Friday, October 10, 2014

#ShawShooting

The symbol of our separation.
Yesterday turned out to be a heck of a day for a post on black rage:
In the racially mixed Shaw neighborhood Thursday, the differences about what happened were as sharp as day and night. A day earlier, an off-duty white police officer shot and killed an 18-year-old African American, and whether the dead man had a gun was a hotly disputed question.
Of course, it would seem like that's the only question that matters.  If Vonderrit Myers, under house arrest for a felony weapons charge, really shot at a cop, then it's hard to make the case that his death is unjustified.  If he did not shoot at the cop, then no matter his record it is hard to make the case that this was anything short of murder and conspiracy on the part of police. Whether a person believes one or the other tells little about the facts - which we don't know yet - and a lot about the believer.

However, the reaction of people, and not just the protestors, tells a lot about where I think we are going as a nation. And it's not good. But it's double-plus-ungood for the protestors. So let me back up a bit, because we need a big picture to give context to the little picture on the top right.

There are, in general, two kinds of sovereign political entities in the world: nations and empires.  Nations are generally homogenous racially, geographically, and culturally, while empires tend to be a hodgepodge of peoples and cultures spread over non-contiguous areas.  Obviously, any country need not be all 'nation' or all 'empire' - most are on a sliding scale somewhere between them and may even be perceived differently depending upon where one lives in it.  Obviously an 18th century Englishman and Irishman would perceive the British Empire differently.

America began its life pretty close to the nation side of the scale but has been sliding to the empire side, faster or slower, since its inception.  Obviously, we are no longer contiguous, but just as obviously, we are no longer culturally one people.*

Now, that becomes a problem, because while nations may be democratic,** empires cannot be. And the reason they cannot be is that once you have multiple competing cultures within a political entity, you have groups of voters who have no common ground upon which to vote. They do not agree on what government should do, nor how it should do it, and especially who it should do it to the most. What happens is that one group does it to another, and eventually the other gets sick of it and rebels. The groups have no reason to remain within a single political entity, except that it's to the advantage of the stronger party that they do so.

Disparate peoples are kept in a multicultural empire by political force. But as soon as that force is released, peoples go their separate ways, like Czechs and Slovaks, or Russians and Lithuanians, or Irish and Brits.  As America becomes more empire, it will apply more and more political force to its subject peoples in order to remain one country. Even so, if the pressure from below is too much, there's nothing magical about America that makes us immune to the forces that broke up Bosnia and will break up Spain, Italy, and Canada next.

So what are the forces driving America towards empire? Strangely, they are different than for the Brits or the Soviets or the Mongols or the Assyrians. For the past half century or more America hasn't conquered peoples all over the world and subjected them to American government.*** We have actually done something far more dangerous. We have imported people from all over the world and not made them part of the common culture, but allowed them to establish little cultures, little nations, within the larger nation but owing it no allegiance. This is where the flag-burning symbolism is important.  We are making ourselves into a multicultural empire, a geographical space within which several distinct peoples must vie for superiority.  Because there is only one political entity - one flag - only one culture can win.

One of those cultures**** is made up of Spanish-speaking immigrants from Mexico south to Argentina. We have so many and are adding so many more that there is no need for them to acculturate. As they become a majority in any area you can expect that they will make it their own. After NWA came straight outta Compton, the Mexicans drove out many others who looked like them.  That erstwhile black enclave is now 65% Hispanic and is growing more homogenous, not more diverse, every year.

If Hispanics were the only other significant culture in America we would still be doomed to eventual Czechoslovakian separation. But adding large groups of Somalis, Syrians, Bosnians, Ghanans, and Chinese makes the separation more faceted, more complicated.

But there is another culture, big but not as big as the Hispanics: the oppositional culture of the #ShawShooting protestors.  Call them the Royal Crown Cola of American culture. This culture is not only hostile to the majority culture in America (and treated hostilely by the Hispanics) it is also a culture of dependence.  That is important, because we are entering a period where dependence will become much more of a liability, both for the minority culture and the majority. America is entering an era where there will be less to share and less desire to share it.  If you can't feed yourself, then you will have two choices: take food or starve. And no one wants to starve.

So given that we can expect in America's future
  1. More multiculturalism, leading to
  2. More political pressure intended to hold America together politically, leading to 
  3. More violence used by the state against protest and disorder 
And that we can expect
  1. Less material abundance as the bills for our prior spending come due, leading to 
  2. Less to share with the dependent and less desire to share, leading to 
  3. More frustration and desperation from those who do not produce enough to meet their own needs
The number threes are going to clash. And it will not be tear gas and rubber bullets forever.

The Hispanics, being numerous and contiguous, will probably survive from west Texas to Sacramento. But Royal Crown culture, though numerous, is geographically separated into enclaves. Though frustrated and hostile - burning the majority culture's flag over a death that may or may not have been justified - it is also a culture that cannot support itself without those who hold that flag dear. It is this culture that will suffer most when things get nasty.

This is a reason that I believe, and have long believed, that the only way to thrive as a black person in America is to embrace the majority culture with everything you have. America can no more survive as a multicultural empire than did the Romans or the Huns or the Brits. We can no more stay rich by spending more than we earn than did the Spanish of the 17th century or the French of the 20th.  We cannot do the damnfool things we are doing with our currency and budget and not end up in the poor house. We are on our way to becoming a poor nation.  Check that: an impoverished, bitter, confused, cold, angry, hungry empire.

Tolerance, both of differences and of anti-social actions, is a virtue that only a rich nation can afford. Once we are no longer a rich nation, you do not want to be a member of a hostile, anti-social, and helpless minority culture, no matter the color of your skin.

* we have never been actually one culture - depending upon how tightly you want to draw the definition - but we were functionally one because most people subscribed to it and they had all the political power.
** But need not be. A nation can be a monarchy, republic, democracy, or one-party communist dictatorship.
*** influenced them, yes, warred on them, yes, but we have not made them a part of the United States.
**** or more accurately, groups of allied cultures.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What whites don't understand about black rage

See how these guys are dressed? That's known as win
Pretty much everything:
Alice Singen had always seen her home town as an integrated, harmonious place...But since the death of an unarmed black teenager at the hands of a white police officer, some African Americans are calling it segregated and racist. 

“I didn’t have any problems with anybody or any color, and all of a sudden it feels like we are being held responsible for something that’s not our fault,” Singen, 70, said as she left Faraci Pizza, a 46-year-old Ferguson business that has become a focal point of racial tension. “I don’t get it.” 
Neither does  Jim Marshall:
Protestors chanted they were going to shut down Faraci’s [Pizza] because the owner was “racist,” but Marshall said if that was true, he wouldn’t have opened in North St. Louis County in the first place.

Marshall said he’s getting death threats in addition for calls to move his business out of town, but he plans to stay put at the location he’s been for the past 17 years...
Now admittedly, when you see a piece thus provocatively titled, you can usually expect to be dressed down by some white suburbanite in a rant that comes down to two points:
  1. Black rage, whatever form(s) it takes, is justified, because
  2. You're racist
Off to Tumblr with you
Such articles are moral masturbation for Social Justice Warriors, wherein they seek to prove to blacks that they (the white-skinned, white-hatted heroes) are indispensable to the fulfillment of black hopes and dreams, and seek to prove to themselves that they are morally superior to their fellow whites.

This is going to be a rant of a wholly different nature. So if you are expecting the other kind, here is your last chance to go somewhere that provides appropriate trigger warnings for that brand of politically-incorrect thought known as hard truths.

So now that everyone has ever used CISHet* non-ironically has left the building, we can approach the actual question, which is to detail exactly what whites don't understand about black rage. It really comes down to 4 issues:

1. Why Black Rage ignores the reality of significant black responsibility for their own station.  It ought to go without saying that many blacks have fully integrated into American Society, while others have not.  Those who have get along generally well, just about as well as the average white guy. They are bankers and bakers and mechanics and the guys that trim trees on the side of the road. And we all get along pretty well, so long as everyone pulls his weight.

Sorry, we're not hiring
That said, if some poor white trash high school dropout with his hat on backwards, his pants hanging below his ass, and tattoos all over his neck, asks us for a job, white people will generally tell him to get lost. That black guys who dress that way can't find jobs isn't racism: it's that nobody with half a brain expects someone who presents himself in such in infantile manner is likely to be worth anything as an employee.  Whites don't understand why blacks who present in a hostile and anti-social manner act so surprised when they are hostilely and socially rejected.

2. Why blacks pretend that modern racism is equivalent to historical racism.  Look, everyone knows that there are some white people who don't like blacks. The lovely and gracious Rogue gets the Mudshark Glare** all the time. But people not liking you because you are black is so different from the kind of racism that your grandparents and their grandparents faced that it's an affront to language to refer to them with the same word. It is difficult to find a single person in American public life who seriously argues in favor of racism, slavery, involuntary segregation, miscegenation laws, Jim Crow, or forcible expatriation of blacks to Liberia, all of which were mainstream political positions over the past century or two. Voter ID laws are not Southern Literacy tests and it's blatantly dishonest to pretend they are.
Racism

Racism is the quintessential and cardinal modern American sin, and being against racism is the default position in this culture.*** The most rich and powerful of whites lie at the mercy of a single accusation, much less a demonstration, of racism. The discrimination that blacks face today, when offset by our culture of rabid equalitarianism and the legalities done in minorities' favor, is in no sense comparable to that faced by Frederick Douglass or even Dr. King. For 50 years blacks have had equivalent civil rights to whites and it has been  a century and a half since slavery. It's long past time to quit pretending otherwise.

not-Racism
I ran across a piece the other day about microaggressions that well illustrated the point. The writer noted that if a person said, my boss forced us to work overtime off the clock and threatened to have us deported if we complained but what really gets me is that some dude told me to smile the other day on the bus, you would automatically assume the first part never happened. No person who was actually oppressed would ever complain about something so trivial.

When blacks, and especially black academics, seriously argue that "Some racism is so subtle that neither victim nor perpetrator may entirely understand what is going on—which may be especially toxic for people of color," that tells us that the author is
  1. looking to be offended, and 
  2. can't find anything real to be offended by. 
When someone who's looking to be offended gets offended, when they elevate some trivial faux pas to justify their rage, normal people are justified in pointing and laughing at that person.

3. Why blacks leaders purposely exacerbate racial tensions.  Blacks constantly complain that whites are targeting them, waging war on them, that it's open season on black men. Here's an unpleasant reality, Mac: if whites as a whole really wanted you dead, you'd already be dead. There are more of us, we are in positions of power, and we have more and better weapons than you. The fact that you are alive is proof that whites don't want you dead and there is no war upon you.  What exists is a class of politicos who gain and hold political power by using your fear to organize you. Fear that instead, for at least it's real.

Open season on black men
The fact is that a black man is 10x more likely to be killed by another black man than a white one.  Most inter-racial crime is black-on-white, not the other way around. There are twice as many black-on-white murders every year as white-on-black. Every day, more than 100 white women are raped or sexually assaulted by black men, while statistically zero black women are raped by white men.**** If you read a story about a random person assaulted in the streets, it's generally a white person being attacked by blacks, and that's not because the press suppresses news of packs of feral whites flash-mobbing convenience stores. Interracial home invasions are nearly always black on white. So if there is a war, it's going the opposite direction than black leaders and their white SJW fellow travelers claim. Whites are currently tolerant of that fact. It will be a very unpleasant day for everyone involved when they at last grow weary of it.

White people do not understand why there is no black rage about 20 dead black kids in Chi-town every week, but there is so much about 1 in Ferguson. We suspect it's manufactured.

4. Why angry blacks give America no credit for past progress.  There has never been, in the history of all people anywhere, a majority culture that has said, You know what? We really have screwed these people over, really bad, for a really long time. So let's make an effort to see if we can rectify that, like American whites have.  Whites in the 50s and 60s didn't have to grant civil rights to blacks, they chose to. Chalk it up to euphoria from winning the war, horror at Hitler's atrocities, whatever: never before has such a majority made such a U-turn in minorities' favor in such a short period.

When it comes down to brass tacks, blacks earned full legal civil rights by demonstrating that they were worthy of them. The Civil Rights Movement was a moral display, and those marchers convinced whites that whites were in the wrong in a very real moral sense.  But there have been lots of such demands in the cold history of the world. Most of them, I would argue, have ended in mass graves. This one was different, not only because of blacks, but because of whites.

The opportunity that blacks both earned and have been granted is pretty unprecedented.  Blacks might take the opportunity to join the majority culture, a right for which prior generations of blacks bled and died at the hands of whites whom we all hold morally culpable. But it seems that the closer blacks get to actual equality, the angrier they grow, because like every other human endeavor, America is not perfect and whites are not perfect.

c-c-c-combo-breaker
There is no other place in the world, nor has there ever been, where a man - white or black - could make so much of himself with talent and dedication and hard work. Who knows, he might even become President. That was the dream that still brings millions of immigrants, and it has been experienced by millions of whites, and truth told, millions of blacks as well.

And that's what whites don't understand the most about black rage: in the land of opportunity that America is, is there anything more you could realistically have - legal, material, or otherwise - that would make you happy?

* For those who don't know, a CIS-Heterosexual is a sexually normal person who does not pretend to be abnormal, not even on Tumblr or to get on TV.
** a white woman shopping with up to seven kids of various hues is looked down upon. A white couple with the same does not receive those stares. 
*** which is why I'm always amused that so many whites want moral credit for holding it.
**** One can argue (and should) that the FBI should not conflate rape with "sexual assault," a wholly useless category. And one can also argue that as many as half of all rape allegations are false. One could even argue that blacks are more likely to be falsely accused of rape/sexual assault (as was actually the case in the afore-pictured lynching). But it's very difficult to argue that blacks are under assault when there are not even any accusations of white on black sexual assault.