Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Musings on contemporary urban black community

Black people are losing the civil war. Three little-known realities of the black urban core:

- Civilized blacks want to get the hell out. By civilized, I mean what you think I mean. I'm being unapologetically ethnocentric. People you can communicate with, who are willing to communicate with you without a ridiculously exaggerated sense of reluctance. A younger black woman I came into contact with and have since befriended put it starkly: "I grew up with my people. I don't want to be around them anymore."

But they don't want you to tell them they should get out. They don't really even want you to agree with them when they state as much. It must be an uncomfortable situation to be in, to say the least: Realizing the deplorable conditions of what has been so strongly inculcated in you as your community (in black parlance, "the community" is understood to mean "the black community") and being conflicted on where to go from there. Guys like Bill Cosby and Chris Rock are invaluable as potential instruments of change, to the extent that it is possible.

I asked her why she doesn't move south, to the affluent area of the metro. She has the money. "It's where I grew up. It's where we (refering to her nuclear and some of her extended family, and some friends, I think) live."

I can only try to empathize. The extent that I, as a white guy who is doing okay, experience feelings of 'ethnic nationalism' involves wanting to pull self-destructive, low IQ whites up from the gutter and keep destitute foreigners out of the US to keep it from becoming a third-world country. I don't want them to be left behind--that's entirely different than facing a quandry over whether or not to leave them behind in the name of personal betterment.

- The civilized portion of the population has little control over their neighborhoods. Conveniently, Randall Parker just posted on the phenomenon:
A study of young, violent criminals in New York City found that they used fear and intimidation to keep adults from interfering with their criminal activities.

Almost 40 percent of the young offenders interviewed said that adults' fear of teens was the defining characteristic of their relations.

As a result, in many situations, adults ignored criminal activity by teens and young adults, findings showed.

These results suggest that one of the usual prescriptions for ending youth violence -- more informal social control by neighborhood adults -- may not be realistic in some violent neighborhoods.
The divide is largely along generational lines. I can't help but see parallels in the relatively well-behaved, obsequious first-generation Hispanic immigrants who are willing to accept disparity with whites due to enjoying a big absolute gain. Will future generations, who are clearly not excelling educationally and who've grown up with Nikes and X-Box 360s, be content picking fruit for 16 hours a day in the San Bernandino sun for five bucks an hour?

But the pathological hip-hop culture and the nervous white fawning coupled with an inclination toward a special-privilege ethos of entitlement, products of the civil rights' movements excesses, leave little reason to believe the current crop of black youngsters will mellow. Violent crime has been on the uptick for the last couple of years. Seems to me it will continue to rise. The purge of thugs from the crack wars in the late eigthies allowed us to ride a wave of lower crime throughout the nineties and into this decade. That momentum is gone.

- White girls who go exlusively with black men adopt the black male tendency to refuse to talk to white guys (conversationally, not flirtatiously). In public, the black guy is showing his dominance in the relationship in having his girl do the talking. With the greatest advantage in the racial/gender matrix (black-white relationships involving a black male and a white female outnumber the reverse by a 3:1 ratio, while the number of young black men in prison further reduces their active number), the black guy can clearly enjoy the upperhand in his relationship with a black woman. Consequently, many underemployed black men are supported by black women who put up with their being an economic drain (the US gender gap in wages is narrowest among blacks).

His silence doesn't mean he is annoyed at her chatting, though--he expects it. You can see how this, though less extreme, is approaching the pimp-prostitute relational dynamic. The white girls who've recently tasted black don't seem to get this. Sometimes the black guy has to step in and pick up where she should have, and it is visibly irks him. But I guess it's not something he makes clear to her in private.

8 comments:

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MensaRefugee said...

Generally I dislike Chris Rock, but that clip was good.

As for your black friend's feelings. Yeah Human Nature.


When I was younger, once in a while if I would bitch about my parents to my friends, I would instinctively get riled if they agreed, and *really* riled up if they agreed and commented.

Our family is our business eh? Outsiders need not have opinions.

Gary said...

"Our family is our business..."

Reminds me of a couple of calls a few years ago to Larry Elder's radio show:

#1: Hispanic woman says something to the effect that they need to "go to school, learn English, and quit having so many babies." Can you imagine how that would go over if an Anglo said that?

#2: An Asian guy calls the show to bitch about all the white guy/Asian girl couples he sees. Elder senses something else going on, and asks "well, what if the woman's not attractive?" Caller: "Then I don't care."

savage said...

There is inherent contradiction in what the noble black wishes to accomplish. On the one hand, a betterment of the black situation by way of removing the pernicious influences that are so deeply ingrained in the rap or hiphop underbelly. On the other hand, a visceral reaction against a concurrence from the outside, that is, from white America. They are in effect saying we must help ourselves, but the outside must not agree to as much. So the outside will keep "helping" as it has been.

Audacious Epigone said...

Mensa,

Agnostic pointed me to that clip.

There is the feeling that the family can take care of itself, thank you very much. Brothers will squabble with one another, until an outsider gets into the mix, and then they'll unite.

Gary and Savage,

That is why it is so crucial, to the extent that improvement is possible, that it comes from a leading black figure. If a white American stated something so blatantly obvious, he'd be branded a racist, bigot, etc. But how does a good white leftist criticize a black or Hispanic for commenting on his own community? The race hustlers will, of course, try to paint any such 'internal reformer' an Uncle Tom type of figure. But they're the best hope, nonetheless.

al fin said...

Pretty funny clip.

Chris Rock seemed a bit angry. I wonder if getting enough fellow blacks as angry as he is, would help at all?

As long as legal discrimination kept blacks down, anger at the white establishment was justified.

Now that blacks are allowed to compete--but are coming up short, as a whole--such outwardly directed anger makes less sense.

When members of a group prey on more successful members of the group, and try to keep other members from succeeding--that is pathological.

When group "leaders" spend more time making excuses for failure than they do trying to help members succeed, that is pathological.

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