Perpetuating the Problem and Passing the Blame – by Amanda S. Green

Perpetuating the Problem and Passing the Blame – by Amanda S. Green

After last week’s little foray into snarking, I thought it time to get back to Thomas Sowell’s Black Rednecks & White Liberals. To say I believe this is an essay I believe everyone should read is putting it mildly. Sowell doesn’t shy away from hard topics nor does he sugar coat anything. What he does is poke holes into what liberals want us to believe are truths. He does so with facts, with logic and with experience. In doing so, he shows how liberals, especially white liberals, have caused more harm than good, despite all they crow from the proverbial mountaintop.

The next section of the essay is entitled “White Liberals” and Sowell wastes no time in getting down to business.

White liberals in many roles—as intellectuals, politicians, celebrities, judges, teachers—have aided and abetted the perpetuation of a counterproductive and self-destructive lifestyle among black rednecks. The welfare state has made it economically possible to avoid many of the painful consequences of this lifestyle that forced previous generations of blacks and whites to move away from the redneck culture and its values. Lax law enforcement has enabled the violent and criminal aspects of this culture to persist, and non-judgmental intellectual trends have enabled it to escape moral condemnation. As far back as 1901, W. E. B. Du Bois, while complaining of racial discrimination against blacks, also condemned “indiscriminate charity” for its bad effects within the black community. (BRAWL pp 51-52)

That single paragraph strikes at the heart of so much of the liberal agenda. Welfare. Relaxation of law enforcement rules (Hello, London, this applies to you too). Indiscriminate charity. Is it any wonder so many liberals, especially white ones, hate what Sowell has to say?

By projecting a vision of a world in which the problems of blacks are consequences of the actions of whites, either immediately or in times past, white liberals have provided a blanket excuse for shortcomings and even crimes by blacks. The very possibility of any internal cultural sources of the problems of blacks have been banished from consideration by the fashionable phrase “blaming the victim.” (BRAWL, pg 52)

Oh my, doesn’t that sound an awful lot like what we hear whenever someone starts questioning motivation, causation, or anything else when it comes to a cause the liberals have adopted. We are supposed to believe every woman who cries rape or sexual assault and not look at the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime because to do otherwise is to victim blame. We are supposed to take into account every time a cop is shot, especially if that cop is white and the shooter is black, the “fact” that cops are bad and have abused the African-American community for years. To do otherwise is to victim blame. Of course, that forgets one important fact, in that situation, the victim is the fallen cop and not the shooter. Except the African-American community has been assigned the status of victim by many who self-identify as liberals. Why? Because, more than 150 years ago, slavery was legal in this country. So, everything goes back to that and we, as whites, must continue to make amends for things done by people long dead. [AND to people long dead- SAH]

As Sowell says, blaming “others for anything in which blacks lag has become standard operating procedure among white liberals.” (BRAWL, p 52) There is something wrong with tests if blacks don’t pass at the same levels as whites. We have professors claiming math is sexist or racist. Yet no one seems to bat an eye and ask why Asians are able to take the same tests and pass them at the same – or higher – level as whites. No one seems to worry about how Hispanic or other minorities do on these exams. Yet white liberals cry “foul!” long and loud over how these tests are biased against African-American students.

My question to those liberals: what makes the African-American student more important of a minority than the others?

It is a question that will never be answered or, if it is, will be turned against me. I’ll be accused of showing my white privilege, of not understanding the problem, of being insensitive. I will become the problem, as will anyone else who asks similar questions, at least in the minds of the liberals. After all, it is so much easier to blame the person asking the question than it is to actually consider the question, and the problem underlying it, and realize you might actually be part of the problem.

Any parent knows there comes a time when you have to tell you child you expect certain behaviors from him. There are certain social rules they have to learn and follow. There are certain levels of achievement in school they have to attain and, if they surpass them, they will be rewarded. Parents, at least good parents, don’t tend to reward or accept mediocrity from their children if their children are capable of doing more. They certainly don’t encourage it. You want the best for your children so you encourage them to do their best. THAT is how they get into the better colleges. THAT is how they find the better jobs. THAT is how they earn promotions.

And that, my friends, is something the liberals don’t discuss, much less admit, when they continue to promulgate a welfare state and a welfare state of mind.

Think about it. When is the last time you heard a liberal suggest someone might want to look at themselves, at what they did that led up to their failure? It doesn’t matter what sort of failure. It is the act of introspection in question here. According to Sowell, you don’t see liberals doing that very often. “Apparently there can only be external reasons for anything negative that happens to blacks.” (BRAWL pg 53) What a disservice that is to the African-American community. By taking this approach, you don’t allow them to grow. You allow them to make excuses and blame others without ever taking a hard look at themselves.

The incorrigibility of white society—and the corresponding futility of black efforts to improve their situation by improving their own education and other qualifications—is another leitmotif of much white liberal writing. (BRAWL, pg 54)

Let’s all take up the cry of “White guilt! White privilege!” After all, that’s basically what the liberals are claiming. We can’t understand because of the color of our skin. It’s all our fault.

Except there’s a bit of a problem with that. Not all of us who question the cries of “white guilt” and “white privilege” are white. Another problem is those claims are only applied when someone questions a situation involved African-Americans. You don’t hear it when we discuss any other minority. Why is that? Liberal America doesn’t have an answer for that. Or, if it does, it won’t give it because it will disrupt their narrative.

Something else liberals tend to “overlook”, as Sowell points out, is the hostility – the prejudice – some members of the African-American community hold towards others: Jews, Hispanics, Whites, etc. Why don’t we hear about this? Because we are told over and over again that only whites can be prejudiced, “that racism requires power, which blacks do not have.” (BRAWL, p 54) However, as Sowell points out, “the arbitrary proviso of ‘power’ was never part of the definition of racism until racism among blacks became widespread enough to require a convenient evasion.” (BRAWL, pg 55)

Once again, the rules are changed to fit the narrative and no one had better question it or you’ll be guilty of victim-blaming, of showing your white privilege, etc. We must march to the “right” beat – or is that the “left” beat – or be condemned.

Liberals have been so busy finding excuses and immortalizing them that they have become a large part of the problem.

The general orientation of white liberals has been one of “What can we do for them? ”What blacks can do for themselves has not only been of lesser interest, much of what blacks have in fact already done for themselves has been overshadowed by liberal attempts to get them special dispensations—whether affirmative action, reparations for slavery, or other race-based benefits—even when the net effect of these dispensations has been much less than the effects of blacks’ own self-advancement. For example, although the greatest reduction in poverty among blacks occurred before the civil rights revolution of the 1960s, the liberal vision in which black lags are explained by white oppression requires black advances to be explained by the fight against such oppression, symbolized by the civil rights legislation of the 1960s. This scenario has been repeated so often, through so many channels, that it has become a “well-known fact” by sheer repetition. Moreover, this protest-and-government-action model has become the liberals’ preferred, if not universal, model for future black advancement. (BRAWL pp 55-56)

This sort of “help” has been anything but. How many generations do we now have of families living on welfare? Yes, welfare is necessary in some situations, but it should not be an end-all, cure-all for our nation. It should be there to help those who can’t work. It should offer training for those who can work but who lack the skills. But, for the latter, there should be a limit to how long they continue to be on the dole. It doesn’t matter what their race, color, creed or sexual identity might be. What we need to be wary of is becoming a welfare state.

But there I go again, blaming the victim and showing my white privilege. (Yes, that is my great-grandmother – my Cherokee great-grandmother – who is spinning in her grave at the idea of my family claiming white privilege.)

Well-meaning or not, liberals have done more harm than good. Worse, they continue to do so, without qualms and without daring to look at the impact their actions have had on a large section of our population. How do we stop it? I’m not sure we can. Not unless we are willing to stand up and speak out and face, without losing our temper or becoming defensive, the condemnation they will sling our way.

For now, we need to read more authors like Sowell. We need to learn our history and learn the facts – not accept the “corrected” history they would thrust down our throats.

Looking at the rest of the essay, it’s going to take two more weeks to finish it up. Sowell manages to pack more information in a few pages than most so-called scholars do in tomes. So, until next week, do yourself a favor and pick up something by Sowell and read it.

[For raising the tone of this blog — ATH is culture! — and helping me with the exposing of the roots of the current mess — in her case with more facts! — if you decide to  send the woman a drink]


168 thoughts on “Perpetuating the Problem and Passing the Blame – by Amanda S. Green

  1. “My question to those liberals: what makes the African-American student more important of a minority than the others?”

    Why, the fact that they and their kin, by and large, form an important voting bloc for the Democratic Party, of course! And because being able to point to such instances of “racism” can be used to rally support from clueless white liberals, as well.

    1. Those liberals have been sold a load of guilt. Guilt, like dependency, makes you manipulable.

      1. I don’t think it’s guilt at all. I don’t think the Left have enough of a conscience to feel guilt. Rather, they fire minorities into a frothing-at-the-mouth hatred, and use them to intimidate white people into silence, thus maintaining their own power.

        Considering how wimpy most white people are, it seems to be working quite well.

        1. “White Guilt” is the term employed by such as Shelby Steele but it might more accurately be termed “Learned Self Hatred.”

          Of course, it isn’t exactly hatred of one’s self, it is hatred of one’s tribe for not being as “enlightened” as you. At its extreme it goes into the Rachel Dolezealous territory of changing one’s shirt to play for the other side.

          1. RES, exactly. And that self-hate makes them want to manipulate others into feeling the same way. If they can’t stoke the fans of self-hatred, they fan the flames of guilt. Then they can feel superior because they were the ones to point out our “failures” to us.

        2. Yes, Ken, we know that in your little world the desire to be neither a slave nor a master, but a free man, means that one is a wimp.
          IRL, however, that is not the case.

    2. To be fair, Hispanics are starting to catch up in the victim lottery. Still not in first place, but a solid second.

      And coincidentally, they’re also reliable D voters. Odd, that.

      1. Of course they are; what is easier, catering to the delusions and prejudices of White Liberals or taking your place as a contributing member of society?

        More than that, in the schools kids are quick to perceive and adapt to the rules of preferential treatment. They see two models of behaviour and quickly grasp which is easier and more rewarding.

      2. I’m not so sure about that. Yes, there is a sector of them that fits your description but, in my experience at least, those are the ones who haven’t taken the steps necessary to become legal (or their families haven’t). Maybe it is living in TX where I see so many who have done things according to the law and who have little sympathy for those who want the golden ring of citizenship given to them on a silver platter. Yes, a lot of them are traditionally democratic voters. But a growing number are starting to look at the liberals and ask “what have you really done for me lately?”

        1. It isn’t just Texas, but perhaps I’m not distant enough from Texas to count.

        2. Which is a huge chunk of why amnesty and racial tensions are so critical to them. Make the Hispanics that would be amenable to not so much conservatism but just the idea of individual responsibility run screaming from the Republican party because “they hate Mexicans”. And add a class that not only has to repay the Dems for getting them that gold ring but also in a not insignificant part have no interest in the US as anything other than an apartment away from their real nation. There is a difference between “I want a job” and “I want to be an American”

    3. The thing is, even if that question is asked by someone who isn’t white, like myself, I’ll get told, ”You’re Asian, you have loads of privilege and don’t need help!”

      I never really understood how that’s supposed to ‘work’, because their basis is ‘race’ not ‘capability and ability and determination.’

      (I know it doesn’t work.)

    4. I think there’s also an idea that because black Americans tended to be hard done by by white Americans (note I say tended to–this was NOT a universal experience) for a very long time, that it’s pretty easy to gin up sympathy for them.
      Hispanics are a bit more difficult.

    5. Possibly. My guess, however, is it plays into their own self-hatred and self-guilt. Not to mention their need to spread that hatred and guilt to everyone else. After all, if they’re miserable, so should the rest of us be.

  2. The problem with passing the blame is that it can leave you helpless to change the situation for the better.  It may be that someone did you a great injustice and life has knocked you down.  Then you have a choice, lie on the ground and complain, or get up and move on.  (Try to do it releasing any bitterness.  One’s bitterness rarely touches the offender and it sucks away joy.)

    Adopt the attitude of ‘I won’t let the b*st*rds have the satisfaction.’

    1. Holding on to anger or bitterness is like swallowing poison and expecting other person to die.

    2. But the bitterness is warm and comforting, and wallowing in it gives you the ability to produce more of it and to wallow in an even deeper pool!

      (BTW, if you’re not producing more of it, it doesn’t stay warm. And you start to notice the smell. So, producing more is required if you muck about in it at all.)

  3. Let’s take race out of the equation for a moment and look at “indiscriminate charity”. All that does is make it so that someone can ignore their failures and continue doing what they want without any chance of changing their behaviours for the better. It doesn’t matter at all about ones background, racial heritage, or circumstances. Indiscriminate charity rewards bad behaviour and decisions.
    Of course trying to change it to improve the situation is hatred, discriminatory, or shaming. So nothing gets changed and everything continues getting worse.

    1. One of the arguments made for government run charity over private charity was that many of the private charities weren’t indiscriminate.   

      Private charity might make refuse to help some people, was that fair?  What if, by practicing discernment, the charity refused someone who was really in need?  They did not care that the person was refused because they used the charity given to continue in their self-destructive behavior, or it that was found that the family ‘shopped’ multiple charities.  What if the reason the charity refused a the needy person was because of race, religion, national origin, sex(ual orientation), etc., etc.    

      To require that someone do chores for their supper and a bed — that constitutes unpaid labor and that is slavery.  Was not room and board payment?  Apparently not.  The concept of the dignity of work, and recognition of the value of being able to contribute, has been eroded across the board.

      To require people to sit through a service with their meal was a violation of their religious rights.

      That’s a start.

      1. The biggest objection I keep hearing about the local homeless shelters is their religious nature and that they actively discourage the use of drugs and alcohol. So our city has its pockets of homeless shanty town enclaves where the inhabitants can self medicate in relative peace. Except of course for the human predators who gather to take advantage.

    2. The person is blind, the person is crippled, the person is mentally handicapped. Okay, WHAT can they still do, that NEEDS doing, that someone is willing to pay them to do, and is enough for them to live on? I don’t ask if they’re willing to do it or not; that’s not an option. Do it regardless, or starve and die. Welfare should NEVER be given to those who, “just don’t wanna.”

      1. Okay, but to play devil’s advocate, what about those countries where prostitution is legal? And the only job a woman can find is in a brothel? Should she be ineligible for benefits because she “just doesn’t wanna” do the job she’s been offered?

        1. Or a Orthodox Jew and the only jobs open at the moment are in a pork packing plant and on a rabbit farm?

          1. Pretty sure they just can’t eat it, I work with lots of stuff that is unclean to eat.

            1. So far as I know you can work at a pork packing plant. Just wash your hands really well before lunch.

        2. Been places where prostitution is legal. Been places where it’s illegal and the law looks the other way. Been places where it’s illegal and prosecuted. Have enjoyed the services of prostitutes in all three; although in the third instance having to worry about avoiding John Law is a bit of a detractor.
          And yes, if a brothel and sex work is the only thing available that he or she can do, you do it or starve.
          I do have a big problem with people selling their kids into sex slavery, or pimps who use drugs to control and force compliance from people enslaved by their addiction, or those places that play the dishonest company store racket (another perversion of the indentured servant reduced to perpetual slavery scam.)

        3. But the issue you run into is that the exemption gets bigger and bigger. And using hypothetical what ifs can get infinitely small. It’s always possible to think of worse

        4. “Should she be ineligible for benefits because she “just doesn’t wanna” do the job she’s been offered?”

          They actually tried to do this in Germany a few years ago. (Or Holland, I don’t remember exactly.) There was a lawsuit against the government filed by a young woman who had been denied unemployment benefits because she turned down a job offer in a brothel. The job offered was not coat-check girl, if you catch my drift.

          As might be imagined, the government lost. Europe has not yet descended to the point of selling their women into prostitution. But they’re working on it I’m sure.

        5. Sorry, but there are always jobs of one sort or another that don’t require you to sell your body. Your woman can learn to sew or be a caregiver/nanny/babysitter, sling hash, etc.

          1. Sorry, hit enter before I meant to. There are also, in most cases, private charities that will help this woman of your example. She doesn’t have to rely on state charity.

          2. I spent the first fifteen years after high school selling my body, my sweat, my pain, and occasionally my blood. Just never got paid for sex darn it. I then spent the next 25 years selling my mind, where I only occasionally felt like a prostitute.
            I’ve known a few hookers and their close cousins, strippers. Money’s good, risks are high, and being on the shady to illegal side, other somewhat nefarious practices become associated. Known girls who were financing college as strippers, and were going to graduate debt free. Others were supporting a drug habit which, sadly, I suspect eventually killed them.
            Nevada brothels are run in the European mode, safe sex practices, regular medical exams, robust protection from violent customers. Seems to be working there, but I really don’t see it becoming a thing anywhere else. Prostitution, of course, just not legal and government supervised. Controlled for sure, by organizations that work hard to keep it illegal and the income from it off the books.

  4. When the BLM riots and freeway blockages were going on I suggested that the tactics were counter productive. (They made people angry, could potentially cause real physical harm, and indiscriminately punished the most vulnerable parts of society, the poor or minorities stuck on the freeway.) Now, I could be right or I could be wrong about what is productive or not, but what I was told was that it didn’t matter. What mattered is that I supported whatever BLM decided to do.

    So who is that about then? Well, it’s about “me” and it’s about white supporters who show how good they are by not caring if what people are doing will end in good results or bad. Because actually caring about the interaction of black communities with the police or justice system would require caring if a protest tactic worked or not. And caring about if those tactics worked or not was not allowed.

    1. Sorry, I just can’t get past the prior acronym, so my mind just balks at the thought of the Bureau of Land Management rioting in the streets.

      1. Yes, same problem. I mean, I can understand why anyone rural has problems with the BLM, but urbanites? Every. Single. Usage. Unfortunate choice of acronym.

        Maybe the street was a dirt logging road?

    2. look at this from the outside as a “from outer space” pov:
      BLM et al, complain the Police in certain cities are racist and hunt down blacks.
      Okay, where are they doing this?
      Well. Chicago, St. Louis, L.A. Baltimore, D.C. Boston, Detroit, New Orleans, etc.
      Our Alien from Zyxgryx is certain to think, “Wow, the racists are running those big cities! But you have a form of democracy, so I guess these cities have a greater number of evil racists than those areas that don’t have this problem. Too bad the blacks can’t get their preferred political party in charge of their home cities.”
      Is our alien in for a surprise.

    3. There’s also the question of implementing the whole ‘authentic policing methods’. Our current policing methods have a known pedigree.

      If only Brits get policed using Bob Peel’s ideology, what does that leave for the rest of us?

        1. Many cultures have hit on the idea of using soldiers for policing duties. The application of infantry to crime is perhaps more broadly authentic than secret policing of one’s own population. Either way, not a good policy objective for someone who purports to think that the police are already functioning too much like infantry or secret police.

          1. I’m using the example of affirmative action. It’s not the intent to stop discrimination but to get to do it yourself and take revenge.

          2. That’s exactly where Peel’s civilian police force came from – removing the military from policing duties.

            1. Well, there was a deliberate attempt to adapt the principles of the French policing system to work for a free people.

    4. Synova, I bet a number of us were told basically the same thing. I know I was. I remember sitting with friends watching the video of one of the protests shutting down a major roadway and saying they were playing with fire. Not only were they not helping their cause, they were setting themselves up for someone to get hurt. One person in our party, not someone I knew well, proceeded to tell me how that proved I didn’t understand anything and showed my privilege. I should be out there with them. When I pointed out this person wasn’t practicing what they preached, well, let’s just say things didn’t get any better. It was very much “do as I say, not as I do” sort of moment.

      It also showed that those taking that approach had little to no respect for the rights of anyone else. They want it their way and they want it NOW! Sort of like a toddler on the playground pitching a fit.

      1. It really was a case of proving how great you were by supporting something that only a true believer could support.

        It’s really not at all hard to get people, anyone actually, to agree that police and the justice system need to be treating all citizens equally and particularly if there are race based differences in sentencing and clear inequalities that this is a problem that must be fixed. The importance of *earned* trust in the judicial system is an easy sell. A little harder, but still relatively easy, is getting people to agree that something should be done to get police and the community working together for a common goal. It’s not that hard to argue cases that have merit.

        But it is hard to get people to support stupid, destructive, and divisive action. So if you support that you are AWESOME.

        Just look at you! Shining and bright and noble!

        Just look at you arguing that being stranded on the freeway so you loose income at your hourly job, so that you’re stuck in a car with toddlers, so that you can’t get to your appointments or home to your kids who have been unsupervised since school let out… all of those “hardships” are so much less than the poor black people suffer that how can you complain that other poor black people can’t get to work and are late to their hourly jobs? Huh?

  5. The racism requires power thing is so toxic and horrible. Same dynamic goes on with feminism and other causes. It’s clearly all about excuses to be awful. I recently came across an article I wrote responding to (fisking) some feminist article on one of those feminist websites (I think it may have been published here on Sarah’s blog). One of the points was that feminism was falsely accused of being about hating men and misandry. It wasn’t, the feminist writer explained, and the reason it wasn’t was because the man hatred didn’t have the gravitas of historical oppression and therefore didn’t count.

    But racism or sexism or hatred is something that rots us out from the inside. Not only is power unnecessary for this to happen, but other people are unnecessary for this to happen. It rots you out from the *inside*. If you have children, it twists your children.

    1. The racism requires power thing is fundamentally Marxist in its analysis, and the whole reason they employ it is to shift the debate into a Marxian world.

      1. It certainly shifts racism away from the individual and from individual responsibility for it. And frankly, a whole lot of that is removing white guilt. Which is why a collectivist, when they come up with this, can’t imagine why you, as an individualist, take it personally. (White male fragility!) Because white privilege *absolves* the white person from guilt for what they do or how they feel… since it’s not an *individual* failing or sin, but a collectivist failing or sin.

        It’s a paradox. After all, if you’re guilty because of your skin color and nothing can change your skin color, you’ve no responsibility for anything at all. So collectivism effectively lets any particular individual off the hook. So of course it doesn’t bother them. Why would it?

        A person who sees life as focused on the individual is going to take it personally, because that’s where everything happens… to a *person*. And a person is always responsible for what they do.

        Which also destroys the racism (or sexism) requiring power thing because harm happens to individuals, always and only. An individual who lets their life be consumed by resentment and hatred is harmed. An individual who is falsely accused or penalized on the basis of racial group membership is harmed.

      2. RES, you hit it right on the head. The sad thing is, those most hurt by it don’t recognize it. Instead, they swallow the argument and run with it.

        1. I’m a white, middle-aged, male. By their lights, that makes me an evil, privileged, white supremacist; and there’s nothing I can do about it, even if I donated everything I owned to “compensate” for the injustices done to their ancestors and allegedly to them.

          So, tell me what evil, privileged, white supremacists do. If I haven’t done any of those things, then am I still an evil, privileged, white supremacist? If I am, then I guess it doesn’t matter if I do those things or not.

  6. “So, everything goes back to that and we, as whites, must continue to make amends for things done by people long dead. [AND to people long dead- SAH]”

    I’ve thought for a long time that the fundamental requirement to be an American is the ability to get over everything that happened to your ancestors. If your ancestors were kings, that’s interesting, but that and $2.95 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. And just as you don’t get any credit for what they did, you don’t have to take the blame for any oppressing of the local peasants they might have done. On the other side, if your ancestors were at the bottom of the social ladder, you neither need to feel ashamed of that, nor should you continue to nurse their grievances.

    As someone (I think it might have been Mark Steyn but I’m not sure) said, “America is where you go to get away from everyone who’s still hung up on what happened in 1492.” That’s one of the things I think does need to remain: get over it, or get out.

    1. Agree. In America we move freely around and buy and sell property.

      We don’t say things like “That SOB is living on my property! It’s mine because my grandfather 7 generations ago farmed it!”

    2. Absolutely. This is one of my biggest objections to being told we should make reparations for something that happened more than 150 years ago. Those folks are long dead. The country has changed dramatically, as have attitudes, from what they were then. That doesn’t mean we forget. That doesn’t mean we cover it up. That doesn’t mean we rewrite history. It means we remember, we look at why it happened and what happened afterward and we strive to make sure it never happens again. But we don’t make folks who had nothing to do with it pay a penalty for something they had nothing to do with.

      1. I think most everyone can agree that slavery is a horrible practice, needed to be ended in America even if it took a terribly bloody war to do so, and needs to be stamped out where it still exists today.
        But terrible as the involuntary sacrifice of their ancestors was, it gave American blacks a reward valued beyond price for much of the rest of the world, US citizenship. How many these days risk their lives and spend fortunes for that opportunity?
        As for reparations, I’m all in favor. Anyone should be able to submit a request to the government, have a detailed DNA test performed, and upon determination where their ancestors came from be repatriated to that region of the world. Of course in return they renounce their US citizenship and any benefits they may currently enjoy. Make it as though their distant ancestor was never captured by the next village over, sold to Arab slavers, and put on a boat to the Americas.

        1. (Waggles hand.) Not Arab slavers, not for the Atlantic slave trade. Mediterranean and Indian Ocean slave trades, yes, but not the Atlantic.

      2. For some large percentage of the American populace, “reparations” would involve moving money from one pocket to the other.

        And do we determine “race” by DNA testing and Bertillon measurements, or do we do it scientifically and ask what each citizen “identifies” as?

  7. Mrs. Hoyt,

    I want to congratulate you on maintaining a pleasant and civil atmosphere in which such topics can be discussed without the trolls running amok.

    And if this post is out of bounds, apologies. But I thought it worth noting that you do a fine job of maintaining a civil order here.

      1. Over the years there have been trolls. Between the dragons, cats, wallaby and others they tend to find themselves sadly tattered, battered and bruised.

            1. Trolls? Oh, you’re talking about screw toys.

              Hmm, we have not had a good chew toy here in a bit.

      2. That isn’t a dragon problem…that is dragons taking care of a troll problem. Apparently doing so via random violence isn’t allowed (although there was a great pit at the show Sunday, mostly during Threat Signal…Sirenia was mostly head banging).

          1. Dragons can do deterministic violence which is why they get to handle trolls.

            I run into and shove people on a dance floor to claim space. That is random violence and why I’m not allowed to handle trolls. 🙂

    1. You should have been here for the troll that got so thoroughly bashed that we were pawing the remains and saying, “Wow, what just happened?” I think between Drak and Kate P it sort of deflated as it tried to scuttle away. Logic bombs are terrible, terrible things, especially when followed by an ICBScorn and Ridicule Strike.

      1. Either before I got here, or it was one of those where I woke up to a thread and just looked in awe at the cooling devastation – and there’s been a few of those.

      2. I think that type of thing, along with some infrequent but judicious work by our hostess, is why their is minimal troll presence. And maybe the favor of the Almighty.

  8. Welfares and the entitlement-victim mentality are a drug…and the Left wants people addicted. Never forget that this is all a shakedown racket – Vote For Us And The Welfares Keep Coming.

    Not to mention that it’s always easier to blame someone else for your failings than the person in the mirror.

      1. And when you’re struggling you have much less time to cause problems. Plus it’s easy to get loyal supporters because you feed them.

  9. By projecting a vision of a world in which the problems of blacks are consequences of the actions of whites

    Not only does it give excuses it gives whites a sense of supremacy. This is something I see across leftist thought. A great example is the arguments about how the US’s behavior controls other nation’s behavior, for example that Iran’s nuclear program is solely caused by US actions in the Middle East. Note, this isn’t that US actions influence other nations but a direct cause and effect.

    Leftists often talk as if only white Americans (and straight white Americans and probably only straight white American males) have any agency. Only people who look like them and come from where they are have their own agendas, desires, and goals they are pursuing. Everyone else is merely reactive to the whites.

    Leftism argues more for white supremacy every day than Richard Spencer will in his entire life if you actually think through what they are saying.

      1. Yep…and I embrace my “white privilege” which is nothing more than being allowed by liberals to have my own thoughts.

        1. Hey, those of us who possess vaginas were told by our husbands and sons who to vote for. :/

          I know we don’t get the brunt of it like minorities do, but dear doggies I can just imagine. Take the condescension and extrapolate outwards.

          1. Maybe it’s just me, but I think the Left has a miss-understanding of human nature wrt the “husbands tell their wives how to vote” thing.

            In my experience, when people are TOLD what to do, it makes them more likely to do the opposite.

            Essentially, there would be no down-side. The wife goes into the booth, pulls the lever for whomever she wants to regardless of what hubby says, and he’s none the wiser. The whole thing doesn’t hold water.

            Never mind that it also ignores that women tend to be more judgmental about other women, the effects of which are that historically, women don’t tend to vote for women.

        2. The real “white [male] privilege” is being forced to take responsibility for your own failures. Since whether or not the failures *are* your own fault, the only thing you can change is your own actions, this leads to greater long-term success.

    1. I was about to write same comment as you about agency, or lack of it.

      I remember reading about concept of ‘learned helplessness’ and that’s how left wants everyone, no one is able to quite take care of themselves because they were never taught how.

      The concept of agency is something my sister and I have been talking about with her two children for long time, there are always choices, don’t be a victim. Lack of agency makes people miserable because they believe random bad things happen to them and that there nothing to be done.

    2. Like the environmentalists who insist that humans have greater effects on the planetary climate than do, oh, the sun, enormous volcanic eruptions (Siberian Traps, anyone?) or meteor strikes. And “well, this extinction event’s different!” Why different? “H8er! Baby-seal killer!”

          1. Send it south, please! We have 2% humidity, 45 mph winds and 7 grass fires as I type, with three really big ones over in Oklahoma.

            1. Ya. Even up in the center of the state that winds running hard. I do not envy those wildland crews

            2. It’s so difficult to stamp RETURN TO SENDER or FORWARD: on a storm, and the one starting tomorrow morning really needs it. The rain is a bit less than welcome, the snow is not welcome, and that ice thing, well now.

              1. It’s global warming. Send your alms to The Great Goracle and He will absolve you of your climate sins.

              2. Pfft. Our academic advisor my senior year (at that boy’s school up in the Front Range) had been at the school a number of years – from cadet to instructor to research back to instructor – and he had personally seen it snow in every month except July. And it was on record as having snowed in July. He mentioned this as snow cancelled the end of our squadron beerball game. In May.

      1. and because our contribution is only a small fraction of the total amount, carbon dioxide from humans is somehow multiple times more effective at warming than that generated by everything else on the planet.

  10. By projecting a vision of a world in which the problems of blacks are consequences of the actions of whites …

    Demmed White Supremacists.

  11. I don’t insist on the narrative that follows, but I throw it out because I think it merits consideration.

    If you look at the Progressive Narrative from the late 1890’s through WWII it is pretty ‘Working Man’ oriented. The Working Man is a chisel nosed, lantern jawed, muscular, sweaty archtype right out of Socialist Realism. The Progressives only want what is in His best interests. They will build him Bauhaus Worker Housing complexes, provide him with subsidised public transportation. He would go to lectures in his off time, or listen to Mahler, or do Morris Dancine at the Community Center. Certainly, he would not DRINK.

    Well, Prohibition and the general esteem the working man held for the Volstead Act was a bit of a shock., but the Progressives kept plugging away and it seemed that, Prohibition aside, they were making headway. The Depression gave them a big Working Man audience that they could fool themselves would listen if matters weren’t so dire.

    Then WWII happened. The State got an awful ot of planing power, amd when the fighting was over the Progressives were SURE they were on the verge of ushering in a New Age.

    And in Europe, they pretty much did, thiugh it didn’t really work all that well.

    In America, they ran into a problem. The Working Man had just gotten out of the military where he had had enough being pushed around to last a lifetime. And if he HADN’T been in the military, he’d been pulling down good wages in an ‘essential industry’. He didn’t much like German Worker Housing (which, to be fair, is about as attractive as gangrene). He didn’t like Public Transportation; it always seeemed to wast an inordinate amount of his time. He didn.’t like Mahler, who sounded like an orchestra falling down a long flight of stairs. And he didn’t like being lectured.

    He wanted a split level house in the suburbs, a car with tail fins, jazz on the high-fi, and baseball on the new tv. And, by and large, he got them. He dropped the Progressive program with the alacrity of a recruit getting rid of a live grenade. Just when the Progressives were SURE that the Working Man was wedded to tem for good, he left them at the altar.

    Which is why the Progressives have latched onto the blacks and have made damned sure they won’t escape.

    1. You may have a point. Certainly we Americans are crankier than any European. And while the British went full-bore socialist after the Second World War, the Americans rejected most of the Welfare State in 1946. Truman managed to get reelected only by disavowing the Left in 1948.

      1. To be fair to the Europeans, we still had most of our industry and infrastructure at war’s end. Much less ‘obvious’ need for central planning. Also, by 1945 an awful lot of the ‘rationing for the sake of rationing’ had been exposed.

        1. Britain still had rationing into the 1950s—but they’re an island kingdom, and they actually had severe shortages that long. You couldn’t pull that on Americans, who could look around and say “yeah, right.”

      2. Truman’s party disavowed him when he failed to follow their directives. Of course by modern standards Truman would be “far right.”

      3. we Americans are crankier than any European
        And, as Sarah has pointed out, we don’t listen well. 🙂

    2. While what you’re describing seems to be the Progressive vision today, I don’t think it was nearly so widely adopted by the Democrats until their transition leftwards during the 1960-1972 period. It may have been the vision held by Progressive intellectuals well before then, but not by any large percentage of those of any actually in office.

      During the Great Depression, much (maybe even most) of the government-supported housing programs were rural and suburban, including the greenbelt communities program. Of the one greenbelt community I’m aware of that was near any sort of mass transit, the transit line was temporarily extended during construction phase to haul in supplies and workers, but then removed upon completion of construction.

      The extant transit lines in the years immediately after WWII were still largely under private ownership and operation, save in a very small number of cities. Governments were far more willing to build expressways than to cut transit operators any sort of breaks, which accelerated abandonments or conversions to bus operations. It was often years, even a decade or two, after rail service ended, before any significant push for public rail transit emerged, often well after private bus transit had ultimately failed financially and been abandoned or taken over by public entities.

      There were a few exceptions out there, but even some of those show a lack of government commitment to a transit model until the 60’s. The privately-owned but bankrupt Chicago Rapid Transit (CRT) was taken over by the Chicago Transit Authority in 1947, but within a few years had abandoned a number of lightly-used branches that CRT had been force to keep in operation. Privately-owned Capitol Transit, which operated the trolley and bus system in D.C., was still making a decent profit on its trolley lines, and suggested to Congress that if a small number of streets (or at least lanes) were closed to auto/truck traffic, they could run even better service and remain profitable, was instead directed by Congressional mandate to convert to bus operation. After a few years, Congress then mandated the construction of the D.C. Metro system.

      LAMTA took over the remaining passenger rail operations of the Pacific Electric in the late 50’s, but shut down all passenger rail operations by 1961. The privately-owned Key System of electric passenger trains from the East Bay communities and across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco was allowed to be abandoned in 1958, and it would be a half-decade before BART was approved by ballot, and nearly another decade before service started.

      1. I’m not saying the Progressives had their vision in place, just that that was their fantasy. You can see it a lot in films of the ‘30’s and ‘40’s, if you know what tomwatch for. British films pushed it harder, sincemthey were further along. Progressivism started its inroads into the Democrats as early as Wilson (typical Progressive Lefty; bigoted, arrogant, overeducated and still ignorant), and made major advances under FDR. They lost serious ground in the ‘50’s because of associations with Communism….and don’t they still resent that! Then they regrouped in the ‘60’s and captured the Democrats in ‘72.

      2. There are a number of reasons why private mass transit by bus failed. But the biggest one was- government regulation. Running empty buses in the middle of the night doesn’t enhance the bottom line.

        Don’t know if they still are required to do so, but Greyhound and Trailways once they established bus service to some out of the way Podunk were required to keep it going even after the population of Podunk dropped to zero. Unless they could give a good reason the the regulators why service should be dropped.

        1. Private bus operators had already been relieved of nearly all the other private and public expenses the streetcar operators had labored under. Gone were the paving assessments on the public rights of way and the high property tax rates on private rights of way, snow plowing and sprinkling obligations on the public roads, upkeep for rails and an overhead system, electrical generation, distribution, and substations, two man rules that required a conductor and motorman even after the invention of the deadman’s switch. Gone too were many of the other taxes and fees cities had levied upon an industry that had once seemed a cash cow.

          Yes, fares, routes, and frequency of service remained under government regulation. Compared what the operators of streetcars, interurbans, and traditional railroads dealt with, though, their regulatory burden was light. But until the 1970’s, more highways and the suburbanization that accompanied them were the order of the day, and that dispersed much of the potential clientele. Maintaining enough frequency of service to be useful as an alternative to the automobile simply became too costly on many routes, and without enough routes the overall utility of the system decline, whether the operator is public or private.

    3. We fought Progressives in the war, and the Europeans were fighting it out of jealousy. Their version wasn’t the one in charge and how dare the other two flavors try and force everyone into their mold.
      So while the Eu-Progies were all “This time we’ll use the right form! Watch this!” we were “Fought once to get rid of that crap, quit trying to bring it about around here.”

      1. Yeah, my vote is if things here progress (heh) to the point that we have another civil war, lets hold it over in Europe. THey are used to things getting all splodey every few decades, so it will be easier over there.

  12. It should offer training for those who can work but who lack the skills.

    Johnson’s War On Poverty did include a job training component, and there is good reason for it being expunged from the Liberals’ “Historical Record.” The levels of corruption and incompetence incorporated by that program have been unmatched by anything since, including Obamacare’s internet exchanges.

    1. Well that didn’t work

      ◦The nine people in America who understand what it is consultants actually do
      ◦Disaffected college students

          1. The Chem Engineer quotes that.
            We have some products that will fall out of solution, but both layers are liquid, and the “precipitate” is the top layer. In 2 mostly Isopropyl alcohol, the others, water based.

  13. The problem, as I see it, with Sowell’s essay is that it assumes that “redneck” attitudes are a bad thing. Far from it; I think the macho attitude of blacks has caused them to become essentially the dominant race in America today.

    Why do you think whites are the designated villains in society today? It’s because they are wimps who don’t fight back.

    Rather than make blacks into perfect little Model Boys, we should demand that whites become worthy of their ancestors who once conquered the world, and grow a pair.

    1. I would add that if we DID manage to make all blacks act like conservative college professors, that it would not result in a more peaceful nation. Some other group would take their place as designated attack dog for the Left, most likely Muslims.

    2. I think that people have sort of renovated the notion of redneck in recent years. In earlier chapters, iirc, Sowell talked more about what he meant by the term.

    3. So…did you drop into this timeline from the one where Farnham’s Freehold already happened, or from the one where the Black Plague killed 90% of Europe instead of just 10%?

      Because that’s the only reason I can think of that you would say something so utterly ludicrous.

    4. If by “macho” and “dominant” you mean “self-destructive”, then yeah, I agree with you.

      But I don’t think that’s what you mean.

      The earlier posts about the book make it clear exactly what Sowell means by the term “redneck”. And the popular modern conception plays up some entirely different traits than the ones that Sowell is unhappy with.

    5. Go back and refer to what Sowell calls the “redneck attitude”. If you do, I think you will see it is very different from what you think. It is not the macho attitude, as you call it.

      1. I think he’s confusing macho with that over-inflated sense of honor thing. coupled with being braggarts without cause.

  14. By projecting a vision of a world in which the problems of blacks are consequences of the actions of whites, either immediately or in times past, white liberals have provided a blanket excuse for shortcomings and even crimes by blacks.
    I have to admit that listening to this book (I just finished the first of 8 CDs* – they were cheaper than an Audible subscription), I found myself saying, “So you can blame southern whites for enslaving blacks to this culture?”

    No, the eminent Dr doesn’t do that. But it is a hop, skip and jump from his LONG laundry list of items hammering against the redneck/cracker culture to concluding that originally-southern blacks suffer directly from having been immersed in that. Because culture is hard to change. (Not impossible, but hard.)

    Not quite having gotten through the first essay/macro-chapter, I can’t say if the one issue I’ve encountered continues on, but…
    I’ve noted it seems almost all of Dr Sowell’s pronouncements on redneck/cracker culture come from just a few sources. And some of those I have noted are biased.

    However, I’m noting some of my discomfort might be a measure of defensiveness. So, on I read/listen. (The effect might be more pronounced by listening, instead of reading.)

    (* How likely is it that the name of the reader on the CDs is a pseudonym? “Hugh Mann”? Really?)

    1. How likely is it that the name of the reader on the CDs is a pseudonym? `Hugh Mann`?

      I checked Audible for other books by that reader and found no more. While a few Audible readers have but a single credit they are very few and often are merely a celebrity reader doing a turn.

        1. Yup. Although I have noticed that in many instances Audible is merely offering a version of programs available on CD, f’r instance the James Marsters readings of the Dresden Files are provided by Audible just as the CDs offered by Blackstone (absent having to swap out disks, of course.).

  15. Yet no one seems to bat an eye and ask why Asians are able to take the same tests and pass them at the same – or higher – level as whites.
    Well, duh! Asian Privilege!

    No one seems to worry about how Hispanic or other minorities do on these exams.
    Oh yes, they do. Mind you, they always try to make sure they define “Hispanic” in a way that keeps the numbers down.

    By taking this approach, you don’t allow them to grow. You allow them to make excuses and blame others without ever taking a hard look at themselves.
    You also make them moral non-agents, kept as pets or mentally stunted children, who must be taken care of. Forever.
    Which is the entire point.

    What we need to be wary of is becoming a welfare state.
    Waaaaay too late for that.

  16. “When is the last time you heard a liberal suggest someone might want to look at themselves, at what they did that led up to their failure?”

    Funny you should mention. Lately Jordan Peterson has been getting called a fascist and a Nazi all over the place for his twelve rules book. (Which is Numero Uno #1 this week at Amazon.) The core of his book is -personal- responsibility. The mere notion that a human being has a fundamental responsibility to themselves, and that the power to make a change in their lives comes from them, is now anathema to the Left. It is Toxic Whiteness (TM) to even suggest it.

    Whereas before they just didn’t talk about it, now they actively denounce it. People like Peterson, Tony Robbins, even Ayn Rand (!) are now fascists, to be despised and if possible destroyed. Assterisk Award nominated blog, my friends. Don’t go read it, you’ll be dumber for half an hour at least.

    From what little sense I can make out of the incoherent shrieking of the #MeToo Brigade/Pussy Hat Legion/Slut Walk Squadron, this is the same thing they’re raving about with women’s self defense. The -only- acceptable solution to violence against women is to “teach men not to rape,” presumably some government body is supposed to take that in hand. The suggestion that a woman might need to take steps to secure her own physical safety is met with vitriolic rejection.

    Of course on the wider issue of personal self defense, -individuals- are not supposed to be defending themselves. You are supposed to leave all such issues to the police, and if you don’t you get to go to jail for a while.

    This anti-individual frenzy has reache a new low in Canada, with journalists actively objecting to personal charity. The Humboldt hockey team bus crash has led to an outpouring of support for the families of the deceased and the injured. Several Canadian journalists, not random nutcases, have criticized the amount of money being donated because the recipients are -white- and -male- hockey players. Donating money to a bereaved family is now racist/sexist/homophobic. No, I’m not kidding.

    So, Thomas Sowell was a lot more right than he even knew.

    1. “If they’re not calling you a Nazi, then you’re not really trying.”

      I wish I remembered who I first saw that, but whoever it was nailed it.

  17. He knew alright. His PhD is in Economics and he did lots and lots of research into what he now writes as essays.

  18. By projecting a vision of a world in which the problems of blacks are consequences of the actions of whites, either immediately or in times past, white liberals have provided a blanket excuse for shortcomings and even crimes by blacks.
    There was the black school principal whose contract was not renewed because the school district had correctly concluded that she was not a competent administrator. That didn’t bother her, as she had just completed her doctoral dissertation. Her dissertation topic: using “critical race theory” to explain the problems that black principals faced. As if “critical race theory,” not incompetence, could explain why her contract wasn’t renewed?

    Her predecessor as school principal, who was several shades darker than her not-renewed successor, had been promoted to a position in central administration- which indicates that for the district, competence was the issue.
    The not-renewed principal is now a tenured professor of Education. Her specialty: training school administrators. A washout as an administrator now trains administrators. Some of those clichés are at least some of the time, accurate.

    Another tale out of school. A black college graduate who managed a local store talked to a class at a predominantly black high school. “Here’s what I have done, you can do it too”– you know the drill. A student asked about the speaker’s experience with racism. The guest speaker replied that while there was some racism, it wasn’t that big an issue on his job. This particular student was well-behaved, but was the poster child for LAZY. Very easy to see him, before asking the question, thinking to himself, “As racism will hold me back, why make the effort?” I wonder how much the reply made the student try harder. Not much,I suspect.

  19. Complete change of subject — today in the history of the U.S.A.:

    Yesterday was the anniversary of the Halifax Resolves (April 12, 1776), in which North Carolina became the first state to authorize their delegates to the Continental Congress to actively pursue independence.

    The Select Committee taking into Consideration the usurpations and violences attempted and committed by the King and Parliament of Britain against America, and the further Measures to be taken for frustrating the same, and for the better defence of this province reported as follows, to wit,

    It appears to your Committee that pursuant to the Plan concerted by the British Ministry for subjugating America, the King and Parliament of Great Britain have usurped a Power over the Persons and Properties of the People unlimited and uncontrouled; and disregarding their humble Petitions for Peace, Liberty and safety, have made divers Legislative Acts, denouncing War Famine and every Species of Calamity against the Continent in General. That British Fleets and Armies have been and still are daily employed in destroying the People and committing the most horrid devastations on the Country. That Governors in different Colonies have declared Protection to Slaves who should imbrue their Hands in the Blood of their Masters. That the Ships belonging to America are declared prizes of War and many of them have been violently seized and confiscated in consequence of which multitudes of the people have been destroyed or from easy Circumstances reduced to the most Lamentable distress.

    And whereas the moderation hitherto manifested by the United Colonies and their sincere desire to be reconciled to the mother Country on Constitutional Principles, have procured no mitigation of the aforesaid Wrongs and usurpations, and no hopes remain of obtaining redress by those Means alone which have been hitherto tried, Your Committee are of Opinion that the house should enter into the following Resolve to wit,

    Resolved that the delegates for this Colony in the Continental Congress be impowered to concur with the delegates of the other Colonies in declaring Independency, and forming foreign Alliances, reserving to this Colony the Sole, and Exclusive right of forming a Constitution and Laws for this Colony, and of appointing delegates from time to time (under the direction of a general Representation thereof) to meet the delegates of the other Colonies for such purposes as shall be hereafter pointed out.

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