Calvin Robinson, Newly Ordained Minister: Churches Are Going Woke
“They’re always looking for the superficial diversity of skin color. They want more brown faces that think like them. And because I was a brown face that didn’t think like them, they ignored their own ideology—this whole idea that we need to be listening to more ethnic minority voices.”
Calvin Robinson is a UK-based Anglican deacon and political commentator. He was barred from becoming a deacon in the Church of England because of his conservative political views and opposition to critical race theory, he says.
How has woke ideology gained a foothold in churches? And what is the significance of Boris Johnson’s recent resignation?
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Calvin Robinson, such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.
Mr. Calvin Robinson:
Jan, the pleasure is mine. Thank you so much for the invitation.
Well, for starters, I have to say, congratulations on your becoming a deacon. And it was not necessarily something that was a sure thing at one point.
No, no. It’s been a very long challenging journey, but these things often are. I think it’s all part of the big plan and it always looks better or easier in retrospect than it does in the moment.
Well, so you’re now officially an ordained minister of a church that many people I don’t think are even aware of in the UK, never mind in the US. So maybe briefly tell me what that is, and then we’re going to look into your journey to get there.
Yes, sure. So I’m a member of the Anglican Church and a lot of people just think that Anglicanism is synonymous with the Church of England. Of course, it’s not. The Church of England is one part of the Anglican Church. And the Anglican tradition is a global tradition that of course started in England, hence Anglican coming from the Angles.
The expression of the church that I’m a part of is called the Free Church of England, which actually split from the C of E in 1844. But it’s part of a wider global movement called GAFCON, which really and truly got going in 2008 when the Jerusalem Declaration was signed. And this was a declaration of very sound Orthodox Anglicans that saw that the church was going too woke, too liberal, too progressive on issues and moving away from the Bible. And they said, “Hey, wait a minute. We want to stick to the truth.”
And they set up their own organization essentially around a group of conferences that happen to reaffirm the faith.
Well, so not too recently, you were still studying at Oxford to become a minister. And why don’t we just start with your journey to get there? Because I’ll just say this, right? From what I’ve seen of you, you have an unbelievable ability to connect with people and clearly you’re very, very committed to your faith. So this would strike me as kind of like an ideal person to join an official church, especially at a time when a church is in decline like the Church of England. So, but how did you get there? This is an unusual path you’ve taken.
Yeah, thank you. Well, first of all, I was working in industry. I was living a good life, the fast life, making money and just having a good time; or a nice time, not necessarily a good time, there is a difference. And I reached a point in my life where I wanted to kind of feel more fulfilled and give something back. I didn’t want to live an entirely superficial life anymore. And that, I didn’t realize at the time, was the start of my calling.
I was being nudged in a different direction and I entered teaching almost accidentally because the area that I was in was computer science and programming and web design and app development. And we didn’t have enough talent in the UK. We really couldn’t find the people to do the work we wanted. I’m a patriot. I didn’t believe in outsourcing work to Eastern Asia and Europe. And I thought, “Where’s the British talent?”
And I thought, either arrogantly or naively, that I could make a difference in teaching people computer science so I entered teaching. And that this is when I realized that this is the start of my vocation, because teaching is one element of the priestly ministry. Of course, there’s the pastoral side, which also comes with teaching, also comes with priestly ministry.
But after a number of years in teaching, I realized that what we were doing was good work, but it wasn’t all of the work. I needed to be involved in administering the sacraments and I needed to be involved in not just helping young people get good grades, but helping them be good Christians and sending [them] out into the world as good people. The character element is what I thought was missing. And essentially that nudged me further down my vocation into training for ordained ministry.
Now, I applied. I went through the process. I said, “I feel like I’m being called to ordained ministry.”
And the established church said, “We also think that you are being called. Let’s send you to Oxford. Let’s spend 20,000 to 30,000 pounds on training you up and give you some good formation.”
And then we get towards the end of that training a couple years in Oxford, and at the end you’re usually given a parish to go work in as a curate or an assistant priest. And this is when I entered my first stumbling block. This is when I experienced my first hurdle when the bishops essentially said that they don’t think there is a place for someone like me.
I tried to push on this a little bit, because obviously in the UK, I have a little bit of a media profile. I do commentary, political commentating on GB news and talk radio. And I write for the “Telegraph” and “The Times” and “The Daily Mail” and such. So my opinion is out there in the public space, but it’s always rooted in my faith. It’s always conservative. And I think the two things are very much aligned.
However, the hierarchy within the church is very liberal and they seem to think that their politics is the only way to be a Christian. And I think that politics and faith are two different things that can be aligned, but aren’t always. Anyway, what it came down to was that they said, “Look, there will be too many complaints because of your public profile and the things that you say and how you say them.”
I like to think I’m quite an amenable, peaceful guy and I don’t think I’m that controversial. But anyway, I said, “Okay, well, fair enough. Let me see some of the complaints against me and I’ll pray on them. I’ll discern on how to do better because I’m not out here to offend. I’m really not. I’m not a shock jock. I’m out here to proclaim the truth as I see it. And I find the truth rooted in my faith.”
And they said, “Well, we can’t show you the complaints.”
I said, “Okay, well, fair enough.”
Over here, we have a Freedom of Information Act. And I did a request called a subject access request, which meant that I’m able to see, by law, any document they have with my details on it. So any email, any text message mentioning my name or talking about me. And so I got a whole pack of information from the bishops in the Church of England and it detailed that they’d received less than a handful of complaints about me actually.
First of all, I thought that was quite underwhelming. I’ve obviously not been as controversial as I thought, but also that there were a lot of communications about me from the bishops themselves. And these dated all the way back to before they even sent me to training, saying things such as, “Calvin doesn’t believe that racism is institutional in this country. We should keep an eye on his ordination process.”
Therefore implying that he doesn’t align with our politics. Do we really want to ordain him? And that was the start of the snowball.
Well, that’s absolutely fascinating because essentially, if I’m getting this right, and I recall that you have said that in a recent conversation with a highly placed person in the church, you were also given this message that you need to believe that the church is institutionally racist. That’s the correct position to take.
Yes. So on this particular topic, and there were many political topics they disagreed with me on, but on the topic of race, the church put out a report stating that the church itself is institutionally racist. Now I challenged this report because it was full of critical race theory. And I know that’s a divisive toxic ideology that we shouldn’t be pushing on the general populist, never mind on the faithful. And I thought there were other ways of addressing race relations. And of course, because of the whole Black Lives Matter movement, we have to address it in some way, but to be self-flagellating and taking on board positive discrimination is not the way to do it. It was full of affirmative action.
This report from the church was full of racial quotas. We can provide these stats, but things like the church needs to have a short list of 30 percent ethnic minorities for every leadership position available in the church. Now, the UK has an ethnic minority quota of about 12 to 14 percent. It’s a predominantly white country and of that 12 to 14 percent, half of those are Muslims, right? And so that leaves us with seven percent of the population being an ethnic minority and potentially able to take a role in the church. So I don’t know where they expect to get 30 percent for every leadership position from, especially if it’s outside of London where the demographics are much, much lower.
So that’s just one example of the woke nonsense that was in the report. So I challenged it and said, “Look, there are other ways of looking at these issues. Maybe we can have a conversation.”
They didn’t appreciate it. I said, “Look, I don’t think we can start from a position of saying the church is institutionally racist.” I said, “Look, there are many, many instances of individual racism and of course need to be dealt with seriously, but what do you say that the whole institution is racist? First of all, you’re shifting blame from those individuals so they get away with it. But secondly, you’re painting all of us as racist and I don’t think that’s the case. So I think it’s inappropriate.”
And an influential bishop said to me, “But Calvin, I can tell you as a white woman, the church is racist.”
And that leads me to the assumption that there’s no common ground there. That’s very difficult to engage with when a person won’t debate with you on evidence or statistics, or look at the demographic data. And in this country, we’ve had an independent report that the government has published recently that shows that it looks into demographics and social enigmas and looks at racial disparities and tries to find if the cause is racism, or if it’s a wider issue.
In this country, actually, it’s mostly down to class. Most of the disparities that we have in our society, sometimes race does play a part. It’s usually not the whole picture. And when we blame racism, we’re not seeing the whole picture. And I think that’s a disappointment because we all want to live in a better society. So we have to address the whole issue holistically.
Anyway, I put all this forward and they said, “Well, we see the church as institutionally racist.”
And then they released another report that said, actually, the country is institutionally racist. So it’s not enough to say that the church is institutionally racist. It’s the entire country. I mean, that’s just a joke, isn’t it? That just every part of our society is somehow racist and actively working against ethnic minorities. When we have equality under the law, if someone is being discriminated against, they have means to redress. They can take people to court. They can sue them. So it’s clearly not. And we’ve got the Equalities Act. We’ve got a whole host of defensive measures in our laws.
And I’m just like, “This is not realistic.”
And of course it came down to the fact that we weren’t going to see eye to eye on these political issues, even though they never drew any attention to my faith. They never said, “You’re not faithful enough. You’re not Christian enough. Your theology’s wrong. You’re heretical on these issues.”
Because I don’t think they would have any leg to stand on. It was always the issue they had with me was my politics. It wasn’t the same as theirs. And I think if you want a truly broad church, you should have diversity of thought and opinion, diversity of politics. And that’s the one diversity that they’re never chasing after. They’re always looking for the superficial diversity of skin color. They want more brown faces that think like them. And because I was a brown face that didn’t think like them, they ignored their own ideology, this whole idea that we need to be listening to more ethnic minority voices. Okay. Well, I’m an ethnic minority. I have a voice I’m trying to give it to you, but you’re not listening to it. So you’re a hypocrite and that’s where we left off really.
Of course I didn’t put it in that way. I tried to be as cherishable as I could, but they made it known that there wasn’t room for someone like me in their organization. And I do think it was part of the plan. Yeah. And I think I ended up where I was supposed to because if I was in that institution and I don’t want to go on about it too much, because it’s negative and I’m trying to move past that, but I would’ve been battling every day against wokism, against people telling me that I’m oppressed because I’m brown. I’m a victim. And I’m not a victim. I’m not oppressed. And I don’t want people telling me that every day.
So where I am now, I’m able to just get on with my ministry. And, that means to me preaching the gospel. It doesn’t mean talking about climate change, Brexit, or Black Lives Matter.
First of all, what strikes me is when you saw that this language of institutional racism, you probably got a hint that critical race theory is involved in this view. And of course in critical race theory, that’s the a priori assumption. It’s not even like… It’s not a conclusion. It’s a basic supposition, right?
Yes. It’s the starting point. And that’s the problem. Because when you’re starting from a position that I don’t recognize, how can we find common ground? I don’t know where to go from there. I’m happy to talk about lived experiences for example, but we can’t put all the weight on the lived experience because a lived experience is a stupid term for an anecdote. And we know that anecdotes are important, but they’re not the whole picture. And they’re certainly not the most important data. And also how do you weigh one anecdote over another when I’m giving my anecdote and I’ve experienced a lot of racism in my life. I’m never saying that racism isn’t an issue. I’ve experienced it firsthand and I’ve seen it in my family too.
But when I’m saying that my lived experience is that I’m not oppressed. I’m not a victim despite the racism that I’ve experienced. And that actually I feel quite successful, quite privileged to use their terminology. I honestly believe that if you keep your head down, work hard enough, you can achieve anything you want in the West because we’re fortunate enough we don’t live in a meritocracy yet, but we’re heading towards that. That’s the direction we’re working towards.
Most of us in the UK, Canada, Australia, and North America as a whole, most of us in the established West believe in equality of opportunity, believe in the power of the individual and individual responsibility along with that. And when you take all that away, you strip all that away and say, “Actually, you are not an individual. You’re no more than the color of your skin,” that’s a step backwards in my opinion.
Well, and something I really wanted to get your opinion on. Some more religious people that I’ve spoken to describe adherence to critical race theory and wokism as a broader term, as a kind of secular religion and others that are more secular actually call it an actual religion. And so I don’t know what you think about this because, it’s an interesting case because you’re obviously trying to live your religion. So how does this fit into an existing religious life?
Yeah, absolutely. So I would say in my religion, in Christianity, we refer to the Bible as our primary source and we take that as given. So for example, it would say in Galatians, Paul would say that there is neither Jew nor Greek. It’s a very common phrase I know. But it’s important because it says that our race doesn’t, or ethnicity doesn’t matter because we’re all one. And on identity, it would say that our identity is actually rooted in Christ, not in our individual demographics. And again, critical race theory is the opposite of that. It’s saying, no, your first identity is your skin color, and then everything else comes after that. So it’s a religion that is the antithesis of the religion that we’re supposed to be subscribing to, but it’s not just critical race theory. The religion is wokeness.
So within the established church, it’s not just critical race theory that’s taken a hold of them. There’s the whole, the LGBTQ+++II, whatever movement, the alphabet movement, has taken hold too, because we’ve got people literally undermining scripture, not just ignoring it, but reversing it in order to squeeze in their own political views. And I’m not going to sit here and say that there are different lifestyles that people cannot choose to live. That’s up to each individual. But what I’m saying is if you call yourself a Christian, the Bible gives you the way.
So for example, within the established church, and I’m not just talking about the Church of England, I’m talking about the Episcopal church in America, too. Homosexual marriage is something that they are really, really pushing for. And again, I’m not commenting on homosexuality. I’m not commenting on however people live their lives, but I’m saying marriage as a Christian sacrament is between one man and one woman. That’s very clear in the scripture. And it’s for the purposes of procreation and unity as one couple under God.
Now you can do whatever you like in your lifestyle, live your life however you like. I’m not renouncing anyone, but I’m saying that what you can’t do is rewrite what is in the book. So you can’t say actually marriage now is actually also between two men or two women. Find another word for that, find another way of looking at that if you need to, but whatever you’re doing, that’s not the Christian religion. That’s another religion. That’s wokeness. And this is the problem in every aspect of our lives, wokeness has kind of taking a grasp. And when it becomes the new religion, people ignore the old one and it’s replacing the old one.
And I think it’s more damaging because we’re teaching it right now in the UK. It’s gone past the church. It’s in every aspect of our lives. We are teaching young kids in schools that this is something that they should know about from a very, very early age. In the UK, I spoke about [how] I used to be a teacher. Sex education is something we used to teach in high school. Now that’s been pushed all the way down into junior school because people felt it was important that young kids knew about different lifestyles. For example, that families aren’t just one man and one woman, but families could also be two men. Now I get that there’s an argument for that. But then to push that sex education, call it relationship and sex education, and push it down from 15, 16 years old, all the way down to 4, 5, 6 years old is no longer age appropriate.
I know I’m on a tangent here, but what we’ve seen as a result of that is that we are teaching five year olds about masturbation. We’re teaching five year olds about BDSM. We’re teaching these young children about things that they should have no idea about, well, sometimes ever, but at least until they’re old enough. And we have age appropriate rules in every other area of life, but in education they’ve been eroded because of this new religion of wokeness. Because it’s inclusive, it’s diverse, and that’s all that matters.
You’re describing wokeness as kind of a religion that’s replacing potentially the one that you’ve committed yourself to, or at least the church you were originally committed to. I’m curious how much feedback you’ve gotten from ministers and preachers and people in other Christian denominations, or perhaps in other religions as well saying, “Hey, we’re seeing something similar”?
That is a very good question. That’s a key question. So once my story broke, first of all, that I’d been blocked in the C of E and then I’d found somewhere else to go, I had so many responses from the laity, people in the pews, but also from vicars, priests, and other clergymen who said, “This is happening here. This is happening in our church. This is happening all over.”
And the saddest thing was that most people did not feel comfortable speaking out. So priests would say, “I can’t say anything because I’d be starved out.”
The church will… They’re reliant on their stipend. And then we’d have clergymen who say things like, “Well, there’s nothing we could do because it’s our priest who’s preaching about climate change more than he is preaching about Jesus Christ. We think it’s inappropriate, but what can we do?”
Well, we’ve got priests saying, “Yeah, my bishop is putting pressure on me to do the latest diversity and equality training, which is full of critical race theory, and we don’t have a problem with race in our church.”
Or, “There’s a new report that’s being put out by the church that says we need to look for monuments and statues that could be potentially offensive, and here’s a guide on how to remove them. This is literally erasing our history. We don’t want any part in this.”
I’ve had so many positive and quite sad responses from people up and down the country. Initially I had priests say, “Come and train here. Come and be our assistant priest.”
But what was interesting about that was not that the bishop’s got in touch. Not one bishop got in touch to say, “We’d like to ordain you or we do see the problem here.”
They’ve been very quiet. And I think the issue there is that there’s a group think amongst the bishops, but the clergy and the laity are very diverse. And I think actually, probably more conservative than liberal, especially in the pews. The vast majority of people in the country are conservative. Hence, why we’ve had a conservative government for the last couple of decades.
Fascinating. Well, let’s talk about this because this is actually very timely, right? The British prime minister or the UK prime minister announced that he’s resigning. Although he’s basically staying in place for a while, for a few months yet. And I noticed that you have some commentary about the character or the characteristics that you’d like to see of a future premier or prime minister. Before we go there, what do you think happened?
Well, it’s being painted as a moral dilemma. So for those that don’t know, there was a member of parliament who groped a couple of men in a gentlemen’s club, and it wasn’t dealt with swiftly or appropriately. And this member of parliament got away with it. For political reasons, the prime minister needed his support. He was a Deputy Chief Whip. So he was responsible for getting the troops, but also the prime minister needed that number in a vote. It was all very seedy and scandalous, but people are claiming that this… They’re on some moral high ground, and this is just reprehensible. We have to get rid of him. It’s not because of that at all.
So Boris Johnson is many, many things, but he’s never been accused of being a moral chap. He’s never… All these righteous people have supported him for years and suddenly they find that he doesn’t have a moral compass. This is the chap that he’s on his third marriage. In fact, we don’t even know how many kids our prime minister has or how many children he has. That’s how much of an adulterer or a playboy he is, whichever terminology you want to use. He’s allowed, right? This is the chapter some people will say he’s politically incorrect. Some people will call him racist from the jokes and the language that he uses. So wherever you fall on the political spectrum, whatever you say about him, I don’t think you would ever call him moral.
What we’ve actually seen is a sustained campaign against him by several different parties that have happened to converge, I think accidentally. I don’t think they’re clever enough to be coordinated, but first of all, there’s the mainstream media over here who really, really do not want him in place and they never have. We have a lefty liberal media, much the same as you guys.
They’ve campaigned against him heavily.
One of the issues they’ve been talking about for weeks and months is this thing called Partygates, that during the lockdowns, the prime minister, he didn’t really have a party, but he entered a room where people gave him a slice of cake for his birthday. This was like after a meeting or before a meeting or something. It was the most boring party you can ever imagine in a workplace. I don’t even know if there was alcohol involved, but they’ve been holding that over him for the longest time, the mainstream media, using that as a stick to beating with. But anything they can find to shut him down.
And then on the other camp, you’ve got the Ramoaners. And when I see Ramoaners, I mean people who voted for Remain that haven’t managed to get over it. So we’ve got people that wanted to remain in the European Union and we’ve got people that would like to rejoin the European Union. And of course, Boris Johnson is the fellow that got Brexit done after many attempts to subvert democracy. Many, many people within the houses of parliament wanted to cancel the results of the referendum and or ignore them. One of our biggest democratic mandates in our history. Anyway, they didn’t like the results, so they wanted to overturn it. So there’s a Remain camp going after him too.
And then thirdly, there is the evil genius. A guy that I actually have a lot of respect for because he’s the best campaigner we’ve ever seen. He was the campaigner behind Vote Leave during the Brexit referendum. He was the campaigner that got Boris Johnson elected in 2019. He runs campaigns like no one else. However, he shouldn’t necessarily be involved in government. Campaigning and governing are two very different things. He’s not the most empathetic or compassionate person.
I think he sees people as numbers on a spreadsheet. He’s a massively big picture.
But the problem is he was involved in government and he was probably the most influential person around Boris Johnson for a long while, until Boris Johnson got married and Carrie Symonds took over that position. There was a bit of a battle. Anyway, Dominic Cummings lost that battle. Got unceremoniously booted out of number 10. And he’s been holding a grudge and he’s been saying he will get revenge on the prime minister quite publicly.
None of this is implied and this is his revenge. He’s been leaking things. He’s been maneuvering. So we’ve got Dominic Cummings. We’ve got the Remain camp and we’ve got the mainstream media. All of them have been on Boris Johnson’s case from day one. And they’ve just happened to have a stroke of luck in that the tide has turned against him finally.
But even that, he wasn’t willing to resign straight away. Most of his cabinet resigned. He still said, “No, I’m not going anywhere.”
What, his best friend went in to say, “Look, you’ve got to go.”
He said, “No, you are going instead.” Fired him.
And now he said he will resign. I don’t think he has actually technically resigned because he said he will stay until there is a replacement leader for the party, which we don’t expect to take place until September because the party conferences are early October. So he could potentially be working in his head to turn things around by September.
He could be like, “If I cut taxes, if I cut immigration, do the things that people have been begging for for years. Finally, people might be happy and forget about all this hoo-ha and let me stay in place.”
Who knows? But he’s the sort of person that would have to be dragged out, kicking and screaming.
You mentioned that he might have this plan to basically stay in place despite having resigned, despite everything, and of course all the pressure. But you did propose, and I thought they were very interesting, and I saw they got a ton of traction, too, some characteristics of what a leader might have. I mean, maybe this is something that Prime Minister Boris Johnson could actually benefit from.
Absolutely. I’m shocked that this hasn’t been done so far. So I just talked about the issues that I hear people talking about. On GB News, we have this saying that we ask the questions that people want answers to. And for the most part, people on my Twitter are asking similar questions to what they’re tweeting into the shows. And that is how can we cut illegal immigration? We have far too much immigration. We need to control our borders. Why are we not promoting the family? Why are we not protecting British values? All of these issues are very, just small “C” conservative. And when you have a conservative government, you’d expect them to be doing some things conservative at least.
What I did find interesting though, from my wishlist of policies, was that promote the family was the most controversial one among them. And I had some fairly right wing views in my list, but promoting the family is the one that caused the most backlash because people were saying, “But what family? What type of family? What do you mean by promote the family?”
As if it’s a bad thing. How have we got to a point in the West where it’s controversial to say that we should be promoting the family and I didn’t even go into any detail. So anything else is implied by the person reading it. It’s inferred rather by whoever’s reading it at the time.
I’ve come to this with many, many guests over the years now that have been on this show, is this idea at least in the U.S. being in a complete family unit is one of the best indicators of success. It’s the one that comes out amidst all the other variables almost every time, left and right. Think tanks agree on this. It’s foundational and very valuable to actually having a “successful life.”
It’s demonstrable. Absolutely. The center for social justice did a report out here that showed that if your family breaks down before you reach the age of 18, so if you’re a child and you lose one of your parents from your family through separation or divorce, you are twice as likely to fail in school, twice as likely to end up homeless, and more than twice as likely to end up in prison. Also twice as likely to end up on drugs. So your life chances diminished by half by losing one of your parents. By your family halving, your life chances are half.
That’s how serious it is, but we’ve become so woked that just to say promote the family has become a bad thing because people think that you’re saying that there’s only one type of family or that you are against single parents. And it’s like, no, what we’re saying is, or what I’m saying is there is an ideal, a strong male role model, a strong female role model. That is ideal, but I’m not saying that two men or two women can’t raise a family. I’m not arguing for or against that actually. That’s up to other people to make that case.
But I’m also saying that an ideal isn’t going to happen for everyone. My mother was a single parent. She didn’t choose that. That’s just what happened. Circumstances dictated that, but I’m not saying I’m not talking against single parents. I’m saying it’s better for kids if they have two parents and surely we should strive towards that and we should help support people so that can be the case.
And you know, some countries in Europe managed to do this very well. You get extra family support the more children you have or you get tax breaks if you’re a married couple. Things that we used to do here in the UK. We’ve stopped doing them because the moment you say you are for two parent families, people assume you’re against other types of families or against single parent families. And we’ve got to get over that. We’ve got to stop being offended before people have finished their sentences.
So you’ve recently appeared in this documentary that Laurence Fox has put together. I know actually you’ve worked on a number of video productions I’ve seen over the last few years anyhow. So tell me about that.
It’s probably the most important work that Laurence Fox has done so far. It’s a documentary called “Groomed,” because for me, as I’ve been a teacher, an assistant head teacher, a school governor, a director of new charter schools and in all my time in education, the one thing that scares me the most is the lack of transparency. This is how I got into commentating in the first place, because I was writing about the indoctrination that I was seeing in schools. And I was sticking my name to it because I thought that what was happening was wrong. People need to be aware. That parents are not aware of what’s going on in schools and what their kids are being taught, and they need to be. So this documentary is about opening people’s eyes and exposing the truth. And I think if parents saw what was going on, they would be outraged.
I mentioned earlier that we’re teaching younger and younger children about sex education. That’s inappropriate. We’re also teaching them that actually they can decide their genders because they were assigned genders at birth, but they might not be the genders that they feel like they belong to. And it’s up to them, what they want to be. We’re teaching them contested ideologies as if they are facts.
Critical race theory is another one. We’re teaching young white kids that they are oppressors and they are either covertly or overtly racist. It’s something they cannot escape. It’s a sin that they cannot be forgiven for. However, we’re also teaching young black kids that they are oppressed victims and the world is against them. The country’s institutionally racist, and they’ve got hurdles that they’ll never be able to overcome. And when we do this, we’re dividing them based on their skin color. First of all, that might not have been an issue to begin with because we live in quite a metropolitan society these days.
But also what we’re saying to them is, to the black kids, “Why bother? Why work hard because it doesn’t matter what you do? You’re going to be held down anyway.”
And we’re saying to the white kids, “You guys are wicked. You should feel bad about yourselves, whether you’ve been racist or not, whether you know you’ve been racist or not because you have been and you are. And you should repent for the sins of your great, great, great, great, great, great ancestors even though they may or may not have been involved in anything nefarious.”
And the thing that gets me again about all of this, it all comes down to the transatlantic slave trade as if that was the only evil to ever occurred in history. Slavery has been going on forever. The Barbary slave trade, the Arabs have been trading blacks and whites for centuries. In fact, the Africans were slave trading other Africans before the white man even got to Africa. And of course, none of this is discussed because it’s the transatlantic slave trade that is most important. Forget the Egyptians. Forget everyone else.
But I don’t know why we’re obsessed with this one particular period in history. And we seem to think that the more we talk about it, the more we’ll solve the problem. And the more we blame people today for something that happened centuries ago, we’ll get past it. Forgetting the slave owners were the one percent of their day. It was the elite of their day. Just because you were white, doesn’t mean you have an ancestor that owned slaves. In fact, the probability is you didn’t because most families aren’t part of the one percent. Most families couldn’t afford to have slaves.
And so it is just a ridiculous suggestion that everyone white is somehow bad and everyone black is somehow good because people are fallen. People are individuals. We’re all good, we’re all bad. And us, we’re a big melting pot of good and bad. And unless we acknowledge that and acknowledge that we’re all individuals and we’re not some big collective group that needs to take collective blame for things that we’re not involved in, we can’t move past it.
It strikes me. It’s very interesting you to say that the transatlantic slave trade is there’s this fixation on it, even in the UK. But my guess is, these ideologies, they actually come from the U.S. So it kind of makes sense that they would be central to the whole story, but it seems to make even less sense, based on looking at the arguments you just made for it to be a UK thing somehow or anywhere else for that matter.
It doesn’t make any sense, Jan. So when I look at America, I think, “Okay, so you guys, you had slaves in your country. You had an apartheid system in some places. You had segregation—water fountains, toilets, buses. You had a civil rights movement, quite recent, to fight for equal rights. You had the whole Planned Parenthood thing of eugenics set up to depopulate black areas. You had Jim Crow laws. You’ve had a wicked history and you’re in a really good place now. You made a lot of progress. Acknowledging all those bads, shows you how good things are now.
But however, that has meant that you’ve got a culture, a subculture, African American culture. We had none of that in Great Britain. When my grandparents came over from Jamaica on my father’s side, they were proud to be coming here as part of the Windrush generation because first of all, they’re part of the British Commonwealth of Nations and Jamaica is a former colony. But it wasn’t something they were ashamed of. They were proud to come to the mother country. They were proud to serve under her majesty, the Queen. And they were welcomed.
Of course there was a lot of racism at the time. And again, we’ve made a lot of progress now from what it was like then, but generally speaking, they weren’t taken over here as slaves. They chose to come over here. And we don’t have that African American culture. We don’t have a black British culture in the same way because the Caribbean people that came over in the 1950s integrated into society and communities.
And so my father was born here. I was born here. I’ve got one black parent, one white parent, but I would say I’m entirely a hundred percent British, a hundred percent English. And this is my culture. This is my heritage. This is my nationality. This is my ethnicity. I wouldn’t identify as black British because I wouldn’t know what that meant. I wouldn’t know why my skin color is important and it is not as divisive.
But when we take on board these American politics, we are causing division in our society where it didn’t exist to begin with. And I do see that actually in a lot of young black kids, when they’re taking on board. It comes from hip hop culture. It’s that, the jeans halfway down the backside, the hats on funny and using slang that doesn’t make any sense in our language because… I say our language, but you know American English is quite different to British English. But we’re taking your words, we’re taking your culture, we’re taking your politics. And that’s quite sad because I mean your culture’s fine, but we had our own culture. And I think we just celebrate that.
And it’s something that used to be considered good, but now the white middle class, the metropolitan liberal elites, frown upon it cause they’re self flagellating and some of the ethnically diverse communities also are looking for their own culture now because they’re being told that actually they’re not allowed to take on board the predominant culture, the normative culture, because it’s not theirs. And this is the division being brought on by the liberals who are saying, “No, that’s not yours. This is oppressive to you. You’ve got your own culture.”
It’s like, “No, this is all of our culture. We are all British. It’s the thing that unites us, that brings us together.”
And what you’re doing is your stoking division and you’re causing racism where it didn’t exist to begin with or not in the depths that it does now. Racial tensions have increased tenfold since the Black Lives Matter movement. A criminal was killed in a horrible way in a foreign land. Why is it affecting us? I mean, we can pray for him and we can pray for the police force and we can pray for America. Great. We can wish you well, but why are we taking on board your struggles? That’s what I don’t understand. It makes no sense in our context.
So Calvin, I want to touch on this one thing you said a little bit earlier, which I think might not necessarily be completely clear to everyone. You mentioned Planned Parenthood, you mentioned depopulation of blacks. Can you just clarify for me what you’re talking about here?
Yes. I think it’s very interesting that the founder of Planned Parenthood was a eugenicist. And when we look at the results of the outcomes of what happened in the areas where Planned Parenthoods were placed, we see that the vast majority of abortions were black. That’s an interesting demographic because it wasn’t just the outcomes that were mostly poor people or mostly people into private areas, or it wasn’t necessarily down to class. The outcomes were that most of the people who are being serviced by these abortion centers were black. And this was set up and designed and implemented by a eugenicist who often refer to black people as Negroes and used derogatory language when talking about attracting more Negroes by hiring more Negroes and this kind of thing. So it suggests to me that there was something nefarious going on there.
And this is part of a wider picture that in American culture, we’ve got this idea that somehow the left are the ones looking out for ethnic minorities and the rights are somehow racist. We saw this a lot over Trump’s campaign. Of course, Trump’s a racist and Biden is the one who’s going to save black people because if you don’t vote Biden, you ain’t black. And I find that quite racist actually.
And what I also found interesting is that a lot of the vox pops that I saw over the election were quite funny by shock jock, right wing people that would read quotes out and people would be like, “Oh, that’s awful. That’s racist. That must be Donald Trump.”
They’d be like, “No, that’s actually Joe Biden.”
And then people would make excuses. “Oh yeah. That’s because it was …”
But if it was the other way around, they’d denounce Trump. It’s fascinating that it’s the ideology that Trump’s the actual racism. And we’ve seen this because we know that the Democrats were the party that were linked to the KKK. And we know that Republicans were the party that fought for emancipation and fought for individual liberties. We know that parties on the center right generally see people as individuals and parties on the left generally see people as a collective.
I think there’s something inherently racist about this idea that you own a demographic and that demographic has to vote for you based on their immutable characteristics. Like the color of my skin does not affect the way that I think. And if people think that it does, I would suggest that they are racist. So my politics has nothing to do with the color of my skin. To be honest, I get my politics from my faith as much as I can or from my nationhood or from my community, from my family. Lots of different things have a part to play, my socioeconomic background, my class, my wealth, etcetera.
But with the left, we’ve seen this with Joe Biden. If you don’t vote Democrat you ain’t black. We’ve seen this in the UK with Jeremy Corbyn, who said, “We will unlock your potential as ethnic minorities.”
As an ethnic minority, I do not want anyone to want to unlock my potential, not a metropolitan liberal elite, white middle class person, whatever, anyone. I want to unlock my own potential. I want to work hard. I want to live in a meritocracy. I want to strive towards success and achieve things based on my merit, not someone else’s handouts. This is conservatism: working for a hand up, not a handout. I don’t want to be dependent on anyone because when you are dependent on someone else, they are your master. And that’s what they want really, truly. It’s power. It’s control. It’s a way of getting their votes.
Well Calvin, absolutely fascinating. Any final thoughts as we finish up our talk today?
When we look from Britain, when we look to America, we’re always looking to copy from your culture and your ways. And I think there are so many great things about America. Your first and second amendments stand out and the way you fight for liberties in a way that I think we’ve forgotten over here. I wish we would start looking at the good things rather than the bad things. But also vice versa. I [would] love for America to take on board some of our subtleties and our little eccentricities. I think we share a lot in common, but there’s such a wide divide and it feels to me that the gap is growing with the current president, unfortunately. So I hope that we can rebuild that strong union between our nations, and I hope we can continue to look toward each other for the best interests of both of us.
Well, Calvin Robinson, it’s such a pleasure to have you on the show.
The pleasure is mine. Thank you.
Thank you all for joining Calvin Robinson and me on this episode of American Thought Leaders. I’m your host Jan Jekielek.
The Church of England did not respond to our request for comment.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
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