The Bias Narrative versus the Development Narrative: Thinking About Persistent Racial Inequality in the United States

Originally published at: The Bias Narrative versus the Development Narrative: Thinking About Persistent Racial Inequality in the United States – Quillette

Quillette invited author and Brown University professor of economics Glenn Loury to respond to Aaron Hanna’s recent critique of black conservatives. He replied: I read Hanna’s long piece. It is very thoughtful and provocative. You are to be commended for publishing it. [Thomas] Sowell and [Shelby] Steele can speak for themselves. I hope one or…

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It is sadly true of much current political discussion that those taking part must first decide what sort of discussion they wish to have – one that sits comfortably within current moral fashion, or an honest one that deals with actual facts (however uncomfortable they may be).

This article is correct, and echoes many of my thoughts on the topic, but daring to voice those thoughts in certain quarters will lead to charges of racism and kill any chance of rational debate.

It is also sadly true that the identity of the messenger is often as consequential as the message itself. The matter of one’s race, gender, age or creed should not add a jot or subtract a tittle from the validity of one’s argument – but we know that it does in today’s marketplace of ideas. Writing as a middle-aged, middle-class, British white man, I am on much thinner ice tackling contentious issues such as race than if I were black, or younger, or any of half a dozen other differentiators. Because according to Critical Race Theory it is the very fact of my Whiteness that supposedly stops me from being able to discern systemic racism - and thus I can be safely ignored.

It is therefore crucial that enough black intellectuals and writers take on the divisive racial myths being peddled by BLM activists, the leftish media and the ever-growing army of (largely well-meaning but chronically misinformed) young, indoctrinated woke – who I like to call the Children of the Quorn.

CRT hasn’t taken hold of the culture in the UK quite as much as it seems to have done in the US - YET - but from my vantage point it appears that the arguments rest wholly on guilt, and cynically seek to exploit that guilt for perceived gain. BLM seeks to feed into a culture of guilt among whites, and victimhood among the black community. Rather than empowering those it claims to champion, it enfeebles them. It is frankly demeaning to imagine black people as perpetual victims of systemic white racism. It removes the idea that any Person of Colour has agency. It absolves such “victims” of the need to take responsibility for their actions, their choices and their future. Such infantilisation of an entire racial community has been the principle behind much that is holding people back.

Thomas Sowell has been making these points for many years. Now into his 90’s, and with BLM in the ascendency, his voice is needed more than ever. Thankfully there are other US intellectuals taking up the challenge - Prof Loury very much among them.

Here in the UK Trevor Phillips, once considered righteous by the BBC and Guardian, is now vilified because he dared speak the truth, he dared push back against the false narrative that the UK is an irredeemably racist country. Or witness the immediate denigration of the authors of the recent Sewell report. The comments made about them (in mainstream as well as social media) were overtly racist and deeply unpleasant, all because they challenged the race-baiters and pointed up the fact that poverty and social class and culture were determining factors of far greater significance than race.

The racial grievance industry is enjoying a boom time. There are careers to be had and fortunes to be made. Those that have been profiting from it need to silence those that dare speak out against it and they have been gifted an important head-start. The identitarian left has already captured most of the teaching profession and most of the cultural institutions of this country, we even have the leader of the Labour party and his deputy kneeling in support of an organisation with a pernicious and overtly racist ideology. The fact that a Conservative Govt with a healthy majority has done so little to push back against this is mainly down to their own fear of accusations of racism.

The first, and to my mind, most important way to tackle these lies is though teaching. Much of the current fashion of supposedly “decolonising the curriculum” has in fact narrowed rather than broadened what is taught. It’s decades since children were told the British Empire was simply a force of unalloyed good for the world, but the pendulum has swung far too far the other way. The current fashion is to teach that it was simply a 300 year carnival of atrocities and depredation. What lessons can be learned from History if it is shorn of all context?

The transatlantic slave trade did not exist in a vacuum. Slavery had been a ubiquitous fact of life since the very earliest human societies of which we have record. As the race-obsessives of the left are always keen to tell us, Africa is the cradle of civilisation, though they seem less keen to admit that that civilisation - as with every other historical civilisation - was built by slaves. For the comparatively brief period that Europeans and Americans were involved in the Slave trade, they were mere amateurs in comparison to Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Slavery was an abomination. It is as close to a moral absolute as one can get that it is wrong for one human being to “own” another - but it is unjust, and arguably racist, to hold one race more accountable for that abomination than another. No one should ever try and excuse the slave trade, but they should, if they’re honest, set it in historical context and perspective. Why uniquely condemn the British and Americans when - as a simple matter of fact - they were involved in a hideous practice that had been going on in every part of the world for thousands of years?

The only unique position that Britain holds in the history of slavery is that in 1807, Britain was one of the first countries on earth to abolish the slave trade, not merely on her own shores, but across the Empire, and then policed the seas to end the trade worldwide. Teach that and you might lessen the sense of grievance that has been inculcated by the partisan and partial teaching of history. You might then be able to have sensible and well-informed debate around topics like inequality in our society.

And tackle the real issue, Poverty, rather than cast around for excuses and scapegoats to blame and hold responsible.

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A nice essay by Glenn and a nice comment by Patrick but Glenn isn’t saying anything that hasn’t been said time and time again since 1970 and Patrick’s appeal to objective history has been falling upon deaf ears since 1990.

Like the dog that caught the car it was chasing, the West has run out of ideas about what to do next and has somehow collectively decided upon suicide. Nothing is going to stop it. I can’t think of a reason why the West shouldn’t die.

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I can.

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If Western Civ throws in the towel, what comes next? Is the culture of activism likely to produce a system of governance that provides for the safety and general well-being of the common man (regardless of race, or class) better than what we have now — which is the result of many centuries of trial and error, success and failure?

Not likely.

As imperfect as it is, Western Civilization is still the gold medal winner in the culture Olympics.

I think the West has run out of ideas on how to engage with a political opponent who reserves the right to change definitions of words at will, and can censor from many public forums anybody (including a former President) who speaks out against their preferred narrative.

Professor Loury finds himself in a special place, to be able to speak his mind, and support his arguments as an academic and distinguished economist, without much fear of reprisals from his employer. There aren’t a lot of people who can.

But he can only do so much by himself. Other people need to be willing to support his efforts and encourage others (who might be reachable) to listen to his arguments. If we aren’t willing to go even that far, then I suspect these young people will be in for a rough time of it in the near future.

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By the “West” I mean to say the collection of regimes in the Anglosphere and EU (GHW Bush’s “new world order”) that are nothing more than Weimar regimes run by entrenched bureaucracies propped up by failed political parties and grotesquely corrupt and unrepresentative legislatures.

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Got it! Thanks for the clarification.

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I started this reply to Aaron Hanna in relation to his critical essay, ‘The Limitations of Black Conservative Thought’, but got no further until I saw the reply by Glen Loury, whose always forensically brilliant insight spurred me back into action….so I include the earlier reply to Hanna in the quotes below in what I think leads to a view that includes, but goes beyond what Loury is saying, to a much more radical critique of the woke racialist agenda being laid out across the western world, as we speak.

‘As I read through Arron’s very academically detailed and intellectually dense analysis of two well known black conservatives (whatever that means these days), it crossed my mind that the essay was aimed at them rather than me, and it would be a great deal easier for them to answer the criticism in the same spirit, because it would take them a fraction of the time and effort to do the job than it would me.

I would therefore appreciate the opportunity to see them get a right of reply (which is what has happened).

In the meantime, I merely note that this is at heart a classical argument between the relative importance of individual agency and environmental/historical determinants that are mediated later in the essay by the effects of ‘culture’, that can produce exceptionalist performance variables such as are to be found in particularly Indian, Chinese and Jewish families, with long established traditions of ensuring high standard educational outcomes in their young.

Needless to say, much of this debate is circular, or perhaps more accurately, a dance between interactive elements that deliver a range of outcomes on a bell curve of apparently random, but odds determined distributions of probability.

It has to be said that of all the variables that are most influential and most amenable to making a difference, particularly in difficult circumstances, it is ‘the culture’. But like any other artefact, building a good one is difficult, arduous and done by slow and always at hazard provisional increments over several generations; and losing it is easy, quick and compounds rapidly with all the more certainly with each generation.

It is the difference between falling into a hole and climbing out of it. Gravity does all the rapid shifting of fortunes on the way down and slow hard slog and commitment make improvement happen on the way up, which perhaps to some extent accounts for rather more of one than the other.

The other thing is that those communities that are most vulnerable and at risk in the first place will succumb much faster to being undermined, and will be much slower to take back the initiative, regardless of the reasons for the headwinds that they face, or any leverages that they are offered to get out of that space. There is much more momentum and inertia in any system than we generally credit, which is important to consider when say steering a ship out of the way of an iceberg at short notice.’

When Glen Loury discusses the mainly intangible but numerous and protracted inputs that make a culture a robust and performance based one, he talks about it in terms of the familial relationships and the hard graft inputs that ‘capitalise’ them.

I think this needs further elaboration, because not only is there a lot more that needs be said about that, but it is my view that the reason we are having this discussion at all, is that the white ‘n woke ascendancy that has played the race card as trumps, is doing so for classic regime reasons to cover its tracks, from the terrible and disastrous effects on all class and race platforms of its indulgent deregulatory and privatization agendas, that have turned liberty into a narcissistic version of disinhibited conformity, which it has pursued since the 1960s, when Indulgence Capitalism was rolled out at scale; i.e., the transformation of an economy and culture of disciplined needs and wants to ones of fantasies of desires and immediate satiation at any cost.

This reversed the tradition of asserting realistic consequential behaviour as a matter of fundamental principle, by not giving in to the blandishments of fantasy. This made it possible to conflate fantasy and reality to the extent that after a couple of generations, the punters wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

When Martin Luther attacked Papal Indulgences, he did so because he understood exactly how culturally and morally corrosive indulgence is to any social infrastructure. I am saying the woke Humanist Ascendancy that now overwhelmingly controls our system of social administration and reproduction is flogging indulgence in exactly the same corrupt fashion as the Medieval Church, and it has had the same disastrous outcomes all round. Black African Americans were the most vulnerable bunnies that got to be the first cab off the rank to see their society dissolve in front of them, as Martin Luther King’s coalition of the righteous immediately started to dissolve in the wake of his death and his slogan, ‘Free at Last, Free at Last, Free at Last……as Indulgence Capitalism beckoned with its anything goes because anything does seduction of the unwary.

Black communities got indulgences instead of the responsible freedom of the righteous, and they took black society down like a barrel of cannon balls. It is not that other strata of society were not affected, but they had a bit more fat in the system to keep them going for a bit longer, before existential chaos started to close in on them as well.

What I think Loury is pointing to when he distinguishes ‘social capital’ from ‘human capital’ is that the former represents a social software asset that accounts for perhaps as much as half our net worth. That existential account is not some abstraction or valueless thing because it lacks physical currency value and isn’t counted in the GNP, like that other ‘valueless’ commodity, the Goldilocks natural environment that keeps us alive and healthy.

What this critically important social software does is keep body and soul together, as it were. It enables the production of strong social institutions and robust social product that is imbued with as far as possible, the most consistently secure, virtuous, disciplined and decent social material that can go on to produce more of the same into the next generation. In some ways, that ‘industry’ produces the most critically important product we make; our children.

If the current system of social reproduction were an ordinary industry, it would now be trading while insolvent and run by incompetent managers with no regulatory disciplines, no accounting system for measuring performance, no production plan or standards, and what product it does produce, is so badly built, it is dangerous to itself and others at any speed, is liable to break down at the slightest hill, is expensive and energy sucking to run and can blow up at any time.

Indulgence capitalism has undermined quality child production as it as absorbed ever increasing amounts of energy and labour into producing indulgences and indulgence services. And the humanist social administrators have refined that thrust by discrediting and undermining the disciplines and legitimacy of social institutions in favour of market forces, by withdrawing support from any mechanisms that enable social authority to operate in competition with them. And that has all been underwritten by an ever increasingly fantasy driven culture that constantly tells its subjects, that if it feels good, it is good, and you can indulge yourself in any pleasure or desire, because accountability has been privatized. And if there any rules or boundaries, no one knows what they are and no one any longer has the ‘authoritarian’ right to redefine the space to produce quality social product.

All that is left are the voices in peoples’ heads that tell them that they owe it to themselves, whatever their heart’s desire is……and it does not have to be benign. The result is an unparalleled conformity and vulnerability to any opportunistic malfeasance that happens to be going past at the time. In the end, that is a form of damnation that does not necessarily carry forward to some after death accountability, because these days, Satan can put you on a ‘Childminder Rate’ for your children to contend with.

To put it in very old fashioned terms, The woke Humanist Ascendancy is agent of the devil whose business it is to devour existential value in human populations until all that is left are malfeasant, dysfunctional and feckless ghosts.

And black communities got the first bite at this apple, but not the last, as western societies dissolve in front of us like some awful movie about a plague.

The race narrative is an inverted rehash of Joseph Goebbels’ story line, not just of a race threat against the Aryan regime to bind its subjects to it, but conspiracy cover stories he used to obfuscate the awful facts of impending strategic military defeat. Our regime of which The Wokes are a part, needs fall guys to take the rap for regime evil, incompetence and reverses, and racism is always good for one more burl. Everyone loves a witch hunt, as long as they are with the hunters.

Traditionally, it has always been the Jews who ‘got it’ when there was some regime bother to divert with a bit of a race panic. But the odd thing about that is that despite the Jews being the most persecuted and discriminated against people anywhere they went, they always responded by demanding the highest standards of performance from their own, which is why, wherever they have gone, they have brought with them a consistent pattern of ridiculous over representation in the outstanding talent department, in everything they did.

What they achieved wasn’t easy, which is why there isn’t a lot it about. They found the key to that in their culture, which they are passionate about, live for as a community and have for thousands of years. Black people in America need to draw deeply on themselves to claw back the resources they need to make that same journey, by investing heavily in their future, just like the Jews did.

Black society abandoned the older voice of righteousness and succumbed to the most totalitarian cultural machinery ever developed, which has trapped and is destroying them. Escaping that trajectory is only game left in town. And to do that, the first thing they need to do is recognise that that is what has happened to them. In the absence of that, they will keep floundering in someone else’s game to keep them in power with the black ‘clients’ remaining as powerless dependants and pawns.

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Incredible essay as always. I found this excerpt particularly salient:

“The other is to face these developmental deficiencies and address them, and I mean address them from infancy. So, this is not laissez-faire. I’m not saying there could be no public initiatives; no educational enrichments, and so on. No summer programs, whatever. We can talk about what things need to be done, but can we first understand what the problem is? If our kids are testing poorly, it is because they do not know the material.”

It’s peer group. If we look at the parenting versus peer group the literature informs us that parenting is a weak force compared to peer group. It is only through parents pooling their influence into a resource which supports the educational efforts of the school that other socio-economic predictors can be overwhelmed. We see it in the GCSE of Chinese Brits at 16- where the poorest quintile performs at a rate which is only 2% to 3% behind the richest quintile. We see it in Northern Ireland, where once impoverished and discriminated against Catholics have surpassed their more atomised and fragmented Protestant counterparts by almost every measure.

The problem is that politics makes race an almost insoluble issue to solve. So perhaps it might be better to ask how White folks do it in their leafy parochial public schools, and the private alternatives? And the answer is one which most white people are loathe to admit, even to themselves. Namely, they viciously exclude any kid from the peer group who is unfortunate enough to be a persistent disruptive influence to their precious little darlings development and future prospects.

Of course, often it the outlier who acts for the group. The vicious little bitch who goes to the Board of Governors and threatens to sue if the child is not removed. Socially, the response to her actions is always opprobrium- but behind closed doors parents whose children are in the same classes or school year, breathe their collective sighs of relief. Often, their is the dripping hypocrisy of feigned concern “well, at least the boy is finally getting the specialist ‘help’ he needs.”

How can there ever be equality of opportunity, when white people don’t even realise the lies they tell to themselves, to keep their kids on track? And, of course when it comes to prescriptions for poorer folks they never design the reality, instead modelling the illusion. It’s why some charter schools (or their more recent equivalent academy schools in the UK) can be so successful at the right tail of high performance, achieving seemingly miraculous results in often difficult circumstances.

https://www.theguardianschoolsguide.co.uk/schools/brampton-manor-academy-136669/staff.html

From the Guardian Guide: Qualified teachers: Poor. The proportion of qualified teachers is about 83%, which is very low compared to other schools.

This is because they prefer to train their teachers themselves, rather than receive PGCE training year graduates who have often been overloaded with flaky educational theories like whole word, or child-centred (rather than teacher-led) education.

Excerpt: “We are looking to recruit a high quality graduate (minimum 2.1) to join our school as a graduate trainee teacher. You will be assigned a mentor and initially observe lessons taught by excellent teachers. You will then gradually start teaching or co-teach your own classes.”

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I think Prof, Loury’s paper, when combined with Vincent Harinam’s, Senator Moynihan’s report, and the recent NBER paper on the supposed racial discrimination in income, point to partial causality of a deficient social investment in Blacks, viz., lack of appropriate marriage partners for Black mothers.

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You should also read Dr Raj Chetty’s research on social mobility. It examined the life path of every American over a given period. The research found that the proportion of fathers in the community in which a child grows up is even more important than quality of education to upward social mobility.

Black people in America need to draw deeply on themselves to claw back the resources they need to make that same journey, by investing heavily in their future, just like the Jews did.

Black people simply need to be regarded and treated as the FULLY AMERICAN CITIZENS that we are, period. I’m becoming increasingly agitated by conservatives who don’t mind referring to and treating Blacks in a racially discrete manner as some group outside of the scope of full American citizenship when it comes to the seemingly giddy talk of our endless pathologies. Many on the Right are downright entertained by it all as though it were some sick real-life version of Survivor and while the Left isn’t blameless either, at least they don’t say “It’s horrible how you guys got to where you are but you’re on your own. Good luck and make sure to put on a good show for the audience.” It’s all entirely too therapeutic for too many White conservatives who feel relieved they can go to bed afterwards, justified in their convictions that everyone is simply getting what they deserve.

As long as “Black-on-Black crime,” “70% out-of-wedlock Black birthrate,” and other such weaponized statistics and sociological phenomena remain part and parcel of the conservative debate manual, I will continue to completely and utterly dismiss conservative complaints about the Left “dividing us all by race constantly” and are nonbelievers in MLK’s dream as an egregiously disingenuous tactic to avoid any authentic, deep personal reflection and soul-searching in their parts. The conservative ideal of personal responsibility needs to be much broader in scope and coupled with a healthy dose of humility. You’d have Black people as the ones in a constant state of self-flagellation while White Americans get to pat themselves on the back for single-handedly ending slavery with a total disregard for all that occurred over the next nearly 100 years.

Black American culture isn’t Jewish culture and our history isn’t their history. With all the focus on what we ought to do (as if the Jewish people had everything figured out 50 years after their release from bondage in another land, if one takes the biblical narrative as truth)–as if collective cultural and psychological shifts for millions upon millions of persons spread from coast to coast in such an enormous country as the US happen by consensus and aren’t instead caused by the historic ebbing and flowing and convergence of forces well beyond any one human person’s control anyway–it should instead be looked upon with great wonder and amazement that we haven’t followed in the steps of the Confederacy and committed mass treason against the U.S. for having been denied justice and appropriate restitution over and over and over. And that is because at the end of the day, this country is the only one we and the vast majority of our known ancestors have ever called home and we take much pride in our role as the chief architects of authentic American culture which the rest of the world just absolutely loves. The soft power of culture that America wields so adeptly has the fingerprints of Black America all over it. It would be awesome if we could be celebrated and fully regarded as the all-American Americans we are every year and not only during summer in presidential election years before the eyes of the rest of the world.

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My dear Akhenaton, you have just regaled me with little more than excuses for poor performance that will keep if not you, your identity group just the way it is indefinitely, which is the way the Woke Ascendancy keeps its ideological clients, so they do not adopt practices that are ‘uppity’ enough to get them out of the shit, but instead keep them in a dependant relationship to their 'ideological ‘benefactors’.

The only way anyone ever gets themselves out of the shit is to compare themselves to others who have. Jews are the gold standard for how it is done, so learn something from them!

I have been a student of Mao’s revolution, particularly in the early days of struggling to survive against the native nationalists, later the Japanese and then the civil war. The communists turned a peasant rabble into a motivated, disciplined and literate fighting force and they did it by refusing to except any kind of backsliding or excuse making.

The Red army saw lack of progress to becoming a model red soldier as a matter of poor political attitude, which they fixed with remorseless psychological group pressure until that individual’s ‘attitude’ changed.

Winners, whether they be Red Chinese or black Americans, have the same code of conduct, which is to adopt unassailably success respecting winning attitudes that do not tolerate crummy standards, shitty attitude or even shittier excuses for it.

Party cadre didn’t give a fuck about awful your family’s landlords were or how unscrupulous, or what a terrible life you had, unless it motivated you to fight with every fibre of body and mind, to learn to read and write so that you could ingest and memorize Party documents and training manuals without mistakes…and most importantly, beat yourself up remorselessly if you ever made a mistake or for any reason fell down on your responsibilities…and no excuses because there weren’t any…which is at least in part why Mao’s armies won such historic victories.

If you want to be an agent of change, you need to change your attitude and you can start by avoiding trying to bullshit me with a faux ideological superiority you are yet to earn. I am not some cringing little woke who is going to defer to you just because because you’re black.

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To suggest that my previous post was somehow a confession of personal failure hidden under a layer of excuses to people I’ve never met a day in my life is quite fascinating actually. That would involve a highly atypical level of commitment to defending something so detrimental to personal success that it begs a specific question about what you truly think of Black Americans but I’ll move on. And not that I’m obligated to provide any personal details, but I’m a Black middle-aged guy from the rural South who grew up in a two-parent working-class household (my parents were unmarried when I was born but married each other before my first birthday) with two younger siblings, a sister who married a few years ago and a brother; none of us have children as of yet and my brother and sister (with her husband) purchased their first homes within the last 3 years or so. I’m not a homeowner as of yet but will officially be a landowner soon. I have a masters degree and a fulfilling career with a federal government agency in my field. Me nor my siblings have criminal records and have never so much as been arrested for anything. My father is a Gulf War veteran and my mother has a master’s degree as well (she decided to pursue her first degree shortly after I left home to attend college). And our family is unequivocally Christian. Contrary to whatever you may have assumed about me, I’m a model citizen around these and any other parts where I have a presence. I need no special recognition or applause as this is also true of many other Black Americans throughout the country. Growing up in a predominantly Black environment, this was my idea of normal and that of my peers for the most part. And I’m very much woke also, but in a pre-GOP discovery kind of way. Now with that out of the way…

It’s your right to choose to not engage my arguments in my previous post as presented, but that represents laziness on your part and not mine. You also seemingly purport to lecture nearly 50M Black Americans by proxy with something akin to an LSAT pep talk and calls to look at other ethnic groups as examples of how it’s done when I’m more than certain that we literally wrote the book on overcoming the worst structural obstacles in American/Western society so seeing as though we are always living within the confines of history and we are not even close to becoming a finished product.

Also you may not realize this, but the biggest impetus in our quest for liberation came from…the Jewish people. Shortly after enslaved Blacks started converting to Christianity in large numbers and began hearing/reading scripture, we latched onto the Exodus narrative tenaciously and were consistently inspired and strengthened by the prospect of liberation which simply had to come. There is no stronger way to learn or identify with the Jewish people than embracing the Exodus narrative wholeheartedly. And since we are still living in history, who knows if sometime in the near-but-kinda-far future, we may enter our own Canaan, whatever or wherever it may be. In terms of wartime tactics, that’s how we got ourselves free from the shackles of slavery during the Civil War. We said to hell with Lincoln’s insistence that it’s not about slavery and restricting Black men from fighting for the Union. We took advantage of the conflict that was, to the surprise of Northerners at least, dragging on into year three and beginning to wear the nation out by fleeing the plantations where we had been held in bondage in the Confederate South in droves and waves and volunteering our services to the Union cause. After being told no, we promptly let Union general know how stupid the North was with such a policy since the Confederacy was conscripting even free Blacks to advance their cause. This was the turning point in the war that caused Lincoln to reconsider both positions as well as issue the EP. We were responsible for changing the calculus and ending slavery became a highly effective tactic in weakening the Confederacy and winning the war.

So all of that is old hat to us. But our biggest threat today is quite similar to the one that existed a full century ago: protecting what we’ve gained in the face of intense backlash. This truly shouldn’t be a concern for any citizens in a democratic society but neither should the attempted insurrection on Jan. 6 have. We’re still working some things out at the moment but we’ll get to where we’re going.

Oh and if you felt threatened or belittled in some way by my last post, then I’d say that reveals more about you than me. I’m one for the equal exchange of information and ideas amongst citizens and not establishing another racialized power dynamic in the U.S. I have no sense of superiority because of the amount of melanin in my skin.

What arguments? You are long on complaints and vitriol and very short on anything productive.

A common theme in your posts is to take whatever was said, recast it in the most uncharitable way possible, then you link that to the word “conservative”. After this its off to the races with strawman arguments and whinging.

Its mildly entertaining, but not terribly interesting.

You would find a great many (if not all) of the posters here agree with you on this point. However, while I can certainly think of some conservative beliefs which would fall under this complaint, it hardly seems to be where the problem is.

It is not conservatives who believe that black kids cannot do math because it focuses on “getting the right answer”.

… or to write properly.

… or to show up on time, work hard, or respect authority.

The list goes on. Conservatives can certainly be complicit in this. However I would have trouble making the case that they are in any way the driving force behind the infantilization of black Americans.

Or as John McWhorter put it:

"Why do so many of us accept this condescension as a compliment, almost enjoying being told we are too dumb to be truly educated, to be specific, or to be subject to genuine competition?"

It would indeed. However it will not happen until black people stop accepting the reduction of standards as their due and direct your rage against anyone… on the Left or the Right… who treats you as “less”. However you make it clear that you will not do that.

Because: Conservatives

:point_down:

You dismiss arguments not because they are false, but because people you do not like are making them. Likewise you are angered at the idea that black Americans should use the agency they have to help themselves, yet offer no suggestions as to what you would like others to do to help beyond complaining about the evil conservative boogeyman.

Do not be surprised at the lack of engagement you are receiving here at the QC.

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Exactly. And it’s unhelpful to make these model minority comparisons simply because the details matter of which a combination of generational fatherlessness, poverty & crime make the difference. Let’s not forget the jewish & asian struggles were not burdonned by the lack of family support & role models that instill responsibility & ethics. Either Conservatives believe in family values or not. Responsibilty comes from somewhere & it’s not thin air. They of all people should know that & that’s why their preaching comes accross as disingenous & empty platitudes. By the same token a view by progressives of blaming historical wrongs on the current predicament & demanding a lowering of standards is unhelpful too.
A more helpful conversation as Loury suggests would be on focussing on education & parenting skills that have utilty for change.
Education in family planning, long acting contaception, females furthering their education, better economic prosects for males are all proven measures that make a difference whereas the blame game doesn’t.

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Akhenaton, the post WW2 democratic consensus is collapsing, along with much of the world order (or at least its pecking order) that it set up to operationalize itself. The architecture of discourse is going down with it, as we prepare for war, which means conversations, particularly like this one, are very likely to wind up badly, as much I suspect out of misunderstanding, as genuine contradiction.

The effect is the same, which means one risks pissing off potential allies as reinforce genuine enmity, as the camps divide, the rhetoric gets increasingly uncompromising and heated and the options de-nuance into black and white binaries. This is what happens when everyone is forced to take one side or the other, no matter the discomfort and unease at it amongst those still armed with a now impossibly over-stretched overview.

I have noticed this in myself over the last couple of years as existential rage has boiled up in me and made what have to say more urgent, tougher and much less willing to compromise, or even listen anymore, as I can see all the bets coming off, the stakes being played for going through the roof, everyone starting to play for keeps and knowing no one can afford to lose, which is your classic precursor suite to the coming of war, or as they would have said during the Reformation, ‘The Wrath of God’.

I do not know how much of this conversation is working at cross purposes, or just cross. So rather than just walking away from it because I do not need your approval and am indifferent to its opposite, I will float some material your way, which will, at least for you,clarify some matters, as to whether I am the bastard you already suspect I am, and, whether there is anything further to be said. But if you do have anything further to say to me, it might be better to run this as a private email correspondence.

I am going to make it hard for you to ever speak to me again, because if you do get through what I am sending you to its bitter end without vehemently hating my ideas, we may have a lot to talk about.

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