The More Racism Changes The More It Stays The Same

The dominant community as well as a lot of self appointed voices of the black community is constantly accusing blacks who cry racism of living in the past. That black people have transcended racism and are now victims of their own deplorable culture as well as just plain old laziness. And somehow we are looking into the past and using this as an excuse as a reason for our lack of jobs, healthcare, wealth and our over representation in the prison system.

The fallacy that we hear constantly out of people such as Bill Cosby, John McWhorter, Shelby Steele and many in the dominant culture is that blacks are falling behind because blacks don’t want to do better. We just need to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and we would be doing fine. Basically blacks lack jobs and wealth because they won’t embrace the values of the dominant culture.

Frederick L. Hoffman who was working for Prudential Insurance Company in 1896 compiled a bunch of information about why blacks couldn’t be insured in response to a wave of state legislation banning discrimination against blacks. According to Megan J Wolff, MPH who wrote a report for the government noted that “Hoffman, a German immigrant, was one of the leading statisticians of his time and also a strong proponent of racial hierarchy and white supremacy.”

He used data from the census to show that since being freed blacks were doing far worse than whites on all fronts. And that the problem was NOT due to racism, he argued strongly that it was all due to “race traits and tendencies.” Somehow blacks weren’t being adversely affected by racism, that as soon as they were freed from slavery somehow the playing field was even. And that black people were now able to compete with whites for any and everything that they needed in life.

Then soon after this report Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 segregation was enacted. Supposedly blacks and whites would receive the same services of schools, hospitals and bathrooms, etc.  That each would use independent of the other. But what of course happened was that the services and the facilities reserved for blacks were always lower in quality or value than those reserved for whites. At the time schools for blacks received significantly less public funding per student than white schools.

And looking at “white flight” and the demographic of today’s society we have De facto segregation one that persists to varying levels without the endorsement of law to this present day. The present-day racial segregation seen in America in our residential neighborhoods has been formed by public policies such as housing, mortgage discrimination and redlining which is the practice of arbitrarily denying or limiting financial services to specific neighborhoods, generally because its residents are people of color or are poor.

G Stanley Hall described Africans, Indians, and Chinese as members of “adolescent races” in a stage of incomplete growth.” He also instructed black people to stop sympathizing “with their own criminals” and “accept without whining patheticism and corroding self-pity [their] present situation, prejudice and all.” I am sure that this sounds familiar as we hear this out of many mouths on a constant basis when anything racial ailing blacks finds its way to the mainstream media. In fact didn’t Pat Buchanan just write an article telling blacks that they need to thank god everyday for being in America? Stop our whining about how terrible racism is and look at how terrible white people have it just having to deal with us and our criminality, illegitimate children and bleak outlook for the future.

How about we do look at the past and while we are at it why don’t we look at the conditions of today in comparison. We see that the Cosby’s, McWhorter’s and Steele’s’ are telling us the same old Hoffman bull about blacks being the ONLY cause of their problems regardless if racism exists or not. Black inner city schools and neighborhoods failings aren’t due to the fact that they receive far less tax dollars than white communities just like segregation, but due to the laziness and stupidity of the black community.

Blacks not getting jobs or adequate healthcare are totally due to black inferiority in the job market not the fact that the dominant culture has been and is acquiescent in the discrimination that continues the disparity. Blacks’ over representation in the justice system is due to their ill culture and criminality not that they are being kept from resources given the white community that greatly diminishes the root cause of criminality.

Continuing to pretend that looking at the past is the root cause to all of our current racial woes has done nothing more than ensure the continuation of those racial woes. We are living the past continuously as in that movie Groundhog Day. Every day we wake up we are subjected to a barrage of racist propaganda used originally to ensure that blacks would NOT have access to the same resources afforded the white community. And no one can deny that we still don’t have access to the same resources afforded the white community today. We are still subjected to finger pointing, racist science, De facto segregation which is still separate and not even close to equal.

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14 Comments

Filed under African American, Black community, Black Culture, Black People, Racism

14 responses to “The More Racism Changes The More It Stays The Same

  1. “That black people have transcended racism and are now victims of their own deplorable culture as well as just plain old laziness.”

    (WOW that font enlarged–I don’t know how to change it, sorry.)
    I’ve seen a lot of that attitude. I don’t agree with it, but I can smell horse apples just as well as the next person. Just like with the pictures up there of Katrina–it’s blatant and it’s wrong. My husband spent 2 1/2 months helping with the relief effort there. The good people got desperate and the bad people got evil. It didn’t much matter what color they were.

    As a white person I really can’t imagine some of the crap other people are forced to endure just because of the color of their skin. It makes me angry and sad all at the same time.

    “Every day we wake up we are subjected to a barrage of racist propaganda used originally to ensure that blacks would NOT have access to the same resources afforded the white community. And no one can deny that we still don’t have access to the same resources afforded the white community today. We are still subjected to finger pointing, racist science, De facto segregation which is still separate and not even close to equal.”

    How frustrating this must be. Day after day after day after day. I wish our country (and our world for that matter) was a different sort of place.

    I wanted to stop by and thank you for coming to Ugly Ass Opinion. I appreciate the time you took with your response, and your respectful approach.
    I answered your comment, and I’d be pleased if you have time to come back and read it sometime.

    And now I’m off. It’s late on Eastern time. 🙂

  2. This really made me think. I really can’t speak for Cosby and Co. but I (Black) do become frustrated with knuckle-headed Black people. I become so frustrated that only half the time do I consider that residual racism factors into their predicaments.

    I think I started to lose (some) sympathy when “the Man” became a copout for too many of them. Personal responsibility has to be considered. How much should be considered — I really can’t call it. I mean, we do things that destroy our own communities and what are the victims supposed to do? Chalk it up to racism?

    I agree totally with your argument of there being double standards. At the same time, personal responsibility needs to be addressed. At first, I wasn’t all that bothered by what Cosby said because I related all to well with his complaints. Some people simply don’t care enough about their families and I believe that is the heart of our problems. But obviously he missed the mark by not considering our sordid history with White America.

    Now where do you think personal responsibility comes in?

  3. “Some people simply don’t care enough about their families and I believe that is the heart of our problems.”

    I fully agree, but this holds true for communities of every color. I live in an area that’s predominantly white. There are some hateful, useless people here. I don’t believe their inherent meanness has anything to do with the color of their skin.

    I don’t agree with all that Cosby said, but he hit the nail on the head about core family values. He just addressed the point to the black community, when all of America needs to hear it.

  4. Anonymiss,

    I think we are all bound by personal responsibility. Hopefully we are taught that as children. But unfortunately that doesn’t always happen, especially when you look at the history of poor, uneducated environments.

    Ignorance breeds ignorance and it only gets worse as time progresses. Now with that said my first response is to say that I understand your position on losing patience with these knuckle heads because I have been there. Not only been there but go there constantly.

    One thing that helps me is that this behavior is not isolated or more concentrated in our community. That is part of the propaganda. Being idiotic is not more prevalent for us it is prevalent in societies who allow people to fall by the wayside.

    Stupidity is a product of poor or lack of proper education. I think that we need to spend time educating not chastising. That is where I think Cosby goes wrong. He goes on shows like Larry King Live. How many poor people in the ghetto with what he calls ghetto attitudes are watching that show? And how many of them have 30 dollars to run out and buy his book?

    When you create a person who feels they have no future or that they aren’t worth a damn then you get a class of people who don’t care about themselves or anything else. Think about this, people who are owners of their environment instead of victims of it usually think more of their surroundings and want to keep them in good order. You see a lot of this in poor communities where there are a lot of renters vs. owners. Those communities are usually in poor condition, with poor community services, schools and attitudes. How can anyone be expected to live in a trash heap and have self respect?

    This is where I am coming from. I understand that we need to improve our community. But I also understand that we need to lift our people up not stomp them further down into the ground. When I look at the things that were going on in the past I see the same thing happening now. Poor people are desperate people and we all need to realize this. We need to figure out why it is that the black community continues to be on the bottom of the heap.

  5. The Engineer

    Very well said, Black Sentinel; very well said.

    Approximately three of your essays ago, I became inspired to use Google on the search string, “white affirmative action,” just to see what, if anything, would appear. I was surprised.

    The following link entitled, “When Affirmative Action Was White: Uncivil Rights,” may be of interest to your readers:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/28/books/review/28KOTZL.html
    It is a book review. Here are some excerpts:

    “…Katznelson’s principal focus is on the monumental social programs of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and Harry Truman’s Fair Deal in the 1930’s and 1940’s. He contends that those programs not only discriminated against blacks, but actually contributed to widening the gap between white and black Americans — judged in terms of educational achievement, quality of jobs and housing, and attainment of higher income. Arguing for the necessity of affirmative action today, Katznelson contends that policy makers and the judiciary previously failed to consider just how unfairly blacks had been treated by the federal government in the 30 years before the civil rights revolution of the 1960’s.”

    “At the time, most blacks in the labor force were employed in agriculture or as domestic household workers. Members of Congress from the Deep South demanded that those occupations be excluded from the minimum wage, Social Security, unemployment insurance and workmen’s compensation. When labor unions scored initial victories in organizing poor factory workers in the South after World War II, the Southern Congressional leaders spearheaded legislation to cripple those efforts. The Southerners’ principal objective, Katznelson contends, was to safeguard the racist economic and social order known as the Southern ”way of life.”

    “The statistics on disparate treatment are staggering. By October 1946, 6,500 former soldiers had been placed in nonfarm jobs by the employment service in Mississippi; 86 percent of the skilled and semiskilled jobs were filled by whites, 92 percent of the unskilled ones by blacks. In New York and northern New Jersey, ”fewer than 100 of the 67,000 mortgages insured by the G.I. Bill supported home purchases by nonwhites.” Discrimination continued as well in elite Northern colleges. The University of Pennsylvania, along with Columbia the least discriminatory of the Ivy League colleges, enrolled only 46 black students in its student body of 9,000 in 1946. The traditional black colleges did not have places for an estimated 70,000 black veterans in 1947. At the same time, white universities were doubling their enrollments and prospering with the infusion of public and private funds, and of students with their G.I. benefits.”

    “Katznelson argues that the case for affirmative action today is made more effectively by citing concrete history rather than through general exhortations. Studying the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the Great Society and the civil rights movements of the 1960’s could not be more relevant at a time when the administration seems determined to weaken many of the federal programs that for decades have not just sustained the nation’s minorities but built its solid middle class. Whether or not Katznelson’s study directly influences the affirmative action debate, it serves an important purpose. With key parts of the Voting Rights Act set to expire in 2007 and other civil rights protections subject to change, we must understand a continuing reality: the insidious and recurrent racial bias in the history of American public life.”

    I have lived (as a non-Caucasian) in a well-to-do Caucasian neighborhood for my entire life. I believe I can offer a possible explanation to your question, “We need to figure out why it is that the black community continues to be on the bottom of the heap.”

    Caucasian Americans are moving toward the bottom of the heap.

    Recently, Mr. Obama made a plain, simple, and insightful statement in regard to the Caucasian middle class in America. Please allow me to paraphrase, for I do not remember his exact words, but essentially Mr. Obama said that Caucasian middle class Americans are bitter over their personal economy, and as such, they turn to religion, racism, and rifles.

    I believe Mr. Obama’s observation is true.

    Thank you for listening.

  6. Pingback: The More Racism Changes The More It Stays The Same « The Black Sentinel « Sable Verity

  7. katlindelarosa

    I think you have a lot of valid points. But I was not aware that things had become so bad in America- propaganda etc, . I have been 4 years here in Europe, and maybe with all the immigration issues happening in the states, things have deteriorated? I guess we all really want to stick to the concept of the land of the free and the home of brave for as long as possible. I see so much talking against blacks in Vienna, in France, Italy, and here in Romania that to me it’s disgusting. My husband is a good example of pre-programming from childhood that many cannot escape- not only against blacks but against Jews and even Americans. ( I am American but he still has this underlying hatred.) I truly do not understand why skin color or nationality makes so much difference. I have had some really good black friends and would trust them more than a lot of the white people I know. I believe that content of character is foremost. Not the color of skin. But you cannot convince other people to have the same values of humanity. I try, but just get myself into battling of words. So, of course I am a bit naive, wishing things were different. Hoping they could be.

    I

  8. The Black Sentinel,

    You’ve raised some very good points.

    Me and a friend of mine were talking about Newark, NJ and how they’re trying to clean it up but that it’s very hard to do considering the mindset of many of their residents.

    My friend (like many Black folks) do not consider the psychological damage that was passed down from parent to child and so on. She was raised by a single mom and just because she and her sis came out all right, there’s no excuse for anybody to go a wayward route and copout to coming from a broken home. To make a long story short, she doesn’t make a direct connection between wayward kids and broken (i.e., single parent and/or uninvolved parent) homes. I’m gonna have to blog about this at a later time cuz it’s far too long to discuss here.

    K Trainor,
    I hear you. I hope I didn’t make our problems seem “Black only” cuz that wasn’t my intention.

  9. Mike

    I am sick of black people saying oh no we are being mistreded. You want to talk about being mistreaded or having someone be racist towards you. .. you have no ideal try being white in a black neighboorhood. Yeah that should make you see waht racism is. I have become racist no doubt Im sick of even seeing a black person, with the drug deals the shootings the theaft I have witenedssed you wont get any symbothy from me about your race issues.

  10. Mike,

    I guess any excuse for your racism is great as long as it works for you. I know tons of white people who live in black neighborhoods. I guess you are just special.

    Also, when you walk out of that so called black neighborhood are you being discriminated against? Are those black people in that community keeping you from getting a job? Are they somehow keeping you from getting a loan, renting a decent home, getting sufficient health care or anything else that otherwise gives you a full life within the American dream? I think the answer is NO.

    But, yeah you go ahead and think that living in a black community is the epitome of racism. Because it is obvious that you don’t understand what racism is. I have lived in ALL white areas that I have no doubt talked about on this blog before. And I have witnessed the drug deals, the shootings, the theft and also witnessed the wife abuse, the child abuse, the lying, cheating and other bad behavior.

    But do I now say that ALL white people are bad and deserve bad treatment? NO! Why, because I have enough common sense in my brain to understand that everyone is different and an individual. But you being a credit to your kind (ignorant people) see a few black people doing something and then transfer it to ALL black people. Then believe that since “I saw a black person doing something bad, they deserve to have racism thrown on the whole group.”

    How ignorant can you be. If I see a white lady stealing should I then say that it is now good and fine for white women to be raped and beaten and they would get no sympathy from me? No those are the ramblings of an idiot. Yet you sit and expect someone to see the logic in your statements. Maybe you should replace black with white and see if that still works for you. Because white people are doing crime too. Unless you will have us all believe that whites are above that nonsense.

    You need to stop making excuses for your racism. You ARE the problem in America. If we could rid ourselves of ignorant people like you and the people you claim to live around, this would be a much better country.

    Thanks for a truly stupid comment.

  11. The Engineer

    Mr. Mike:

    As a non-Caucasian, I have lived in a well-to-do Caucasian neighborhood my entire life. Your earlier comment was somewhat inspiring, please allow me to use and modify it to my own circumstances:

    “I am sick of White people saying, ‘Oh no, we are being mistreated!” You want to talk about being mistreated or having someone be racist towards you? You have no idea. Try being non-Caucasian in a White neighboorhood. Yes, that should make you see what racism is. I have become racist no doubt. I am sick of even seeing a White person — with the drug deals, the shootings, the theft I have witnessed. You will not get any sympathy from me about your race issues.”

    Yes, Mike, it is true, with only two slight modifications:

    1. I am not racist. I am cautious.

    2. They use silencers in my area.

    I hope the aforementioned brings some new perspective to your circumstances.

    Thank you for listening.

  12. The Engineer,

    Just lovely! I am glad that someone else is letting Mike know that crime etc. are not mutually exclusive. White people seem to think that “they” would never be the brunt of someones disgust. But will somehow think that it is fine for them to tout how it is black people themselves who cause white people to hate them. Just ignorant!

    Thank you so much for the great reply.

  13. Since it has been awhile since I have responded to anything on this blog, I feel the need to clarify that the previous Mike, is NOT ME!! I like to think I can spell better and have a greater amount of tolerance and judgement, well except for fish…I think salmon tastes a lot better than walleye. (sorry…sad humor!)

  14. Mike Lovell,

    Thanks for the clarification for the other readers sake. As I think that guy would be getting another ear full if he were to come back with the same junk. I think that my one year old could have used better logic than that guy. Also, I am a salmon girl myself. But you would have to argue my dad down about the walleye. He loves his seafood being up in the northwest.

    Thanks for the reply

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