Monday, April 09, 2012

John Derbyshire And The Issue That Will NOT Go Away

Well, when one hits a nerve as John Derbyshire did with his now infamous piece on what he tells his children about how to be with Black Americans, it does not end in a day.
In my own post, which I stand by in its entirety, I am struck by the fact all four commenter's stood up for and what Mr. Derbyshire wrote.
Some went on cherry-picking and I have to admit, yes if one does that there are areas that I would agree with Mr. Derbyshire.
But my own feeling is getting more gelled, I suppose.
I find the fact that Mr. Derbyshire is an avowed atheist to be a great deal of his problem.
As a Christian, I totally believe that people are redeemable. Now, that does not mean that redemption does not sometimes come at a price. But one aspect of Mr. Derbyshire's screed was to suggest that helping a Black person in distress is very troubling.
I admit straight-up, I do not know what I were to do in a situation in which a Black man is beating up his girlfriend and I happened by said situation linked by Mr. Derbyshire. Yep, it is awful as it turns out.
But the instinct to help someone in distress is clearly something very much in Christian teaching.
The story of the Good Samaritan is the biblical passage most cited in such situations.
Yes, the man, Quintin Guerrero could have just ignored what had happened. He could have let the man, Kendal Major, dump his gal pal,  Tosheba Alford from the moving taxi and keep beating the crap out of her. Yeah, Mr. Guerrero could have just whistled by and maybe even go behind something and be nothing but a voyeur and watched the violence continue.
But clearly, that was not the man Mr. Guerrero was.
And yes, he paid a horrible price for it.
But, how many times have you read where similar events have occurred and people did nothing? And they did not happen to be Black people?
And really, when we have read that, does that not outrage us?
Well, at least most of us.
The fact is that Mr. Derbyshire used a very sensational situation to suggest this is how Black people are and thus, let them be.
Could he have not found something the other way? Really, is there not a story in which a Black did not help a non-Black?
Before you ask me to find such situation, it is not for me to do.
Mr. Derbyshire painted a whole group with a broad-brush.
My point is that the danger in how Mr. Derbyshire presented his whole piece is that people do not and can not change.
This, one of the fundamental understandings of the Christian faith is how the acceptance of Jesus Christ changes one's life. No, it does not make it perfect. A Christian still sins. A Christian still does wrong. But because of the self-examination one does as a Christian, it is what I believe makes the difference in so many of life's seemingly mundane situations.
Thus we seek to make the world better. Or at least try.
Mr Guerrero was doing his best by trying to help someone he saw in distress. Even if it turns out that both the people involved ended up beating him to death, a great deal of credit to bringing the two miscreants to eventual trial and a court decision, to the cabbie, Angel Ruiz. He too could have just taken off and done nothing. But he helped police track down the two who seemed to do wrong and they took them away.
Mr. Derbyshire I am afraid lives in a cold, dark world of science. A science that justifies ignoring doing good even in a bad situation.
After all, science was a huge justification to what the Nazis did during the height of their Reign of Terror. Ditto all the victims of Soviet Communism. And the victims of Red China.
As for me, I would hope that I could be more like Quintin Guerrero than John Derbyshire would have been in a similar situation.

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