American identity, cultural absurdity, Uncategorized

How we got here, the finale.

Black people in America aren’t the only people in the history of the world whose ancestors were enslaved and oppressed. However, I am not familiar with many other nations that have gone to the lengths that the US has to right its past wrongs. This country has even gone to such lengths that have damaged not only those they intended to offer redress but the country at large.

My children have opportunities that my parents could only dream of. Despite the rhetoric being spouted by the professional race baiters, the American dream (yeah, I know, but allow me some leeway here), is alive and well for everyone of any race who chooses to pursue happiness rather than sit back and wait for someone to legislate it into reality. America has put forth a valiant effort to grant all men access to the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Whether these things are “rights” in reality is a subject for another time and place.

As for this time, 2017, and this place, the United States of America, most of us are equally screwed. If equality is the goal, we’re screwed from birth. If equity is the goal, we’re screwed by both birth, human nature, and political reality. The quest to agitate for something which has never been, and can never be, serves to reveal how much common sense we shed even as our intellect expanded over the past few generations. To the extent that any of it is attainable however, with whom does the blame lie when it isn’t attained?

We have media pundits, political hucksters and professional “civil rights” activists constantly confronting us with a barrage of statistics about how much worse black people are faring compared to our white counterparts. Every election is peppered with wall to wall coverage of which candidate is poised to win “the black vote.”

We know what percentage of little black fourth graders can read in relation to their white counterparts, incarceration stats, and even what percentage of professional sports teams have black head coaches. And all these examples of “injustice” are held up to us as evidence that the dream is still afar off and that we need the government to pass more laws and spend more money to create opportunities for advancements in the black community. Wasn’t the point of the dream to get to a point where we don’t need to do this type of thing? And if we haven’t arrived there even now, will we ever?

I argue, and I highly doubt that my position on this will ever change, that equality of  results is not something that can or should be used as a measure of progress. To the extent that any group of people embraces dysfunction and or lawlessness, there will be hindrances to forward advancements. There are millions of minorities (of the non-Asian variety for those who demand the distinction) who are not criminals, who work hard, and try to do right by their fellow man, but it doesn’t help those people to ignore the disproportionate percentage of criminality and dysfunctional families in black communities. And it doesn’t help those people to tell them that there is nothing to be done to improve their lot apart from massive amounts of government intervention.

Now, to bring this back around to where we started, with the hoteps. They get a few things right, and I think I outlined them here. There are some major problems regarding what is considered acceptable behavior for a significant portion of black America. Socially conservative black Americans, including devout Christians, complain with their mouths about the hucksters and criminals who are promoted by the media as their “leaders” (what other minority group has nationally recognized leaders by the way?), then faithfully march into voting booths and vote in line with the interests of these shysters to the tune of 90+ percent. When people watch what they do rather than what they say, those people are branded “racists”.

What the hoteps get wrong is their assertion that anywhere other than America is our home, and that utopia awaits black Americans on the other side of the Atlantic. Since we are here as a people who have been in this country even prior to day one, we should enjoy all of the rights and privileges of any other citizens. As for the Richard Spencers of the world, I have a new mantra, and it’s this: Unless everyone but the Native Americans is going back to their ancestral land, all talk of anyone but illegal immigrants going “home” (wherever that is) is hypocritical and pointless.

The only thing I have left to add are a few links from people who have thought about these issues more deeply than I, have expressed their thoughts more articulately than I, and are men whose opinions I agree with. I shall let their thoughts be my final say on the matter.

Black and White, Left and Right, by Dr. Thomas Sowell

A Tangled Web, by Dr. Thomas Sowell

Dependency, not Poverty, By Walter E. Williams. A caveat to this article: Near the end of his mostly well-expressed piece, he makes the assertion that if a person stays poor, it’s his fault. While I understand the thought process behind the assertion, it is also revelatory of a generational blind spot not uncommon to men his age.

Last quotes are from Booker T. Washington. The first is on the race hucksters, which are sadly nothing new:

There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs-partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.

On the dangers of intellectual fetishism, so prominent in our world today:

No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.

On the possibilities available, even during his time, to the man who proves himself worthy:

No man, who continues to add something to the material, intellectual and moral well-being of the place in which he lives, is left long without proper reward.

There really isn’t much more to be said on this topic that hasn’t already been said, so have a great day. To those of you facing the blizzard, be well. Happy Monday!

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44 thoughts on “How we got here, the finale.”

  1. I almost abandoned this post but I hated the idea of not finishing what I started and not doing what I said I would do. However, I find that after a weekend of family, food, gardening and real life among real people with whom none of this seems to hinder relationships, my zeal for the topic has waned considerably. Forgive me if I am not particularly engaged in the debate.

    I have cinder blocks to paint.

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  2. I don’t know that I would say that America has gone to great lengths to right the problems that they created. Actually since black people became outdated farm equipment they’ve actually gone to great lengths to keep black people as a permanent underclass. Black people legally received full citizenship around 1970 or so. Now considering that, I agree that it really doesn’t make sense to expect equal outcomes or anything close to it in 2017.

    Socially conservative black Americans, including devout Christians, complain with their mouths about the hucksters and criminals who are promoted by the media as their “leaders” (what other minority group has nationally recognized leaders by the way?), then faithfully march into voting booths and vote in line with the interests of these shysters to the tune of 90+ percent.

    Black people tend to be socially conservative and liberal voters. That’s in part because of the position that conservatives took on segregation and because conservative politicians sometimes appeal to white southern anti-black racism in order to get elected. Add to that the gerrymandering to minimize the impact of black votes on elections and conservatives are not going to get many black votes even from the people who dislike Al Sharpton and his ilk.

    Conservatives are going to have to do more than complain about the “democrat plantation” if they want more black votes. From what I can see, what the GOP wants is to also get the “black vote” without really working for it, as they do with the white evangelical vote.

    I am not in favor of massive amounts of government intervention. I would like for black people to receive the same interventions that white people received in the past and still receive now. Or they could stop intervening all together. But I suspect they will continue lying about how white people pulled themselves up by their bootstraps while claiming that black people could do the same if only they hadn’t gotten so lazy and immoral since they stopped working for free.

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  3. And speaking of black political hucksters, have you noticed that often when conservative media wants to present ahistorical and inaccurate views on black people in America they pick a black person to do it? The job of black conservatives in media is to make white conservatives feel better about themselves by reassuring them that they are not racist. It is the political version of a “I have a black friend.”

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  4. they’ve actually gone to great lengths to keep black people as a permanent underclass.

    That was certainly the outcome, although I’m not sure if it was the intended result.

    And to any extent that it was an intended result, it was actually leftists and progressives who were the masterminds behind it, not the people identified as contemporary conservatives.

    And speaking of black political hucksters, have you noticed that often when conservative media wants to present ahistorical and inaccurate views on black people in America they pick a black person to do it?

    Huh. I figured it was a nod to human nature.

    For example, I can say things about people I identify with or care about freely and without reservation. My kids, for instance. But if someone else says something about them, I won’t take it quite the same way.

    It’s interesting because I don’t subscribe to the “kinist” idea that all other black people are my kin. As you well know, even a little bit of time around Africans will quickly disabuse such a notion, but I still -even with my staunchly traditional and conservative outlook- have to check the urge to take it the wrong way when I hear a generalization concerning “all” or “most” black people even if I know it doesn’t apply to me and mine.

    The few conservative white people who do say things unabashedly are almost always lambasted as racists even if they are just stating easily verifiable facts.

    And so…it just makes sense to have a black person say it. Even here, in this post, every link I provided was written by a black man. It negates the possibility of accusations of racism simply because what they’re saying may not be particularly flattering to a particular group which they don’t happen to belong to.

    I’ve read all these guys for years. Self-hatred doesn’t strike me as something they struggle with.

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  5. . It negates the possibility of accusations of racism simply because what they’re saying may not be particularly flattering to a particular group which they don’t happen to belong to.

    Yes, black conservatives are used as a shield for racist white conservatives to hide behind. But I hope that you realize that having someone black make an untrue, ahistorical or racist statement about black people doesn’t add any validity or credibility to that point of view. A lot of white conservatives miss that which is why they are so quick to point to their black friend and upset when that doesn’t help much.

    I also don’t think that they are suffering from self hatred. I am related to a black conservative author and commentator. He is as liberal as the day is long, but he wanted to go into politics and the left already has their fill of black people. He says that as a black man, it easier to get attention and money from the right than from the left.

    One of the men that you linked to is an economist, which means that he probably understands better than most the financial disadvantage at which poor people in general and poor black people in particular find themselves. He should certainly understand that poverty isn’t necessarily the fault of the poor person. Yet he still spouts that claptrap about poverty. He should also know that full time minimum wage jobs are harder to come by (two or three part time jobs is becoming more common) and that in many areas of the county two full time minimum wage jobs will not be nearly enough to live on. But he still made that he claim that all a person has to do to avoid poverty is to work minimum wage jobs. He may not be self hating, but he is willing to throw poor black people under the bus for money. There are political hucksters on both sides, and they both have the same message when it comes to black people. The message is “Don’t ask the government to actually serve their black constituents.”

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  6. Dear Nonya: “Racist” is a bullshit Marxist style term that has no real meaning. You are a well-to-do black woman grumbling about “racist white conservatives”. A lot of white people are all out of white guilt and it’s proclamations such as yours that do it. You’ll never understand it because you have a chip on your shoulder.

    Quit trying to speak for underclass people you don’t know. Just because you serve them soup on Sundays, doesn’t mean you know them or their lives or what they deal with and struggle with, and perhaps especially why they’re there. But don’t worry, the members of the next generation will likely be equally poor, then we’ll have that equality of outcome lefties want so badly. Communism ftw!

    “Yes, black conservatives are used as a shield for racist white conservatives to hide behind. But I hope that you realize that having someone black make an untrue, ahistorical or racist statement about black people doesn’t add any validity or credibility to that point of view.”

    Or maybe that’s their actual opinion, and saying they’re so stupid as to allow themselves to be used as a “shield” for “racist white conservatives” makes you a bigot! Or perhaps they are like your relative, willing to sell out and be hypocritical low lifes to “get noticed”? Good Lord, do you hear yourself? This is why Hoteps call you nig nogs, which seems to be their equivalent to the alt-right “cuck”. Do you think “holocaust” revisionist Jews like David Cole were put out there by “anti-semitic” whitey as a shield too? Gimme a break!

    TL;DR Nonya says it’s all whitey’s fault, folks. We can all go home (to our native ancestral lands) now.

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  7. @annsach7 –

    Acknowledging reality is not the same as having a chip on my shoulder. I am unconcerned about white guilt. My statements about black people in America are true. How other people choose to feel about the truth is not my problem. I do not care about white guilt. Racism has actual meaning and real impact on people’s lives whether it is acknowledged or not.

    Quit trying to speak for underclass people you don’t know.

    I am a black woman married to a black man. A lot of black people are poor and that includes some of our black relatives. I know their struggles very well.

    Have you been following the entire conversation? It seems like you’ve missed some things. I have never suggested communism as a solution. I’ve suggested that the government either give the same interventions or “functional welfare” that created and maintain the white middle class to black people, or that they stop intervening all together. Fairness and a lack of hypocrisy when it comes to black citizens doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

    Or maybe that’s their actual opinion, and saying they’re so stupid as to allow themselves to be used as a “shield” for “racist white conservatives” makes you a bigot!

    Stupid? No, if they were stupid they wouldn’t be able to turn spouting claptrap about black people and poverty into a career with white owned conservative media outlets. I am giving the economist in question more credit than his words merit.

    I don’t care what hoteps think.They are wrong and completely illogical a lot more often than they are right.

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  8. Appreciate that little piece of history, TPC. Things like that fascinate me, for obvious reasons, given my own hometown’s history.

    So thanks.

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  9. Nonya, most of what you’ve said does not constitute an argument.

    “white owned conservative media outlets”

    Surely you jest! You really don’t know what you’re talking about if you believe that!

    As for “functional welfare” as I understand what you and TPC are talking about, to say this is only for white people is absolutely ludicrous, but you want to believe it’s true so there is little point in arguing here. Suffice it to say that I have experience with this and there is no special treatment afforded to whites on welfare. I have white friends who were refused welfare, even though they had $5 to their name, and had to fight to get into a government funded training program. Don’t think it’s all a cake walk for white people.

    You are creating a narrative that only deepens the racial divide and that is not based in reality here on the ground. I can only guess that is due to your being well insulated against the realities of poor people yourself, no matter how you “encounter” them in your life. It’s not the same as living it.

    You might not care what Hoteps think, but they sound a hell of a lot more intelligent and knowledgeable that you do right now.

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  10. This is why Hoteps call you nig nogs, which seems to be their equivalent to the alt-right “cuck”. Do you think “holocaust” revisionist Jews like David Cole were put out there by “anti-semitic” whitey as a shield too? Gimme a break!

    TL;DR Nonya says it’s all whitey’s fault, folks. We can all go home (to our native ancestral lands) now

    A quick note about anti- black racism and its impact, inspired in part by the foolish remark that I quoted.

    Most white people are powerless in their own lives, much less in someone else’s. If someone comes by a blog to call someone a “nignog” or yells a racial slur at a black person walking down the street it is unfortunate, but not a huge deal in grand scheme of things. I’ve had a few in person run-ins with anti-black racists and it ruined their lives without even ruining my day. Most white people’s opinions and actions, racist or not, are almost completely irrelevant in the lives of black people. The racism that matters is institutional. The kind of racism that leads our government to give black people dysfunctional welfare while giving functional welfare to white people and allowed white people to steal land from black people without consequences is racism that impacts lives for generations. Other types of racism like dislike of black people, name calling and rudeness are almost irrelevant and IMO get way too much attention.

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  11. I don’t see the relevance to what I said. Also, when did white people steal land from black people? You seem not to grasp that there is a plan of the oligarchs to enslave all of us and they control the government. There is no “middle class”, only the appearance of middle class. The truth is that they are almost all slaves to their debts and don’t actually own anything. Usury enslaves us all, and it’s not “white people” doing that.

    You talk of institutional racism but affirmative action actively discriminates against white men in particular and white people in general. “Diversity” means “fewer white people”. I’ve seen job ads that say white people can’t apply because diversity. You’d never get away with saying black people needn’t apply.

    If white people’s opinions and actions are irrelevant to most black people, why is there so much anti-white sentiment among black people (and don’t try to tell me there isn’t) and so many demands for this that and the other that white people are supposed to provide black people? This is something Hoteps speak against – looking for whitey’s approval.

    I’ve seen you comment around and it seems to me you are the one with an attitude problem because you think certain swaths of whites dislike blacks. You might consider that they pick up on your attitude and thus are rightfully wary of you.

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  12. Sigh. My zeal for this discussion has not been in the least rekindled (My mind is on how to make a SCOBY for homemade kombucha, LOL), but I feel like I should say something at this point. Sigh, again.

    Not sure I agree that “racist” is a Marxist BS term, but I do agree that the term has been so abused that it has lost almost all relevance.

    The word itself, used as it is defined, is a real thing that was woven into the fabric of our history. But I’ve seen and heard lots of black racism towards whites as well, increasingly in recent years. It’s not at all uncommon. However racism, much like “gay” and “progressive” and “curvy”, have been distorted to the point that only those with a certain bend take it seriously.

    That’s because with the subjective nature of argument and communication today (reason number 1,234 that I *heart* Thomas Sowell- he is a FACT man), say one little thing wrong and everybody’s racist!

    The casual throwing around of the term “racist white conservatives” is unnecessarily inflammatory, and often a false accusation. I have found most conservatives in my daily life (and there are quite a few) seem to love me and mine just fine. Perhaps we are a bit of a shock to people and we get a different reaction than most, but I have found liberals to be more racist than conservatives on the main.

    I have stuff to do. Y’all play nice, now.

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  13. “A quick example of functional welfare and how it was denied to black people.”

    Past tense is important here. You’re looking for bogeymen. Let’s deal with the present rather than continually rehashing the past.

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  14. “Most white people are powerless in their own lives, much less in someone else’s.”

    Well there you go then. If this is true, that renders your whole argument, such as it is, about white oppression moot. It is not white people who have all the power; the ones that appear out front are just well paid pawns. You’ll have to investigate further for yourself to figure this one out.

    An imperfect illustration for you: https://www.tfmetalsreport.com/blog/8212/politics-and-economics-sorry-they-cannot-be-separated

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  15. @Elspeth
    The casual throwing around of the term “racist white conservatives” is unnecessarily inflammatory, and often a false accusation.
    I use “racist white conservative” to differentiate them from most white conservatives who aren’t racist. I use “racist white liberals” in the same way. Maybe I need to write a disclaimer each time so that people aren’t offended. I’m on my phone, so I’m trying to keep my responses as short as possible.

    Perhaps we are a bit of a shock to people and we get a different reaction than most, but I have found liberals to be more racist than conservatives on the main.

    I have found that both groups have plenty of racists, but they express it differently. In general, I wish that people would address the racism on their side without just pointing elsewhere and saying “they do it too.”

    @annasach7
    Past tense is important here. You’re looking for bogeymen. Let’s deal with the present rather than continually rehashing the past.

    Maybe you’ve not been following the entire series and the comments. The past impacts the present especially when it comes to poverty, wealth transfers and networth. I don’t have time to explain basic economics but if you don’t understand how this works then you should certainly go and educate yourself.

    I’ve seen you comment around and it seems to me you are the one with an attitude problem because you think certain swaths of whites dislike blacks. You might consider that they pick up on your attitude and thus are rightfully wary of you.

    That you would make this statement about the racism that I experienced without even knowing the circumstances is telling.

    Affirmative action has benefitted more white women than anyone else. As most white men will marry a white woman they, benefit indirectly from affirmative action through their wives.

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  16. The kitchn says I can grow one. LOL, can’t believe I said “make”. They’d better be right:

    Let me know how this turns out. I love kombucha but I’ve never made any. I’m worried that I will get it wrong and make us all sick.

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  17. @annasach7

    You showed up here making personal attacks and accusing me of having a chip on my shoulder. When I pointed to facts that you either didn’t read, don’t understand or are ignoring you claimed that I’ve insulted you and stomp off in a huff. Your comments are entertaining, but you aren’t interested in a productive discussion about facts, because the facts aren’t on your side.

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  18. Nonya, try using a current example of “functional welfare” being only or primarily for whites rather that something from WW2 and maybe I’ll take you more seriously. All you’re doing is doubling down because the truth doesn’t fit your fantasy world of identifying with the oppressed while you reap the rewards of this society.

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  19. @Nonya –

    Example of functional welfare favoring one group over another = money to go to college, which only benefits those who are prepared to go to college. Thanks for that example, as it makes your thought easier to understand. It creates in me a couple of questions for you, to further understand your thinking.

    1. White folks came to America and created lower and higher level schools in which to pass on the ideas they considered valuable to their kids. Blacks folks are not a large part of the population at this time.

    2. Black folks get imported as slaves into this land of white schools filled with white folks ideas. GI Bill gives money to whites and blacks alike to go to college. Blacks are less able to take advantage of this than white folks.

    Q1: Is the scenario presentated at Point 1 above “racist” in your view?

    Q2: The scenario presented at Point 2 above was very real. In your view: a) was giving GI money to blacks as well as whites “racist”? What could the government have done for the blacks that would be the equivalent of the GI Bill for the whites (money for trade schools, perhaps – but couldn’t one use GI Bill money for trade schools?)?

    Q3: Folks with one cultural background get thrust into a totally foreign culture. Not having the requisite background cultural knowledge, these newbies cannot take advantage of many benefits that the foreign culture offers. Is it correct to call this institutional racism? Is it not just an institutional disparity? Assume I don’t know what I need to know in order to thrive in some foreign (to me) culture. That is not personal, something intentionally directed at me by that foreign culture. It is just a fact of life. Folks raised in one culture and then forced to operate in a foreign culture are always going to be at a disadvantage. Doesn’t matter the colors of skin involved.

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  20. I missed that point about the colege deal, but I was raised in a working class black neighborhood, and I got money for college. I was the first person in my family to go, by the way. College was not a part of the culture I grew up in although my father worked hard and we lived a decent life.

    My kids didn’t get grants per se, but they did earn what is known in Florida as Bright Futures scholarships. The rest we paid out of pocket until one of them earned a really niiice academic scholarship which covered her senior year.

    And we’re black people who did not come from an advantaged background, unless you consider the legacy passed on to us to work hard and not expect that anyone owes us anything.

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  21. The GI Bill didn’t give money to blacks, that is Nonya’s entire point. And it wasn’t limited to denying them college money. In fact, hyperfocusing on the little tiny section covering lack of college preparation when the GI Bill provided many other non-college forms of financial support to whites such as business loans and home mortgages is the exact kind of dishonesty Nonya was referring to with more current conservatives.

    The other kind of dishonesty is “lalala that was allllllll in the paaaaaassssstttt” when you’re talking about things that people currently alive right now grew up with or heard about from people a mere generation older. The GI Bill is not like the original functional welfare, which was opening up the frontier. Blacks weren’t allowed access to the free land the frontier offered until nearly a century later.

    And despite there being blacks who could do the work, blacks were also denied the functional welfare of good-paying union and factory jobs, and good-paying government and government contractor jobs– you know, what built California. Or the cheap hydroelectric power that has never pencilled out economically, but created what became the tech industry, another reservoir of family-wage jobs that pay so well one can actually save for both college and retirement on the pay and still have money for toys left over.

    Whites were always given welfare of the kind that rewards good behavior and penalizes bad behavior. On the frontier, if you were lazy and stole from your neighbors, you wouldn’t last the five years it took to claim the land. Blacks rarely received that type of welfare and more typically only got extremely tiny checks, which don’t reward good behavior and don’t sufficiently penalize bad behavior. Or they received nothing at all. Or they received no functional welfare of the legal system protecting their property rights when they were able to save and hold property.

    I think anyone who can read sees that I have points of agreement with both the hostess of this blog and Nonya. But I have no points of agreement with the usual cant from RichardP and annasach7, which consists of boilerplate that didn’t even require reading anything Nonya actually said.

    Weirdly, the manosphere admits this in a very different context. They totally realize that many white men were getting a form of social welfare and subsidized support by being able to get married to a thin, industrious white woman with not much more to offer than one of those good jobs in “the past”. There is quite a lot of lamenting for that specific functional welfare among many of those guys.

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  22. @RichardP –

    There is a difference between not being allowed to attend and not being qualified. My grandfather was denied admittance to his alma mater for years, despite being well qualified. He eventually got his masters degree. Almost anyone can go to college now, so that has certainly changed.

    You are focusing on the education portion of the GI Bill, but when I brought it up I was referring to the mortgage part which has a direct impact on net worth. I don’t know if you’ve been following the entire conversation, but refusing to loan money to black people, redlining and other racist practices has had a negative impact on black people’s current net worth and contributes to the black people’s current financial state.

    Redlining (which still happens)
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redlining

    On the differences between black and white net worth and why working hard and college education aren’t enough for black people.

    http://econ.hunter.cuny.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/seminar2016-darity2.pdf

    Bootstraps are for black kids

    http://www.insightcced.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Bootstraps-are-for-Black-Kids-Sept.pdf

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  23. I see that TPC more than covered it while I was typing and chasing children back to bed.

    And yes, that is a perfect example of the conservative dishonesty that I’ve been complaining about. Thank you for acknowledging it instead of pretending that I have a chip on my shoulder, an aversion to hard work and a sense of entitlement because I noticed it.

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  24. It is entirely possible that I have underestimated the numbers of people who have inherited wealth from their parents/grandparents, but even if Nonya is right about that, it doesn’t change the fact that enough black people are making enough money (and have been for the past 30 years) to at least begin getting started building wealth for their progeny. It’s the only way that it can happen really, as there is ZERO government can do from an economic standpoint to help black people (or any disadvantaged person) gain wealth other than the things they have already done. I happen to know quite a lot of less privileged single mothers who have earned college degrees, bought homes, etc.

    You don’t have to be an economist to understand this. It is common sense. No one can go back in time and undo what was done from Reconstruction till the 1960s. You can’t unlock the doors and let in people who are long dead. What blacks can do NOW is put themselves in a position to take hold of the “functional welfare” that is readily available to us all.

    What was done was done and can’t be undone. That’s as true on a macro level as it is for each of us on a personal level. Unless the unspoken suggestion is some form of reparations, which I find a disagreeable idea for myriad reasons, I don’t understand what the government is supposed to do at this point. I can’t catch up with a person who had a 50-year head start on me no matter what the government does.

    And I refuse to pretend that there aren’t large portions of the black community for whom no amount of functional welfare will even things out. For whatever reasons. If there is anything I agree with the hoteps on, it is this. Lamenting and harping on what cannot be changed (and really cannot be equalized via government intervention) gets people nowhere even faster than they if they were intentionally running there full speed.

    Off to bed.

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  25. Just to clarify, I never denied that the past affects the present, I simply objected to the idea that you can keep on blaming whitey in the present.

    This is taking on the tone of Michelle Obama lecturing Kentucky coal miners on their white privilege.

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  26. There’s no blaming whitey going on. The coal miners were among the few white groups to be denied the full benefit of family supporting wages, actually. They were often in accord with black views on much of what’s discussed here because of that. Ironically, for all my distaste for communists, they at least recognized when there were groups of whites and blacks with near-identical class interests in America in the few instances where that was the case.

    But more simply, if I tell my children that hard work will lead to a stable job, the ability to purchase a home and save something for when they are old, it’s more likely to be believed if I have that nice house, good job and big bank account than if I work hard all the time, have nothing and am constantly scrambling and sometimes have to supplement with one of those tiny government checks.

    Social capital is also transmitted from our ancestors. If grandpa didn’t have it because he was black, he can’t transmit it. That’s not clinging to the past or blaming whitey, it’s simply acknowledging that the starting point is not the same and thus has no chance except sheer accident of leading to the desired result of reasonable middle class status.

    Oregon is full of “poor” white people, but they are brimming with social capital as a state, and loads of accumulated wealth. Thus it’s a state where both mother and father often don’t work at all (but there are both mother and father in the home), but just live off the accumulated savings of grandma and grandpa. And yes, this has the consequences you’d expect, but once again, all that accumulated benefit from the extremely recent past means a lot of cushion for people who have a low income on paper but real property and assets, including owning the entire political and legal apparatus of the state. Oregon, in the present day, structured its tax laws so that, essentially only people who’d inherited their land or business could avoid what were cripplingly high business and agricultural taxes. I am sure Mississippi black people with their long-standing ancestry in that state wish they could have the sweet deal fourth generation Oregonians have. But unlike white people, black people were not ever given a resource-rich state and the funding and infrastructure to support family-wage jobs in that state.

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  27. TPC, I understand the first half of your comment, but in the latter half I think you’re confusing Jews with white people. I don’t know any white people who live the kind of life you describe and never have.

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  28. I wonder if it is understood that prior to the economic boom and advancements in the US brought on by WWII, most people in this country worked hard to have enough just to make ends meet. I will have to look up data later, but I would wager 2/3 of the people.

    Now social capital? That is another matter and I won’t dare try and argue that “white privelge” wasn’t a major big deal. It was.

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  29. I had to look up a definition of “social capital” because I speak human, not university sociology department. Once again, that isn’t a white thing in my experience, but a Jew thing. Jews are not white and they do not treat white people as other Jews.

    Again, I’m talking now, not historically. Applying “white privilege” to the past is a bad idea; that is another sociological term that’s only been floating around the last 30 years or so in universities and as I said, designed to find a bogeyman everywhere and cause more division.

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  30. Another point, while a few whites owned black slaves, the slave ships and slave markets were primarily owned by Jews. Similarly, it is Jews that are at the top of the pornography industry. Mark Zuckerberg is not white, he is a Jew. Y’all need to learn the difference. It’s not skin color, it’s ethnic ties. And how do you explain the Irish? They were treated worse than the blacks!

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  31. Let me clarify my point, Anna.

    To the degree that there was a penalty for being “black” (Native Americans took this hit too, btw), then there must have been a boost -or “privilege”- for being “not black”.

    One thing I never, ever, ever, ever want to do is be lumped in with liberal sociology academic types. But it is what it is.

    I made an inference about the meaning “social capital”, as I am not acquainted with the phrase either.

    If it isn’t abundantly clear in this thread, I am certainly not on the bandwagon of “blacks can’t get ahead to day because whites are oppressing them”. Surely that is more than obvious?

    At the same time, being open and honest about history and some of the lingering effects of the past on the present is not blaming whitey.

    If I said (and I believe this fully) that a lot of the problems men are facing today are a direct result of the folly of 60s feminism and the disastrous policies it wrought, few would argue with me on that point.

    Where I digress from most people is in my belief that in the end, each of us is responsible to do what we can with what we have, and the gifts God has given us, to improve our lots individually and for the future of our children. It is really all any of us can do.

    Both of those things are things I see sorely lacking not only in the black community, but in the culture at large. Among a people who are starting from a starting line farther back, these are things that should be emphasized as the starting point of achievement and accomplishment.

    It’s what my father did, having come from a truly impoverished background with no money, no “social capital”, no nothing really but a strong work ethic, determination to do better, and willingness to learn. He was very dark skinned too. Throw that on the pile (because it mattered even among black people), and he stilled accumulated wealth. Not overwhelming wealth, but he was able to leave something.

    Instead this is considered platitude offered by white people to keep from having to make right what the wrongs done to us. But if you think the powers that be are out to get you, why on EARTH would you expect them to do anything to help you get ahead anyway? I liken it to the gay people trying to force Christians to make their weeding cakes. If it was me, I’d think, “Nah, I don’t want you to make my cake. You might spit in it.”

    Again, this is where the hoteps and I agree. Best to let this expectation of government as savior or great equalizer blow away like dust in the wind.

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  32. “But if you think the powers that be are out to get you, why on EARTH would you expect them to do anything to help you get ahead anyway? I liken it to the gay people trying to force Christians to make their weeding cakes. If it was me, I’d think, “Nah, I don’t want you to make my cake. You might spit in it.”

    Again, this is where the hoteps and I agree. Best to let this expectation of government as savior or great equalizer blow away like dust in the wind.”

    This, exactly.

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  33. I think it is clear that the government is not going to step in and offer black people the kinds of functional welfare that they have offered white people. A permanent black underclass benefits other groups of people. I think that the government should make whole the black people who are still living or their descendants who were robbed of what is rightfully theirs. But I am a Christian. I don’t believe that it is enough to simply apologize for stealing something or wronging someone without giving it back. Of course I don’t expect actually expect others to do the moral thing where black people are concerned.

    However certainly what does need to happen is that we need to stop lying to and about black people. Stop telling black people that they have equal access to the American dream because that is a lie. Stop telling black people that they would be just as well off as white people if only they work hard and behave themselves because that is also a lie. Claiming that poor black people are poor because of their own shortcomings while ignoring all of the elements that created and prop up the white middle class is a lie. The claim that white people have done for self and pulled themselves up by their bootstraps is a lie. In fact it is black people who have done for self throughout American history in the face of huge obstacles and opposition.

    Conservatives need to stop demonizing poor black people, most of whom are hard working and decent people making the best out of their situations and be honest about the functional welfare that white people have received.

    Elspeth said
    Where I digress from most people is in my belief that in the end, each of us is responsible to do what we can with what we have, and the gifts God has given us, to improve our lots individually and for the future of our children. It is really all any of us can do.

    Both of those things are things I see sorely lacking not only in the black community, but in the culture at large. Among a people who are starting from a starting line farther back, these are things that should be emphasized as the starting point of achievement and accomplishment.


    Elspeth, this is not where you “digress from most people.” Literally almost everyone believes this. Who do you think, black, white, conservative or liberal would argue with this? LOL. Where are these large numbers of people, black or white who aren’t trying to make things better for their children? Someone brought up coal miners earlier. I see coal miners fighting for their children to also be able to crawl down a hole and get black lung disease too when they should be fighting for better jobs. But most people are trying to have each generation do better than the one that came before.

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  34. By the way, as I was saying, prior to WW2, this was a poor country in general, regardless of color. I think one of the biggest mistakes most black Americans make is laboring under the delusion that most all whites were sitting pretty while most all blacks were struggling. Not the case.

    The black people that I know have functioning eyes. LOL. They can see that white people aren’t all sitting pretty. What they don’t know is that there is a dramatic difference in net worth between poor white people and poor black people and that black people who are middle class by income have networth that is closer and often lower than that of the poorest white Americans.

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  35. Literally almost everyone believes this. Who do you think, black, white, conservative or liberal would argue with this? LOL

    I had a long response prepared for this but I don’t see the point. Yes, everyone says they believe this. It’s a cultural mantra. That much is true.

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  36. Again, I’m talking now, not historically. Applying “white privilege” to the past is a bad idea; that is another sociological term that’s only been floating around the last 30 years or so in universities and as I said, designed to find a bogeyman everywhere and cause more division.

    Whatever you call it, being honest about the recent past and its impact on the present would not “cause more division.” Telling the truth would probably cause less division. Maybe those dishonest conservatives who demonize poor black people would stop. And who knows, conservatives might even get a few more black votes for their honesty. That could only be good for everyone. Except for Walter Williams. He’d be out of a job.

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  37. I closed comments on this for now since I won’t be able to police it over the next few days.

    Perhaps when I get back I’ll reopen them, but probably not. Nothing left to be said that hasn’t been said. If not here, certainly someplace else.

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