On Victimhood and Culture—A Reply to Aaron Hanna

Originally published at: On Victimhood and Culture—A Reply to Aaron Hanna – Quillette

It was a pleasure to read Aaron Hanna’s recent essay, “The Limitations of Black Conservative Thought.” It is magnificently reasoned, informed, and fair. Shelby Steele and Thomas Sowell have rarely been engaged so constructively. The Right can be too deferential and fails to subject their work to proper scrutiny, while the Left either pretends they…

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One of the most troubling aspects for British police officers investigating the recent surge in knife crimes in London and beyond is that many of the kids had no previous gang involvement. Some of the responsibility can be laid at the foot of social media- it beggars belief that parents consciously guard their children against the almost non-existent of child abduction by strangers, whilst simultaneous giving their children up to the worst the world has to offer through unsupervised access to the internet- because whilst child abductions are almost non-existent, the online grooming of teenage girls by perverts and predators operating under fictitious aliases is a another case entirely.

The other problem with social media is that a teenage boy can find foolish bravado can have tragic consequences- insulting the wrong person on social media can have the effect of a grown man coming after you with a knife that looks more like a sword than a machete. And the problem is not simply confined to social media, of the thousands of young men caught by police carrying knives, many were doing so purely for the purposes of self-defence.

The work of Gary Slutkin on violence as a social contagion or localised epidemic is depressingly salient here. In Scotland an improbable compromise between the best the Right and the Left has to offer- with the indisputably effective model of proactive policing working together with a youth reform orientated approach to crime, to reverse awful trends in youth violence without substantially increasing prison populations.

But it could never happen in America- where Black and Brown people are little more than pawns between two warring ideological partisan factions who care more about achieving power than having any utility to society whatsoever. Contrary to opinion in many quarters, it’s not that they are evil or do not care- but simply the fact that they believe much of the flimflam nonsense they peddle to the public.

I would suggest that the problem is twofold. First, there are the phantoms which haunt us- the cultural metanarratives which can easily be summoned into the present by the incantations of cultural custodian priests. These ghosts can be fatal for teenage boys, whose only recourse often rests upon the precarious precipice of the voluntary adoption of stoicism and the exceptional dignity of the unexceptional. If you honestly believe the world has cheated you, that the game is rigged, then what is to prevent you cheating the world back?

For boys, the most dangerous emotion is not anger, hatred, rivalry, greed, envy- it’s resentment and the belief that you are owed. It becomes the festering wound in the psyche which unleashes the aforementioned Pandora’s box. So what is the solution? Well perhaps wisdom lies in examining the most sensible and cogent arguments against proactive policing. Left-leaning criminologists are always quick to point out the outlier of Germany, which seems to be the only example of an advanced economy that didn’t require proactive policing to reverse the upsurge in violent crime in the eighties and early nineties.

The better ones will concede that proactive policing works, but caveat by stating that it should probably only be used as a temporary measure and may have a negative psychological impact in pushing teenage boys towards crime. But what they always fail to examine is why Germany alone was able to reduce violent crime without resorting to proactive policing?

The answer is simple. Germany only sends 30% of its population to university. It invests a great deal of the societal capital which would otherwise be invested in educating young people for jobs which don’t exist (and likely never will) in vocational education for those who don’t do as well at school. What they’ve inadvertently created is a society-wide male mentoring scheme- given the tendency of boys to self-select towards vocations where they will be exposed to male mentors for periods often lasting upwards of two years.

So in Germany, if you are a boy who grows up in a household without a father, in a community largely deprived of them, then at least you will have this one final safety net before you fall. I would tentatively suggest that in the absence of this benign societal safety net many African American boys, growing up in the 2% of communities where 50% of all violent crime occurs, will only ever end up dead prematurely, or confined to prison for large tracts of their adult lives.

The human brain is absurdly primitive- it is simultaneously superfluent at calculating potential risk, but almost completely incapable of calculating the extent of said risk. It’s why most countries who could afford it spent billions of dollars on the negligible threats posed by terrorism, but yet did almost nothing to invoke the extraordinary powers used to disrupt the logistical infrastructure and financial systems of Sinaloa Cartel during the same period.

Until the day we finally realise that upstanding young Black men can never be free of the taint of unwarranted suspicion caused by their less worthy peers, then the world MLK envisaged will only be little more than a mirage which only exists in the rarefied communities which surround the University Campus and the United States Military Base.

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Hanna would seem to prefer that racism remain front and center in our race discussions.”

Oh dear did McWhorter really go there? ‘Let’s not make this racial even if it is because it’s inconvenient’? Very uncharacteristic & disappointing of McWhorter who usually reasons & supports his views so well failed to make a compelling counter argument & instead resorted to a cheap shot. But then again maybe there isn’t one…

People never seem to understand this, but you can learn it from Exodus: slavery isn’t maintained by cruelty and the lash, but by comfort. Freedom is hard; slavery is easy. By extension, victimhood has its benefits, and its beneficiaries (the latter mainly the race-hustlers who encourage and exploit the victim’s loser mentality). The self-identified “victims” are freed from responsibility and accountability. But they are not freed from the burden of conscience, apparently. Which explains much black-on-Asian violence. So often, Asians come to the US not even knowing the language, and by the second generation are professionals. This gives the lie to the victimhood narrative; anti-Asian violence is externalized shame. And the race-baiters’ response is to invent perverse categorizations like “white-adjacent Asian” to explain away facts that don’t fit the narrative.

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First let me link McWhorter’s most recent piece on his own Substack, It Bears Mentioning, to which I subscribe.

I see in this piece in Quillette, a partial answer to the question is left with in deciding what to make of Murray’s book. That question, I think I can paraphrase as, So even if all of the statistical evidence Murray presents is as compelling as it seems to be, and demonstrates that there is a significant racial gap in intelligence, then where does that leave us, how are we supposed to think about it, how do we respond. and John ends with

Maybe he just feels that the facts are what they are, that their implications for society are what they are, that strong people face unpleasant truths, and that having done his job, he wishes us our best.

Okay. But while I will not join the bandwagon of people who can see nothing but “racism” in his presentation, neither will I join the other bandwagon cheering that “somebody needed to finally say it” and leaving it there.

If “it” is that black people should be satisfied with getting little further than being America’s middle managers, grunt workers, athletes and singers, then I’m not with it. I dearly hope we can do better.

But here he points to Culture as an inherited thing, but at the same time a malleable thing. Malleable for better or for worse. Cultural traits should tend to evolve thru ‘survival of the fittest’. Good innovations and adaptations should be pass down to the next generations, but it ain’t always so. There are sub-optimal and dysfunctional adaptations which can persist and become cancerous.

Even if ‘intelligence’, however we define it and measure it, seems to be a function of race, perhaps the manifestations which we can see and measure are largely tied to and dependent on cultural context. In that case perhaps we can address them culturally, by tackling those dysfunctional traits (whether they are Scottish or not. But in order to tackle them, we have to push aside those Work Hustler Elects who live as parasites encouraging the bad habits.

As for this offering here in Quillette, I highlight this

However, psychological science does offer a way of thinking that corresponds to the mindset Steele identifies among black people since the 1960s. The Victim Mentality is popularly known as a martyr complex, and identifies a state of mind in which a person exaggerates their victimhood, is rather numb to that of others, and founds their sense of significance upon this perception of persecution rather than upon their own actions and accomplishments.

Whether or not Steele’s or Sowell’s suggestions are sound and fully-argued, they are at least pointers in directions we should explore.

The difference being they are not born into a combination of generational fatherlessness, poverty & violence where their male role models are violent street criminals.

“If the father is not in the home, the boy will find a father in the streets. I saw it in my generation and every generation before me, and every one ever since. If the streets raise you, then the judge becomes your mother and prison becomes your home.”
Denzel Washington

Whilst I’m not trying to justify victimhood I believe it’s important not to dismiss the monumental challenge such situations prevent the bootstraps theory or in Aoron Hanna’s words obliterate ‘margin of choice’. We responsible parents don’t make the effort as positive role models & sink most of our time & resources into raising our kids for no good reason.
Yes the culture is the problem but as Glen Loury said in his response perhaps we need to talk about solutions more like providing better parenting skills & education. Women’s education & long term contraception are both key here to making a difference.

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To me, the telling notion is Mercea Eliade’s take on the religion of primitives is his Myth of the Eternal Return.

The primitive… cannot conceive of an unprovoked suffering; it arises from a personal fault… or from his neighbor’s malevolence… but there is always a fault at the bottom of it[.]

The notion of “fault” and “malevolence” is at the bottom of not just primitive thought but left-wing thought at least since Marx. That is why I call the left a Great Reaction.

If you explain the world through the malevolence of the Other, I think that you have a problem.

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From the article:

Hanna finds Steele’s take on black people implausible, or at least under-reasoned, in terms of psychological science. He would prefer that Steele flesh out his claim that black people can, and should, think past obstacles and succeed, and that the Great Society paradigm stanched their impulse to do this. Hanna is among those uncomfortable with Steele’s charge that black people focus too much on their victimhood.

There are some people drawn to the banner of “social justice” in a sincere effort to make the world a better place, and many, conservatives, who aren’t on the SJ bandwagon per se, are just as interested to see everybody get a fair shot at life. For these people looking for solutions is the goal.

And then there are political apparatchiks who use any controversy they can to create as much division and resentment between different groups of people to further the cause. Focusing on who to blame is a great way to further this goal.

I accept that solving problems, requires a fundamental understanding of its causes, but at some point finding actual-non-perforative- solutions, should be more important than endlessly expanding the circle of blame, unless your goal is to sow discord.

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I don’t disagree with the first part; culture is the issue. But empty nostrums like “providing better parenting skills & education” at best would only further the pointless expansion of the bureaucratic state. And proffering “long-term contraception” to a culture that substantially rewards single motherhood is really missing the point.

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Research indicates education is key.

"What Can Be Done?
Unmarried parents are not that different from married parents in their behavior. Both groups value marriage, both spend a long time searching for a suitable marriage partner, and both engage in premarital sex and cohabitation. The key difference is that one group often has children while they are searching for a suitable partner, whereas the other group more often has children only after they marry.
Changing this dynamic would require two things. First, we would need to give less-educated women a good reason to postpone motherhood. The women who are currently postponing motherhood are typically investing in education and careers. These women use contraceptive methods that are more reliable, and they use these methods more consistently. Postponing fertility in these ways would also have benefits for women who currently do not do so. They would be more mature when they became mothers, and they would probably do a better job of selecting suitable partners.
Nonetheless, postponing fertility will not solve the problem of nonmarital childbearing unless the economic prospects of the young men who father the children also improve. Women are not likely to marry men whom they view as poor providers, regardless of their own earning capacity. Thus, in addition to encouraging young women to delay motherhood, we also need to improve the economic prospects of their prospective husbands, especially those with no more than a high school diploma. This will not be easy. But it would improve the lives of the men in question, perhaps reduce their level of antisocial behavior, and improve the lives of their children, through all the benefits that flow from a stable home."

What’s so unbelievably ironic here is that it is this very same racial paternalism throughout history that has perpetuated actual racism by driving a wedge between groups of people that have been sorted into different social constructs based on physical features and nothing more. It’s simply a modern redux of the aftermath of Bacon’s Rebellion which guaranteed poor Black and Whites in America would never again have common cause for the mutual benefit of both. Not only is this dual-racial myth-wielding (model minority and inferior [whether culturally or otherwise] minority) doubly harmful, but the handful of instances of violence perpetuated towards persons of Asian descent by Black Americans caught on surveillance camera during the pandemic don’t even depict what you’re saying it does. You think a petty street thief is primarily driven by rage over his intended victim’s hypothetically successful grandchildren living way out in suburbia? Or are we seeing the same tried-and-true factors that facilitate violent crime, namely proximity and opportunity, converging in neighborhoods where Blacks and older Asians simply happen to live near each other in mostly a handful of cities concentrated on the West Coast? The police in those cities sure seem to be in favor of the simpler explanation. It would be interesting if you’re a CRT detractor, in part, because you don’t believe that phenomena which display some racialized pattern must necessarily be inherently racist and you’re happily dispensing with that notion when it comes to this particular issue.

Now let’s talk about why you even felt the need to attempt to characterize the nature of all instances of anti-Asian violence committed by Black persons to begin with, since the vast majority of perpetrators of violence against Asians, both prior to and during the pandemic, are White and we are left without some ad-hoc critical race model to help explain what’s happening in the vast majority of instances. Why blame the feature when the bug will do I suppose.

And although these figures are from 2019, it seems that any critical race-based theory that one feels compelled to create to explain why, from a social perspective, persons of certain races are being attacked, it would seem intuitive to start with the racial group that is most often on the receiving end of such attacks, especially given the huge disparity between them and other racial groups. (Now I wish I had never seen those figures because it’s depressing AF.)

And lastly, while proximity and opportunity best explain the small but highly publicized number of incidents of Blacks attacking Asians we’ve seen within the last year or so, the specious rationale you provided surprisingly appears to be much more descriptive and intuitive IMO when it comes to this nation’s long history of mob violence perpetrated by Whites against successful Black Americans and their neighborhoods during the 100 years of state-sanctioned disenfranchisement and racial domestic terrorism against Black citizens by their fellow non-Black citizens between the end of the Civil War and the end of the Civil Rights Movement, even at times in partnership of one kind or another with non-citizens that were later rewarded for their efforts with full racial inclusion into the privileged majority.

This is a great argument overall, but it’s not a handful of attacks. Anti-Asian violent crimes are on the rise, but then so is violent crime in America (and it’s not COVID, because violent crime has reduced during the pandemic in the rest of the West). Specifically, Black-on-Asian crime is roughly equally composed of Asian and White assailants, which because of underlying patterns of crime proves two things. First, as you say- the Black-on-Asian crimes are likely crimes of opportunity. Second, there has been no surge in white supremacist or Trump-inspired Anti-Asian attacks- its a Hate Inc. fictional media narrative which is based upon anger economics, the monetised negative engagement which makes money from getting Americans to hate each other across the political divide.

But whilst it is certainly true to say that America has a shameful past in relation to race, almost all of the disparities we see in the modern context are driven by entirely different causes. First, there is a woeful lack of discussion of class and economic status driven disparities in America. It’s why politicians always talk about raising all boats instead of social mobility- because people are more threatened by the prospect of relative fall in social mobility than they are optimistic of rising within the socio-economic strata. And all the evidence is clear- although America once possessed high rates of social mobility, America is rapidly ossifying into a system where upward mobility is rare.

The other problem with racial narrative is that too much is made of implicit bias or deliberate malfeasance, when most of the systemic disparities which plague America are complex and emergent factors, which cannot simply be tackled by legislative fiat. The first reason why these disparities occur is because of well-intentioned liberal meddling gone horribly wrong. We see the same thing in the UK, where- although the welfare state was an undoubtedly good thing- the fact that welfare was curtailed with the first pound earned, rather than gradually phased out, as people earned more, meant that entire segments of our working class white, Afro Caribbean and Bangladeshi populations were locked into a cycle of intergenerational welfare dependence. And you will doubtless agree that indiscriminate high density urban housing projects were an absolute disaster wherever they were tried throughout the West, acting as amplifiers and spreaders of social ills.

And the problem is not limited to the sixties or seventies, it persists to this day in one form or another. If you are teacher in a mixes class of students, and the Black kids who sit at the back talk amongst themselves and don’t pay attention- you will fearful of disciplining them because of mandates within the bureaucracy see any disparity in discipline levels by race as evidence of racism. The kids know this and play up accordingly- and younger kids perversely will interpret this lack of attention through discipline as caring about them less, and the white kids more!

And lets look at the biggest disaster in trying to help African Americans. An under reported aspect of the 2008 financial crash, is that the seeds were sown under Clinton. The Administration wanted to raise rates of minority home ownership without tackling the tricky problem of a lack of underlying earnings. They asked the banking industry, and specifically the public/private hybrids of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to broaden their lending criteria. The bankers obviously protested, but were promised an S & L style bailout to assuage their concerns about bad lending and the assumption of bad risk.

And Bush didn’t help- he wanted the higher rate of home ownership which this policy created, as well as the economic boon of a booming housing sector. Of course, this doesn’t excuse the bankers for the extent to which they abused the license to take risks which government afforded them. Neither does it excuse the awful and predatory practice of using the trusting leaders of Black Churches to sell loans at substantially higher than market rates. But it does explain why only one person was ever charged with a crime stemming from the charge- because politicians knew full they couldn’t bring anyone to trial without exposing the federal government’s huge role in bringing about this unmitigated disaster.

And it was Black people and Latinos who suffered most from this misguided effort by government to help. The worst thing of all is we know the solution- because it has worked, at least in promoting access to middle class living standards, in other countries. Vocational training for kids at 14, who don’t so well academically would be socially transformative for African Americans, because we know that within a generation the socio-economic rise and higher rates of family formation (paired with the cognitive boost in development father nurture brings) would eliminate most of the group differences in cognitive ability. It is literally the only way to substantially make the races more equal through equality of opportunity. But the liberals don’t want to do it because the Teacher’s Unions loathe the idea. And the Republicans are so intent upon pushing the Charter vs. Public debate they can’t see that there were huge shortages in workers for higher paid blue collar work before the pandemic- seven million jobs sitting vacant- and promising vocational training leading to well paying jobs would be huge vote winner for them amongst poorer white, Black and Latino demographics.

There are solutions- but neither political party is particularly interested in pursuing them. It’s a matter for open debate whether simple neglect or well-intentioned policies which turn out to cause huge and lasting harms are worse in the long-run for African Americans- but we need to recognise that both have been factors in their inability to shed at least some of the burden of their historical disadvantage.

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This is a great argument overall, but it’s not a handful of attacks. Anti-Asian violent crimes are on the rise, but then so is violent crime in America (and it’s not COVID, because violent crime has reduced during the pandemic in the rest of the West). Specifically, Black-on-Asian crime is roughly equally composed of Asian and White assailants, which because of underlying patterns of crime proves two things. First, as you say- the Black-on-Asian crimes are likely crimes of opportunity. Second, there has been no surge in white supremacist or Trump-inspired Anti-Asian attacks- its a Hate Inc. fictional media narrative which is based upon anger economics, the monetised negative engagement which makes money from getting Americans to hate each other across the political divide.

The article I linked to (at least I hope I linked to it) was my source for stating that the instances of Black-on-Asian attacks only constituted a relative handful. At any rate, what isn’t true is that Black offenders are primarily driving this phenomenon and that the attacks are motivated mainly by racial animus.

I agree that I’ve seen no evidence of an especially large number of white supremacist attacks against Asians either; it’s more likely that those kinds are mostly engaging in increased incidents of harassment and such. This is why I didn’t cite the mass murder incident in Georgia; while it had a racial component to it, that’s not tantamount to saying it was borne out of hateful racist sentiment (although that’s honestly a moot point considering how extremely evil and heartless his act was).

This is true but in America, class intersects with race to a large degree, and then there are the associated geographical and partisan affiliations. Without any demographic specificity attached to such labels:

“middle class” = White, suburban, lean Rep
“working class” = usually White, Rustbelt/Appalachian, Rep
“underclass/poor” = Black, urban, Dem
“Rural” = White, Rep
“gentrification” = White, affluent, urban, Dem “suburban” = White historically but more recently has taken on more of a diverse connotation, middle class/affluent, traditionally Rep shifting Dem

These labels are important because outside of emergency measures such as pandemic aid, any sort of class-based policy program will inevitably be proposed and promoted by Democrats which automatically makes it anathema to Republicans; during the Obama years, this was in effect 100-fold as seen with the epic fight to pass ACA. It wasn’t until he was out of office and Trump threatened to torpedo the whole thing did it finally gain broadbased support, including among those who benefitted from it but opposed it vehemently while Obama was still in office.

And on the other side of things, we see how soon the non-partisan Occupy movement ran out of steam and how it was largely populated with young White protestors.

I’d probably say that in several if not most instances, conservative subversion–by weakening or neutralizing the bill covertly during the legislative process, in its execution or lack thereof by disgruntled/biased bureaucrats on behalf of the public or a new presidential administration, or lawsuits filed by private citizens/interests or states to ensure a delayed implementation or an unconstitutional ruling, in part or entirely–is at least as big of a problem. Of course this was the story of lawmaking from the end of Reconstruction until the late 1950s/60s when powerful Southern legislators in particular relished in their roles as defenders of the Southern “way of life” that ensured Black citizens would not reap the benefits of progressive legislation that was funded with “taxpayer dollars” (e.g., many New Deal programs).

[Quote]And the problem is not limited to the sixties or seventies, it persists to this day in one form or another. If you are teacher in a mixes class of students, and the Black kids who sit at the back talk amongst themselves and don’t pay attention- you will fearful of disciplining them because of mandates within the bureaucracy see any disparity in discipline levels by race as evidence of racism. The kids know this and play up accordingly- and younger kids perversely will interpret this lack of attention through discipline as caring about them less, and the white kids more!

And lets look at the biggest disaster in trying to help African Americans. An under reported aspect of the 2008 financial crash, is that the seeds were sown under Clinton. The Administration wanted to raise rates of minority home ownership without tackling the tricky problem of a lack of underlying earnings. They asked the banking industry, and specifically the public/private hybrids of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to broaden their lending criteria. The bankers obviously protested, but were promised an S & L style bailout to assuage their concerns about bad lending and the assumption of bad risk.

And Bush didn’t help- he wanted the higher rate of home ownership which this policy created, as well as the economic boon of a booming housing sector. Of course, this doesn’t excuse the bankers for the extent to which they abused the license to take risks which government afforded them. Neither does it excuse the awful and predatory practice of using the trusting leaders of Black Churches to sell loans at substantially higher than market rates. But it does explain why only one person was ever charged with a crime stemming from the charge- because politicians knew full they couldn’t bring anyone to trial without exposing the federal government’s huge role in bringing about this unmitigated disaster.[/quote]

If you’re referring to the Community Reinvestment Act, I’ve read both arguments for and against that but seemingly more against. High rates of subprime lending was the major reason for the massive economic downturn with two pieces of deregulation making that possible:

  1. the 1999 repeal of Glass-Steagall by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. This allowed banks to use deposits to invest in derivatives

  2. the 2000 Commodity Futures Modernization Act allowed the unregulated trading of derivatives and other credit default swaps. This federal legislation overruled the state laws that had formerly prohibited this as gambling

Also seeing as though most of the loss of Black wealth due to the Great Recession was due to heavy predatory targeting of Black households with incomes of $200K+ annually, I’m certainly inclined to believe the CRA was wasn’t the primary culprit.

[Quote]And it was Black people and Latinos who suffered most from this misguided effort by government to help. The worst thing of all is we know the solution- because it has worked, at least in promoting access to middle class living standards, in other countries. Vocational training for kids at 14, who don’t so well academically would be socially transformative for African Americans, because we know that within a generation the socio-economic rise and higher rates of family formation (paired with the cognitive boost in development father nurture brings) would eliminate most of the group differences in cognitive ability. It is literally the only way to substantially make the races more equal through equality of opportunity. But the liberals don’t want to do it because the Teacher’s Unions loathe the idea. And the Republicans are so intent upon pushing the Charter vs. Public debate they can’t see that there were huge shortages in workers for higher paid blue collar work before the pandemic- seven million jobs sitting vacant- and promising vocational training leading to well paying jobs would be huge vote winner for them amongst poorer white, Black and Latino demographics.

There are solutions- but neither political party is particularly interested in pursuing them. It’s a matter for open debate whether simple neglect or well-intentioned policies which turn out to cause huge and lasting harms are worse in the long-run for African Americans- but we need to recognise that both have been factors in their inability to shed at least some of the burden of their historical disadvantage.
[/quote]

Completely agreed on the emboldened. My younger brother struggled in school, but decided to go the JobCorps route, get his GED, and get vocational training in welding. A few short years after doing so, at the invitation of our sister, he relocated to where she and her husband live which is the state’s largest metropolitan area with a pretty high density of manufacturing jobs. It didn’t take him long to find his groove with a firm he enjoys working at that pays him adequately and about a year ago, he purchased his first home–and before me, the oldest sibling LOL. But unlike my brother, I do have student loans to worry about. I’m exceptionally proud of him and it’s really a crime that we don’t promote vocational education and two-year community college programs nearly as much as we ought to, especially when there are specialized manufacturing positions that pay well that are always looking to be filled it seems.

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I think this is an insightful comment. I was working for a bank during this period. And yes, the banks absolutely were doing everything they could to woo high income (primarily Black) minorities.

I never connected that fact to the tremendous losses Black households suffered (compared to others) after 2008. I assumed it was primarily due to CRA. Very interesting.

This is almost my experience word for word. My younger brother also struggled in school (and kept getting into trouble with the law). Some blue color vocational training in his early 20s helped turn him around.

He also managed to buy his first house before me. Get it paid off before me. And doesn’t have the school loans I do. Even though I am the older brother. :slight_smile:

Despite that his more wild days are behind him he still is not the sort of person who could ever have thrived in a college setting nor made a successful and happy career as a knowledge worker.

Unfortunately most of the discussions about how to help people get the educations they need to succeed are driven by media, politicians, bureaucrats, tech workers and the like. Most of whom carry the subtle arrogance that causes them to think they are above blue collar workers. To them the intern working in an office is pursuing a career. The plumber fixing their toilet just has a job. This bias carries over into discussions like this. To them, investing into vocational courses feels like a waste of time.

Its infuriating.

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Yes this created a bunch of problems, too bad because people owning their own homes promotes wealth building, improves neighborhoods, creates a sense of responsibility and respect for your neighbors.

There is another way to achieve this goal that doesn’t involve the high risk loans.

My dad took advantage of this program, and it was a boon to our family fortunes for a couple generations. I honestly think this is the best and easiest way to turn some cities around and reward people for doing the work.

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There were also a significant number of mortgage resales from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under the auspices of the FDIC. The terms offered were so favourable that they allowed the third party mortgage providers to sit on the loans, keep taking repayments and then repossess whenever the felt like it- with no history of missed or late repayments.

This accounted for significant numbers of repossessions in the aftermath of 2008. A few brave judges denied standing on third party grounds, but I can find little online or on YouTube covering the story and to me it seems underreported to say the least.

I used to work for HSBC in the UK decades ago.

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