Dear Friends and Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Some of you may feel that I have been insensitive to the real, horrific history of racism in our country in my recent Tweets. By saying “so-called” systemic racism, it may have seemed that I was making light of the awful atrocities in our nation's and world's history that have certainly affected us to this day. Indeed, the acts of wickedness in which European descendants purchased, enslaved, sold, abused, and murdered African descendants, then after the abolition of slavery continued to oppress, discrimate against, lynch, abuse, and murder African-Americans - are all abominations to the living God that will only paid for in Hell, or at the Cross of Christ.
As I said in my prior blog, I am not denying that systemic racism has occurred in the United States from slavery to the Civil Rights era. What I am questioning is if we can legitimately say that it still exists in the same way as before. But perhaps most troubling to many of you is how you believe my statement of “so-called” systemic racism goes against your conviction that fatherlessness in the African-American community is itself a product of systemic racism.
There are two reasons why I am unconvinced that systemic racism is the main culprit for the fatherlessness which plagues African-American families:
(1) Fatherlessness was way lower among African Americans in the 1950’s and 60’s during the thickness of systemic racism, before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. “According to the Census Bureau from 1960 and 2013, African-American children who lived in single-parent homes more than doubled from 22% to 55%.” That same source says that single-parent homes have tripled for white families. If fatherlessness has increased for African-Americans since the outlawing of racial discrimination, and fatherlessness has skyrocketed in white communities too, can we legitimately blame fatherlessness on systemic racism?
What has happened since the 50’s and 60’s? The answer is not simple, but since then, Biblical values and moral standards have been increasingly rejected in our country. Moreover, since then was the implementation of the welfare system by the Democratic party that increases money and welfare benefits to single-parent families. Along with this, there has been the widespread indoctrination that fathers are unnecessary in the home. While one could argue that such policies are themselves an example of systemic racism, the problem with that argument is many Democratic politicians now are non-white, propagating these same policies that are destroying black and white (and Latino) families. Are we being honest if we only point the finger at systemic racism? The removal of Biblical standards cultivating immorality, lawlessness, and the undermining of the nuclear family are much more likely the culprit.
(2) African-American Economist Thomas Sowell makes the point that the real economic disparity is not between blacks and whites, but between those who have college degrees plus wait to have children after marriage, and those who do not - regardless of one's race or ethnicity. Whites who do not have education, do not stay married and have children out of wed-lock, are in the same place as African-Americans - if not worse.
In summary, then, a current systemic racism is not to blame for the fatherlessness that plagues African-American or white, or any racial group. Rather, the factors above are more likely behind it.
What’s Behind My Recent Race-Statements?
The purpose of my statements concerning fatherlessness and abortion being more destructive to the African-American community than a modern version of systemic racism, is out of a concern that the latter is keeping us distracted from addressing the real problems facing our country. I am also convinced that the leftist notion of systemic racism - which says that there is a current system of whites working to oppress blacks in 2020 - is not true.
Hyping Current Systemic Racism Downplays Modern Black Success
The United States is not the same as it was 60 years ago. All of the hype about systemic racism today makes us overlook just how far black Americans have come despite the systemic oppression of slavery up to the civil rights movement. While we still have much room for improvement, has not the U.S. made corrections and pursued what Martin Luther King Jr. called America’s promissory note of equality and equal opportunity that the civil rights movement ushered in? A friend of mine said, “To see how far black Americans have come in such a relatively short amount of time is a testament to the ingenuity and hard work of so many in the black community, which is something that is rarely ever mentioned.” In light of the many well-educated, hard working, and economically successful African-Americans, Sowell makes the point that “American blacks are the most prosperous in the hemisphere-- and in the world.” (“Race, Culture, and Equality”).
Furthermore, the educational and economic success of African immigrants, especially Nigerian, make it hard to believe that systemic racism is still a real force to hold back black people. Listen to Noah Smith’s points about Nigerian immigrants:
“Perhaps most surprising is that, by many measures, the most-educated immigrant group in the U.S. isn't East Asians. It’s Africans. According to Census data, more than 43 percent of African immigrants hold a bachelor’s degree or higher -- slightly more than immigrants from East Asia. Nigerian immigrants are especially educated, with almost two-thirds holding college degrees -- a significantly higher percentage even than Chinese or South Korean immigrants. African immigrants are also very likely to hold advanced degrees, many of which are earned at U.S. universities. By many measures, African immigrants are as far ahead of American whites in the educational achievement as whites are ahead of African-Americans. That education translates into higher household income. Nigerian-Americans, for instance, have a median household income well above the American average, and above the average of many white and Asian groups, such as those of Dutch or Korean descent.”
What About Interracial Families?
Besides a few comments and awkward looks by both blacks and white, my African wife and I have been able to freely, openly, enjoy our interracial marriage the last 15 years. Our 8 African/American children are able to go to any school they want and pursue education and skill training in order to be lights for Christ in a dark world. Could we have had these same experiences 70 years ago? Certainly not. While we teach our children about their depravity and proneness to evil that plagues all fallen image-bearers, should my wife and I teach our children that “one half of them” is oppressive and overtly racist? Should we train them to be suspicious of white people, especially our children who have a darker skin complexion? Should they despise their siblings with lighter skin complexion?
My Story Concerning Race
To help you all understand my background, I want to share my story with you. After my parents divorced when I was about 6, my mother raised us four boys with the help of welfare. She worked multiple jobs, obtained multiple degrees - eventually a PhD - and got off welfare as she provided for her sons. But having no father figure in the home meant that I was exposed to the wickedness of the world. Instead of being taught the fear of the LORD and learning responsibility, I was “discipled” by “Yo! MTV Raps,” BET, and secular hip-hop culture. I grew up as a non-Christian in the City of Pittsburgh, attending Pittsburgh Public Schools in elementary, middle school, and high school. I recall being the only white kid in my gym class of about 50 students in 7th grade. While most of my peers accepted me as “the cool white kid”, there were several who were particularly nasty to me and loved slapping the back of my white neck to make it turn red. One classmate loved to yank my hair, slap me around, and call me “cracker,” “honkey,” “whitey”, and “white b**ch.” Did I fight back, or speak up? No. Why? Because based on my knowledge of America’s horrific history of slavery and oppression of African-Americans, I was convinced I deserve this. I thought, “After all “my people” have done to African-Americans, being bullied and picked on was fair (in my mind).” Although I am a descendent of Irish and Polish immigrants, taking the beatings was the least I could do to “atone” for the wrongs that people who have the same color of my skin afflicted on African-Americans in this country.
After Middle-School, we moved to the suburbs of Pittsburgh for two years where I attended a nearly all white high school for ninth and tenth grade. I hated it. I missed the city. The white kids called me “wigger” because of my dress and speech. Ninth grade was absolutely miserable. Therefore, when two African-American guys (Jimmy and Chaz) moved into the neighborhood from the city, I was relieved to finally have friends with whom I had things in common with.
I recall one Spring day toward the end of tenth grade, when a white student made racial slurs against Jimmy in class. Jimmy told him, “I will see you after school.” I was thrilled to see Jimmy grab the guy by the shirt, pound his face in with dozens of punches, leaving him with a bloody face. I shouted loudly with excitement - I felt justice had been served!
The next year I gladly moved back to the City of Pittsburgh where I attended Taylor Allderdice High School. The school was well known as the alma mater of NFL Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin. After I graduated, Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller attended Allderdice. Students came from dozens of neighborhoods on the east side of Pittsburgh, from the wealthiest predominantly Jewish neighborhoods, from lower and working class white neighborhoods, from racially mixed neighborhoods, from middle-class African American neighborhoods, and from some of the poorest African-American neighborhoods in the city. My group of friends was a mixture of all of the above. While Allderdice was known as one of the best high schools in Pittsburgh, I do not recall doing much learning; yet I recall the teachers not doing much teaching either. But at the end of the day, when instruction did occur, the entire racially-mixed student body were all taught the same secular, Darwinian, Godless non-sense. Sexual immorality and drug use was worshiped, and I was a chief idolater.
Although I had been immersed and fascinated with hip-hop culture since elementary school, in eleventh grade I began to rap, and was immediately embraced. Apparently, when I used to rhyme in cyphers at lunch, the others were so surprised that a scrawny white kid with glasses could spit, that they said I “ambushed” the cypher. That became my name: “Ambush.”
In 1999 I chose to attend Temple University because of Philly’s underground hip-hop scene. This was the city where The Roots, Chief Kamachi, the Mountain Brothers, Bahamadia, and other underground artists were from, and I wanted to be a part of it. And I did. After winning battle tournaments in Philly and Pittsburgh, putting out an EP, and LP, a 12 inch record, and doing concerts up and down the east coast, the Lord Jesus Christ rescued my soul from the slavery of sin a week before 9/11, 2001.
The School District of Philadelphia
Upon graduation from Temple University, I immediately became a school teacher in the School District of Philadelphia. I taught from 2003-2009. After I got married in 2005, I was a 4th grade teacher at B.B. Comegys Elementary School in Southwest Philadelphia, 5 blocks from our apartment. Apparently over 90% of the students lived below the poverty line. While the student population was about 98% African-American, the teachers were black and white, and the principal of the school was an African-American man. I loved my job because my students were hungry to learn. Behavior problems were not a major issue because the principal was a strong leader and kept the school in line. He also did not mind if I preached the gospel to the children!
Out of a desire to better reach students who had problems in the home, I became a social worker in 2009 until 2012 (and then part-time until 2014). In particular, I was hired as an In-Home Protective Services Case Manager in the area of North Philadelphia called “The Badlands”. We functioned as a contractor for the Department of Human Services (DHS). We served families with DHS cases due to safety problems in the home, whether it was parental neglect, medical neglect, physical abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, etc.
While many of my “clients” were African-American and Latino, I had plenty of white families on my case list as well. It was striking that the same exact problems plagued these white families: fatherlessness, children born out of wedlock, dependence on the government, abortion, lack of education, drug addiction, depression, and hoplessness.
I began to be dissatisfied with the counseling approach that I was required to take with the parents and children. The secular psychology and mental health system did not address the brokenness of the heart, in terms of getting deep down to the root of the real problems of human idolatry. All of the solutions were surfacey. Kids were pumped with medication. Programs and support groups only focused on the externals. Biblical values were absent. Marriage was not honored. Hand-outs abounded.
In a nutshell, I saw how broken neighborhoods were the result of broken families, which were from broken parents - often from the failure (or absence) of the fathers. All of this brokenness was the vivid expression of wicked, hurting hearts that loved sin and hated God. I identified with the drug addicts due to my past addictions, and I identified with the children with no fathers as one who grew up fatherless. At this time, seeing the “ruin” of image bearers, and the collective ruin of society, was used by the Lord to show me “the ruin” of Timothy Brindle. This was the season in which I wrote “The Restoration” album. I was no different than my clients: ruined by sin and suffering to the core, and in need of the resurrection-transformation-healing-grace of Jesus Christ.
In summary, when it comes to THE SYSTEM, I have seen firsthand the plight of the public school system and the social welfare system. However, when it came to the school teachers, administrators, principals, psychologists, social workers, supervisors, policy makers - all the way up to the Mayor - half of them were African American and Latino. The majority of the administrators and policy makers were liberal Democrats. In hindsight then, I witnessed firsthand how the policies of a Democratic city are oppressive (or at least extremely unhelpful) for its citizens of all people groups. For this reason, I am unwilling to say that the major problem facing our country and cities and communities is a modern version of anti-black systemic racism from white people. If anything, it is full of white-black-Latino-Asian sinners who oppress each other. If anything, it is systemic oppression of image bearers suppressing other image bearers. At worst, we are a nation of godless pagans who have turned away from the living God and His ways, and preferred empty lies. The product: a ruined society.
What’s the answer? The solution is still for the Church of Jesus Christ to engage in Biblical discipleship of all nations and peoples that proclaims the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only hope to forgive sin, reconcile us to God and each other, set captives free, renew the mind, and embolden men to take responsibility for their actions and lead their families in truth. And yet, as those who are in (but not of) this world, we have a responsibility to pursue justice and righteousness among our neighbors - as a witness of the Righteous King and His agenda.
Politically speaking, it’s bigger than race
In conclusion, the points I made recently on Twitter and above, are that the jacked up aspects of current government policies are not necessarily race-based; many of them are liberal policies established by white and black politicians that oppress African-Americans - and whites, and all people groups. I totally agree any current racist, discriminatory, or oppressive practices in government (in any political party) must be addressed and rectified. However, policies and political agendas that remove Biblical morals, keep people dependent on welfare, promote abortion, and seek to undermine the nuclear family and the presence of fathers - these are things destroying all communities of all people groups.
Factually, as I said above, the disparity is not race-based; it’s between those who have college education, stay married, and have children in wedlock - and those who don’t. Thus whites are in just as bad (if not worse) a place when they lack education, have children out of wedlock, etc.
For the liberals, systemic-racism must be true - that has to be their narrative - so that they can tear down the constitution and deconstruct the system. Most of America, and now the Church, has bought into the Marxist idea that there is an oppressor-class (i.e., whites) and an oppressed-class (i.e., blacks). And it appears the left wants to destroy the constitution, but remember, men like Martin Luther King Jr. argued for equal rights of African-Americans and for all people - based on the constitution. For this reason, I do not see the current “social justice” issues as being equivalent to those in the Civil Rights era. Even this wise sounding Democrat makes the distinction between the recent and the past protests.
Spiritually speaking, it’s deeper than race
Unfortunately, the scheme of Satan to not only divide the nation along racial lines, has overflowed into the Church, which is his real goal: to divide the people of God. But in reality, Biblically speaking, the so-called system of racists is really a system of multi-ethnic oppressors, reflecting the system of Satan’s Kingdom - the authority of darkness (Col. 1:13). Ever since the fall, the serpent has sought to remake humans in his image, producing hateful, oppressive murderers of other image-bearers (Gen. 4:1-16). For this reason, our hope must still be in the good news of the Kingdom of God. King Jesus ended the reign of sin, death, and Satan when He died on the Cross and rose from the dead, for all who put their trust in Him. This kingdom rule is now expressed in His Jew-Gentile, Cross-Cultural Church. The LORD enables us to confront iniquity, stereotypes, ignorance, and racism in the Church with the gospel, since “you (LORD) have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.” (Ps. 99:4).
Why is Tim Brindle Suddenly Making Political Statements?
Many of you are surprised that I am now making political statements. Formally, I was very politically ignorant. I admit I voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Why? Because I thought she was the lesser of two evils. I assumed the Democratic party was more concerned for the issues of African-Americans and other minorities. I assumed that Donald Trump was just a sleeze-ball, and I paid no attention to his policies because I was so turned off by his personality. I rejoiced when Barack Obama was elected president. Finally! A black president! Aware of our country’s history, I was suspicious of whites in leadership. The Democratic party seemed to be a better fit for me, since supposedly they were all about helping the disadvantaged.
Many of you know that I have been a member of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) since 2002. When the PCA made a statement in 2016 confessing our denomination’s history of racism and repentance and a resolve for racial reconciliation, I was thrilled. I preached it to everyone around me. I still agree it was necessary. But along with that, I bought into notions of white privilege, and the white guilt I spoke of above as a child, remained. A couple years ago my wife rebuked me for being so sorry that I am white. “Stop apologizing for being white,” she said. I recalled that as an Irish-Polish-German-Scottish-English American, this is who THE LORD made me to be. Glory to His Holy Name!
I realized I needed to begin to study issues of race and politics for myself, and not just be swept away with the current trends. I discovered, some time last year, that employment rates for African-Americans had gone up under President Trump’s administration. I also learned of his defunding of abortion initiatives that used American tax dollars, and policies to allow parents to choose any school they want for their child. With the tragic death of George Floyd, I learned how the tenets and assumptions of Critical Race Theory were beneath many of the ideas I promoted about white privilege and white guilt. More recently have learned much from African-American conservative thinkers such as Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, and Candace Owens. I am unashamed to admit that I am certainly voting for Donald Trump in 2020, not because I am impressed with his character necessarily, but because I think the Republican party has the best interests for African-Americans, minorities, and all Americans, and most importantly, to protect the right for Jesus Christ’s Cross-Cultural Church to worship Him freely in America.
I am still convinced we must keep our allegiance to King Jesus above our affiliation with any political party. However, never before in my lifetime have I been more aware of the close relation between faith and politics. While the “right” is not always “right-eous” and the Republican party must not be equated with the Kingdom of God, we must be honest that many of the Democratic policies are hostile in their opposition to the Christian faith. I know many of you are “in the middle” politically speaking. But brothers and sisters, there is no time for political neutrality when the left is at work to remove your freedom and right to worship Jesus Christ, pass policies to legalize pedephelia, remove God and Biblical morality even more than ever, promote the LGBTQ movement, fund and build more Planned_Murde_rhood centers, advocate for the destructive lies of BLM, defund law enforcement, and continue to increase racial tension between image bearers. These things, my friends, I cannot stand for.
In closing, I find it humorous that many of you who are upset with me about my statements of so-called systemic racism, are yourselves sitting in your comfortable suburban (or upper-middle class urban) neighborhoods with college diplomas on your walls and good jobs. Brothers and sisters, do you really want to teach your children to be suspicious of all whites, unless they are those who endlessly denounce their whiteness?
My main reason for my recent statements is to warn you, that if you continue to embrace the Marxist and Critical Race Theory notions of systemic racism, and you vote for Joe Biden, those jokers will shut down your ministries, close your churches, press you and your children to keep conforming to their ideologies, until you bow the knee to Satan. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Your friend and brother in Christ,