Friday, July 17, 2009

Acting White: Life In The Crosswalk – Part II

Some commenter’s on this blog voiced their disapproval of Part I (here), on the grounds that external ills, historical and present-day, outweigh the damage of self-indulging counter-cultured behavior. And some thought that I was squeezing hard to wring anything telling out of youthful slow-walking (sauntering) of the crosswalk and a little ‘harmless’ traffic disruption.

Despite my intention to let it rest, here I go again. Some of you know that I volunteered mentoring time to minority high school students in Oakland this recent school semester. One of the notable students was a black boy who seemed bright, but who the teacher said would probably flunk the 11th grade because of truancy. She also questioned if he would eventually graduate.

So imagine my surprise today in seeing this same young man ‘sauntering’ in the crosswalk before me, as I patiently sat at a light near downtown Oakland. When the light changed, his pace remained slow, but his attention turned to the nearest drivers, as Oakland is not Berkeley and some driver just might ‘accidentally’ make him into a hood ornament.

All this is to suggest that there is some level of correlation between the attitude of black males on the street and in the classroom, or at home (for that matter), as my parents suspected. They expected me to go about my day with assertive purpose, even if that purpose was just hanging out. Acting as an obstacle to others was, at minimum, practicing to be an obstacle to one’s own self. That was my point with the earlier post and I am sticking to it.

I will hopefully see that young man next fall, as I have not given up on him. I have a few months to come up with a more persuasive reason why he should put his young (academic) life in gear and step on the gas.

James C. Collier

READ MOST RECENT POSTS AT ACTING WHITE...

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71 comments:

Anonymous said...

Still agreeing here Mr. Collier.

It's just like the President was saying at his NAACP speech.
Education is the key to getting ahead today.

Common sense says a bad attitude, example, trying to hold up people at a crosswalk, will not get anyone anywhere, except maybe run over by the "right" driver.

These kids might as lie down in the road ask to be run down when they throw their life and potential away by being crude and rude and just plain angry young men.

And some supposed adults in your "crosswalk I" didn't see anything wrong with it.

So why is it any wonder that the cycle continues..........

Dan said...

These were the president's words:

"We have to say to our children, Yes, if you’re African American, the odds of growing up amid crime and gangs are higher. Yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that someone in a wealthy suburb does not. But that’s not a reason to get bad grades, that’s not a reason to cut class, that’s not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school. No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands - and don’t you forget that."

"To parents, we can’t tell our kids to do well in school and fail to support them when they get home. For our kids to excel, we must accept our own responsibilities. That means putting away the Xbox and putting our kids to bed at a reasonable hour. It means attending those parent-teacher conferences, reading to our kids, and helping them with their homework..."

"It also means pushing our kids to set their sights higher. They might think they’ve got a pretty good jump shot or a pretty good flow, but our kids can’t all aspire to be the next LeBron or Lil Wayne. I want them aspiring to be scientists and engineers, doctors and teachers, not just ballers and rappers. I want them aspiring to be a Supreme Court Justice. I want them aspiring to be President of the United States."

It is on topic, but I believe that his words deserve a post of its own.

(Remember: English is not my first language, so forgive me for any mistake that I may make)

Anonymous said...

Good post. I agree 100%. I too encounter similar kids, except some actually slow walk across the middle of the streets. I am amazed at the minds of some of these kids. It's as if they have a death wish.

Sooner or later, a car is going to flatten one of these knuckleheads. How small minded, arrogant and shameless can one be? It is really pathetic.

Anonymous said...

I read both your posts about the crosswalk... I thought I would read something interesting, but it all I read was another mind caught up in stereotypes. You make broad statements based on your small exposure. Now had they been youths of any other race, the way things are today, they too most likely would have strolled through the crosswalk, pants drooping and cap to the side. I think that you think you are witty and poignant, but you are simply trying to shroud your racist rhetoric in innocent musings.

Tammi said...

Hm. Is your assertion that their skin color *makes* them rebel or is it your acknowledgement that the effect of skin-color bias has created this behavior?

The first is, as others have stated, a self-hating, internalized, racist assumption and, thankfully, easily disputed by regular observations of teens across all socio-economic groups. Teens (and teen boys disproportionately so) cut up, bully, act out, destroy, and rebel and they do it with their clothes, with their tongue, with their walk...hell, with their whole beings. Thankfully, many of them grow out of the worst of it.

If you're acknowledging that racism has some effect, well, right-on, brother! Atop the usually predictable stuff of teen behavior, we can expect that the abuse of daily acts of degaradation -- media representations of young men of color as useless thugs, carried forward by officials in schools, stores, on the streets, etc. -- will add an extra dimension to the situation. That said, there are writers around the globe who have never encountered young African American men, but can probably report some similar tale but from some other underrepresented, oppressed group. And, yes, some of those oppressed groups would be white-skinned.

Giving you the benefit of the doubt here, I say then that the only real problem with your piece is where you place your despair. It shouldn't be with the boys, as if you're sad for some potential that would otherwise be theirs just for the taking. Instead, it should be with a society that -- so destroyed by its racist perspectives -- continues to believe they never had any potential at all.

uptownsteve said...

Collier please answer these questions:

Do you believe that race is a causative factor in behavior?

Don't give me the "proportionality" deflection.

Do you believe that race is correlated with behavior?

Is a middle class educated black man any more likely to commit a violent crime than his white counterpart?

If so, why?

Anonymous said...

uptownsteve:

Maybe you should try to find out the ethnic distribution of the "warrior [gangster] gene".

Or Bruce Lahn's findings on recent evolution of the brain in some people groups but not others.

I guess evolution is racist.

uptownsteve said...

Here's another anonymous punk.

LOL!!!!

Regarding "warrior(gangster) gene's would they have any relevance to white biker gangs, the mob, or the white ethnic street gangs that thrived in urban America during the first part of the 20th century when they were at the bottom of the social ladder.

Keep thinking you're superior Jethro and we'll just keep on beating you.

Collier, why do these white supremacists types love your blog so much.

Chemist said...

Look up "allaboutblackhealth.com" and you will see an article about traffic accident rates, relative to race.

Anonymous said...

"Regarding "warrior(gangster) gene's would they have any relevance to white biker gangs, the mob, or the white ethnic street gangs that thrived in urban America during the first part of the 20th century when they were at the bottom of the social ladder."

No, blacks were still at the bottom of the social ladder in the beginning of the 20th century. But I'm sure genetics plays a part in behavior across ethnic groups. I am not saying the warrior gene does not exist in white populations. Those individuals with the warrior gene would be predisposed toward violent behavior. And I don't know why you'd think I am a white supremecist. Not everyone who recognizes the very real biological differences between human races is a racial supremacist filled with hatred. Most serious followers of this subject also recognize that Asians have higher IQ's than whites, for instance. Doesn't bother little old white me.

uptownsteve said...

But blacks were mostly rural during the first part of the 20th century and street violence is an urban phenomenon.

And I notice that the IQ freaks and white supremacists have no problem exhorting the brilliance of the Asian because they are relatively small in number in US and politically irrelevant.

In other words, no direct threat.

But rightwingers and racists cling to racial "differences" and racial heiarchies particularly with blacks and browns because then they don't have to deal with inequality issues.

The differences in income, education, healthcare etc have nothing to oppression, racial injustice and denied access but because God meant it that way, right Anonymous.

The perversity of this whole issue is that there are blacks like James Collier who appear to endorse the notion of genetic racial differences.

ChicagoJeff said...

I can't wait to hear how Mr. Collier answers some of these ridiculous questions.

And I will come around here as much as I want and there is nothing you can do about it. I am trying to understand the African American experience in regards to today's black racism.

My argument about these black youths sauntering through the crosswalk, in my educated opinion, is really quite simple. Feet-dragging in the slave-day fields was a form of silent protest to the extremely harsh conditions in which slaves lived.

Sauntering=feet-dragging.

HOWEVER, African Americans are not slaves anymore. Now, you could argue that there are other forms of slavery still present today. And while this is somewhat true, blacks today have such an opportunity to succeed now more than ever before. Can you believe that I have been passed over for a black person when applying for a job? It really happened! It stung, but I can't really be mad about it because my white male privilege gets me by in many instances.

Like I said on a different blog entry of Mr. Collier's, I met an old black woman (93 years old) who's parents were actual slaves. The import of this lies in the fact that there old white people still alive who's parents were slave owners. Think about that for a moment. America is pretty much JUST starting to recover from slavery.

The old white farts are dying and with them their racist ideology. The old black people are dying and with them their slave mentality and feeling of "subhumanness" (sic).

The offspring of that generation still hold SOME racism and slave mentality, but SLOWLY it's getting washed out.

It takes generations to wash out all of this crap. It takes time. You can be angry uptownsteve. I don't really blame you for your omnipresent anger. But you have got to realize that things are changing. Society is actually changing.

Uptownsteve assumes that if white people come around here, then they are white supremacists or if they say something that places the onus on African Americans, then they are white supremacists. And uptownsteve also assumes that if Mr. Collier places the onus on African Americans, then he is an Uncle Tom, a butt-lickin' house negro or otherwise self-hating black person. You are wrong, wrong and wrong again.

I put ChicagoJeff in there just for you "anonymous uptownsteve". But hey maybe I don't live in Chicago and maybe my names really isn't Jeff. And you're not even in "uptown" anymore and maybe your name isn't "steve". YOU ARE ANONYMOUS. But you just keep up your assumptive name-calling.

Maybe you'll start to see how ridiculous your "logic" really is.

ChicagoJeff said...

Uptownsteve said: "The perversity of this whole issue is that there are blacks like James Collier who appear to endorse the notion of genetic racial differences."

Show me where Mr. Collier asserts this. Again, your "logic" is astounding.

uptownsteve said...

ChicagoJeff

You STILL don't have a clue.

"I am trying to understand the African American experience in regards to today's black racism."

If you are trying to understand the African American experience why would you come to a site like this which is more representative of white bigoted attitudes regarding race as oppose to mainstream black sentiment.


"Uptownsteve assumes that if white people come around here, then they are white supremacists or if they say something that places the onus on African Americans."

The whites who come here do so to have their consciences assuaged by pointing to a black man who shares their toxic views of black folks and the black community.

"And uptownsteve also assumes that if Mr. Collier places the onus on African Americans,"

The onus on African Americans to do WHAT specifically?

Anonymous said...

"The perversity of this whole issue is that there are blacks like James Collier who appear to endorse the notion of genetic racial differences."

Genetic differences between races and ethnic groups is scientific FACT, uptownsteve, not some opinion that gets endorsed or not endorsed. Why do you think we look different? genetics! The differences extend to basic body chemistry (such as earwax) and probably subtle differences in brain wiring. The biggest deniers of human biodiversity are actually the real racists that you seem so tuned to. Did you know Hitler banned IQ tests because Jews did too well on them?

While we are at it, should we start an affirmative action program for the NBA since they are obviously discriminating against whites? And if you are an outlier, then why even worry about everyone else?

It may not be "polite" to mention these things, but as a society we are punishing ourselves by ignoring the obvious, and wasting money in a rush to close every educational gap.

uptownsteve said...

"Genetic differences between races and ethnic groups is scientific FACT"

Bull$hit. Prove it.

What we refer to as "race" are mainly social constructs particularly with African-Americans, like myself, who also have Caucasion and native American ancestry.

The genetic differences among homo sapiens theory has been debunked by all reputed science.

Of course it's a favorite talking point for toothless inbred rednecks claiming to be the "master race".

LMAO!!!!!

"While we are at it, should we start an affirmative action program for the NBA since they are obviously discriminating against whites?"

They already did.

When the NBA shortened the 3 point line and limited hand checking on defense, they made the NBA game more "white friendly".

Oh how about answering this while we're on the subject.

If blacks have a genetic tendency toward basketball, why are there more white Europeans and South Americans in the NBA than there are black Africans or Caribbeans?

Or white Americans?

ChicagoJeff said...

Uptownsteve: It is you, sir, that have no clue. You insist on name-calling, which demonstrates your contempt of other people. It is clear that we are not going to see eye-to-eye because you seem unable to open your mind.

You asked: "The onus on African Americans to do WHAT specifically?"

Answer: To take responsibility for your own life and stop the blame game. At some point you are going to have to come to terms that slavery is over and your life is your own.

May I ask how old you are? My reason for asking is that the older you are, I am willing contend, the more likely you are to hold onto taught feelings of being subhuman.

Nowhere in this blog have I read ANYTHING that says blacks are genetically predisposed to do anything. There are some people on here who've espoused such crap, but I am not one of them.

You insist on name-calling because that is all you got. And you resort to comments like "Keep thinking you're superior Jethro and we'll just keep on beating you." Is this not racist? Is this not violent? You have persistently called me and others here names and have threatened others with physical harm.

Read the description of this blog: "'Acting White' explores the difficult and taboo subjects influencing racism and Black underperformance." This topic makes people, especially Blacks, extremely uncomfortable.

I found this blog during my research on Black racism and have found that many Blacks think/feel/believe that they cannot possibly be racist.

Just the other day I was walking and passed behind an SUV driven by a Black woman. We made eye contact and she saw that I was passing to the rear. She then put her SUV into reverse and yelled "I'll take you white ass, M.F.!" I didn't do anything and she resorted to RACISM. DEFEND THAT!!! I am sick and tired of this crap am tired of hearing KKK comments made to me for NO REASON AT ALL!!!!

While this blog is not specifically about Black racism, it is still a difficult conversation in which we must engage. I appreciate this conversation in all of its "hotness".

Your, uptownsteve, perspective on IQ is RIGHT ON. Most IQ tests and many other standardized tests were designed by and for a particular type of intelligence from a white cultural perspective. IQ tests have since been revised to include non-white cultural references, but your point stands. Given this seeming fact, dismiss them and the arguments regarding IQ differences between races.

The topic of this blog entry is these particular Black youths walking slowly through a crosswalk and holding up traffic. I want to read your defense these actions. Justify it. I am dying to read it.

Address the topic of this blog entry or go back under your troll bridge because you see whites as nothing but blue-eyed white devils.

Grow up!

uptownsteve said...

ChicagoJeff

"To take responsibility for your own life and stop the blame game. At some point you are going to have to come to terms that slavery is over and your life is your own."

You prove my point with your every putrid utterance.

Please provide any evidence that you may have at your disposal that I or most blacks have not taken responsibility for our lives or any quote from me remotely resembling "blaming the white man".

That's laughable.

I've competed head to head with whites all my life.

In school, the military and in corporate America and have always more than held my own.

If you're superior, it's news to me.

You just can't stand a black man standing up to you and refuting your self-serving racist drivel.

Carry on.

BTW, I notice that you haven't answered ONE of my questions.

So much for the Bell Curve Theory.

LMAO!!!!!

atldude said...

Tami: I'm curious about your statement about the "daily acts of degradation -- media representations of young men of color as useless thugs, carried forward by officials in schools, stores, on the streets, etc."...

Do you think this is a widely held belief? And do you think it's true?

I ask for two reasons: 1)because it's not the way I see it, and as with lots of the posts/comments on here, I'm open to them challenging my perceptions. And 2)because I get a big chunk of my knowledge of african-american culture from listening to rap for 20+ years. It tends to skew things.

uptownsteve said...

altdude,

Are you black or white?

Atlanta has the second largest concentration of black professional and upper class residents in the world (next to Washington, DC) and you never see THEM????

Only the thugs?

Anonymous said...

If IQ tests were designed from a "white cultural perspective" then how is it that the white ethnic group does not score the highest on these tests?

And how is it that the children of poor whites making under 10 thousand a year outperform the children of upper-middle class blacks on IQ tests?
Black culture can't be THAT bad, can it?

Every study that has looked into the subject has shown IQ to be at least 70% genetic. Why do you hold the belief that IQ is the only human trait that isn't genetic? Are you a creationist who thinks God designed us all equally in every singe manner? I thought only evangelical conservatives were those.

uptownsteve said...

"And how is it that the children of poor whites making under 10 thousand a year outperform the children of upper-middle class blacks on IQ tests?
Black culture can't be THAT bad, can it?"

If those whites are so friggin smart, why can't they move into the middle class??

Huh?

And I'd love to see proof of this "poor whites score higher on IQ tests than middle class blacks."

I know that's garbage.

When I was in the military I worked in personnel and saw the ASVAB and SBTB scores of everyone in the unit.

Blacks from the Northeast US (NY CT MA) scored higher than most whites nationwide, especially the South.

atldude said...

uptownsteve,

I'm white - I know you assumed I was black on my other comment, didn't mean to mislead you.

Of course I've seen "THEM" (as you put it). I've worked for and work with lots of them. If lived with, dated, and shared communities with them. What I've learned from them is that it's not about color, it's about what you bring to the table, which is what I've believed all along.

My question was about the "daily acts of degradation". And it's true curiosity not curiosity with some motive behind it. I personally (as a white dude) don't see that and don't know how true that belief/perception is.

The reason I bring up rap, not to derail the discussion, is that is the main vehicle for discord that I have access to, and it is definitely, as I said, skewed.

ChicagoJeff said...

Uptownsteve said:"If you're superior, it's news to me."

Have I said that I am superior? No. I don't believe any particular race is superior to another. But you'll just come back with another childish rant.

"You just can't stand a black man standing up to you and refuting your self-serving racist drivel."

Wrong again! It is becoming abundantly clear that you harbor hate. Prove to me that I am racist. Defend those actions of the sauntering youths.

You asked me ONE question and I answered it.

It is clear to me that you are intelligent, but outlining an argument is not your strong suit.

All you got is rhetoric and hate.

What the hell is wrong with you!? You've been racist, defamatory, threatening and bigoted. Why?

uptownsteve said...

If you did answer I missed it.

I'll post them again.

"If blacks have a genetic tendency toward basketball, why are there more white Europeans and South Americans in the NBA than there are black Africans or Caribbeans?"

"Please provide any evidence that you may have at your disposal that I or most blacks have not taken responsibility for our lives or any quote from me remotely resembling "blaming the white man".


And finally this:

"If those whites are so friggin smart, why can't they move into the middle class??

Huh?

And I'd love to see proof of this "poor whites score higher on IQ tests than middle class blacks."

I'll await your reasoned response.

ChicagoJeff said...

Uptownsteve: These particular questions regarding racial superiority need to be addressed to those asserting such BS.

I am not the one making such stupid comments about racial superiority.

I have never and never will believe(d) such junk. We are all EQUAL. That is MY belief.

You asked me one question: "The onus on African Americans to do WHAT specifically?" And I answered it.

You asked a follow-up question that I did not answer because I don't like your assumptive stance. HOWEVER, for entertainment's sake,
regarding "responsibility", you've done but whine about white people. Your contempt and hateful rhetoric is proof enough of your "blaming the white man". You said you've competed head to head with white and I applaud you. This is what you are SUPPOSED to do. But stop framing it in a fight against whites. Whether you believe it or not, I AM ALSO COMPETING AGAINST WHITE PEOPLE AND I AM FREAKING WHITE!! My god, get it through your thick skull that white male privilege goes only so far. Here in Chicago (yes, I really am in Chicago) there is a huge backlash against white people. I see it, I feel it, I know it. But that's okay because I don't feel subhuman.

This is what I said about IQ tests: "Your, uptownsteve, perspective on IQ is RIGHT ON. Most IQ tests and many other standardized tests were designed by and for a particular type of intelligence from a white cultural perspective. IQ tests have since been revised to include non-white cultural references, but your point stands. Given this seeming fact, dismiss them and the arguments regarding IQ differences between races."

Now...I would like you to defend these sauntering youths.

I have to go back to work for a while so please don't think that I am avoiding you and the issue at hand.

And remember...you are my brother and I still love you.

Godheval said...

You seem to be a bit out of touch, Mr. Collier.

Those boys were not intentionally holding up traffic. To do so would require a certain degree of hostility towards the surrounding drivers, which I can assure you they did not have.

They walked the way they did for at least two reasons. Both are memes prevalent within the youth culture.

First, a general indifference towards other people.

Second, the need to posture for others.

Now while these two things seem to contradict one another, they are a part of the same phenomenon.

Indifference - or at least the pretense of indifference is a direct offshoot of invalidation. The more you are invalidated - for being black, for not being black enough, for doing anything outside the dominant culture - the more indifferent you MUST become in order to insulate yourself against feelings of isolation and despair. Not caring, or pretending not to care, shows people that they cannot get to you, cannot invalidate you, even if on the inside you feel terrible. That's the origin of the behavior, but like with all memes, sometimes they are just passed on, regardless of how individuals feel.

The second one, the need to posture for others, is clearly related. By posturing for others you reduce the chances of being invalidating, and you may even be able to earn their respect - as much as you can expect from others who also pretend not to care.

So I can ASSURE you that the people in their cars waiting for the boys to pass...were not even on their minds. This attitude of posturing and indifference has become the norm, and what it requires is an injection of self-confidence, of genuine validation from peers and from adults, and positive reinforcement.

uptownsteve said...

So Godheval,

It's safe to say that this isn't necessarily "black" behavior, right?

It's amazing that you have to explain this to some folks.

Godheval said...

No, Steve, it's not necessarily "black" behavior, but I do feel that it is particularly troublesome for African-American youths, who for the mere fact of their ethnicity have enough to contend with.

Indifferent white youths will more than likely eventually just "grow up" and suffer no backlash from their behavior as kids, but for AA youths, this behavior often follows them into adulthood.

They see their own behavior reflected in the adults around them, and if the invalidation has continued - as it will in most cases - there is little visible incentive to behave differently.

And yeah, it is amazing, but also frustrating. African-Americans are beset on all sides now, from the greater American culture, and from within the so-called "black community".

The black bourgeoisie has turned critical and antagonistic, rather than remaining objective and trying to find solutions. Shaking their heads and wagging their fingers. Must be nice to attain some level of privilege and then forget what it was like to have nothing.

Anonymous said...

"Now, you could argue that there are other forms of slavery still present today."

This is absolutely true. 200 years after every civilized country abandoned the practice, blacks are still enslaving each other in Africa.

uptownsteve said...

"And yeah, it is amazing, but also frustrating. African-Americans are beset on all sides now, from the greater American culture, and from within the so-called "black community".

The black bourgeoisie has turned critical and antagonistic, rather than remaining objective and trying to find solutions. Shaking their heads and wagging their fingers. Must be nice to attain some level of privilege and then forget what it was like to have nothing."

You sound confused.

Wouldn't the black bourgeosie as well as the underclass be part of the so-called "black community"?

I guess I would be a member of what you refer to as the black bourgeosie and I remember fully what it was like growing up in the inner city Bronx during the 70s and 80s.

As a matter of fact, most of my friends and associates are just like me.

First generation college grads and suburbanites. Most of us grew up in the inner city.

And our suburban raised kids do not saunter through intersections or posture as gangstas.

They have the same values, behavior and mannerisms of middle class kids of any hue.

uptownsteve said...

For Anonymous,

Modern Slavery in Europe.

You can thank me later.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4534393.stm

ChicagoJeff said...

Uptownsteve said: "And our suburban raised kids do not saunter through intersections or posture as gangstas."

Then you are doing your job as a parent very well. I salute you, sir.

Godheval said...

Steve,

There is no contradiction in what I said:

African-Americans are beset on all sides now, from the greater American culture, and from within the so-called "black community".

The black bourgeoisie has turned critical and antagonistic, rather than remaining objective and trying to find solutions.

The bourgeoisie is the part of the "black community" that I am referring to when I say "beset from within"

uptownsteve said...

The black bourgeousie has turned critical and antagonistic toward whom????

Themselves?

Godheval said...

Who are we talking about here, Steve?

They became critical of everyone ELSE, particularly lower-class AAs who bring them shame, confusion, and frustration.

People like the boys discussed in this article.

Was that not obvious?

uptownsteve said...

"Who are we talking about here, Steve"

That's what I trying to find out.

The black bourgeousie?

The black middle class?

The underclass?

In my neighborhood and social circles, we don't have baggy pants intersection sauntering youths.

If you want to say that upper class members of a community are disappointed with the antics of so-called "ghetto" folks, then I have no problem with that.

But you said "African-Americans" whom are not monolithic and not of one behavioral or attitudinal template.

Anonymous said...

Slavery outside of Africa:
"The largest numbers are in poor Asian countries and Latin America, but there are more than 350,000 cases in the industrialised world."

Slavery in Africa:
"According to some estimates, up to 600,000 black Mauritanians, or 20% of the population, are still enslaved, many of them used as bonded labour. Slavery in Mauritania was finally criminalized in August 2007."

"In Niger, where the practice of slavery was outlawed in 2003, a study found that almost 8% of the population are still slaves. Slavery dates back for centuries in Niger and was finally criminalised in 2003, after five years of lobbying by Anti-Slavery International and Nigerien human-rights group, Timidria. More than 870,000 people still live in conditions of forced labour, according to Timidria, a local human rights group."

"It is estimated that as many as 200,000 people had been taken into slavery during the Second Sudanese Civil War. The slaves are mostly Dinka people."

Godheval said...

Steve, I'm still not getting what's confusing you about what I said. But yes, more or less, that the bourgeoisie has become antagonistic towards the proletariat.

Anonymous, you're a silly person. You're citing numbers from random African countries as if somehow they can all be added together to support some case for the prevalence of "blacks" enslaving "blacks".

What exactly is your point, anyway? To call attention to the fact that many would-be American slaves were sold into slavery by their fellows? And perhaps then to say "and those silly niggers are still doing it today"?

The thing you misunderstand is that there is no single entity called "black people" - they are even less monolithic (to borrow a word from Steve) than African-Americans.

So, your argument is purely racist in its intentions, some poor attempt to shift the grotesque and mass immorality of American slavery onto disparate African groups whom you would probably cluster together as "black".

Give it a rest, you insufferable peon.

Godheval said...

"upper class members of a community are disappointed with the antics of so-called "ghetto" folks"

Yes, Steve, this is what I am saying.

And in their "disappointment", they've become critical, antagonistic, and often no longer in service to the improvement of conditions for African-Americans as a whole.

Of course, they also have no obligation to contribute to that improvement.

ChicagoJeff said...

Uptownsteve said: "It's safe to say that this isn't necessarily "black" behavior, right?

It's amazing that you have to explain this to some folks."

What you fail to grasp in this entire argument is that this blog entry topic is about Black youths sauntering through a crosswalk. It's not about any other race. Mr. Collier is talking about ONLY African American youths. Nobody here is saying that this behavior is exclusive to Blacks youths. That's just retarded.

Youths of ALL races are capable of and do some pretty stupid things, but the topic is about Black youths. That others do the same thing is a tacit understanding.

So many times when discussing a topic, especially if it is controversial, some people want to globalize the issue and say, "Well they do it too!" Yeah?! So what?! It's nothing but finger-pointing and sweeping the issues under the rug without adequately addressing them. Saying, "Well they do it too!" is a conversation stopper and it gets us nowhere. This discussion is about BLACK youths and what is going on with them.

Mr. Collier is trying to understand what is ticking in the young Black mind and that is what I am trying to do as well.

I am interested in having a scholarly, academic-level discussion about African Americans. I am NOT interested in changing the subject because you are uncomfortable. You are uncomfortable, so you point your finger and change the subject.

Stay on topic!

Godheval said...

@ChicagoJeff

You are right that Steve is deflecting the issue a bit, but you also managed to pass over my argument which provides the "Whys" that you seem to have been looking for (the bit about invalidation)...

With all due respect, too, I have a problem with you - as a "white" man, thinking you can speak on this issue with any intimate knowledge. At best you can attempt to intellectualize the plight of African-Americans, but you'll never understand it on any internal level.

Which means that you at best can pity these boys, or at worst, scorn them - neither with any real understanding of the "why". An understanding which is critical to solving many of the problems represented in this small cross-section of black youth culture.

ChicagoJeff said...

Goheval said:"With all due respect, too, I have a problem with you - as a "white" man, thinking you can speak on this issue with any intimate knowledge. At best you can attempt to intellectualize the plight of African-Americans, but you'll never understand it on any internal level."

I totally agree that I cannot possibly "understand" the plight of African Americans as I have never and never will walk in your shoes. "Understand" is a poor choice of words and I should know better. But arriving at some sort of understanding is possible. Having "an understanding" is completely different from "understand".

And I do not claim and never have claimed any such "intimate knowledge" and am not asinine enough to blow smoke up my own ass. However, I can speak to anything I please with the qualification that I do not walk in your shoes. And just because I am white doesn't mean that I have no place in the conversation.

Take whatever I say with a grain of salt. Hell, throw the whole damn salt shaker over your shoulder for all I care. But I what I know is that I am smart and
intuitive and have and can and will continue to contribute.

This topic is immensely interesting for me from a purely academic, psychological and humanistic perspective.

I can't help my feelings of wanting be a part of this conversation. You could use my OBJECTIVE perspective. If this was all about white people, then I would absolutely love to have some non-white perspectives because they'd see things differently. I am white therefore commenting on myself racial self would be inherently biased.

I'm not going away.

Oh, and, you're right, I did pass over your "why" arguments and will check those out.

Godheval said...

Beyond stating that you could not have an intimate understanding, I did not in ANY way mean to suggest that you should not participate in the conversation.

It was actually a bit of a test to see if you "understood" your "place" in the discussion. And you seem to, so great.

I'll wait for your responses to the rest...

ChicagoJeff said...

Godheval: Cool. Gimme some time to process (the mind gears are clicking and clacking) this so far, but I will read your comments thoroughly and throw in my two cents.

Godheval said...

Geez. I was parsing this thread again, and I think I identified a problem.

@ChicagoJeff - when Steve was talking about "anonymous punks" and "white supremacists", I don't think that was in response to you, but to another anonymous poster, the one who said this nonsense:

Maybe you should try to find out the ethnic distribution of the "warrior [gangster] gene".

Or Bruce Lahn's findings on recent evolution of the brain in some people groups but not others.

I guess evolution is racist.


That wasn't you, was it?

uptownsteve said...

ChicagoJeff,

What you fail to grasp is that Collier is stigmatizing black youths with behavior that is extant among all segments of youth.

"Mr. Collier is trying to understand what is ticking in the young Black mind and that is what I am trying to do as well."

JEE-SUZ.

I have two "young blacks" in my house who are vibrant, intelligent and responsible citizens as are their friends and classmates.

I was once a young black myself as was Collier.

What you sound like you're doing is trying to rationalize bigotry.

uptownsteve said...

Godheval

"And in their "disappointment", they've become critical, antagonistic, and often no longer in service to the improvement of conditions for African-Americans as a whole.

Of course, they also have no obligation to contribute to that improvement."

What should the average black citizen do about the condition of the inner city?

Given that the US government financed the white urban ethnic's ascension into the middle class.

Godheval said...

And to that Anonymous poster who wanted to cite biological differences straight out of the "Bell Curve" school of idiocy, there is something you need to understand.

While there are biological differences between human beings - individuals and groups - these differences DO NOT correspond to racial categories as they exist in the United States (nor most other places).

Racial categories are based entirely on phenotypic characteristics, i.e. the way people look, or where that is ambiguous, the way their families look. These categories would classify people from Ethiopia as being the same biologically/genetically as people from Zimbabwe, and that is plainly false.

There are greater differences between the peoples of African nations and even tribes within those nations (nations being products of colonialism and not kinship-based grouping) than there are between African-Americans and the lilly-whitest of Euro-Americans in many cases.

Looking at things on the surface, there are people who have "passed" for generations, people who have much of the same genetic makeup as those of visible African descent, but who now you'd classify as "white".

You may find in those instances that those "passers" have done better socioeconomically than their darker relatives - an indication that the differences in aptitude have everything to do with social factors.

And if you're going to use the Herrnstein-Murray school of racist folly, you might want to check your sources - as neither Herrnstein or Murray were geneticists, neither knew a damned thing about genetics, and not a lick of original research was done for the book.

You might also want to note that "black" in many of these kinds of "studies" are based entirely on the subjects self-identification, not on actual biological makeup - as racist pseudoscientists can't be bothered with such things as research.

Godheval said...

Steve, I frankly don't know. I only know what they should NOT be doing - that being what Bill Cosby and Mr. Collier seem to be doing - taking an accusatory and belittling approach to the problem.

I think people like you and I need to be discussing these kinds of issues in earnest, with the intention of bringing about solutions, rather than just highlighting the problems for its own sake (like Mr. Collier).

Godheval said...

Jeff, that's not helping anything. Uptownsteve, please do not justify his rant with a response. Let's the both of you try to stay on topic here.

And no Jeff, he was not talking to you, because right after he said anonymous punk, he went on to address the racist pseudoscientific bullshit of that other poster. Check it again.

And actually, Jeff, if you simmer your temper a bit, I think you'll be able to acknowledge that Steve has contributed a great bit to this conversation.

He's not saying that this is about him, but he's trying to point out to you that there is no one thing or even many things that are "ticking in the minds of black youth", because there is a great diversity of thought amongst so-called "black people".

You need to frame your questions and your discussions around specific people (like these youths mentioned in this article), not to black youths as a whole.

Godheval said...

It strikes me as ironic that you'd run off screaming obscenities in the face of my attempts at reasoned mediation.

THAT, really, is irrational behavior.

Also, I'm not even clear on why you feel personally attacked by Steve.

But, anyway, if you want to bow out of the discussion, at least do so gracefully.

Take care.

ChicagoJeff goodbye said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Godheval said...

Jeff, if you're not gone already...

You said:
"Uptownsteve: It is you, sir, that have no clue. You insist on name-calling, which demonstrates your contempt of other people."

At this point, Steve had not called you a name at all. He accused you of not having a clue. Much of what he was talking about up to that point, as I've said, was addressed to that OTHER poster, the one who was citing biological differences.

You went on to say:
Nowhere in this blog have I read ANYTHING that says blacks are genetically predisposed to do anything.

Because it wasn't IN the blog, Jeff. It was in a comment by that same OTHER anonymous poster - and that's who he was talking to!

Geez, man...you're getting all worked up for nothing here. And really, the only person you're hurting by leaving the discussion is yourself. You're the one who out of "humanistic, psychological,etc." interest entered this discussion to learn some things.

By leaving in a huff, you won't learn them, and the rest of us will just keep on going without you.

I'd suggest you take a few minutes (hours if necessary) to cool your head, then come back to the discussion.

uptownsteve said...

Godheval,

Ol Jeff is just reacting the way most bigots do when they are cornered.

He claims he's not referring to "all blacks" or "me" but then he says he's just trying to find out about "young black minds".

Well, which is it?

Quite frankly I'm not about to take any lectures from white folks of any political persuasion about behavior because they're in no moral position to issue them.

We presently have in America a stagnant, dysfunctional and self-perpetuating underclass that is predominately minority (black and brown).

In the early part of the 20th century that underclass was predominately Southern and Eastern European.

The US Government directly interceded and assisted that white underclass' ascension into the middle class (and suburbs) with low interest housing loans, job and educational benefits that were unavailable to blacks who had been here for generations.

After the Civil Rights movement a large percentage of blacks were able to move into the middle class leaving the inner city with large swaths of poverty and crime.

The Jeff's and Collier's of the world want to make that inner city underclass the face of black America and I resent it.

Yes, blacks are disproportionately represented in crime statistics but still that is a distinct minority of the community.

Most black folks, as I can attest by my own existence (and I'm sure I know and associate with more black folks than either one of you) are just trying to do their jobs, pay their bills, love their kids and live their friggin lives in peace.

James C. Collier said...

As some of you will notice, I have deleted the profane evidence of ChicagoJeff's meltdown. While I wish he had been able to hang in there, Steve's style and, yes, name-calling (which I purposely allowed), got the better of Jeff. This was an interesting discussion, although I may better enforce the rules of the blog going forward, even while I believe in thick skin too. It's a fine line and I would rather commenters police themselves.

Godheval said...

Steve, I couldn't agree with you more.

Mr. Collier, I do wish you'd jump into this discussion.

Steve has offered up a lot for you to respond to.

Oh and Steve, to clarify my earlier statements about the "black bourgeoisie", check out this essay I wrote if/when you have the time/interest:

http://godheval.net/the-black-schism/

James C. Collier said...

Godheval, I juggle many balls here - job, blog, art, book, family, etc. and I find I have little tolerance for personal attacks, accusations and name-calling. I simply will not respond, regardless of the merits. If this makes my blog unacceptable to those who see this as their right, then so be it - they can get their own soap box, at what time I reach my limit. This discussion did not have to go this route, but for the choices of the commenters. BTW, I checked out your site and will revisit when I get some time. /JC

Godheval said...

But there's so much more here that's not the name-calling. And in any case, Steve certainly didn't call YOU any names.

There is a lot of legitimate discussion here to be addressed.

uptownsteve said...

james collier,

"While I wish he had been able to hang in there, Steve's style and, yes, name-calling (which I purposely allowed), got the better of Jeff."

Where did I call Jeff a name?

If I had went off on Jeff in same manner in which he flipped off on me you would have banned me and you wish he "would have hung in there?"

I'll never understand you conservative negroes.

Anonymous said...

"Quite frankly I'm not about to take any lectures from white folks of any political persuasion about behavior because they're in no moral position to issue them."

Good point. White people are inherently evil and should probably be wiped off the face of the Earth. They have contributed nothing to humanity except the suffering of righteous people. Hopefully once nonwhites become the majority (only 30 more years!) and gain control of Amerikkka's nuclear arsenal, we can make this happen.

James C. Collier said...

Bigot, anonymous punk, white supremacist, rightwinger, racist, conservative negro???

Godheval said...

Mr. Collier, rather than responding to that kind of thing, why don't you respond to the actual discussion?

Godheval said...

White people are inherently evil and should probably be wiped off the face of the Earth. They have contributed nothing to humanity except the suffering of righteous people. Hopefully once nonwhites become the majority (only 30 more years!) and gain control of Amerikkka's nuclear arsenal, we can make this happen.

-- Anonymous white person laughably trying to misrepresent the views of African-Americans.

No one thinks such stupid things, buddy.

James C. Collier said...

I jump in when I have the time and interest, and perhaps it is a personal failing that the baiting style makes the discussion less interesting.

Godheval said...

On a totally unrelated note, Mr. Collier, where are you getting these dot-matrix style "mugcut" images?

Are you making them yourself?

Anonymous said...

I'll bet that if a lot of the self-righteous angry blacks who post here knew how much happier James is for not having to carry that baggage around all the time, they'd reconsider their views.

Anonymous said...

"-- Anonymous white person laughably trying to misrepresent the views of African-Americans.

No one thinks such stupid things, buddy."

You know when someone feels the need to try and explain the joke, they don't get it. Especially when they don't realize it's a joke.

uptownsteve said...

Godheval,

"Mr. Collier, rather than responding to that kind of thing, why don't you respond to the actual discussion?"

Respond to what?

I didn't call Jeff any names.

I was obviously speaking to the mindset that equates blacks with crime and pathology.

Collier's just trying to provide an out for the white bigots who encourage him.

He won't challenge or condemn Jeff's rants and, AMAZINGLY, suggest that I MADE him act that way.

Sad.

Godheval said...

I didn't call Jeff any names.

Yeah, it seems both Mr. Collier and Jeff misunderstood who you were talking to...

But I'm not so sure about your explanation. I was thinking that it was more an issue of him losing credibility by not being able to support his own argument. Because, really, there is no counter to the arguments that you and I have made that aren't either racist or delusional (or both).

Godheval said...

And to Anonymous - I don't see anyone angry here. Well, other than Jeff, and he was white.

As for the "baggage", I welcome it, because it means I still have a conscience, still have a stake in the struggle, and that I won't acquiesce to white and conservative ideas that "it's all black people's own fault (due either to biology or a void in morality)".

And I'm certainly not self-righteous.

I'm just right. =)