NOTE: The following is protected by federal copyright law and is an excerpt from the book Marxianity written by Brannon Howse and is not to be published online. The footnotes that document the content in this article are found in the book Marxianity or the eBook.
“My object in life is to dethrone God and destroy capitalism.”
Thanks to many so-called evangelicals, this stated goal of Karl Marx is moving forward frighteningly well. Not overtly, of course. No, these people are, as I have pointed out elsewhere, ‘useful idiots.’ They’re helping the communist cause with motivations that are, at best, naïve.
One of the foremost opportunities for the Marxist agenda at the moment is the notion of “white privilege.” In the guise of routing out racism in all its forms, the white privilege movement is actually a tool of socialists, communists, and Marxists of any stripe. And as I pointed out in the last chapter, it is anti-American, anti-family, anti-Christian, anti-capitalist, pro-LGBTQ, and pro-gender neutrality. And the “evangelical” involvement with these causes is what I want to reveal to you in this chapter.
Victimized by Whiteness?
Matt Chandler has spoken at a number of conferences—most notably, the Together for the Gospel Conference, attended by 12,000 people. He has shared the platform with folks like Al Mohler and John MacArthur, and one of his recent themes is “white privilege.” With my TV audience, I’ve shared video clips of Chandler’s take on this issue, and his views are eye-opening, if a bit confusing at times. Here’s an example:
[quote] So, growing up, here’s what that [white privilege] looked like for me. When I sat in school growing up and learned about the history of the United States of America, I opened up our books; I had to write reports. I saw in those books and read the stories of and wrote reports on people who looked like me. And then when I turned on the television, by and large, . . . what I saw was people who looked like me. And then when I got magazines or when I got books or when I played with toys . . . what I saw repeatedly were people that looked like me. At almost any given moment, I was surrounded by people who looked almost just like me. And so, really, the entire experience of my life has been one of I can easily find people that look like me. Almost all my understanding of what made America great is because of efforts and the work ethic of people like me. And I come from a lower-class, Anglo family, and so my story is kind of the American dream, pulled myself up by my bootstraps, worked hard, learned to work hard for my daddy, yada, yada, yada, right? . . . which is fine. . . [end quote]
If he says that kind of upbringing is fine, then what is he complaining about? What does he have to lecture us about?
Oddly, he says that he came from a low-income family, yet he claims to benefit from white privilege. He has this natural toolbox he can pull from that non-white people don’t have. If he comes from a lower-income family, though, and had to pull himself up by his bootstraps, doesn’t that suggest he did not have some kind of white privilege? By admitting this, it seems that Chandler has just discredited his own argument.
These comments made me curious about Chandler’s personal background, so I did some research and found that he spent many of his growing-up years in Texas. He played football, and yet he claims to have been “surrounded by people” who look like him. I have a hard time believing, though, that none of his football teammates were non-white. No black or Hispanic players on a team in Texas? Doubtful. But even if his claim that everyone around him looked like him, what does that say about the diversity of environment his parents offered? It’s not difficult to introduce diversity intentionally into a child’s life if you consider that to be of value. Many times during my growing up years (roughly the same time period as Chandler since he and I are about the same age), my parents invited all kinds of people over for dinner after church so our family could get to know others from a variety of backgrounds and people groups.
Chandler cites magazines and toys as examples of his white privilege environment and that he learned in school about people who looked like him, but, again, reflecting on my upbringing gives the lie to his claim. My 1980s textbooks were not populated with only white guys. I studied black Americans like Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Booker T. Washington, Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, and Thurgood Marshall, a justice on the US Supreme Court. Then there is Christopher Columbus who was not an Anglo European. He was Italian. I also learned about Gandhi, and the Native Americans who helped out the Pilgrims. Or about Sacagawea who provided critical help to the Lewis and Clark Expedition. I could go on: Squanto, Jesse Owens—both native Americans. I didn’t even have to think very hard to come up with these examples, and I dare say my experience was not exceptional in being exposed to the work of these people. It’s hard to believe Matt Chandler wouldn’t have learned about any of them.
Frankly, I believe Chandler makes a lot of stuff up—or at least recounts scenarios that are a bit of a stretch. Here’s another excerpt from a video transcript that supports my contention:
[quote] I have grown up with this invisible kind of bag of privilege, this kind of invisible toolkit, that I can reach in there at any given moment and have this type of privilege that a lot of other brothers and sisters don’t have, don’t possess. And so what happens when you have my upbringing, and even my current reality, is that you’re forced to—if you’re not careful, if you don’t let the gospel kind of purify your heart, if you don’t lean on the Word of God to shape your understandings, you begin to judge harshly those who can’t quite get to where you are, and you will begin to see that getting people to where you are is what’s normative. [end quote]
I would ask: How has a guy from a low-income family ended up with an “invisible bag of privilege?” It just doesn’t follow. But what really galls me in discussions with people like this is that he throws in the gospel. This happens time and time again with folks like Chandler. They spew all kinds of liberalism, fallacies, liberal talking points, the philosophies-of-the-day that are not according to Christ, and then they justify the garbage by dropping in the word “gospel.” “The gospel” becomes a tagline that somehow offers credibility to all the false teachings, but the problem is that it doesn’t. What’s worse, not only does Chandler use the gospel to do something it doesn’t do, he claims that it won’t even do what it’s supposed to do. It apparently can’t overcome his “upbringing” or even his “current reality.”
He claims that we need to believe that it is normative to help other people get to where we are. But that is not normative. We live in a country where we have equal opportunity but not equal outcomes. Not everyone can get to the same level. The attempt to make it so that we do is called socialism.
What’s more, Chandler assumes that everyone can get to “our level.” There are those who can and those who can’t. But his contention that some can’t get there is itself a seriously biased way of thinking. Why would he assume that someone of a different people group couldn’t get where he is? The truth is that they can. They can work hard and potentially even surpass Chandler.
It’s not normative to assume everyone can get to the same spot because not everyone starts with the same set of gifts or abilities. For instance, I’m five-foot-six. I cannot slam dunk a basketball and will never play for the NBA. I also don’t have the mathematical ability or skills to be an architect or an engineer. Since I was born with dyslexia, complex math is just not possible for me.
On the other hand, I have strengths in areas that some people don’t. Nothing says we all have to be the same. If you’re an engineer or an architect, I’ll never get to where you are. But at the same time, you may never want to sit in front of a bank of cameras and teach like I do. You would not want to speak to several thousand people. You would not want to do live radio, and you might claim you couldn’t because these accomplishments do not suit your skill set. Some people become extremely wealthy; it takes a certain skill set.
The United States offers equal opportunity, but there is no guarantee for equal outcome. We can certainly help people along their way even though not everyone will attain the same results. Yet, Chandler seems to want us to feel guilty for being who we are:
[end quote] So white privilege isn’t overt racism, right? Instead, it’s just this unique kind of experience of life in predominant culture . . . Growing up, throughout your history books, if you learned anything other than “white people built and made America great,” it was during the month of February, it was condensed, and it was kind of a millimeter of depth of really what other kind of ethnicities contributed to what’s now modern-day America. [end quote]
That’s 100 percent false. I’ve already outlined a number of non-whites most of us have studied who contributed to building this country. Chandler is making up his scenarios. Most of us growing up in his age bracket did not study an all-white-man history of America. Chandler seems to live in a parallel universe of some sort:
[quote] [W]hen you open up your newspaper or you grab a magazine, you’re gonna see Anglos portrayed mostly in a positive sense, right? If you go to buy your kids toys or go to buy them a little book, it’s gonna be pretty easy to just find kids that look like them on the cover. So, we don’t know what it’s like to have to look around Barnes & Noble for 15 minutes trying to find a book about a little girl growing up that looks like our little girl, or like a little boy growing up that looks like our little boy. We’ve never had to struggle with that. We [white people] don’t get anxious every time we open up a newspaper about how we’ll be portrayed. [end quote]
Really? Can he be serious that Anglos are typically portrayed positively in the news? I beg to differ. There has actually been a war on the white American male for the past half century and particularly if a white male happens to be a Christian. In fact, I would go so far as to say there has been a war on all men, regardless of their people group if they are conservative or Christians.
Then Chandler claims there’s an issue with books. Supposedly Barnes & Noble doesn’t offer books featuring kids that look like your kids unless you’re of white Anglo descent. That’s ludicrous, of course. Barnes & Noble and the publishers that supply the store provide a wide range of products for families who are white, Asian, black, Indian, Hispanic, and a host of others. To the contrary, it is increasingly hard to find books for conservative families who embrace traditional values.
The presence of ethnically diverse products is not simply a new innovation, either. As long ago as the early 1900s, manufacturers produced and sold black baby dolls, to site a classic example of “inclusivity.” And later during the 1980s Cabbage Patch Kids craze, the dolls were available in white, black, Asian, and Hispanic versions. It’s hard to believe Matt Chandler missed all that—but maybe not if he’s merely pandering to politically correct liberalism.
The news portrayals we really should be worrying about are Christians. I’ve had firsthand experience of how bad it can be. In 1996, I spoke in Chattanooga, Tennessee to what, at the time, was the largest school board meeting in the history of Hamilton County. More than 1,200 parents attended to hear my hour-long keynote. Yet, in the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times, I was described as an extremist. The papers compared me to the Ku Klux Klan and the blacklisting extremes of the 1950s. I was even likened to a terrorist with a gun in his belt by comparing me to Palestinian Liberation leader, Yasser Arafat—all because I was espousing “traditional” moral values.
Matt Chandler appears to believe we can’t even get away from this white privileged mess we’re in:
[quote] [I]t’s an invisible air that we breathe, the type of lens that we wear. So, what happens is, when things blow up, we can look at African Americans or Asians or Hispanics, and because of the lenses which we wear and how we’ve been shaped by this invisible force, we tend to expect “Why can’t they just...?”, “Why won’t they...?” And what we’re saying in that moment is we’re harshly judging and we’re expecting, if they would just look like us, if they would just do what we’ve done, then none of this would happen. And it’s a really kind of terrible judgmental place to sit. [end quote]
The irony, of course, is that he’s the one sitting in a judgmental place by assuming the rest of us blame non-whites for problems and wish “they would just look like us” and “do what we’ve done.” What’s really disturbing is that Chandler doesn’t seem to understand that he is promoting the ideology of socialism—including redistribution of wealth, class warfare, and race-baiting. He’s buying into the Marxist strategy of pitting people against each other.
The tactic dates back to the time of the Frankfurt School and its strategy to destroy the American male and replace a patriarchal society with a matriarchal society. Now, “white privilege” is masking term for socialism, feminism, and other sources of anti-Christian values. Hence, Chandler and his Village Church have become useful idiots.
Earlier, I mentioned Chandler’s participation in the White Privilege Educators Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, and it’s instructive to know something about others who were on the platform with him. Here’s a sample comment from a female panelist (names unknown; this was taken from an undercover video by ProgressivesToday.com):
[quote] Woman 1: Where critical race theory helps us is it says, okay, . . . you can’t just look at the face. Clarence Thomas is on the Supreme Court. Does he really replace Thurgood Marshall? . . . He’s an embarrassment and a disgrace to the memory of Thurgood Marshall, and if I met Clarence Thomas, I’d call him that to his face. . . . unfortunately, the president [Obama] is the face of global white privilege, too. Does having a black president change that? Has it changed that? Unfortunately, it hasn’t, has it? He ends up being the front man for the system. So instead of just saying, “Oh, we’re happy there’s a black face in the White House, who’s running the White House instead of just serving in the White House,” it’s like, no, the master’s house has now got a black face, but it’s still the master’s house. He works for the master of the system of white privilege. [end quote]
Notice what this woman is saying: white privilege is not about what color your skin is, because it doesn’t matter that you have Clarence Thomas, a black American, on the US Supreme Court. What matters is whether or not you comply with the leftist worldview, and since Clarence Thomas does not comply, he doesn’t measure up to their standards. Oddly, they don’t view having another black American on the Supreme Court as progress. Apparently, not even having a black president makes a difference. This speaker considers Barack Obama as merely the face of white privilege on a global scale—he wasn’t radical enough for them.
This reveals the true nature of the white privilege movement, and it’s not about racial equality. It’s not about the color of a person’s skin or the advancement of minority groups; it’s about the advancement of socialism and their form of Marxism. If your worldview is not Marxist, then you’ve imbibed white privilege.
Chandler also seems to have accepted the pejorative labels assigned to Christians by secularists. Consider, for example, the characterization of believers in this address at the White Privilege Educators Conference:
[quote] Male Speaker: So what do I mean by “Christian hegemony?” Very simply, I define it as the everyday, pervasive, deep-seated, and institutionalized dominance of Christian values, Christian institutions, leaders, and Christians as a group, primarily for the benefit of Christian ruling elites. So that’s very similar to how we might define racism or sexism or other systems of oppression. [end quote]
So, if you have Christian values and adhere to a Christian worldview, you are promoting a form of racism and white privilege. And it’s been “studied” to prove that the allegation is true:
[quote] Female Speaker: So, in this particular study, it showed that if you were more inclined to free-market capitalism, you had higher tendency of holding ethnocentric values. For me, capitalism is like the all-consuming thing: capitalism maintains white supremacy, white privilege, racism, sexism, patriarchy, heteronormativity. You name it—capitalism. [end quote]
So, apparently, if you’re a capitalist, you’re a racist.