The Race Problem - A Response
Recently in the GUARDIAN (May 6 and May 13 issues) brother Bryan Vinson had two long front-page articles on "The Racial Problem In America". Since he took issue with some things written by me in a previous article, it may be proper for me to respond briefly. To expedite brevity I shall comment in numbered paragraph as follows:
1. Brother Vinson quotes at length from Abraham Lincoln, Henry Clay and Alexander Campbell. I have high regard for each of them and for whatever they did in their times to help the people of this nation take some long steps toward freedom for all. But I realize that men could not, 125 years ago, understand today's opportunities for true equality, nor could their concept of race relations suffice for the multitude of enlightened people of many races who live in this land now. Therefore, I have no disposition at all to discuss the sundry beliefs of mid-19th century heroes. Furthermore, brother Tant's editorial (May 6) on this issue was superb indeed and leaves very little to be said except that part which deals with brother Vinson's comment on my article.
2. Brother Vinson says that I "questioned that God made the races different" and that I implied "that God only made man without making the races of man." But he needs to read my article again. I did not merely question such nor imply it. I stated it as fact! And I gave the scriptural quotations to prove it. I said, "The fact is that God's creative work ended on the seventh day (Gen. 2:2) and he had then made one man and one woman, both of the same race (Gen. 2:21-23). No one knows whether they were white, black, red or yellow. All human beings who have lived since then have been the result of God's law of reproduction — that every thing should reproduce after his kind' (Gen. 1:24-28). Thus it is obvious that God did not make 'kinds' of people — he did not create races."
It is strangely significant to me that brother Vinson did not even mention one verse of scripture to substantiate his statement that "...God made the races distinct and different." We remember that Paul said that God made all nations of one blood (Ac. 17:26), but where does the Bible say that God created different kinds of men? It is easy to trace the development of nations, such as the Jewish people from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Now does brother Vinson believe that God picked out a certain man and woman, some time after Noah, and miraculously made them black? Or does he believe that Noah and his family were dark and that God miraculously made some white?
3. Brother Vinson asks if I think God made the first tree and was not responsible for the oak, the pine and the ash, but his illustration is not appropriate. You cannot cross the pine and an oak. But you can cross white and black people. I believe God made every species. Thus oaks always produce oaks. Pines always produce pines. And human beings always produce human beings.
By a very simple process of selective breeding that is well known to anyone that understands anything about animal husbandry, a farmer can change his herd of Holstein dairy cows into a herd of Hereford beef cows in only a few years. Then why can we not understand the development of the races of mankind by the simple process of natural selection — the inclination to mate according to similar characteristics?
4. Brother Vinson says 300 years of life in America has not lightened the black people here through climatic processes. Yet, over a period of several thousand years climate could have some effect upon color. The principle of survival may have, in primitive times, caused only the darker ones to endure the tropics. At any rate, all equatorial natives are dark and most people from the frigid zones are light. In the natural processes of heredity and environment, over thousands of years of time, races could certainly have developed — all from God's original creation and without miraculous intervention. And such development would then not demonstrate any determination on God's part regarding perpetuation of differences.
5. Brother Vinson admits being a White Supremacist. He believes white people are better than black people. He thinks the prevalence of vulgarity, obscenities, rape, etc.; is the result of the influence of black people. I wonder if he ever studies a list of crime syndicate members. They are almost all white — and almost all of one nationality. And in the thousands of cases of immorality that produced Negro people of lighter skin, who was more wicked, the black woman or the white man who seduced her or intimidated her? Indeed brother Vinson and I have seen days when a black man might have been lynched if he so much as looked upon a white woman to lust after her while a dozen white men could molest a black girl and hardly anyone would even lift an eyebrow. Why?
Of course all decent people of every race abhor the spirit of rebellion that prevails among many youth today and that is manifest in the mob violence, looting, etc. However, all unbiased people also recognize that this revolt of youth is not a matter of color. Black youth, breaking windows and looting stores are not an indication of greater moral depravity than are white youth who appear with hair like a woman, who burn draft cards, peddle dope and live in "pads" with no more morality than cattle in a Texas pasture. Even "Women's Lib," a principally white movement, is, in every basic principle, just as much a spirit of rebellion as is any abuse of the black movement for equality.
6. Brother Vinson's white supremacy argument also portrays the white as smarter than the black. If intelligence is measured in the inventive genius alone, then his assumption may be justified. But it is impossible to honestly and accurately estimate differences in native intelligence unless each person considered has lived under similar conditions and environment. Even then it must take into consideration the circumstances of many generations. But anyway, for every black man brother Vinson finds with a low I. Q., I promise to find a white man with the same. If he will come down out of the Ivory Tower of sophisticated society in which he moves and mingle with the masses of all races he will find similar degrees of intelligence and of ignorance in all races.
7. But really it is vain to argue these things. God has spoken and his Word settles it. In his sight we are all equal — (Eph. 2:14). And he requires that we love our neighbor regardless of his "kind" — Lk. 10:30-37; Rom. 13:8). This love involves more than merely declining to do him evil as brother Vinson proposes, and it demands that we do good to him rather than simply "let him alone" as our brother suggests. The attitude of Caucasian supremacy and superiority is in direct conflict with the great commission (Mk. 16:15, 16). And it is mockery to hide behind the thin veneer of superficial love that grants black people the "right to be taught of God" and at the same time says, "I can let him alone and hope that he will leave me alone." Furthermore, how can a "White Supremacist" expect to enjoy heaven? Will he insist that the redeemed there be separated according to the color of the skin of their earthly bodies? How can we share heaven with those whom we would not love on earth?
— 26 E. 55th St., Westmont, Ill.