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May 22, 2014

Comments

A racist, knowing your race, believes that he knows something about you beyond your race, and treats you accordingly.

But Brett, suppose we take that a tiny step further, to "treats you, or believes that you should be treated". Wouldn't that, on your definition, make your statements about "black culture" racist? Not, note, saying that *I* think you are racist. Just trying to understand what your definition means in practice.

See, the thing is, I know that "black people" don't need to get their shit together, because I know enough black people to know that, just like people of any color, some of them have it together, and some of them don't. And that statistics don't tell you anything about the individual people you meet.

And denying that last is the essence of racism. It may even, in some cases, be based on statistically valid observations, the problem is that a racist will treat the individual before them as if that statistic told them something about the individual.

"Blacks have been wronged, you are black, therefore you have been wronged."

"Whites have wronged blacks, you are white, so you have wronged blacks."

Both these are wrong, and they are wrong in the exact same way that it was wrong to string up some random black guy if you heard of a crime being committed by a black. Because people are not simply instances of a group. People are individuals, each with their own, unique history, entitled to be treated as individuals.

Not regarded as victims OR victimizers, downtrodden or priviledged, based on nothing more than skin color.

Yes, that is the core of racism: Treating people as instances of a race, rather than as individuals. And it matters not a bit whether that treatment is positive or negative, only that it is based on race, rather than themselves.

"Wouldn't that, on your definition, make your statements about "black culture" racist? "

I haven't made any statements about "black culture". You're debating the me in your head.

See, no, that's still cool, Slarti. He's not talking about individuals. He's talking about the racial group. The racial group "black people" needs to get its s#|t together, but he's not saying anything about individuals needing to get their $#it together. And so when you point out the individuals he's studiously not talking about comprise the group "black people", it's only reasonable for him to call you out because it goes to show how racist you are. Up until you racistly opened the box, the waveform hadn't collapsed, and the individual's group identity was simultaneously black and not-black. You [email protected] racist.

Thanks Marty, and again, I wasn't trying to provoke. We seem to have diametrically opposed reactions to the piece and I was just trying to represent that. My apologies

I'd like to see which black people anyone on this thread has addressed individually to tell them they've been wronged. I haven't really noticed that, myself.

Thought I might say that the depth and breadth of racism against black people in this country makes it hard to avoid if you are black. Maybe someone has managed to avoid it, miraculously enough.

I would tend to doubt that, so I guess I'm a racist, because I acknowledge pervasive and seemingly inescapable racism.

I've said it before, and I'm saying it again - you're a real hoot sometimes, Brett.

though, not thought

I haven't made any statements about "black culture".

so, when you said this...

Yes, I think it was lame. He started out reasonably observing the Asian-Americans having done well in the exams because they actually worked at it. and then just went off the rails. And then, when he got around to attributing the entirety of black problems to white supremacy? No issues of culture At All? That's verging on insanity.

you weren't talking about black culture? or if you were, you weren't making a statement about it despite the obvious implication of "That's verging on insanity" ?

No, I was addressing something said by TNC, who apparently DOES believe in "black culture", even if he denies it has anything to do with anything.

Let me be clear: There is no such thing as "black culture". There are a variety of cultures in America that blacks may be members of, but there is no culture people automatically belong to by virtue of being "black".

This doesn't mean that, if you're trying to explain some statistical fact about "blacks", the distribution of cultures they belong to won't have any explanitory power regarding the statistics.

TNC responds to a critic.

the case for American history

Brett, my memory may have played me false; it so, I certainly apologize. (Although I do note the following from you: "Yeah, culture. Asian-Americans recovered from legal discrimination, and even the Japanese internment, because of culture. Blacks did not, again, because of culture." -- May 28, 1:10 PM)

But whoever made the "black culture" comment, does that fit your definition of racism?

Up until you racistly opened the box, the waveform hadn't collapsed, and the individual's group identity was simultaneously black and not-black.

Heh. Indeed.

This doesn't mean that, if you're trying to explain some statistical fact about "blacks", the distribution of cultures they belong to won't have any explanitory power regarding the statistics.

Sure. Those who belong to the culture of fail, belong to the culture of fail, and those that you know don't, do not.

It's tautologically true.

I don't think anyone, anywhere, is claiming that black people are all equally discriminated against, in all places, and in all situations. Because that would be stupid. You appear to be arguing counter to an argument that, so far, has not been presented.

I think Brett's getting to the point of reductio ad absurdum against his own position, inadvertently. It's becoming very pretzelly and gymnastic.

"But whoever made the "black culture" comment, does that fit your definition of racism?"

If they actually think there's such a thing as "black culture", yeah, but my impression is that all uses of this phrase consisted of people attributing it to others. Dismissing any reference to culture as a belief that there's a "black" culture, rather than just noticing that culture matters.

Donald, Interesting piece, more adamantly declaring that reparations should be paid and that the people it is owed to can be identified. I can see why he chose that person to respond to, they weren't very clear.

But here:

"My heart bleeds for the white child injured by the departure of parents. But God forbid the injury of racism be added to the burden."

Is, again, where he loses me. He is great at black history, but simply refuses to recognize that poor people of all colors have been taken advantage of by most of the evil culprits he names post Civil War. I certainly don't have the time to document the numbers of white people who had subprime mortgages, or were burned in the S&L scandal or were the victims of ruthless real estate swindlers in the early sixties. But I know all those things happened, to white people.

Where he loses his way is that he doesn't recognize that some bad things happen because people are poor.

Also, he keeps going back to how most middle income Black people live in 30,000 neighborhoods instead of 100,000 neighborhoods. That is NOT because of white supremacy or whatever inflammatory word he wants to use intentionally today. That is pretty widespread self segregation if that fact is true.

If you want to convince me that middle class black families that can afford to live in upscale neighborhoods are being "pushed" into lower class neighborhoods, I ain't buying it. These are reasonable successful, educated people who are certainly capable of deciding where to live.

In the end I guess it is this kitchen sink aspect of what he writes that just makes me doubt the breadth of the injury he claims for those not poor.

Let me be clear: There is no such thing as "black culture". There are a variety of cultures in America that blacks may be members of, but there is no culture people automatically belong to by virtue of being "black".

True as stated.

This doesn't mean that, if you're trying to explain some statistical fact about "blacks", the distribution of cultures they belong to won't have any explanatory power regarding the statistics.

No doubt.

The only thing wrong with your argument here is that you've left everybody else in the world out of it.

The problem with your argument, is that you've dragged everybody else in the world into it.

Look, when TNC tells blacks, "Every problem you have is somebody else's fault!", he's also telling them, "Fixing your problems is up to somebody else!".

Does that strike you as a helpful thing to tell somebody? Who ever got ahead thinking that?

Look, when TNC tells blacks, "Every problem you have is somebody else's fault!

he didn't do that.

Also, he keeps going back to how most middle income Black people live in 30,000 neighborhoods instead of 100,000 neighborhoods. That is NOT because of white supremacy or whatever inflammatory word he wants to use intentionally today. That is pretty widespread self segregation if that fact is true.

If you want to convince me that middle class black families that can afford to live in upscale neighborhoods are being "pushed" into lower class neighborhoods, I ain't buying it. These are reasonable successful, educated people who are certainly capable of deciding where to live.


http://www.longislandpress.com/2014/05/17/long-island-segregation-drives-educational-inequality-60-years-after-brown-v-boe/
“So when she was meeting with different realtors, she would tell them, ‘I’m a professor at Touro. I hear these are good places,’” Gross continued. “And then she realized after the fact that they never seemed to show her places in those communities. They showed her places that were majority black. I know Huntington Station was one of the places they took her to. And they showed her houses that were less expensive than what she’d told them she could afford. So that, you know, was the other tip off. “

The professor’s experience is not unprecedented. According to a 2012 ERASE Racism study, “58 percent of respondents said that African Americans miss out on housing because real estate agents will not show blacks homes in white areas.”...

You might also find this illuminating (along with the lengthy list of references at the end):
http://www.academia.edu/6937670/Divided_We_Fall_The_Story_of_Separate_and_Unequal_Suburban_Schools_60_Years_after_Brown_v._Board_of_Education

The problem with your argument, is that you've dragged everybody else in the world into it.

Look, when TNC tells blacks, "Every problem you have is somebody else's fault!

he didn't do that.

I agree.

But whether TNC did or not, I sure as hell did not.

Brett seizes on his favorite scrap of information, and every other thing must therefore be false.

The king of hedgehogs.

Who ever got ahead thinking that?

Also, not for nothing, but whatever else you want to say about Coates, he's a guy who grew up in a seriously dangerous working class neighborhood in Baltimore, during the height of the crack days. Mom was the breadwinner, dad, a former black Panther, stayed home with the kids and published books about the dreaded black studies.

Now he's a senior editor at the Atlantic, teaches writing at MIT, and is fairly widely respected as one of the best contemporary writers on race and the experience of blacks in the contemporary US.

He achieved these things by *working his ass off*.

He's not an advocate of, and does not demonstrate in any aspect of his personal or professional life, the idea that black people should just sit around and wait for handouts from Uncle Sugar.

TNC's elegant reply to his critics:
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-american-history/371723/

Yeah, me too. That's probably why I hold him to a higher standard than I feel most others do.

Nigel, why am I rereading this? In your own words:

:And then she realized after the fact that they never seemed to show her places in those communities. They showed her places that were majority black. I know Huntington Station was one of the places they took her to. And they showed her houses that were less expensive than what she’d told them she could afford. So that, you know, was the other tip off."

My gosh, a university professor figured out she hadn't been shown houses in the areas she asked, my point exactly. Tiresome anecdotes about real estate agents. I wanted to move to Sarasota a few years back, the agent I was working with really wanted me to buy further south, so every house I saw in Sarasota was a sty. I had to insist on seeing better houses in Sarasota. See this is one of those places where I expect the professor to be able to interact with the world, however it may be leaning and take responsibility for seeing the houses in the neighborhoods she wants to see. Like everybody else.

If you want to go beyond anecdote, Marty, do some work yourself.
There are plenty of links out there.

You might also like to point me in the direction of hard evidence for the "widespread self segregation" that I'm not buying.

See this is one of those places where I expect the professor to be able to interact with the world, however

You're incorrectly assuming she didn't - and at the same time suggesting that discrimination by estate agents is no big deal.
Just because some might be able to overcome discrimination doesn't mean its effects aren't real.

No Nigel, I correctly assumed she did so how would I calculate her reparations, for buying the house she wanted after having to change real estate agents.

Nigel,

I read TNC's response to a single critic and I read the critic's article. TNC bounces from one non sequitur to the next, employing assertion as fact and rewriting those few substantive observations his critic makes to enable him to make a point--or what passes for a point.

Bottom line: TNC will not change a single mind in his favor and is likely to move others even farther away from any efforts to reach across.

Further to Marty's point: argument from anecdote is all well and good if it supports TNC's thesis; however, counter-anecdotal evidence is dismissed outright, see, e.g. LJ above. And woe to the person who questions the efficacy of the TNC-supportive anecdote. Racism!

Maybe real estate sales in the NE haven't made its way to the internet. In Houston, go to har.com and shop away! Call your agent and tell him/her what house you want to see and he/she will make the appointment. Or, at least that's how I assume it's done, since I live in a diverse, transitional neighborhood with diverse neighbors moving in, not out. Damn anecdotes.

Problem is, I am not the only one with my experience, which only makes TNC's case that much harder to sell.

see, e.g. LJ above.

Errr, could you point out which comment that was? I'd just like to know exactly what evidence I'm rejecting outright.

No Nigel, I correctly assumed she did so how would I calculate her reparations, for buying the house she wanted after having to change real estate agents.

Indeed - heads you win, tails they lose.

Either someone rises above a single piece of discrimination - in which case it is insignificant - or they don't, which case they are not 'taking responsibility'.

In any event, the 'tiresome' anecdote is disposed of.

Nigel, yes, you are correct. That is exactly how I think about it. There is no deficiency in power or educational equilibrium, so the professor SHOULD be able to deal with a real estate agent. Racism is a public institutional concern when there is the inherent capacity to enforce harm. A power inequity. It is a cultural concern otherwise. Real estate agents don't rise that high in the power structure. They are easily fired and directed.

McT, I've gone through all my comments, and the only thing I've rejected is using a google image search as evidence. Surely that's not what you are talking about? I suppose that it would be evidence if it was something like 'Justin Bieber smoked pot' and there was a picture of him puffing on a spliff, but that doesn't work when you are arguing about membership in a group. If that's the case, the existence of one African American doing well is a refutation of the existence of racism.

TNC will not change a single mind in his favor

you are, in fact, wrong.

"....so the professor SHOULD be able to deal with a real estate agent."

One would think so. However, when you pull back to take a larger view, stunning irregularities appear. For example, a HUD study found that housing segregation was highest in those area where the most minorities lived; that whites were significantly less willing to move into mixed neighborhoods than minorities were; and that differences in income do not explain housing segregation. Surprisingly, in one city, they found that as one went up the income scale, the separation of the races was greater....something one would intuitively not expect (i.e., one would expect more blacks living in white neighborhoods....not the reverse that is observed).

One sees the "culture dodge" in economics also. The claim is "anybody can get rich". Anecdotal examples of rags to riches are cited. Nonetheless, in reality, one's chances of climbing the ladder of wealth are pretty much determined by where you started from, and the effects of "the culture of the poor" are not what is driving observed wealth disparities.

The apparent inability of one black professor to browbeat an asshole realtor does not speak to the case of the vast majority of those with less wealth and power to realize their desires to move into a better neighborhood, even if they could afford it.

Racism still matters. Not as much as it used to, but it's still there, and remains a powerful force in our society.

TNC bounces from one non sequitur to the next...

The inability or unwillingness to cite even one example from what is claimed to be an ample sample is telling.

Comedy gold. Thanks, Tex!

bobbyp,

"one's chances of climbing the ladder of wealth are pretty much determined by where you started from, and the effects of "the culture of the poor" are not what is driving observed wealth disparities."

The first half of this statement has been true across races for a while.

Nigel posted a link earlier that referenced a survey of black people on what kind of neighborhoods they would be willing to move into. The vast majority answered predominantly black neighborhoods, the authors thought it showed exceptional willingness to be integrated that there were many who would be willing to move into a neighborhood that was 50% black and 50% other. Yet, if every black person lived in a 50/50 neighborhood then 80% of the countries neighborhoods would still be all white, or not black.

I keep coming back to the complete inadequacy of statistical measurement on 12% of the population where 58% of that 12% lives in 5 Southern states. 3 million in California. 3 million in Texas. Now your up to 6 states and 70% of the black population and you get to well over 90% by adding in the top 5 cities not covered in those states. Mostly in places where there are almost no blacks outside the cities.

The apparent ability of that professor is significant, that professor and middle class and higher income blacks should not be our focus. They should be able to deal with the world around them.

They should be able to deal with the world around them.

even in cases where "the world around them" doesn't want to deal with them?

The apparent ability of that professor is significant, that professor and middle class and higher income blacks should not be our focus.

Focus for what? Discussing race relations in detail or making public policy?

Focus for what? Discussing race relations in detail or making public policy?

Policy for sure, the discussion should focus on public and private institutional racism. Private racism as per the real estate agent is tangential to say, ensuring mortgage equity.

Private racism as per the real estate agent is tangential to say, ensuring mortgage equity.

and institutionalized racism, as per Wells Fargo ?

Focus for what? Discussing race relations in detail or making public policy?

Policy for sure, the discussion should focus on public and private institutional racism. Private racism as per the real estate agent is tangential to say, ensuring mortgage equity.

This is IMO a reasonable point.

At a minimum, if you're looking for bang-for-the-buck from public initiatives, it makes sense to focus on cases of institutional discrimination, rather than on the actions or attitudes of individuals, one by one.

To cleek's point, I would say that the Wells Fargo case is a clear example of institutional racism. Folks there were acting in an organized and systematic way to target black people and communities, specifically, with predatory financial products.

If "predatory" seems to harsh to you, pick you own adjective.

To circle back to Coates, IMO that is his focus also - baked-in, institutional discrimination. I don't think he's looking for changing the hearts and minds of every individual person in the US.

To address some of McK's points, I think there are regional differences in the pattern of racial and/or ethnic integration between the south - probably including TX - and the north and northeast.

My impression, in a nutshell, is that the boundaries between black and brown neighborhoods, and white neighborhoods, are less permeable in the north than in the south. And, my impression is also that the economic profile of the different neighborhoods is also sharper up here.

All of this is just my impression, I don't have statistics. I could be wrong.

In any case, your experience may actually be different than that of folks in other parts of the country.

sorry - *differences* in the economic profiles of the different neighborhoods are sharper.

An Times article from 2002 that I thought was of relevant interest. America's most integrated city. http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,340694-1,00.html

an old but tangentially-related Straight Dope:

How can Korean-Americans afford to start so many grocery stores?:

The Koreans save it up, just like you could do if you hustled more and whined less. They also borrow from relatives and form fundraising clubs, in which 10-20 people contribute to a cash pool each month. The ante can range from $75 or $100 to thousands of bucks. The pot is given to a different member each month, who invests it as he or she sees fit, usually in a business, home purchase, or the like, although there is nothing to prevent somebody from blowing it at the track. When everybody has had a turn, the club disbands. The money is not a loan and you don't have to pay it back.

culture!

To cleek's point, I would say that the Wells Fargo case is a clear example of institutional racism. Folks there were acting in an organized and systematic way to target black people and communities, specifically, with predatory financial products.

I am less sure that this is a case of "institutional" racism. In TNC's discussion there were clearly some racist people involved, the name calling shows that. But, the banks had a product that was designed for low income people that they were marketing to. Going to churches etc. was a reasonable marketing plan. The loans were also marketed to low income white people, I am sure in different ways, but the mortgage crisis pretty much showed that it wasn't just black people.

So, while I am sure that there was a negative impact on the black community, I think they can join with the rest of those that got these loans in complaining.

AND, I will add that the people who got these loans for houses they couldn't afford bear SOME responsibility. That share is based on the individual educational level and financial understanding of each individual. But I suspect that a lot of people knew that this was a risky proposition and chose to go ahead.

Bearing in mind that I am also not upset that Wells Fargo and others were called on the proverbial legal carpet over some of these things.

Marty,

Will reply to 10:18 after work.

However, with all due respect, we cannot simply have herded African americans north to get actual good or at least better paying jobs than sharecropping or domestic service, excluded them from the New Deal (see Ira Katznelson's When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History Of Racial Inequality In Twentieth-Century America), confined them into certain neighborhoods, denied them market rate financing, taxed ourselves to form a big pot of money to pay for the interstate highway system so whites could move to the 'burbs and take most of the good jobs and education resources with them, and leave them in the inner city to basically rot....and then now, here, in the present simply answer Coates and other interlocutors with, "What? who me? Gangbangers!" (not you personally, but the response is, as we see in this thread, fairly common.)

I have no illusions of reparations becoming a reality. Nonetheless, a just society would seriously consider them.

I do believe that widening this conversation would be of some value.

A jobs guarantee would do more. Dunno' if you agree with that. You have not said.

The loans were also marketed to low income white people, I am sure in different ways...

Then one would expect the same rate of sales and/or foreclosures for similarly stationed people on the income ladder due to the purchase of these toxic products.

Did we observe this?

Predictions have consequences.

if Wells Fargo was scamming all poor people equally, they probably shouldn't have settled with the DOJ:

The settlement, which is subject to court approval, was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in conjunction with the department’s complaint, which alleges that between 2004 and 2008, Wells Fargo discriminated by steering approximately 4,000 African-American and Hispanic wholesale borrowers, as well as additional retail borrowers, into subprime mortgages when non-Hispanic white borrowers with similar credit profiles received prime loans. All the borrowers who were allegedly discriminated against were qualified for Wells Fargo mortgage loans according to Well Fargo’s own underwriting criteria.

The United States also alleges that, between 2004 and 2009, Wells Fargo discriminated by charging approximately 30,000 African-American and Hispanic wholesale borrowers higher fees and rates than non-Hispanic white borrowers because of their race or national origin rather than the borrowers’ credit worthiness or other objective criteria related to borrower risk.

nor should they have settled a similar suit with Shelby Co, TN.

no, settlement is not an admission of guilt. but it does suggest they didn't want to fight too hard to prove their innocence.

some they settle some they don't

LJ wrote on 5/30/14 at 11:33 p.m.

McT, late to the party, tells us that he knows African Americans who have done well and explains that he doesn't like being 'lectured to'.

This is what I had in mind.

I do believe that widening this conversation would be of some value.

What about a conversation that begins in the first grade and continues, with increasing levels of detail and emphasis through high school, to students of every race that begins with the sentence, adjusted for age: doing your best in school, doing your homework, obeying the rules and respecting every person is the best and really the only way to do well in life.

By the time kids are in early middle school, we could be very blunt: this is a critical time in your life. Each of you are going or will go through changes as you mature. These changes are important, but they are also a challenge. You are on the verge of becoming adults. We are going to treat you, in many ways, like adults. We have rules and you must follow those rules. You are expected to pay attention and to work in class and to do your homework as assigned. There are very real consequences to failing to take advantage of the only real educational opportunity you are likely to have.

Why don't we drive that message, or something similar, home everyday to every kid in the country and see, after ten years or so, how necessary the discussion of "how white supremacy drives the nation" is?

At age 13, we tell kids, in addition to the foregoing, this: if you have a child and quit school, you are almost certainly dooming yourself to a life of hard, low paid work and the life that comes with that. You are bringing a child into the world whose chances at a decent life are significantly reduced because of your bad decisions. There are few, if any, happy endings in that story. It is worse for young women. Young men who help make a baby and then fail or refuse to be a good father deserve every bad thing in life that ever happens to them.

We also tell them: you may think it's cool to live on the edge, to drink or do drugs or both, to maybe take something that isn't yours, to join a gang, to carry and even use a weapon. All of the above can and will land you in jail. Doing these things is the first step in ruining what could and should be a happy, productive life. As you get older, you get to make choices. Bad choices equal a sad life.

We could make variations on these themes a constant. Give young people a chance to make informed decisions.

Sound like a plan? A good conversation to have and keep on having?

sounds like a good idea.

do you have any evidence that this isn't already happening?

do you have any evidence that this isn't already happening?

I've seen no evidence of it. I seriously doubt that it is.

no, settlement is not an admission of guilt. but it does suggest they didn't want to fight too hard to prove their innocence.

This isn't the first time I've had pending litigation that is germane to a topic under discussion. For reasons that should be obvious, I cannot go into any detail. I can say that small, isolated facts can and do get spun into large, BS allegations that may or may not be relevant to a pending matter. I can also say that the cost of litigation often drives settlement. Settlements in less than 10mm range aren't even rounding errors for large companies and the internal administrative cost of responding to discovery is highly disruptive.

McT, my point about recapping was not to dismiss your evidence, it was to point out that coming in late after the mood is established should make it unsurprising that you get piled on. I realize that you are busy and I don't expect you to be on call, but if you walk into a place where someone is doing his best clown impression, don't be surprised if your serious declamation of your experiences doesn't get the reaction you think it deserves.

McT, my point about recapping was not to dismiss your evidence, it was to point out that coming in late after the mood is established should make it unsurprising that you get piled on. I realize that you are busy and I don't expect you to be on call, but if you walk into a place where someone is doing his best clown impression, don't be surprised if your serious declamation of your experiences doesn't get the reaction you think it deserves.

So, enter the conversation early or just stay out?

I'm good with that.

Does this principle cross ideological lines?

Just wondering.

Does this principle cross ideological lines?

I shall refrain from commenting on the "sluts and insults" thread. Have at it.

McKinney (re yours at 5:24),
Those are all good things to say. But I suspect what is more critical is doing; doing things which demonstrate the lesson that, in practice and in the kids lives, actions have consequences.

Way too many kids get sheltered from that reality for too long. And then suddenly they are in a gang or have a kid or are in jail . . . and they learn the lesson the hard way and too late. No doubt their parents thought they were "protecting" their children by shielding them from the consequences of their actions. But their approach is counterproductive in the extreme.

I've seen no evidence of it.

None? This risible claim mocks your otherwise harmless little parable and is an insult to the overwhelming majority of parents in this country. It is also contravened by the fact that even the most well behaved and otherwise upstanding male offspring of black middle class parents get treated like shit from time to time just for being black.

I, too, have anecdotes. You want some? You appear to enjoy them, and there are plenty to pick from.

Regards,

So, enter the conversation early or just stay out?

No, but don't accuse folks of 'piling on' where a clown is throwing pies to the face. Or don't be surprised if one of those pies hits you in the face.

I haven't actually seen a big movement towards telling kids to be irresponsible, join a gang, take drugs, ignore their studies, and have illegitimate children. In fact, I think I've seen lots of people, black and white, say that this is a bad idea. Most if not all would agree with McKT's recommendation here. Including TNC. Where he objects is when this recommendation is coupled with the all-too-convenient notion that the problems of black America are almost entirely the result of black irresponsibility.

I'm sorry I wasn't clear. Nobody (that I am aware of) is telling their kids to do things like that. Certainly I did not mean to imply that.

What they are doing is shielding their kids for the consequences (the far smaller consequences) of their actions as children. Your kid fails to turn in homework, because he didn't do it, and gets assigned to extra study hall after school. Do you agree that he should have been? Or do you go to bat for him, so he won't have to miss some extracurricular activity that he is fond of? If you do something like the later, the message is that actions (or inactions) should not have consequences. That was what I was attempting to say.

McKinney,

Congrats to Texas. Your state does well in judicial diversity.

Naturally, those liberal do-gooders twist their conclusion:

Minority and women judges may have been more successful in merit selection systems because it is possible to structure these systems to prioritize diversity.

Oh nohs....affirmative action. Yikes. Racism! Well this might not apply in Texas. How are judges selected there?

"one's chances of climbing the ladder of wealth are pretty much determined by where you started from, and the effects of "the culture of the poor" are not what is driving observed wealth disparities." (bobbyp)

The first half of this statement has been true across races for a while.(Marty)

I'm not quite sure what your point is, but clearly if the first half is true, then the importance of the "culture of the poor" as the explanatory factor driving the extent of poverty in this country is reduced accordingly. To argue otherwise is to refute the very agreement with my statement that you have expressed.

Nigel posted a link earlier that referenced a survey of black people on what kind of neighborhoods they would be willing to move into. The vast majority answered predominantly black neighborhoods, the authors thought it showed exceptional willingness to be integrated that there were many who would be willing to move into a neighborhood that was 50% black and 50% other. Yet, if every black person lived in a 50/50 neighborhood then 80% of the countries neighborhoods would still be all white, or not black.

I did not see any such survey result in either of the articles cited by Nigel. Perhaps you can be more specific. The article I have referred to is here. Written in 2000 it conducted similar surveys. Findings? If given a choice, blacks were more willing to move into mixed neighborhoods than whites, and the fact that fewer of them (as a percentage) were able to do so (i.e., achieve their preference) vs. whites ability to achieve this to a greater extent is telling. How do you explain this?

I keep coming back to the complete inadequacy of statistical measurement on 12% of the population where 58% of that 12% lives in 5 Southern states. 3 million in California. 3 million in Texas. Now your up to 6 states and 70% of the black population and you get to well over 90% by adding in the top 5 cities not covered in those states. Mostly in places where there are almost no blacks outside the cities.

Absurd. Measurements are measurements. Also, this is akin to claiming that election surveys of 0.005% of American voters has no predictive power. That, too, is an absurd claim. The sample size is more than adequate. The findings have statistical validity. The "measurements" are in line with historical data and comport to historical evidence. Neither you nor I are statisticians or social scientists, but your claim of "inadequacy" is not placed in a suitable framework. Perhaps it would help if you cited a specific "statistical measurement" that you object to based on your analysis of the inadequacy of the underlying sample. Otherwise, you have lost me, as I don't see this claim making any sense.

wj: What they are doing is shielding their kids for the consequences (the far smaller consequences) of their actions as children. Your kid fails to turn in homework, because he didn't do it, and gets assigned to extra study hall after school. Do you agree that he should have been? Or do you go to bat for him, so he won't have to miss some extracurricular activity that he is fond of? If you do something like the later, the message is that actions (or inactions) should not have consequences. That was what I was attempting to say.

I don't agree with this, but I'm not quite sure how it relates to the question of poverty, especially black poverty. My impression - from a great distance, I must say, since it's been a long time since I've had any direct contact with the US school system - is that the parents most likely to "go to bat" for their children with their teachers and principals are NOT those most at risk, but those already enjoying the sense of entitlement that relative prosperity brings.

IOW, the patterns you describe may well suggest reasons why the US economy & society in general are f**ked up, especially at the top, but not why those on the bottom continue to get screwed.

I welcome anyone with evidence to the contrary. Seriously - I've got no idea of what US schools today are really like, taken as a whole.

My first line should start "I don't disagree with this . . .," rather altering the intended meaning.

Further lines should include:

I will proofread before I post.
I will proofread before I post.
I will proofread before I post.

I've seen no evidence of it. I seriously doubt that it is.

noted sociologist McKinneyTexas has spoken: black children are not told what growing up means.

perhaps he'll share his data with us someday.

Another, extended 'anecdote'...
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/05/where-blacks-suffer-under-stop-and-frisk-on-steroids/371869/

Sound like a plan? A good conversation to have and keep on having?

It's a great plan.

Whether it is likely to be effective depends to some degree on the evidence available to the kid that doing all the right things will actually make a difference one way or the other.

That's not a race thing, BTW, it's just a thing.

Way too many kids get sheltered from that reality for too long.

I would say that being sheltered from reality is among the least of the problems that disadvantaged kids have.

Again, not a race thing, just a thing.

This is off the subject, but 'sheltered from reality' brings up an anecdote that has absolutely nothing to do with race or being disadvantaged, but it's been on my mind so that maybe if I write about it, I can let it go.

We got a tenor sax for my daughter, and she's been playing it for about 2 or 3 months (she was on a borrowed tenor for about 3 years). She came home the other day, sniffling and I asked her what was wrong and she burst into tears and said that she had dropped the sax and it was bent. I told her not to worry, these things happen and why was she crying. She said, in between sobs, 'but it cost so much money'. I found myself touched that she realized the value of things, but also wanting to shelter her from the reality. Yes, things cost money, and I was both pleased at her concern and really wanted to have her not feel bad.

Fortunately, it wasn't too badly damaged and was fixed and it didn't cost too much. You can tell something happened, but I told my daughter that it gives her instrument character. Still, if there was a magic wand to wave to shield her from her feeling bad about it, I would have done it, so I imagine that any parent is going to do something similar.

TNC replies to David Frum (whose article I thought pretty weak, as he spent a large part of it arguing that black people watch too much TV and therefore...no reparations ??):

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/06/the-radical-practicality-of-reparations/372114/
...David treats Japanese-American reparations as an open question or a thought experiment. But it isn't. It's just American history—and people charged with analyzing America should know it.

People who take up reparations arguments should especially know it because it presents us with some provocative questions. The collective ills of housing segregation—block-busting, redlining, segregated public-housing, the G.I. Bill, terrorism—continued long after Japanese-American internment. A serious interlocutor of reparations can not thoughtlessly muster a melange of historical wrongs, but must directly explain why the Japanese-American case is compelling, but the more recent African-American case is not...

...Perhaps David wants to ask "Do black people with direct 'white' ancestry qualify?" The correct reply to this is "Were black people with direct 'white' ancestry victims of racist housing policy?" The answer to that question is knowable. But it is not the question we ask. Instead we focus on the myth of "race," while ignoring the demonstrable fact of injury.

dr ngo,
you are correct of course. My comment was directed at a specific suggestion as to what was wrong with the culture of poverty (or with black culture, I misremember which) that caused poverty to continue. I should have made clear that I saw it as a general problem. And that the case of schools was an example; a specific case of something that occurs all too often and in other contexts as well.

Another post from Coates, dealing with

A) whether reparations should be extended to others (they should make their case is his answer)
B) whether we can identify particular victims who deserve money (yes, he says)

link

This risible claim mocks your otherwise harmless little parable and is an insult to the overwhelming majority of parents in this country.

I'm talking about schools, not parents. If parents were doing a better job, schools wouldn't have to take on this load.

A conversation about reparations is one thing. An ongoing conversation in which all students are given clear, advance warning of what awaits them if they do not buckle down and study, do not avoid crime, drugs and early, out of wedlock pregnancy does not seem to be in place. If it is, too damn many kids are not paying attention, in which case the situation is hopeless.

Well this might not apply in Texas. How are judges selected there?

Elected.

The pernicious effects of school "re-segregation" are here in the present for all of us to see.

It is to weep for the injustice of it all. I am ashamed of my country.

More 'anecdote"...

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/06/the-long-shadow-poverty-baltimore-poor-children?

Perhaps more striking in his findings was the role of race in upward mobility. Alexander found that among men who drop out of high school, the employment differences between white and black men was truly staggering. At age 22, 89 percent of the white subjects who'd dropped of high school were working, compared with 40 percent of the black dropouts.

These differences came despite the fact that it was the better-off white men who reported the highest rates of drug abuse and binge drinking. White men from disadvantaged families came in second in that department. White men also had high rates of encounters with the criminal justice system. At age 28, 41 percent of the white men born into low-income families had criminal convictions, compared with 49 percent of the black men from similar backgrounds, an indication that it is indeed race, not a criminal record, that's keeping a lot of black men out of the workforce.

an indication that it is indeed race, not a criminal record, that's keeping a lot of black men out of the workforce

see, it is culture! white culture.

More from the "what blacks need is a decent respect for the uplifting possibilities of a good education" front.

There are two ways to go here. Either whites wake up, or minorities simply become the majority and seize "equality" by political means.

Now don't blame me. Somebody has to pick up the ball now that Brett is gone. ;)

Thanks for the link, bobbyp. It's almost as though she were reading this thread--or a bit more likely, she's heard it all before countless times.

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