On the City Journal website, Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute writes in part,
Judging by video evidence, the participants in the violent mall brawls over the Christmas weekend were overwhelmingly black teens, though white teens were also involved. The media have assiduously ignored this fact, of course, as they have for previous violent flash mob episodes. That disproportion has significance for the next administration’s school-discipline policies, however. If Donald Trump wants to make schools safe again, he must rescind the Obama administration’s diktats regarding classroom discipline, which are based on a fantasy version of reality that is having serious real-world consequences.
The Obama Justice and Education Departments have strong-armed schools across the country to all but eliminate the suspension and expulsion of insubordinate students. The reason? Because black students are disciplined at higher rates than whites. According to Washington bureaucrats, such disproportionate suspensions can mean only one thing: teachers and administrators are racist. The Obama administration rejects the proposition that black students are more likely to assault teachers or fight with other students in class. The so-called “school to prison” pipeline is a function of bias, not of behavior, they say.
This week’s mall violence, which injured several police and security officers, is just the latest piece of evidence for how counterfactual that credo is. A routine complaint in police-community meetings in minority areas is that large groups of teens are fighting on corners…The idea that such street behavior does not have a classroom counterpart is ludicrous. Black males between the ages of 14 and 17 commit homicide at ten times the rate of white and Hispanic males of the same age. The lack of socialization that produces such a vast disparity in murder rates, as well as less lethal street violence, inevitably will show up in classroom behavior….School officials in urban areas across the country set up security corridors manned by police officers at school dismissal times to avoid gang shootings. And yet, the Obama administration would have us believe that in the classroom, black students are no more likely to disrupt order than white students.
The entire essay is here.
1. “The media have assiduously ignored this fact.” Boy, that’s the truth! I could find no account that hinted of the racial composition of the teens who sparked the mall disruptions, but I wondered. Should I not have wondered? What is the justification for reporters and editors declining to mention the race of the teens, if it was disproportionately one race or another? Is it because the news media regards the facts as inherently racially biased or biasing? If racists use useful and relevant facts to justify their own prejudices, is obscuring those facts from everyone else justifiable? (No, in case you had to pause a second to answer, which, if you did, should disturb you as much as it does me.)
2. “Disparate impact” has become one of the most corrosive, cynical, and damaging social and legal doctrines in our culture. It is used to declare necessary and practical protections of the integrity of our elections racially biased. The Obama Administration used the doctrine to justify ordering landlords not to ask potential tenants about their criminal records. To avoid stigmatizing a group that is disproportionately black (and that has earned at least some degree of stigma), Obama’s Justice Department decreed that criminals were now to be called “justice-involved individuals”-–you know, like lawyers. One of the gazillion Obama Executive Orders that Donald Trump has to smite is the one in which the President decreed that the federal government’s HR departments must “delay inquiries into criminal history until later in the hiring process,” because heaven forbid that a convicted ax-murderer not get a shot as that opening with the Secret Service.
3. The policy approach all of these policies represent is upside down and backwards, but it does avoid making tough choices. Don’t address the reasons why black teens are particularly violent, don’t even admit that too many black teens are violent, just insulate them from the consequences of their violence and pretend the problem is colorblind. How did an entire political ideology embrace this Orwellian dishonesty as anything but batty and doomed to fail?
4. The problem now is that since these various policies have been sold and rationalized as anti-racist when the are really just anti-reality and divisive, any effort to reverse them will be inevitably opposed as racist. Yet these policies are, as MacDonald illustrates, foolish and irresponsible. And it would be irresponsible to allow them to continue.
5. Is this why the false narrative that Donald Trump is a racist has been so enthusiastically repeated and bolstered by the new media? It goes hand in hand with the narrative for the past 8 years the Republicans are racist as well: remember Joe Biden telling a black audience during the campaign that the Republicans were “going to put y’all back in chains”? Wait, I’m sorry, he said that during the 2012 campaign. Romney, Trump: all Republican presidential candidates are racists. I have repeatedly asked my Trump-hating Facebook friends to back up the accusation, and they come up with three weak examples:
- Trump riling up a rally crowd when a black demonstrator was ejected, though The Donald’s comments had no racial content whatsoever.
- Trump’s suggestion that a judge was likely to be biased against him because the judge was “Mexican.”
- Trump’s birther accusations against President Obama.
Did I say weak? The correct word is desperate. #1 is circumstantial, since Trump had mocked white protesters as well; #2 has nothing to do with race; and trying to “otherize” Obama, #3, is not proof of racism, as the Democrats are proving now by trying to “otherize” the President Elect by any means available. Trump also pulled the same dirty trick on Ted Cruz, who is not, last I checked, black.
6. Perhaps it will take an insensitive, proudly undiplomatic “bull in a china shop” like Donald Trump to begin unraveling these toxic, progressive social policies in spite of being labelled a racist, and facing protests and marches.
7. Every time I write or think something like that last sentence, I am reminded how right the timing is for a U.S. leader to confront these failed policies, and what a tragedy it is—well, OK, may be–that the leader selected was the one we got. All we can do is, as Anthony Newley sang,
…wish upon a wishbone,
Pick a four-leaf clover,
Rub a rabbit’s foot and
Throw a horse shoe over
Your lucky shoulder…
8. What is needed is some credible and respected voice in the black community who has the courage to speak the truth. Some black leader, cultural figure, elected official or scholar must make the case that changing policies to avoid the consequences of self-destructive cultural behavior in African American communities only masks symptoms of underlying pathologist that the community itself must take on squarely and fearlessly. Who will do this? What hasn’t such a leader stepped forward? Fear? Corruption? Denial?
Graphic: Red Ice TV
11 thoughts on ““Is It Possible To Address A Race-Related Problem Without Being Attacked As Racist?” And Other Reflections On The Holiday Mall Brawls”
Re: your number 8, the reason is two-fold. First, witness Herman Cain and Clarence Thomas. Any black man who tries is going to find out that he had an affair with some air-head 15 or 20 years ago or he sexually harassed a law clerk by telling a dirty joke. In some manner, such an honest, solution-seeking leader will be smeared, accused of corruption (probably falsely) or other wise harassed. Second, such a person no longer exists. The leadership has been turned over to the Al Sharpton’s and Jesse Jackson’s whose sole goal is their own self-aggrandizement. It’s possible Trump might be able to do something about it, but I doubt it. The smear campaign has already started against him, the night of the election.
Bill Cosby was the most respected Black authority figure to speak out on this issue. His message was of course fatality drowned out by its messenger.
Except, his message was drowned out long before he was exposed as the creep that he is…
Just as a side note, be aware that black mob violence in malls is something of a racist trope. I’m not speaking about this particular batch of violent incidents — I haven’t had time to examine them — but a guy named Colin Flaherty has been peddling stories of “black mob violence” for years. He describes incidents involving mobs of rioting black people, and he claims the media is suppressing them.
But if you follow up to the actual incidents he describes, most of them are small disruptions in large crowds. For example, Flaherty describes one mall incident as “a black mob of more than 100 people fighting,” but the video shows a few young black males throwing trash cans and holiday decorations at each other while dozens of uninvolved black customers take cover or stand back and watch. Another incident involved a crowd of 600 black people waiting in line for a store to open so they could buy something special. One guy tried to cut in line, and he got into a fight and was arrested. Flaherty reported this as “a black mob of 600.” His method is to find small but genuine incidents of black violence and then try to attribute the violence to every black person in the room.
This doesn’t directly affect your point, but be careful if go looking for other examples.
Very true, and thanks for that point. On the other hand, the news media’s unreliable handling of race fertilizes this problem. Did you ever figure out if the “knock-out game” was real, exaggerated, or a myth?
It would not surprise me if it turned out that the knockout game was as prevalent as rape on college campi.
Still, why were dozens of black customers uninvolved in trying to stop the thug like behavior? Somebody must have had a cell phone and had the opportunity to call the cops. This would not happen in a white or Asian community.
I have the feeling that, in respect to Flaherty and what he reports, that it would not be possible to get to the bottom of it. The fact is that Flaherty’s message is a popular message in Internet environs that are understood as being racist. His message is not published nor considered important in those environments that do not wish to push that perspective. In order to desire to push or to emphasize that perspective, one has to have come to believe or to understand something about Black culture that runs counter to the *standard narrative* that is essentially postwar American. So, you have to be a *racist* to think differently. Now, most people, even those who are well on the Right, do not wish to be identified as racist, so they must, as the media generally do, simply avoid looking into the issue.
No matter if you seek to modify the term ‘racist’ to ‘race-realist’ or to any other term, you simply cannot avoid getting the label because, effectively, it is forbidden to apply any labels or designations based on race-difference within our present. It is understood to be a mistaken category of thought! (And yet it is one that has been ‘socially constructed’ as well).
I have myself wondered if Flaherty is selecting evidence and presenting it for a specific audience in order to sell his perspective and also his books. I cannot see how that is NOT the case. However, that is also a general condition for the sale of all opinions today. Take left-leaning exposes or right-leaning exposes: they are designed and produced for sale to a specific audience and the writer often works closely with the publisher.
The ‘liberal media’ and the SPLC (and other organizations like this) are sort of watch-dogs or sheep-dogs who encircle the mass of people who rely on these others for ‘true information’. If they are told, and if it is insinuated, that a source is ‘tainted’ most of them will veer away from it and mentally catalog it is ‘disreputable’. Some small percentage, and I have done this at times, will rush TOWARD the forbidden source to examine it and make their own mind up about it. For example, I have researched different figures who appear on the SPLC ‘hate watch list’ just to see what they really are up to. As a matter of fact at one time I thought it likely that because they were being repressed and branded that it was more likely they were telling important truths. I have found this to be true in numerous instances.
One thing is certain: if it gets on the SPLC site it gets there for a semi-legitimate reason. I mean, they are not simply inventing stories. Jared Taylor, Richard Spencer, Kevin McDonald for example: these people are working in a ‘forbidden area’ and one that is pushed out of the mainstream. The mainstream is, by definition, ‘the Media’ and also ‘the Liberal Media’. Only the media that is not that would have any reason to report, or to be concerned with, the fringe or liminal side of things.
This is an epistemological problem is it not? Since no one in the ‘mainstream media’ will touch the issue of ‘Black mob violence’ and ‘Black on White violence’ or ‘the knockout game’, it is left to others to take it up and publicize it. But that in and of itself indicates, or is taken to indicate, an ‘interest’ in the issue. Those who take up the issue of Black mob violence come at the issue because of their bias, and there is little doubt that this is not true, either to a large degree or a small degree.
How does one solve the problem? One cannot solve the problem I suggest. One is left with one’s own ‘haunted perspective’ and by that I mean one’s own ‘intuition’ or one’s ‘sense of things’, or in the worst case ones overt paranoia or verified prejudice. How could a person ever research such an issue? You could not. If you did it would be by analysis of a sliver and your findings would be unscientific. And it would all loop back into your given aprioris, prejudices, bias, pre-formed opinion.
It is really difficult, it seems to me, to *see the world* since what we see is so heavily mediated.
The true shame about Bill Cosby is he was willing to be the person for “8. What is needed is some credible and respected voice in the black community who has the courage to speak the truth.”
I haven’t seen anybody else willing to step in and fill the void.
“Who will do this?”
No one alone, including the Cosby That We Thought He Was. However, there are two seemingly forgotten branches of the federal tree currently overshadowed by the blowhard in the third. They can think for themselves, and even talk to each other, if they have a mind to. A few of the state legislatures might get with the program as well. The Congressional Republicans might be looking to form (re-form?) the Party around someone else four years from this past November.
As you might guess, I almost included a rueful Cosby observation in the post. Glad I left it to everyone else.