I’ve seen some great spoofs of the Nike campaign recently. Some really are funny, but I suspect that the people posting them fit into one of two categories:
- Don’t believe there is a mortal issue at stake. Don’t believe there is disproportionate unjustified police violence toward black people. Or:
- Approve of the oppression and violence.
I don’t see a third major category, other than perhaps people with a sick sense of humor (some of my favorite people, in general) but most of it seems to sort into those first two.. Racists (those who believe in differential capacity or worth between racial groups) if of good character (no, not a contradiction in terms. A perspective of differential worth is pretty common among human beings. Doesn’t make a direct statement about how you treat people) tend not to believe there is a real issue. Most fall into the first category (however, you do NOT have to be a racist to fit into this category. You do seem to need to be Conservative however, believing in a “level playing field.” I know good and decent people who fit this category, so don’t hallucinate that they don’t exist, please.)
If they believe there is a problem, they will blame the black community itself. If they are racists they will hem and haw around the subject, and have real problems speaking their real belief directly: blacks are targeted disproportionately because they are just innately less capable and more criminal. Blame God.
Or, they blame “culture”. It’s black “culture” you see. Next stage: “Oh. So you’re saying that slavery and Jim Crow and Segregation were so violent and destructive that they damaged the ability of blacks to create a successful society? ” Blame Slavery and its aftermath.
They will stutter here, because the Current Southern Apologia is specifically designed to absolve the South for any responsibility for what they did. If they DON’T blame slavery or its aftermath…precisely what do they blame for the dysfunctional “culture” they blame for black issues?
Next question: “Given the same history, would white people have been damaged as much or suffered as long?”
If they say “yes” then it is environment, not genetics, and you can move on to the next question: what do we do now?
Well, don’t expect a wound to heal until the knife is removed. That would mean the differential treatment, and the lies about history and current conditions. Change both of those, and the healing is much more rapid.
But anyone who won’t say “yes, white people would have suffered as much and been damaged as long” is IMO hiding a racist agenda. Disengage. This is a Faith Based position, and arguing does nothing.
There are of course others. Racists of venomous intent and low character. They actually approve of the violence: “Got to keep the monkeys in their cages.” They would also approve of torturing suspected terrorists, of course. They are frightened, angry, petty people, and they hide behind the mask of “oh, it’s just culture” without explaining where the damage came from. Kicking the can down the road for others to intuit that, yeah, it’s innate capacity. Or maybe they don’t WANT to live, or be free, or make money, or for their children to survive. Because if they do…maybe they just…ahem…don’t have the capacity, poor devils…
Yeah, it really is that simple. Logically let’s MODUS PONENS (If/Then proposition) this:
IF black people are equal in capacity to white people, THEN the playing field is unlevel.
IF the playing field is level, THEN black people are not equal to white people.
Take your pick, but I don’t believe there is a serious third choice.
Now there are dishonest people: “the playing field is unequal. But government attempts to make things better will only make them worse. Therefore, I will deny they are unequal.” This is cowardly. Much better to say:
“Yes, they are unequal, but I see no way to make them better without greater net damage.”
Or even: “Yes, they are unequal, but I’ve got mine and screw you. I LIKE having an advantage.”
Hey, I may not think that second one is evolved, but I have to admit that it is common human thinking. And it leads to dishonesty:
“Yes, its unequal, but I’ve got mine and don’t want to give it up. But I don’t want to look like a selfish ass, so I will PRETEND to believe that things are equal, to protect my image.”
Here’s a worse one: “Yes, its unequal, but I’ve got mine…and I want some of yours, too. So `tragedy of the commons’ be damned, I will pretend to believe in fair play because I want YOU to treat me fairly even if I don’t give a shit about you. YOUR children can suffer, but I want you to keep a caring, watchful eye on mine.”
That is both dishonest and cowardly IMO. These are snakes.
Interesting things happen when you simply start with the presumption of equality despite the (IMO) fact that you cannot ultimately “prove” equality or inequality, that everyone is ultimately making a faith-based assertion. You then have to live with the results. Equality means that I can’t assume whites are innately evil, either. However much self-serving evidence I might amass, and however satisfying that might be.
No. I actually have to live in that space, or the whole thing falls apart.
Another time, we’ll discuss what happens when you apply this notion to gender. THAT’S a doozy.