Do I Matter to You?

Good discussion and Toyito is most rational. How many Black people or biracial people live in the US. I can’t remember, but I believe it is around 60 million. I see above a monstrous experience, and I hear there are 17 shootings of unarmed Black men in recent times getting press. These are narratives that lead citizens to be afraid both Black and white and agitate race conflict. There are probably more we don’t hear about (but in this atmosphere they would be). These are horrible and show need for reform and peaceful protest. But there has clearly been an over reaction that has hurt more Black people and destroyed lives. the main problem is corrupt local governments who ignore the poor with bad schools and accessibility, broken families because help tied to single mothers brought the obvious affect to any population… My opinion.

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Thanks for the quote. Would you be so kind to give me the reference?

Believe it or not I read your entire post lol I have a personal question, if you don’t mind…what race are you? You may have stated but I can’t recall. Some of the phrases You used in your last post , referring “white” people as outside your group Is why I’m asking. Also it’ll help me understand your point of view more clearly. Thank you.

Going back to my original post…I seek to have positive Interaction with everyone I meet. Whether I agree with them or not. If you’ve had bad experiences because of race then I truly feel for you and won’t minimize your experience. We can disagree on the how much racism impacts the every day life of African Americans and what the most effective solutions are but that does not mean that experiences aren’t real.

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we can disagree and still love as a family does. I disagree with your opinions, but I care about you as a son of God and a brother in the faith. This was my original dilema. Thanks for conversing. I plan to respond to your points in a later post, for now I just wanted to express the above.


I wasn’t going to say anything Allen, but I’m stumped as to why of all the words you could have chosen, the word “bad” came to mind, instead of something like “evil”?

See because when I think of the word bad, I’m thinking of a child who steals lollies from a store: What he did was bad.


I feel that “evil” is an appropriate word for slavery. I don’t understand how some people can take this evil thing lightly. (Not talking about Allen or anyone else here in particular).

I am fully convinced that people who practice/support slavery have something working “bellow an ideal level” in the brain. A component of character is certainly missing, and they don’t even perceive the flaw.


Thanks for your response, @truthisfreedom.

Much of what you say, below, sounds as though you may have read my responses, but did not consider their implications. :neutral_face:

I’m sure that this is my fault. I was probably not clear. Let’s walk through your responses, below.

This is incorrect.

What I have said, essentially, is that, if Black people are mistreated, one cannot say that “All lives matter” and be telling the truth.

The reason why is because people who matter are not mistreated.

This is the argument that the Black Lives Matter movement is, ultimately, making. It is, in fact, the thrust of their nominative affirmation: If Black people were to matter, they would not be mistreated.

For example, if Black people mattered, they would not be shot and killed by police when they present no mortal threat.

If Black people mattered, the police who committed such acts would not be told to take off six weeks of paid leave, then given back their badges, then their guns, and told to do it again.

To not be mistreated is the ultimate objective of the Black Lives Matter movement, because to matter is to not be mistreated.

Or, to state it positively, to matter is to be treated justly.

When I speak of Black Lives Matter, and the question whether Black lives actually do matter, it is in this manner that I am using the term.

The first problem is your modifier, “to me.”

The second problem is your other modifier, “to everyone else who cares about and for people.”

To say “Black Lives Matter,” then say, “Black Lives Matter to me,” is not to say the same thing.

If I put on rose-tinted sunglasses, then said, “Everything is rose-colored to me,” I would be making a true statement.

But if I said, “Everything is rose-colored,” I would not be.

(The same would be true if everyone else who cares about and for people put on rose-tinted sunglasses.)

In the first case, my statement would be a subjective one about my viewpoint: “Everything is rose-colored to me.”

In the second case, my statement would be an objective one, purportedly, about extant reality: “Everything is rose-colored.” This would be demonstrably false: The Empire State Building is not rose-colored.

But is your subjective statement—“All lives matter to me”—true?

If so, how would you prove that it is?

In other words, how would you show me, inarguably, that all lives, or people, matter to you?

Here’s the answer: The only credible thing that you could do to show that all lives (or people) matter to you is to keep all people from being mistreated.

That’s because people that don’t matter are mistreated.

If you think about it, this is the only thing that one can do, in this area, that falsifies competing statements.

Racism is a system of mistreatment. Arguably, racism, in the form of white supremacy, is the largest, most powerful system of mistreatment in the known universe.

If to matter is to not be mistreated, and if “all lives matter,” then, it is impossible, at the same time that “all lives matter,” to have a system of mistreatment, especially when that system is selective; e.g., when that system victimizes non-white people, but does not victimize white people, particularly given that the overwhelming majority of lives, or people, are non-white.

That is why I said that BLACK LIVES MATTER is a statement of human value and worth from God’s perspective. In other words, it is a statement of faith.

Some might say that it is aspirational; a statement of intent; a destination to be reached. If so, it is far more credible than “All Lives Matter,” which is typically uttered by white people as though it were a fait accompli.

Put another way, if your position is that the statement Black Lives Matter “cannot be firmly believed,” then on what basis are you saying that “All Lives Matter”?

What is “flexible truth and flexible fallacy”?

To your first question, it’s stealing, because that person has taken something, that is not theirs, without permission of the owner.

Indeed, this is partly why the Black Lives Matter movement would consider police brutality stealing; because, in the act, one person takes something from another person—her life, her health, her safety—without the permission of the owner.

To your second question, the only one who can negate the theft is the owner. He can do so when the penny is returned, before it is returned, or after it is returned.

Of course, when a police officer takes, say, Breonna Taylor’s life, there is no way for him to return it. So, the theft goes unacknowledged, unpaid, and unpunished.

If your question is, “If I make a bird call, does that momentarily make me a bird?”, the answer is no.

The reason why is that one cannot be a bird, and a human being, at the same time.

This is much akin to the idea that the following two statements cannot both be true at the same time :

  1. Racism exists.
  2. All lives matter.

As I said at the outset: If you think so, then, through my fault, yours, ours, and/or by other means, you are not grasping the core ideas of my proposal, or the contradictions within your own.



I think you’re right, though you get his name wrong: @Yoyito is clearly a rational person, and we’ve enjoyed a warm exchange; one pleasantly absent of the histrionics one often receives from other members of our fine collective.

Black people form about 14% of the U.S.'s approximately 328 million people; i.e., there are about 46 million Black people in the United States.

I don’t know what the first part of this statement means.

There may be 17 such shootings currently being covered. There may be more. There may be fewer.

This TIME magazine George Floyd cover lists about twice as many on its famed red border:

This darkly bitter Michael Vick-themed poster makes a more pressing claim:

Meanwhile, this poster purports to list every Black person killed by U.S. police over a five-and-a-half-year period, according to The Washington Post:

So, the actual number probably depends on what, exactly, one is counting, who is counting, how they’re counting, and starting when.

Arguably, the race conflict begins long before.

If you’re saying that these stories and incidents act as accelerants for the same—“gasoline on the fire”—I’d probably agree with you.

Yes: The stories of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, for example, were, initially, not being covered by national media. Most such killings are not.

Yes, and, possibly, more, depending on whether or not peaceful protest achieves desirable goals.

Of what kind?

I would say the main problem is sin, and the main problematic form of sin is racism.

Racism makes all of these other problems likely.

Thank you.


Thanks for the question, @Yoyito.

I’d be classified as “African-American” or Black" by most people, and, thus, non-white.

I may agree with every word of this paragraph!

I would like to clarify, though: I have had bad experiences because of race, because that’s the idea behind race: For non-white people to have bad experiences…or, rather, for their experiences to not matter as to their quality, as long as white supremacy remains dominant.

The first direct bad experience, of course, is to be classified as non-white. What is the purpose of such a thing?

It’s akin to when I asked you about being a minority: When, where, who, why, and how told you this, and even more, why did you believe them?

But it would be a mistake, one that more than a few white people have made, to think that my objection has to do solely, or even mostly, with how I’ve been directly treated.

Typically, participating in such conjecture then turns it into a game of, “Name Your Oppression,” where the white person deems that what you’ve gone through is “not that bad”; that Black people, here, have it pretty good, even compared, sometimes, to white people. (One of my previous interlocutors, @Arkdrey, was big on this point.)

Some even go so far to play this against the idea that, had Black people, here, been left in Africa, their ancestral homeland, they would likely, today, be dead from starvation, war, or disease. By being here, of course, they have mountain bikes and cell phones. (EDIT: Since originally writing this post, I’ve found that, true to his word, @ajshep has been peddling a philosophy of this sort.)

I consider all of this, like white supremacy itself, an exercise in crudity. You might say my first and primary objection to racism is based on the sheer principle of the thing. I would hope that this might be a sufficient reason for white members of God’s would-be army to also express their outrage, but, thus far, not yet.

I believe that this is true.

I would say the same!

I would add, as well, that, in many cases, your opinions are not just disagreeable, but demonstrably incorrect.

However, your caveat—“but I care about you as a son of God and a brother in the faith”—is one I share.

I hope that, from my very first response to you, this has been clear. None of this is “personal,” as such.

As I recall, you had a few, in the post to which I first responded. :slightly_smiling_face:

But, yes, certainly, this was a key one, here: How to let a person know they matter when one disagrees with them or their cause?

The answer varies from person to person, but there are core principles that repeat.

No, thank you!

I appreciate the good will of both actions.

God bless you, in kind!


"At this point, African Americans are the most wealthy and most free of Africans anywhere on the planet. "
Can you elaborate please ? This is hilarious on so many levels. You made my day. It’s 5:52 and it’s going to be a great day indeed.


A ranking of the nations that are more or less democratic in Africa is found at this site; 2019 ranking of democracies in Africa according to the EIU

The only nations in Africa that have any wealth are Nigeria (oil) and South Africa (gold and diamonds). They are not very free, and the wealth is controlled by a few.

Brazil is fairly free, but I don’t think its African population controls the wealth.

The choice was not intentional., I agree evil is a better word.

The irony of this situation is noteworthy. The ancestors of African-Americans were brought here as slaves, but at this point are the wealthiest freest of Africans on the planet. The slaves brought to Brazil have done fairly well also, but those taken to the Caribbean have not, and those that remind in Africa have suffered greatly with oppression by governments, war and disease. If you protest in Africa, you might not live to tell about it. But revolutions happen. Zimbabwe was a fairly rich country, but I don’t believe it has faired well.

Thanks, @ajshep.

Were one to take your conclusions seriously, one would have to agree that as @bvj_01 said, to be dragged from one’s ancestral homeland, and brought to the colonies where, for two-and-a-half centuries, one and their descendants would be abused socially, emotionally, physically and economically, while living with their abusers…is worth it if it raises your average income and gives you pro basketball.

So, here’s my first question: How did you perform this nifty calculus?

I’m serious. In other words, with what data, based on what series of charts, tables, conversions, and formulae did you compute that the mistreatment tens of millions of dehumanized, enslaved people and their descendants suffered was worth it, because out popped, I dunno…the Dance Theater of Harlem?

You know, while replying to your rancid screed, it hit me: I’ve never heard a single Black person say the following words: "When you think of everything we’ve gone through, as Black people, but look at where we are now, it was worth it."

Not. Once.

You, however were able to calculate the counter-factual in the time it took you to read Beverly Johnson’s post, wipe your lips, and type. Thumbs up, buddy.

About 80 years ago, over six million Jews were hanged, shot, gassed, starved, exposed to extremes of heat and cold, sexually exploited, experimented on, tortured, maimed, and otherwise brutalized until they died painful, miserable deaths.

Based on your ability to figure these matters out, what U.S. national attainment would even the score for these, the sons and daughters of Abraham?

Would, say, getting their own country in the Middle East?

How about decades of major awards and recognition in education, the arts, and the sciences?

How about high levels of representation and investment in America’s capital markets: finance, insurance, and real estate?

Would these do it? Would these make you say, in your jocular way, index finger aloft, “There is another aspect of this that has to be mentioned…” regarding the Holocaust?

Go ahead and answer me. I mean, the principle is the same as what you’ve said, above, correct? Everything that happened to them, above, happened to Black people (save the Zyklon B, of course).

Write me back, and explain why, collectively, the prosperous careers of Albert Einstein, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the Beastie Boys make the horrors of the Third Reich a relative wash.

You know, what’s putrid about this, first of all, is it’s all just so old and creaky. No one modern, or educated, talks this way any more. This sounds like the conventional wisdom white people would express before anyone had, say, seen Roots, nearly 45 years ago; just really ancient reckoning, bordering on myths of “happy slaves.”

Secondly, you’re so consistently on the wrong side of race issues, that it makes me wonder if you have a double life. Like, does your congregation, and do your peers at the conference office, know you have these opinions? Shouldn’t they, given that you have contact with Black people, and are, in part, responsible for their spiritual instruction?

I don’t like to make my responses personal. They are always about the ideas, and my responses to the ideas. That’s why I don’t hold “grudges,” here. When I respond to a post, I do so, based on the post, not the last post, earlier posts, or even something someone said, earlier in the same post; something that I thought was sucky.

But your ideas about race are so consistently unhinged, and you are, ironically, for a pastor, so absolutely unrepentant about this that, in your case, if feels like due diligence.

A suggestion: Don’t ever chime in with this piece of “wisdom” again.

If you see a Black person lamenting their ancestral fate, or its loss, empathize. Say something like this:

“That was one of the worst things any human beings could have done to other ones.”



“I don’t know how. But I know that, in his goodness, God is going to wreak vengeance on the wrongdoers, and give justice to those who were wronged.”

Read from Romans 12:19.


Here’s why:

@bvj_01, as one of nearly 50 million Black people in the U.S., is probably reasonably aware of what Black people earn here, and of LeBron James.

If, despite this, she still has reason to lament The Maafa, hearing you reciting her benefits under white supremacy is probably not going to ease her discomfort.

Does that make sense?



Thank you, Harry, for your kind words.

I have thought more about the comparison to sexism. If someone sees anti-racism as part of the various emancipatory movements (emancipation of women, of Jews, of workers etc.), then there are overlapping points. Furthermore, there is also a variety of views about the degree of oppression in these cases. It really matters if someone has a bird eye’s view (considering many factors), someone’s world view (theological one included), biography and experiences etc.


Thanks for the reply and the warning.

It appears the quote may have come from a conservative site called “Fee”. Not sure.
Here is an article from Intellifact, a non partisan fact checking org:
Is BLM Marxist?

I’m not worried about being sucked up into the death vacuum of leftist ideology. The issue here seems to me that those making these accusations are so far right that any movement to the left is viewed as full on communist. When you are standing out in the cornfield along the right side of the road, you have to climb the right-of-way fence, cross the barrow ditch, the right shoulder and then the right lane to finally find the center line of the highway.
I don’t have any answers. Just questions. This polarization is getting nowhere. We really need to rise above the name-calling, the labeling, and the vilification of people we disagree with. Too many political leaders “win” by just these actions.
What if we asked the question, “What does the center line look like?” What can everyone agree on what the middle of the road IS?


(I am curious :thinking: to see what kind of comments (if any… :roll_eyes: ) will this post trigger…)


It does get to the heart of the delusions though. If BLM then all lives will matter. Until then there will continue to be abuse by the police powers of the state. I find it funny to see some comments about how more whites are shot by police. Do people not realize that the same policies that allow the capricious murder of blacks also allows it to go unchallenged when others are also murdered. I would think we should all be in favor of some restrictions on police powers.

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Good post.
I think there’s some truth there… I wonder about the fear factor here though. Do you think there may be people worried that to accept this requires losing something?
We’re Christians. Could there be a call to prayer, asking, “is it I?”

Excellent, insightful, difficult to answer question.
Thank you

Thanks for your kind words, @Kate.

I think that there are overlying points.

Also, I think the question of “the degree of oppression” is an important one to consider. It’s come up in my exchanges with @Timo.

For example, it did so, here, two years ago:

Again: In a discussion about racism, generated by the blog post to which comments are responses, I see @Timo’s 90º turns toward discourses on sexism as deflective and evasive. (You do not say this, but do speak about viewing his responses on race—which you characterize as “almost without empathy and violent with words”—as “a defense mechanism.”)

Is mine the correct response to this specific issue? I think so, but I am not sure. As I stated, @Timo has never replied to this argument, perhaps for the reasons you’ve suggested. Thus, I am deprived of an examiner.


Harry, I don’t prefer to talk about a Spectrumite with someone else. I prefer to (and did in the past) talk to someone instead of about someone. An explanation: My last post to you (# 103) was not about @Timo, but it was a general observation. If it wasn’t obvious, I apologize. I also saw that you invited him to the discussion. Please understand that I won’t respond to you regarding the things directly concerning @Timo.

Having said that, I am glad to discuss the issues, which you raised in your post, and how I see them. Would that be a valid alternative for you?

I agree with your points (a) and (b): Most humans are non-white females. And if sexism would be abolished, they would still be oppressed by racists. So they fight racism first.

There are two things that i don’t understand in your post and maybe you can clarify it.

  1. Why didn’t you mention that non-white females are, in addition to oppression by white males, also oppressed by non-white males? When I ask like this, do you see this as a racist question? Is it then better to use another word than “oppression” regarding sexism of non-white males to non-white females to avoid being insensitive to people that are oppressed for such a long time?
  2. Why did you answer the question about non-white people and sexism only regarding actions by non-white women? Aren’t non-white men also involved in the fight against sexism? And again, I agree with your order of importance for non-white people: racism first, then sexism.

In general, the shifting of a talk about racism to sexism by a white person could be a distraction. It could be a cover for “Get your house in order before we admit that we own your house.” That is not my intention.

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