Another “Knockout” Punch to Race Relations
When I first saw the so-called “knockout attack” on the TV news; I again hoped in vain they wouldn’t be black, but whenever I saw for sure that they were, asked to myself yet again, as I admitted in my book http://www.erictb.info/makers-takers.html “what the hell is wrong with [them/us]?”
Obviously, it makes what any racists (or those in denial, who want to paint the entire community regardless) say sound like “THE TRUTH”, as they have been proclaiming loudly enough. I think, “what’s wrong with these kids”; don’t they know how it makes us all look to the world?
Of course, they don’t care; much like I mentioned in Makers-Takers, regarding the TV character George Jefferson’s sentiment following the ML King assassination when he encouraged his son to participate in looting. (Difference is, these kids don’t seem to have the same reasons to not care as did the blacks of the Civil Rights era. Even though things may still be rough, a lot has gotten better, and we have not had a recent singular tragedy as the killing of a respected leader like that).
So this morning, on Facebook, I see from the conservative “friend” I mentioned in the book, the article title
“FERAL BLACK YOUTH: ‘Knockout’ Game Fears Spread – Clash Daily”.
My first response:
FERAL?! You know, that’s an animal term, right? And you may say these kids are acting like animals, and I agree. But then why is race mentioned in conjunction with that label? Does it matter what race any kids who do that are? Especially when it’s constantly complained that it’s always the other side (liberals, etc) that “brings race into everything” or “plays a ‘card’”.
One person responded that it’s only blacks who do these things.
I respond, “But isn’t the wrong here the ‘feral’ part of it? What difference does it make what [hereditary] ‘group’ does this the most (which I think is debatable; these urban crimes are what get reported most).”
Someone else gives a typical lecture about how it is really the fault of the “government” for “destroying the black family” community”, and that people’s “heads are in the sand” about this.
My response to that:
What concerns me is how Right often uses blacks as their “political football” against the Left, and then think broad painting of the entire black race suddenly becomes OK, “because look, it’s not them we’re complaining about, it’s the liberals; they’re our REAL enemies! Look at what they’ve done to these poor people, as a part of their trying to destroy the country”.
[And the liberals are supposed to be the patronizing, paternalistic ones toward blacks! This “We’re looking out for their best interests, the other side is harming them” was a tactic used by those favoring the status quo of racism from the end of slavery on! See https://erictb.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/review-the-new-jim-crow/ ]
Problem is, it’s still characterizing the entire race based on a GENERALIZATION, and in many of these links, they themselves end up portrayed as too stupid and/or greedy to see how they’re being “used” by the liberals (“they only vote for liberals because they promise them free stuff”, etc). Anger is directed to the race as a GROUP; not just the liberals!
The original tactic was to nevertheless tie blacks to the destruction of the nation. The [big-business] Koch bros.’ father, for instance, was a founding member of the JBS who tried to tie blacks and communists with the destruction of the nation through a supposed “race-war”. So in accord with this, it’s been the OTHER side accused of “incessant whining about race” and thus “fanning the flames”; yet, it’s been people these behind-the-scenes powers finance like the think tanks, GOP candidates and other pundits who the whole time keep saying all this stuff about “blacks” and their “culture” nonstop; blaming them and “social programs” for the country’s entire economic problems (while unconditionally excusing everything big business does, and even blaming that on “tax, lax and blacks”), and doing this far more than blacks actually asking for more.
These problems were set in motion by historic racism. There may be many people who can do better for themselves, and use racism as an excuse, but that’s the way PEOPLE are. Resistant to change, and take a long time to heal even when they do want to. Consisting of INDIVIDUALS, and individuals cannot control other individuals (but so much). But it seems people want some sort of public scolding of the entire race for “not having strong families and teaching the kids, and just wanting free stuff from the liberals”.
The person who linked this, as a fellow NYCT train operator, works in the same environment as I do, and must know it’s mostly older blacks, obviously hard working people, and the majority of them have a VERY conservative attitude about nearly all of these cultural issues. You often hear them saying “if that were MY kid, I’d…”; but again, they cannot control what others do. It doesn’t mean the ENTIRE race is ignoring the problems, or just floundering, or whatever.
What all of this is, is mostly YOUTH “culture”, and one that’s been trumped up by pop culture. Just like you have blonde bimbos (who don’t have a bit of talent, and don’t do much of anything except get famous through some sex antics or something) on the tabloids and TV everyday as what it means to be a young white “beautiful” female, so they trump up the young “thug” and “hoochie mama” as what it means to be a young black male and female.
So people talk about “drinking the kool aid” or having “heads buried in the sand”; but the conservative media is no better than the liberal media in that; just pointing a different way, and representing different interests.
It’s called “divide and conquer”. Keep us fighting each other, or right vs left, while they milk the entire country dry, and have you thinking they love and look out for the best interests of the nation like you do.
During this time, another FB friend, this time a black guy with some conservative leanings, “likes” this page: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201938620059052&set=a.1090620717671.14317.1591092409&type=1 discussing CBS coverage of the story. In the comments, it becomes the same old scolding of the entire black community, and how the president along with Sharpton and Jackson would defend these kids if someone shot them, based on their reaction to Trayvon, and how black crime is so “ignored” now.
People should not so quickly generalize this to Trayvon. The Trayvon issue is ultimately about whether the black community has the right to demand justice in a case even when the kid wasn’t doing anything, or whether we’ve all forfeited it, just because of what other kids like this do. In other words, we’re all automatically guilty or at least suspect.
Mocking the idea of Obama, Sharpton and Jackson standing up for these kids is basically implying every other black kid they’ve ever defended was a violent thug. (And meanwhile, as we speak, Trayvon’s shooter is in the news, showing himself yet again for the umpteenth time in the year to be an unstable trigger-happy hothead who attacks the people in his life, not just some hoodie-wearing kid in the street. But the Trayvon case is no different than these kids, right).
It’s bad enough the conservative blogosphere is turning every instance like this into “open season” on the entire black community as really inferior after all, which then isn’t “racism”, because it’s “just the truth”. [I then refer to the other thread, above].
And then the claim that black on black crime is ignored. Here’s one person’s rationale: “political correct awareness not to stereotype black people…is so strong that the media does everything they can to cover up black hate crimes. In fact, the liberal media doesn’t even acknowledge the black on black epidemic because it makes black people look like barbarians. So enter FOX news. After the Trayvon hype to racism, FOX started airing black on white crimes to put some balance into the news.”
Real truth is, the media has never stopped highlighting black crime (on whoever), and that’s why people would be able to think something like “only blacks do these things” in the first place!
But the problem with racism from the beginning has been GENERALIZATION, so if any blacks (who have some conservative values) buy into this, you have to still consider what would happen if people whose politics thrives off of such generalized rhetoric had their way and “took back the country”; where you would end up, as still part of that community.
On the first thread, someone responds that “most of the problems blacks are facing now are a modern phenomenon. I don’t think they have direct causal ties back to slavery. Blacks in the 1950s had higher rates of marriage and employment than whites. It’s only have the Great Society that blacks have had their family unit disintegrated.”
But it’s not just slavery. There were all the tactics after that, right through the Civil War, and then after that, the racists didn’t give up, they just learned to bury their sentiments behind economic and “cultural” concerns. (And they also switched parties, as those who love to blame “Democrats” for all racism then and now completely ignore).
There was also the neglect of cities and the job market, but that just gets blamed 100% on the left anyway. Their programs may have backfired, but that doesn’t erase the rest of the problems that continued. The breakdown of the system would be the fault of all parties involved; not just one side, while the other presumably was innocent (as they pointed “blacks, blacks, blacks”, and tried to segregate and beat them down even, or ESPECIALLY back then in the 50’s, when they supposedly had such better family and work. What was the excuse back then? What do you think would happen when they were still persecuted despite all that? They give up on their work and families, and break down, into what you’re pointing out in the present!
He then claims that Strom Thurmond was the only Dixiecrat who changed parties, and continued to tag Democrats as the racists from slavery to the present, and that “blacks have been specifically and intentionally targeted by the liberal left for subjugation in the name of personal political power. Conservatism would never do anything like that, and has never. So yes, it is racism that resulted in the current state of things for blacks, just not in the way you think. Blacks weren’t driven to chaos by racist persecution. They were deceived into going there themselves by a more clever brand of racist.”
This gives me the idea as to the conservatives’ answer to the Southern Strategy they have been so ignoring (never heard them even attempt to address it until now). Just deny the whole thing basically, reducing it down to just one leader.
So I pointed out:
MANY Dixiecrats were lured over, and they brought this blaming stance toward blacks, hidden behind this “it’s all the left’s fault” with the focus on crime and welfare, which was handy to kill two birds with one stone.
It’s not about a “party”, it’s about an ideology. People just needing another group to blame for everything wrong in the country.
Conservatives are the most patriotic, so they WOULD do that, because everyone back then, Democrats and Republicans alike, thought blacks were a stain on their good society. Conservatives have to go further to prove everything was good all along; the problem is to be ISOLATED to one side or group, and they also favor big business, who want profit at any cost, including keeping the people divided and pointing too much at each other to see what’s really going on.
Again, there is no one side completely innocent like that. One side may try to ease their guilt through “bleeding hearts” and manipulate guilt in others, but the other side just denies everything and places all blame for everything on everyone else. Just as much a problem.
He then becomes defensive about being “mischaracterized”, told what he believes and accused of blaming blacks for everything, when he really blames the liberals for slavery 150 years ago; and denies anyone being completely innocent of anything, but then proceeds to paint liberalism:
“Liberalism is a religious ideology of lies, and conservatism is not. Liberalism is the ideology of hate and division and death and slavery and oppression, and conservatism is not. Liberalism, unchecked, will destroy this country like it has destroyed Detroit and Chicago isn’t far behind. Conservatism by definition is incapable of destroying anything.”
That sounds like one side being completely innocent, to me.
But I never said HE blamed blacks for everything wrong in the country; but it is the strain of the rhetoric that ultimately does. I don’t know all his beliefs, so I couldn’t judge that, but I do know what he’s saying now, and how others have used it. (A person can hawk an idea not even realizing what its full implications are, or the original context in which it was construed. I think a lot of people have gotten hung up in it that way, and that was the whole purpose). Its all code and insinuation. And the failure to admit the part of the blame of conservatives is the big part of it.
It’s all THEM, THEM, THEM; THEY did all this, THEY’ve destroyed everything, THEY do everything wrong and bad, THEY are and always have been evil, WE [conservatives] are incapable of destroying anything”. (The first time I’ve even heard it go this far! And not even aware that you have in fact made one side completely innocent, in making the other side totally guilty. Yet we see how a Shadow of guilt erupts when shown what the full extent of their ideology leads to, hence, feeling accused of teaching something more than was intended. It’s there in the background; you can’t change that, you can only assess whether the ideology is true and not just follow it blindly and hope the negative part of it goes away and is not noticed. This “shadow” dynamic is discussed in my book as well).
And this is basically a premise of superiority. Ideological and not racial at this point, but since race is involved, and no wrong can be admitted in the “party” one roots for, it must be isolated to “the other side”, which always ends up including the blacks supposedly benefiting from these liberal plots. And if you and your historic nation are so superior ideologically and morally, then why wouldn’t it be racially as well?
He continued hearing “YOU do this…”, and affirming the innocence of conservativism, but I’m telling what the broader ideology has done, going back way before our time. People BEFORE us learned to hide their true sentiments and disguise it as legitimate concerns of “freedom”, and even the black plight itself, so that people today like him who [supposedly] did not intend to be racist could be led into the ideology. (But the real motive behind it is to ISOLATE all problems to others).
It’s exactly what the conservatives are basically accusing the liberals of doing with the blacks.
If one side could do it, then why not the other?
How did it get this way? How did these people, called “Democrats” get this way, so that for the entire history of the nation, any group of people wearing that party NAME have been responsible for all the evil?
Just what is this “conservative” that is incapable of creating any havoc? Do you even know what “conservative” means?
“holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion.”
He and others admit that there was slavery and racism (Jim Crow, poll taxes, segregation, grandfather clauses, etc. he mentioned) in the past. So then, those holding onto those VALUES (and they were apart of the “values” people “defended” as their “rights”/”freedom”) were by definition, “conservative” (REGARDLESS of which of the two US parties they were from). The opposite was “progressive”, which was the desire to end those policies; i.e. “progress” BEYOND them.
Problem is, they also sought to progress beyond a lot of other stuff besides racism, such as the moral and fiscal issues we argue over today. But you cannot ISOLATE all wrong to just this one side. Both sides have their good and their bad.
His rhetorical question of the black community’s “choice” to “continue to follow and prop up the politicians who have deceived us and caused us to be where we are now, or do we not?” and that “Until enough of them decide that enough is enough, nothing will ever get better” hinges completely on this “one side is all bad” view, but in reality, myself and many others really feel both sides are pretty much the same thing (And conservatives were increasingly feeling that way too, before Obama came onto the scene).
But as to why they choose one side now, why should the people follow those whose party platform has been just to blame them for everything; recognized even by Republicans last year, as illustrated in the cartoon I posted here: https://erictb.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/the-shadow-surfaces-its-in-the-gifts/
(Also, people who say stuff like this are basically telling us how to vote, which is exactly what they often accuse the Democrats of doing, (and then on top of it, judging us for not voting that way!)
The guy in the other thread later said something like “well the Republicans and Democrats play football with each other”, to which I responded, “they can play football all they want, but leave the blacks out if it!”
A good book on the subject is Alexander, The New Jim Crow, which focuses on the modern drug war, and shows how all the tactics and rhetoric have morphed into the present.
Still, it will do no good to keep calling out “blacks”, and yet accusing the other side of “bringing race into everything”.