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April 25, 2014

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Put a population in an environment where some trait, such as color vision, or the ability to digest lactose in adulthood, which was formerly useful, is no longer needed, and that trait will eventually be lost.

Brett, just FYI, no population has lost the ability to digest lactose in adulthood. What happened is that one population gained that ability. That was useful at the time, which is why it spread. But it's importance today is minimal; a convenience, at most. And yet, there are no signs of the population of those who have that ability losing it.

And in the case of culture, you might want to spend some time actually in a poor neighborhood. In my experience, the folks there are mostly incredibly hard-working. There are criminals, of course, as there have been in every poor ghetto in our history (c.f. Irish or Italian immigrant neighborhoods long ago).

The biggest differences today are:

1) a lot fewer jobs available for those with minimal education, leaving it harder for a family to work its way out of poverty. (And "available" means both existing and reachable by someone who depends on public transportation.)

2) a huge percentage of the adult male population in prison for minor drug charges which didn't exist for previous poor ghettos. The biggest reason for the "collapse" of black families isn't "inner city black culture" the welfare system. It is that the number of black men who are out of prison and able to find a job is far below the number of black women who want a family. Dump the War on Drugs, and that part of problem starts to go away. Even just get rid of the ridiculous minimum sentences for minor drug offenses and the problem starts (albeit more slowly) to go away.

"Acknowledging" the downsides requires a level of detail (in my opinion) that was missing in the comment I was referring to.

This is a very fair point.

I'll try to go back to Wilkins' book and find some examples she discusses.

Thanks sapient.

I believe that is what the war on poverty did to the poor: It put them in an environment where they didn't have to be hard working and studious to reproduce.

War on Poverty, ca. 1964, to now - 50 years.

Two generations, max. More like 1 1/2.

Go long if you like - New Deal, ca. 1930's to now - 80 years.

Three generations?

That, my friends, is some prodigal evolutioning. It might be unprecedented in the multi-billion-year annals of biological life.

Somebody needs to study this, there's a Nobel in there somewhere.

Here's my theory of the "problem", in greater detail:

Cultures are adaptive responses to circumstance. Not adaptive in the biological/evolutionary sense, just plain old adaptive, in time-scales congruent to human lifetimes.

They're not biologically determined, they are the product of people attempting to deal with reality, as it presents itself to them.

Seriously, trying to wave away racism in a discussion of race is a pretty big leap. Discovering the causes of large-scale social and behavioral effects in "entropy" and evolutionary dynamics over one to three generations goes well beyond "big leap" to willful delusion.

That's the problem, not white racism.

There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Do you mean that if there were no preferences for anything *other than* academic qualifications?

Well, yeah. Here's Duncan Black, AKA Atrios:

"The thing about affirmative action in this country is that it barely exists. To the extent that it does exist, it's mostly about somebody making sure that some women and minorities are actually considered for jobs. There have been various schemes in universities at various times, but it's hardly universal and the number of minority students who have actually benefited is pretty small. Then there are some civil service (cops, etc.) exam issues and minority contracting provisions mostly at the local level... that's about it.

As for colleges and universities, well, whatever the intent, legacy admissions tip the scales against minority applicants far more than any affirmative action programs tip the scales towards them. Every now and then I'd like those obsessed with the evils of affirmative action to make this point."

How can you turn a blind eye to the one and then express outrage at the other?

Not to pick on Brett and his reprehensible views, or engineers, but that so-called analysis was a classic of "engineer think", the near total misapplication of special knowledge to unrelated fields.

Know the difference between social Darwinism and what I just wrote?

the former is typically though not always prescriptive, while the latter is descriptive.

But "entropy" doesn't apply to rich people, I guess.

I dunno'. Rich people, as a class, are greedy, heartless, overbearing, self-absorbed, lacking in empathy, cruel, and amoral. They are a social disease.

Obviously power and economic comfort promote these "traits".

Something needs to be done. There must be some government program we can adopt to curb these behaviors.

"the former is typically though not always prescriptive, while the latter is descriptive."

Bingo.

How many generations to breed that pesky work ethic out of the poors and darks, Brett?

How many generations to breed that pesky work ethic out of the poors and darks...?

pi, obviously. It's the great circle of life.

I'm amazed at Brett's ability to suss out THE underlying cause of such a highly complex societal issue. Only someone with years of intimate contact with black inner-city culture could do this. I have to assume Brett has such, given the certainty with which he proclaims his knowledge.

Bravo (and kudos!), Brett.

"But "entropy" doesn't apply to rich people, I guess."

Sure, it does. That's why Biltmore is a tourist attraction instead of a home. Without considerable care by the parents, the cutural traits that lead to serious wealth generally aren't passed on. The children grow up with a financial good start, but without the ethos to capitalize on it.

The thing about cultural inheritance is that it has to be actively communicated, it's software, not firmware. You can erase it in a single generation. Have a kid raised by a single mom in a community where most people are not gainfully employed, and it doesn't matter a bit that his grandfather was a hard worker who valued education. He can still grow up a semi-literate gang member with no prospects.

And it wasn't driving while black that did that to him, it was what didn't happen, the values that didn't get passed onto him.

He can still grow up a semi-literate gang member with no prospects.

What sort of things would this gang do?

So the best thing society can do for the "culture" of billionaires' children is a steep estate tax, right Brett?

You're right of course: cultural evolution is Lamarckian, not Darwinian. Acquired traits can be, and are, inherited. (Not as surely inherited as wealth, to be sure.) And cultural traits can die out if not actively transmitted. I'm thinking of cultural traits like homophobia and racial prejudice, not to mention gun fetishism and religion. So there's still hope for humanity.

--TP

Have a kid raised by a single mom in a community where most people are not gainfully employed, and it doesn't matter a bit that his grandfather was a hard worker who valued education. He can still grow up a semi-literate gang member with no prospects.

or, he can grow up like me.

And it wasn't driving while black that did that to him, it was what didn't happen, the values that didn't get passed onto him.

i can't help but hear echoes of dear Mr Bundy:

“They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton."

Does the "it's all racism" theory have any actual utility, beyond providing liberals with an excuse to act like modern day witch smellers, tracking down the racists who have to be responsible for any black person doing badly, since it can never be a result of anything but racism?

Seriously, you'd think if you were working with the right theory, you'd have more success to show than an 80% plus unwed motherhood rate in the inner cities.

Cleek, do even liberals take it seriously anymore, when a liberal cries "racist!"? It's nothing but an annoying rhetorical tic at this point.

the "it's all racism" theory

who's pushing that?

when a liberal cries "racist!"? It's nothing but an annoying rhetorical tic at this point.

i know you desperately wish that was true. but, sadly, it's not.

Does the "it's all racism" theory have any actual utility

WTF does utility have to do with it? Things are so, or they're not.

Do you want to claim that racism toward minorities doesn't exist?

Or, that it has no effect on the material and social circumstances of the lives of minority populations?

The War on Poverty programs created all of the social ills we associate with poor and minority populations, in the space of one generation?

None of those things existed prior to 1964?

Brett appears to assume that everyone thinks in binary, like he seems to. The damage is either entirely attributable to racism or not-at-all attributable to racism. If you suggest racism has had any role to play, you are suggesting it is the only thing that has had a role to play. QED.

And what does the semi-literate kid's gang do, Brett?

Let's face facts, folks. Brett's claim is that "racism" is not an explanation for the social and economic status of black people in America. Is he therefore saying that the explanation is just plain race? Perish the thought. Black people in America are merely oppressed by the American guvmint's War on Poverty. Says Brett.

Funny thing, though: Brett doesn't assert that the War on Poverty degraded poor white redneck confederates along with inner-city blacks. There must be something sturdier in the "cultural" traits of poor whites, making them less vulnerable to the pernicious effects of the War on Poverty. Right, Brett?

--TP

Tony,

Obviously, the War on Poverty was waged only against blacks and those programs (you know, the T-bone steaks and cadillacs) were not made available to the poor whites due to overweening liberal state discrimination and the 'plantation agenda'.

We keep poor whites around because we need them to keep some valuable cultural traits alive.

I'm sure Brett knows what they are.

also, too, for the record:

nonmarital childbearing by race, 1970-2010.

Out of wedlock births per 1,000 women for blacks over that period have actually declined by about a third.

For whites, they have increased dramatically, and for women of all races they've nearly doubled.

So, relative to other races, the rate of unmarried women having children has declined for blacks, while it has increased for the population overall.

This is from 1970, i.e., since the passage of the Civil Rights and War on Poverty era programs.

The reason the *percentage* of births out of wedlock for blacks has grown relative to other groups is that the rate of births for married black women has declined more steeply than for unmarried.

For both married and unmarried black women, the rate of live births has declined. The rate for unmarried women has declined more slowly, so the relative percentage - considering the black population only - has increased.

So - rate of black women having children out of wedlock - the number of out-of-wedlock births per 1,000 black women - has declined by a third.

Hispanics have been tracked as a distinct group only since 1980, from 1980 until now their rate of births out of wedlock has declined slightly.

For whites, it's nearly tripled.

And what does the semi-literate kid's gang do, Brett?

They play Scrabble, very badly.

"Funny thing, though: Brett doesn't assert that the War on Poverty degraded poor white redneck confederates along with inner-city blacks."

Funny thing is, if you go back and look, you're wrong. What I asserted was that the war on poverty damaged the poor, who were disproportionately black due to the effects of earlier racism. But that clearly implies that it damaged the poor who weren't black, too.

Given the mechanism I suggest, the poor would be damaged worse where they are concentrated, which is mostly, but not entirely in urban areas. But nothing I said suggests that the mechanism was race specific, quite the contrary.

The black-white wealth and income gap manifests itself across all income categories.

There is something else going on here, Mr. Jones.

which is mostly, but not entirely in urban areas.

I think that varies quite a bit.

From here:

Poverty rate for inner cities : 19.7%
For non-metropolitan areas : 17.7%

There are a lot of poor people living in rural areas.

What I asserted was that the war on poverty damaged the poor, who were disproportionately black due to the effects of earlier racism.

So earlier racism made blacks especially poor, but later racism did not contribute to their continued poverty? And the effects of earlier racism, later racism aside, would have fully receded, were it not for the war on poverty?

Is that it?

It would be nice to see something that compared out-of-wedlock births by income level. Upon some quick googling I didn't find comprehensive data set (it must be out there), but there was this:

Data revealed a significant link between income and out-of-wedlock births. Of women making less than $10,000 who gave birth in the previous year, 68.9 percent were not married.

Earlier in the same article:
Nationwide, African-American women reported the highest rate of out-of-wedlock births, at 67.8 percent. American Indian or Alaska Native women reported a 64 percent rate, while Hispanics reported 43 percent and non-Hispanic whites reported 26 percent. Asian-Americans reported the lowest rate of out-of-wedlock births, at 11.3 percent.

Also, I think Ta-Nehisi Coates (just keep reading) recent discussions have some bearing here as well, some snippets:

studies find that black low-wage applicants with no criminal record "fared no better than a white applicant just released from prison"; when, even after controlling for neighborhoods and crime rates, my son finds himself more likely to be stopped and frisked.

In the 1960s, when 20 percent of black children were found to be born out of wedlock, progressives went to war over the "tangle of pathologies" choking black America. Today, 30 percent of white children are being born out of wedlock. The reaction to this shift has been considerably more muted.

In 2008, I was living in central Harlem, an area of New York whose demographics closely mirrored the demographics of my youth. The practices I brought to bear in that tent were not artifacts. I was not under a spell of pathology. I was employing the tools I used to navigate the everyday world I lived. It just so happened that the world in which I worked was different. As I said in that original piece, "There is nothing particularly black about this." I strongly suspect that white people who've grown up around entrenched poverty and violence will find that there are certain practices that safeguard them at home but not so much as they journey out.

There's more good stuff there.

They play Scrabble, very badly.

It's a hardscrabble existence.

There's more good stuff there.

Indeed. Coates should be required reading for all of us.

"And what does the semi-literate kid's gang do, Brett?"

Specialize in taking out GED diploma mills.

Been reading the thread .... Brett's perorations on the inner city and the War on Poverty, etc.

Here's an article about Brett's people:

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2014/04/bonfire-of-bundys.html

What socio-economic conditions, besides having the wind of permanent affirmative action at their backs as privileged white males for 240 years without competition from other races, Jews, and their womenfolk for jobs, land, education, wealth, and upward mobility, can come close to explaining the sociopathy/pyschopathy of these murderous, ignorant, dick-sucking, armed subhuman verminous, anti-American, dumbass filth?

Apparently, the War on Poverty can't be blamed because aren't we certain that these hopeless libertarian romantics and their high principles have steered clear of any gummint assistance whatsoever.

So what accounts for this behavior out there in Nevada?

They are all going to be killed soon.

The country will be better off when they are dead meat.

Scroll down to the bottom of the article and you'll see a picture of a rural black Democratic Congressman whose constituents have alerted him to the murderous Republican subhuman filth gathered in Nevada to block government highways, steal my land and my water, and harass and murder innocent people.

As Digby asks, what do spose would happen him if he's stopped just after dark at one of those militia checkpoints, which look surprisingly similar to Putin's Green men checkpoints in eastern Ukraine.

So many assholes, so little time.

No one seems to be enforcing the laws out there.

These are Brett's people.

I think we're owed an explanation of their failings.

I think what we need is a third violent force in this country to kind of mix things up. I'm bored with the ineffective force of gummint and these right-wing witless wonders seems so .. I don't know, killable, sitting on ridgeops in full view of telescopic sights on high-powered weapons.

It's looks like fun to me.

Maybe a heavily armed liberal militia of about a thousand professional killers to head out there and take care of business.

Just for the fun of making trouble for people who came looking for trouble.

No ideology, just killing every motherfucker out there with a gun.

Lead by somebody crazier and more ruthless and bloodthirsty than anything the loser gummint and sorry fatboy militia types can suss out before it's too late.

A three-front war with neither the gummint nor the right-wing yahoos knowing where all the gunfire is coming from.

Who are those guys?

I get the feeling the militia would seek cover, after their women have been gunned down, behind government lines. Those BLM armored vehicles might come in handy for cover.

Someone better call Batman cause things are about to get out of hand.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyepdtx_UI4

Hurry, because they are going to be dead soon.

"And what does the semi-literate kid's gang do, Brett?"

They rob GED establishments.

Count, if you could dial it down from 11, I'd appreciate it. Thanks

Hey, I appreciate the honesty. You know the left doesn't idolize murderers like Che, or defend the likes of Chavez or Castro, without a strong thread of blood lust running through it. You think the soft spot for Marxism remains on the left after the 20th century without a soft spot for genocide?

There's a vein of idiocy on the right that actually longs for the government to go too far, so we can finally drop the infuriating business of defending our liberties in court and legislature, and have that revolution. It's matched by idiots on the left who want that revolution, too, so they'll finally have an excuse to ship their enemies off to death camps. Mostly they hide it sometimes they openly fantasize about it.

Germany didn't go from a liberal democracy to the final solution in a handful of years in spite of everybody being saints. The Brownshirts and Red Guard walk our streets, too, biding their time.

The Count's occasional bouts of honesty should keep you aware of that. I welcome them.

Come the revolution, Brett, you'd better hope it's the Counts and not the Clivens who decide your fate. In the meanwhile, you can keep hallucinating about an equivalence between the "idiocy on the right" and the "idiots on the left", because I for one appreciate your honesty, too.

--TP

See that Count? When you plug into Brett's fantasy world, that's probably as good a sign as any that you've gone too far.

Brett, I'm not sure from reading your comment, but you aren't under the impression that the Nazis were really and truly socialists and therefore politically leftist, are you?

uh oh. here we go.

You know the left doesn't idolize murderers like Che, or defend the likes of Chavez or Castro, without a strong thread of blood lust running through it. You think the soft spot for Marxism remains on the left after the 20th century without a soft spot for genocide?

Are you talking about the left as it generally exists in the United States?

Che, Chavez, Castro:

i am 100% sure that, if i ask my lefty friends what they think of these people, not a single one will have anything positive to say. and i'd be truly surprised if more than one could say anything at all. they really aren't the heroes you seem to think they are.

There's a vein of idiocy on the right that actually longs for the government to go too far, so we can finally drop the infuriating business of defending our liberties in court and legislature, and have that revolution.

Manifestly so.

It's matched by idiots on the left who want that revolution, too, so they'll finally have an excuse to ship their enemies off to death camps.

Only in your imagination.

Shall we play dueling links? You go first. Show us the idiots on the left who want to ship their enemies off to death camps.

Also, too:

Chavez? Are we talking about Cesar Chavez? The guy with the grapes?

There must be a right-wing meme running around out there that has somehow escaped my notice.

i assume that's Hugo Chavez, beloved hero of The Left.

you have forgotten to honor his blessed name, russell. prepare for reeducationing.

"See that Count? When you plug into Brett's fantasy world, that's probably as good a sign as any that you've gone too far."

Let me get this straight: The Count fantasizes about murdering his political enemies. (And not for the first time.) And this leads you to caution him that he might be getting into MY territory?

How often do you recall me relating how I'd like to go out and kill people?

Yes, I rather expect we're going to have a revolution in this country one of these days. I keep my passport current, I plan to run away.

Che, Chavez, Castro, Count, Cliven, Cher, Cantinflas ... a coven of "C"s.

See, what I like is Brett's every day voice of advocacy for the views of the private armies on the Right who seem to be gathering for the kill with the help of the right-wing Republican noise machine during the silly season of the midterms, and then when I mimic the way they express themselves, now he places each of his hands on either arm of his commando chair and goes all passive-voiced and waxes darkly but even-handedly about the idiocy on both sides, like Walter Cronkite might.

Here's the thing. Those BLM agents out West with the heavy weapons aren't liberals. They are just a variation of mostly white men, a rather harmless affliction, who someone hands a gun and some military gear and pretty soon you've got a bully on your hands, testosterone and bullets for an evil mix.

I'll wager most of BLM agents out here, like their armed brethren in the militia, that loose affiliation of low-IQ paranoids (yever notice how these wimps stole the bearded and long-haired look from Che and the hippies; weird that), in their private conversations, mutter under their breath as well about the questionable provenance of this Negro President and I'll bet, if the word socialism ever occurs to them, it's used as an adjective to describe Obamacare, just as Republican House Rep. would.

There all of a kind. I'll bet the BLM agents watch FOX too, many of them.

Harmless until you arm them.

Then, like George Zimmerman, who, after all, was merely a self-proclaimed gummint agent harassing, and it turns out, murdering the citizenry.

Not because he was evil. Because American idiots let him carry a gun, manufactured to do one thing -- kill.

Ted Nugent with a mouth and a guitar, not a dangerous man. But then someone went and armed him.

I'm going to disarm all of them. Government AND private citizens and their half-assed militias.

Then the two of them will find common ground, join forces, and they'll wanna kill ME.


Over here in Europe I know a few (prominent) lefties that I'd be inclined to punch in the face. Looking at the US I see a good deal more righties that I think need the occasional baseball bat in the face and be it just to let them drop their smirk (a few congresscritters sit near the top of the list). An then there are those I'd love to see with every single joint in their bodies broken while bereft of any health insurance but kept alive as long as possible. As for the Bundy crowd and those of similar mindset: Put them all into a single state (it can be a big one), build a wall around it and let them live according to their own desire. If they cannot manufacture their own firearms (and ammo), they can buy them at checkpoints at bargain prices for produce from within their habitat but no one that has entered may leave. Let's see how long they last. Just to make sure that they do not die out by famine or diseases, emergency shippings of food and drugs may be allowed on a case by case basis.
My guess is, it would look postapocalyptic in a few deacdes at most. And if it turns into a libertarian paradise, all the more right for the inhabitants to keep their constant smirk.
Given that some on the right have expressed a desire to turn one state into such a 'pure' living space for them and their likeminded folk, I can't see much in the way of protest expect by those who will miss their seaview (it has by nature to be a landlocked territory).

I rather expect we're going to have a revolution in this country one of these days.

I've heard that one before.

What's likely is that a bunch of yahoos with ordnance are going to kill a bunch of other people in the name of some weird self-justifying fantasy about FREEDOM.

They'll end up dead, or lying on a gurney with a needle in their arm. Like their buddy McVeigh.

And if that's how it plays out, they will have earned their fate.

I keep my passport current, I plan to run away.

Not a bad plan, even if somewhat.... less than inspiring.

I'm not going anywhere. Your militia buddies will have to shoot their way through me and people like me.

I'm sure they're up for it, but so am I.

prepare for reeducationing.

Off to the camps again? There go my vacation plans....

Actually, my warning was initially for word choice. It was only after you took it as an invitation to wax poetic on your imaginary version of the left that I pointed out that he was plugging into your fantasy, which I think you acknowledged when you said

There's a vein of idiocy on the right that actually longs for the government to go too far, so we can finally drop the infuriating business of defending our liberties in court and legislature, and have that revolution.

I know you (Brett Bellmore) have a lot of trouble with that second person pronoun, but I have to assume that when you used the first person, that generally included Brett Bellmore in the bunch. I'm sure you've got your atlatl by the door next to your passport...

as an aside, the guy in the whole bundy fiasco that makes an ounce of sense to me is the oath keeper guy who heard through "a reliable source" that a drone strike was imminent, and who responded by getting his people the hell out of there.

everybody go to town, have a shower and a meal, and get a night's sleep. we've made our point, if they're bringing in the drones we're overmatched and outgunned, i'm not going to let my people get vaporized over a bunch of cows. time to call it a day.

the fact that he took the story about the drone strike at face value tells me that he's bought into the whole "black helicopters" fantasy world, but at least his tactical judgement is sound. and he has some regard for the lives of the people under his charge.

credit where credit is due. crazy maybe, but not stupid.

Off to the camps again? There go my vacation plans....

heh. It's not so bad. The scrabble games are awesome. "Opportunism" and "revisionism" are game winners.

Reaching way back.....

"Acknowledging" the downsides requires a level of detail (in my opinion) that was missing in the comment I was referring to.

As noted above, this was a very good point.

I haven't been able to go back through the book I referred to and find examples for you, but NPR covers some of the same ground here.

I think it's constructive to discuss the specific shortcomings of particular programs.

I don't think the issue here is a matter of shortcomings in any program. I think it's a matter of shortcomings in people.

I.e., in us.

Ain't no law gonna change that. The most the law can do is set boundaries on people's hatefulness and ignorance.

My comments on the topic were not and are not intended to be a criticism of Brown vs Board of Education, or the various civil rights laws of the 60's or since then.

They were just an observation that even the law can't make people behave decently toward each other. And, that there is often some downside to any public effort to promote fairness.

Doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

"They were just an observation that even the law can't make people behave decently toward each other. And, that there is often some downside to any public effort to promote fairness.

Doesn't mean we shouldn't try."

If we adjust for all of the usual categories, including income, the law at least harasses the sociopaths (perceived or real) among the less privileged on a fairly regular basis, but does little more than look askance at the sociopaths at the other end of the spectrum, encouraging them even, more and more, to shape the laws themselves.

I will note that the law arms all sociopaths equally. Even fairness enables the baser instincts for all.

As an aside among we non-sociopaths one and all at OBWI, reading the thread again, it is amusing to imagine a guy fleeing with his anti-government atlatl in one hand and his government-supplied documents in the other.

On the other hand, a cave in them thar hills doesn't require crossing international borders.

Ain't no law gonna change that. The most the law can do is set boundaries on people's hatefulness and ignorance.

Actually, although I appreciate what you're saying here, I don't agree with it. I'm in my late 50's. My parents were ardently in favor of civil rights, and desperately wanted equality, but they were brought up with some very racist attitudes. I was brought up in the South. I was very influenced by my parents' attitudes of wanting fairness, but my experience of what was basically apartheid didn't help to make me "colorblind". I became more "colorblind" when I knew, day to day, African-American people who were my peers. Rather than knowing some very nice woman who worked for my mother as a maid, I knew people who were my boss, or my professional peer. Same with homophobia.

The law has forced us to be with people as peers. Obviously, one's heart has to be invested as well, but it's a whole lot easier when society says, "This isn't your personal compassion here. We are actually equal." And I've felt this, emotionally, even more since Obama has been President. A very good friend of mine, who works in a North Carolina school, can articulate very well what it means to have an African-American president as far as his students (predominantly black) are concerned.

The law did this. The law changed hearts.

And russell, not to change the subject, but to expand my rant:

Isn't it the same with the Nigerian school girls? We're all (and I'm sure you and I are both included equally in "all") horrified with the abduction of the Nigerian school girls. And, yes, it is a large crime, and should be handled under criminal justice, if possible.

But, wait a second: This is a political movement. It's a hate crime. It's not in our country, but how many yeas will it take for Nigeria to work this out, and what about the girls? Is it wrong to help girls who want to learn? Is it wrong to help with drones?

I'm glad that we're trying to find a way to be useful here.

Actually, although I appreciate what you're saying here, I don't agree with it.

That's cool.

I guess I'd say your experience might not be universal.

Not a comment about the law, just a comment about people. Some folks respond to things in positive ways, some don't.

Isn't it the same with the Nigerian school girls?

I'm not quite sure what your point is. But no, I'd say the civil rights movement of the 60's and Boko Haram's abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls is not the same.

Perhaps you could make your point about the schoolgirls on its own merits. In other words, please feel free to change the subject.

To expand on sapient's point, the biggest single driver for reducing bigotry in the US was the draft combined with the integration of the armed forces. Suddenly, huge numbers of young men were spending a couple of years in a situation where their peers and their boss (specifically their sargeant) were of a different race. And the world did not end.

In fact, I would say that the biggest detriment to racial equality in America in the last half century was the ending of the draft. An unintended consequence, no doubt, but a consequence nonetheless.

I guess I'd like to try to clarify my own point.

I am not arguing that the anti-poverty and civil rights programs and legislation of the mid-20th C were bad. I'm not arguing that they should not have happened, nor am I arguing that they were not needed.

I'm delighted that they led to sapient and his family having increased contact with blacks as peers, which in turn led to changes in their attitudes toward blacks.

Brett made this comment:

And the war on poverty damaged the cultural inheritance of poor people. Blacks were just perfectly positioned to take that damage.

I find this statement overly broad, by far, and I find that it ignores the very many tangible benefits brought about by the war on poverty.

I noted, however, that it is not without merit. I.e., there is something true in it. At least as regards the black community.

As a point of fact, the end of de jure and (to the degree that it was accomplished) de facto apartheid in this country also resulted in the undermining of some useful institutions that had emerged within the black community as a result of their isolation.

Those things also existed in the white community, and blacks now had (at least nominally) access to them, but they were not always greeted with, shall we say, open arms.

The experience for many black people was, apparently, a mixed one. Not because the laws were bad, but because, sapient's family experience to the contrary, the law's power to change people's beliefs and attitudes is limited.

Does anyone want to go back to the days of legal apartheid? No.
Does this mean the anti-poverty and anti-discrimination laws were a mistake? No.

It simply means that, for many blacks, the experience of the end of legal segregation has been something less than a full welcome into American society. And, has been accompanied by the loss of some things that were of value and use.

This should not be a particularly difficult thing to comprehend, or to accept, or acknowledge. Change, even positive change, is often a mixed bag.

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