Better Policing Would Be Nice, But…

 

Insisting that the police be better — and they can always be better — is all well and good, if you aren’t under the mistaken impression that the biggest problem black Americans face is their treatment by the police. Because that isn’t even close.

No, the biggest problem black Americans face is that they’ve been told for too long that they’re victims of institutional racism and that none of their personal choices will change that. And, believing that, too many black Americans have sensibly enough decided that there’s no point in participating in an American experience that they’ve been convinced is rigged against them. And so they’ve been cheated out of prosperity and success by people who pretend to be their allies, who pretend to have their backs, and to have their welfare at heart, but who really just want their votes.

The current protests are a very costly distraction and worse than meaningless. They’re part of the lie that’s sold to black Americans every day, part of the fiction that ours is an oppressor country that wants black Americans to fail and suffer. That lie is a self-fulfilling prophecy because it sets black Americans up for failure by encouraging them to drop out of the American experience that they have every right and ability to enjoy.

So yes, the peaceful protesters may have their hearts in the right place, but they’re fighting the wrong battle, duped by those who find it much more useful to sell a tale of oppression and injustice than to embrace our shared heritage of opportunity and success. The problem isn’t the police. The problem is that black Americans have been told that they shouldn’t participate because they can’t win, and have been saddled with institutions and policies that leave them weaker and less able to achieve what they could achieve on their own.

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  1. Pony Convertible Member
    Pony Convertible
    @PonyConvertible

    That is why I hate the whole white privilege narrative. It teaches black children that the have no chance to get ahead. It takes away their incentive to even try to to the work necessary to succeed. It almost guarantees failure. 

    • #1
  2. Retail Lawyer Member
    Retail Lawyer
    @RetailLawyer

    Henry Racette:

    No, the biggest problem black Americans face is that they’ve been told for too long that they’re victims of institutional racism and that none of their personal choices will change that. And, believing that, too many black Americans have sensibly enough decided that there’s no point in participating in an American experience that they’ve been convinced is rigged against them.

    This is what we all hear now, but it does not accord with having a Black President recently elected, twice. I have a different candidate for the “biggest problem . . .”: Social pressure that Black kids not “act white”, and schools that reinforce the message. I am white, but the two closest friends I have developed on the job are 2 Black lawyers, both of whom have children and both of whom live in Black neighborhoods. They are obsessed with trying to escape the public schools systems and get their kids to accept an educational route to success. The obvious route to success (to the kids) is athletics, but this is by definition, rare. I have never heard either of them complain about policing, except for one who’s wife was stabbed with an ice pick during a robbery by another Black women. He was not satisfied by the police investigation.

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  3. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Retail Lawyer (View Comment):

    Henry Racette:

    No, the biggest problem black Americans face is that they’ve been told for too long that they’re victims of institutional racism and that none of their personal choices will change that. And, believing that, too many black Americans have sensibly enough decided that there’s no point in participating in an American experience that they’ve been convinced is rigged against them.

    This is what we all hear now, but it does not accord with having a Black President recently elected, twice. I have a different candidate for the “biggest problem . . .”: Social pressure that Black kids not “act white”, and schools that reinforce the message. I am white, but the two closest friends I have developed on the job are 2 Black lawyers, both of whom have children and both of whom live in Black neighborhoods. They are obsessed with trying to escape the public schools systems and get their kids to accept an educational route to success. The obvious route to success (to the kids) is athletics, but this is by definition, rare. I have never heard either of them complain about policing, except for one who’s wife was stabbed with an ice pick during a robbery by another Black women. He was not satisfied by the police investigation.

    I think what you’re describing is a pretty direct consequence of what I’m describing. “Not acting white” is another way of saying “don’t participate in the system.” And why not participate? Because (so the story goes) the system is rigged against you.

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  4. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I was caught up in the dysfunctional family explanations for personal problems for a while. A friend of mine was a believer, and I started reading about it. On the face of it, it was a theory that was so filled with the common experience of human beings as kids that it could be usefully applied to anyone and everyone. It was a ready made, one-size-fits-all therapy prescription. No deep thinking or getting to know the patients required. :-) 

    The theory came from the psychologists treating adult children of alcoholics and then became a useful tool for psychologists treating people with any of kind problem. In one way, it was better than the old Freudian theories that blamed Mom for everything. Now it was all of family life that was to blame. 

    This theme was promoted by the mass media for a decade anyway. But as a theory of behavior, it lost its luster when people realized that everyone was brought up in a dysfunctional family, teams and organizations fit the “dysfunctional” descriptions perfectly too, and people who suffered from it no longer felt special because everyone else suffered the same things for the same reasons. 

    There was a little bit of truth buried in theory, however. One book I read started out describing a thirty-five-year-old woman who shows up for the first time in the psychologist’s office looking for answers. She has had a problematic childhood, but she left all of that behind her as she pursued independence and happiness. But for some reason, her whole life has suddenly fallen apart, and she has no idea what happened. 

    This phenomenon is more common than we realize–people who feel that life has passed them by. They are looking for reasons outside themselves (as do most of us when we first meet adversity :-) ). 

    My theory as to what is really blowing up right now for the black community is that there exists a highly successful, large black middle class. Those who have not succeeded financially have been told and are telling themselves that it wasn’t that they didn’t work hard enough but that others have done something to them and kept them down so they could not succeed. This would be particularly true within families where one person has succeeded beyond everyone else in the family. 

    It’s my guess that at this moment, America is a victim of our own success in having quickly uplifted a large percentage of the black community through our aggressive policies in affirmative action and urban renewal and college scholarships and student loans. We can’t make individuals embrace a path of hard work though, so many have fallen behind their peers now. And their peers are kindly trying to make them feel better about how things turned out for them. 

    If we as a society can ever figure out how to fix this group phenomenon, it would be a great thing indeed.

    • #4
  5. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    MarciN (View Comment):
    But as a theory of behavior, it lost its luster when people realized that everyone was brought up in a dysfunctional family, teams and organizations fit the “dysfunctional” descriptions perfectly too, and people who suffered from it no longer felt special because everyone else suffered the same things for the same reasons.

    And when everyone is dysfunctional, no one is.

    Or perhaps we’re bandying the term about too casually. There’s dysfunction and there’s dysfunction. When three quarters of kids are born into fatherless homes, and when incarceration, violence, and murder are a routine part of most young men’s lives, something is wrong beyond the “dysfunction” that’s common to every family.

    So I’m going to stick with my take on this, at least until something more persuasive is presented.

    • #5
  6. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Hank, great post.

    I always say that when I’m about to disagree with you, don’t I?

    Henry Racette: No, the biggest problem black Americans face is that they’ve been told for too long that they’re victims of institutional racism and that none of their personal choices will change that. And, believing that, too many black Americans have sensibly enough decided that there’s no point in participating in an American experience that they’ve been convinced is rigged against them. And so they’ve been cheated out of prosperity and success by people who pretend to be their allies, who pretend to have their backs and to have their welfare at heart, but who really just want their votes.

    I disagree with this. This removes the agency of black people.

    We cannot generalize any ideology or behavior to all black people. A great many of them, however, behave horribly. Almost all of the public spokesmen for the so-called black community are apologists for this terrible behavior.

    The illegitimacy rate among American blacks is about 75%. I find this to be an obscene level of black sexual immorality, and it is not whitey’s fault. It is the fault of the people who are doing it. The level among whites is terrible, too, but much lower.

    The crime rate among American blacks is very high. I don’t know the exact figure, but the statistics that I’ve seen for violent crime indicate that the black violent crime rate is something like 5-7 times higher than the white rate. Black-on-white crime is far more prevalent than white-on-black crime, though black-on-black crime is even higher.

    This is horrible behavior. I do not accept responsibility for it. It is primarily the responsibility of the people who are doing it.

    The truth is out there. The truth has been out there all along, spoken by conservatives. Do you know the general response? They called us racists, and said we were blaming the victims. No, they are not the victims, they are the perpetrators.

    Of course, they are victims too. They are victims of a wicked, corrupt, dysfunctional subculture. Watch almost any rap video, for crying out loud.

    White leftist have enabled this terrible subculture, so there’s plenty of blame to go around. But don’t look at me. I’ve been opposed to all of this misbehavior and immorality for as long as I can remember. No one cares to listen to me.

    There are terrific black voices trying to fight this problem, like Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams and Larry Elder and Candace Owens. I wish them success. What they seem to get, from the so-called black community, is hatred and vilification.

    • #6
  7. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    And so they’ve been cheated out of prosperity and success by people who pretend to be their allies, who pretend to have their backs and to have their welfare at heart, but who really just want their votes.

    I disagree with this. This removes the agency of black people.

    I disagree. Why are blacks more likely to commit violent crimes? Why are so many blacks raised without fathers in the home? Why do they get poor schooling? You know what they say: Tell a lie long enough and people will believe it. Agency needs to be taught, but I don’t think that’s what they’ve been teaching.

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  8. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    And so they’ve been cheated out of prosperity and success by people who pretend to be their allies, who pretend to have their backs and to have their welfare at heart, but who really just want their votes.

    I disagree with this. This removes the agency of black people.

    I disagree. Why are blacks more likely to commit violent crimes? Why are so many blacks raised without fathers in the home? Why do they get poor schooling? You know what they say: Tell a lie long enough and people will believe it. Agency needs to be taught, but I don’t think that’s what they’ve been teaching.

    I see your point, but I tend to fall back on Romans 1 in instances like this. That’s why I wrote the truth is out there. I think that they choose not to believe it. The lie is more comforting and convenient.

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  9. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    • #9
  10. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    • #10
  11. Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) Inactive
    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing)
    @Sisyphus

    Pony Convertible (View Comment):
    That is why I hate the whole white privilege narrative. It teaches black children that the have no chance to get ahead. It takes away their incentive to even try to to the work necessary to succeed. It almost guarantees failure. 

    That they were still able to say that Melanin creates inequalities with a black president and a black AG was a total hoot. I grew up in a mixed race neighborhood and saw all different outcomes. Including the day when I threw a black friend with a keen mind and good study habits over my shoulder and walked him to the principal’s office because a rainbow game made up of blacks, rednecks, Thais, and Puerto Ricans were calling him out for being an Oreo and he was about to do something really stupid. And there was that half dozen black GS-15s in a prestigious government office shooting the breeze one day about how Plymouth Rock fell on them. When Obama won, a half dozen Obama shrines adorned some desks. Still powerless, though.

    If Obama was a powerless black man based on melanin, then that’s an indictment of his qualifications to exercise the office of President of the United States. Based on skin color. The racism is palpable.

    I’m just Irish, so what do I know about about prejudice? I finally started talking to councilors calling teachers on it and things leveled out pretty good from there. Except for a couple of black teachers who could not abide my existence. But they had no power, I’m told. Except marking right answers wrong on my tests. No time to look at that now. Too bad.

    Better policing involves protect businesses and homes and citizens from rioters and looters. Definitely a lot of work is needed.

    Targeting Antifa and BLM agitators for arrest for conspiracy, and holding them, would be a huge step in the right direction. It could save them from the neighborhoods as they inevitably start connecting the dots for themselves. It’s time people heard what they are really all about, and recognize that they have killed liberally since the Floyd murder, leaving Chauvin an angel compared to their rampage.

     

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  12. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    The illegitimacy rate among American blacks is about 75%. I find this to be an obscene level of black sexual immorality, and it is not whitey’s fault. It is the fault of the people who are doing it. The level among whites is terrible, too, but much lower.

    Strictly speaking, you’re right. In the end, individuals are responsible for their behavior, whatever the cultural pressures there might be.

    But whitey did implement government programs that had the effect of devastating the black family, and any other group, including many whites, that were recipients of the Great Society programs initiated by the Johnson Administration from 1964 well into the 1970’s during the Nixon Administration.

    There’s talk about the “original sin” of slavery, the 1619 project, etc. But the welfare structure put in place, post World War II and made worse by those Great Society programs is really what has caused most of the problems today.

    Patrick Moynihan warned about it in his report, “The Negro Family, The Case for National Action”, and Malcom X complained about it in his ghost written autobiography.

    We’ll never get that message out during our lifetimes, but it was the progressive left that caused this problem at a societal level just as their inaction duriing these riots are causing them to unnecessarily spread.

    And I hate to say it, but easily accessible birth control played its part in the overall culture, but ironically, the poor did not use it. Which again meant the devastation of the black family.

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  13. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):
    I’m just Irish, so what do I know about about prejudice?

    Well, at least you’re sober. So, you know. You’ve got that going for you.

    [ And yeah, that’s probably a CoC violation. ]

    • #13
  14. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Hank, great post.

    I always say that when I’m about to disagree with you, don’t I?

    Well shoot. That’s the way I do it, too. ;)

    I read the rest of your comment. I don’t want to seem to be robbing black Americans of agency. But at the same time, I don’t want to ask a young black man to innately possess vastly more wisdom and insight than most of us do, and to conduct himself accordingly. If you start life without a father, if your school is grossly dysfunctional, if your entertainment and your friends and many of the people you know promulgate the fiction that America has it in for you, then it’s a heavy lift to rise above that and decide to be the uncool kid who buys into the whole work-hard-and-get-ahead narrative.

    I’m not defending the bad behavior of young black men. I’m just saying that it’s unrealistic to imagine that we won’t get a lot of that kind of behavior if we continue doing what we’re doing, if we insist on them attending miserable schools and subsidizing fatherless homes. It isn’t a matter of what they should do or whose fault it is that they aren’t doing it. It’s a matter of what they’re likely to do, given their resources and the influences they’re going to have.

     

    • #14
  15. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Deleted

    • #15
  16. Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) Inactive
    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing)
    @Sisyphus

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):
    I’m just Irish, so what do I know about about prejudice?

    Well, at least your sober. So, you know. You’ve got that going for you.

    [ And yeah, that’s probably a CoC violation. ]

    See! See! There’s prejudice everywhere!!!

    (I will not point out that, while I am a teetotaler, my father was a violent drunk. That would just play into the stereotype and encourage the haters.)

    • #16
  17. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Pony Convertible (View Comment):

    That is why I hate the whole white privilege narrative. It teaches black children that the have no chance to get ahead. It takes away their incentive to even try to to the work necessary to succeed. It almost guarantees failure.

    Well, that and it’s a Maoist bit of guilt-tripping. 

    • #17
  18. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Henry,

    First, police forces are mixed racially, ethnically, and sexually. This makes the endemic racism idea more and more ludicrous as chiefs of police, prosecutors, and mayors are also non-white males. Second, the number of blacks murdered by other blacks is much higher than by confrontation with police.

    The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime

    In the contemporary period, from 1976 to 2014, it is estimated that 198,288 African Americans died nationwide at the hands of black killers. That’s 5,218 deaths per year on average, roughly 19 times the annual number of deaths of African Americans in confrontations with police.

    If black lives matter then micromanaging the behavior of a now highly diverse police force isn’t going to save very many black lives. This is so obvious that the confusion created by left-wing propaganda should be considered a contributing factor to the black death rate.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #18