Do We Really Have the Freedom to Choose?

(Allen Shepherd) #166

So am I. Amazing response


Well, we’re still friends…I don’t give up on people easily.

See, her son was also killed—burned in a car accident—and she was understandably defending against her own pain.

But thank you and Allen for normal feedback!


Ya think?

Naw…couldn’t be that… :wink:

(Harry Allen) #169

Thanks, @ajshep.

You said:

In response:

What makes you think I believe that all white people practice white supremacy?

Put another way, quote me: Find the statement, or statements, where I say, or otherwise indicate, this.

You said:

In response:

How do you know this?

You said:

In response:

How many are there, among the rest?

You said:

In response:

Quote. Me.

Find the statement, or statements, where I say, or otherwise indicate, this.

You said:

In response:

No such thing as “Black racism” exists.

Racism Is White Supremacy. It’s the only form of “race-ism” that, if you will, “leaps from the conceptual, into the practical.” It’s the only kind that all other people have to “steer around.”

If you’re white, you have to be either tremendously dishonest, self-absorbed, unobservant, deceitful, or all of the above to really say anything else. That Racism Is White Supremacy is an objectively uncontroversial statement. It may prick, a bit, to hear it on a gentle weekday afternoon among friends. But I’m not saying anything that is untrue. This is, to quote one of the white guys you said you were so crazy about, self-evident.

You said:

In response:

See Aamer Rahman’s comments, below:


(Harry Allen) #170

Thanks, @Cassie.

You said:

In response:

Please, Cassie: What is your source for this statement?


In heaven there will be no color line; for all will be as white as Christ himself. Let us thank God that we can be members of the royal family.

—Ellen White, The Gospel Herald, March 1, 1901, para. 20.

If anyone has evidence that this is spurious, or a misquote, I will be glad to stand corrected. Thanks.

(I would be thankful if it is spurious, actually.)


@harryallen. Nope. It’s real:

Talk given by Mrs. E. G. White to the church for the colored in Vicksburg, Sabbath, March 16, 1901:


I’ve walked the Civil War battlegrounds in Vicksburg, and that is the last thing I’d want to hear if I were in that audience.

I’ve commenced shaking all over…again…gonna take my leave for awhile…

(Frankmer7) #173

Just hypothetically… how would sheep safely graze forevermore if the Hitlers, Stalins, Maos, Putins, Idi Amins, Pol Pots, colonial slave traders, human sex traffickers, child abusers, religionists who perpetuated systems of oppression, etc., of this world were to populate the kingdom of God in the age to come?

The biblical message is saying that it is appointed for man once to die, and then the judgement. And, that judgement is good news for the abused, the oppressed, the powerless, and the weak, because it is saying that God won’t let that happen to them again. And that’s because no one will be there who remained unapologetically on that course during this present age, and the course of their own lives. IOW, evil has a shelf life.

This is what the overall message of Revelation is, God will vindicate those who are oppressed. The lake of fire may just be a symbol for the idea that evil will be no more… but that doesn’t take away from the reality that it, and all who refused to turn from such a course, will truly be no more. Then, sheep may safely graze for good!



(Harry Allen) #174

Thanks, @Cassie.

I asked you, “Why did your parents behave in this way?”

You said:

In response:

Based on your description of them, your parents appeared to have been very, even deeply troubled. But why did this lead to them picking on Black people?

Your roommate said that “they were afraid.” But of what were they afraid, and why?

I asked you, “Why did you speak this way?”

You said:

In response:

When do these attitudes “come out”?

Are the the things you express ideas that you may possibly deeply believe to be true?

Is your response of sorrow, and/or embarrassment, because you deeply believe them?

Or is it sorrow, and/or embarrassment, over the fact that you said them?

If you don’t believe them, why do you say them?

I asked you, “Where were you?”

You said:

In response:

Clearly, you were in a very, deeply troubled place, like your parents, and/or perhaps because of them.

I wonder what all of this has to do with racism, though.

In other words, what common experience did all of you, as family members, share, and why did this make you pre-disposed to mistreat non-white people?

Also, what wider, larger hypothesis might one then form, based on this, if any, about the existence of white supremacy?

I asked you, re: racism at your son’s school, “Why, if so, did you expect something else?”

You said:

In response:


But this sounds like you should expect the racism that you saw at the school.

You said:

In response:

I disagree, and strongly.

Christianity is amazing. Christ would have never piloted a slave ship, or run a plantation, or put on a hood, or lived in a segregated—officially or de facto—neighborhood.

Christianity isn’t rotten. But a lot of white people are. And many seem to trade the “kick” they would get from being Christian for the one they get from practicing racism.

What I share with you, on this issue, however, is this: I don’t call myself a “Christian,” either, or a “Seventh-day Adventist.”

When asked, I always say, “I’m trying to become one.”

You said:

In response:

I try to avoid talking about conceptual processes evidentially; e.g., what other people “think” or “comprehend.” (@ajshep does this continuously, and it’s a huge time-waster, though I strongly suspect that this is intentional on his part.)

But while I understand what I think you mean to convey, I think the problem is less that “this plague of racism is bigger than any one person can comprehend, far less solve,” and more, “Why quit doing what works?”

Put another way, what incentive does any white person have to eliminate racism? I simply don’t see one. Indeed, I think that this is what Black people have yet to develop.

You said:

In response:

As a person who aspires to Christian ideals, I have to believe that this is true, even as I say what I have said: I believe white supremacy is the chief form of sin in the known universe.

I said, “One of the people who has most inspired me on these matters says, ‘Anything people can do, people can stop doing.’ In John 8:11, Jesus says, ‘Go, and sin no more.’ I refuse to accept the conclusion that we are bound to this tacky, trashy, terroristic relationship between white and non-white people. I strongly suspect any white person so resigned of practicing racism.”

You said:

In response:

It has not been enough. I suspect most white people know this about themselves. Most, though, become indignant at that suggestion, however.

You said:

In response:

We agree completely.

You said:

In response:

Everyone should pray these words, perhaps, or some version of them.

You said:

In response:


You said:

In response:

I believe that he can, too, but, clearly, it is not yet time.


(Harry Allen) #175

Thanks, @Cassie.

You said:

In response:

Thank you.

It’s such an odd, isolated little statement. I’d be curious if there are any other places where EGW expressed similar views, or ones that illuminate the idea, more broadly.

That is, on one hand, it could mean what I suspect many would take it to mean: “We’ll all be white (Caucasian) in Heaven, because Christ is Caucasian.”

But she could also mean that the sin which creates racism will not exist in Heaven because all there will have Christ’s character. (This would also be more in line with other things she has said and written.)

If so, EGW is speaking via metaphor, and using the word “white” the way many people, including myself, use the term when we sing, for example, “Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.”

Does any one else have any other ideas, or information, about this statement, and/or its meaning or context?

Thanks, again, @Cassie.



It wasn’t just black people, it was also Italians, Jews, Japanese, and to some extent gays. They were pretty much xenophobic across the board. (And we may even have some Jewish blood.)

Most real answer: I’m not sure. I’m not a psychologist, but I think maybe (?) it stemmed from self hatred that got projected outward onto scape goats (of which I was one). Fear of feeling their own bad feelings, then, perhaps.

Last/only time probably in the early 1980s, that I’m aware of. It was one time, one phrase. I never have used the N word as an epithet in my life. But my sons put the fear of God in me not to use any racial ‘nickname,’ ever, no matter how innocuous it might seem to the unenlighted mind (mine), in no uncertain terms. It is not “cutsie.” Lesson learned. Good for them.

Several years ago, I was reading and posting here on unconscious bias, similar material to this:

Studies of Unconscious Bias: Racism Not Always by Racists Most racism today is done by those who vow they are not racist.

Indeed, unless we intentionally go out of our way to learn about and become aware of our own bias, it is likely to spill out at the most inopportune time, like during a stressful traffic stop (in the case of a law enforcement officer) or during a medical emergency in the ER. As powell observed, “when there’s tension between conscious and unconscious drives, the unconscious usually wins.”

The good news is that it doesn’t have to. We just have to learn to become aware and be willing to acknowledge our own biases and then consciously override them. Denial and professed racial color-blindness only makes things worse.

Implicit racism, however, is not the opposite of explicit racism but a different, yet no less harmful, form of racism. Implicit racism, broadly defined, refers to an individual’s utilization of unconscious biases when making judgments about people from different racial and ethnic groups.

Unconscious Racism Revisited: Reflections on the Impact and Origins of "The Id, the Ego, and Equal Protection"

Charles R. Lawrence III
Professor of Law Georgetown University Law Center

Yes, it certainly has not been enough, on my part. Thank you Harry.

To all appearances, it would seem you’re right. I want to look through the eyes of faith, though.


You’re welcome, Harry.

Ellen White said we should put the best construction on the motives of others. I am not opposed to superimposing the metaphorical meaning on those words that you suggest, while simultaneously acknowledging that, to my mind, she possibly/probably didn’t supernaturally escape implicit racism.

Her heart was in the right place, but God wasn’t finished with her yet.

God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.


Allen, that is how Black people feel when white people are insensitive.

Things that seem innocuous to us can deeply wound, anger, or insult, even though we don’t mean for them to; we’re just unconscious.

God isn’t finished with us yet.

We can become more conscious, by the ever-flowing Grace of God.

And don’t we want to?

It’s a choice.


Racism in America and Implicit Bias


The New Jim Crow Documentary:


Detroit’s Mind-blowing Ghetto Areas:


Excellent question! It only works (maybe!) if the Sanctuary is about the People of God as a group, not as individuals.

I just went out on a huge limb there…rev up your chain saw! :slight_smile:

I. May. Be. Wrong!

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

Willing to do God’s will is a choice.

A FREE CHOICE. Anyone can do it at any time, under any and all circumstances.


Listen to what you just said, Allen:

Maybe I missed all that. Could you link me to that post?

I think our culture is living in the daily news cycles and has cultural amnesia and cultural blindness. We’re cut off from the past, and we’re cut off from the real present.

And most of all, we’re cut off from our own feelings.

Buried pain doesn’t go away. Listen to the rap music Harry posted to me. The emotional volume is so loud because people aren’t listening.

Please read about implicit racism; watch my video.

Please read about The New Jim Crow; watch my video.

Please watch my video of the devastated streets of Detroit.

The curse does not causeless come.

Thanks for considering.



So glad they did, Sirje! I’m thankful for your sake, and…we’re the richer for it. :heart:

Do you remember that?


I think people’s feelings are shut down, Harry. They operate from the neck up. There’s a huge amount of personal emotional backlog that most all of us have to process, and that we avoid. Nobody ever taught us how to process emotions; they just build up and we either go numb, or we explode and act out, project it onto others.

The cultural stuff, on top of all that, is just nearly impossible to face for most all of us. We’re lost in our own seemingly insurmountable problems, and the stagnant ruts of our minds that we mistake for an identity…

But that is not to say there is not a military/industrial/prison complex run by sociopaths that is sucking the life out of this culture, and specifically Black culture. It is evil beyond words.

That is a God-sized problem.

I don’t think white people get to tell Blacks to bear their own cross and buck up, be good Christians, fit in.

The cultural situation is outrageous. You know this far better than I, but I have some idea.

And whites are defensive, I agree. And, I’m sure you’re right, some are willfully blind.

About Christianity, well, this whole tragic history happened on Christianity’s watch. That’s unforgivable without a Jesus Christ. So, yes, Harry, I’m a Christian, but a poor representative of that majestic Lover of our souls.

There is so much that is yet unhealed.

I pray this can be accomplished peacefully, in Christ, our Lord.

I want to be part of the solution, with whatever influence I have, which seems not to be much.