Attitudes toward racism very dramatically in the U.S. Some believe that if there are more whites than blacks in an affluent suburb, that is discrimination, or if more black youths are suspended from high school than whites, that is discrimination, or if banks make fewer loans to people in inner cities, that is racist discrimination as well. So for instance, in the affluent mostly white suburb where I live, there is now a mandate that low-income people must be brought in from the inner city. Housing must be built for them somewhere in our small leafy suburb. Another example: Deborah Delisle, assistant secretary for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the Education Department, says that the disparity in suspensions between black and white students is a “potential violation of civil rights laws.”
And government put pressure on banks to lend to bad credit risks, again on the idea of supposed discrimination, and that helped lead to our current financial problems.
The opposite extreme is the Nazi types in the Aryan Nations compound in Idaho. In a documentary, I saw one woman there saying that the American bloodline was being diluted by intermarriage. The idea is that people with pure noble Aryan genes are having their genes contaminated.
Now here is the problem. I used to be very prejudiced, though I was not a believer in how wonderful I was, or my ethnic/racial group was.
I’ll give 3 examples of the reason I was prejudiced.
1. Washington D.C.
I have never been more disgusted or shocked by what I witnessed Saturday night at the Anacostia Metro. I went to pick up a family member at the Metro, and just as she was telling me about the fights (Yes, plural!) that happened on the Green Line train [between L’Enfant and Anacostia], we witnessed a group of 6 to 8 young black teenagers kick, stomp, punch and push a lone teenage girl.
I could not believe my eyes! I also could not believe there was not an officer in sight.
2. New Haven, CT
Arber Tasimi is a 23-year-old researcher at Yale University’s Infant Cognition Center, where he studies the moral inclinations of babies… His experiments draw on the work of Jean Piaget, Noam Chomsky, his own undergraduate thesis at the University of Pennsylvania and what happened to him in New Haven, Connecticut, one Friday night last February.
It was about 9:45 p.m., and Tasimi and a friend were strolling home from dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. Just a few hundred feet from his apartment building, he passed a group of young men in jeans and hoodies. Tasimi barely noticed them, until one landed a punch to the back of his head.
There was no time to run. The teenagers, ignoring his friend, wordlessly surrounded Tasimi, who had crumpled to the brick sidewalk. “It was seven guys versus one aspiring PhD,” he remembers. “I started counting punches, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Somewhere along the way, a knife came out.” The blade slashed through his winter coat, just missing his skin.
At last the attackers ran, leaving Tasimi prone and weeping on the sidewalk, his left arm broken. Police later said he was likely the random victim of a gang initiation.
3. Philadelphia, PA
A man who had both American Indian and white ancestors, was walking in Philadelphia and saw some black youths coming toward him. He smiled and thought to himself how much better racial relations had gotten. As they got close, one of youths pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the face. The other youths laughed. The victim grabbed the youth’s arm, and forced the knife into his assailant’s body. The youths stopped laughing. He staggered off, crying for help.
Both he and his assailant ended up in the same hospital. He ended up with a partially paralyzed face, and his assailant died. (this is from an article I read several years ago, I don’t remember the source).
This is just the tip of a big iceberg.
My father (who is Jewish) taught at a college with a very anti-semitic black-studies department. He says the whole faculty of that department was anti-Jewish. That, unfair as it may seem, made him prejudiced against blacks. To be fair, they didn’t like non-Jewish whites either.
Now before I say why I stopped being prejudiced, (sort of), I should add a few more worries about blacks.
I believe our government has gotten too large. Too many people are dependent on it, one way or the other. With the dependency, also comes a loss of rights. There is also a philosophy of redistribution, and that government should be Santa Claus. I will not go into the problems with all this here. However, over 90% of blacks voted for this current administration, and a majority of whites voted against. A recent Pew poll also states that most blacks say they like “socialism”.
I identify socialism with more poverty, less opportunity, and less freedom for me, personally.
There is also a culture of alienation, whether it is in Louis Farakhan’s Nation of Islam, that believes that an evil Black scientist created whites, or the statements of clergyman Jeremiah Wright, who cursed America and said the events of 9/11/2001 (Moslem fanatics flying planes of American passengers into high-rise buildings) were “America’s chickens, coming home to roost.” One black woman phoned into a conservative talk show I was listening to, and said clergymen like this are quite common in the black community.
There were the Los Angeles riots, over the acquittal of some white policemen who hit and kicked a black man who had led them on a high-speed chase through Los Angeles. You could see the large numbers of fires the rioters set from satellites in outer space. Whether they were right to be angry or not, they were burning the shops of Koreans and white business owners who had done nothing to them.
So even well-meaning types who would much rather not be prejudiced, can look at this kind of stuff and end up being prejudiced. And many of us are less than perfect, I certainly am, and have unfair attitudes.
The majority of black babies are born to single women, and that is not a good thing either.
So: how did I stop being prejudiced (sort of).
Partly by meeting black people.
Well, first there was Mawuse, a black colleague from Ghana who rescued my employer’s computer project, reconstructing it totally, after I had deleted a large part of it by mistake.
Then there were a few army vets I met, in various settings, who were fun, admirable people.
Then I read some books by black conservatives, for instance, Clarence Thomas, who described the blacks he grew up with as wanting to contribute to society. I read Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, and others.
Recently, I saw a video about the “women in white” and other dissidents in the Cuban dictatorship. I admired the black woman who leads them, and another black man who also shows great courage in taking on the government there.
I also saw polls that show that there are countries in Africa that have a population which have friendlier attitudes to the U.S. than most countries of Europe have.
Finally, in my past I had a short period of celebrity status, before an abrupt fall from that status. During that short period, I was treated with affection by whites, blacks, Latinos, and even American Indians. There was no bias toward me whatsoever. I feel that I should reciprocate.
(I should also say that on my way down from popularity to the depths of unpopularity, I have also been victimized by whites, Latinos, and Blacks. But that’s another story.)
And when we talk about black crime, which indeed is a big problem, we should not forget the substantial amount of organized crime coming from mostly white countries like Russia and Italy. And here is a good point from Thomas Sowell:
In the United States, despite the higher poverty level among blacks than among whites, the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits since 1994. The disparities within the black community are huge, both in behavior and in outcomes.
IQ test scores are lower, on the average, for blacks than whites. Whether this is biological or cultural, the fact is, that with low scores and low educational achievement, it is harder to succeed. And when you don’t succeed, there is a temptation to blame society, or racism, or whatever.
Racism toward blacks has caused much death and suffering, from the deaths on the boats that brought slaves from Africa to the practice of slavery afterwards. But it does no good to blame disparate outcomes on racism, and it’s not even accurate.
The Vikings raided Slavic lands and enslaved Slavs. Slavs were prized in Europe because of their fair complexion. According to some sources, like Wikipedia, the name “slave” was taken from the name “Slav”, because the servants were from Slavic lands. But today’s Slavs don’t bear a grudge based on what happened. If they did, it would accomplish nothing.
To solve a problem you must first face it. Racism is a problem, but behavior of the recipient of the racism can also be a problem.
Attacks in DC: http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/black-mobs-take-over-washington-metro/
Attacks in New Haven: Smithsonian Magazine: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Are-Babies-Born-Good-183837741.html
Black vs White attitudes to Socialism: http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/is-rush-limbaughs-country-gone/
Housing low income blacks into higher income white areas: http://www.builderonline.com/affordable-housing/new-yorks-westchester-county-yields-to-pressure-to-desegregate-its-affordable-housing.aspx