Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Why the Left Needs an Underclass

 

International news reports that the Muslim immigrant population in Europe has clearly become the continent’s outcasts. I believe this development is due in part to the violence and isolation of certain Muslims; it is also due to the left’s need for an underclass. As I thought about the nature of an underclass, however, I realized that many on the left demand an underclass in our own country.

Before the Civil War and to some degree afterward, the African-American population was America’s underclass. Once slavery was abolished, and even before in many cases, blacks as a group began to find their way, becoming literate, educated, and finding work. By the 1950s the group was emerging out of their role as an underclass and joining the middle class. But the political class of the left was not happy about their success.

The left decided it needed to “help” our black population. Without going into the details of welfare, US policy essentially created an underclass. Rather than celebrate and publicize the accomplishments of our black citizens, the left was committed to create the illusion of a helpless, hopeless class of people: we were losing our underclass with the progress of blacks, and a new underclass needed to be created.

Unfortunately, this effort to “lift up” African Americans has hurt them overall. Today, most black families are one-parent families without a father present. Many blacks have been convinced by leftist propaganda (with the help of the media) that they deserve to be helped, that they are entitled to assistance from the “white man,” and they continue to embrace this lie. Fortunately, many other black Americans have seen through this propaganda and have become successful citizens who have families, are church-going, and who have realized personal and financial freedom. Yet the left, which is determined to maintain an underclass, continues to promote the lie of their inferiority.

Why would they do such a thing? It’s hard to be certain, but I propose a few reasons. First, the political left needs to recruit more people to support their agenda; the black population had a history of deep oppression, the left leadership knew it, and capitalized on that history. But they also needed to convince the citizen population that portraying the country’s blacks as victims who need to be helped by the left is an admirable pursuit. Today, the leadership plays on the emotions of the population, calling for sympathetic action toward blacks. It suggests that accomplished, compassionate people should feel guilty for their own success and feel they owe it to others who are not so successful to “do something.” The leadership convinces them that feeling guilt is the same as doing something, that they can show their generosity by shaking their heads sadly at the very people whom they have hobbled, instead of simply freeing them from their contrived restraints. They choose to feel bad for folks who have less than they do and treat them as if they are less.

By creating an underclass and “trying to help them,” the left can feel much better about themselves: they are the benefactors, the heroes for those who are suffering. It never occurs to the person on the left that he or she is perpetuating the illusion of the underclass, and in fact works to reinforce it.

Another reason to maintain an underclass arises from the arrogance of the left: they have the solution for those who suffer from the illusion the Left has created. Only their solutions can work; they assume that black Americans cannot find their way forward with their own determination and hard work. And the left is ready to help them. But their “help” further cripples their recipients and erodes their faith in themselves.

Finally, someone or something must be blamed for this atrocious situation. An “other” must be conjured up, an entity that is wholly responsible for the injustices that the blacks are subject to. If it’s not the left that is hurting them, it must be the United States, particular the political right. In a bizarre way, the left has accused the US culture and government of harming blacks, yet ironically the Left has manipulated US law to debilitate blacks further. One only needs to look at entitlement programs: the very programs that are supposed to help blacks have further injured them. Even though the left has demanded those programs, the government takes the rap for hurting black Americans.

To the chagrin of the left, blacks are slowly beginning to find their way in society. The black unemployment rate at the end of February was 6.8%; before this month, the lowest was 7.4% in 2000. There are many examples of their progress. But the left may be nervous about whether blacks will continue to embrace their role as the underclass and continue to support the left leadership by voting for them; I suggest the Left is planning for the future.

As a result, the left is fighting for increased immigration, for illegal and legal immigrants. For now, they are championing illegal immigrants, those who are covered by DACA and even those who are not, including criminals. Since I believe the majority blacks in our country will eventually see through the lies of the left, it would make sense for the left to identify a new underclass, one that will see the left leadership as its saviors, and that will allow itself to be pitied by their fellow citizens on the left. Since the voters on the left have already been indoctrinated to the black underclass, including a new group should be easy.

Don’t you agree?

There are 166 comments.

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  1. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    One thing that is important to realize in considering rampant immigration — 33% of all hispanic voters voted for Trump.

    Why? Because they’ re aware that if everyone in the world who wants to come here can do so, then we become host to the same problems that the nations the new immigrants left behind. Over population being the biggest problem. A furthering of the housing shortage, an increase in prices on everything, a curtailment of services and a whole slew of situations many in America cannot envision.

    When middle class and low income families must scramble to find funding so their junior high or HSer can get into private schools, simply because the local school districts will no longer hire English speaking teachers, as is the case in Calif., the entire society suffers. And for what?

    • #1
    • March 14, 2018, at 1:00 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    One thing that is important to realize in considering rampant immigration — 33% of all hispanic voters voted for Trump.

    I so agree with your points, @caroljoy. I assume your point with the statement above was not that a lot of Hispanics voted for Trump, but that 67% voted for Hillary–as unpopular as she was.

    • #2
    • March 14, 2018, at 1:06 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    One thing that is important to realize in considering rampant immigration — 33% of all hispanic voters voted for Trump.

    I so agree with your points, @caroljoy. I assume your point with the statement above was not that a lot of Hispanics voted for Trump, but that 67% voted for Hillary–as unpopular as she was.

    Glad for the agreement. But my liberal friends had spouted the nonsense that all but 10% of hispanics were against Trump – after all, he was portrayed as racist, loathsome, and anti immigration.

    So they tend to not believe me when I give them the true number. However people on the lower rungs of the economic ladder are most negatively affected by mass immigration. Those who understand economics can’t help but hope something is done about immigration so slow or stop it.

    • #3
    • March 14, 2018, at 1:11 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Joseph Eagar Member
    Joseph Eagar Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’ve always thought the Great Society was a compromise whereby southern Democrats swapped de jure legal segregation for de facto economic segregation. The 50s and 60s elites were definitely smart enough for that. I once read an article in the 60s written by a feminist explaining why the ERA was so important, and it wasn’t to take away male privilege. Feminists of the day worried that gender privilege might flip, women would become more privileged than men and the entire cause of female rights would implode. That’s why they wanted the ERA, to remove privileges from both genders. It’s amazing to me how prescient they were given recent events.

    I have a hard time believing that people who were that smart didn’t know what they were doing with black people. I’ve always wanted to spend a couple weeks in Boston and Austin to sort through JFK’s and LBJ’s presidential libraries, see if there’s any incriminating evidence for that thesis.

    • #4
    • March 14, 2018, at 1:20 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):
    I have a hard time believing that people who were that smart didn’t know what they were doing with black people. I’ve always wanted to spend a couple weeks in Boston and Austin to sort through JFK’s and LBJ’s presidential libraries, see if there’s any incriminating evidence for that thesis.

    Thanks for your comment, @josepheagar. We have a lot of data now supporting the state of blacks in the 1950’s; I assume that data must have been available back then and wasn’t divulged to the larger population (just like unwanted date for the left in these times), but I don’t know. Sure would be nice to have the evidence for that.

    • #5
    • March 14, 2018, at 1:25 PM PDT
    • Like
  6. Stad Thatcher

    Susan Quinn: I believe this development is due in part to the violence and isolation of certain Muslims

    Sorry, but I no longer believe it’s “certain” Muslims. I’m convinced mainstream Islam is inherently violent, brutal, and suppressive. Without a huge reformation, the Western world will have to confront the Islamic world militarily, and either force it to reform, or destroy it.

    I wish it weren’t so. I had a Muslim roommate at OCS (from Iran, pre-revolution). He was kind, funny, and didn’t mind if my girlfriend and I smooched while he was praying (I asked when he rolled out his mat, and he said “No problem.”).

    But today? It’s a religion of intolerance. I’m probably considered a bigot by all on the left and some on the right, but I have to call it as I see it.

    Susan Quinn:Before the Civil War and to some degree afterward, the African-American population was America’s underclass. Once slavery was abolished, and even before in many cases, blacks as a group began to find their way, becoming literate, educated, and finding work. By the 1950s the group was emerging out of their role as an underclass and joining the middle class. But the political class of the left was not happy about their success.

    The left decided it needed to “help” our black population. Without going into the details of welfare, US policy essentially created an underclass. Rather than celebrate and publicize the accomplishments of our black citizens, the left was committed to create the illusion of a helpless, hopeless class of people: we were losing our underclass with the progress of blacks, and a new underclass needed to be created.

    Unfortunately, this effort to “lift up” African Americans has hurt them overall.

    Amen! I think it was Frederick Douglass who asked for the country not to help blacks, that they could fix their problems on their own. In spite of the left’s efforts to perpetuate their black underclass voting base, the black middle class is growing, interracial marriages are more common, and more blacks are speaking out against the Democrat status quo. Heck, blacks are even more anti-abortion and pro-life than whites! The MSM can only hide these facts so long. Once mainstream blacks realize the truth, there will be a huge backlash. The only problem is, will the left succeed in putting the yoke on all of us before our black brothers and sisters revolt?

    • #6
    • March 14, 2018, at 2:02 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. RufusRJones Member

    Islam is inherently political, unlike any other religion. It only fits in its own governmental system. There is no explaining that away.

    • #7
    • March 14, 2018, at 2:34 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. Ontheleftcoast Member

    How are you defining “underclass?” The OED lists the first use as being in 1917. It seems best suited for industrial or postindustrial societies with agricultural surplus and a welfare safety net, or at least political pressure to create one. It’s post Marxist, and mainly urban.

    As far as the pre-Civil War era goes, is “underclass” in its economic configuration even? Slaves were not unemployed or underemployed. They, as with the indentured servants who preceded them and their fellow mammalian chattel, were working for a living. Or else. That was seen as the Christian norm:

    For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

    (Thessalonians 3:10)

    There was a term used for the chronically unemployed and unemployable in that era: “dead.” Since manual labor was so necessary, poorly skilled people could scuffle by and have kids. There were certainly families who were dysfunctional.

    In urban areas there were orphanages, asylums and workhouses, but as the latter term indicates, “work” was part of the program.

    It is true that there was social stratification, which had economic implications and vice versa. There were certainly people and families who were dysfunctional though not lethally so.

    As chattel slavery replaced indentured servitude and race became a characteristic of who was a slave (belonging to white people, anyway. Various tribes of Indians both enslaved captives of all races, and admitted compatible individuals of all races to tribal membership.)

    Not only that, according to authors cited in Wikipedia,

    among those not considered white at some points in American history have been: the Germans, Greeks, white Hispanics, Arabs, Iranians, Afghans, Irish, Italians, Jews, Slavs and Spaniards.[210] Finns were also on several occasions “racially” discriminated against[211] and not seen as white, but “Asian”.

    All of the above would have generally considered themselves to belong to a superior class to that of blacks and “Indians,” which is the beginning of the racial underclass.

    Wikipedia on “white trash”:

    As a derogatory term, “white trash” and “poor white trash” were preceded by “waste people”, which was used in England to describe the underclass of their American colonies; they initially conceived of America as a “wasteland”, and a place to dump their unwanted excess population. “Waste people” gave way to “squatters” and “crackers”, used to describe the settlers who populated the western frontier of the United States and the backcountry of some southern states, but who did not have title to the land they settled on. “Cracker” was especially used in the south.

    On cracker culture, see Thomas Sowell’s Black Rednecks and White Liberals.

    The first use of “white trash” in print occurred in 1821. It came into common use in the 1830s as a pejorative used by house slaves against poor whites….

    though poor white trash felt racially superior to blacks regardless of their accomplishments.

    So while you’re on to something for the entitlement era, though.

    • #8
    • March 14, 2018, at 2:56 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. Eridemus Coolidge

    @Susan Quinn

    Since the voters on the left have already been indoctrinated to the black underclass, including a new group should be easy.

    Don’t you agree?

    The election of Trump suggests not so much. The ancestors of African Americans were “brought here” largely without consent (making B. Obama not fit the usual understanding of the term). However, there may be much less tolerance for people who crashed in unless we can offer a fix that removes some of the illegality stain. Not necessarily to make them suffer punishment so much as to really demonstrate their acquisition of English, patriotism, and ability to contribute to the economy….all which need to stick especially if they have already absorbed welfare and a free education.

    • #9
    • March 14, 2018, at 3:04 PM PDT
    • Like
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    How are you defining “underclass?” The OED lists the first use as being in 1917. It seems best suited for industrial or postindustrial societies with agricultural surplus and a welfare safety net, or at least political pressure to create one. It’s post Marxist, and mainly urban.

    First, I have to say that I don’t understand the points of most of your comment. The simple definition of underclass that I was using comes from Merrian-Webster:

    “the lowest social stratum usually made up of disadvantaged minority groups”

    We could debate whether they were the lowest stratum, or if there were others in that group, or if they were the most disadvantaged, but given blacks were slaves, I don’t think it’s illegitimate for me to identify blacks with this term. As you can see, the definition I use does not refer to whether they were “working” or not. I would also say that most of those other groups transcended the outright discrimination against their groups, and were successful fairly early in their immigration to this country.

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    All of the above would have generally considered themselves to belong to a superior class to that of blacks and “Indians,” which is the beginning of the racial underclass.

    They may have considered themselves to belong to a superior class, and they were certainly discriminated against, and they may not have even been considered “white”; what is your point in terms of the argument I am making? That there were others who were members of the underclass?

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    There were certainly people and families who were dysfunctional though not lethally so.

    Why is dysfunction a factor in this discussion? And white trash? You’ve lost me. Maybe it would help if you explained how this information is relevant to the OP.

    • #10
    • March 14, 2018, at 3:44 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Eridemus (View Comment):
    @Susan Quinn

    Since the voters on the left have already been indoctrinated to the black underclass, including a new group should be easy.

    Don’t you agree?

    The election of Trump suggests not so much. The ancestors of African Americans were “brought here” largely without consent (making B. Obama not fit the usual understanding of the term). However, there may be much less tolerance for people who crashed in unless we can offer a fix that removes some of the illegality stain. Not necessarily to make them suffer punishment so much as to really demonstrate their acquisition of English, patriotism, and ability to contribute to the economy….all which need to stick especially if they have already absorbed welfare and a free education.

    @eridemus, Help me understand what we can learn re this topic in terms of Trump’s election. How does that keep immigrants, legal or illegal, from being identified as an underclass community? Are you suggesting that illegals will be stopped, and therefore will not be identified as an underclass? As I said, though, they could still become part of an underclass, even if they are legal. I do think we agree in terms of your point that if those here are legalized, and the legalization is accepted, they are less likely to be seen as part of an underclass.

    • #11
    • March 14, 2018, at 3:50 PM PDT
    • Like
  12. Joseph Eagar Member
    Joseph Eagar Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    Islam is inherently political, unlike any other religion. It only fits in its own governmental system. There is no explaining that away.

    Every religion goes through that phase. Man is fallen, and it’s all too easy for faith to turn to heresy. It’s kind of like communism; contain the threat until it solves itself. I don’t think the problem is Islam per se but rather Arab and Persian culture. The Turkish government violently repressed Turkish Muslims for more than fifty years, and when they finally threw off the legacy of Kemal Ataturk they elected Erdogan, who, while not a very pleasant leader, is hardly singing the praises of jihadists or funding religious extremism around the world.

    • #12
    • March 14, 2018, at 4:33 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    As much as I’d like to agree, Islam has essentially always been like this radical. It has periods where it was more or less tolerant, but I don’t think this period in history is a phase, Joseph. Even Erdogan has shown signs of turning more radical, although I don’t know if he funds other countries. Their radical ideas are not heresy; they are part of their doctrine. M. Zuhdi Jasser is working hard to change Islam but it’s an uphill struggle.

    • #13
    • March 14, 2018, at 4:43 PM PDT
    • Like
  14. RufusRJones Member

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    Islam is inherently political, unlike any other religion. It only fits in its own governmental system. There is no explaining that away.

    Every religion goes through that phase. Man is fallen, and it’s all too easy for faith to turn to heresy. It’s kind of like communism; contain the threat until it solves itself. I don’t think the problem is Islam per se but rather Arab and Persian culture. The Turkish government violently repressed Turkish Muslims for more than fifty years, and when they finally threw off the legacy of Kemal Ataturk they elected Erdogan, who, while not a very pleasant leader, is hardly singing the praises of jihadists or funding religious extremism around the world.

    I’m talking about what experts say is in the texts. That isn’t the only problematic issue I’ve heard about either.

    • #14
    • March 14, 2018, at 4:43 PM PDT
    • Like
  15. Joseph Eagar Member
    Joseph Eagar Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Eridemus (View Comment):
    @Susan Quinn

    Since the voters on the left have already been indoctrinated to the black underclass, including a new group should be easy.

    Don’t you agree?

    The election of Trump suggests not so much. The ancestors of African Americans were “brought here” largely without consent (making B. Obama not fit the usual understanding of the term). However, there may be much less tolerance for people who crashed in unless we can offer a fix that removes some of the illegality stain. Not necessarily to make them suffer punishment so much as to really demonstrate their acquisition of English, patriotism, and ability to contribute to the economy….all which need to stick especially if they have already absorbed welfare and a free education.

    @eridemus, Help me understand what we can learn re this topic in terms of Trump’s election. How does that keep immigrants, legal or illegal, from being identified as an underclass community? Are you suggesting that illegals will be stopped, and therefore will not be identified as an underclass? As I said, though, they could still become part of an underclass, even if they are legal. I do think we agree in terms of your point that if those here are legalized, and the legalization is accepted, they are less likely to be seen as part of an underclass.

    Historically speaking, the Democratic party has always had it’s favorite ethnic groups (at least since the time of Andrew Jackson). Usually once their “favorites” work their way out of poverty the Dems move on to a new group, often a group of immigrants. The Dems pandered to every wave of white immigration (IIRC they’ve never warmed to Asians). The 60s civil rights era was somewhat unusual in that the Democrats went after a non-immigrant constituency, and of course now they’ve moved on from blacks to Hispanics.

    Political parties tend to favor immigrants due to the relative ease of organizing and motivating them. They can get immigrants to turn out on election day, staff campaigns and be enthusiastic advocates. The only other groups that come close in terms of political engagement are religion and the elderly.

    • #15
    • March 14, 2018, at 4:44 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):
    The 60s civil rights era was somewhat unusual in that the Democrats went after a non-immigrant constituency, and of course now they’ve moved on from blacks to Hispanics.

    I looked up the definition of immigrant, and it indicates a person who comes to a country to establish permanent residence. It doesn’t indicate that it has to be voluntary, although it seems to be implicit in the definition. I bring that up because you point to the fact that technically blacks were not immigrants. But this was not their country of origin, or their relatives country of origin.

    • #16
    • March 14, 2018, at 4:49 PM PDT
    • Like
  17. Joseph Eagar Member
    Joseph Eagar Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    Islam is inherently political, unlike any other religion. It only fits in its own governmental system. There is no explaining that away.

    Every religion goes through that phase. Man is fallen, and it’s all too easy for faith to turn to heresy. It’s kind of like communism; contain the threat until it solves itself. I don’t think the problem is Islam per se but rather Arab and Persian culture. The Turkish government violently repressed Turkish Muslims for more than fifty years, and when they finally threw off the legacy of Kemal Ataturk they elected Erdogan, who, while not a very pleasant leader, is hardly singing the praises of jihadists or funding religious extremism around the world.

    I’m talking about what experts say is in the texts. That isn’t the only problematic issue I’ve heard about either.

    That’s what they want you to think. Islamists go though a lot of effort to create the perception that Islam is a political system in the modern ideological sense. They’ve had a lot of success in recent decades, but I think eventually Muslims will have the same epiphany we did that power and politics can easily lead to religious heresy (ISIS was certainly a dramatic and horrible example of that).

    • #17
    • March 14, 2018, at 4:52 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. Joseph Eagar Member
    Joseph Eagar Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):
    The 60s civil rights era was somewhat unusual in that the Democrats went after a non-immigrant constituency, and of course now they’ve moved on from blacks to Hispanics.

    I looked up the definition of immigrant, and it indicates a person who comes to a country to establish permanent residence. It doesn’t indicate that it has to be voluntary, although it seems to be implicit in the definition. I bring that up because you point to the fact that technically blacks were not immigrants. But this was not their country of origin, or their relatives country of origin.

    I meant first and second-generation immigrants.

    • #18
    • March 14, 2018, at 4:53 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. RufusRJones Member

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    Islam is inherently political, unlike any other religion. It only fits in its own governmental system. There is no explaining that away.

    Every religion goes through that phase. Man is fallen, and it’s all too easy for faith to turn to heresy. It’s kind of like communism; contain the threat until it solves itself. I don’t think the problem is Islam per se but rather Arab and Persian culture. The Turkish government violently repressed Turkish Muslims for more than fifty years, and when they finally threw off the legacy of Kemal Ataturk they elected Erdogan, who, while not a very pleasant leader, is hardly singing the praises of jihadists or funding religious extremism around the world.

    I’m talking about what experts say is in the texts. That isn’t the only problematic issue I’ve heard about either.

    That’s what they want you to think. Islamists go though a lot of effort to create the perception that Islam is a political system in the modern ideological sense. They’ve had a lot of success in recent decades, but I think eventually Muslims will have the same epiphany we did that power and politics can easily lead to religious heresy (ISIS was certainly a dramatic and horrible example of that).

    You are saying that my guys aren’t coherent and your views are. Well, that settles that.

    • #19
    • March 14, 2018, at 4:56 PM PDT
    • Like
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    Islam is inherently political, unlike any other religion. It only fits in its own governmental system. There is no explaining that away.

    Every religion goes through that phase. Man is fallen, and it’s all too easy for faith to turn to heresy. It’s kind of like communism; contain the threat until it solves itself. I don’t think the problem is Islam per se but rather Arab and Persian culture. The Turkish government violently repressed Turkish Muslims for more than fifty years, and when they finally threw off the legacy of Kemal Ataturk they elected Erdogan, who, while not a very pleasant leader, is hardly singing the praises of jihadists or funding religious extremism around the world.

    I’m talking about what experts say is in the texts. That isn’t the only problematic issue I’ve heard about either.

    That’s what they want you to think. Islamists go though a lot of effort to create the perception that Islam is a political system in the modern ideological sense. They’ve had a lot of success in recent decades, but I think eventually Muslims will have the same epiphany we did that power and politics can easily lead to religious heresy (ISIS was certainly a dramatic and horrible example of that).

    I just can’t see that, Joseph. I know of no one who would agree with your premise; Islam has always been political, since the time of Mohammed. You are also looking at the religion through a Western prism. Nowadays only the Left insists that Islam isn’t political, which makes me even more skeptical. Even if you were correct, there’s no indication of when they might realize they are wasting their time; in the meantime, many people will die. I hope you’re right, but I’m skeptical.

    • #20
    • March 14, 2018, at 4:58 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    You are saying that my guys aren’t coherent and your views are. Well, that settles that.

    Rufus, look at my comment #20. I do agree with you, even if Joseph doesn’t!

    • #21
    • March 14, 2018, at 4:59 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. RufusRJones Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    You are saying that my guys aren’t coherent and your views are. Well, that settles that.

    Rufus, look at my comment #20. I do agree with you, even if Joseph doesn’t!

    Even Zuhdi Jasser doesn’t make this sound like an issue he can defend from their texts like other religions can.

    I had a Muslim boss many years ago before Islam became notorious. This guy was confident and even keeled all the time, except for when he mentioned to me that people in his own religion wanted to kill him. He was East Indian, but he grew up in Kenya.

    • #22
    • March 14, 2018, at 5:06 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    Even Zuhdi Jasser doesn’t make this sound like an issue he can defend from their texts like other religions can.

    He does say there are some mistranslations, but not for the text that you and I are referring to. He wants to move away from the political, but he is disparaged by most of Islam.

    • #23
    • March 14, 2018, at 6:05 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    How are you defining “underclass?” The OED lists the first use as being in 1917. It seems best suited for industrial or postindustrial societies with agricultural surplus and a welfare safety net, or at least political pressure to create one. It’s post Marxist, and mainly urban.

    First, I have to say that I don’t understand the points of most of your comment. The simple definition of underclass that I was using comes from Merrian-Webster:

    “the lowest social stratum usually made up of disadvantaged minority groups”

    That appears to be a problem with Merriam-Webster and its use of multiple layers of ill-defined jargon. If you look at the OED and the history of the word’s use, it dates from the earl 20th century. There were similar concepts brewing in descriptions of the urban poor half a century before.

    But in the sociological and economic literature, there are three axes which get varying emphasis: economic

    social agents who are economically oppressed but not consistently exploited within a given class system

    by which Erik Olin Wright seems to mean that their labor isn’t worth exploiting as it would be with the working class [this is clearly a Marxist or Marxian view]

    magic dirt theory,] in which the fact of living in a particular zone of the city creates the underclassness and leading to the idea that if you relocate the underclass they will no longer be the underclass

    Focus on behavior which is fairly self-evident.

    Another concept is that of being unassimilated. That one seems fruitful. At one point I read James Webb’s Born Fighting and Sowell’s Black Rednecks and White Liberals in fairly quick succession. Both are dealing with a particular white culture originating in specific regions of the British Isles. Sowell points out the extent to which slaves, freed slaves and their descendants found this culture congenial. He writes

    What is involved is a common subculture that goes back for centuries, which has encompassed everything from ways of talking to attitudes toward education, violence, and sex—and which originated not in the South, but in those parts of the British Isles from which white Southerners came. That culture long ago died out where it originated in Britain, while surviving in the American South. Then it largely died out among both white and black Southerners, while still surviving today in the poorest and worst of the urban black ghettos.

    Sowell, Thomas. Black Rednecks & White Liberals (pp. 1-2). Encounter Books. Kindle Edition.

    Webb writes of the Scots-Irish—his own people—that they have made tremendous contributions to America but that they had to leave this culture behind and assimilate to the wider culture do so.

    [continued]

    • #24
    • March 14, 2018, at 6:32 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. KentForrester Moderator

    Really excellent analysis, Susan. This should be an editorial in major newspapers around the country. Unfortunately, it makes too much sense for that.

    Kent

    • #25
    • March 14, 2018, at 6:35 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    @ontheleftcoast, I regret that you are putting in all this work because I have no idea what your point is. What does it have to do with the OP??

    • #26
    • March 14, 2018, at 6:36 PM PDT
    • Like
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    Really excellent analysis, Susan. This should be an editorial in major newspapers around the country. Unfortunately, it makes too much sense for that.

    Kent

    I’m glad it makes sense to most of the people responding, Kent. Thanks so much for your kind words.

    • #27
    • March 14, 2018, at 6:37 PM PDT
    • Like
  28. Ontheleftcoast Member

    [continued from #24]

    @susanquinn, when you write

    Before the Civil War and to some degree afterward, the African-American population was America’s underclass.

    my objection is twofold. First, you’re retrojecting Marxist industrial era class analysis onto a largely pre-industrial society. Second, you’re ignoring that people who became known as “white trash” in the South, plus immigrants who are now considered white but were not at the time and who were also considered inferior racially as well as behaviorally; also were lower class. Indians, too. Racialization of class was significantly influenced by the racialized chattel slavery whose ongoing legacy is problematic, so you’re right in that.

    One feature that united all of these groups in the 19th century was that if they didn’t work they didn’t eat. I’ll also note that one (very self serving yet not inaccurate) criticism that the slaveholders had of the North was that the way Northern industrialists treated their workers made the North’s criticism of slave labor very hypocritical.

    So I’m suggesting that the radical changes brought by the growing welfare safety net makes pre-Civil War slaves and today’s black ghetto dwellers very different, even almost qualitatively so, despite the fact that the latter are descended from the former.

    • #28
    • March 14, 2018, at 6:43 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    When you write

    Before the Civil War and to some degree afterward, the African-American population was America’s underclass.

    my objection is twofold. First, retrojecting Marxist industrial era class analysis onto a largely pre-industrial society. Second, you’re ignoring what became called “white trash” in the South, plus immigrants who are now considered white but were not at the time and who were also considered inferior racially as well as behaviorally; the racialization was significantly influenced by the racialized chattel slavery whose ongoing legacy is problematic.

    One feature that united all of these groups in the 19th century was that if they didn’t work they didn’t eat. I’ll also note that one (very self serving yet not inaccurate) criticism that the slaveholders had of the North was that the way Northern industrialists treated their workers made the North’s criticism of slave labor very hypocritical.

    So I’m suggesting that the radical changes brought by the growing welfare safety net makes pre-Civil War slaves and today’s black ghetto dwellers very different, even almost qualitatively so, despite the fact that the latter is descended from the former.

    Thank you. Of course they are different in all the ways you say. But the Left doesn’t care. They are perpetuating a myth that serves their agenda.

    • #29
    • March 14, 2018, at 6:50 PM PDT
    • Like
  30. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Thank you. Of course they are different in all the ways you say. But the Left doesn’t care. They are perpetuating a myth that serves their agenda.

    “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” Unfortunately, the Left uses Orwell’s 1984 as an instruction manual.

    Which reminds me. On the radio today, Mark Levin quoted extensively from Thomas Dewey on the role of public education in overcoming the influences of home, church, and culture that impede the collectivization of society.

    Dewey’s disciple, John Dunphy, notoriously said this:

    I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers that correctly perceive their role as proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being…The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and new — the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent with the promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of ‘love thy neighbor’ will finally be achieved.” —

    excerpt from an article by John Dunphy titled “A Religion for a New Age,” appearing in the January/February 1983 issue of The Humanist Magazine.

    • #30
    • March 14, 2018, at 7:01 PM PDT
    • 2 likes

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