anything, and even the broken nose and bleeding cuts the community guard suffered are inadequate to many race baiters, although the court ruled the shooting of Trayvon Martin was in self-defense. Thus, however, the divisive Black Lives Matter was spawned—neglecting the fact it should be All Lives Matter.
Blacks make up about thirteen percent of the population in America, and yet about half the murders in our land are blacks that are killed by other blacks, responsible for near ninety percent of the murders of their own race. This is not the fault of our nation and should be no reason to disrespect our national anthem. (“ Rate of African American Unwed Mothers Soars to Seventy-Two Percent” –By Jesse Washington, Milwaukee Community Journal, November 8, 2010).

The article by the black journalist, Washington, brought out that “Seventy-two percent of black babies are born to unmarried mothers today, according to government statistics (at that time)… Children of unmarried mothers of any race are more likely to perform poorly in school, go to prison, use drugs, be poor as adults, and have their own children out of wedlock.”

Washington wrote an article published in that mentioned how that Dr. Natalie Carroll, an obstetrician practicing in Houston, encourages her patients to get married. “The girls don’t think they have to get married. I tell them children deserve a mama and a daddy. They really do,” Carroll said. The article went on to point ought “The black community’s seventy-two percent rate eclipses that of most other groups: seventeen percent of Asians, twenty-nine percent of whites, fifty-three percent of Hispanics and sixty-six percent of Native Americans were born to unwed mothers in 2008. The rate for the overall U.S. population was forty-one percent for unwed mothers at the time.

As I was thinking about these statistics I noticed the lowest percentage of single parent households were the Asians who are not white, and they excel all racial groupings academically. This, I think, is one reason that many black children often have difficulties excelling in the academic environment is family breakdown. The breakdown of the nuclear family in the black, Hispanic, and Native American communities seems to be much more the catalyst behind many of the problems many people of color might claim to suffer. The Asian are also people of color, and they excel all. No one, however, is protesting about the great need to build from the families, husbands and wives staying together to rear their children.

Colin Kaepernick, the professional football player, whose actions have sparked this attack on our country’s national anthem because of what he esteems to be the fault of this nation said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said, via NFL.com. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” Kaepernick is the victim of a quasi-truth. Yes, prejudice and biases have been part of American history and civilization, as it has of every nation, but the USA has done more to address such things than any nation earth, basically from the Christian vantage point that “All are created equal.”

America is not alone, however, as this protest movement has spawned students accusing institutions or individuals of what they call “racism” in other nations like England. The Dean of Oxford, Oriel College, over in England on Friday, September 22, 2017 made a very appropriate response to people who wished remove from the campus the bust of Cecil Rhodes, the great imperialist and the one who established the trust from which the scholarships that bear his name are funded to this day.

Oxford is the world’s second oldest extant university, and they provide countless scholarships to many promising Africans from countries that were once part of the British Empire and scholars from all over the world,

The whole response by the Dean is very strong and most important, and some of it, I wish to use to amplify what I think is just good common horse sense.

The Dean wrote: “ We’ve watched with horror at what has been happening across the pond from the University of Missouri to the University of Virginia and even to revered institutions like Harvard and Yale: the “safe spaces”; the blacklivesmatter; the creeping cultural relativism; the stifling political correctness; what Allan Bloom rightly called “the closing of the American mind”. At Oxford however, we will always prefer facts and free, open debate to petty grievance-mongering, identity politics and empty sloganeering. The day we cease to do so is the day we lose the right to call ourselves the world’s greatest university…

We are well used to seeing undergraduates – or, in your case – postgraduates, making idiots of themselves. Just don’t expect us to indulge your idiocy, let alone genuflect before it. You may be black – “BME” as the grisly modern terminology has it – but we are colour blind. We have been educating gifted undergraduates from our former colonies, our Empire, our Commonwealth and beyond for many generations. We do not discriminate over sex, race, colour or creed. We do, however, discriminate according to intellect.

That means, inter alia, that when our undergrads or postgrads come up with fatuous ideas, we don’t pat them on the back, give them a red rosette and say: “Ooh, you’re black and you come from South Africa. What a clever chap you are!” No. We prefer to see the quality of those ideas tested in the crucible of public debate. That’s another key part of the Oxford intellectual tradition you see: you can argue any damn thing you like but you need to be able to justify it with facts and logic – otherwise your idea is worthless.

This ludicrous notion you have that a bronze statue of Cecil Rhodes should be removed from Oriel College, because it’s symbolic of “institutional racism” and “white slavery”… Well even if it is – which we dispute – so bloody what? Any undergraduate so feeble-minded that they can’t pass a bronze statue without having their “safe space” violated really does not deserve to be here.”

We have numerous cancerous ideologies at work in our land, but I propose that -if and as – this movement started by Colin Kaepernick continues to unfold the real losers can well be our nation in such a way it might damage the great progress that we have made in seeking to develop equal rights for all—not just minorities or people of color, as we all are some color.

We need to get beyond complaining and focus on that eternal unity in Christ expressed by the Apostle Paul when he wrote in Galatians 3:28 (KJV) that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” Here is the answer to whatever civil rights problems might be., and concerned people should commit themselves more to kneel in prayer, rather than to kneel in protest over some ideological quasi-truth that can help to form cancerous ideologies doing way more harm than good.

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