The Price of Black Man’s Life

Sign in Ferguson as riots erupt.

This decision seems to underscore an unwritten rule that Black lives hold no value; that you may kill Black men in this country without consequences or repercussions. This is a frightening narrative for every parent and guardian of Black and brown children, and another setback for race relations in America.”

Congressional Black Caucus head Rep. Marcia Fudge

Ninety-three percent of blacks are killed by other blacks,” Giuliani said, triggering a heated argument on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I would like to see the attention paid to that that you are paying to this.”

“Black people who kill black people go to jail,” Dyson said. “White people who are policemen who kill black people do not go to jail.”

“What about the poor black child that was killed by another black child?” Giuliani asked. “Why aren’t you protesting that?… Why don’t you cut it down so that so many white police officers don’t have to be in black areas?”

“When I become mayor, I’ll do that,” replied Dyson, exasperated.

“White police officers wouldn’t be there,” Giuliani said, “if you weren’t killing each other

Former Mayor of NYC Rudolph Giulani

Those two quotes or a variation of them pretty much encapsulate the debate about Michael Brown, Ferguson and the wider issue of blacks males, crime and the police. The issues are more complicated than those two statements assert but both are partially correct even if not exactly as the quoted intended.

The statistics for young black males are stark. Black males commit and are a victim of homicide at extremely disproportionate rate compared to White males or Asians. We can try to excuse it in a variety of ways but those facts remain. This is where the CBC head is correct, black lives have been cheapened. The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case or the lack of charges by the Grand Jury in the Michael Brown case did not demonstrate that Blacks lives are cheaper, this has been demonstrated for years by ignoring the rampant deaths of thousands of Blacks at the hand of other Blacks for years.

Black people around the country are rioting for the last two days and had been holding protest since August because of the Michael Brown shooting by Officer Darren Wilson but have been silent for the 136 homicide victims in the St. Louis area.  Just last October 19th siblings, 35-year-old Margaree Dixson and 29-year-old Jermaine Jones, were killed by gunshot 2 hours and a few blocks apart.  They were homicide victims number 109 and 110, in a little over month almost 20 other homicides have been committed, few of these ever get solved.

A local news station reported last week that 73% of the more that 136 homicides this year remain open.  A case remains open until an arrest is made but in cases where arrests were made only 8% was there an actual conviction, last year. The same story is repeated nationwide in NYC, LA, New Orleans, around the country.  This is a problem, it not just that Black lives are cheap, is that no one wants to come forward and identify the perpetrators, and they know this. As Nicole Rice, the sister of the two siblings killed explains in the interview:

No answers, no answers, all my answers are to God, I don’t know nothing, I know people talk, and I have clues to what their talking about,” Rice said. I don’t blame the police because they’re doing everything they can do to find out what’s going on, If anyone knows anything, just what you heard, that would give a motive, It goes back to my little niece, well she’s really my cousin, but i call her my niece and her murder has never been solved so you ask me if my brother rand my sisters will be? No. Because no one will talk.

“Snitches get stitches” as DeAndre Joshua, 20 found out he was shot and killed on the first night of rioting. His body was found inside his car, which had also been set on fire. Though no official confirmation has been made, DeAndre fit the description of one of the witnesses that provided testimony to the Grand Jury that heard the evidence in Michael Brown’s case. He is also a close friend of the other person that was accompanying Brown that day, Dorian Johnson. Regardless of whether this was related to any testimony he may have provided or just a victim of opportunity for someone with a grudge against him, he has become just another statistic that will be forgotten in the aftermath of the Riots.

Ms. Fudge is correct that Black lives have been cheapened, they are continually being cheapened everytime that the community hides their criminals from justice. They are cheapened everytime that a riot is started because someone broke their monopoly on killing blacks. Especially when that person was in the act of committing a felony which led to their death. Black lives are cheapened when they excuse all wrong doing by blaming race, poverty or the “white establishment” for every ill in their communities. Children are held to a higher standard of conduct than the one of  many black criminals.

When the Black community celebrates and elevates a petty criminal like Michael Brown, or Trayvon Martin it only ensures that other young Black youths will follow in those footsteps. It also means that because they have been convinced that the law devalues them that they will continue to ignore the law and this never ending cycle will continue. The CBC and Ms. Fudge know this, that is why they are trying as they have done with the Educational system by trying to establish a separate system of grading and disciplining Black students to downgrade aberrant or illegal behaviour.

David P, Goldman describes what is happening with the CBC and the new civil rights movement as follows:

To restate the “civil rights” argument in a clearer way: Young black men are disproportionately imprisoned. One in three black men have gone to prison at some time in their life. According to the ACLU, one in fifteen black men are incarcerated, vs. one in 106 white men. That by itself is proof of racism; the fact that these individuals were individually prosecuted for individual crimes has no bearing on the matter. All that matters is the outcome. Because the behavior of young black men is not likely to change, what must change is the way that society recognizes crime itself. The answer is to remove stigma of crime attached to certain behavior, for example, physical altercations, petty theft, and drug-dealing on a certain scale. The former civil rights movement no longer focuses its attention on supposedly ameliorative social spending, for example, preschool programs for minority children, although these remain somewhere down the list in the litany of demands. What energizes and motivates the movement is the demand that society redefine deviancy to exclude certain classes of violent as well as non-violent felonies.

Which brings us to the quote by Giulani, perhaps ironically is the fact the CBC ( Congressional Black Caucus) were instrumental in pushing for passing legislation that called for more cops and stricter mandatory sentences in the late ’80’s and early 90’s.  During those days crime was rampant, drugs and gang warfare was taking a terrible toll on the communities that they represented. In those days the cries where not about police brutality (though it did exist), but for more cops, tougher sentences, loosening of forfeiture laws. The laws that were passed then did have their intended effect, crime now is at the lowest levels in 40 years but had an unintended effect of targeting criminals which were disproportianately Blacks young males.

Rather than addressing the causes of why young Black males are committing more crime, the civil rights movement and the CBC kept blaming racism and the Establishment for the failures of their own community to address this problem. They still ignore the issue, instead they elevate the violent assaults of Trayvon Martin and Martin Brown  as noble young black male martyrs.

Michael Brown assaulted a police officer and attempted to remove his gun,  what purpose does the supporter of Brown think he was trying to do this? If, this is true do you really want that person in your neighborhood, if attacking a police officer is not out of bounds for him, do you think that attacking someone else would have been? The answer I get when these questions are posed is that he was unarmed and did not deserve to die for stealing cigarillos, but this does not answer the question is just deflects it and since most do not have to live in Michael Brown’s neighborhood it would not affect them either way.

Golda Meir the former Prime Minister of Israel once said about the Palestinian and Israeli conflict:

Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us (the Jews).

In many ways the Arab and Israeli conflict is a metaphor for the issues that afflict the Black community. A day will come when Blacks will love their children enough and value their lives enough to stop accepting violent or illegal behaviour as normal and start addressing those issues in their communities. When they realize that all Black lives matter, not just those few that die at the hands of non-Blacks and stop excusing themselves of the problem.

Here’s Police Chief of Milwakee-Police Chief Edward Flynn on the subject.

 

 

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By Hook (race card) or by Crook (cheating)

Once again elections are upon us, and we are again faced with the decision of which way the country will head. If you want to know why so many Americans are repulsed by politics or politicians all you have to do is look at what is happening during this election and feel disgusted. This is something that extends to both parties, Democrat and Republican, though in this one is seems like the Democrats who are facing an uphill battle are pulling no punches in their underhandedness.

By CROOK:

This election the Democrats are in a particularly hard battle to retain the Senate. To many contests with many in States that are normally Republican held areas. Many rode the Obama wave election in 2008 into office but now it is the same Obama Administration that has put them in a bind. As the Administration continues to go from blunder to blunder the fortunes of those seeking re-election get worse, and are not helped by Obama who keeps inserting himself into the campaigns of the beleaguered Senators, whether they want him to or not.

For those Senators who are trying to distance themselves from the Obama Administration and their many “blunders”, what Obama said just the other day in Sharpton’s Radio show could not have come at a worse time.

“The bottom line is though, these are all folks who vote with me; they have supported my agenda in Congress; they are on the right side of minimum wage; they are on the right side of fair pay; they are on the right side of rebuilding our infrastructure; they’re on the right side of early childhood education.”

“These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me, and I tell them, I said, ‘You know what, you do what you need to do to win. I will be responsible for making sure our voters turn out.’ ”

Talk about a cynical statement, not only is Obama saying that these Senators are with him and by extension share responsibility for his policies but also telling them that it is fine if they LIE to the electorate on their positions or opposition to the President to get elected. Once elected they will come back into the fold and continue as before. Of course, lying about positions and policies is something that the President is intimately acquainted with; you can keep your doctor, Syria red-line, not my decision to remove troops from Iraq, not a smidgen of corruption in the IRS, etc.

In Kansas, the Democrats had their candidate bow out of the election when it became clear that their candidate would lose against the Republican incumbent Senator Pat Roberts.   Greg Orman the Independent candidate a longtime Democrat operative running as an independent was sure to split the vote with the Democratic candidate but was a stronger opponent than Chad Taylor, who won his party’s nomination on the primary. Though Kansas law said that a candidate withdrawn after the primary had to be replaced by the party committee, the Democrat Party choose not to run any candidate in order to give Orman a better chance at defeating Roberts.

Is not just national elections that have their share of underhandedness, in Nevada for instance in a race for State Assembly #34 a candidate who was disqualified from running for not meeting the residency requirements but whose name will still on the ballot, could be seated if she wins, anyway.  The candidate Meghan Smith has been for the past 2 elections a politician in search of a seat. In 2010 she ran in a Republican leaning district and lost. In 2012 she ran in a different district in a Democrat leaning one but lost in the primary-her opponent won her seat. This year an open seat in District #34 produced an opportunity, thing was that she did not live on District #34.

On January 30th she instructed her Realtor to find her a residence within the boundaries of the district but with the deadline of February 12th fast approaching time was of the essence. A condo in the edges of the district was found the next day and negotiations were begun. Before she had even bought the property she proceeded to the state DMV office to get her address changed to the property which was not hers, yet.  She also filed paperwork to run for this seat with the Secretary of State.

Ms. Smith finally purchased the property and moved in March 7th, almost a full month past the residency requirement proscribed by Nevada law. She won the Democratic primary by 15 votes and was set to face the Republican challenger. The Republican challenger sued to have her declared ineligible and won in court after the Judge found in the Republican challenger’s favor. This might be a Pyrrhic victories of sorts, because of the time it took to adjudicate the lawsuit, Meghan Smith’s name will remain in the ballot and Nevada law allows the State Assembly to pick a replacement for disqualified candidates. This means that the Assembly which is controlled by Democrats could name Ms. Smith to the seat, though she was disqualified from the election for not meeting residency requirements. Continued next page.

Tea Party “is” responsible for the IRS, VA, Benghazi and other scandals

The Tea Party, or a better description the Tea Party movement, is responsible for the scandals that plaguing the Obama Administration, by bringing to the forefront the problems that afflict our government; cronyism, incompetence, size, mismanagement and size. Its populists message made inroads with people and appealed to voters across, racial, political, income and age lines.  It was this disenchantment that a young Jr. Senator from Illinois was able to tap into the Presidency over the more senior and experience opponents; first in the Democratic Primary against Hillary Clinton and then against long-time Senator McCain both Washington insiders.

The origins of the Tea Party Movement or TPM  are difficult to place, since many groups have claimed to be Tea Party Patriots or a variation, many in commemoration of the original protest that gave its name the Tea Party of 1773, a protest against the Crown’s taxes in the colonies. The current TPM really started to take shape as a protest against the Bush Administration, in particular the then proposed TARP program and the  Bush Administration expansion of the Federal government in 2008.

In 2009, with the new President Obama and its expansion of the TARP, to the bailout GM and Chrysler as well as the Stimulus Bill and later the proposed Health Care overhaul bill, while mired in a recession flamed the TPM into a National movement. The TPM held massive rallies throughout the country and in the mid-term elections of 2010 many candidates supported by the TPM were elected into Congress over Establishment politicians. Those gains in 2010 and the earlier victory of Senator Scott Brown at the beginning of 2010 to replace Senator Ted Kennedy who had died cemented the TPM as a legitimate force in National politics. Brown’s election was extremely important as his election would provide the Republicans with 41 Senate seats, which would have been enough to sustain a filibuster of the Obamacare bill in Congress.

Senator Brown’s election was important in other ways because it forced the Democrats to find ways to thwart the TPM and its populist movement. It also marked the departure of how the MSM’s media outlets covered the TPM. The TPM’s strong opposition to the Health Care bill, the Stimulus and other policies of the new Administration was from that point on in the MSM’s (Main Street Media) eyes one driven by racism, homophobia, xenophobia,  Hellenologophobia, anti-government, anarchists or just plain crazy people. One example of this is the Media’s reporting of the protests outside of Congress on the day that then Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and her entourage of Democratic Leaders including many from the CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) marched in with her oversized mallet to commemorate the passage of the Health Care Bill. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) and other members of the CBC would claim that protester spat on him as they hurls racist slurs at him other Congressmen, despite the dozens of MSM cameras and hundreds more of others that were recording the event, none have corroborated his accusations. Breibart even offered a $100,000 reward for any video or audio that corroborated the claims, needless to say the reward was never claimed, in fact all the video footage disproved the claims. It didn’t stop the MSM from reporting the claims as factual, to this day many point to that non-event as proof of the TPM’s racism, just another instance of the MSM’s false but accurate reporting that become vogue when reporting about the TP or non-Democrats for that matter.

The TPM was becoming a powerful force in politics, one that could upset the delicate balance our 2 party system had developed through the years. To the Democrats it was siphoning support from those fiscally responsible Democrats still in the party, even though the party itself had taken a sharp turn to the left. To the Republicans they faced the possibility of it being consumed by the movement, upsetting the things as they are of the Establishment. Both parties have profited from government largesse, the Democrats would get funding for their social engineering and the Republicans the Defense and breaks for corporate entities. Both could go home to their districts and “bring home the bacon” from Washington and use it to get elected and re-elected. It was something that both would tout endlessly about  during the election season by incumbents and opponents if one failed to deliver. The TPM was looking to upset that symbiotic relationship between the parties, they had to be stopped.

In the beginning the Republican Party was happy with the Tea Party as it added life to their ranks who had been demoralized after the Bush Administration, they had lost both Houses of Congress and the Presidency and seemed lost without a clear message for the future. The TPM gave them a boost that they sorely needed, but it became apparent that the TPM was not going to be puppet of the Establishment Republicans, in fact the TPM would go just as hard against them as they would against the Democrats.  If the movement was to be stopped the Democrats would have to get involved to help and they did utilizing their allies in the MSM, Hollywood and some Republicans to bring a stopped to the TPM.

The Media’s reporting of the TPM changed, rallies that were once looked upon skeptically now were reported in negative connotations, the attendees where under reported, the racial make-up of the attendees was analysed, income levels, intelligence, etc. The TPM was put under a microscope, in the 2010 Mid-terms any Tea Party supported candidate was vetted rigorously, after the elections much was made about those that lost but very little was said about those that one, which far out-numbered the loses. The TPM candidates were often vilified, their statements were often taken out of context and portrayed negatively, but all of this was not enough to stop the wave that saw the Republican party from retaking one half of Congress putting the stop brakes on the Obama Administration Agenda. It was clear that the TPM needed to be stopped or 2012 would be another bad year for the Democrats.

This is why the TPM is responsible for the scandals that would follow. The Obama Administration and the Democrats Congress in had a very pro-Government Agenda. They sought to pass legislation that would radically change our country. From climate change regulation, to gun control, health care, financial regulation, etc. all would consolidate power on the Federal government. To the Democratic leadership, name the problem, more government seemed to be their solution. This of course was contrary to the TPM’s message, that saw too much government intervention and spending as the problem. To accomplish this the Administration and the Democratic Leadership set about in motion several actions to prove the not only the need for government intervention but that it could deliver the goods.

Fast and Furious– To prove the need for stricter gun control, it revived a Bush Administration program that was intended to track guns purchased in the US and sold to Mexican Drug Cartels, only this time the amount of guns would be much larger and no attempt would be made to track the guns across the border, we also would not notify the Mexican authorities of it. The hope was that when those guns would turn up in Mexico and traced back to the US, it would lend impetus to gun control legislation. This led to these guns being used to kill at least 2 US border agents and hundreds more dead in Mexico, including several massacres in Mexico.

Solyndra and others– To prove that the government could stimulate and replace the use of fossil fuels, millions of dollars were given to Solyndra and other renewable energy companies most have ceased operations, a few are limping along but the program has been a colossal waste of taxpayers money.

Benghazi and Arab Spring To demonstrate the new approach to Foreign relations, the Administration backed the rise of Islamist factions in allied countries, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Syria and Libya, the rebellions in those countries have thrown them all into chaos. Secular Tunisia is in turmoil by the new proposed constitution based on Sharia Law, Libya is split in two and in a continuing civil war, Yemen has been split with large portions in control by al-Qaeda, Syria was plunged into a civil war that has more that 150, 000 dead and millions residing in refugee camps, Egypt rejected the rule of the Islamist with a coup by the military who now rule the country. Also worth mentioning the rise al-Qaeda related groups in Mali that required the intervention of the French, or Boko Haram in Nigeria and neighboring countries. In Benghazi the same groups that we assisted in overthrowing the government attacked our Consulate which led to the deaths of our Ambassador and 3 others. In Syria the rebels that we were supporting have now turned around and have conquered large portions of Iraq, possibly leading to the partition of the country into 3 different factions.

Ukraine and Russia– The “reset” with Russia has worked about as well as can be expected with this Administration with the Ukraine losing the Crimea and in danger of losing the Eastern half of the country after we supported the Maidan pro-Western uprising against its elected government. Russia is also supporting the Syrian government which we are opposing and strengthening ties with China.

VA scandal– The Administration pointed to the VA as the standard and goal of its Health Care ambitions, it paid bonuses to their officials for delivering the quality of care that showed how a government could take over the health system and provide a quality service. Instead those bonuses helped to incentivize a system that failed to perform and hid the results of its failure with mock lists when those waiting to receive care died while waiting to see a doctor.  At the same time whistleblowers were harassed and fired when they brought the failures to light.  Meanwhile millions were paid to the families of the dead veterans in settlements to cover their failures to provide care.

IRS scandal To prevent the TPM from spreading its message, the IRS was weaponized to prevent local groups of TPM and Conservative groups the means to organize as an entity. The groups were investigated, slow walked and people on donor lists were investigated and audited.  Unlike the DNC and RNC the TPM is not one national organization but a conglomeration of smaller regional entities working together. They also did not share a single platform as some shared some social goals but others didn’t. The end result was that the TPM was mostly silent in the run-up to the 2014 Presidential Elections, which was immensely helpful in the re-election of the Obama Administration. Without their local voices the TPM, and the marginalization of the “teabaggers” by the MSM it blunted and silenced the TPM.

There other instances of actions that were caused by the TPM but as you can see the Administration and Establishment Republicans have taken measures to quashed the TPM. Just yesterday Senator Cochran won the primary in Mississippi over a TPM,  Conservative challenger by depicting his challenger as racist and directly appealing to the black community for its votes.  One black pastor who helped to organize votes against Cochran opponent, was asked why he was supporting Cochran over his challenger, he said because he that his challenger Chris McDaniel was a tea partier and a racist so he was helping Cochran win.  Oh by the way he also said that he would work hard come November to elect the Democratic nominee.

Like I said at the beginning, the Tea Party is to blame.

Race- Getting wrong again- The Case against Reparations

UPDATE!

Kevin Williamson writing for the National Review gives his take on the same subject, here’s an except:

It may very well be the case that African Americans will never, no matter what policies are enacted, catch up economically with whites. Even assuming that invidious racism were an entirely negligible factor, it is likely that economic development will tend to proceed along broad racial channels if, for example, people of various ethnicities tend to largely marry within their ethnic group, live in neighborhoods largely populated by co-ethnics, and engage in other social-sorting behavior that is racial at its root but not really what we mean by the word “racism.” If that is the case — and it seems that it is — then initial conditions will be very important for a very long period of time.

And that would be true even if there had been no slavery and no discrimination. Imagine, for example, that rather than having been brought to the colonies as slaves, the first Africans to arrive in the New World had come as penniless immigrants in 1900. If their incomes grew in the subsequent century at the same rate as those of white natives, then a century later they’d still be as far behind as they were when they arrived. Income gaps have been closed and closed quickly by some immigrant groups — notably European Jews, Vietnamese immigrants, and Indian immigrants — because their incomes across the first few generations grew much, much more quickly than the native rate. And though the hostility that often met these immigrants is not comparable to the experience of slavery and African Americans’ subsequent repression, it is worth appreciating that Jewish and Asian immigrants have not always been welcomed with universal warmth. The black experience is unique within the context of American history, but it is hardly unique within the context of the experience of other racial minorities in other societies throughout history.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/378737/case-against-reparations-kevin-d-williamson

 

The election season must be near, it is easy to tell as articles such as, the Atlantic’s  Ta-Nehisi Coates’, “The case for reparations“, get published and become the fodder for all the talking heads in the MSM. While it was not his intent he makes a good case as to why we don’t need reparations.  In his attempt to demonstrate the uniqueness of the “Black Plight” he rather shows how similar the experience is to that faced by other groups of immigrants and migrant worker who have thrived and persevered despite the obstacles they originally faced. After quoting the Bible, John Locke and another anonymous source he begins his essay thus:

“The state’s regime partnered robbery of the franchise with robbery of the purse. Many of Mississippi’s black farmers lived in debt peonage, under the sway of cotton kings who were at once their landlords, their employers, and their primary merchants. Tools and necessities were advanced against the return on the crop, which was determined by the employer. When farmers were deemed to be in debt—and they often were—the negative balance was then carried over to the next season.”

Peonage or debt servitude was very common and it was not limited  to blacks but many white farmers had similar arrangements and similar results. A real example of State sponsored Peonage would be like that which was instituted by the Spanish Crown in 1873 when it abolished slavery in Puerto Rico. Under the new law that emancipated the slaves, the slave owners were compensated by the government for their former slaves but it also decreed that the former slaves must work the land of their previous owner for a minimum of 3 years.  They would not be “free” until that time expired.  Though they would be compensated for their work, they could not leave until the peonage had been paid.  Those that did not stay on the land that was provided to them, as many did, without title to the property until their time was up would lose claim to the property and became fugitives. That is not what Mr. Coates describes, but a very common happening to this day of farmers borrowing money for expenses using the projected future crops, with the land as collateral.  If the crops failed or prices deviated many farmers found themselves losing their land to their lenders or bank.  But fallow land is not profitable so many lenders resorted to share-cropping , that would allow the farmer to remain and work the land while debts were paid and crops was the only collateral available to them at that point. In Mississippi for instance while 70+% of black farmers were sharecroppers so were 40% of white farmers.  By the 1920’s  the price of cotton was on a free fall which meant perpetual debts for both black and white farmers. Coates likes to use small anecdotes in making his case, but they leave out information,  is misleading,  incomplete or unverifiable. His anecdote on how the Ross family lost their farm due to back taxes, for instance does not have a date only that it was when Mr. Ross was a child.  He then talks about a story by the AP in 2001 detailing 406 victims throughout the South that the story determine were documented thefts of black properties.  Sad as that may have been 406 “thefts” out of the millions of farmers that existed in the South is hardly indicative of anything. Again he does not mention the story by name, or authors or provide a link. He goes on to detail how Mr. Ross was a smart kid but the better school was to far to walk and return in time to work the fields, this strikes me as a decision of convenience for him and his family. Whether the white kids had access to a school bus or not is immaterial as he was not prevented from attending this new school because of  busing, schools were segregated, but because it would be inconvenient to the family. The same thing happens with Coates’ anecdote about Mr. Ross horse. The story is meant to garner sympathy for a young child. But, does it do that.  Examining the story it is very strange that if the point was to relieve the kid of the horse that they would pay anything for it. Further, if you do a simple search about the prices of a colt,  you find that $17 is about the  price you would pay in 1933 for a 2-year-old colt.  A 6 month-old horse was worth about $8, he could buy 2 for the price of the one he lost or sold.  I can’t help but wonder if because, this was 1933 and the 4th year into the Depression that having a horse for leisure was an extravagant luxury during that time. Cotton had been falling from their high pre-Civil War highs when the South produced 3/4 of  the world’s cotton. In 1919 cotton hit its high 35 cent per bale before the bottom fell out of cotton prices. By 1933 the price was down to 5 cents per bale.  In fact the sharp decrease in prices of cotton in the 20’s led to the First Great Migration of blacks farmers to the North. Looking back at historical data, the avg. price of cotton between 1900 and 1945 was 14.6 cents,  from a high of 35 cents in 1919 to a low 5 cents in 1933 so the prices the Ross family was being paid are certainly within the range of what others were getting regardless of race. Cotton prices would not hit 50 cents a pound until the mid 1970’s, all of this information is readily available for Mr. Coates if he wanted to educate or inform the readers of plight of the farmers at the turn of the century. Living in a farm is hard work, regardless of race.  The years at the turn of the century were hard on farmers there is no need to try to insinuate that things were harder because of race.  The same hardships were faced by White sharecroppers as Black sharecroppers. Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty show, was suspended from his show on the A&E network,  was suspended  for his comments on gay relationships but in that same article he also said this:

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

There were calls by some to label Robertson for saying this, as it is against the prevailing story from people like Mr. Coates that Blacks left the South because of discrimination which drove them out of their farms and homes. The truth is a little more nuanced than that.  Is interesting that Mr. Coates choose to showcase Mr. Ross’ story and not someone from another southern State.  Mississippi was the first State to elect a Black Senator in 1870 and the second in 1875.  Their new Constitution in 1868, the  convention adopted universal suffrage; did away with property qualifications for suffrage or for office, a change that also benefited poor whites; provided for the state’s first public school system; forbade race distinctions in the possession and inheritance of property; and prohibited limiting civil rights in travel.   The reforms only lasted for 22 years until 1890 when a new constitution disenfranchised most blacks and poor whites but by that time fully 2/3 of Mississippi’s Delta  farmers where black. Blacks kept coming to the Delta area and it was not until first agricultural depression culminating in the early 20’s that the first Great Migration of  Blacks to the North occurred.  As falling prices of Cotton caused many Black and White farmers to sell their land in order to pay-off  debts.  Though many did remain as sharecroppers for another 20 years. Was discrimination part of the decision to leave the Delta farms and seek better fortunes in the North, probably but it was not until the economic conditions got dire that many made that decision.  The North needed labor, the South had excess labor as with Migration of workers economics was the driving factor. Mr. Coates continues with Mr. Ross’ life by detailing his efforts to buy a home in Chicago,  using  a Contract for Deed.  He tries very hard to make the practice seem nefarious, but that is far from the case. Contract for Deed or Land Contracts are still used to this day.  It provides people who have lack credit or have limited resources and opportunity to own a  property and are used quite frequently.  Are there risks involved sure for both the buyer and the seller. Depending on how the contracts are written a buyer risks losing his investments if he loses his job or some large expense like the boiler breaks down and he is unable to pay for the repairs.  Owners risk potential buyers leaving the property before the contract is finished in deplorable conditions that would require a capital expense before the property could be sold again. Either way Mr. Ross was able to purchase his home using this method despite his complaints against the way by which he bought the property. The complaint about lack  of access to equity in the house while on the Contract Sale is true, but if as Mr.Ross did, and buy out his home the equity did not disappear only his access to it while paying for the house. None of this would strike any other large group of immigrant out of the ordinary, Germans, Poles, Jews, Italians, Irish, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, etc all faced restrictions and lack of access to financing, areas where they could not buy a house at all and were steered to certain areas at one point or another. Mr. Ross’ story should be one about perseverance and success not as case for reparations.  It seems such a shame that rather than celebrating his achievements we are told to see his story as one of deprivation and envy because his journey should have been easier in Mr. Coates’ opinion.

“Contract sellers became rich. North Lawndale became a ghetto…” “According to the most-recent statistics, North Lawndale is now on the wrong end of virtually every socioeconomic indicator. In 1930 its population was 112,000. Today it is 36,000. The halcyon talk of “interracial living” is dead. The neighborhood is 92 percent black. Its homicide rate is 45 per 100,000—triple the rate of the city as a whole. The infant-mortality rate is 14 per 1,000—more than twice the national average. Forty-three percent of the people in North Lawndale live below the poverty line—double Chicago’s overall rate. Forty-five percent of all households are on food stamps—nearly three times the rate of the city at large. Sears, Roebuck left the neighborhood in 1987, taking 1,800 jobs with it. Kids in North Lawndale need not be confused about their prospects: Cook County’s Juvenile Temporary Detention Center sits directly adjacent to the neighborhood.”

This is one of Mr. Coates’ most spurious charges, he does not explain how Black home ownership created a ghetto with all the connotations that come with that charge.  If home ownership created a ghetto in North Lawndale, then perhaps the problem is the pressure that is put on Blacks to own a home when renting is better option.  Instead of pushing for higher rates of home ownership, especially of those on the fringes we should discourage it until they a stronger foundation (long-term employment, financial security, marriage, stability, substantial down payment) things that many first-time Black buyers lack, but feel pressure to commit to buying a home nevertheless. There segregation was policy practice against Blacks, as it was other groups but does policies are not in force now and have not been for decades.  Today’s segregated communities are the result, in many cases of governmental policies.  Free or subsidize Housing that directs the poor to certain neighborhoods, welfare policies that penalize recipients if they get married, obtain a job or move to another area and the lack of accountability of those that game the system. Making matters worse, has become permissive of lifestyle choices that while at pains to say it, sociologists have now recognized that the family unit is the a main contributor to many of the ills that Mr. Coates feel will be cure by re-desegregation.  Including lower crime rates, higher wealth and incomes.  It is the reason why Latinos the group most often compared, comparatively to Blacks have surpassed them in practically every category even though back in the 60’s they trailed Blacks and Whites by wide margins. Today Latino’s are reaching parity with Whites in all categories and are poised to supplant Whites as the largest Ethnic group. The rest of Coates’ long essay does not break any new ground, he tries to correlate poverty with crime as an excuse to the Black real problems with high crime in their neighborhoods.  One statement he made I want to address.  He writes the following:

“From the White House on down, the myth holds that fatherhood is the great antidote to all that ails black people. But Billy Brooks Jr. had a father. Trayvon Martin had a father. Jordan Davis had a father. Adhering to middle-class norms has never shielded black people from plunder. Adhering to middle-class norms is what made Ethel Weatherspoon a lucrative target for rapacious speculators. Contract sellers did not target the very poor. They targeted black people who had worked hard enough to save a down payment and dreamed of the emblem of American citizenship—home ownership. It was not a tangle of pathology that put a target on Clyde Ross’s back. It was not a culture of poverty that singled out Mattie Lewis for “the thrill of the chase and the kill.” Some black people always will be twice as good.”

Yes, Trayvon Martin had a “father”  and mother as did Jordan Davis and Billy Brooks Jr. but what they lacked was a family unit. All three were sent to stay with their fathers because they had become too much to handle for their respective mothers.  Being a sperm donor is easy, being a father is much harder.  Showing up after problems manifest themselves is failing in your duties as a father and should not be celebrated. Ethel Weatherspoon, like Clyde Ross bought a house in the North Lawndale area is she also to blame for the condition of the neighborhood today? Of course not, and neither are the rapacious speculators that sold them the house.  They wanted the American Dream to own a house and they did, using the method available to them as many others of limited means did before. That is the problem with Mr. Coates’ essay, with the exception of the despicable period of slavery, the hardships and triumphs  are the same that many other ethnic groups faced and are still facing. The Black experience is only singular in their estimation, as is their feeling that because of slavery their road should to success should have been paved, rather than a curvy, rock-strewn one with detours along the way.

The road to success is not straight. There is a curb called Failure, a loop called Confusion; speed bumps called Friends; red lights called Enemies;caution lights called Family. You will have flats called jobs. But, if you have a spare called Determination; an engine called Perseverance; insurance called Faith, and a driver called Jesus, you will make it to a place called Success!!- Anon.

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Zimmerman a conversation on History

A few weeks ago after  George Zimmerman was pronounced not guilty by the jury and uproar that this had cause the President had the following to say;

But I did want to just talk a little bit about context and how people have responded to it and how people are feeling. You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me, 35 years ago.

And when you think about why, in the African-American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a – and a history that – that doesn’t go away.

Now, this isn’t to say that the African-American community is naive about the fact that African-American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system, that they’re disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence. It’s not to make excuses for that fact.

Although, black folks do interpret the reasons for that in a historical context. They understand that, some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country. And that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history.

History as in an event or events that had passed.  We know the shameful history of slavery, segregation and Jim Crow that was persistent in the country, just 50 years ago.  Discrimination was institutionalize for all blacks in the country, how severe would depend on the geographical location but it was inescapable.  Let’s flash forward 50+ years and evaluate things today, as they are not, as they were, perhaps we can determine how we can how we can continue to move forward because the Zimmerman verdict still says that we have a way to go.

Jonathan Cohen completed his 3 part series of articles regarding the Zimmerman case and its aftermath, in his last installment he spoke primarily about the history of Blacks in this country since the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act which finally  brought equality to blacks   at least in a legal form. He writes;

        … In spite of the passage of the civil rights laws of the 1960’s and progress made by blacks over the last 50 years, events such as the Zimmerman trial reveal to what extent we are still two separate societies. The explanation that would be given by most black commentators is the persistence of racism. The basis of disparate impact law is the notion that if imbalances exist in the numbers of minorities in an occupation, the starting assumption is that the reason is racial prejudice. By analogy, if a white Hispanic shoots an unarmed black teenager, the reason is racial animus and the burden of proof is on the white to prove otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt.

But maybe this picture is wrong. Perhaps the sources of higher crime rates for blacks, greater percentage of out-of-wedlock births, numbers incarcerated, lower graduation rates at all levels, poorer scores on standardized measures of academic achievement are not the result of institutional racism. What if whites have little ability to affect these problems, particularly if blacks claim a monopoly on the allocation of funds to solve them? For example, if blacks insist on black teachers in black schools, there is not a lot whites can do about improving educational outcomes.

The year 1965 was also a year of departure for the civil rights organizations. Having accomplished its greatest goal, the dismantling of legal segregation, it was faced with the task of how to move forward to advance race relations and help advance the situation of black people in America. What is not usually acknowledged or remembered, let alone understood, is what happened next. Black separatism suddenly became respectable. Freed from the pressures of pleasing whites to simply survive, black identity movements began to thrive. Blacks stopped wearing their hair to look as much like white people as possible as Afros replaced straightened hair. And politically, blacks decided they had to define their own organizations starting with the civil rights organizations that had always been coalitions with sympathetic whites…

…Since racism and sexism were assumed to be the cause of any deficiency in skills, only whites confronting their prejudices and unconscious biases could overcome the deficiencies. Responsibility for improving the educational performance of black youth fell on whites. This never made sense. Anyone involved in teaching knows that it is impossible to teach people who are not invested in the learning process. The deficiencies in English and math skills of black high school graduates were real. For purposes of closing the educational gap between whites and blacks, there was little whites could do unless the students were sufficiently motivated to do the extra work to overcome their lack of academic preparation…
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/09/the_aftermath_of_the_george_zimmerman_case_part_3_the_weight_of_history.html#ixzz2e3UatR8B

Like my previous post, https://boricuafudd.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/the-consequences-of-separatism-an-ideal-gone-wrong/, Mr. Cohen details how the Civil Rights Movement which had been a multi-racial attempt to achieve equality for everyone got transformed into a separatist and isolationist movement, that aimed to separate Blacks and Whites.  The results of which we are now experiencing.

The “historical” excuse has been used to explain any disparities between the races from political affiliation, poverty, crime, high rates of single mother households, drug use,  A closer historical look at our Society is warranted to see how or if this is true.  First of all, I  am not denying the issues that affected the country 50 years ago, or attempting to minimize its effects on Blacks and other minorities, because clearly they were affected.  I am trying to raise the issue of whether in addressing those problems, our Society went astray somehow. Perhaps then we can rectify the issues, without losing the gains that were accomplished.

To that end, I want to discuss an article by Charles Murray, written a little over a year ago, called Belmont & Fishhook.  For those that don’t know Mr. Murray co-wrote the book the Bell Curve that aimed to show that intelligence, and class, were determined by race and were generic.  He relied heavily on IQ tests which drew criticism as to their real worth in determining “mainstream intelligence” but some of it findings were generally accepted like:

  • IQ scores have high predictive validity for individual differences in school achievement.
  • IQ scores have predictive validity for adult occupational status, even when variables such as education and family background have been statistically controlled.
  • There is little evidence to show that childhood diet influences intelligence except in cases of severe malnutrition.

Since then the field of epigenetics has grown and more is known about the human genome, which has lent some more evidence that some environmental issues can affect the way some genes react, producing more or less on some enzymes that can affect human behavior and traits.

In Belmont & Fishhook Mr. Murray compares two fictional towns, although Fishook is a neighborhood in Philadelphia and provided the statistics for the comparison, from 1960 and today.  While the focus of the essay is what happened in the White population, he does impart figures of the Black community for comparison, it is in those comparisons that most of the prevalent history is found. He breaks the study into 4 areas; Marriage, Industriousness, Honesty and Religiosity. He uses this to conclude that there are 2 new classes of people in the US, that are separate from the rest of Society, one that is the ruling elite and the other a forgotten class, that are different from the rest.

…As recently as half a century ago, Americans across all classes showed only minor differences on the Founding virtues. When Americans resisted the idea of being thought part of an upper class or lower class, they were responding to a reality: there really was such a thing as a civic culture that embraced all of them. Today, that is no longer true. Americans have formed a new lower class and a new upper class that have no precedent in our history. American exceptionalism is deteriorating in tandem with this development.

America has never been a classless society. From the beginning, rich and poor have usually lived in different parts of town, gone to different churches, and had somewhat different manners and mores. It is not the existence of classes that is new, but the emergence of classes that diverge on core behaviors and values—classes that barely recognize their underlying American kinship…

In 1960, extremely high proportions of whites ages 30–49 in both Belmont and Fishtown were married—94 percent in Belmont and 84 percent in Fishtown. The unquestioned norm in both neighborhoods was marriage. In the 1970s, those percentages declined about equally in Belmont and Fishtown. Then came the great divergence. In Belmont, marriage among prime-age adults stabilized during the mid-1980s and remained flat thereafter, standing at 83 percent in 2010. In Fishtown, marriage continued a slide that had not slackened as of 2010, when the percentage of married whites ages 30–49 had fallen to a minority of 48 percent. What had been a 10 percentage point difference between Belmont and Fishtown in the 1960s stood at 35 percentage points in 2010. The culprits—divorce and failure to marry in the first place—split responsibility for the divergence about equally.

Another aspect of marriage showed just as great a divergence: the percentage of children born to unmarried women.Frightened though politicians and media eminences are to say so, nonmarital births are problematic. Children who are born to unmarried women fare worse than the children of divorce and far worse than children raised in intact families even after controlling for the income and education of the parents. The technical literature on that topic is large and damning. The literature on what happens when large proportions of children within a neighborhood are born to unmarried women is less extensive, but the coincidence between that phenomenon and communities that have fallen apart, whether they be in the inner city or rural America, suggests that a large proportion of nonmarital births within a community constitutes a social catastrophe.

In 1960, just 2 percent of all white births were nonmarital. When the Vital Statistics first gave us the mother’s education in 1970, 6 percent of births to white women with no more than a high school education—women with a Fishtown education—were out-of-wedlock. Or to put it another way, 94 percent of such births were within marriage. By 2008, 44 percent were nonmarital. Among the college-educated women of Belmont, less than 6 percent of all births were out of wedlock as of 2008, up from 1 percent in 1970.

Those are the figures for the White community the black community has been hit harder,  to the point that only 30% of births are nonmarital.  He mentions the frightened politicians, but of what? Well, the feminists that grew out of the era and declared that men were optional.  As an irony, most of the higher educated feminist of the period went on to marry and have children, as the stats illustrate but those in the lower class who also followed did not.  This is specially evident in the black community were the majority of households with children are female single parent homes.  Last year a survey by the Washington Post revealed that black women are most likely to accept, condone single parenthood than any other group by 35% points.  They are also the least likely to consider marriage important.

The primary indicator of the erosion of industriousness is the increase of prime-age males with no more than a high school education who say they are not available for work—they are “out of the labor force,” in the jargon. That percentage went from a low of 3 percent in 1968 to 12 percent in 2008, rising steadily during the boom years of the 1980s and 1990s when the labor market had plentiful blue-collar jobs available for anyone who wanted to work. Even those who had jobs worked less—in 1960, only 10 percent of employed Fishtown males worked fewer than 40 hours per week. By 2008, that percentage had doubled. In Belmont, the percentage working fewer than 40 hours per week went from 9 to 12. Again it needs to emphasized: These reductions in work hours occurred in years when men could find work for as many hours as they wanted to work.

Again Mr. Murray figures are for the White community, the figures for the Black community are even darker.  Some areas of the country, for instance the rate of unemployment for young black youths is 60% which the current recession just made worse.  Up to 30% of black males are “out of the workforce” currently, some have criminal records which make getting a job difficult, others just lack the training or education needed to get a job.

Ever since criminology became a discipline, scholars have found that criminals are overwhelmingly drawn from working-class and lower-class neighborhoods—Fishtown. But in 1960, crime was low and the existing differences between Belmont and Fishtown did not impinge on daily life. The real Fishtown in Philadelphia, for example, was an extremely safe place to live in the 1950s (as we know both from a contemporaneous sociological study of the real Fishtown and the living memory of those who grew up in Fishtown in those years). Doors were routinely left unlocked. Children were allowed to play unwatched by their own parents, who knew that neighbors were keeping an eye on them. In the rare instances when a crime did occur, the people of Fishtown knew where to look for the offenders, and often dealt with them without bothering to call the cops.

The surge in crime that began in the mid-1960s and continued through the 1980s left Belmont almost untouched and ravaged Fishtown. From 1960–95, the violent crime rate in Fishtown more than sextupled. When we can first break out imprisonment rates in 1974 (after crime had already been increasing for a decade), there were 215 imprisoned Fishtowners for every 100,000 persons ages 18–65. By the time of the most recent survey of prison inmates in 2004, that number had grown to 965. The comparable figures for Belmont were infinitesimal and flat (13 in 1974, 27 in 2004). Furthermore, the reductions in crime since the mid-1990s that have benefited the nation as a whole have been smaller in Fishtown, leaving Fishtown today with a violent crime rate that is still 4.7 times the 1960 rate.

Black middle class neighborhood throughout the country have disappeared, replace by lawless zones.  Leaving a new class of citizen in its place. One who is less educated, less industrious, more promiscuous, less likely to obey the law and more dependant on government for it daily subsistence.  Christopher Orlet calls it a culture of Poverty as he describes his  experiences of the 2 years he spent living in the inner-city;

The culture of poverty is many things. Actually it is an accumulation of things. Having one of those things doesn’t necessarily mean you are part of that culture. One characteristic of the culture of poverty is the single-parent household. But there are many middle class and even upper class (though fewer) single-parent households that are doing just fine. That is because they have resources unavailable to the poor. Like savings. Lawyers. Reliable transportation.

But if you are a single parent with multiple children by multiple fathers, and a high school dropout, with a record, then chances are you are part of that culture. If you move to a new rental every six months, yanking your kids out of school after school, and if you do drugs in front of your children, and sell your food stamps for cash, then chances are you are part of that culture. If you are 20 years old, living with your grandmother, with no interest in ever getting a job, or getting married, or doing much of anything, chances are you are part of that culture. If you do not have a kitchen table, but you do have a big flat screen TV, and when the social worker comes to visit someone yells, “The social worker is here, go get the light bulb,” then chances are you are part of that culture.

When I moved into the inner-city, I hoped to gain some insight and understanding of the poor and their situation. Two years later I left feeling the situation is intractable. Everything the professional uplifters do for the poor is but pruning the branches, instead of hacking at the roots of the problem. For the underclass to escape the culture of poverty they would have to cease doing most if not all of the above, and I don’t see that happening.

Besides, as I have written before, too many of the underclass enjoy the culture of poverty. They would feel horribly out-of-place in a tony subdivision where they would have to work to make a house and car payment, instead of drinking beer all day on the stoop ― they don’t even have stoops in the suburbs. They would have to cut their lawns and keep the trash and noise to a minimum. What fun is that? In the inner-city you can do whatever the hell you want. You can even shoot somebody, and chances are no one will rat you out, because that is the code of the inner-city streets, and people there hate the cops more than they hate the drug dealers.

Read the rest here; http://spectator.org/archives/2013/08/23/in-another-country

How do you change a culture that has been for years told that they are a victim? That dreams are for fools unless the government hands you  a freebie. A Culture that tells you that unless you can dunk, run fast or rap a song, failure is all you will ever attain. A culture that glamorize violence, tells young women that they are only good for one thing, the gratification of males. A culture that calls anything successful White and as such out-of-bounds.  Who perpetuates  racism, sexism, misogynistic behavior.  Well we can start by forgetting the PC crap we have been told for years and we begin to call a spade a spade.  Trying to sugar-coat things when they are clearly wrong and bad for you and society has gotten us to where we are.  It is time to start publicly shamming those that perpetuate such behavior.  Russell Simmons in his letter to Don Lemmons said that it was good for the young to create their own language and use to communicate but I ask Mr. Simmons who is very successful, what good is for the young to create their own language, when they are failing at school and nobody outside their neighborhood will understand them?

History has dealt the black community a bad hand, there is no doubt of that.  Use this past history as an edge to move forward, not a clutch to be left behind.

The Zimmerman Case: Has it opened Pandora’s Box

In Greek mythology, Pandora the first women created by the Gods was given a box that contained all the evils on the world with strict instructions not to open the box or those evils will be let loose on humanity. Pandora disregarded this order and opened the box letting those evils escape, luckily for humanity she closed the lid before hope could also get out.

The reaction or over reaction as some might say to the Zimmerman case by the Civil Rights Establishment and the linking of the case to gun violence, the abuse by some of SYG laws, School discipline of young black males, racial profiling and of course Racism, on a case that had little to do with those things and avoided facts about the case that did not agree with their assumptions. But something happened this time that was different, the usual reaction was not there, there was push-back coming from at times, unexpected places.

We are days from the 50th anniversary of the “March on Washington” a culminating point in the Civil Rights movement and credited with getting both the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965) passed. It is also where Dr. King delivered his “I have a Dream” speech. We now live in a new era, both the President and the Nation’s top law enforcement agent are black, prior to this we had 2 black Secretaries of State, a Hispanic Attorney General, black Senators and Congressman. There are 35,000 black millionaires and 7 billionaires, not only has the US changed but the world with it.

The type of bigotry, discrimination and outright racism that persisted 50+ years ago is no longer there, but to listen to some Civil Rights organizations it is still 1950. Why, these organizations rose to power and pre-eminence during those turbulent years while fighting a righteous fight.  Now there are mostly left, trying to ensure that the concessions that were gained are maintained, needed or not, while at the same time attempting to get new concessions.  The type of overt racism during those days is hard to find in America and when it is that person is shunned as they should be.  This is putting these organizations in a position of having to change their objectives, the NAACP, which already some leftist leaning has become a full-fledged Progressive organization.  By advancing a Progressive agenda,  the organization has opened up and restored its membership at the same time its original purpose has fallen by the wayside.

The NAACP now openly partners with Planned Parenthood and advocates for same-sex marriage something which has caused great dissension amongst the Black Clergy where the organization was traditionally getting most its support.  It now after the Zimmerman case opposed to SYG laws, something that some in the Organization saw as a way for the Black community to fight crime, which was rampant in the community for a long time.  Where one time it was seeking equality in Education, it now asks for diminished standards for black students,  different standards in discipline, not background checks in job applications, changed in sentencing for drug crimes and it has stated that it has done all it could to combat crime in the community its focus will be in other areas.  It has in a way given up on a segment of the community that bears its name.

John McWhoter writing for Time Magazine has the following to say:

The numbers don’t lie: young black men do commit about 50% of the murders in the U.S. We don’t yet know whether the attack on Lane was racially motivated, nor can we know whether the three black boys who attacked a white boy on a Florida school bus recently would not have done the same to a black kid. (Critics took Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to task for not condemning the violence.) But hardly uncommon are cases such as the two black guys who doused a white 13-year-old with gasoline and lit him on fire, saying “You get what you deserve, white boy” (Kansas City, Mo.) or 20 black kids who beat up white Matthew Owens on his porch “for Trayvon” (Mobile, Ala.).

So, it’s just fake to pretend that the association of young black men with violence comes out of thin air. Young black men murder 14 times more than young white men. If the kinds of things I just mentioned were regularly done by whites, it’d be trumpeted as justification for being scared to death of them.

It’s not that black communities are in complete denial about these statistics — Stop the Violence events are a staple of high-crime areas. But let’s face it: black America isn’t nearly as indignant about black boys killing one another or whites as about the occasional white cop killing one black boy, even though the former wreaks much more havoc in black communities. There is no coordinated nationwide movement equivalent to the one Martin galvanized. There are no thoughtful films “exploring” black-on-black crime the way Fruitvale Station treats the death of Oscar Grant, a young black man who was killed by transit police in Oakland, Calif.

Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/22/viewpoint-dont-ignore-race-in-christopher-lanes-murder/#ixzz2csa1UklC

In the Zimmerman case the Media performed as it had usually done, it took a “Narrative” that was the creation of the Martin Family’s PR team and choose to run with that.  Some went above and beyond what they normally do and edited audio and video evidence, disregarded those facts that did not agree with the “narrative” and simply did not investigate anything regarding the events.  Local papers were told by the editorial board that nothing that was negative towards Trayvon Martin or the Family, the Miami papers followed suit.  Aside from one story on the Miami Herald that disclosed that Trayvon Martin was not the scholar claimed by the family and had in fact been suspended 3 times that school year.  He was in Sanford serving his 3rd 10 day suspension when he got shot. This and more was ignored by the media, in fact when the photos from the Trayvon’s phone were released, I remember at least 3 editorials that all were designed to minimize was had been found on the phone,  calling normal teen behavior.  The media did its job so well that to this day many people are convinced that Trayvon was just a young smiling 13 year-old.

But it has been the overreaction to the verdict that has really ensured that Pandora’s box was opened.  To those that had watched the trial the acquittal was not a surprised but those that listened only to the PR coming from the family and transmitted by the media could not understand what had happened. ESPN’s sports analyst Stephen A. Smith probably said it best when he stated that listening to everything the Media had said about the case GZ should have been convicted, but after the verdict and he took the time to investigate and look at the evidence the correct verdict was rendered.  He also was very upset with his fellow journalists for having failed so miserably.

Now Pandora’s box has been opened, black on white crime is not being ignored, it can’t be but the usual excuses are not working and questions are being asked of those that claim to be leaders of the community not just by the community but by those that would normally just ignored or downplay such incidents.  As in Greek mythology, Pandora’s box was closed just in time to keep HOPE from getting out.

On the 50th Anniversary of a momentous event that had far-reaching consequences here and around the world, let’s put the rhetoric aside and remember the dream that once was, let’s us not forget the progress we have made because some trouble makers want to keep a pretense, and nostalgia of what once was, in order to push their agendas.

 

The Consequences of Separatism, an Ideal gone wrong

Update:

MSNBC’s Joy Reid to Rand Paul: ‘Take a Deep Breath Before You Talk About Race’

This was the message that Joy Reid sent to Rand Paul because he was talking about North Carolina new voting requirements.  She takes umbrage that white Paul would talk about something that according to some stats will affect 25% of Blacks who do not have ID.  So where did this information come from? After a little digging I was able to find the source.  The Stats were based on a Survey of 987 people done in 2006 by Brennan Center for Justice at NYU school of law. You can see the survey here.

Some of the sample questions are:

1) Do you have a current, unexpired government-issued ID with your picture on it, like a driver’s license or a military ID?

2) If yes, does this photo ID have both your current address AND your current name (as opposed to a maiden name) on it?

3) Do you have any of the following citizenship documents (U.S. birth certificate/U.S. passport/U.S. naturalization papers) in a place where you can quickly find it if you had to show it tomorrow?

4) If yes, does [that document] have your current name on it (as opposed to a maiden name)?

As you can tell by the questions the survey is geared to getting negative answers, unexpired id’s, current name and address, maiden names, etc.  So the issue is not the lack of ID but that some people do not update their ID’s as they move or get married or let their ID’s expired.  Reid also mentions that waiting in line is to onerous for some people and restricting early voting by one week will cause undue burden, as people might have to wait in long lines.  Is this the best argument, it is a civic duty if you find it that difficult…

The other issue was people who had been incarcerated because of “youthful mistakes”, maybe is time that we stop making it easier for those who keep committing these youthful mistakes and start teaching people of all ages that actions have consequences, whether you are young or old.

In my last post I mentioned the “Black Power” movement that immediately followed the Civil Rights movement.  Both movements had profound influence and effect on our Society and particularly the Black community, but the movements while they coincided towards the end of one, were diametrically opposing each other. The goals were similar, empowering the Black community which had been long oppressed, the way to achieve this was very different.

The Civil Rights movement as led by Dr. Martin Luther King was about achieving equality and assimilation into the larger American Society.  The Black Power movement was about separating the communities and attaining the equality but not assimilation. Instead, it was about demonstrating, embracing the differences, in a way it was Separate but Equal but from a Black perspective.  One was peaceful and was often the victim of violence, the other was willing to use violence to achieve its goals, by any means necessary.  Many of who had participated in the earlier movement, had joined the other due to their disillusion to the other movement.

While many think that the Black Power movement disappeared because of its anti-white, separatist tone the movement never did.  Its Marxist,  Socialist ideas and the feeling that White America had to pay for its past transgressions continue to live today, it is very much a part of the Black political structure.

Perhaps the most memorable aspect of the Black Movement was the Black Panther Party, which serve as a sort of armed wing of the movement.  it also was probably the most responsible for the dying of the movement.  But did is really die or did it just morphed and just became part of the  Black community psyche, at least in the Black Arts, Black Music, and the Inner Cities.

While the leaders of the Black Power movement embraced the idea “that power was the only thing respected in the world”, Dr. King before his death, said the slogan was “a cry for daily hurt and persistent pain” and he was opposed to what he saw some positives in the movement of attaining political and economic power for the Black Community he believe that its followers placed too much emphasis on the negative connotations: black separatism, retaliatory violence, isolationism, and a defeatist attitude.  Which made him argued that; “Black Power was a nihilistic philosophy born out of the conviction that the Negro can’t win” something he rejected vehemently.

Recently Don Lemmons CNN anchor, cause a stir in the Black community by unveiling his 5 things to do by the Black community.

  1. And number one, and probably the most important, just because you can have a baby, it doesn’t mean you should. Especially without planning for one or getting married first. More than 72 percent of children in the African-American community are born out-of-wedlock. That means absent fathers. And the studies show that lack of a male role model is an express train right to prison and the cycle continues. So, please, black folks, as I said if this doesn’t apply to you, I’m not talking to you. Pay attention to and think about what has been presented in recent history as acceptable behavior. Pay close attention to the hip-hop and rap culture that many of you embrace. A culture that glorifies everything I just mentioned, thug and reprehensible behavior, a culture that is making a lot of people rich, just not you. And it’s not going to. That said, though, the political right is not off the hook.
  2. Number two, finish school. You want to break the cycle of poverty? Stop telling kids they’re acting white because they go to school or they speak proper English. A high school dropout makes on average $19,000 a year, a high school graduate makes $28,000 a year, a college graduate makes $51,000 a year. Over the course of a career, a college grad will make nearly $1 million more than a high school graduate. That’s a lot of money.
  3. Now number three. Respect where you live. Start small by not dropping trash, littering in your own communities. I’ve lived in several predominantly white neighborhoods in my life, I rarely, if ever, witnessed people littering. I live in Harlem now, it’s an historically black neighborhood, every single day I see adults and children dropping their trash on the ground when a garbage can is just feet away. Just being honest here.
  4. Number four now is the n-word.  I understand poetic license, but consider this: I hosted a special on the n-word, suggesting that black people stop using it and that entertainers stop deluding yourselves or themselves and others that you’re somehow taking the word back. By promoting the use of that word when it’s not germane to the conversation, have you ever considered that you may be just perpetuating the stereotype the master intended acting like a nigger?A lot of African-Americans took offense to that, too. I wonder if I gave the right advice, I really did. But confirmation came the very next day on my way home when I exited the subway in 125th Street in Harlem. This little kid in a school uniform no older than seven years old, he was crying his eyes out as he walked down the sidewalk with his mother.I’m going to be honest here, she turned to me, and she said “I’m sick of you. You act like an old ass man, stop all that crying, nigger.” Is that taking the word back? Think about that.
  5. Here’s number five. Pull up your pants. Some people, a lot of them black, gave me flak for saying that recently on “The Wendy Williams Show.”  If you’re sagging, I mean — I think it’s your self-esteem that is sagging and who you are as a person it’s sagging. Young people need to be taught respect and there are rules. Sagging pants, whether Justin Bieber or No-name Derek around the way, walking around with your ass and your underwear showing is not OK. In fact, it comes from prison when they take away belts from the prisoners so that they can’t make a weapon. And then it evolved into which role a prisoner would have during male-on-male prison sex. The one with the really low pants is the submissive one. You get my point?

You can watch the video clip or read the transcript HERE:

As some of you might have imagined this list created quite a stir,  even those that agreed in part or with the whole list criticized him calling it overly simplistic and stereotypical, like 95.9 Magic out of Baltimore:

Although what Don Lemon listed rings true I personally do not think that wearing a suit and having a clean community will stop the problems in the black community. This over simplification of a complex issue is why I believe so many people believe that Trayvon deserved what he got. Until we get down to the root cause of the problems in the black community where going to keep spinning this wheel on how to solve a problem we do not understand.

Perhaps the most telling thing about that response is not the admission of a problem, but that they do no understand it or recognize the root cause of it.  Of course,  a black radio station that promotes all things  Black, would not say that the Culture that has evolved out the Black Power movement would blame itself or find itself at all responsible.

One of the most interesting responses to Don Lemmons list came from Russell Simmons.  Mr. Simmons who dresses as if he is going to the Country Club everyday, and has since his early days when he was just a struggling promoter before he hook-up with Rick Rubin in New York in the early 80’s.  I met Mr. Simmons at a couple of events when he was promoting a young rapper Kustis Blow before he hit is big with his younger brother,  who was part of the iconic rapping group RUN-DMC.  Simmons has become a multi-millionaire promoting what they termed as Black music, rapping and hip hop and his line of clothing which Lemmons’ list was an indirect attack on.

He wrote:

Dear Dom,

I got a chance to see what you said over the weekend about black America. At first I thought it was Fox News, but then I remembered you’re a CNN dude. I have nothing against Fox News, as Roger Ailes is my man, but the gospel you were preaching sounded like O’Reilly and Hannity were pulling your strings. Thank goodness my political director, Michael Skolnik, was on the show to stand up for African-Americans, because conservatives love when we blame ourselves for the conditions that have destroyed the fabric of the black community. I respect your courage on many other issues, but I can’t accept that you would single out black teenagers as the cause of their own demise because they don’t speak the King’s English or wear belts around their waistbands.

Right away he launch and attack by implying that Lemmon was being manipulated and used by 2 white correspondents. Bill O’Reailly and Sean Hannity, both who of Fox News, the Left’s boogeyman man.  He continued;

Hip-hop language and clothing styles are expressions of frustration with the status quo. Young people sagging their pants today is no different than young people rockin’ afros, dashikis or platform shoes in the ’60s and ’70s. And many of those rebellious youth grew up to be quite successful… bell bottom-wearing, pot-smoking, Barry Obama became the President of these United States of America and a long-hair, anti-war activist named John Kerry became Secretary of State defending our country in more creative ways than just using violence. They were knee-deep in a rebellious culture, and did anything but integrate into a world that they saw is filled with problems that needed fixing, filled with challenges, or in their mind, with problems that they could fix. And now they are fixing them.

This paragraph demonstrates not just of the historical context of that time but also of the problems that are rampant in the Black community.  He is ignoring that at that time the Black families were still a large component of the community, and those that dd become successful did it through education as most movement were actually part of college life.  Both of those things are sorely lacking in the community right.  Today’s non-conformists,  or rebellious youths,  don’t finish school, have kids out of wedlock, and are more likely to end in the justice system or dead.  Ignoring those differences is part of the reason why the Black community issues are so grave in places.

I want the black kids to grow up and be like you. I want them to know that their imagination is god inside of them and I want all kids, but especially black kids, to have the freedom to dream as well to create their own language. After all, without their jazz, blues, rock n’ roll and now their hip-hop, America wouldn’t even have a language of its own, much less a culture.”

This is how he closed his open letter, but what happens to those young people that dreamed big of becoming the next Jay-Z or the next Michael Jordan and only spoke a language they created if they fail at that.  They can’t leave the hood as they can’t communicate or function outside of their neighborhoods.  He also seems to forget that Black history is American history and such is its culture as hard as they try to separate the two, you would not one without the other, which was ultimately Dr. King’s point.

Don Lemmon responded to Russell Simmons with his own open letter, I can’t the video but it is worth a watch, here the link:

Don Lemmon obviously is taking the Dr. King’s approach to issues that linger in the Black community and others where poverty reigns, he wants everyone empowered to succeed in any community, not to be separate and unequal blame everyone but himself,  an approach that was taken by Simmons and other Lemmon detractors.

Mr. Simmons figured prominently recently because while launching his own Youtube channel, his company produced what was called the “Harriet Tubman” sex tape.  Mr. Simmons called it the funniest thing he had ever seen.  No I will not link to it, not because I don’t think he has the right to make, produce and market his business but because I thought it was very tasteless, extremely stereotypical and insulting to women of any color.  As I said that is Mr. Simmons right, but coming after the uproar after the George Zimmerman trial and days after the a rodeo clown was banned for life from performing at a State Fair because he wore a mask that resemble President Obama the hypocrisy is overwhelming.  Mr. Simmons felt compelled to write in the Huffington Post an article reaffirming the relationship that Blacks had with the Jewish community, after some in the Hip Hop community were directing their anger over the George Zimmerman verdict on Jews, who they mistakenly thought was of Jewish descent.

The same nihilistic, sexist, separatist  element that were present in the Black Power movement are very much alive and evident in the Hip Hop Culture.  Women are objectified, a live for the moment attitude persist.  So while the political structure has disappeared as such, they just moved to the Democratic Party which follows some of the same Marxist lite policies that were prevalent in the movement.

This Black Separatism that had been adopted by mostly the Arts community but also seeped into the consciousness of the community has prevented outside influences from assisting with its problems, it has also meant that anytime as someone such as Don Lemmon or Bill Cosby and many other Black Conservatives suggest assimilation and inclusion as part of the solution they have been marginalized, ridiculed and ostracized. It has also meant that finding a solution has taken a backseat to showing and demonstrating Black Pride and Solidarity, while dismissing everything else as acting White.

I want to close by saying that crime has declined overall,  virtually everywhere with the biggest drops in the Cities,  the problem is that the drop in overall crime has not been for the most part in the Black Communities, which have made the issues more evident.  To make matters worse the solutions being proposed do not address the issues most affecting the community.  For instance the Attorney General initiative to not prosecute certain drug offender violations,  which the Feds don’t prosecute anyway, States handle those but let say that it works, someone with several ounces of Marijuana for instance will not get prosecuted did that lower crime or just give that person an opportunity to commit other crimes to obtain said drugs.  It may lower the number of convictions but does that improve or help the community?

The same thing with the Presidents Executive Order — “White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans” you can read the Order here, but in a nutshell all it does is create another bureaucracy within the Department of Education to look for solutions to Black students under achievement.  Aside from proposing and implying that Black students are disproportionately discipline if fails to address any other issues. No mention of the many single family homes that consist of most of the underachieving students.

It will be difficult for the Black community to effectively deal with their issues, if it ignores how much the culture brought about the Black Power movement, and now being promoted by Hip Hop artist and their promoters contributes to their problems.  It also means that until the black community accepts its own complicity and  that of the Culture that they are so proud of,  its problems will persist, it not just Whitey this time.