Untitled 2There are times when you have to imagine that black justice pioneers like Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and the like, must be turning in their graves at the nonsense circumstances that black Americans find themselves in in 2013.

For example, MTV’s Video Music Awards promoted, yet again, the race-driven stereotype of black women as sexualized jezebels. The Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University explains the history of the jezebel stereotype:

The portrayal of black women as lascivious by nature is an enduring stereotype. The descriptive words associated with this stereotype are singular in their focus: seductive, alluring, worldly, beguiling, tempting, and lewd. Historically, white women, as a category, were portrayed as models of self-respect, self-control, and modesty – even sexual purity, but black women were often portrayed as innately promiscuous, even predatory. This depiction of black women is signified by the name Jezebel.

While Myley Cyrus, 23, eviscerated her dignity and mocked the values of the family that nurtured her, she used black women’s bodies as sex props while she simulated lewd acts on stage with 36-year-old, married recording artist Robin Thicke. Only black feminists had the courage to connect the Cyrus episode to the historic subjugation of black women by elitist white women. Did Harriet Tubman risk her life to free slaves so that Myley Cyrus could use black women as sex props? Additionally, those black women were also complicit in participating with Cyrus in their being dehumanized and used as mascots.

If the jezebel stereotype on display on MTV isn’t enough to make a case for cultural regression, all over America, a group of progressive elites seem to have successfully convinced mainly black and Latino workers that they should be able to sustain a life and career working as adults in low-skilled jobs at fast-food restaurants serving the type of food that contributes to the epidemic rates of hypertension, obesity, and Type-II diabetes in their own communities.

To make matters worse, even black pastors have been duped and hoodwinked into adopting the progressivist dispersal of the economic commonsense that understands a wage to be “the price of labor.” Here’s what this means: working at fast-food restaurants and selling food and drinks saturated with high-fructose corn syrup is simply not worth $15/hour. Low-skilled jobs generally have lower wages. These protests have no economic basis. So why in the world would the Rev. W.J. Rideout III of Detroit’s All God’s People Church, in protesting low wages at fast food restaurants, say something as economically unsound as this: “The bottom line is we are doing this to let the corporations know we want $15 an hour, better working conditions — and we want to be treated fairly.” The only explanation is that many blacks have sold out to progressivism rather than remaining committed to the principles of economic empowerment that freed blacks from thinking that low-skilled labor was the best they could do.

Instead of protesting fast food restaurants, black pastors, like Rideout, would better serve the black community by protesting to people in their communities to do whatever is necessary to acquire marketable skills so that they can leave fast food jobs behind in our global marketplace and make themselves more competitive. This way, they can hold the types of jobs that actually sustain a family.

In viewing nearly all of the newspaper and television footage of the fast-food protests, you have to wonder if anyone noticed that Asian-Americans were no where to be found? Why were Asian-American women not being used a sexualized props for white women at MTV? Why is that? Perhaps it is because research suggests that many Asian-Americans tend to “protest” against dehumanization and being used as pawns of social-engineering elites by getting married, investing in their children’s education, learning skills that make them more valuable and competitive in the marketplace, and refusing to be used as political pawns and mascots for progressivism.

  • Curt Day

    Why can’t Black pastors do both? Why should we be content with fast food workers underpaid?

    And why are we associating Myley Cyrus’s actions with being progressive?

    You know, I started to comment on your posts here because of a haunting statement that my fellow leftists use to describe the church and thought you could provide an answer. That statement is that the church serves as just another institution of indoctrination to maintain the status quo for the sake of those with power and wealth. It haunts me because of what I see from every Reformed theologian I have listened to or read And though you have provided some good analysis on Myley Cyrus’s actions here, and I appreciate that, some of your other comments and associations made only confirm the Left’s view of the church.

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  • RogerMcKinney

    Minimum wages and a living wage were big issues in the 1500′s according to Alejandro Chafuen in his “Faith and Liberty: The Economic Thought of the Late Scholastics.”

    The scholastics were mostly concerned with protecting the poor and improving their lives, but they rejected minimum wages and living wages. They argued that the poor lived best in a free, thriving market. State control of wages would hurt the poor in the long run more than it would help in the short. rdmckinney.blogspot.com

  • Pat Laffin

    I do not understand why people continue to disparage fast food restaurants and the

  • Curt Day

    lingvistika,
    Depends on which leftism one is talking about. There are leftists who embrace elite-centered rule. Such are as guilty in protecting those with wealth and power as what I am complaining about. But there is a split in leftists, after all, no group is a monolith. There are leftists who want to see a redistribution of power downward, even at the workplace so that we have an expanded democracy rather than just having its facade.

    BTW, not all unions are bad either. Some unions are what you say. My experience in a union last year was different from what you described.

    • lingvistika

      When power is redistributed downward, somebody has to do the redistributing. The leftist elites usually have themselves in mind for that job, so they redistribute power based on their own perception of who should have it. But at street level, those pesky minorities (and that pesky working class) tend to have values that conflict with those of the left, and it usually winds up with the leftist elites or their puppets dictating to those they perceive to be unenlightened.

  • Curt Day

    Michael,
    What role does human nature play here? Are we talking about the human nature of the employees or that of the owners and executives? And if the owners and executives are that unwilling to share that increasing wages means a loss of jobs, what should the Church say? And if the church is only preaching change to the workers and not the owners and executives, is what I said about the Church fair?

    • Marc Vander Maas

      Does human nature change when one becomes an owner or executive?

      • Curt Day

        I will try to post my response again.

        Does power corrupt?

        • Marc Vander Maas

          Yes it does. Does human nature somehow change when one becomes an executive?

    • Michael Chovanec

      Curt
      The Church must and does preach to both the owners and workers at the same time and in the same language. The two groups must then interpret the preaching in light of their own circumstances. To both the necessity of acting with justice is preached. Justice means the same to both, neither side of the equation can justifiably claim that they are entitled to greater value than they part with. A just wage is agreed to in relation to the value, both given and received, by the parties to the employment agreement. That exchange of value can generally be considered a just wage when neither is compelled to enter into the agreement. Any amount given and received above that just wage is a gift from the employer to the employee. If an employer chooses to give an extra wage to one employee, is another employee who receives the just wage but who receives less in wages than the other worker, one who does the very same work, demanding justice or demanding a gift when he demands “equal pay for equal work?” Clearly they are demanding a gift. In that respect the employer should be free to refuse a gift to some and give a gift to others whose circumstances inspire that action. Of course, that action implicates another aspect of justice but which is not the same as the justice of the just wage.
      If, as you will probably contend, the agreed wage is not related to the value of the work and hence not a just wage, what is your evidence for that? Isn’t that a business by business and employee by employee calculation? Thanks,
      Mike

      • Curt Day

        Michael,
        Maybe the liberal church does but I have seen no evidence of the conservative church preaching to the owners. All I see from the conservative church is the exhortation to the workers to submit to those in authority. I have not heard conservative preaching to the owners about how the current wages are unjust. Neither has the conservative church challenged neoliberal capitalism, it has refused to challenge the system. Realize that the introduction of neoliberal capitalism into a country has always meant a decline in or destruction of democracy.

        In addition, the “just wage” you refer to is not negotiated between fast food workers and owners. Rather, it is accepted by workers because of the lack of other jobs with better pay.

        Also, Biblically speaking, a wage is not a gift. Rather, a wage is what is owed. In addition, the people at the bottom are the ones doing the grunt work necessary to enable a company to make a profit.

        And we should also remember the criticisms of Martin Luther King as he condemned those companies that demanded full-time work but paid only part-time hours.

        You see, all you write here only confirms the Left’s criticism that the church is just another institution of indoctrination to maintain the status quo for the benefit of those with wealth and power.

        • Michael Chovanec

          Curt:

          Three points.
          First, what evidence would you demand from the “conservative church” as to whether they preach the need to adhere to the virtue of justice. My church preaches the need to act with justice, does yours? How have you concluded that conservative churches do not preach justice? Is your church one which preaches justice or not? If so, how do you know that other, probably more conservative churches, do not preach the same thing. And certainly the Black Preachers, the very subject which began this string, preach justice to both employers and employees,

          You may recall, in my last post I challenged you to provide evidence for any assertion on your part that the just wage was not the wage agreed to by the fast food workers and owners? If you will check your last post, you did not do so. Was this an oversight or did you intend to leave that challenge dangling?

          Biblically speaking, a wage which exceeds the “prevailing” or “just wage” is gift. Check out the parable of the owner who hired workers at different times during the day but chose to pay them all the same wage? What did Jesus say about this circumstance of the owner with respect to his generosity? See Matt 20: 1-16.

          Mike

          • Curt Day

            Michael,

            If you use Martin Luther King as an example, then what we would be seeing is those with power and wealth being confronted over specific wrongs along with a need to change, or at least review, the current system in which our economy is based. If you want, you can review what I wrote about neoliberal capitalism and what questions King would have here.

            As for your challenge, I didn’t respond because I don’t necessarily agree with the $15/hr across the country. One of my good friends who owns his own business and I think he made an excellent point when he said that the pay should at least be partially linked to the cost of living. Here, I would encourage the fast food workers to organize by area and negotiate not just pay but working conditions, benefits, and hours. But in negotiating, what the owners have to realize is the roles many of these workers have in life. With the median age of fast food workers being 36 and with many fast food workers having already attended college, though not all have graduated, that should up the minimum that owners offer. We should assume that a 40 hr/wk job must pay enough for a family of 4 so that there is a cushion between them and the near poverty line.

            Romans 4:4 distinguishes between a gift and a wage with the wage being what is owed.

  • lingvistika

    Curt, you’re making the mistake of thinking that conservatives have only ever thought one way in their lives. I actually used to be a leftist, so I’m perfectly familiar with the other side. In fact, I’m familiar enough to know that their unworkable rhetoric can take many forms, but in implementation it always winds up nearly the same.

    • Curt Day

      lingvistika,
      I am not making any such mistake, I use to be a political and theological conservative. Now I am only a theological conservative.

      Certainly, the Left, even the non elite-centered movements have had problems implementing non elite-centered systems. Two successes include the Paris Commune and the Spanish Revolution. But when we look at the latest efforts, we see leftist uprisings being used and hijacked by those seeking power. We should note that this followed the Bolshevik Revolution. The question becomes why?

      First note, that the elite-centered systems that resulted were not the continuation of the model proposed by the leftists who were challenging the system but by those who at first rode in on their coattails and then took over. Iran in ’79 (I have a friend who was in this revolution) as well as Egypt as it currently stands are such examples. Here, the failure of the Left has to do with conducting pre-emptive uprisings rather than being corrupted by power. For it is one thing to gain the popular support to undo the current system, it is another thing to garner the support necessary to install a new participatory system without which, the original uprising becomes nothing more than a change in names rather than a change in the system.

      And the Left is not the only ones who suffer through this. When we see Russia or some of the Eastern European countries’ transition away from the totalitarian communist political and economic systems to “democracy” and neoliberal capitalism, we saw a shedding of democracy and a retaining of the authoritarian state. This is even true when we saw the beginnings of democratic socialism in Chile in the early ’70s because they were dismantled, with American help, and replaced with a political totalitarian and economic neoliberal capitalism. And though some of that totalitarianism has been reduced, it isn’t gone as evidenced by the fact that their Constitution is the same as it was under Pinochet.

      The moral of the story is that people who lust for power embed themselves in all systems and without the persistent participation of the people in their gov’t and economic system, such leeches will succeed in taking control. For elite-centered gov’t relies on either a people’s desire for a laissez-faire relationship with the gov’t where they don’t press their demands or where the people can be intimidated or dominated by the state.

  • Marc Vander Maas

    Already answered. Your turn.

    • Curt Day

      Marc,
      Wasn’t sure if they got the post so I posted the question twice. If power corrupts, why do we let it accumulate the way we do?

      • Marc Vander Maas

        First of all, I’m still interested in your response to my question. (Just FYI, I think human nature is pretty universal and doesn’t change with a person’s income level.)

        As regards your question, and at the risk of sounding snarky (I’m not trying to be), who do you mean by “we” and how does the “we” “let power accumulate?” And that’s not even to bring up the question of what type of power you’re talking about.

        • Curt Day

          Marc,
          I will get to your question, but the more pertinent question is why do WE, that is everybody in society, let power, and let me change the word here, consolidate? And we do this by exercising a laissez-faire attitude toward gov’t and our elected officials. We do this by thinking that democracy can be reduced to elections every x number of years where we vote in bipolar patterns.

          • Marc Vander Maas

            So “everybody in society” is responsible for the “consolidation” of power. Where? What power are you concerned about? I have my inklings, but I’d rather you just spell it out.

            There’s a million questions that could be asked about your assertion of a “lassiez-faire attitude toward gov’t and our elected officials,” but let’s just hash out the power thing rather than try to address two things at once.

          • Curt Day

            Marc,
            I answered your questions from the first paragraph in my last comment.

          • Marc Vander Maas

            So you’re concerned about the consolidation of power in government?

          • Curt Day

            Marc,
            I am concerned about any consolidation of power whether it be in the public or private sector. And the worst consolidation of power in the gov’t is found in the military.

          • Marc Vander Maas

            Interesting. Why the military? Genuinely curious.

          • Curt Day

            Marc,
            It is an authoritarian establishment that relies on force and receives the most funding. In addition, it used more to benefit elites in the private sector than the security needs of the country. And now, with the 2012 NDAA, the President can order any American to be indefinitely detained in a military facility without due process.

            I heard this state attributed to Thucydides that the tyranny Athens exercised against others, it eventually exercised against its own people

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