Monday, September 7, 2015

How does this newfangled forward pass work?

Coach Juan Williams plays it old school:
#BlackLivesMatter is fast becoming its own worst enemy.
It lacks an agenda, it is antagonizing the black community’s top white political allies, including Democrats running for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination, and it is not finding common ground with any of the Republican majority in Congress...

When BlackLives activists denounce the Democratic National Committee for issuing a resolution in support of police reform, they are hurting themselves with party officials. When they say that all political parties try to “control or contain” black liberation, they are also damaging faith in the political system, especially among young people...
Blah, blah, blah, these protestors need to stop because they might hurt the Democrats.

I used to find Williams one of the more insightful liberals around. Of course, that was a couple decades ago, when a liberal could still speak the truth on TV*.  Today, it's obvious that he is calling his plays straight out of the dog-eared, old-school Black political playbook. According to those tried and true rules of political action, Blacks are supposed to act up and then immediately seek concessions** from politicians, usually white ones.  That's how the game was played by the men of Williams' generation. And he seems genuinely confused that the protesters don't seem to appreciate the subtle beauty of that particular drop kick.

For better or worse, #BlackLivesMatter is not playing by that book. There are lots of reasons for it, but I suspect the main one is that the protesters realize that Democrats have nothing to offer them. Baltimore has a black Democrat mayor, a mostly-black, all-Democrat city council, a black (surely Democrat) police chief, a black Democrat State's attorney.  Even two of the police charged in the death of (insert felonious martyr du jour here) were black, and probably Democrats as well. The problems of Baltimore's residents, to the extent they are not self-inflicted, are today inflicted on them by black Democrats. Only old-school black Democrats like Williams have trouble coming to grips with this undeniable measurement of black progress in America.

Which is, of course, why #BlackLivesMatter won't actually solve anything.  The angst of Rand Paul*** aside, the problems of America's black underclass are not problems of law. They are not caused by white hooligans driving through their neighborhoods with guns blazing, but black ones. They are not caused by bad schools; they have bad schools because they are filled with bad students and run by bad (usually black) administrators. The problem is not that black people can't, but that too many of them have decided not to, do the things that bring peace and prosperity, not in their families, not in their schools, not in their neighborhoods. They relied on the old school playbook for too long; now they are throwing it away in despair.

Piles of dead young felons - some at the hands of police, most at the hands of other young felons - are not so much a bug in that playbook as a feature.

* Long gone are those days.  Thankfully, no one watches TV anymore.
** Or, as Williams so charmingly puts is, "where is the list of solutions to the injustices [BLM] so often decries?" Don't forget to include price tags.
*** “I see an America where ... any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is repealed,” he says.  Better get to work tossing those oppressive rape and murder laws.


  1. I've got to debate a major issue. Most blacks simply cannot rise to a full part of a modern civilization. It's not an indictment, just a fact. Blacks in pre-civil rights era, for the most part, were honestly trying. Their marriage rates were better, their education achievements (legitimately) were better, their employment number were better, their crime stats were better... better than blacks during and certainly after "civil rights" were enshrined without responsibility.

    These things were never good. Sub par at best, weak, compared to other races. It really wasn't improving. There is some point that seems to be as good as it gets, and it is terribly difficult for most blacks to do even that. It's just the way it is. A job, sure, but often more like janitorial than even teacher. Those black principals and teachers are, mostly, quota allowances, and are as bad as that implies. They wouldn't have gotten into schools, certainly not through them, without terribly reducing their qualifications, requirements, and such, while horribly inflicting imbalances on other races.

    I still remember, in some English course I was required to take, we were required to write a two page piece on some topic or other. A young black woman, whose father was a minister, and I were picked as partners. She couldn't get noun, verb, adverb, and such, placement right. She couldn't spell. She didn't know how to use, or when to use, punctuation. She often didn't even finish sentences. I'm not great, but... this was horrible.

    I pointed it out. I assessed within my capacity, if simply honestly. She ended up with a B+, I think I barely got a C-. She got the B+ for her skin color, I got the C- for noticing that she shouldn't even have been in college. No, they really can't, not most of them.

  2. Without getting into the can't/won't debate, I will just say that (as Doom pointed out) the Black community was better off before the 3-piece spicy combo of Great Society, War on Drugs, and off-shoring. Even if we would never have reached parity with other groups, the levels of dysfunction that we have now are a product of those policy decisions.

  3. CJ,

    Ah. Then I will admit something. I am not absolutely positive that "civilization", the measure by which comparison I am making, is the absolute best measure. It is, it seems, the measure by which the populations that have been more successful at making money, creating and manipulating wealth, is measured. Is that the answer? In some ways yes, in some ways, I hope the heck not.

    Fair? Dunno. I'm a mix of the barbarians and civilized. Not sure I really believe in either. It's more, I think, about honestly doing the best with what you, they, we, and I have to offer. Some of it will be humbling. While I am sometimes harsh on women, I can never bear a child or do other very humbling things that only they can do. Hmm... Just more thoughts.

  4. the levels of dysfunction that we have now are a product of those policy decisions

    I could not agree more. The Great Society proposed that no one who works in America should be poor, what it implemented was that no one need work in America so long as they agree to be poor* forever. Once a generation takes that deal, it's sealed for their children, as it's very hard to re-build a culture of hard work. So hard that only multi-generation near-starvation can probably do it.

    It's funny, though. I got an email this morning from daughter Bethany, thanking me for how little I cared about her grades**. She lives in Taiwan, where I think the saddest thing about John being a teacher in Taiwan is seeing how the kids here don't have a childhood. They literally go to school from 7 or 8am until 6 or 7 at night, then go to cram school after that. :( Oh, and then homework after cram school. .

    Now, is there a link between these kids doing school work literally all day long and educational achievement? Only an idiot would say no. Is there a link between the absolute lack of this activity in inner cities and the lack of educational achievement? Only an idiot would say no***.

    Blacks in America made tremendous strides in a century from a people to whom all education and even family had been denied. Then half a century ago, their peak acquisition of these things coincided with the introduction of the Great Society. We know they can at least go as high culturally as they were in 1960 - mostly stable families, mostly peaceful neighborhoods, working hard, fatherhood, and all the rest. I don't see any reason to believe that 1960 is a hard ceiling, and can only imagine where we might be today had that trend continued. But because of what has happened since then, I'm certain it will be a hard and probably tragic slog to return to even that high.

    Give white America another 50 years of our own cultural dissolution and we'll be in exactly the same boat.

    * Poor by American standards, anyway, which has no relation to what the rest of the world or history call poor.
    ** I actually did care about them, a lot, but always thought the effort was more important than the result.. Because it is the effort that builds character.
    *** Then the idiot blames the difference on systemic racism and punishes the Asian 50 points because of #WhitePrivilege

    1. As to the cap? Show me, in history or geography, where a single black culture, as a whole (not as in fractions of immigrants), ruled by itself or others... of any other "race", has superseded that... let's call it recent to pre-60's US era social function. I have also used this measure for my native bloodlines. All I find, even that ways, is very distant relations to metro-bloodcult civilizations further south. Hmm, save one, in the N.E. US, though I wonder about Viking, or other European influences, including genetic, that might be being ignored or outright hidden or possibly simply unknown. My kin, for the most part, were also definitely not the way to go. Assuming what is passing for civilization these days is the way to go.

      I am on nobody's side, if for different reasons mind you, at this point. Different reasons culturally, socially, though the same reason given politically, mostly. No one, for the most part, is worth siding with politically. Socially, culturally, yeah, but they don't have a voice even here in America politically. I live with them. Small town folk. Hobbits, to you, or me? Sommit like that. Well, now that I know they aren't orcs, and they know I'm not a cave ogre, mostly on both parts. :p

    2. Depending on how far back you want to go, late classical/early medieval Roman historians rated Ethiopia as the third greatest civilization on Earth, behind Rome and Persia and ahead of China.

      Also, the medieval West African Kingdoms (Ghana>Mali>Songhai) were comparable to other civilizations of the time with rule of law, standard units of measurement, quasi-feudal hierarchy, trade networks, combined arms military, etc.

      Of course foreign influences played a role, but every advanced civilization benefited from cultural exchange. Isolation from such an exchange partly explains the lack of advancement by the red man and the (deep sub-Saharan) black man.

  5. Hrm? No, neither medieval or classics did so. Or that is what I am suggesting from what I have read. There were somewhat useful ports, necessary really. But the lies told to keep sailors going, and colonists, despite pirates and on-shore problems, is what history remembers, and I am doubting if that is old history, really. Revisionism. That is most of what fills history books these days. Most of it just as dubious as most science has become. Or worse.

    As for foreign influences, natives of the Americas and Africa had plenty of opportunity, and still do. Groups in neither region do well at it. To be honest, despite what Vox seems to suggest, if Indians had been numerous and technologically advanced enough, and retained their social nature, no white man would have survived an encounter. Indians didn't just let Europeans settle, they simply couldn't do much about it. Many whites, even other blacks, in Africa, if they go to the wrong places, simply disappear. My mother told me not to go to meet family on the rez (the one her side is associated with). First, why, she suggested? Second, they don't care much for breeds. She told me I wouldn't be the first to disappear. Some things just don't change.