Here is one of the most honest discussions I’ve ever seen, and it has been largely ignored by the blogosphere (something we would expect from the MSM).
We can have this conversation now — should have this conversation now — because African-Americans are on the verge of the greatest setback they’ve experienced since the election of Rutherford B. Hayes. You see, you’ve just given life to the suspicion that black people in America are, and have long been, a fifth column — unanimously hating the very country that has afforded the highest standard of living ever achieved by black people in human history. We’re teetering at the edge of believing that you’re a secret society, a massive collection of sleeper cells just waiting for your chance to do serious harm to the rest of us. You’ve made it possible for us to believe that. Because you’re never outraged by what the worst black people do. Because you continue to make excuses for what should be inexcusable to everyone.
The path to equality is counter-intuitive. Admit and decry the failings of your community. Concede that a generation of single mothers has been a disaster. Let go of the fantasy that black mothers are some kind of infallible force of nature. Demand that your children spend more time reading and doing sums than farting around on the basketball court. Only about two thousand people in the whole country make a living by playing sports. The rest have to get real jobs. Do whatever it takes to make your preachers emphasize the value of being a good father instead of ranting from the pulpit about how all of life’s woes are the fault of rich old white men. Tip your white waitress. Stay at work after 5 o’clock. Allow your kids to find somebody to admire and emulate who isn’t black. (My two best friends in high school — white guys — fought like dogs about their conflicting candidates for best rightfielder in baseball: Clemente or Aaron.) Would it kill you if your kid fixated on Sandy Koufax, Mozart, or Shakespeare rather than Mays, Armstrong, or Jay-Z? Does being black really have to be a full-time job?
Admit it. White people have these thoughts, and some black people, if they were honest with themselves, do too.
Here’s the biggest thing we “racists” notice. Every single immigrant group that ever came to America — including the Chinese who came as railroad slaves — has risen out of poverty and want to prosperity and respect. The Irish, the Italians, the Polish, the Jews, the Koreans, the Vietnamese. Every group but you. And you’re the only group we fought a war to free.
Old Guy goes on to explain his use of the word “nigger” (which he used to make a point, not as a gratuitous insult), which is verboten to all white people (and should be verboten to black people as well, if it’s such an insult to them).
I’m not proposing the generalized use of the term, just trying to be clear for once, in the wake of Obama’s call for us to have a dialogue about race. However much they may scream and protest, black people will know what I mean when I demand they concede that the following people are niggers:
– Jeremiah Wright
– O.J. Simpson
– Marion Barry
– Alan Iverson
– William Jefferson
– Louis Farrakhan
– Mike Tyson
You know what I mean. They hold you back. They’re dirty, violent, and stupid. They make you look bad, and you foul yourselves by defending them, by reelecting them to office, by admiring them in spite of all their awful behavior.
Old Guy (OldPunk, actually) responds to the hysterics who got their panties in a twist over his original post:
My sin? I have spent much of a long life thinking about racial matters. Born in a nominally northern town that was nevertheless 60 percent black and 40 percent white, I have witnessed the sins and virtues of segregation and the sins and virtues of the civil rights movement. Segregation was a deadly wrong and it ended. Civil rights was a moral imperative and it prevailed. Today, my town and the black community that lived in it since the Revolution are worse off — families destroyed, prostitution a commonplace where it never existed before, drugs and guns and dead children of both races rife, and because I will die in this town as I was born in this town, I want to understand it and help navigate a new way forward. Not back. I don’t want black people to be subservient, or white, or know their place, or be just like me. I just want them to get over the past and start building their own lives without waiting for the government to do it for them.
He goes on to demonstrate that the term “nigger” probably ought to apply to certain people who aren’t black, but whom we usually designate as “white trash” (and boy, is he ever right):
I’m delighted to provide a ‘white trash’ list that corresponds to the ‘nigger’ list. It’s even more expansive. It includes people who aren’t just dirty, violent, and stupid, but also slimy, mean, hypocritical, and manipulative. And unlike a lot of the commenters, it’s not confined to just one political party. I urge our leaders — and, indeed, all white people, to join me in admitting that the following white people are inexcusable trash:
& many many others
Yeah, I know the list can be longer. And people will object that some of the entries seem political. But both parties are represented, and no one is on the list who isn’t — regardless of political stripe — corrupt, a liar, a fraud, damagingly immoral, an unabashed hater, suspiciously well connected, or all of those things…
Related thoughts here, including this salient point:
In the end, the right response to racism has to be to uphold a consistently applied standard of behavior that holds true regardless of skin color. Chris Rock had it right: we don’t get to congratulate ourselves for doing the right thing, whether we are white, black, yellow or brown.
We are supposed to do the right thing, every day, regardless of our skin color. That is the standard Barack Obama forgot to uphold, and one we have a right to expect from the next President of the United States.