Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Why Bernie Doesn’t Appeal to Black Voters

 

“[O]ur survey suggests that if Sanders—or whomever Democrats ultimately choose—wants to win over black voters, a message stressing economic justice is not the best option; he needs to appeal explicitly to race (italics added). This finding builds on emerging work showing that the perception of threat on the part of racial minorities can encourage political participation, as has been demonstrated in the Latino community. It also builds on our finding, published in a previous study, that holding negative opinions of Trump can be a mobilizing force for African American voters.

Why is a message emphasizing racism so effective, relative to the alternatives? Simply put, race is the principal identity that resonates with the black community (italics added). History makes clear that racism affects every aspect of African Americans’ lives, so much so that most members of the black community perceive that they share a common fate (italics added). This is not to say that class isn’t sometimes important, but when it comes to political engagement, racial identity is a more reliable predictor of black political behavior (italics added). 

This passage from Politico, which discusses Bernie Sanders’ underwhelming performance with black voters during the Democrat presidential primaries, confirms several sad truisms that most Americans already know.

In the post-civil rights era, blacks have singularly defined themselves – at their own expense and relevance – by race. If any Democrat candidate specifically, and the party generally, wants to attract black voters, they only have to appeal to race or, as the passage shows, play on racial hysteria to manipulate blacks into voting. Even more limiting, blacks have sacrificed their individuality for collective, racial self-identity. This, too, is demonstrated by a willing resignation to the deterministic view that blacks share a common fate, despite contrary evidence, and any and all attempts at self-determination.

Suffice it to say, Democrat candidates have not, will not, and ultimately do not have to appeal to blacks by addressing the systemic and substandard government schools that have miseducated and undereducated blacks for several generations.

Democrat candidates will not be forced to address the burdensome economic regulations which prevent black teenagers and black males from entering into and staying put in the workforce, which also prevents black entrepreneurship.

In their appeal to black voters, Democrat candidates will not be forced to answer for supporting costly environmental regulations which prohibit blacks from purchasing (better) homes in more desirable neighborhoods, which confines them to less desirable neighborhoods at best, and violent neighborhoods at worst, both of which minimize human flourishing. Moreover, these economic restrictions also increase the costs of oil gas, electricity, cars, food, and other goods and services which in turn, partially contributes to the racial wealth gap Democrats claim to care about.

Democrat candidates will not be forced to explain, in detail, their preference for illegal immigrants – who by definition are not only a drain on services in neighborhoods that are disproportionally black but who also compete with blacks for low-skill jobs.

These issues simply scratch the surface of what Democrats aren’t forced to defend vis-à-vis electoral appeals to blacks precisely because blacks have cornered themselves into a single-issue demographic that prioritizes more important quality-of-life concerns behind racial identity and “racial issues.”

Blacks often complain about the fact that one party takes their votes for granted while the other party ignores their votes altogether. Well, we see why.

Ultimately, blacks can’t complain about a problem they helped create and continue to sustain.

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  1. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    That’s kind of a grim prognosis, because by and large, the Dems have failed the black community for decades. Do you feel that the survey is accurate?

    • #1
    • March 7, 2020, at 4:28 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  2. tigerlily Member

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    That’s kind of a grim prognosis, because by and large, the Dems have failed the black community for decades. Do you feel that the survey is accurate?

    I agree; that’s very depressing. I was hoping that the reason blacks went for Biden over Sanders was because they preferred the more economically moderate message.

    • #2
    • March 7, 2020, at 4:52 PM PST
    • 1 like
  3. Housebroken Thatcher

    Derryck Green: Ultimately, blacks can’t complain about a problem they helped create and continue to sustain.

    Really?

    • #3
    • March 7, 2020, at 5:51 PM PST
    • Like
  4. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    I find the lack of talk of religion telling. Media sources I have seen completely ignore religion in the discussion of Bernie. He is an atheist and that is not popular in the South. Joe Biden, on the other hand, is a Christian, which is familiar choice. I assume that people that are atheist are biased against religion and I won’t vote for people that antagonistic against me or other religious people.

    • #4
    • March 7, 2020, at 6:03 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  5. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Great post. I think that Thomas Sowell and Walter E. Williams would agree with you. So would Shelby Steele.

    • #5
    • March 7, 2020, at 6:17 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  6. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    It is not hard to understand. Blacks go where the money, where the power is.

    • #6
    • March 7, 2020, at 6:28 PM PST
    • Like
  7. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Derryck Green: These issues simply scratch the surface of what Democrats aren’t forced to defend vis-à-vis electoral appeals to blacks precisely because blacks have cornered themselves into a single-issue demographic that prioritizes more important quality-of-life concerns behind racial identity and “racial issues.”

    This seems like way too much broad-brushing (prejudging) based on a few noisy voices on Twitter. Party affiliation is an individual choice and individuals change over time. 

    • #7
    • March 7, 2020, at 7:44 PM PST
    • 1 like
  8. Derryck Green Member
    Derryck Green

    Slow on the uptake (View Comment):

    Derryck Green: Ultimately, blacks can’t complain about a problem they helped create and continue to sustain.

    Really?

    Yes, really.

    • #8
    • March 7, 2020, at 7:48 PM PST
    • 1 like
  9. Derryck Green Member
    Derryck Green

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Derryck Green: These issues simply scratch the surface of what Democrats aren’t forced to defend vis-à-vis electoral appeals to blacks precisely because blacks have cornered themselves into a single-issue demographic that prioritizes more important quality-of-life concerns behind racial identity and “racial issues.”

    This seems like way too much broad-brushing (prejudging) based on a few noisy voices on Twitter. Party affiliation is an individual choice and individuals change over time.

    “Noisy voices on Twitter?” “Party affiliation is an individual choice…”

    Black voting patterns have been depressingly predictable for a generation. The authors of the Politico piece, as I do, disagree with your assertion regarding individual choice and party affiliation. Most blacks define themselves collectively rather than an assortment of individuals, and have diligently done so since the black power movement in the late 60s and early 70s. Is that monolith beginning to shrink? Maybe. Hopefully. But it’s still a significant monolith.

    Check out a new read called Steadfast Democrats: How Social Forces Shape Political Behavior. It addresses how black social pressure and collective black identity determine or influence black political behavior and how, even though some blacks hold conservative views, they still identify as Democrats- some due to racial intimidation, some out of fear of black social exclusion.

    Also check out Blacks and Whites in Christian America and a study in Political Research Quarterly– both endorse the position of the Politico piece– views you, I think, disagree with. Also, there are a number of studies that show that the more religious people become, the more their political views and identification leans right (conservative or Republican). The pattern repeats itself for a number of racial/ethnic groups; blacks are the only exception, which is significant since blacks are the most religious demographic in America. The data suggest that blacks prioritize black racial solidarity above religious identification/religious solidarity and that racial allegiance predictably determines political behavior.

    Thus, it’s unfortunately more than a few noisy voices on Twitter.

    • #9
    • March 7, 2020, at 8:03 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  10. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Derryck Green (View Comment):
    Steadfast Democrats: How Social Forces Shape Political Behavior

    Thanks for the reading recommendations. I heard that exit polls in S.C. showed that 48% of black voters were swayed by Jim Clyburn’s endorsement of Joe Biden. Here’s is an abstract from the book above:

    Black Americans are by far the most unified racial group in American electoral politics, with 80 to 90 percent identifying as Democrats—a surprising figure given that nearly a third now also identify as ideologically conservative, up from less than 10 percent in the 1970s. Why has ideological change failed to push more black Americans into the Republican Party? Steadfast Democrats answers this question with a pathbreaking new theory that foregrounds the specificity of the black American experience and illuminates social pressure as the key element of black Americans’ unwavering support for the Democratic Party.

    Ismail White and Chryl Laird argue that the roots of black political unity were established through the adversities of slavery and segregation, when black Americans forged uniquely strong social bonds for survival and resistance. White and Laird explain how these tight communities have continued to produce and enforce political norms—including Democratic Party identification in the post–Civil Rights era. The social experience of race for black Americans is thus fundamental to their political choices. Black voters are uniquely influenced by the social expectations of other black Americans to prioritize the group’s ongoing struggle for freedom and equality. When navigating the choice of supporting a political party, this social expectation translates into affiliation with the Democratic Party. Through fresh analysis of survey data and original experiments, White and Laird explore where and how black political norms are enforced, what this means for the future of black politics, and how this framework can be used to understand the electoral behavior of other communities.

    An innovative explanation for why black Americans continue in political lockstep, Steadfast Democrats sheds light on the motivations consolidating an influential portion of the American electoral population.

    • #10
    • March 7, 2020, at 10:09 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. Stina Member

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):
    The social experience of race for black Americans is thus fundamental to their political choices. Black voters are uniquely influenced by the social expectations of other black Americans to prioritize the group’s ongoing struggle for freedom and equality. When navigating the choice of supporting a political party, this social expectation translates into affiliation with the Democratic Party.

    Heh. I get it.

    Republicans promote not seeing yourselves as a group while Dems encourage it.

    • #11
    • March 7, 2020, at 10:40 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  12. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    No one ever checks to see if I’m white enough. That’s not privilege, but it is an advantage. 

    • #12
    • March 8, 2020, at 12:07 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. Stad Thatcher

    Derryck Green: Even more limiting, blacks have sacrificed their individuality for collective, racial self-identity.

    And any black who breaks out of that mold is labeled an “oreo” or “Uncle Tom”. Then there’s the ultimate insult – “acting white”. The problem with the latter is “acting white” usually means doing things to create success in life: getting good grades in school, having a steady job, being married to the mother of your children, etc.

    • #13
    • March 8, 2020, at 6:17 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Derryck Green: These issues simply scratch the surface of what Democrats aren’t forced to defend vis-à-vis electoral appeals to blacks precisely because blacks have cornered themselves into a single-issue demographic that prioritizes more important quality-of-life concerns behind racial identity and “racial issues.”

    This seems like way too much broad-brushing (prejudging) based on a few noisy voices on Twitter. Party affiliation is an individual choice and individuals change over time.

    I think that the assertion of block voting, made in the OP, is a bit of a generalization, which I think that we all knew. There are individual exceptions, of course. But your graph strongly supports the thesis of the OP, and does not support your rebuttal.

    I would like to see this graph extended to 2016. I suspect that the Dem preponderance was significantly larger in the Obama years.

    Notice that the shift started in 1948. Truman desegregated the military in July 1948. (I think that this was a good thing — I point it out because it may explain the shift in 1948.)

    • #14
    • March 8, 2020, at 7:35 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. I Walton Member

    It seems LBJ’s policies to make almost all blacks into staunch Democrats worked. The key to it is miseducation, which now extends to white schools as well. The distrust is so extensive we have to rely on black conservatives to gradually undo the Democrats systematic racist efforts over many decades. Non blacks can join in fixing our schools, which basically means radical decentralization. Get rid of the radical Democrat unions, all federal money and effort and most state direct oversight. It has to be centered on parents and teachers and be competitive across cities and towns within states so good teachers and concerned parents control and parents can send their kids wherever they qualify academically. Most people, including conservatives are un familiar with how New Zealand went from the bottom of the west’s schools and in just a few years joined Singapore and Finland, at the top. New Zealand is important because they started out with the worst schools in the west requiring the kind of radical change we must also adopt.

    • #15
    • March 8, 2020, at 7:40 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    But your graph strongly supports the thesis of the OP, and does not support your rebuttal.

    And that is my bad. I think there are two questions: DNC v. GOP and Sanders v. Biden. I conflated the two and I should have been more clear. I am hearing that a common issue is peer-pressure within a group to take action as a group. I understand that people identify by what distinguishes them from the whole of a population. That is why I list my self-identifications in my profile. I am also not a partisan, which is blind spot for me when it comes to understanding party loyalties. I understand the DNC actively pushes Marxist (us v. them) Identity politics. I think that is a dangerous idea and I support all efforts to destroy the concept. This is a good time to promote https://1776unites.com/

    • #16
    • March 8, 2020, at 9:17 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Derryck Green Member
    Derryck Green

    Stad (View Comment):

    Derryck Green: Even more limiting, blacks have sacrificed their individuality for collective, racial self-identity.

    And any black who breaks out of that mold is labeled an “oreo” or “Uncle Tom”. Then there’s the ultimate insult – “acting white”. The problem with the latter is “acting white” usually means doing things to create success in life: getting good grades in school, having a steady job, being married to the mother of your children, etc.

    That’s exactly right. 

    • #17
    • March 8, 2020, at 10:31 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. Derryck Green Member
    Derryck Green

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    But your graph strongly supports the thesis of the OP, and does not support your rebuttal.

    And that is my bad. I think there are two questions: DNC v. GOP and Sanders v. Biden. I conflated the two and I should have been more clear. I am hearing that a common issue is peer-pressure within a group to take action as a group. I understand that people identify by what distinguishes them from the whole of a population. That is why I list my self-identifications in my profile. I am also not a partisan, which is blind spot for me when it comes to understanding party loyalties. I understand the DNC actively pushes Marxist (us v. them) Identity politics. I think that is a dangerous idea and I support all efforts to destroy the concept. This is a good time to promote https://1776unites.com/

    This was a needed clarification and a good one, too. I appreciate it. I also endorse promoting and supporting the 1776 Unites. They have some solid scholars refuting the distortions and lies of the 1619 Project. 

     

    • #18
    • March 8, 2020, at 10:38 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. Henry Castaigne Member

    Stina (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):
    The social experience of race for black Americans is thus fundamental to their political choices. Black voters are uniquely influenced by the social expectations of other black Americans to prioritize the group’s ongoing struggle for freedom and equality. When navigating the choice of supporting a political party, this social expectation translates into affiliation with the Democratic Party.

    Heh. I get it.

    Republicans promote not seeing yourselves as a group while Dems encourage it.

    Why is identifying as an American who is black not as appealing as identifying as black? Blacks have always disproportionally served in the military and it seems like there is less racial tension when people are united by patriotism rather than color. America’s ideological commitment to equality and liberty would seems to appeal to blacks on paper. 

    The obvious answer is that Black-Americans have in the past (and sometimes in the present) have been mistreated so that they are less patriotic. While the mistreatment is obviously historically true, I don’t think that explains it. Poor people are usually the most patriotic of any country and they are poor folks are often mistreated. Scots were at the forefront of the British Military and they were a minority who were often made fun of (though not systematically abused). 

    Why can’t Blacks be like Polish-Americans or Irish-Americans where they have a stronger sense of ethnic identification than the average American but still feel more American than they feel Black. 

    • #19
    • March 8, 2020, at 11:17 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):
    The social experience of race for black Americans is thus fundamental to their political choices. Black voters are uniquely influenced by the social expectations of other black Americans to prioritize the group’s ongoing struggle for freedom and equality. When navigating the choice of supporting a political party, this social expectation translates into affiliation with the Democratic Party.

    Heh. I get it.

    Republicans promote not seeing yourselves as a group while Dems encourage it.

    Why is identifying as an American who is black not as appealing as identifying as black? Blacks have always disproportionally served in the military and it seems like there is less racial tension when people are united by patriotism rather than color. America’s ideological commitment to equality and liberty would seems to appeal to blacks on paper.

    The obvious answer is that Black-Americans have in the past (and sometimes in the present) have been mistreated so that they are less patriotic. While the mistreatment is obviously historically true, I don’t think that explains it. Poor people are usually the most patriotic of any country and they are poor folks are often mistreated. Scots were at the forefront of the British Military and they were a minority who were often made fun of (though not systematically abused).

    Why can’t Blacks be like Polish-Americans or Irish-Americans where they have a stronger sense of ethnic identification than the average American but still feel more American than they feel Black.

    Because they were considered less than human and it’s hard not to take that personally would be my guess. All the other groups you mentioned chose to come, were assumed equal under the law, and after the FNG hazing that comes with that territory, became just another flavor of the majority. 

    At base, there isn’t much to build trust on. Biden’s “put y’all back in chains” comment was an attempt to leverage this trust deficit. 

    I imagine we will hear more about this once Biden is gifted with the nomination and with luck he can be bludgeoned with it – it would make a nice contrast in an ad that pointed out black gains over the Trump years (though there will be the reflexive claim that anything good must have come from Obama’s policies in spite of Trump’s). 

    • #20
    • March 8, 2020, at 12:02 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. Richard Easton Member

    Derryck Green (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    But your graph strongly supports the thesis of the OP, and does not support your rebuttal.

    And that is my bad. I think there are two questions: DNC v. GOP and Sanders v. Biden. I conflated the two and I should have been more clear. I am hearing that a common issue is peer-pressure within a group to take action as a group. I understand that people identify by what distinguishes them from the whole of a population. That is why I list my self-identifications in my profile. I am also not a partisan, which is blind spot for me when it comes to understanding party loyalties. I understand the DNC actively pushes Marxist (us v. them) Identity politics. I think that is a dangerous idea and I support all efforts to destroy the concept. This is a good time to promote https://1776unites.com/

    This was a needed clarification and a good one, too. I appreciate it. I also endorse promoting and supporting the 1776 Unites. They have some solid scholars refuting the distortions and lies of the 1619 Project.

    What do Republicans need to do to reach out to blacks? What do you think about Trump’s outreach. Is there anything in particular he should do better or change in his approach. Thanks!

    • #21
    • March 8, 2020, at 4:20 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):
    The social experience of race for black Americans is thus fundamental to their political choices. Black voters are uniquely influenced by the social expectations of other black Americans to prioritize the group’s ongoing struggle for freedom and equality. When navigating the choice of supporting a political party, this social expectation translates into affiliation with the Democratic Party.

    Heh. I get it.

    Republicans promote not seeing yourselves as a group while Dems encourage it.

    Why is identifying as an American who is black not as appealing as identifying as black? Blacks have always disproportionally served in the military and it seems like there is less racial tension when people are united by patriotism rather than color. America’s ideological commitment to equality and liberty would seems to appeal to blacks on paper.

    The obvious answer is that Black-Americans have in the past (and sometimes in the present) have been mistreated so that they are less patriotic. While the mistreatment is obviously historically true, I don’t think that explains it. Poor people are usually the most patriotic of any country and they are poor folks are often mistreated. Scots were at the forefront of the British Military and they were a minority who were often made fun of (though not systematically abused).

    Why can’t Blacks be like Polish-Americans or Irish-Americans where they have a stronger sense of ethnic identification than the average American but still feel more American than they feel Black.

    I have spent 15 years teaching medical students, quite a few of whom were black. The difference is that quite a few of the black students were not Americans. Some were African, one from Eritrea, some from West Indies, including Jamaica and Trinidad. They showed none of the pathology that seems to infect American black college students.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJAuVQlLxD0

    My dental hygienist was black, from Ethiopia. She was Jewish, one of the black Jews rescued by Israel, where she grew up. Shen is married to white Jewish man and lives in Irvine CA where the average house costs nearly a million dollars. She told me about hate stares from black women when she was out with her husband.

    It’s an American phenomenon. Not a black one.

    • #22
    • March 8, 2020, at 4:35 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  23. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Martin Luther King’s assassination in 1968 sort of locked the voting patterns of that year into amber for the past half century. King was considered the moral leader of blacks in the U.S. because of his actions, but he also politically was a free agent, in having been a Republican in the south of the 1950s, but whom had in his final years been more aligned with progressives who trended Democrat. It was after his death that the media accepted Jesse Jackson’s anointing himself as King’s successor, and Jesse basically bonded himself to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party as a way to personal power and influence.

    In a way, it was a foreshadowing of how the Democrats and the media would attempt to use Barack Obama (who Jesse ironically did not support, as he sided with Hillary in 2008) — the media awarded Jackson Absolute Moral Authority, and Jesse would then strategically act as though it was still the worst of the 1950s and 60s discrimination, and the only solution was another big government program that Democrats supported, including many that were simply far left income redistribution plans. Anyone who didn’t follow that lead was demonized as a hopeless racist in an attempt to write them out of the political conversation.

    Things like school busing were framed as not being about disrupting children’s lives for social experimentation, but whether or not you were or weren’t a racist if you supported or opposed it. Toss in the negative effects of LBJ’s Great Society programs in locking families and individuals into dependency on the federal government and you ended up with blacks being told by the media and Democrats they had to vote monolithically for them, because — to borrow Joe Biden’s phrase — people on the other side wants to “put you all back in chains” if you don’t vote Democrat and think there might be an alternative option, because it’s not the 1960s anymore.

    • #23
    • March 8, 2020, at 4:48 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. Henry Castaigne Member

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):
    It’s an American phenomenon. Not a black one.

    Well to get technical, I would call it a Black-American problem and not an African-American one. Ethiopian and Nigerian Americans are African-American because they are from Africa. This is odd because Nigerian-Americans are some of the darkest colored human beings in the world but they often don’t much care for some parts Black-American culture. 

    It is sad that the U.S.A. can integrate this newcomers from Africa quite easily but still have difficulty integrating folks who have been longer than almost anyone else.

    • #24
    • March 8, 2020, at 4:57 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. The Reticulator Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):
    It’s an American phenomenon. Not a black one.

    Well to get technical, I would call it a Black-American problem and not an African-American one. Ethiopian and Nigerian Americans are African-American because they are from Africa. This is odd because Nigerian-Americans are some of the darkest colored human beings in the world but they often don’t much care for some parts Black-American culture.

    It is sad that the U.S.A. can integrate this newcomers from Africa quite easily but still have difficulty integrating folks who have been longer than almost anyone else.

    Is that also generally true of those born in Kenya? [I’m not into emoticons, or I’d put one here.]

    • #25
    • March 8, 2020, at 5:14 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):
    It’s an American phenomenon. Not a black one.

    Well to get technical, I would call it a Black-American problem and not an African-American one. Ethiopian and Nigerian Americans are African-American because they are from Africa. This is odd because Nigerian-Americans are some of the darkest colored human beings in the world but they often don’t much care for some parts Black-American culture.

    It is sad that the U.S.A. can integrate this newcomers from Africa quite easily but still have difficulty integrating folks who have been longer than almost anyone else.

    Nigerian Americans are contemptuous of American blacks. I have heard several refer to slaves as losers in the wars of Africa. I used to interview and examine applicants to the US military. I remember one guy, a Nigerian immigrant, who was applying to the Army Reserve in Phoenix. He had a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Industrial Engineering. He told me his other option was Optometry because Nigeria didn’t f**K around with college educations. No “Black Studies.”

    I asked him if he was Ibo and he was pleased I knew about it. They now call themselves “Igbo” but they are the same. My experience with African blacks is that they have NONE of the hangups American blacks have. I talked to one kid from Uganda who had the next 20 years of his life mapped out. He was joining the US Army, then he would go to college on the GI Bill, then to medical school. I expected him to do it. These African kids see America as a banquet, waiting for them to enjoy it.

    • #26
    • March 8, 2020, at 5:50 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  27. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):
    It’s an American phenomenon. Not a black one.

    Well to get technical, I would call it a Black-American problem and not an African-American one. Ethiopian and Nigerian Americans are African-American because they are from Africa. This is odd because Nigerian-Americans are some of the darkest colored human beings in the world but they often don’t much care for some parts Black-American culture.

    It is sad that the U.S.A. can integrate this newcomers from Africa quite easily but still have difficulty integrating folks who have been longer than almost anyone else.

    Is that also generally true of those born in Kenya? [I’m not into emoticons, or I’d put one here.]

    One of my medical students was from Kenya. Her parents were physicians in Kenya but had quit their government jobs because of the corruption in Kenya. They lived on their coffee farm.

    • #27
    • March 8, 2020, at 5:51 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Cow Girl Thatcher

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):
    I have spent 15 years teaching medical students, quite a few of whom were black. The difference is that quite a few of the black students were not Americans. Some were African, one from Eritrea, some from West Indies, including Jamaica and Trinidad. They showed none of the pathology that seems to infect American black college students.

    I had two 4th graders in Maryland who were being raised in the same household. They were both “black”–one was born in the United States from an American-born black mother and another man. The other daughter had come from her birth mother in Nigeria to live with her father who was now married to the American black woman. The girls were not related, but lived in the same home. They had such different personalities.

    The father said to me at a conference once: “Why do American black people act like they do?? They live in the greatest country! There is every opportunity here! I cannot believe that so many choose to stay in poverty and don’t take advantage of the schools. They have no idea how blessed they are!”

    I’m sure his point of view would have really aggravated some of the people he was referring to, but I do get it. I also get how some American born-and-raised black people view life as they do. I wish there was something that could change it. But I’m not optimistic.

    • #28
    • March 8, 2020, at 7:15 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Stina Member

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):
    I have spent 15 years teaching medical students, quite a few of whom were black. The difference is that quite a few of the black students were not Americans. Some were African, one from Eritrea, some from West Indies, including Jamaica and Trinidad. They showed none of the pathology that seems to infect American black college students.

    I think this is why American Blacks refer to themselves as blacks but immigrants from Africa accept the Africa-American moniker.

    They are not anywhere near the same.

    • #29
    • March 8, 2020, at 8:17 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  30. Stad Thatcher

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Why can’t Blacks be like Polish-Americans or Irish-Americans where they have a stronger sense of ethnic identification than the average American but still feel more American than they feel Black. 

    I agree. Even with the history of slavery, modern blacks have never lived that life (although older blacks have lived through Jim Crow). No one is asking for blacks as a group to ignore slavery. Instead, they should look at it as history that should never repeat itself. Think of “never again” and the Holocaust. Jewish people don’t let that terrible past keep them from moving forward in life, and there are still people alive who survived it. Modern Jews do have to deal with a resurgence of anti-Semitism, but no one is calling for a return to slavery . . .

    • #30
    • March 9, 2020, at 6:04 AM PDT
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