Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Sounds Like Blame

Here, from the NYT via Negrophile, is what seems to be an example of using a series of unrelated events to come to some kind of conclusion with lots of opinions thrown in:

In New York City, the tabloids published sensational details of the bias suit brought by a black former executive for the Knicks, Anucha Browne Sanders, who claims that she was frequently called a “bitch” and a “ho” by the Knicks coach and president, Isiah Thomas. In a video deposition, Thomas said that while it is always wrong for a white man to verbally abuse a black woman in such terms, it was “not as much ... I’m sorry to say” for a black man to do so.

Across the nation, religious African-Americans were shocked that the evangelical minister Juanita Bynum, an enormously popular source of inspiration for churchgoing black women, said she was brutally beaten in a parking lot by her estranged husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks.

O. J. Simpson, the malevolent central player in an iconic moment in the nation’s recent black-white (as well as male-female) relations, reappeared on the scene, charged with attempted burglary, kidnapping and felonious assault in Las Vegas, in what he claimed was merely an attempt to recover stolen memorabilia.

These events all point to something that has been swept under the rug for too long in black America: the crisis in relations between men and women of all classes and, as a result, the catastrophic state of black family life, especially among the poor.
Go looking for evidence of troubled relationships among whites, or Asians, or Latinos. You'll find them. (And by the way? O.J. and Isiah Thomas are anything but poor.) So the writer uses these big Easy Reader Series news stories as the foundation for conclusions that should require some very specific supporting data.

I doubt if many supporters of the Jena 6 "view events there, and the racial horror of our prisons, as solely the result of white racism." Nothing is ever one thing. But how can anyone deny the white racism is the framework underneath it all? It almost sounds as if the writer is saying that Black men and women are incapable of having sound relationships, and unwilling and unable to raise children with care and thoughtfulness--and I know that is not true. In fact, it almost sounds as if the writer has subscribed to the hoax of race, and saying that Black people are fundamentally different (not in a good way), and that cannot be true. (For most of all time, there was really no such thing as race, until it served people who wanted to take from others to name the others as being of a distinct and different race and therefore undeserving of being treated as human. But that is another, much bigger topic, and I do digress.)

He goes on to propose that "even after removing racial bias in our judicial and prison system — as we should and must do — disproportionate numbers of young black men will continue to be incarcerated." I wonder.

Because even though the writer complains that the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are taking a simple, one-dimensional view of the matter by protesting racism, it seems to me that most of the factors the writer blames for the mess are the results of systemic racism and if not racism, America's War on Poor People:

The circumstances that far too many African-Americans face — the lack of paternal support and discipline; the requirement that single mothers work regardless of the effect on their children’s care; the hypocritical refusal of conservative politicians to put their money where their mouths are on family values; the recourse by male youths to gangs as parental substitutes; the ghetto-fabulous culture of the streets; the lack of skills among black men for the jobs and pay they want; the hypersegregation of blacks into impoverished inner-city neighborhoods — all interact perversely with the prison system that simply makes hardened criminals of nonviolent drug offenders and spits out angry men who are unemployable, unreformable and unmarriageable, closing the vicious circle.
The problem with this article is that instead of offering the facts to support conclusions or a real analysis of any of the hot-button issues it brings up and then dismisses (Black on Black violence; domestic abuse; poverty among Blacks; gangs as a family substitution; school segregation; the failure of school to prepare Black students for the workplace, etc.), it lapses into offering these unfounded conclusions, conclusions that provide justification for a certain amount of self-righteous denial about what is really happening in our country. Always so much more comfortable to blame the people in trouble than it is to help.

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