Michael Brown makes us take a closer look at black America
OCALA, Fla., August 14, 2014 — The St. Louis suburb of Ferguson has become a flash point for our country’s debate about race relations.
The trouble started after unarmed black eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer. The incident took place just after noon on Saturday. Since Sunday, there have been an uneasy mix of peaceful protests and violent riots. More or less, those who are on the ground in opposition to Brown’s death are black. Most law enforcement personnel are white.
Right now, it seems that Brown was killed after he tried to grab his soon-to-be shooter’s firearm. Brown and a friend were stopped by police for unconfirmed reasons while out walking.
Brown’s death has attracted almost a carbon copy of high-profile figures involved with the Trayvon Martin nightmare. The attorney retained by Martin’s family has been hired by Brown’s relatives, Al Sharpton is demanding his interpretation of justice, New Black Panther Party members are acting as agents provocateur, the Department of Justice has launched a civil rights investigation, and so-called journalists are actively fanning the flames.
Before the situation gets anymore out of hand, we should ask ourselves this: What precisely is causing so many issues in the American black community?
“(A)cknowledging that doing things the way we have has tended to do them has been disastrous,” political writer Harry Stein, author of No Matter What…They’ll Call This Book Racist, explained to me in 2012. “It has not only divided us by race but has bred, especially among younger black people, both resentment and a bottomless sense of entitlement. How to address it? By insisting on the same high standards of behavior for all Americans, making excuses for no one based on the superficials of race or ethnicity.
“To take an obvious case in point: once, within memory, having a child out of wedlock in this society was stigmatized, a mark of disgrace, and properly so, since it is a given that when kids are born out of wedlock their chances of life success plummet. Yet in today’s America, almost no one will risk aggressively making that case or otherwise giving offense to unwed parents, because to do so is almost sure to be characterized as racist.”
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Last year, paleoconservative columnist Ilana Mercer told me that “as for ‘race relations’ in the collective sense, these consist in whites, as a group, accepting that all blacks have an eternal claim against them—for no other reason than that they are white. For ever after, whites have accepted that they are destined to be roped into the Sisyphean struggle to appease the unappeasable. Or so African Americans repeatedly tell them. White liberals, the vast majority of Obama’s base, lap up the libel of a racist America. The same curvature of the spine afflicts the ‘conservative’ priesthood. Sane individuals reject this Mark of Cain; as they should a false accusation of hate they don’t harbor; hate The Other harbors.
“Numbers from The Bureau of Justice Statistics confirm that white-on-black hate crimes are practically (and certainly statistically) non-existent. These are manufactured myths. Young, white, and poor: Now this is the group that is more likely than any other age group to be well represented among the reported victims of hate crimes. A significantly higher percentage of victims of violent racial hatred say their attackers were black.”
Dr. Paul Gottfried is an outspoken conservative intellectual. A recently retired professor at Elizabethtown College, his observations of the human condition have generated both accolades and animosity.
“I think race relations have soured largely because of white people who treat blacks indulgently largely because of their fear of sounding politically incorrect,” Gottfried said to me earlier this year. “I would also mention that white society is coming to look like a disintegrating black society because it is under the same cultural and social influences. Indeed whites now show a higher out-of-wedlock birth rate than blacks did well into the 1960s. When I was a kid in the 1950s living in a factory town in Connecticut, most blacks lived in two-parent families. The daddies worked and everyone went to church on Sunday, where presumably they heard hell and brimstone sermons.
“I don’t think that on the whole the civil rights revolution benefited the black family or black morals. It created a climate in which whites would be blamed for the failures of the black community; and a climate in which whites would proclaim their guilt as a public orthodoxy. This has helped no one but the designers of ‘social policies,’ anti-discrimination agencies, black race hustlers, and what I refer to in my writing as the ‘guilt industry.’”
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