This is an astonishingly good debate between Dr. William Lane Craig and Dr. Louise Antony. I’ve watched a lot of these debates between Christians and atheists and I’ve never discovered an atheist as bright as Dr. Antony. Although there are massive holes in her arguments (as one would expect from an atheist), she stated her case with intelligence, grace, and clarity, nonetheless.
I’ve noticed that the best-performing atheists in debates are always the people without the celebrity credentials. Presumably because they tend to be thoughtful academics who aren’t just out to add to their fame at all costs. As can be seen from Sam Harris in the last debate I posted, once you take celebrity atheists out of their comfort zone of repeating mindless and puerile chants against religion, they really have nothing left to say about anything.
It’s always enjoyable to see atheists who think they are so intellectually brilliant get destroyed by intelligent Christians. Manifestly, that is what occurred when Sam Harris brought a knife to an intellectual gun fight against the inimitable double-Ph.D., William Lane Craig. If you haven’t watched this already, load it up, get some popcorn and enjoy! This is better than a movie!
In my most recent article at the American Thinker, I made the argument that it is foolhardy for conservatives to play the liberal game of demographic politics regarding the most important office in the land. I highlighted the manifest incongruity of conservatives ardently championing a colorblind society while simultaneously supporting candidates based on — in small or large part — race. However, there are a few points about race that I need to clarify — since an article is not a book where there is more than enough space to expound on a point.
Color Consciousness Is Not Color Obsession
As I have argued several times before, I find the whole colorblind platform, which some conservatives relentlessly cling to, to be not only imprudent, but exceptionally malefic. The whole idea of colorblindness is a liberal formulation that conservatives have unwisely adopted as a critical piece of their official mantra regarding race. I believe, as argued in a previous piece, it is a desensitizing mechanism that blinds conservatives to the detrimental racial consequences of liberal policies.
Some argue that I misunderstand the conservative position regarding colorblindness. They argue that conservatives simply mean “not using race as a criterion for hiring, firing, or otherwise discriminating against people.” However, even this explanation of “colorblindness” makes little sense and betrays some negative racial tendencies. If a person has to willfully blind themselves to the color of a person’s skin in order to avoid discriminating against them, then such a person has racial issues they need to deal with. Race relations can never be rectified until color can be recognized, yet not be a hindrance to treating people with the respect that they are due.
I am a color-conscious individual, but I do not see race in everything. As a hard right-winger, I take the following positions on racial issues:
Against affirmative action
Against reparations for slavery
Reject the notion that there is a negative link between race and economics
Against illegal immigration
Reject the notion of an institutionally racist criminal justice system and believe that black crime is a result of the decline of the black family – caused by liberal welfare policies
Surprisingly, I hold all these positions without being colorblind. My ability to see color makes me understand how liberals have targeted minority communities with their destructive policies that addict people to the drug of government dependency and stifle the God-given, organic entrepreneurial spirit within all individuals.
What’s humorous is that conservatives who claim to be colorblind see race in more issues than I do – such as naively believing that if they can somehow nominate a magical minority candidate for the Republican ticket that conservatism will win.
Colorblindness and Martin Luther King’s Dream
Perhaps the most common argument against colorblindness is that it goes against Martin Luther King’s dream. This position is so preposterously false that it’s amazing it keeps being recited. Martin Luther King’s dream said absolutely nothing about wishing for a day in which all people would forget about the color of each others’ skins. To the contrary, he said, and I quote:
I have a dream that one day…right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
This says absolutely nothing about colorblindness. If anything, it fits nicely into my analysis of what constitutes the best race relations: acknowledging the differences between races, without those differences hindering race relations.
If the little white boy or girl has to blind themselves to the fact that the little black boy or girl is in fact black in order to hold hands with him or her, then Martin Luther King’s dream has NOT been fulfilled.
How do we know? Watch this clip:
Manifestly, arguing that Dr. King was colorblind is an utterly fallacious construct used to defend a demonstrably absurd theory on race.
Race Should Not Be a Dividing Mechanism
For most of the political issues du jour , race tends to be a sideshow. Regarding economics, we do not need disparate models for blacks and whites; we simply need economics that provide the best goods for the cheapest prices. That model is capitalism. Regardless of race, capitalism works for everyone who makes it work. The liberal attempt to make out as though capitalism is a “white man’s system” that can only work for a select few is preposterous. These liberals are mistaking capitalism with socialism. The difference between capitalism and socialism is that with capitalism you have a class system with room for upward and downward mobility dependent upon hard work and productivity; however, with socialism you have a class system with no room for upward and downward mobility – and it is wholly dependent on congenital fortuity. If you’re rich in a socialist system, you live large; however, if you’re poor, you’re trapped in poverty forever.
By calling for the oligarchic tyranny of socialism, liberals willfully harm blacks — given that average blacks tend to be poorer than average whites. Therefore, they are arguing for a system that perennially maintains blacks on the underclass of society with a few bread crumbs handed to them under the guise of equality, while the rich, white Manhattan limousine liberals continue to enjoy their wealth whilst feeling good about themselves.
The number one lie about race in America is that the capitalistic system is rigged against poor blacks and in favor of rich whites. To the contrary, only capitalism can save blacks from a life of food stamps and government cheese.
Race is a dividing mechanism merely because conservatives are allowing it to be — by keeping mum about important racial issues rather than aggressively fighting back with impenetrable arguments that demonstrate the malignancy of liberal policies and how alternative conservative solutions are better. And the conservatives who are making these important racial arguments, like the esteemed Heather MacDonald at the Manhattan Institute, are dutifully sidelined from mainstream conservatism.
Demographic Politics vs. Racial Public Policy Arguments
While I reject the notion that conservatives can ever stop liberals from lying about race, and I also reject that we must play demographic politics with liberals vis-à-vis the presidency and other positions, I am not arguing that conservatives should never engage in discussions on race. I am arguing that conservatives should not engage in the petty demographic politics that has become the liberal stock-in-trade. That’s the liberal demographic game that ought to be avoided.
Liberals can lie about race, but conservatives are partly to blame for the amount of people that believe those lies.
It does not take racial candidates to provide an atmosphere of progression for minorities. Conservatism – irrespective of who is signing the bills – delivers results whenever it is implemented. To play into liberal political games undercuts that fundamental and crucial selling point for conservatism. This point is also critical to the annihilation of the shibboleth that the malaise in the black community is a manifestation of “the [white] man” keeping blacks down.
Granted, blacks in the inner cities do need to hear from other black people about why conservatism is important – so is the case with Hispanics. Fortunately, there are enough articulate minority conservatives to get the job done. With the amount of seething hatred that has been stirred up against the apocryphal “man,” there needs to be a strong intra-community approach to breaking the intellectual manacles that liberals have locked on the minds of minorities. That notwithstanding, demographic politics (as described above) is not the way forward.
In contrast to demographic politics, racial public policy arguments are much more influential. Making the point that conservative policies (in education, health care, economics etc…) have salubrious effects on minority communities – and that liberal policies have disastrous results — is what I would refer to as a racial public policy argument. This is both acceptable and needed.
In a nutshell, demographic politics is putting up candidates as a way to appease racial groups in the insulting and demagogic way liberals do. Racial public policy arguments occur when conservatives make specific arguments about how conservative policies are superior to liberal policies at creating positive impacts on minority communities. Demographic politics is damaging; racial public policy arguments are mandatory to ensure conservative success.
Conservatism is better for all people. However, pointing out that throughout history it has had mirific results for blacks (particularly in economics, with Madame C.J. Walker all the way down to the many African American sports stars today who have made fortunes from the capitalistic system) doesn’t hurt in recruiting minorities, either.
After publishing my article at the American Thinker on the myopic view of the term “multiculturalism” and the opportunity that is being missed by conservatives to advance ideas, this morning alone, I have received a spate of utterly jejune e-mails that either intentionally misrepresent my arguments, or simply recite talking points with no supporting argumentation. I’m going to take the time to address the three main “arguments.”
Argument #1: Mr. Okeem, you’re a liberal because you are engaging in the creation of new definitions for words. This is postmodernism. Words and meanings matter, and you cannot just create definitions! Multiculturalism is bad.
This is humorous for many reasons, but mainly because people who hold this view are probably so deficient in education that they probably believe “academia” is a fatal blood condition. As I argued in the piece, “multiculturalism” is a sociological concept that carries a whole host of varying meanings. That’s not postmodernism; it’s called social science. In academia, there is something known as “competing ideas.” This is the process in which academicians posit definitions for abstract terms and theories in order to shed new light on various topics and more concretely understand ideas. Thus, to argue that multiculturalism has one meaning, and anyone who disagrees is a postmodernist, is idiotic.
Even though Professor Chua lucidly articulated her fundamental points in the article, as with most things controversial, people felt it necessary to mischaracterize her assertions to undermine her arguments. The most common lamebrained criticism of Professor Chua came from people who insisted that she is racist due to her “making a claim about parenting superiority based on race.”
Even if this were Professor Chua’s actual argument, it would be a stretch to call it racist. However, in a society with rabble-rousing racial opportunists, it is no surprise that every fleeting mention of race is construed as intolerable racism. What’s comical, however, is that isn’t her argument, at all. Professor Chua clearly states in the piece that she is using the terms “Chinese” and “Western” loosely. She argues that it is entirely possible, albeit rare, to have Western parents who are “Chinese” parents, and in the same way, it is possible to have Chinese parents who are “Western” parents. If her fire-breathing detractors even bothered to read just a sentence past the controversial list in her article, it would have been entirely apparent that she wasn’t making a point based on race.