Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Politicking While Black

Wow, what a load. Politico just ran a lengthy piece about how black politicians aren’t doing so well in the age of Obama. They site several reasons and I think a couple of them are interesting because it gives us insight into the mindset of black liberals.

The article in question began by pointing out that even though Obama is now President, things are not looking good for black politicians. Since 2008, not a single black has been elected to the Senate. Indeed, the only two blacks in the Senate were appointed, and “embarrassingly for Democrats,” one of them is a Republican. For shame. Only one governor is black. And several “next-generation black politicians” either lost their reelection bids or wiped themselves out in scandal. Why is this? Well, here are the excuses reasons given:

Racism: You knew this would be on the list because liberal-black America is obsessed with race. And what’s interesting here is how they define racism. The black liberals interviewed said you couldn’t “entirely” chalk up the failure of black candidates to “crude racism, but it would be foolhardy to not consider the unease that some whites still feel about voting for a black candidate.” In other words, we’re not saying it was racism, but it WAS racism.

This, of course, is disproved by the fact that Obama won two elections. More interestingly though, look at how they describe this racism:
What still gives some black Democrats pause about running statewide is that they simply don’t think conservative-leaning white voters will give them a fair shot. ‘Most people are not going to want to say this publicly, but it is infinitely easier to win a public office in an urban center where you have a lot of cosmopolitan-minded people than it is to run statewide,’ said Cleaver.
Think about that. So the fact that black LIBERALS can’t get conservative whites to vote for them is racism. Bullsh*t. That intentionally confuses “liberal” for “black” and invents racism where none exists. This is nothing more than a shameful attempt to describe disagreement with the political views of black liberals as being racist. And make no mistake, that is what they are doing. Throughout the article, they denigrate black conservatives as not counting, and they all but scoff when they note that some blacks have had success by running as conservatives rather than as black liberals. If whites will vote for conservative blacks, but not for liberal blacks, then the problem isn’t the black part. . . it’s the liberal part. And that’s not racism, except by those who believe race is the key factor when it clearly isn’t.

Racial Gerrymandering: Starting way back when, race groups like the NAACP decided that the best way to get elected was not to come up with ideas which would appeal to a majority of voters, i.e. whites, instead it was to rig the game. So they demanded that “majority minority” districts be created. This involved cramming all the blacks in the state into one or two districts so they would be guaranteed to vote for a black candidate. Again, notice the assumption that blacks will vote for blacks, i.e. blacks vote on the basis of race, i.e. blacks are racist.

The irony here was that by forming these districts, blacks essentially made themselves irrelevant because white politicians no longer needed to worry about appealing to them. Basically, they chose to guarantee themselves safe seats rather than worthwhile seats. Now black groups realize their mistake and they want to undo these districts. . . sort of. Actually, that’s the problem. They want more districts with more blacks, but they won’t give up their safe seats.

This issue, by the way, runs right into another problem: the current crop of black politicians clings to their seats for dear life. And with a limited number of “black” seats available because of these gerrymandered districts, that means that there is simply no room for the next generation of black politicians to move up. Nor do these incumbents run in statewide races because they don't want to lose their guaranteed jobs. That means no serious black candidates run statewide. Do you see now why there aren’t any blacks in the Senate or the governor’s mansions?

Obama’s Not Helping: The article also says that blacks are upset that Obama hasn’t anointed a group of black heirs and groomed them for the future, though some excuse him because this would anger us white racists. This sounds good, but ask yourself this: where would these young black heirs go? Since all the “black” seats are taken by people who’ve been there since the seats were created, what could Obama do with the people he groomed? Why groom heirs who then need to leave politics and make you look weak in the process?

Money: Finally, they claim that blacks have a hard time getting money to run for office. They claim this is because blacks represent poorer districts. Except, that’s a crock. Most politicians represent poor districts. Where they get their money is from the same places everyone else gets their money – rich donors. These are typically banks, unions, Fortune 500 companies, and billionaires like George Soros. . . none of whom live in the district. There is simply no reason blacks couldn’t raise the same amount of money as whites, unless. . .

I haven’t looked this up, but I’ll bet the problem is the committees blacks choose as their fiefs. I suspect blacks are more likely to sit on ethics, race, gender, and judicial/criminal committees than they are to sit on committees that regulate banks or handle budgets. Those aren’t committees that attract donors. And even if they were, why should donors give blacks money if blacks sit in ultra-safe districts and will vote in one reliable direction all the time? Seriously, why pay for something you get for free already?

These are all pretty ridiculous arguments that sidestep the obvious, which is that these blacks are talking about “black liberals,” not blacks. And black liberals have very limited appeal. Moreover, they have herded their supporters into ghettos, guaranteeing them a safe seat, but limiting the number of seats they could win. They vote in ways that make it pointless for money-men to support them. And rather than address these issues, they redefine opposition as racism and they attack people like Obama for not fixing what can’t be fixed by Obama.

They really have nobody to blame but themselves.

Let’s hope that more black conservatives come along to keep exposing this. Maybe someday people will get the message.


BevfromNYC said...

Speaking of black politicians, did you hear that Charlie "I don't need to pay taxes even though I was the Chair of the House Way & Means Committee" Rangel is suing Boehner et al. because he thinks he was unfairly censured for not paying his taxes? It was "sloppiness" not "corruption" as per the NYT article. Oh, okay then...

LL said...

WORKING Black people did vote for Barack Obama, but they have been doing consistently worse during his administration than they did during the Bush years. I'm not saying that the blush is off the rose. The Democrats are still buying votes - but they don't translate well in the local sense.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, One of the greatest shames of the entire Congressional Black Caucus (and a great many other black politicians quite frankly) is that (1) they are deeply corrupt and (2) thye hide behind claims of racism whenever they get caught. Sadly, the black community seems to buy this garbage over and over and over.

Here's your LINK.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, I will say quite bluntly that there is a huge amount of racism/tribalism in the black-liberal community and they will support Obama forever simply on the basis that he is a black liberal and therefore it is racism for non-blacks to do anything but praise him.

Of all the people in the country, black liberals more than anyone have fallen for the idea of "us versus them" and the idea that politics is about taking for our own. I know of no other group that thinks that way. Even liberal feminists aren't as tribal.

Tennessee Jed said...

nice article. Using racism has been a tried and true staple of politics for black politicians for as long as I can remember, and probably will continue to be for the future. There is little question in my mind that more blacks are conscious of race in their voting preference than whites, at least on a percentage basis. Up to a point, I can understand that. What I actually wonder about is how many actually know better, but consciously use racism anyway, because it is a relatively effective tactic. I'm sure many want to believe every perceived failure of blacks is due to racism because it is a convenient excuse, and as such, probably believe their own bullshit, at least to some extent. You get certain black voices who condone black racism as acceptable, just because. They even say it is "racial awareness" as opposed to "racism" to give it an air of acceptability. Guys like Jaime Fox and Samuel L.Jackson come to mind.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Jed! I agree. Scapegoating has long been a powerful tool for politicians to use because people want to believe it. They want to believe that the reason bad things happen to them isn't their own fault or some random chance, they want to believe that it's because some evil cabal of people set out to stop them. Strangely, that's comforting to a lot of people -- I think because it means they don't need to undergo the difficult process of changing their own behaviors.

So you see this left, right, center, foreign and domestic. Unfortunately the racism version contains a particularly poisonous core because of our history and because of the breadth of the charge. Basically, it's one thing to say "bankers run the world," it's another to say "every white person hates me because I'm black."

And then unlike other conspiracy theories, which are generally the province of cranks, the racism conspiracy theory is promoted so consistently by supposedly reputable black leaders that it is taken much more seriously than it should be. It's also much more visceral. For example, things like the "the Jews run the world" isn't personal. Basically, it's just this idea that a small group of Jews makes decision which favor them without any real animus. By comparison, the racism conspiracy theory is that whites hate blacks so much that we set out to destroy them. That makes the racism conspiracy theory much nastier.

Commander Max said...

Wasn't there a black guy commenting on YouTube, about Obama acting like a black guy. Getting in there and not doing a thing.

It's hard to feel sorry for a group of people, who have been promised the moon and stars for about 50 years. While never receiving a thing still believe the promises. "OBAMA PHONE!!!"

If this situation doesn't convince some them that it's all a game to keep them enslaved. So it must be raciest to say, if they are not willing to look after themselves, then it must be their fault. Oops there's that personal responsibility thing popping up again. We can't have that it must be the dark side of the force or something.

Denial is a river in Africa.

Anthony said...

Most elected black democrats represent safe, intensely liberal seats and the main way they lose office is if someone gets to their left.

Its no accident Obama didn't come out of a predominantly black district (indeed, there are more Asians and Hispanics than blacks in the majority white 13th district, which is now in Republican hands).

If he had represented a black district, he would have tacked too far to the left for most voters and never would have risen to senator, let alone president.

I agree with most of Andrew's analysis, though I will state I think black liberals (and liberals in general) are no less obsessed by race than black conservatives (and conservatives in general). Broadly speaking, ideology is key. If someone is charismatic and has the right ideas, they win support.

On that note, I'll point out that black conservatives are irrelevant. Despite what some black conservatives may claim, Rand Paul probably has a better shot at improving Republican margins in the black community than any black conservative.

Most high profile black conservatives don't know how to talk to or for that matter, about non-conservatives though I will note that Tim Scott (who isn't much of a talker) seems to have his head on straight.

Anthony said...

AndrewPrice said...

LL, I will say quite bluntly that there is a huge amount of racism/tribalism in the black-liberal community and they will support Obama forever simply on the basis that he is a black liberal and therefore it is racism for non-blacks to do anything but praise him.

Are there white Democratic president/presidential candidates that the black community hasn't given overwhelming support to post CRA despite scandals (Clinton), lack of charisma (Kerry) and incompetence (Carter)?

Black support at a national level for Republicans tops out at 15% post CRA no matter the color of the Democrat and in recent years has been trending lower than that (Clinton 83 and 84%, Gore 90%, Kerry 88%).

T-Rav said...

It would never occur to Politico that conservative whites might vote against black candidates because they're liberal Democrats, not because they're black.

Frankly, I find this more irritating than the average guys who buy into it and spout "it's because I'm black," etc. That's always going to be around, but these supposed intellectuals in the media and the universities put it in calm, objective language and make all the racial grievances sound legitimate. They're the real problem.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, Denial is a powerful thing and most people suffer from it in one way or another. Denial works particular well with underclasses as well because they generally don't have the tools to go it alone.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I agree about black conservatives and conservatives. Both groups have bought into the liberal mindset of identity politics. They claim they haven't, but they have. Indeed, rather than just seeing blacks (or Hispanics or women) as individuals to be won over with ideas, they see these people as groups with monolithic opinions. They simultaneously see these groups as hostile, which makes it even worse.

The problem with conservative blacks is that they are just as obsessed with being black and they constantly point their fingers at the black community and say, "you people need to join me." Basically, that translates into "you must leave the collective and stop being black." A much better message would be to just go about being successful. That would be the most powerful message to moderate blacks, if black conservatives just went about the business of being successful without being black and successful.

Conservatives need to learn this as well. Unfortunately, right now, whenever you get a black conservative, conservatives hold them up like a trophy... look what we caught! That reinforces the idea that being black and being conservative are incompatible and that the ones we have are freaks.

I would also add that again, our rhetoric is really bad when it comes to racial/gender issues. In particular, conservatives reinforce everything black liberals use to delude their followers by linking welfare and voter fraud and crime with minorities.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Everything I've seen in my time on this planet backs up the idea that "the black community" in this country is deeply tribal. They will always choose the black liberal over any other candidate. With Obama, he got 96% of the black vote in 2008 and 93% in 2012. Both years had record turnouts among blacks. No other groups comes anywhere near that kind of group-think level of voting.

Black cities choose black majors. Black districts choose black candidates. It goes all the way down the line to elected dog catcher.

Their treatment of black conservatives as "Uncle Toms" is a tribal mindset -- you are with us or you have betrayed us and must be destroyed.

They will always protect their leaders from outsiders (like prosecutors) no matter what the leader has done. Once a black leader is accused of a crime, they yell "racism" and the black community rises to defend them. I've seen this over and over. And the defense typically include talk of "them" trying to take away "ours."

Moreover, it isn't just voting patterns. Blacks segregate themselves -- even on college campuses, they often vanish into black fraternities. Black celebrities talk openly about interracial dating and adoption being "genocide." Black leaders scream "racism" on a daily basis for almost anything. Rap music, black films, black books are full of anti-white/anti-Asian/anti-Jewish rhetoric. And nobody calls these people on any of this. To the contrary, it's being encouraged.

That is tribal behavior, and no other group in this country comes anywhere near either the hostility of this or the level of groupthink on this.

tryanmax said...

It seems like the whole race discussion continues to be predicated on the same assumption that has been driving it my whole life: that in any interaction between people of different races, race is the dominant component-- especially if said interaction leaves a negative impression on the minority party. Or as T-Rav put it much more succinctly, "it's because I'm black." Because of this assumption, things that should be obvious become completely obscured by a circular reasoning that people are easily duped into following.

So, a black politician loses his election. It's not because he failed to appeal to voters, it's because he black. A black man doesn't get the job he applied for. It's not because he's not the best candidate, it's because he's black. A black teen gets eyeballed by security. It's not because of how he's dressed or behaving, it's because he's black. I'm not saying that racism couldn't play a part in any of those scenarios, but it doesn't make sense to always be looking that way first. Start with the obvious, and if those don't hold up, then look to other reasons.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I agree, but to be clear, the article wasn't just Politico. They spoke to bunches of black politicians and insiders about this issue and many of the quotes they got (all of which matched the theme) were from prominent blacks.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Let me add, I'm not saying there is something inherently different about blacks. That is not my point and obviously that's not true.

My point is that the black community as it is, has warped itself through its rhetoric and ideas into a paranoid tribal mindset. They are where the Germans were in 1933 -- believing that all of their problems were the result of Jews and outsiders, and they are reacting with the same amount of paranoia and race-hate that the Germans showed.

Unfortunately, no one is willing to admit this. Liberals like this fact because it serves their interests to get those 85%-95% turnout. Some conservatives play off of it too. And black leaders embrace it because, quite frankly, they are corrupt and embracing this gives people like Maxine Waters cover as she enriches herself.

And the end result of this is the only people being hurt are blacks. By any statistical measure, the black community as a whole keeps sinking further into unemployment, prison, lack of education, lack of health, etc. Meanwhile, as blacks stagnate as a group, groups like Hispanics leap over them and start up the social ladder. The Asians and Indians are next. Basically, blacks are only punishing themselves.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree. That is the problem. Too many people have bought into the idea of racism. They've done so because (1) racism used to be ensconced in the law (and still is through affirmative action) and (2) everyone tells them racism is still a problem. And it's easier to believe conspiracy theory than it is do self-examination.

In my experience, there is very little genuine racism among whites -- almost none. With only a couple exceptions in the white community, I've never met anyone who wouldn't give a black person a fair shake for anything. And the evidence is all around us. Whites voted for Obama and other blacks. They flock to films with black actors. They cheer for black sports stars. They buy music sung by blacks. They listen to black comedians. They hire blacks.

Where the line appears is culture. There are certain "black culture" things whites don't like because they have learned that these are warning signs of misbehavior. If you show up for an interview and you speak ghetto or you're covered in tattoos, whites will discriminate against you. BUT it's not because you are black, it's because we know those things are a sign that you are likely lazy, stupid, a bad worker, unreliable and probably a criminal. We make the IDENTICAL judgement against whites or Hispanics or martians who should up and exhibit the same behaviors. In my experience, the black part isn't considered in that equation.

That said, I see something different from the black community. It is from the black community where I see open racism. It is blacks I hear who segregate themselves to black politicians, black films, black "role models" and black sports stars. It is blacks I hear who speak in terms of "us" versus "them" and "ours" versus "theirs" when black and white (or black and other) collide. It is blacks who ask if someone is genuinely black or is black enough. Many of the blacks I've know openly talk about hiring blacks (or even "only" blacks).

I simply don't see that behavior among whites.

Again, this isn't all blacks, but it is a large number and, more importantly, it is common among the opinion makers.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. I'm not saying that whites don't sometimes say stupid or racist things, but (1) those statements get condemned by other whites, and (2) I've never personally seen those ideas seriously considered in decision making processes. In other words, even where I've seen a broad brush statement made to paint an entire community, I've never see it applied in a one-on-one context for something like a hiring decision.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - there is one statement you made with which I take a bit of an exception. In a response to Anthony, you state conservatives have not done an effective job with rhetoric, and have basically reinforced liberal rhetoric by linking things like voter fraud and welfare to minorities. Perhaps there have been some, but I honest to god can't think of any who claim they are against welfare just for minorities or voter fraud, but just by minorities.

While I cannot say conservatives do a good job with rhetoric, basically, they come out against voter fraud, (definitely a good thing,) and welfare (which can be a good thing to the extent it discourages total continuing dependence on the state.) It is actually the liberals who always claim this is just a code for racism.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Let me clarify...

I don't mean that conservatives are out there saying "I want to kill welfare because minorities use it." I don't see evidence of conscious racism on these points.

What I mean is that when conservatives talk about welfare, they usually do it in the context of minorities and the conversation always brings in "minority issues" -- the two things seem to be linked in conservative rhetoric. Indeed, somehow, they always end up talking about "inner city blacks" rather than the equally poor "rural whites." The conversation turns to black unemployment and how to get blacks off welfare. Nobody talks about "how do we get those whites in West Virginia off welfare."

To give you a different recent example, look at all the conservatives attacking the Rubio bill. The major attack right now (one Rush repeated a lot yesterday) is that these illegals, who are always implied to be Mexicans who have streamed across the border, are only coming here to get welfare and that they will all sign up for welfare the moment this bill passes. This has become conservative dogma at the moment and you will see this point made over and over and over and over... obsessively.

YET, this is completely contrary to all the facts. The facts are that immigrants end up on welfare at a lower percentage than natives and the bill actually forbids them from going on welfare for about 10+ years.

So what should an impartial listener make of the fact that huge numbers of conservatives are claiming (totally against the facts) that most/all of these 11 million rather hardworking "Mexicans" are waiting to go on welfare even though that's not possible? Doesn't that strike you that conservatives assume bad things about Mexicans? That they see Mexicans as lazy welfare recipients? If I was Mexican, that is the message I would take from it.

On the voter fraud, the problem is that again, too many conservatives have mixed the issue with "black." They've obsessed over a single Black Panther in Philly -- thousands of articles. When the issue has come up about DOJ, conservatives have accused Holder of favoring blacks, which translates into "He lets blacks commit voter fraud." There are repeated assertions that the Democrats only win because their people are doing all the fraud, and then groups like ACCORN and the NAACP get mentioned -- both of which are synonymous with "black" in conservatives rhetoric. All the talk of "Obama buying votes" always links to video of one or two black women saying something genuinely stupid about Obama paying for their gas, their rent or their phones.

I think that because of these things and more, that it's very easy for minorities to believe Democratic charges that conservatives are racist.

Anthony said...


The fact that the Obama's level of support from black hit a record is true, but Obama's increase in black support (over Kerry) was smaller than his increase in Asian and Hispanic support. Granted, given the level at which blacks habitually support Democrats, there wasn't as much room for gain, but gain isn't necessarily evidence of tribalism.

As for blacks supporting only black candidates at a local level, I'd tend to agree, though its worth noting New Orleans now has a white mayor.

The treatment of black conservatives just strikes me as the way the game is played. Most blacks are firmly liberal and once one declares for the other side, one shouldn't expect hugs and kisses. As the Dixie Chicks learned, if you are a pop culture figure and your audience leans towards one side, declaring for the other is going to get a nasty reaction.

An aversion to whites (or Asians or Hispanics) isn't a tendency I've noted among black celebs, and it doesn't seem to be the sort of phenomena which costs them support.

As for segregation on campuses, in purely social situations, people tend to cluster on the basis of commonality, how those lines are drawn depends on the people. When I went to a majority black public high school, a good chunk of the whites sat at a table by themselves. When I went to a majority white private college, the phenomena popped up again, with good sized chunks of black, Asian and Hispanic students sitting at tables by themselves. When I travelled to England, Americans tended to cluster(I got to know a young white woman I had been on campus with for 2 years and never met despite our college only having 800 students).

As for rap music, I generally reject using that as a barometer of acceptability in the black community (remember the Dr. Laura defense?) but to go along with your reasoning, there isn't much talk about race in modern rap music, nor is there much concern about 'authenticity'. Modern rappers line up to do duets with bubble acts like Justin Bieber and Katy Perry, people that rappers in the 90's anxious to preserve their 'street cred' would have made fun of. And don't even get me started on what happened to Flava Flav of 'Fight the Power' fame (it makes me think of the ending of 1984 sans the execution). Rappers nowadays are more interested in party anthems than anything (makes sense, rap is the establishment now).

*Shrugs* I'm not saying the black community doesn't exist. It does for the moment (it was 200 years in the making, it isn't going to vanish overnight and possible never) though I think you are overstating its sense of solidarity. Not voting Republican is possibly the only thing the great Bill Cosby and the imbecilic Eric Dyson agree on.

AndrewPrice said...


I don't think gain is evidence of tribalism, except to the extent it shows intensity of opinion. I think 90% support is evidence of tribalism. I think monolithic politics is evidence of tribalism. I think near-total preferring leaders of your own race is evidence of tribalism. I think equating opposition to your political views with opposition to your tribe is evidence of tribalism. And I think that when you see all of this routinely combined with "us v. them" rhetoric, then you have a strong case for tribalism.

On the treatment of black conservatives, I do see that rather differently than you do. Whites don't mix race with politics. So you don't hear anyone suggest that changing sides results in someone betraying their race. Nor is there the open animosity for people who change sides.

As for the Dixie Chicks, the problem isn't that they exposed themselves as liberals. There are many liberal country stars who do quite well. The problem was that they launched into rants that offended their audiences and then they played holier-than-thou when they got hit with the blowback and doubled-down on angering their audience.

I think that ultimately, we just need to agree to disagree on this issue. As an outsider to the black community, I see constant evidence of racism and paranoia coming from the black community. You apparently don't. But in the end, it doesn't really matter what you or I think because the only people who control the fate of black America is black America. And if they are paranoid and racist, then they will fester and continue to fail. If they aren't, then they have a chance to move on up like everyone else. I guess we'll see.

Anthony said...


Given the state of the black family and the fact that half of black males aren't graduating high school, I wouldn't lay odds on the community as a whole prospering.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I wouldn't either, not at the moment. BUT... this is one of those "hitting bottom" moments where you either do self-reflection and change your ways or you find a scapegoat and fester.

If the black community is willing to do self-reflection and they realize that there really is nothing stopping them from getting ahead except themselves, then they can turn the ship around. (Or more and more of them will at least escape the sinking ship and go prosper apart from the community.) But if they choose to see their fates as decided because of racism or whatever, then nothing will change.

Right now, I see too few saying, "Hey, we need to fix this" and too many saying, "Look what THEY've done to us."

Sadly, human nature tends to prefer the latter.

Kit said...

"There are many liberal country stars who do quite well."

Brad Paisley is an Obama-supporting Democrat. Even more so with Willie Nelson and Kristofferson.

"The problem was that they launched into rants that offended their audiences and then they played holier-than-thou when they got hit with the blowback and doubled-down on angering their audience."

They said Toby Keith fans were "rednecks" for his super-patriotic music* when, as one person pointed out, they had a song called "Earl had to die".

*Also, Toby Keith ain't the uber-right winger most people think he is. He's just seen as a right-wing nutjob by the left (and right) because he loves the United States and our military. Other than that, there is some evidence he has fairly liberal leanings (pro-Gay Marriage, protectionist "buy American").

Kit said...

NOTE: It was the Dixie Chicks that called Toby Keith's fans "rednecks".

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Let me add one more piece to the puzzle. For generations, whites have been complicit in this whole thing because white liberals preached identity politics, paranoia and dependence. They promised they would fix everything. Conservatives went along with this and let liberals spend large amounts of money on "black issues" and didn't even fight back on the rhetoric for fear of being called racist. That let the dependence bubble form and allowed blacks to remain inside the bubble for the most part.

Thus, blacks came to define progress through government money, government jobs and laws in their favor. They also had a certain cultural cache that exaggerated their importance.

BUT the younger generations of whites (mine and younger) are done with that. They no longer see that they have any obligation to atone for the past and they are simply moving on. It's not about anger or racism, it's just a simple fact to us -- "Nobody owes anyone anything, so you better make it on your own or we'll just leave you behind."

That means the cry of racism no longer works and it means the government spigot is being turned off. Government jobs will no longer be as safe, pay is likely to start being cut in the next decade, and things like affirmative action are coming to an end and there won't be any more race-based favors.

The cultural cache also has ended because Hispanics have become the new "go to" minority in Madison Avenue and Hollywood.

In effect, everything the black community counted as progress will now slowly erode.

At the same time, Hispanics are starting to leap over blacks in terms of income and aspiration. That means an increasing focus of our country will be on their needs and views rather than those of blacks. That also means that blacks will likely find themselves as the bottom of the class structure in this country very soon.

That is what I mean by "hitting bottom."

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, A lot of country stars are liberals. The Dixie Chicks also made the huge mistake of attacking the American military while doing a concert overseas. That NEVER plays well in America.

Kit said...

"A lot of country stars are liberals."
I know. And I think a lot of people would be surprised at just how many are liberal. I mentioned Paisley, Nelson, and Kirstofferson. There is some evidence that Johnny Cash was a liberal as well (as well as a deeply devout evangelical Christian).
There are others as well.

"The Dixie Chicks also made the huge mistake of attacking the American military while doing a concert overseas."

I think you need to restate that as :"The Dixie Chicks also made the huge mistake of attacking the American military as it was in the middle of fighting a war while doing a concert overseas."

AndrewPrice said...

True. That was a key addition. I really don't think their being liberal was the problem.

Kit said...

Well, to be precise Maines said in a concert in Europe "We're ashamed Bush is from Texas".

In 2003.
Shortly after the start of the Iraq War.
Not bright.

And then they sort of found themselves in the middle of a hole and kept digging.

Anthony said...

I stand corrected on the Dixie Chicks.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, No problem, it wasn't really the big point.

As an aside, did anybody see the story about the 2 year old who got shot by the 5 year old with a rifle the 5 year old got as a gift? Who the hell gives a 5 year old a real rifle as a gift?!


tryanmax said...

the cry of racism no longer works

One can simply look at the culture to see how it is getting harder to convince young whites that racism is a real problem, let alone one that they are complicit in. The current stereotype of an overt racist is an unaccomplished malcontent who can barely affect his own life, so good luck convincing anyone that he controls any levers of power. Meanwhile, young whites flock to movies starring black actors, download mp3s by black artists, and cheer on black athletes, and you're going to tell them they are racist with a straight face? Did you mention that the president is black? At best, you may convince them that someone else is a racist (see prior stereotype), but not them.

Besides, trying to make someone feel guilty about their unintentional racism can only take you so far. People reject things that make them feel guilty. Just ask the Catholic Church. Ultimately, pushing ideas about "white privilege" will fail, either because they push the guilt or they are just pathetic. Take a look at Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack just to see how low the bar is set. Half the list I can refute with first- and second-hand experiences, as I suspect most could probably do. And the remainder…if it were my gripe, I'd expect to be told to "cowboy up."

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think there are several reasons young whites reject the idea that there is racism anymore or that they are responsible for it:

1. They don't personally discriminate. Their friends don't either. They probably know of no one who has. They have never benefited from it either. So why should they feel guilty?

YET, they've been told that they DO discriminate... "we are all racists." That makes it clear that this is a false charge. It was a real mistake for black leaders to try to indict all whites rather than the guilty ones because it's squandered all the goodwill they had on this issue.

2. Moreover, the cry of racism has become a reflex action for black leaders who are trying to escape the consequences of their own misbehavior or who want to smear political opponents. That means the word is no longer seen as having any real meaning. It just means, "a politicized distraction." It's the boy who cried wolf.

3. Young whites feel that they are victims of discrimination themselves because of affirmative action. So to be told by wealthy black politicians or college administrators that you low-class white kid are rotten because you discriminate and you need to sacrifice to atone only generates anger.

Moreover, modern generations are much more cynical and they realize that life isn't fair. So they don't respond to the "but they weren't fair to me" argument that racism relies upon. Basically, the modern response to "I wasn't treated fairly" is "deal with it."

4. Few people alive and working (or in school) today had anything to do with racism or Jim Crow. That is as distant in the history books as the Magna Carta, and people don't like paying for other people's historical crimes.

5. For half a century now, the government has foisted affirmative action us and given largess to the black community in the way of reparations. At some point, people say enough. 50+ years is enough. In younger people's minds, you got your free crap for 50+ years now stop being greedy. And they see no reason why young blacks who were born in the 1980s and 1990s should be getting anything.

tryanmax said...

A friend of mine stated it very well the other day. I'm about to butcher it, but he basically said, "I feel very sorry for past generations of blacks and all they had to endure. But I don't feel sorry at all for the current generation. They've been handed loads of opportunity and squandered all of it."

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's actually a pretty succinct way to put what I hear a lot from people my age and younger.

K said...

I happen to agree that blacks are being systematically discrimated against. My favorite examples were Alan West and Mia Love. Candidates I gave money to in the past election. The Dems, including Soros went batship insane to keep them out of congress. I'd really like to see West make it into the Senate and Love get into congress ASAP. It's important that the senate and congress "look like America".

AndrewPrice said...

K, LOL! True.

Anthony said...

Andrew said:

If the black community is willing to do self-reflection and they realize that there really is nothing stopping them from getting ahead except themselves, then they can turn the ship around. (Or more and more of them will at least escape the sinking ship and go prosper apart from the community.) But if they choose to see their fates as decided because of racism or whatever, then nothing will change.

Right now, I see too few saying, "Hey, we need to fix this" and too many saying, "Look what THEY've done to us."
There's no 'we' to the fixing. Community action was needed to kill Jim Crow, but the success or failure of individuals relies on the decisions of individuals. Some will proper, many will die.

The prosperous can help the struggling to an extent, but one cannot save someone despite themselves.

Anthony said...


Allen West was a weird reincarnation of Alan Grayson (weird because Grayson is white, liberal and uh, not dead). He came in during a wave election, became prominent on the political scene due to his need to run towards tv cameras and give memorable soundbites, then failed to get reelected in part because his constituents weren't impressed by his theatrics.

Like Grayson, West got a high enough profile during his short time in office that someone will probably arrange for another (safer) seat for him down the line.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I agree that the "community" can't fix people, BUT it can stop being an enabler. It can stop providing ready-made excuses, stop supporting misconduct, and start taking an interest in helping those who do want to be helped. Basically, help those who want to be saved and stop excusing those who don't.

It's the same problem in the "white trash" community -- too many people are ready to enable them by excusing their behavior. Country music and MTV actually mythologize their misconduct to a large degree.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. On West, I think K's point is that any time you get a black conservatives, the whole left-wing smear machine does their best to take them out. I do agree with that. And the example I point to is not West, who is a bomb thrower, but Clarence Thomas who is a rather brilliant man but whom the left has been after since his confirmation hearing. He's been called every derogatory name in the book and they like to pretend he's stupid. They've gone after his wife as well. Etc.

I don't think this kind of vile misconduct is uniquely aimed at black conservatives, but it seems to be a little more venomous when aimed at black and female conservatives.

Anthony said...

Remember Bork? Conservatives of any color shouldn't expect hugs and kisses from liberals. Thomas was a conservative who had a short record, knew better than to give unnecessarily detailed answers and was black so unlike Bork he got through.

I agree about the more venomous when aimed at blacks and women thing though. What would be socially unacceptable in any other context becomes acceptable if the target has the wrong politics. I'd say that's a bipartisan thing though. If one is a female politician one should expect beauty, age and weight to come up (taunts from opponents, praise from allies). If one is a black politician prepare to be called the cats paw of some white dude/a traitor to one's race/not a real member.

Anthony said...

I've got no problem with pop culture. If there's money to be made, people will make it, even if that means playing to a stereotype. The big problem is parents not raising their kids.

I agree about the enabling thing though. If some idiot steps out of line, I've got no problem with them being hammered. It's better if a criminal is in the grave or a cell then on the streets.

tryanmax said...

Anthony, I have a very hard time understanding your argument. Regardless what you mean to say, what is coming across is basically that because the status quo is unsurprising we ought not react to it. It sounds like a tacit approval of the status quo, but without any defense of it.

What you do not do is express whether or why there ought or ought not be any expectation or desire for something different. In short, whatever your thoughts on the matter are, they are being masked by your impeccable ability to describe things as they are.

Anthony said...


Sometimes I think people interpret things in ways which piss them off but which are open to other interpretations.

For example, blacks who assume the tea party is a white reaction to a black president ignore the fact that there was a similar populist backlash against Hillarycare and Bush's immigration proposals.

As for policy proposals, I haven't made many policy proposals in this thread, but that is because I think the problems of the modern black community cannot be addressed by the government.

Too many of us are making poor choices in our daily lives. Government/political parties can help around the edges (nods towards school choice) but much of what happens is going to be determined not by the efforts of the government, but those of individuals, families and communities.

tryanmax said...

Anthony, allow me to press you further and ask you what those sorts of changes might look like. Clearly as we've discussed upthread, pushing guilt onto the white population doesn't do a damned thing except breed pockets of resentment. Who are the leaders that might step forth (real or generalized)? What might they say or do?

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I think we probably agree. There isn't anything government can do to make people better, but it would help if "the black community" stopped excusing misbehavior within it's own ranks.

Anthony said...


I doubt that another national leader for the black community will emerge. The black community's problems are too low level for such a leader to be effective.

I think the most important people are those putting in work on the ground in poorer neighborhoods. They might be preachers, teachers or just volunteers. A lot of the guys on tv just play leaders on tv and are oriented on the media, political parties and deep pocketed corporations rather than people who could use help.

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