Is America Headed for Another Race War?

Is America Headed for Another Race War? August 30, 2017

Is America doomed to repeat the race wars of the late 1960’s? Can anything be done to prevent it?

War and Peace

In the late 1960’s, it seemed there were flowerchildren, beatniks, and hippies just about everywhere, and they were trying to bring in a new way of life…one of peace, and not of war; one that was opposed to killing. When television began bringing the Vietnam War into our living rooms, showing us one body bag after another coming home, it began to sway public opinion, and those who opposed the war began to grow in number. The more devastation and loss of human life we saw, the more people began to oppose it. By bringing the war into our living rooms, most Americans saw the true reality of war. Before that, the war was something you read about in the newspapers or saw news clips of on the nightly news, but when the news media started covering the war in a more comprehensive way, the American public began to shift their thinking, and they started to believe that this war just wasn’t worth it. Tragically, those who fought for their country were despised and looked down upon when they returned home, so when the service men and women who completed their tour of duty returned, they came home to find that many blamed them for the war. This, despite the fact that most of these young men were drafted against their own will, so the late 1960’s found the nation deeply divided…similar to what it is today.   It was as if America sat on a powder keg, and it would only take a tiny spark to ignite it. In the years leading up to the late 60’s, the pressure to end the war had been growing and it was dividing the nation, almost right down the middle.

Image by Warren K. Leffler, U.S. News & World Report Magazine - Public Domain

A Year of Violence

In 1968, I was in Junior High or Middle School (which it is called today), and lived in a neighborhood that was predominantly African-American, yet I had several friends of different skin colors. In that small neighborhood of Plainview, in Wichita, Kansas, it wasn’t a big deal. We were a “band of brothers,” of sort, but we sure didn’t think of it as a band of multi-colors.   It was perfectly normal to “hang out” with people who were different from me. We played football and baseball in the 40-foot wide meridian that ran down the middle of our neighborhood. What a person looked like didn’t matter to us. We were all friends and thought this was life the way it was supposed to be, but almost overnight, everything changed. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in the spring of 1968. Then, to make matters worse, Bobby Kennedy Jr. was assassinated in Ambassador Hotel in Los Angles, just after winning the California presidential primary. A majority of young voters had placed all their hopes in him. Many were seeking peace by withdrawing from Vietnam but when Kennedy was killed, it became dangerous to walk in certain parts of the city and fear and violence escalated. Tear gas, tanks and the National Guard rolled in to the neighborhoods where we used to play. Most of my boyhood friends were just as crushed as I was over this because everything changed, or really, the summer of discontent had changed the way we looked at people changed. It was as if everyone’s heart was hardened, and now, more than ever, people were more skeptical or cynical about people of differing skin colors than they were just a couple of years ago. To us boys, it was never a problem…but now, we had all been sucked into a vortex of violence, destruction, and hatred, and our young world as we knew it would never be the same. The world had changed, but most of us still held to this truth; real friendship is colorblind. To me, there are no races but one…the human race.

Caught not Taught

I truly believe that more is caught than taught, because you can tell children one thing, but if you (or I) do another, we’re teaching them that words really don’t matter. Children are not born with prejudice and bigotry. It is learned. Children are so honest that they often say what’s on their mind, even if it’s not politically correct, but there is no way you can fool children. Teaching them one thing and then living another is only going to turn out badly…and even though the child might overcome this in their adulthood, they won’t forget their parent’s bias and prejudices, however, I was taught and now I am teaching my children, that it’s not a person’s skin color that is important. Each person is created in the image of God. Color does not matter. Every human being is worthy of respect and should be treated in that way. If we expect others to treat us in a way that does not discriminate, then we must treat others in the same way; without bias, prejudice, or having preconceived notions. We can assume far too much by looking at someone, but no one but God truly knows what’s inside a person’s heart.

Conclusion

Are we headed for the violence we saw in the late 1960’s? FBI statistics show that hate crimes against Muslims alone grew by 67% in 2015 (last available statistics), and extremist groups have quadrupled in the last 20 years and is among the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population. [1] Followers of Christ must choose to love and not hate. God loved us enough to die for us, and as far as us loving God, remember that He first loved us (1st John 4:19), so we must first love others and love them in a way as to show them we are Jesus’ disciples (John 13:34-35). No amount of apologetics will work as well as love. Followers of Christ have no excuse in showing prejudice toward another person who is different than they are. God accepts us through Christ regardless of our past and so we must accept others through Christ, whoever they are and wherever they’re from or whatever skin color they have. The Apostle Paul says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28). We are all created by God and created to glorify God, not to be the judge of others.

1. Southern Poverty’s Law Center. “Number of Hate Groups Increase.” Feb. 15, 2017 https://www.splcenter.org/news/2017/02/15/hate-groups-increase-second-consecutive-year-trump-electrifies-radical-right (Accessed, Aug. 22, 2017).

Image by  Warren K. Leffler, U.S. News & World Report Magazine – Public Domain.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas.  Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • thushjz

    I played in the bands for Bill

    McCartneys promise keepers in stadiums for three straight years in the 90’s. The leaders intentionally said the bands were going to be multi racial and they were. The particular band I was in had Black, white, and Brown musicians and singers (I happen to be mixed race myself) McCartney said at the time God told him if only one race came to the PK events He would not be a part of it.
    In the three years I played for PK as a band member I witnessed stadiums filled with every skin color, race, ethnicity, and Christian denomination represented imaginable. From white quakers to black COGIC, from Catholic to southern Baptist, from American Indians that were Christians to Cowboy churches. By the end of my three year tenure with PK we had played for nearly four and a half million men in stadiums…
    What I’m seeing today is yes something very similar to the racial tensions of the late 60s early 70s. But I differ with Pastor well man as to what is behind all of this racial/class division…there’s more than one side to who’s stoking all of this…yes, KKK and white supremacists are a part, but on the radical left the black hooded and masked antifa thugs are more violent than even the white supremacists have been…the antifa communist/anarchists have been clubbing and sucker punching trump voters for a year now at these demonstrations. In Seattle and Portland antifa destroyed many businesses and were jjumping up and down on cop cars, tearing up cars, and violently hitting innocent people even journalists. Just yesterday the los Angeles times boa rd published an editorial excoriating the far left wing antifa and their violent tactics. the Washington post wrote a similar article describing antifa as radically violent. There’s more than just KKK and white supremacists rising again. The violent left is ALSO rising and many are not paying attention to what’s really going on…

    • Jack Wellman

      Great points my friend. Thank you for more on the cause on prejudice.

      • pud

        Everyone practices prejudice dummy…every day all day. A guy doesn’t date fat chicks is exercising prejudice…he doesn’t like fat chicks, doesn’t see them as equal to slim chicks and he discriminates against them…we all do similar things all the time…so what?

    • Guthrum

      What percentage of the people are Klan members or Nazis? Probably miniscule. And the extreme left – Marxists anarchists – the same. Yet what has dominated the news?
      Who is speaking for the rest of the people?

      • thushjz

        Antifa (Communists,anarchists) have been much more violent over the past year than anything on the right…pull up a few YouTube videos of antifa or Black bloc videos and that becomes very apparent. And Antifa’s violence is deemed by themselves as “Just” and “Righteous”

        Of course there have been some Trump voters that have punched a few people over the last year, but the activities of Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Communists (actually marching with Hammer and Sickle flags), and others has far outstripped anything on the right, from burning and destroying cop cars and Limousines to sucker punching black Trump voters (just last week) to bashing Starbucks windows and destroying $200,000 worth of property in Portland, to hitting cops with bats, to attacking a pregnant woman in her car, the Lefts violence has been 10 times what has happened on the right. Congressman Steve Scalise was not shot by a deranged Klan member, no, he was shot by a Bernie Supporter who watched a lot of Rachel Maddow.

        Video of Black Trump supporter sucker punched by Antifa member in Laguna Beach last week..https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/08/25/black_trump_supporter_sucker-punched_by_antifa_if_situation_were_reversed_i_would_be_in_the_spotlight_in_cnn.html

        As for who is speaking for the rest of the people…President Trump is speaking for the average citizen, but the left wing controlled mainstream media has blinded millions to that fact. And their blind hate for Trump and his voters is the most astonishing thing I’ve witnessed in 40 years of watching politics pointed at one man… Which is why I watch almost ZERO news today from ABCCBSNBCCNNMSNBCPBSNPR.

  • billwald

    The USA is heading for a race war if the left wing can stir one up. Most right wingers and libertarians are pleased to ignore the very few Nazi nuts out there.

    The worst part of all this is the attempt to eliminate traditional, historical words from the English language. Why is it evil for me to want to discriminate in favor of civilized people of all kinds? ive with my economic class? After all, safety and civility is directly related to neighborhood cost of living. Are there any safe and civilized black neighborhoods in your city? I don’t know of any in Seattle.

    • Jack Wellman

      The neighborhood I grew up in was predominantly African-American, but most of us didn’t see color as any thing of consequence. There are fine neighborhoods with people of all color. I will point you to Nicodemus is an unincorporated community in Graham County, Kansas, United States. The community was founded in 1877 and is named for the Biblical figure Nicodemus. The Nicodemus National Historic Site, commemorating the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the Reconstruction Period following the American Civil War, is in town. During the last weekend of July, former residents return for celebrations and parades. Kansas also had an appeal to African Americans living in the post-Civil War South. In the minds of many of these recently freed slaves, Kansas represented a land of freedom and opportunity where slavery was early aboolshed and founded as a free state.

      • pud

        When you refer to blacks as “African Americans” you automatically create a distinction and difference. It’s a stupid term that means absolutely nothing..None of the blacks that you might encounter are from Africa anymore than we are all descendants of African primates. Every time you refer to a group by highlighting some difference you sow the seeds of discord…but you believe in nonsense so this doesn’t surprise me that you don’t get it. People are NOT equal, groups of people are NOT equal Ideologies are NOT equal which doesn’t imply that one can exercise cruelty (that’s for your invisible god to do) but it is a FACT which means your love blanket is not only impossible but STUPID! I don’t love Nazis, I don’t love muslims, I don’t love Antifa and for just reason! They are enemies like religion is an enemy of reason and civilization.

        Just one more of your simple minded ill thought out rambling babbling useless waste of words

        • George

          Talk about waste or words. You epitomize it.

          Atheist troll.

          • pud

            Na na na na na! Get off the playground loser. Go babble with the special needs kids

          • George

            “Go babble with the special needs kids.”

            I am.

        • Erp

          And you yourself draw a distinction by calling some people ‘Black’. African American does have a meaning in that it mostly refers to people whose ancestors were brought over by the slave trade to what is now the United States. More recent immigrants from the Africa tend to be more specific as to their origin; however, those brought over as slaves went through a crucible that created a new common cultural heritage. Many other Americans talk about their Scottish, Irish, Polish, German, English, Greek, Russian etc. ancestry and culture; why can’t African-Americans?

          Wellman seems to overlook that race based violence was endemic before the assassinations of the late 60s though almost all of it before was White initiated trying to maintain “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” as George Wallace stated in 1963. Within Wellman’s town people who knew each other could intermingle across race boundaries (but would they have dated across it without repercussion?), but, his African-American neighbors especially their parents would have known to be wary if they traveled elsewhere. The Green Book meant “to give the Negro traveler information that will keep him from running
          into difficulties, embarrassments and to make his trip more enjoyable” ceased publication only in 1966 (after the civil rights act of 1964 made it illegal to discriminate on the grounds of race).

          Prejudice is learned but not just from parents. It can be learned from fellow children and from other adults even if the parents try their hardest. It can also be subtle and subconscious (I certainly catch myself at times and know there probably times when I’m unaware). We are all too inclined to draw the lines between in group and out group or to assume our group should be the norm (and not recognize the experiences of the other group). Christian or non-Christian (or in my case humanist or non-humanist); US citizen or non-US citizen; white or non-white; economically secure versus economically not secure.

    • George

      I live in a safe, civilized predominantly urban-poor black area of my city. It’s where the most beautiful, historic houses are. You should look around more.

      • pud

        White trash eh?

        • George

          Yes, you are. An imbecilic white trash troll.

  • This is one of your best posts. We ought to love others and treat them with dignity and respect. Harbouring hatred in one’s heart not only hurts others as it is enacted out, but it hurts the one who is harbouring the hatred. Compassion, mercy and loving kindness have wonderful relational healing qualities and dignifies the human spirit of the one showing such qualities. May we all harbour a generosity of spirit to see the best in others, do our best for them, speak the best of others and shine the light of overflowing generosity to others. Love one another.

    • Jack Wellman

      Well said my friend. You and I are in agreement. Thank you for the encouragement Mr. Arthur.

    • pud

      No it isn’t…it’s another simple minded rambling babbling ill thought out woo woo pieces of nonsense

      • George

        Jack – why not just ban this loser?

        • pud

          BURN HIM! SILENCE HIM! ONLY THE CULT SHALL HAVE VOICE!

          • George

            ^ Loser Troll.

        • Shawnie5

          I understand the sentiment, but he unwittingly does everyone here a favor by keeping the God-hating atheist exemplar continually present — lest anyone forget what it looks like.

          • George

            I suppose that’s true. But I don’t keep pigs in my office. I have no need to keep their stench in my nostrils at all times.

  • pud

    “God loved us enough to die for us” No. Your “god” did not send himself as a human sacrifice to himself as a work around for errors he himself created. Vicarious redemption is just another one of your sick twisted absurd made up concepts.

    No we should not love others and treat them with respect as a matter of course. Love and respect are EARNED! Without effort any and everything is worthless. Once again your view from la la land of make believe is pitifully without critical thought or reason

    • George

      The ever-present atheist troll has spoken. HoHum.

      • pud

        Kind of like jesus huh? Post an argument loser! LOL

        • George

          There is no point in wrestling with a pig. You just get muddy, and find out the pig enjoys it.

          Just shut up pud. You’re an idiot troll.

          • pud

            And you’re an inarticulate loser who cannot posit a rational argument…are you 6 years old? ha!

          • George

            I’ve never been wrong about you. You are a low-life atheist troll. A loser.

  • Sam Andrew

    I think there is also an important economic factor to consider in the current race related protests. From what I understand the most racist attitudes are often held by whites from lower socioeconomic groups, who in the face of modern technology and global trade are losing their jobs due to economic forces beyond anyone’s control, and are now competing for low paid jobs that were typically held by ‘coloured’ people. In that sense they have lost their economic privilege and may be trying to grasp at a racial one by enflaming racial divisions to avoid slipping further. Essentially people of colour may be being used as scapegoats for the economic problems these poorer whites have difficulty comprehending.

    • George

      There are many similarities between urban poor blacks and rural poor whites, regarding negative views and behaviors. Poverty plays a part, but scapegoating is the real problem.

  • JA Myer

    I am sad to say, but I think your right. We are so fractured as a country, the constant drumbeat of what makes us different. The violent nature of so many Americans fueled by feelings of hopelessness and despair and of having no real control of our own lives. It is hard to say where the lines will be drawn the shrinking whites against ever increasing people of color? perhaps. The rich with their private police and gated communities against the desperate poor? maybe. Or will it be the old tried and true religious war with Christian and Jew pitted against Islam and everyone else? I think likely. One has to only read comments on any post like this to see so many among us are ready to fire that first shot, so many are ravaged with hate to the point of having lost their shared humanity with others. And while I do worry so about our country but even more I worry about our shared humanity.

  • mjazzguitar

    It is the goal of Leftists to destabilize America and fanning the flames of racism is one of their tactics.