A January 2014 Huffington Post headline read: ‘Nearly Half Of Black Males, 40 Percent Of White Males Are Arrested By Age 23: Study.’ Published in Crime & Delinquency, that study poses a steep challenge to two supposedly very different groups. For white supremacists, who (despite no real science) believe there is a vast ‘biologically based’ behavioral difference between blacks and whites, a less-than-10 percent distinction doesn’t offer much empirical support. But it also doesn’t offer much confirmation to those who (despite the civil rightsdeinstitutionalization of racism) see contemporary America as a land of ‘black oppression’ and ‘white privilege.’
That shouldn’t be any surprise, for the self-styled ‘anti-racist progressives’ of the Left are nothing but a mirror of traditional bigots. We think of right-wing racism as images of all blacks engaging in crime, being chronically unemployed, scoring poorly on IQ tests – with a soundtrack attributing these behaviors to inferior genetics. Left-wing ‘anti-racism’ merely rebroadcasts those images, but with a new ‘narrative.’ Now, it is ‘institutional,’ ‘systemic’ bias against blacks that generates those behaviors. What the Left really stands for is aredubbed racism.
One such narrator is Ta-Nehisi Coates, a recent MacArthur Fellowship recipient. On Sept. 21, he shared some of his genius with a television audience:
I don’t [think] there’s anything pathological about the African-American community at all. I think the African-American community, you know, if you go into particularly deprived or poor African-American communities and you see certain behaviors [that you] feel may not be suitable, say, at Harvard or, say, in a boardroom or, say[,] in a job interview, I think viewed within the context of the African-American community and viewed within people who are struggling with elevated rates of violence, viewed from the perspective of people who are very much concerned about getting from point a to point b on a given day, and I mean that geographically, those behaviors automatically make sense. I’ve long maintained this even before I was doing this piece, that within the context of racism, within the context of the boot upon your neck, all the behaviors within the African-American community make sense.
The only problem is the boot upon your neck, and the minute that folks remove the boot, I believe we will see a lot of those behaviors that we term as pathological begin to fade.
If racism (the ‘boot’) is ‘systemic’ – i.e., without significant exception – as imposed on blacks, and it is this racism that produces the ‘behaviors that we term as pathological,’ why aren’t those behaviors virtually uniform among blacks? Why don’t we see nearly all blacks, male and female, arrested by age 23? Even more to the point, why would we see any (let alone 40 percent of) ‘privileged’ young white males arrested? (Also from that study: ‘By age 23, arrest rates were 20 percent for white females and 18 percent and 16 percent for Hispanic and black females, respectively.’)
This post was published at Lew Rockwell on November 21, 2015.