This past week the Fraternal Order of Police issued a report on the skyrocketing murder rates in urban settings across the United States. The report focused specifically on cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C., which have all experienced exponential increases in homicides compared to the same time last year.
Murders in our nation’s capital, for example, are up 35% as of May 25, 2021. Philadelphia has increased 40%. Minneapolis is up 56%. And Portland takes the brass ring coming in at a stunning 800% increase so far this year.
Now, one might rightly ask, what has led to all this bloodletting. Why are people dropping like flies on our nation’s streets? How is it that American cities have come to be known more for their death rates than their restaurants and sports teams?
Well, in a word, here’s why — consequences. Ideas always have consequences. Bad ideas will always bring bad results.
Consider exhibit A in this week’s scramble for the worst thinking in the media.
On May 26, Marc Lamont Hill, host of BET’s Black News Tonight, interviewed Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Mr. Rufo believes it’s a mistake to teach our nation’s progeny the racially divisive ideology of critical race theory. More specifically, he speaks out against the blatant racism of teaching our kids that “whiteness is all negative.”
Mr. Hill disagreed. Apparently of the opinion that “whiteness is all negative,” he pressed Mr. Rufo to name one thing he likes about being White. “If whiteness isn’t a negative thing … name something that you believe is positive about being white.” Mr. Hill then proceeded to argue that our nation’s schools “need” critical race theory to “expose” the evils that “whiteness” imposes on Black people in America.
So, there you have it. The winner of this week’s prize for judging people by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character, goes to Marc Lamont Hill.
In my recent book, “Grow Up! Life Isn’t Safe, but It’s Good,” I offer this. “Our identity isn’t found in race or gender. It isn’t found in personal grievances or contrived government categories. As Saint Paul told the first century Church, we are neither ‘barbarian, Scythian,’ but we are human beings, and selfless unity rather than self-centered demands must be our top priority and defining reality.”
In the earliest days of the church, “all the believers were together and had everything in common.” (Acts 2:44) They cared a great deal about unity and care very little about diversity. Christ was the focus, not their race. The assembly included “men and women, Jews and Gentiles, slave and free.” All these people were from various socioeconomic backgrounds, nationalities, races and ethnic groups.
There was clearly every potential for them to focus on their differences and what divided them. They could have started talking about diversity and multiculturalism. They could have started lecturing each other about critical race theory and intersectionality. They could have focused on how one group was privileged at the expense of another. But we hear none of that.
Because the first church understood the First Thing, the Body was more important than the individual. Confession was more important than their complaints. Unity was more important than diversity. They sold what they had and gave it to others, not because they were socialists but because of their Savior. They didn’t give of their wealth because they thought everyone deserved their fair share. They gave all they had because they knew that no one, themselves included, deserved anything!
Bottom line, the first-century church changed the world not by focusing on color but rather by focusing on character, their own, and more importantly, on that of Christ. They knew it was about their sin and not the system. And as a result, people like a Pharisee named Saul started loving people rather than killing them.
Pundits like Marc Lamont Hill do great harm. Their ideas have consequences. Their thinking is an ideological cancer that consumes our country’s soul and corrupts our nation’s cities. We see the results of their agenda playing out in the streets on which we drive and in the neighborhoods in which we live. Division. Resentment. Victimization, and Vengeance. Pretending to call people together, they persist in driving them apart. Railing against racists, they foment racism. Claiming to be for equality, they now argue that those who have less melanin are actually “less than” equal.
The result? Blood flows, the death toll rises, and Philadelphia becomes a city of racial hate rather than brotherly love, while Minneapolis begins to look more and more like Mogadishu.
“And the Lord said, ‘What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground’” (Gen. 4:10)
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery) and, most recently, “Grow Up: Life Isn’t Safe, But It’s Good” (Regnery, 2021).