Recently around these parts of the net, there was some confusion about the concept of race-realism and racial moderatism and whether or not those things are unChristian or even anti-Christian. I will cede that material reductionism of any sort is unChristian because, we as Christianfolk believe in transcendance and in a higher order above the created one. To reduce any group of man to mere biology lies about God and denies the power of Grace. That being said, even though we aspire towards the higher order, we still are creatures living within the created order and we have to deal with the complications that entail.
A while back, Thomas Fleming wrote an article on the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin Case.
Within the comment thread, commenter Gilbert Jacobi talks about his bleak situation:
The Trayvon Martin story touches me in many ways. Some background: I live (have lived all my life) in an all black neighborhood. By “all black”, I mean that when I go outside my door, I see nothing but African Americans. There could be no Trayvon Martin situation here, because my world is all Trayvon all the time. In fact, my situation is almost a mirror image of the one he was in; one could be forgiven for wondering (and cops have often asked me) what a lone, grizzled white guy is up to in a place where he seemingly doesn’t belong. But, as I’ve learned when I try to bring up my unique vantage point to make an observation on race relations, white liberals reject my experience as merely anecdotal, and as for racists, they won’t trust anyone who deals with blacks. I straddle the grey area, so to speak, between the white and black worlds.
Now the Martin shooting illustrates at least two of the problems that confront me on a daily basis: how to prepare for defense; and how to read the signs of a situation about to explode.
To carry or not to carry, that is the question that has always bedeviled me; without divulging whether I do or don’t go about armed, let’s suppose I am carrying a gun – am I not more likely to use it? Here is the conundrum as I see it: whites who go armed in all-white or nearly all-white localities actually have little need for the gun, but seem more prone to using it when they feel threatened; whereas a white in my situation has so many threatening or potentially threatening situations to deal with, a shooting seems almost inevitable. But since escape after a shooting, when the streets for literally miles in any direction are black territory, would be perilous, and simply ducking into one’s house is to lead the danger straight to one’s family, this militates against shooting. Hence, a gun seems to be almost useless in this context.
On the second point, if the instant mobs forming over Martin are any indication, how much longer can I survive, surrounded by people who may explode in anti-white violence at any moment? Not for the first time, the analogy with those European Jews who continued to feel safe even as the Nazis drew up plans for their extermination suggests itself. I don’t know how much of the Holocaust story is true and how much may be laid to Zionist propaganda, but the Wannsee Conference is factual, and if it can be imagined, it is a long way toward happening. I’ve never had any trouble imagining myself in the scene from the Pawnbroker where Rod Steiger’s family is scooped up and bundled off for the camps in the middle of an idyllic country picnic. And I have to say I thoroughly disagree with Pat Buchanan’s statement, in his current article, that Martin “had a right to be enraged” with Zimmerman. When blacks account for 85% of violent interracial crime – for example, raping whites (women AND MEN!) at a rate of 17 to one over white on black rape – (see The Color Of Crime) whites must respond accordingly, and blacks must accept these consequences. As I always say, the formula black power advocates chant: “No justice, no peace!”, has it exactly backwards. Those who will not live in peace, can expect scant justice.
That said, Zimmerman, let’s say, may not have handled the situation well. But how many white people have the opportunity I have, to hone the assessment skills necessary for these incidents? Because of where I live, I’ve become adept at quickly sizing up the intent, capability and intangibles involved in a black/white confrontation. This takes years, constant practice, steady nerves, faith in God, and perhaps a dash of leftover youthful romantic illusion, not necessarily in that order.
Finally, the bigots and race-haters can certainly be stupid, but they have one thing right. The onus is on blacks to prove they can be trusted.
In response to this comment, frequent commenter and Louisiana Catholic, Robert M. Peters has this to say to Jacobi:
“This takes years, constant practice, steady nerves, faith in God, and perhaps a dash of leftover youthful romantic illusion, not necessarily in that order.”
Ultimately it is about living creaturely in a created order, living “naturally” with the idiosyncrasies of other critters. The antithesis of living creaturely is to attempt to live according to the abstract principles of liberalism, such as “all men and races are equal,” gender is meaningless, every language can convey all things equally, etc.
Getting along with chickens was learning to live creaturely for me as a little boy growing up in Louisiana. It was dangerous to enter the chicken yard if you did not know your chickens: their moods, their gestures and their group dynamic. One had to live creaturely with cows, particularly if there were a bull around. It was not prudent to enter his domain if cows were “in heat.” One had to learn to sense that; they do not wear signs.
Learning to live creaturely is how we get along in families. My mother’s great grandmother was a Choctaw. Choctaw women were known for “enjoying” skinning captives alive, burning them, disemboweling them, etc. From time to time, when I came home from college, my father would warn as I came in the door “Your mama’s in a Choctaw mood.” That meant that my “button pushing,” often but not always unintended, could bring disharmony to the household. I would be held accountable for the disharmony although it was my mother’s Choctaw mood.
Learning to live, really live, and work among blacks takes the same creaturely awareness. The same is, however, true in the “redneck” community in which I am embedded and which is, in part, embedded in me. If one walks into a bar, just like walking into the chicken yard, one must “read” the clientele, particularly those one thinks to know. A misreading can lead to a fight, a broken body or a trip to the morgue.
Although I live in the country, we have an informal neighborhood watch. Most of us are armed to the teeth: conceal and carry, open carry, etc. Louisiana is defend your castle and defend your ground. None of us desire to kill or to be killed; but we are committed to defending not only our own home and hearth but also those of our neighbors.
Part of living creaturely is to develop an etiquette which allows one to hold the world at bay but to be prepared to extend charity. The stranger who might venture onto one’s front porch (Very few real ones left!) is a potential threat to the household; but he is also as our Lord has taught us potentially in need of our charity and hospitality. It is the mark of a civilized society to have developed the necessary rituals, i.e. lesson learned, internalized and lived out by having lived creaturely, to simultaneously hold the world at bay, i.e. keep the stranger from crossing the threshold of the household, while weighing the need to extending charity and hospitality and consequentially taking the risk to invite the stranger over the threshold. Southern ladies of my mother’s generation had mastered this important ritual and the associate skills. Liberalism has destroyed them and even made them taboo.
And that, in a nutshell is the Christian way of living within the created order amongst other men and creatures that differ from you. Race-realism, informed by Christianity not Darwinism or atheistic material-reductionism, is just a small part of living creaturely.