Christians, Charlamagne Tha God and Black Privilege




I know what you are thinking. What can a reformed, child of GOD learn from Charlamagne tha God? A non-regenerate, crude, five percenter*? Well, that’s what I was thinking when I was offered the book Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes To Those Who Create It. Before he was Charlamagne tha God he was Lenard Larry McKelvey from Moncks Corner, South Carolina. The town had a population of eight-thousand. He lived in a double-trailer with both his parents, he was a good student and hung out with nerdy white kids. He learned early that not all white people have it easy. It all went downhill for him when he started hanging out with his cool cousins. It led him down a path of selling cocaine, getting kicked out of two high schools and going to jail twice before the age of eighteen. He eventually turned his life around to become the co-host of a nationally syndicated radio show, The Breakfast Club, as well as starring in MTV2′s Guy Code and his latest show Uncommon Sense. He is one of today’s most compelling, provocative media personalities on issues concerning, race, society and politics. 


His book is about making economic progress despite white privilege. He argues that GOD has given everyone privilege to change their circumstance. Feminist, anti-racism activist, and Senior Research Associate of the Wellesley Centers for Women. Peggy McIntosh gives a nuanced definition of the word "privilege" in her paper White Privilege: Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack. She states that privilege is not just a favored state earned by birth or luck but can also come from conditions that systematically overpower black people. Charlamagne is living proof that one can overcome the odds and make something of their life. He shares some economic and theological principles that helped him rise to the top. Though he speaks with vulgarity, his points are profound; I will outline five in this post.



  • F*ck Your Dreams: It is crucial to choose the right industry that matches your true skill set when trying to look to create economic opportunities. In Charlamagne’s case, someone “could see [he] didn’t have the skill set to be a MC had the courage to tell [him] ‘F*ck your dreams’ of being a rapper. It turned out to be the single best piece of career advice [he] ever received. This is why [he] often said, ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say to anyone, say it anyway’”[1] The Bible says faithful are the wounds of a friend (Proverbs 27:6) It is also just as important to know people who will give you sound and honest criticism.

  • Put the Weed in the Bag!: This is a quote from the cult classic movie Belly where DMX’s character Tommy Buns schools two rookie drug dealers to not get ahead of themselves, daydreaming about the flashy lifestyle before they’ve made their first sale. He tells them it’s a process, start by learning to put the weed in the bag.  “Many people lack the vision to recognize opportunity when there’s not a pay-check attached to it.”[2] Internships are fundamental to creating wealth forgoing a wage for a lucrative skill. It worked for Charlamagne, Oprah Winfrey (Media Mogul), Spike Lee (Movie Director), Sean “P Diddy” Combs (Music Mogul), Virgil Abloh (Luxury-Street Wear designer), Ursula Burns (Xerox CEO) and Chris Gardner (Stock Broker), whose life was made into the film, The Pursuit of Happyness.


  • PYP (Pick Your Passion, Poison, or Procrastination): “No one is a victim of circumstance in life. No matter how or where you were raised, you can make the choice to live different”[3] Jesus Christ was born in a rough neighborhood called Nazareth. The saying was nothing good comes out of Nazareth (John 1:46) ironically Jesus Christ the only thing good that ever existed came out of Nazareth.

  • There Are No Losses, Only Lessons: “From getting let go from Taco Bell (by [his] own sister no less) to getting canned from Wendy Williams’s show to every single time [he has] been fired, a short time later he landed in a better position…Learn how to trust what [he] call[s] ‘divine misdirection”[4] Theologians call this divine providence, GOD works things out for his good purposes. (Rom 8:28)

  • Access Your Black Privilege “I believe in the power and privilege of God. And God created me exactly how he wanted me to be and who he wanted me to be”[5] This is what Christians call the doctrine of common grace. That GOD gives good things to all in varying degrees.  And this is the principle that the book hinges on. Matthew 5:45 (cf. Luke 6:35-36) James 1:17


GOD showing kindness to those that hate him isn’t him rewarding disobedience but him showing mercy, holding back punishment from man who deserves it. To only give blessings to Christians is the prosperity gospel. Just because you receive good gifts from GOD does not necessarily mean you are in favor with him. To truly be in good standing with GOD is to believe Jesus Christ paid for your sins. Though GOD gives common grace to all, they vary in degree. We can see these disparities everyday whether it be physically, intellectually, and materially. Some critics would conclude that GOD is unjust because he is the cause of inequality. The gifts GOD gives are his and is free to do with it as he pleases. Disparity existed in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve and it will exist in the new heavens and new earth with varying rewards among believers. Our politically charged climate has stigmatized the word inequality to mean something bad but the word equality is amoral, it is neutral. Context gives it its meaning. It can be moral or immoral. GOD wants us to be content but not complacent that is why he gave all people the command in Genesis 1:26-28 to exercise dominion over creation for the sake of human flourishing.


The Lord Jesus hones in on the real reason we hate inequality. In the parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard in Matthew 20:1-16. A Master of a house went out to hire workers to work in his vineyard they agreed to pay them a denarius a day. Being the kind philanthropist he went out at four different times in the day to hire more workers for the day. At the end of the shift everyone got the same pay. Those who worked the full shift got what they agreed to and those who worked less hours received what the master felt was suitable which was a gracious sum of one denarius. Of course, the workers who worked the full shift were upset because they worked longer than the others. Jesus is the master exegete and gives us the point of the parable in verse 15. “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?” We must ask ourselves the same question. Do we begrudge GOD’s generosity to those that we think don’t deserve it?  Rejection of the doctrine of common grace reveals sin in our heart, resentment to GOD for giving someone else more than us. Making them feel guilty for where GOD has placed them.


What Christians can learn from this book is “F your dreams,” kidding. GOD in his common grace not only blesses all people in varying degrees but also enables non Christians to do good works that Christians can do, you can argue that they at times do a better job then us. I do not condone Charlamagne’s obscene speech nor would I recommend this book to the majority of Christians but GOD has used him to bring hope to those terrorized by the specter of white privilege holding them back from economic opportunities. Joel and I did an episode on the division over social justice and the gospel in reformdom. One side says white privilege is too strong the other side says it doesn’t exist. Charlamagne concludes that white privilege and black privilege exist, as well as sight privilege, health privilege, parent privilege etc. It is unpopular to believe that GOD has blessed black people or anybody that isn’t white. “Believing in the privilege GOD has blessed you with can mean the difference between winning and losing”[6] What Charlamagne and the rest of the world can learn from us is GOD's kindness leads to repentance (Rom 2:4) therefore we must show how to steward the gifts he has given us because one day we all have to give an account for the privileges he has given us.

*A Five Percenter believes that society is divided in to three groups the first 85 percent are blind to God and the truth. The second 10 percent are politicians CEO’S members of media  they know the truth and try to keep it hidden and lastly the 5 percent  know the truth  that the black man is God practice righteousness. Black women are called Earth’s and Black men are called God’s.

[1] Charlamagne Tha God. Black Privilege : Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It. First Touchstone Trade Paperback ed. New York: Touchstone, 2018. xvii

[2] Charlamagne Tha God. Black Privilege : Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It. First Touchstone Trade Paperback ed. New York: Touchstone, 2018. xvii

[3] Charlamagne Tha God. Black Privilege : Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It. First Touchstone Trade Paperback ed. New York: Touchstone, 2018. xvi

[4] Charlamagne Tha God. Black Privilege : Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It. First Touchstone Trade Paperback ed. New York: Touchstone, 2018. xvii

[5] Charlamagne Tha God. Black Privilege : Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It. First Touchstone Trade Paperback ed. New York: Touchstone, 2018. xviii

[6] Charlamagne Tha God. Black Privilege : Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It. First Touchstone Trade Paperback ed. New York: Touchstone, 2018. p284