Saturday, January 16, 2010

Some Comments About Skin Color

The following email exchange took place between myself and a friend regarding an article written by Ann Colter on the subject of Senator Harry Reid's comments about Barack Obama's race. The Senator's comments were intended to be positive and supportive. But some (many?) in the media and elsewhere have been critical of his comments. I, personally, do not find them reason for offence.

After reading the article I replied thus -

She is right, of course.
Personally, I am tired of white people having to tip toe around black-skinned Americans.
Many dark-skinned Americans need to grow up.
It is a fact that they look different than the majority of the American population.
They need to get over it.
They need to get used to others making jokes or comments about their color, just like we whities make comments about uncle Herman's big nose, etc.
Dark-skinned Americans need to deal with the fact that approximately one-fourth of them are criminals.
It is a large enough percentage of them that many other Americans do not trust/are not comfortable around many of them.
This is not Negrophobia.
This is common sense.

It is the dark-skinned Americans that invented Rap and its glorification of gangster behavior/mentality.
This genre of "music" also glorifies rape as a common activity.
It is the dark-skinned Americans that authored the baggy pants style/fad in clothing, that makes them look like former employees of Barnum and Bailey.
And they wonder why other citizens distrust them?

And many dark-skinned Americans need to learn how to speak English.
The word "for" has an "r" in it.
They need to learn how to say it.
It might help if they learned how to behave in school.
It also might help if they stayed in school and tried to learn something.

And many of them need to get over the idea that anyone of a different skin color that looks at them the least bit sideways is a "racist".
Some people may, indeed, be prejudiced against them simply because of their skin color.
That is their defect.
They will miss meeting many good people who happen to have dark-skin.
But it is also true that many dark-skinned Americans seem to work very hard at trying to portray themselves in an as offensive/isolated manner as possible.

My friend then responded -

The problem seems to be that rather than being PROUD of all these "accomplishments" some of folks seem ashamed of them and run the other way.
Yet, they don't stand up and say they have problem; just look for excuses.
Perhaps the funniest thing about this simply is that what Mr. Reid said is a simply statement of accurate political fact.
Perhaps some were offended at HIS using the word Negro (even though many Negroes wrote it in on the last census, so it is being included as an option this time around).
Other than that, what is the basis for any claim of offense?

To which I responded -

Current events of success among the race seem to work both ways for these people.
They brag/celebrate the success of their sports stars/singers/politicians but bemoan the disparity between their millionaire heroes and their own personal relative poverty.
Many (not all...) seem to not be able to draw inspiration from their heroes to apply effort to lift their personal accomplishments.

To which he replied -

It IS interesting that there exists a dichotomy and divergence of opinion on the meaning and interpretation of accomplishment.
If we are going to denigrate those who succeed, often referring to them as 'acting white" when such occurs, then that element of the black society will never succeed in anything other than complaining and failure. 
I suppose that is not a racially-distinct problem, however. :-)

To which I replied -

On your point, yes, there seems to me an ingrained sense of victimhood in many (not all) dark-skinned Americans accompanied by an expectation of entitlement to some vague general distribution of wealth to them, based on, again, some vague reparation for the slavery experiment in the early period of United States history.

But the words of (some in) the black community give them away.
If getting good grades in school, etc. is "acting white", then "acting black" must mean the opposite.
From this I see this as absolutely a racially distinct problem.
But it is social/philosophical, not genetic.

And if their measure of racial allegiance is sub-average performance, then they seek (as you said) to maintain and enforce a status quo of poverty, ignorance, dependence and self-perception of victimization.
This dichotomy is interesting in that it requires the dependence of the "poor" black community on the "rich" white community, the very ones they disdain.
This way of thinking is self-perpetuating - as we have seen in the near-constant percentage of "poor" people in our population ever since the "war on poverty" in the mid-60's.

To be sure, many dark-skinned Americans have escaped the poverty mentality and cycle (not just Tiger and his sports chums).
To me this is the best result possible.
It rescues an individual, who likely marries another individual of similar philosophy, who, in turn, have children who are raised with a different mindset, in spite of pressure they may encounter at school, etc.
Also, others looking on have evidence that such a perception of life can reap rewards that they could also attain if they changed their attitude about "blackness" vs "whiteness".
Success is colorblind.

And they call us racists.....

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