Today's race relations are worse than ever in many respects. But it's really about the backlash against whites for past crimes than it is institutionalized racism by whites. Sowell's point is that there isn't any real white racism anymore, that it is all white guilt and black vengeance, and I believe that this is true.
White's can't even use the "n-word" in context anymore, let alone as a pejorative. (Nor should they but if we are truly equal, neither should blacks. If racial epithets are wrong, why are they not wrong for everyone? If you disagree, then you are tacitly admitting that the races are different, an opinion I categorically reject.) Blacks however are free to use racial epithets not only on whites, but on each other and various other races as well. The only backlash I have ever seen on any black using an epithet is when they use any homosexual ones. Eddie Murphy's Delirious album, once a pinnacle of humor, is now met with winces at the shots he takes at homosexuality. Current black comedians have no such restrictions on the n-word or any other racial insult.
Any crime perpetrated on a black by a white will be covered with the usual dollop of white guilt and race hustlers who will invariable create racism where is did not exist or at best was irrelevant to the situation. This perception of whites still running around America as if it was 1950's Alabama is dishonest and creating a situation where blacks are actually committing these crimes on whites. Says Sowell:
More dangerous than these highly publicized episodes over the years are innumerable organized and unprovoked physical attacks on whites by young black gangs in shopping malls, on beaches and in other public places all across the country today.
While some of these attacks make it into the media as isolated incidents, the nationwide pattern of organized black on white attacks by thugs remains invisible in the mainstream media, with the notable exception of Bill O'Reilly on the Fox News Channel.
Even when these attacks are accompanied by shouts of anti-white rhetoric and exultant laughter at the carnage, the racial makeup of the attackers and their victims is usually ignored by the media, and public officials often deny that race has anything to do with what happened.
These attacks have sent many people to the hospital, and some have died, but the attacks are often carried out in a festive atmosphere. What are called "troubled youths," in this and other contexts, are often in fact young people enjoying themselves greatly by creating big trouble for others.
Some of these many attacks are covered in detail in a book titled "White Girl Bleed A Lot" by Colin Flaherty. It was a phrase that I recognized immediately, from my own previous research.
That phrase was uttered by one of a group of black attackers who descended on a group of whites at a July 4th fireworks show in Milwaukee. But what happened there was not unique, either in itself or in the efforts of police and political authorities to play down what happened -- and to say that race had nothing to do with it.This is true and I have documented several of these incidences here that happened even in the very short time this blog has been around. There is now a danger that white backlash is beginning to build. Sowell writes of Paul Kersey, coincidentally the name of the vigilante in the Death Wish movies. For those who are unaware, the movie character was rightfully motivated but wrong in action: committing violent crimes. The character was wrong but his motivations were understandable. In the end, no good came of his brand of vigilante justice. The sequels were action porn garbage but the first one may have had a point to make, though the book made it far more clear that vigilantism was destructive.
This Paul Kersey writes a book decrying the black takeover of cities and how they bad they become. I was immediately reminded of Chris Rock's joke about the two types of shopping malls, the "white mall" and the "mall white people used to go to." Sowell and conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and myself attribute the decline of these cities to liberal policies but Kersey attributes this to race. He even takes Sowell to task on it:
Perhaps the most clearly backlash books are those written by Paul Kersey, whose central theme is that whites have created thriving cities, which blacks subsequently took over and ruined. Examples include his books about Birmingham ("The Tragic City") and Detroit ("Escape from Detroit").
Kersey even takes a swing at Rush Limbaugh (and at yours truly) for saying that liberal policies destroyed these cities. He says that San Francisco and other cities with liberal policies, but without black demographic and political takeovers, have not been ruined. His books are poorly written, but raise tough questions.
It would be easy to simply dismiss Kersey as a racist. But denouncing him or ignoring him is not refuting him.Agreed, but it is in NOT refuting him where Sowell ends his article. Refute him we must as any racism must be understood and rebuked wherever we find it. The truth is that racial differences do not imply success or failure but the reasons behind why blacks do so poorly is still the fault of many white democrats as it has been in the past. The method used is far more insidious even as the average liberal does not want blacks to be in a bad place or treated differently, they do not realize that the holding on to the past, enabling the likes of Al Sharpton, and putting in standards solely based on race are in fact a completely new form of racism that is not only holding the black community back but building up an animus that creates smaller sub-societies built on nothing but rage.
The reason why they are built on this is that blacks have formed a cultural identity based completely on their skin color. Whites have done this of course in the past and it led to the Klan. It was complete nonsense for us yet is lauded by liberals when the black community does it. They have successfully used the past sins of whites to create an enemy that long ago realized the error of its ways. This has created generation after generation of angry blacks to the point that in their minds, anything not black is wrong.
They shun education as being "too white." Speaking well is trying to "be white." Playing by the rules is playing a "white man's game." Any black caught doing any of these things will be labeled as an Uncle Tom. Check out what they've said of Don Lemon, Bill Cosby, or Clarence Thomas for not acting black, whatever that means.
Creating a culture based solely off a physical trait is not based on anything substantive. We know this, it's the basis for Martin Luther King's speech:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Continuing to make skin color the predominant trait of your culture is doomed to failure and destruction. There is no doubt the initial sin was created by whites, first with slavery and then with segregation. But in a very short time, whites have changed their attitudes. Racists whites are few and far between and are shunned in today's society. Rightly so. But we have entered in a weird post racism that still marginalizes blacks but also degrades whites for simply being white as well. Progress is now defined as both races being treated badly. Terrific.
White liberals see everything still through the prism of color but now are attempting to make things fair for past wrongs. These past wrongs were very real and that becomes difficult to fight against. Because if someone puts in a program to do something that is harmful but in the name of anti-racism, those who would oppose such a program therefore must be racist. And who wants to be that?
So now we have affirmative action to give blacks admission to schools simply for the color of their skin. We have media excusing black crime on white that is clearly racist, something they would pounce on if it were the other way around. We have welfare programs that degrade and annihilate the black family in the name of social justice and fairness, giving the average black citizen who depends on them a life that is anything but fair.
But to Kersey's point, why doesn't the same liberal programs destroy San Francisco the same way it destroyed Detroit? I believe the answer comes from not being black but from the black culture that has now sprung out of the anger of the past.
The past wrongs are real, as I said, but these wrongs are not continuing. A great portion of the people who engaged in those wrongs are dead and buried and a great majority of blacks alive today never experienced that injustice. Yet the anger was passed down and in doing so becomes twisted. A person who was unjustly discriminated against will pass down that biased opinion to his son, who may never have had experienced any real discrimination in his life. Never saw a whites only drinking fountain, never saw a segregated lunch counter, never had to ride in the back of the bus. But he carries the same rage passed to him from one who did.
This rage now taints everything he does in his life and every rejection or problem is now easily blamed on whites. If you're angry all the time and believe that everything wrong in your life is another person's fault, or worse, another race's fault, you will be destructive.
Now add on to that the white liberals who pretty much control the media, fostering that rage. Stoking it with every story, pouring gas on the fire, keeping the rage alive. Meanwhile government programs which are doomed to fail by their very nature do what they do. But while places like rural america, San Francisco, and Indian reservations are also getting destroyed by these programs, blacks also get the media and each other to fuel a rage based on a unique history that others minorities in this country simply didn't experience.
It's made for an explosive combination. With every black on white crime getting non-reported, with every media outlet refusing to change their attitude on race relations and with Al Sharpton and various other race hustlers successfully getting people angered over things that turn out to be false (Tawana Brawley, the Duke rape case, etc.) we have whites like Kersey falsely attributing racial characteristics to destruction. White backlash is the last thing we need and as Sowell rightly points out, a race war is one no one wins.
No the problem is more complex: Liberalism and the black culture so completely wrapping up their cultural identity in their skin color combined with a pop-culture (media, comedians, movies, cable news) so willing to quickly blame all the problems on racism without looking deeper. Truth and accepting the truth is the only way things will change.
It's a vicious circle, and it's only going to get more vicious if all of us don't change our attitudes and our perceptions on race real quick.