In defense of Dr. James White

Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries recently posted something to his Facebook page which caused quite the controversy.  I’ll paste what he said and let you read it for yourself… (the italics and bold are not his)

I bought a dash cam recently. Seems everyone in Russia has one (I guess you have to for insurance purposes), and I thought it would be pretty good to have to document some of the crazy things that happen while driving. So I was coming home this evening and happened to be the first car at Glendale and 35th Avenue in Phoenix. And as you will see, a young black kid, looks to be 15 years old or so, was crossing the street. Now if you watch, you will see a police SUV cross in front of me first going east. The kid then comes into the screen, and though he sort of hid it under his elbow, he plainly flips off the police vehicle. Then he is emptying the drink he is consuming as he walks out of the frame. What you can’t see is that he then simply tossed the bottle into the bush in the corner of the gas station. I happened to notice the two ladies in the car next to me had seen the same thing. We just looked at each other, put up our hands in exasperation, and shook our heads.

As I drove away I thought about that boy. There is a more than 70% chance he has never met this father. In all probabilities he has no guidance, has no example. He is filled with arrogance and disrespect for authority. He lives in a land where he is told lies every day—the lie that he cannot, through hard work and discipline, get ahead, get a good education, and succeed at life. He is lied to and told the rest of the world owes him. And the result is predictable: in his generation, that 70% number will only rise. He may well father a number of childrenmost of which will be murdered in the womb, padding the pockets of Planned Parenthood, and those that survive will themselves be raised without a natural family, without the God-ordained structure that is so important for teaching respect, and true manhood or womanhood.

It never crossed my mind to flip off a police car as it passed me by when I was his age. Of course, it never crossed my mind to walk around with my butt hanging out of my pants, either, as if the entire world needed to see what kind of underwear I was sporting that day. I know I would have been mighty guilty had I tossed my drink bottle into a bush—and I never would have dreamed of doing that in front of everyone like this young man did. But I had a father and a mother. And I was taught to respect others, and myself. If I had not had those things, I still would not have acted as he , simply because times have changed, and not for the better. There was simply more restraint in my day. It surely makes me wonder what the future holds. Oh, I know—this is nothing. There are videos on line of kids like this shooting guns in the air and robbing people and doing car jackings. I know. But you need to understand: those folks didn’t get there without first finding it “fun” to strut, flip, toss, and live an attitude of disrespect.

 

With that, the pitch forks came out.  But why?  Let’s break down what White said piece by piece.

He says there is more than a 70% chance that the boy has never met his father.  I couldn’t find this statistic but I found a couple of others that still get the point across.

The first one is the percentage of black children born out of wedlock.  That number is 71.4% according to the CDC.  Now, this statistic doesn’t directly prove that the likelihood that this boy has never met his father is above 70% but it does speak to a systemic breakdown of the family structure among black families.

The actual number of black children living without their fathers is 57.6% according to the US Census Bureau.  So if you want to hold Dr. White’s feet to the fire because he was off by 12.4%, well go ahead and stick that feather in your cap if you feel the need to, but his point is still valid.

If Dr. White had simply left the 70% out of his post entirely and had instead said “There’s a better chance than not that the boy has never met his father” I imagine the pitchforks would have come out all the same despite the fact that this is statistically true.

Dr. White goes on to say “in all probabilities he has no guidance, has no example.”  This is a true statement.  Dr. White’s not claiming to know this as fact, which is why he said “in all probabilities.”  The kid’s actions lend (flipping off a cop and littering) lend credence to this probability.

Dr. White then does make an absolute statement “He is filled with arrogance and disrespect for authority.”  How do we know this?  Because he just demonstrated it by committing two crimes in broad day light, right in front of him.

He then goes on to explain how the kid has been lied to and told he can never get ahead and that the world owes him.  Have you seen the democratic debates lately?  How could anyone argue this point?

He then says “He may well father a number of children”… again… Dr. White is merely guessing, he didn’t say “He absolutely will father a number of children.”  and then says “most of which will be murdered in the womb.”  And here again, he’s basing this off of statistical probabilities which show that 42.4% of all black babies conceived will be aborted.  Is that technically “most” of them?  No.  And again, if you want to stick a feather in your cap because it’s “ONLY” 42.4%, then feel free to do so, but his point is still valid.

Dr. White says “It never crossed my mind to flip off a police car as it passed me when I was his age.”  And I can already hear the retorts now… “Well you never had the cops harass/abuse/brutalize you because of the color of your skin.”  Cool, as long as we’re harping on facts and not making assumptions, you don’t know that this boy has ever been mistreated by the police either, and if that’s the first thought that popped into your mind, your guilty of the very same assumptions and stereotyping of cops that you’re accusing Dr. White of doing to black teens.

He makes mention of his pants sagging, which has absolutely nothing to do with the boy’s skin color, as teenagers of all races do this and it’s equally as revolting.

He says he still would not have done what this kid did even if he had no parents because we live in a different time.  And it’s true.  When Dr. White was a teenager, kids didn’t do that kind of thing even if they didn’t have strong parents because communities at large would hold them accountable.  If you’re trying to tell me he’s wrong about saying times have changed then you need to get your head out of the sand.  And again, this has nothing to do with his race.

He closes by saying the people doing the hard crimes (shooting guns, robbing, car jacking) didn’t just roll out of bed one day and start doing those things.  It started with smaller things like flipping off cops and littering.  Is there something about this statement that is untrue?  Is there anything about that statement that has anything at all to do with race?

Some of Dr. White’s most visible critics regarding this deal (Alex Medina, Lecrae, BJ Thompson) were some of the ones who immediately rushed to judgment in the Ferguson shooting and assumed that officer Darren Wilson was guilty.  I don’t have all day to post links to that, but go look through their Twitter timelines or Google it and you’ll find it soon enough.  They assumed officer Wilson was guilty long before any of the facts were in, because they have prejudice in their hearts against police officers.  The difference is that statistics actually show that police brutality is an incredibly rare event, whereas the things Dr. White was making educated guesses on were actually backed by statistical probabilities.

So who’s really rushing to judgment here?  I think some folks need to take a look at that plank in their own eye.

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