The Monumental Problem
Hashtag Activism and Covert Racism
We all wish we could have been there. To sit on Rosa’s bus. To listen to Martin’s dream. To rally with Churchill against the Third Reich. To go to war with the women’s suffrage movement.
We imagine our voices, however small, being engulfed in the sweet harmony of the generations that sang, “Let Freedom Ring!” Our immaculate selves (the ones that we can imagine being in those eras) are so unflinching, so outspoken, so courageous. They are men and women of conviction who have no choice but to be set ablaze by the sparks of oppression and injustice.
In our imaginings, public opinion wouldn’t stop us, busy lives and daily concerns play no factor — our chief concern is, “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24).
Yet, we do not live in those days, we are bound to our own. We do not face their horrors, we face ours. We are not there, we are here.
With the advent of social media, it is easier than ever to scold the dead for personal gain. Few things are simpler than to opportunistically spit on the graves of others to shine our own social standing.
It is easier to cry for Robert E. Lee to fall and for Confederate flags to burn (and gain a following in the process) than to decry the politically incorrect evils that are celebrated by our culture. It is easier to join the masses than to stand alone. When the need of the hour requires one to expose their back to the hose of public opinion, the masses take their signs and go home.
Historically, speaking against the spirit of the age has social costs. Past struggles were just that, struggles. Real courage and conviction were required. What was vital to them in their time is now needed of us in ours. The racial monument that must come down in our day is heavier than stone and threatens those who cannot protest. Removing it will involve more sacrifice than hashtag activism.
Throwing Stones, August 2017
Many are throwing stones. This is not an indictment against all who would do so, because some stones need to be thrown at ideological wolves.
When confronted with the historic enshrinement of Southerners who stood for causes that, among other things, furthered injustice, inequality, and oppression, many grab for smooth stones to hurl at the giant. And this uncircumcised Philistine of racism openly defies the image of God on display in all of Adam’s children. There are not enough voices in America to cry out against racial supremacy.
But when we consider the elephant in the room, the one who will throw stones back, the one who will reprimand us for our lack of political correctness, the one who, if you fight against her, will lose you Facebook friends and followers on Twitter, we too often opt for silence. We tend toward activism only when it is trending.
But the world needs a diverse people who stand side by side with one another while holding the book, decrying popular — and unpopular — evils, and pointing to the most popular — and unpopular — figure the world has ever seen: Jesus Christ.
Take This Monument Down
Without further ado, the monument that must come down is the one hoisted by Margaret Sanger years ago: abortion.
I used to roll my eyes when someone would post articles about abortion. As a black man, it seemed like a distant problem from me and the community. Then it wasn’t.
I remember feeling asphyxiated as I read and studied. The institution has millions and millions of racial skeletons in its closet. When Satan’s spell is finally broken, the abortion clinic will be held in the same infamy as lynching ropes, metal shackles, and slave ships. If not in this life, then most certainly in the next.
The blindness staggers. Cries of racism can be heard at every turn and yet a great silence ensues concerning a multimillion dollar company (Planned Parenthood) capitalizing off of dead black babies? Hmm . . .
It has roots in a racist eugenics program called The Negro Project, check. Sanger desired to limit the population of the “feeble minded” and spoke at a KKK rally, check. Most abortion clinics are in disenfranchised, minority communities, check.
And new minority skeletons are added every day.
Around 950 black children — each with ten fingers and ten toes — are devoured every single day. Forty every hour. Villainous men in hoods — or now without hoods — cannot accomplish the level of carnage that men in white coats inflict daily. No days off. No relenting in this evil institution. This historic relic, this monument to racial supremacy and eugenics, needs to fall.
And we must call for it to fall. We detest racial supremacy in all forms — especially against the most vulnerable minority population on the planet. Our Facebook statuses cannot be filled with tons of outrage over a group of whites hating blacks in Charlottesville, while never saying anything about the abortion clinic down the street that dismembers minority children.
As Ismael Hernandez rightfully said, “Past racists snatched black babies from their mother’s arms and sold them into slavery. Today they snatch them from their mother’s womb and throw them in the garbage.”
If, knowing the inconvenient truth about abortion, we bury our heads in the sand and pretend the lion isn’t devouring our children, God calls us weak and holds us accountable. Proverbs 24:10–12,
If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?
The day of adversity is here — not the yesterday of adversity. We can’t fight their battles, but we can fight our own. We all know what is going on. He who watches our souls knows we know it, and he will hold us accountable.
This Little Light of Mine
Christians should never have to stand alone against wickedness in culture. They stand as one people.
I pray for the day when the church in the West will mobilize. I pray for the day when those who love God and know his word lead movements of righteousness. A day when jumping on the bandwagon of secular movements will be over, and Christians will stand on their own two feet before the world’s evils and call all men everywhere to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
A day when the gospel cannot be mistaken for “pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities,” caring only about the soul without regard to the body. A day when people of the text will not survey Twitter feeds to know which evil is okay to fight, but will unleash God’s word amidst Adam’s fallen children who swim in racism, prejudice, and selfishness, passing their days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another (Titus 3:3).
A day when the people of God will share Facebook posts denouncing the culture’s darling evils and extend the hope of the gospel to them afterwards. A day when we will stop hijacking the deep wickedness of our day to post things about it to prop up our own righteousness before our virtual friends, rather than bringing the ax of God’s word to bear that men might bow before the cross.
And the good news is that the church is the body of Christ. His kingdom is spreading and universal righteousness is racing towards us. A day is coming when swamps of bigotry and murder will be flooded with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).
With two eyes set fully upon that coming day, the glorious King of that day, courageously speak, act, and love as his ambassadors, for we are his body.