December 1, 2020

The "modal" black person.

I'm reading this because it's being criticized on Twitter by some people I follow (Titania McGrath and James Lindsey). Graham identifies himself as an Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology and Coordinator of Old Dominion University's Cybercrime Program.

That's 1/15, so let me just quote the rest. Boldface added and paragraph breaks changed. "Modal" in sociology — according to the OED — means "representative" or "typical":
[The group called "integrated"] is so-called because of what appears to be their racially integrated experiences. The integrated group may have interracial family and friendship networks, or currently in interracial relationships. They are navigating white spaces successfuly [sic]. 
The "modal" black person, on the other hand, lives in segregated neighborhoods and has a more monoracial friendship and family network. They navigate black spaces. This isn't about who is "authentic", but about differences in lived experiences... 
So integrated black folk may not have had life-altering experiences with racism, or they may not have close family and friends who are relaying their experiences about racism. Indeed, in their lives, race simply doesn't matter. ...however, the modal black person will be constantly communicating with people intimately who are dealing with past and present racism, maybe they have had a friend who has been harassed or shot - they will not have had as many positive interracial experiences. 
So you have two separate groups of people whose experiences bend them in divergent directions. They will have different thoughts about race and will ask different questions (e.g. the modal black person is not going to ask "if" there is police brutality...they see it). Asking different questions is wonderful, and we need a diversity of thought. But 2 problems arise. 
(1) Many whites will find commonality with assimilated black folk because their experiences jibe. They will see the integrated black intellectual as "reasonable" and... ...use their views to support their own. In other words "how can I be racist when Coleman Hughes thinks just like me"? Another example of this dynamic is the infamous roundtable by Brett Weinstein... ...no one representing a standard social science view (or far left) view was on that podcast. I have communicated with many white folks on Twitter who believe racism is not "real". They find comfort in Reilly et al. who support their views. 
(2) Although all questions are valid, the viewpoints of the assimilated black intellectuals do not represent the views of modal black people. They are a minority in a minority, and some whites never get the modal viewpoint. The standard response is going to be... ...blacks are conservative - "look data showing that black folk do not want to defund the police". Yes, this is true. But surveys show that black folk view racism and police brutality as a problem. Moreover, they speak with their vote - disproportionately Democratic. This dichotomy creates a lot of confusion about race in the United States for white folks who tend to consume the views of integrated black intellectuals. 
Before ending this thread, I'm sure that as someone reads this......they will look for disconfirming evidence of my claim (e.g. a conservative or anti-woke black person who does not fit the "integrated" profile). Great! Diversity of views is important! There is no authentic black person (alternatively, we could say each group is authentic in their own way). 
My concern, though, is that the world described by... ...integrated black folk is not the world most black people live in. Thus, while it is easy for some white folks to support the "reasonable" and "rational" Loury, McWhorter, Reilly, and Hughes, they ignore the concerns of most black people.

189 comments:

Dave Begley said...

Isn't Glenn Loury a friend of yours?

Mike Sylwester said...

I wonder if his word modal can be replaced by a better word.

Achilles said...

The modal group is just being used by the globalists to keep racism and segregation alive.

Michael P said...

Why would "integrated" Black people see fewer incidents of racism while "navigating white spaces", but the more common experience (to "navigate black spaces") is to encounter racism or its effects so much more often?

Mike Sylwester said...

The opposite of integrated is segregated.

Opposites of modal include uncommon, nonstandard and abnormal.

D.D. Driver said...

I am the very modal of the modern major general.

Mike Sylwester said...

I like his word integrated in this context.

Maybe a good alternative to modal in this context is tribal.

Mary Beth said...

the modal black person is not going to ask "if" there is police brutality...they see it

At least a few of the men listed in the "integrated" group also don't question that there is police brutality, but they question that the cases that have become big news stories are simply ones of racism. They also see a problem with the involvement of people who have long criminal histories.

People make choices. Blaming all of their bad choices on racism removes that person's agency.

Achilles said...

If you choose to live in a free society and live with the rules imposed respecting the rights and property of others you can easily be accepted in the United States.

If you steal other people’s stuff you face racism.

The problem is Democrats keep black people in shitty schools and crime ridden neighborhoods. There is institutional racism and the way that black people are treated by the public education system is pathological.

The other problem is that Republicans are playing along with the Democrats. They blame black people for not escaping circumstances they never had to deal with. I doubt that most white people who throw out the IQ arguments and other stupid shit could escape being born poor in south side Chicago.

mezzrow said...

I follow the people referenced here to an embarrassing extent, because I genuinely like them and value what they have to say about their experience and their conclusions. The 'modal' concept is applicable to all ethnic cultures and identifies those who are less open to influences from outside of their own tribal identification.

I have eschewed modal whiteness since was about 8 or so, having grown up in the Jim Crow south and having had a precocious understanding of events in the early 1960s in Jacksonville and Montgomery, the two major locations of my childhood. That said, this makes me think and helps me define why the opposition to the concept of colorblindness is so strong when we thought we were on the brink of getting past all that.

Mike Sylwester said...

Another alternative to the integrated / modal contrast would be contented / resentful.

Mikey NTH said...

As Michael P mentioned, wouldn't the "integrated" person have more chances of encountering racism simply by having more contact with people of other races than the "modal" person? I think this twitter feed is an example of a conclusion searching for a supporting argument.

Howard said...

Yeah, good discussion with some nuance. However, the terms integrated and modal may not be the most accurate descriptions. The differences in opinion are likely loosely correlated within the socioeconomic matrix.

Mikey NTH said...

mezzrow: "That said, this makes me think and helps me define why the opposition to the concept of colorblindness is so strong when we thought we were on the brink of getting past all that."


A lot of rice bowls will get broken if we get past that as a lot of careers will go the way of the blacksmith.

Mike Sylwester said...

I don't understand why people publish their essays on Twitter. They should publish their essays on blogs or other such essay-friendly platforms. Then they should simply provide links on Twitter to their essays.

gilbar said...

Mike Sylwester said...
Another alternative to the integrated / modal contrast would be contented / resentful.


THAT! is a Typical white supremacist response
A BETTER alternative for the integrated / modal contrast would be
House Nigger/Field Nigger

or, if you prefer:
Uncle Tom/ REAL BLACK

Mike Sylwester said...

If you vote for Republicans, then you ain't modal.

gilbar said...

folk NEED to realize, that their Place is In The Fields
GOT TO get Rid of these Uppity Folk, that think they can coexist with whites as if they're equal!

Browndog said...

Achilles said...

If you choose to live in a free society and live with the rules imposed respecting the rights and property of others you can easily be accepted in the United States.

If you steal other people’s stuff you face racism.

The problem is Democrats keep black people in shitty schools and crime ridden neighborhoods. There is institutional racism and the way that black people are treated by the public education system is pathological.


No.

Blacks keep themselves in the shitty schools and crime ridden neighborhoods of their own creation.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

I was amazed at the stupidity of that one

The "Integrated" "black" is going to spend more time with "white" people. If those are the racists, they're going to get MORE racism than the "modal" "black" person who stays in their "black spaces"

So, it appears that all the "racism" is coming from the "black spaces".

Which I don't think is the message he wanted to push

JCA1 said...

So, the guy who is trying to eradicate racism, stereotypes, prejudice, etc. is suggesting that if one group has enough negative experiences with another group, then it's understandable that they would view the other with suspicion. The irony abounds.

Birkel said...

Democraticals use their own past racial discrimination that segregated blacks in the Northeast so that they may now claim it best to ignore those who escaped the Democraticals' oppression.

That is a neat trick.

Sebastian said...

The "modal" black person, on the other hand, lives in segregated neighborhoods and has a more monoracial friendship and family network. They navigate black spaces."

So the modal black person, living in black spaces, knows more about white racism than the integrated black person who, you know, interacts with whites on a regular basis?

"they ignore the concerns of most black people"

They do not ignore them. They dispute the falsehoods in those concerns. They also counter the cynical political exploitation of those concerns.

RichardJohnson said...

D.D. Driver said...
I am the very modal of the modern major general.
Good one. We G&S fans, few though we may be, in a time when "wokeness" wants to put G&S on the trash heap (e.g., Mikado is "appropriating"...), need to stick together.

Integrated Blacks, who spend more time with whites, are less inclined to to consider whites as racist.
Modal Blacks, who spend less time with whites, are more inclined to consider whites as racist.

Interesting.

Achilles's point about making it out of the South Side of Chicago is well taken.

Chris N said...

Howard,

Can you define socioeconomic matrix?

The people inside, are they theoretical?

William said...

There is such a thing as police brutality. Your chances of encountering it increase exponentially if you get high and commit a crime.

mezzrow said...

A lot of rice bowls will get broken if we get past that as a lot of careers will go the way of the blacksmith.

That good old creative destruction. There's a resurgence in blacksmithing these days.

Could be an opportunity for some of these folks to be doing good instead of evil. When mind work is outstripped by AI, we can descend into fully automated leisure Communism and use our bodies and minds to start our own forge in the back yard.

If we're allowed by the authorities, that is. Could be a carbon hazard. Religious law will always be with us.

Fernandinande said...

So the typical black person knows other typical black people who have been harassed or shot by other blacks and that's the fault of white people.


I doubt that most white people who throw out the IQ arguments and other stupid shit could escape being born poor in south side Chicago.

LOL. Your emotions are better than data.

Mike Sylwester said...

Another alternative to the integrated / modal contrast would be trustful / cynical.

The Blacks in the first group generally trust Whites to be sincere, well-intentioned and fair-minded.

The Blacks in the second group generally suspect that Whites behave deceptively and unfairly, with ulterior motives.

Geoff Matthews said...

Achilles said...

The problem is Democrats keep black people in shitty schools and crime ridden neighborhoods. There is institutional racism and the way that black people are treated by the public education system is pathological.


The problem, though, is that the schools are bad because of students who act out. Classroom management is the worst part of being a teacher. Disciplining children who act out is a necessary part of being a teacher.

And how often, when black children are disciplined, do the parents support the teacher? The community support the teacher? The Obama administration asserted that the disparity in disciplinary action was because of racism, and provided incentives to NOT discipline students. This way leads to WORSE schools.

And things will not improve.

Joe Smith said...

There is racism...most assuredly on an individual basis.

Group or what might be seen as systemic occurs in places like the Democrat Party and their militant wing, the KKK.

There is NO systemic racism in non-party government on just about any level, certainly not at the federal level.

It is a huge benefit to be black or a minority when applying for a government job or any job in academia.

Don't believe me? Walk into any Post Office or DMV and tell me what you see.

Nonapod said...

Once you strip away the sociological jargon, you have "Black people who live among only other black people have a different experience than black people who live among a mix of races", which in and of itself seems fairly obvious.

Laughing Fox said...

In my neighborhood, so-called "modal" black Americans are very divided on many issues--juvenile misbehavior and crime, police action, gentrification and development, schools and school choice. In other words, my neighbors have their own differing opinions and perspectives--just like PEOPLE in general. Attempts to view black Americans as one big lump, or in this case, two big lumps, is foolish and shows maybe a kind of inability to look beyond race to the many differences on the ground among reasonable people.

narciso said...

So integral is free thinking, modal is deluded.

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laslo Spatula said...

For whites it is Woke / Deplorable.

I am Laslo.

Nonapod said...

When you spend all day, everyday ruminating on racism as your job I imagine you'll see racism everywhere all the time. It's similar to the issue of the general who only ever imagines military solutions to every foreign relations issue.

William said...

I have lived and worked among Black people for a good part of my life. I've had some negative experiences, but for the most part it hasn't been that hard to negotiate. Some Black people have a chip on their shoulder, and I suppose I've said and done my share of insensitive things, but in a work environment I've never found it hard to establish a working relationship. I wouldn't like to think that Blacks with a job are some sort of minority within a minority....Here's the dirty secret about race relations in America; they're not that bad. Ponder how the various ethnic, religious, and racial conflicts are playing out in other parts of the world. Black/white relations are the fault line in American society but mostly we've had tremors rather than earthquakes.

Freeman Hunt said...

Why would the assumption be that the modal view is more accurate than the integrated view?

Laslo Spatula said...

If only blacks could trust the police like whites trust the CIA and FBI.

I am Laslo.

Achilles said...

RichardJohnson said...

Good one. We G&S fans, few though we may be, in a time when "wokeness" wants to put G&S on the trash heap (e.g., Mikado is "appropriating"...), need to stick together.

Integrated Blacks, who spend more time with whites, are less inclined to to consider whites as racist.
Modal Blacks, who spend less time with whites, are more inclined to consider whites as racist.

Interesting.


The key part here is shared experiences.

The modal movement is a segregationist movement. Division is the goal of the elites. They want us tribal and they want us fighting.

Right now there is a protracted war against shared experiences. They are shutting down Schools. Churches. Sports. They have completely gutted the NBA as a shared American Experience. It is hard to think of a more detestable human being than Lebron James. The NFL is in it's death throws because of injected politics.

Everything they do is meant to divide us and keep us fighting.

gerry said...

Here is your chicken.

Here is your hatchet.

At midnight tonight, build a small fire at a crossroads in the middle of a forest, face the east, and behead the chicken. Swing it in a circular motion above your head three times while saying "OOGA BOOGA. OOGA BOOG. OOGA BOOGA."

We will mail you your PHD in Sociology in three weeks.

Thank you for your check.

Remember to check with the Party every six months to see if your version of Sociological Science is still valid.

gilbar said...

serious question
these "integrated blacks" what are their family lives like? Do they know their fathers?
Or, are they like the "modal blacks", that are raised as feral animals on the street?

Howard said...

I just made it up Chris N. Based on the hot-crazy matrix. Imagine the +/+ quadrant of the xy graph. On the y axis you plot poor to wealthy and on the x axis you plot leftist to right winger. The poor leftist are more likely to believe in systematic racism and the wealthy conservatives are more likely to not believe in systematic racism. How the pdf is filled in between is an exercise left to the student.

Tina Trent said...

Chicago is on track to have 800 homicides this year, and more than 4,000 total shot, 80%+ black victims and likely 93% or more are black-on-black or Hispanic-on-black shootings, the vast majority of those being black-on-black.

In other words, if black lives matter, don't be modal.

tim d said...

Can we get a link for that definition? Thanks.

tomaig said...

And where do the Holy Modal Rounders fit in with all this?
Don't Bogart that joint, my friend.

Gahrie said...

they ignore the concerns of most black people.

Here's a dirty little secret: Everybody does! Including so called Black leaders.

Every Republican knows that no matter what he says or does, the vast majority of Black people are going to vote Democratic. (Just look at the last election, Trump was objectively the best president for Black people since Lincoln, and less than a quarter of them voted for him.) So Republicans mostly ignore the concerns of Black people.

Every Democrat knows no matter what he says or does, the vast majority of Black voters are going to vote Democratic. (Just look at the last election. Biden has a long record of racist comments, opposed school busing using racist language, and gave the eulogy for a high ranking member of the KKK.) So Democrats mostly ignore the concerns of Black people.

Black people make up less than 14% of the US population, so society mostly ignores the concerns of Black people.

If Black people want to have their concerns addressed they need to force the Democrats to start earning their votes, and to give the Republicans a fair chance to earn them.

Achilles said...

At one point most Americans believed in our elections.

Now we don't. Democrats spent 4 years telling us the 2016 election was stolen. Then they kicked hundreds of Republican poll observers out while they counted ballots in democrat controlled cities.

Another thing we had in common has been destroyed.

Howard said...

Achilles: no. 99% of the beauty and bullshit in this world emerge out of the muck and mire. Only the pathetically weak and intellectually lazy think otherwise.

virgil xenophon said...

Uh, AA, better put Black conservative"intellectuals" Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams at the very head of your list of those skeptical of "systemic" societal racism.

Lurker21 said...

All day long, I hear the same complaints from modal verbs about the other verbs ...

Cassandra said...

My husband and I both grew up in military families and we moved every year much of the time. That means totally new schools, and often a move to a different region of the U.S. (or even to Europe or Japan). And frequent moves aren't unique to the military.

When you are always the new kid, you are - by definition - an outsider. You haven't yet learned the local/inside cultural references and mannerisms. Most people naturally segregate into groups of like-minded or similar people because that requires the least effort. So if you want to make friends, you have to step outside your prior experiences and be open to the new environment that surrounds you. We taught that to our two boys early on - Marines typically move less often, so they only had to switch schools every 2-3 years. But it's still an adjustment.

If you live in a cultural bubble, that makes it hard to "fit in" when circumstances force you to interact with people who don't inhabit the same bubble. This all seems so obvious to me that it's often hard to understand why it needs to be explained at all.

Add race into the equation, and I would imagine it's even harder to navigate the proverbial melting pot. But race doesn't change the basics of human nature. We all tend to prefer the easy path (associating with those most like us), but making the extra effort to step outside your comfort zone - as 'integrated' blacks have obviously done - can't help but make it easier in the long run to find the place you want to occupy in society.

RNB said...

"...[P]eople ...who are dealing with past and present racism, maybe they have had a friend who has been... shot." Are most African-American gunshot victims shot by the police? Or by criminals (often African-American)? How is that racism?

Howard said...

Who is this "We" you refer to, Kemosabe? You really need to take masculine and listen to Alan Watts

Gahrie said...

Attempts to view black Americans as one big lump, or in this case, two big lumps, is foolish

Sadly, I disagree, and in fact their "lumpishness" is their biggest problem.

Birkel said...

Howard types this incorrect bit: "...wealthy conservatives are more likely to not believe in systematic racism."

Poor conservatives are more likely to have lived and worked in close proximity to a racial mix of folks. Therefore, they see the individuals because they have seen many ways to act/be and understand the differences between individuals drive outcomes.

You're dim witted and ignorant so I excuse your bull shit most of the time.
This is not such a time.

Kathryn51 said...

Thomas Sowell is not on the list??

n.n said...

Interesting, not color but shades. This is a milestone in Hutu/Tutsi territory, and portends of lynching/cancelation treatments in a post-apartheid progressive South Africa. This mindset may explain excess crimes and deaths in African-Am... black... Black communities.

Joe Smith said...

"I am the very modal of the modern major general."

: )

@Achilles at 9:21am

Great comments. The IQ argument does matter but probably not much. The biggest problem is the accepted (and even encouraged) CULTURE of 70+ percent absent fathers and single-parent homes.

Fix that and you fix a lot.

tim d said...

Larry Elder

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Straw men, such as claiming that whites say there is "no racism" when most are merely saying it is not as you describe. But that's no fun, because to acknowledge that would mean having to find ways to measure the phenomenon rather than just thrown in downstream effects and attribute all bad results to white racism.

One could also turn the telescope around and say "Hey, the black people who know more white people are less likely to say there is racism" while the black people who live in bad neighborhoods and see mostly other black people - and very likely, are less able to understand statistics - are more likely to claim police brutality. The police do act differently when they go into a bad neighborhood. Up here in NH, most of those are white neighborhoods.

Howard said...

Birkel: yeah, good point

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

He's wrong about the group he deems "integrated". It was not long ago that we were hearing about "integrated" black men constantly being stopped by police officers for being in the "wrong" neighborhood or driving a car that was deemed "too expensive" for a black person to own, therefore it must be stolen.

Achilles said...

Geoff Matthews said...

The problem, though, is that the schools are bad because of students who act out. Classroom management is the worst part of being a teacher. Disciplining children who act out is a necessary part of being a teacher.

And how often, when black children are disciplined, do the parents support the teacher? The community support the teacher? The Obama administration asserted that the disparity in disciplinary action was because of racism, and provided incentives to NOT discipline students. This way leads to WORSE schools.

And things will not improve.


My father taught in a school that was 50/50 black/hispanic in California in the LA area. His experience was that parents were very motivated to help with disciplining their kids.

Too motivated.

The impetus for allowing inner city schools to go animal farm is not coming from the organic local level.

It is coming from people like Obama who put HIS kids in a private school with armed guards and strict discipline.

It is willful and it is a concerted effort to make sure minority/poor kids get a poor education.

n.n said...

Thomas Sowell is not on the list??

Nor [doubting] Thomas, who is surely America's premier ultra-conservative (Pro-Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness... without diversity for all) Justice.

Jupiter said...

"... the modal black person will be constantly communicating with people intimately who are dealing with past and present racism, maybe they have had a friend who has been harassed or shot - they will not have had as many positive interracial experiences."

That's interesting, because I used to be an integrated white person, but I got sick and tired of negative interracial experiences, like being insulted, ripped-off, robbed and assaulted, so I am now a modal white person, to the extent possible. I guess it works differently for whites.

n.n said...

The Obama administration asserted that the disparity in disciplinary action was because of racism, and provided incentives to NOT discipline students. This way leads to WORSE schools.

Not limited to the Obama administration. Recall the administration in Atlanta, Georgia, where schools complied with the "No Child Left Behind" initiative, by kneeling to lowered expectations and implementing equitable treatment.

MarkW said...

Moreover, they speak with their vote - disproportionately Democratic.

Yep -- the party that runs the city they live in, appoints the leadership of its police department, and negotiates contracts and rules of conduct with its police union. Doh!

Francisco D said...

I doubt that most white people who throw out the IQ arguments and other stupid shit could escape being born poor in south side Chicago.

While your intentions may be admirable, your argument runs counter to two very well established facts.

1. IQ testing is the most robust area of social science.

2. Plenty of Southside Black Chicagoans have escaped poverty.

One problem with these facts are that too many have not escaped poverty for complex reasons. Another problem is that we do not know how much of IQ differences are due to nature versus nurture.

Achilles said...

Gahrie said...


If Black people want to have their concerns addressed they need to force the Democrats to start earning their votes, and to give the Republicans a fair chance to earn them.

That is not how this works. Once trust has been broken it has to be earned back.

The onus is on everyone to make things right, not for Black people to vote for Republicans. The worst people in the world are republicans. They are also democrats. It is the globalist class that perpetuates this conflict and you people better start realizing that it is Republicans that are the biggest threat here.

We should want to make things better for Black people because we want things to be better for black people. The transactional nature of politics will not solve this and neither will tribal political arrangments.

Jon Burack said...

As some have pointed out, Mary Beth for one, it is wrong of this writer to suggest these "integrated" black writers ask merely "IF" there is police brutality. The ones I know about affirm that there is without question. What they question is the incidence of it and its relevance to the problems poor black communities suffer from. That this guy makes such a grotesque distortion of their views in such a casual way shows his contempt for actually understanding their ideas. These sorts of sociological "explanations" for a person's ideas are I believe almost always an utterly pointless diversion from contending with the ideas themselves.

I do not know much about the life experiences of the individuals named on the integrated list. However, I do know something about one important black figure with whom some of them are closely associated -- Robert Woodson. Woodson grew up in a single-mother household in South Philly. He has devoted his whole life to working in the "NON-integrated" black realms and knows more about them in his little finger than this guy does in his soul.

William said...

Of course the members of the "modal" black community view racism and police brutality as a problem, but they never consider that this is partially a problem of their own making.

Unfortunately, a large (and increasing) number of black young people live in fatherless households. Since the father is usually the authority figure in the household, many of these young people grow up without a good understanding of how to respond when encountering a person in authority (whether teacher, employer, or law enforcement officer).

As long as members of the modal black community continue to show a lack of respect for authority, they will encounter pushback from police.

I, a white male, was taught from an early age by my father to always be polite and respectful to a policeman and to never cop an attitude. I have had my share of encounters with police, and I have always found that I got as good as I gave.

It's fine to break the black population into modal and integrated groups, but progress can only be made when people recognize the reasons for the differences in the behavior of the two groups.

n.n said...

The police do act differently when they go into a bad neighborhood. Up here in NH, most of those are white neighborhoods.

Color Matters. Some, Select Lives Matter... even when founded with pretense and false premise.

donald said...

“Why would "integrated" Black people see fewer incidents of racism while "navigating white spaces", but the more common experience (to "navigate black spaces") is to encounter racism or its effects so much more often”?

I laughed pretty hard at that myself.

Achilles said...

Francisco D said...

While your intentions may be admirable, your argument runs counter to two very well established facts.

1. IQ testing is the most robust area of social science.

2. Plenty of Southside Black Chicagoans have escaped poverty.

One problem with these facts are that too many have not escaped poverty for complex reasons. Another problem is that we do not know how much of IQ differences are due to nature versus nurture.


A bunch of University Professors came up with a test to measure intelligence.

And magically the people who perform best on this test are... University professors. During a time when black people made up what percentage of professors?

It is a stupid test and it is a stupid metric used by intellectuals to claim superiority and power in making societal arrangements. Bringing up results of IQ tests is pure poison when dealing with racial inequities. It goes against everything we are trying to achieve.

There is no good or useful reason to bring up IQ test scores.

PM said...

Re: acting up in school. Four years ago, I taped on my fridge a nsp article about how Oakland public schools would NO LONGER - as policy - send disruptive kids (dicking w/their cell phone, talking out loud, etc) to the principal or discipline them in any way. These are some of the same kids who, later in life, might ignore what a person of authority may demand of them. We know all too well how this ends up.

rhhardin said...

Good character gets you a job anywhere, and angry complaining denies you a job everywhere.

Nothing to do with racism.

mandrewa said...

Modal doesn't mean average and it doesn't mean mean. All three terms come from statistics and this is the only context in which I'd ever seen the word modal used previously. That said, I do understand, or can guess, the meaning that modal is intended to convey in this case.

But having said that there are big problems with the meaning of modal even in the statistical context. Modal in the statistical context means that you have taken something, divided it into different categories, and then labeled the category that has the most members the mode.

But this is an inherently slippery concept since which ever category is the mode will shift every time you change your definition of the categories.

Actually the purpose to which modal is being put to in this essay is to obscure things. It's not to communicate but rather to not communicate. And not only are most people going to be less than clear on what is being said, but actually the very concept itself is arbitrary and therefore not objective since no definition is or will be given for what group of people specifically are being described as modal.

The author could have been more explicit by saying inner-city blacks, which is clearly the group of people he is actually thinking about. But saying more explicitly who he is thinking of as he writes these words would things clearer than he would like.

YoungHegelian said...

But surveys show that black folk view racism and police brutality as a problem. Moreover, they speak with their vote - disproportionately Democratic.

I find it interesting that while the Left will reach for False Consciousness at the drop of a hat to explain socio-economic behavior that doesn't follow their program (e.g. Thomas Frank's What the Matter With Kansas), the idea that other communities, including minority communities, could ever be afflicted by False Consciousness seems to be beyond the pale.

Indeed, among the true followers of Identity Politics, by definition, it is not possible for minorities to have False Consciousness.

rhhardin said...

The impact of IQ is mostly that the lower half of the distribution is a really large number of suggestable people, whose votes are attractive targets.

Freeman Hunt said...

Walter E. Williams and Thomas Sowell are conspicuously absent from this list. How could either of them be overlooked?

Sam L. said...

WHAT?? Some black folks have different opinions?? The HORROR!! The horror...

henge2243 said...

"however, the modal black person will be constantly communicating with people intimately who are dealing with past and present racism, maybe they have had a friend who has been harassed or shot - they will not have had as many positive interracial experiences. "

This little line demonstrates the writers bias or ignorance. Quickly, looking at homicides, 81% of white victims are killed by other whites while 89% of black victims are killed by other blacks. It is unlikely that being shot, extrapolating from the rates for homicides, has much of an 'interracial' component outside of the author's mind with respect to either blacks or whites (should that be capitalized?). I think that 'poverty' would have been a better term than 'racism'. Class, not race is what separates people.

Browndog said...

virgil xenophon said...

Uh, AA, better put Black conservative"intellectuals" Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams at the very head of your list of those skeptical of "systemic" societal racism.


I too found it curious they were not even mentioned.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

mezzrow said...

The 'modal' concept is applicable to all ethnic cultures and identifies those who are less open to influences from outside of their own tribal identification.

And every ethnic group has a subset that refuses to abandon their 'modal' state and 'integrate'. What 'modal' blacks have that past ethnic groups did not is a contingent of white liberals that self-aggrandize by coming to their rescue.

Rick said...

The "modal" black person, on the other hand, lives in segregated neighborhoods and has a more monoracial friendship and family network. They navigate black spaces. This isn't about who is "authentic", but about differences in lived experiences...

Is there evidence this is true? This seems very close to the belief most black Americans live in the large city mono-racial areas leftists assert when that's convenient to their arguments, but also call this belief racist when that's beneficial.

https://www.good.is/articles/trump-black-americans-inner-cities

For example, when an audience member asked Trump whether he, as president, could serve all American citizens during the last presidential debate, the Republican candidate said without pause, “I would be a president for all of the people, African Americans, the inner cities.”

This assumption, while colossally racist, also highlights Trump’s ignorance about communities outside his own in a way that is deeply unsettling.

“39 percent of African Americans live in the suburbs, 36 percent live in cities, 15 percent live in small metropolitan areas, and 10 percent live in rural communities.”


So how do we get to a modal black American being in a wholly black space? Do we include Ivy league graduates who intentionally self-segregate? I notice Graham doesn't include school or work on his list [neighborhoods, family, friends], are those interactions simply eliminated to produce the desired result even though those are the specific locations most race preferences will be applied?

I think the premise is likely false using reasonable definitions.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Victims think they see truths about their oppressors, and the more or less well-meaning people (fine people?) who apologize for, or empower the oppressors, that others don't see. Quite likely. Then: these are the most important truths, clear the decks, change the university curriculum, force all workplaces to go through relevant training; a very questionable sense of priorities. Maybe black voters like the fact that Dem politicians are comfortable at the funerals of black celebrities, and Dems tend to support government spending whereas Republicans tend to oppose it. Like clockwork, many Republicans again are saying balance the budget.

Toronto basketball fans are caught up in the story of Masai Ujiri, who has been President of the Raptors for a few years. Game 6 of the Finals against the Warriers, the game played in Oakland. Raptors win game and championship. They're not at home. Ujiri has been up somewhere in one of the luxury boxes or something similar. He makes his way down to join the celebration. A local cop is working security right down on the floor. Ujiri knows very well he's supposed to have a lanyard with name tag on to confirm he has a right to be there; maybe colour-coded or something, so security can tell at a glance? Anyway, video shows Ujiri struggling with his lanyard--he had it in his pocket when he was up in the Empyrean. Local cop confronts him in a very noisy crowd, where's your ID kind of thing, Ujiri holds it up, cop shoves him.

Q.: shouldn't all security at this facility have some idea what Masai Ujiri looks like? Q2: Would he have been hassled at all in Toronto? Q3: If he were not a person of colour?

It probably goes without saying that he always dresses in public in a very bespoke way, etc. He is a rags to riches story, after growing up in Africa. Is he now an example of the persistence of racism, or should be emphasize that his life would hardly have been possible anywhere else, at any time?

Nichevo said...

Modal in the statistical context means that you have taken something, divided it into different categories, and then labeled the category that has the most members the mode.


Perhaps what he wanted to say, without saying it, was "typical."

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

The "modal" black person, on the other hand, lives in segregated neighborhoods and has a more monoracial friendship and family network. They navigate black spaces.

Whose fault is that?

Douglas said...

In my contract drafting class last week, I covered modal verbs. These are the auxiliary verbs used to express possibility, likelihood, ability, permission or obligation: must, shall, will, should, would, could, may, and might. Cynthia Adams & Peter Kramer, Drafting Contracts in Legal English 81-102 (Wolters Kluwer 2013). This is a typical use of the word "modal." See https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/modal. The Merriam-Webster dictionary does not include "representative" as one of the definitions of "modal," but that doesn't rule put its use in that way by marginal academics trying to signal their secret and obscure knowledge.

Unknown said...

So on-white people who have “failed” in life blame their problems on racism, shocker

mezzrow said...

What 'modal' blacks have that past ethnic groups did not is a contingent of white liberals that self-aggrandize by coming to their rescue.

Some of these white liberals even rescue elephants, not that there's anything wrong with that.

In most cases these same people are impervious to the concept of opportunity cost and have too much money or time or both on their hands. Would degenerate drug use as an alternative strategy do less harm to society as a whole?

Perhaps.

Shouting Thomas said...

There’s too much money to be made from blabbering about racism to allow racism to go away.

Joe Smith said...

"1. IQ testing is the most robust area of social science."

Not in California. It is almost impossible to give an IQ test (in school, for instance) to a black child.

"And magically the people who perform best on this test are... University professors. During a time when black people made up what percentage of professors?"

Or university professors are university professors because they're smart? Not saying they have common sense.

I'm going out on a limb, but I'd bet dollars to donuts that STEM professors have much higher IQs than social studies professors.

If you are throwing around IQ in relation to race though, Asians and Jews do better than whites, so it's not a white supremacist conspiracy.

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Shouting Thomas said...

The racism industry is a make-work, featherbedding industry, just like the feminism or homophobia industry.

The purpose of these industries is to create jobs that require very little work and are paid for by the government at rates the market just won’t pay.

There’s nothing else to this shit.

The “problems” have to be re-interpreted every few years to keep the scams going.

Chennaul said...

I’m trying to change race to something else— like— oh hell — French Canadian— and then I think this boils down to rich vs. poor. Or maybe upward mobility.

Actually that is a gross oversimplification....

Still don’t friends and family sometimes resent it when you make it— and this sounds a bit like that, and sometimes luck does have a lot to do with it. Although doesn’t that take something away from those that make it?

If everything is systemic racism then what? You cannot fix it and you have to destroy—I can see people having a problem with that. I am kind of shocked that half of America blinded by hatred for Trump are kind of okay with that.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Achilles said.. "I doubt that most white people who throw out the IQ arguments and other stupid shit could escape being born poor in south side Chicago."
****************
Yet blacks escaped from the impoverished Deep South by the millions from the 1920's to the early 1960's, heading north to industrial jobs in Illinois, Michigan etc. It's called The Great Migration.

That's why there are so many blacks in Chicago and Detroit.

If they did it before they can do it again.

Richard Dolan said...

So, one size does not fit or describe all. OK. Most people find it easier to relate to others who have similar backgrounds and life experiences. OK. Some people feel they have been treated unfairly because of race, others less so (or not at all). OK. "Unfairly" in that context means "because of race," and what they deem to be "fair" is to be treated as individuals without regard to race. Again, OK (but the Crits won't like that formulation). More blacks feel that they have been treated unfairly on the basis of their race than members of other groups. Sounds right, but perhaps there are ethnic groups out there that might top them on that metric (e.g., native Americans?).

Something tells me, though, that this fellow is not leading up to a version of CJ Roberts's view that 'the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.'

narciso said...

along those lines,


https://legalinsurrection.com/2020/12/seattle-to-send-first-time-non-violent-criminals-to-community-panel-and-have-taxpayers-pay-their-restitution/

Chennaul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chennaul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wholelottasplainin' said...

Howard said...
I just made it up Chris N. Based on the hot-crazy matrix. Imagine the +/+ quadrant of the xy graph. On the y axis you plot poor to wealthy and on the x axis you plot leftist to right winger. The poor leftist are more likely to believe in systematic racism and the wealthy conservatives are more likely to not believe in systematic racism. How the pdf is filled in between is an exercise left to the student.
*********

I had lunch with a black judge a while back. He wondered how "white supremacy" and "systemic racism" got Barack elected and himself appointed to the bench.

Can you answer him, Howard?


He's NOT "down with the struggle", which he thinks a movement meant only to line the pockets of charlatans like Jesse, Al Sharpton, the SPLC and all their progeny.

Chennaul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deevs said...

If integrated black people aren't running into racism while counter-intuitively being around white folks more than modal black people, then that raises the question of how the systemically racist system can tell the difference between integrated and modal black people. Because for this guy's explanation here to work out, the integrated black folks must be somehow insulated from systemic racism or they'd see it affecting themselves more directly. So, how does that work out?

Mike Sylwester said...

mandrewa at 10:44 AM
Modal in the statistical context means that you have taken something, divided it into different categories, and then labeled the category that has the most members the mode.

Thanks for that explanation of the word modal. Most people would communicate that concept with the expressions typical or most common.

The contrast integrated / modal makes sense, but it is sloppy.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Geoff Matthews said...
The problem, though, is that the schools are bad because of students who act out. Classroom management is the worst part of being a teacher. Disciplining children who act out is a necessary part of being a teacher.

And how often, when black children are disciplined, do the parents support the teacher? The community support the teacher? The Obama administration asserted that the disparity in disciplinary action was because of racism, and provided incentives to NOT discipline students. This way leads to WORSE schools.


So, to sum up:
Blacks are being screwed over by Democrats
Blacks are the ones voting to give Democrats power

Blacks are screwing over themselves, and need to stop doing that

lavinia said...

They've got a little list
They've got a little list
And they'll none of them be missed
They'll NONE of THEM be missed.

Leora said...

Achilles said "I doubt that most white people who throw out the IQ arguments and other stupid shit could escape being born poor in south side Chicago."

Many of those white people have parents or grandparents who escaped along with almost all their neighbors and they is why they have so little sympathy when they see the modal blacks complaining when success is all around them in all colors. My maternal grandparents were on relief in the Bronx with 2 kids and a mother in 1 bedroom apartment and my paternals penniless refugees from Germany who had to live with cousins. They worked hard, they made a good life eventually.

It always astounds me that the "modal" blacks keep voting Democrat when the police who brutalize and teachers who abuse them are all employed by Democrats. I doubt you could find a Republican county where only a small minority of the kids learn to read and do math at grade level.

bagoh20 said...

In CNC machine programming "modal" means the command stays active until cancelled. So it fits that definition too. A non-modal Black can turn on the program they need when they need it, and go right back to another program if that works better. It's usually called "social intelligence" but the extent of intellectualism these days is pretty much limited to making up new words for old ideas or redefining old words to mean the opposite of what they once did. Not real sciency.

"Integrated Blacks know about racism, and the experience of "modal" Blacks, they just go beyond it, and learn alternatives, adapt and grow. That's something to celebrate and emulate if you want a better life. A truely authentic human would rape and pillage, but that's not something we want to emulate. People who criticize others for not being authentic are authentic assholes.

How about being authentically civilized, authentically skilled and educated, authentically modern. Lots of people just fake that shit too.

Chennaul said...

Son of a bitch I inverted integrated with “modal”.

This list shit just pisses me off, guess the dyslexia flairs.

Shouting Thomas said...

I hate to see the comments stacking up on this racism bullshit, and I hate to add to it.

Can’t you see that racism ranting is a reliable profit making machine for scam artists?

There’s no hope of ever being free of racism so long as the scam artists can keep making a buck off of it.

bagoh20 said...

I was watching a documentary about ferry boats on the Congo river. They said the river was very treacherous, because of submerged obstacles that often sink the boats, drowning hundreds of men, women and children. The boat captains use river maps that have never been updated since colonial days when Europeans created them. They use the river every day, the outdated maps kill thousands, but nobody ever updates the maps. That's modal.

Sebastian said...

Does a modal black person necessarily use modal logic?

Night said...

The fundamental error here is a failure to define which version of racism is being analyzed? The academic elite are using a Marxist tilt to their definition. Us old fogeys are still using the definition of hate towards a group based on a bigotry about skin color and the culture attached to it.

No way to have a meaningful conversation.

bagoh20 said...

We always hear that we need to have an honest conversation on race, but it seems to me that people who say that don't really want honesty or a conversation. I think a real honest conversation is exactly what we need, but I have never seen that happen, even when people sincerely try it. You need people who would be called racists on both sides to sit down and talk to get that. People in the middle don't seem to have the balls.

Lewis Wetzel said...

If what Graham writes is valid (I won't say 'true'), then there can never be peace between whites and blacks, and since blacks are far less numerous than whites, occupy predominately low status jobs, are less well educated, control less wealth, are less likely to legally own a firearm, more likely to be jailed than whites, I can see how this 'war' will end.
Graham's only path to success is to recruit enough politically powerful whites willing to use non-democratic means to foil the oppressive dreams of the white majority.
In other words, Graham can only be successful if he goes to white massa with his hand open.

Night said...

Within 100 years there will have been enough inter marriage to place everyone into the victims group. Self Esteem issues will keep one there or move one up and out. Your social credit score will be the new class oppression. There will still be a huge probably with racism. It will still be used to leverage hate and money. Problem is there will only be a few token racists left that live in a free range zoo somewhere. But the great grandkids of the woke generation won't see that as an issue. Because... you know.. racist.

Night said...

Thinking about race seems to be a lot like being a Baptist? I would think the jokes would cross over completely? BET should create an award for the white comedian who can best joke with a black person about race. The competition would be fierce and create jokes in it own genre. The humor should eventually make people take themselves less seriously and bond a bit better. A little bit of racism would be like a vaccine.

Amadeus 48 said...

This ridiculous twitter essay is an exercise in assuming your conclusion.

Any group that behaved the way "modal" black people behave would get the same outcome. Any group that behaved the way "integrated" black people behave would get the same outcome. Substitute "scotsmen" for "black people" and keep the behaviors the same, and you would get the same outcomes.

Night said...

Using sociology terms and social worker terms is thinking past the sale in Scott Adams lingo.

You've lost the negotiation if you agree to the terms being used. You're a modal racist that needs self soothing from a social mind worker.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

RichardJohnson,

Re: Mikado, it's been called "racist" (or equivalent) almost as long as it's existed. I remember G. K. Chesterton marveling someplace that people were denouncing Mikado as a satire on Japanese things, when it obviously is a satire on English things. There is no joke in there that hasn't an English referent. Pooh-Bah, especially.

Amadeus 48 said...

The real question should be, how are "integrated" black people treated by the rest of society.

Another real question should be, how do "modal" black people treat the rest of society?

Rosalyn C. said...

I've noticed lately that every advertisement I see has some affluent Black person in it. (Even though Blacks are only about 12-13% of the US population watching commercials I'd think that Blacks were at least 50% and well to do.) I assumed this was intended to get White people who don't have contact with Blacks used to the idea that Blacks are affluent and just like White folk -- iow there is nothing to fear. I assumed this advertising campaign was a form of anti-racism psychological manipulation for Whites devised by our superior elites. But it might be just as much aimed to manipulate modal Blacks so they will change their mode.

What are the cultural values and traditions and practices of modal Blacks in the US? Are they any different from (modal) Whites, whatever they might be? I don't honestly believe that films about crime in Black neighborhoods represents Black culture. Does it?Just the idea of talking about White people as a monolithic group is racist and offensive.

What I remember from my past about systemic racism were stories of segregation and hugely talented and brilliant Blacks who were denied recognition simply because of their race, and how heartbreaking and tragic that kind of prejudice is. That kind of racism doesn't exist anymore. Does it?

Why not talk about how racism has changed? Why not acknowledge that no one is preventing Blacks from integrating into the general society which includes other non-white people? Just the opposite. Why treat integrated Blacks as if they've done something wrong?

wildswan said...

"So, to sum up:
Blacks are being screwed over by Democrats
Blacks are the ones voting to give Democrats power

Blacks are screwing over themselves, and need to stop doing that"

The four major cities with black majorities where the election count was "shut down" at eleven and the monitors sent home delivered a wad of votes which gave Biden his "Democratic modal" victory. This is so unusual that it would only have happened if it was necessary and why would it be necessary if the modal members of the black community were delivering their modal vote. So they weren't. They responded to the candidate who cut back on abortions, who promised charter schools and help for homeschoolers, who brought manufacturing jobs back from China - jobs needed by the 40 percent of young black men without a high school degree, who lowered the unemployment rate for all groups, modal or otherwise. It was these voters who were disenfranchised in the "chrysanthemum" election by the vote-counting shutdown and its secrets and its aftermath. And yet it is in the name of the modal voters that we, the modal and the rest who voted though many as one, it is we who are supposed to disregard the vote-counting shutdown. Let's end this historical mode in which "the country" unifies at the expense of the modals as at the time of the Revolution and in the Civil War aftermath. They joined us - smart move. Let's join them - even smarter. Four cities, three states. 4/3 =? Do it over till you get it right.

Francisco D said...

Achilles said.. A bunch of University Professors came up with a test to measure intelligence.

You might want to look up the history of IQ testing. The US Army played a bigger role than university professors, in my opinion.

The professors that I know who researched IQ testing are probably the most honest of social scientists. Its a good thing that we are all retired now or we would be cancelled.

Howard said...

Whole lotta splaining: The One and your Judge friend were model Black exceptions that proves the structural racism rule.

tcrosse said...

(Even though Blacks are only about 12-13% of the US population watching commercials I'd think that Blacks were at least 50% and well to do.)

Not only that, but biracial couples in commercials are always Black man, White woman, not the other way around.

Roughcoat said...

Mrs. Roughcoat is a white liberal woman and everything that implies. She is appalled by Trump and by the way blacks are treated in Chicago (we now live in NW Indiana, but she works at a black-owned ad agency in the city). I have long since quit having discussions with her on this subject. When the subject does (ocassionally) arise, always because she brings it up, I merely point out -- calmly -- that Chicago has a black Democrat mayor, a black Democrat DA, and a black Democrat police chief. The Chicago Police Department is filled with black cops and the city council is one-third black. Further, Democrats run the city, the county, and the state. The Republican Party in Illinois is functionally moribund.

So, the question is, what should blacks do to improve their lot?

The question is left hanging. I press no further.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Re: Schools . . . well, the constraints on teachers now are pretty extreme. When kids get physically violent (there's a lot of this; it's not just kids secretly texting each other or what have you), a teacher in some jurisdictions must call for the principal. Teachers are understandably reluctant to call her (or him) out of her (his) office, so they suck it up, but not w/o cost. An elementary-school teacher (!) was recently injured when one of her charges threw a desk at her.

Allied to this is the idea that teachers have it in for disabled students, which they do not. But "disability" now includes much of what used to be called juvenile delinquency. We aren't talking about the blind, deaf, physically handicapped, or indeed the ordinary "developmentally disabled"; we're talking about kids who scream, spit, and throw things. Who are, naturally, to be integrated into "normal" classrooms to the fullest extent humanly possible.

I forget who said it above, but in most places the parents of kids with "acting-out" problems are very keen on the schools helping to discipline them. This is true, btw, whatever the race; in my school all the kids who bullied me (all white, all other girls) got serious pushback at home after a call from the principal. (And I hated my parents to drag me into the office and denounce them, so by ninth grade I was collecting my own taped evidence and bypassing them.)

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Rosalyn C. and tcrosse,

Yes, I've noticed that too. Even my husband, who is considerably more liberal than I, points out the biracial couples; they are literally there as often as not (which is far from the statistical truth) and, as tcrosse says, it's almost always the man who is Black, not the woman. A pattern we've seen play out, fwiw, in both Barack Obama's and Kamala Harris's parents.

gadfly said...

"Model" meaning "archetype" - the original pattern of which all things of the same type are representations - makes sense to me here.

"Modal" on the other hand is more difficult in my mind to apply as it means "representative" or "typical" but only in sociology. Perhaps a sociologist (way back when) just couldn't spell?

Nonapod said...

the modal black person is not going to ask "if" there is police brutality...they see it

The term "police brutality" is loaded. The word "brutality" heavily implies unjustifiable violence. But it should be clear that when enforcing the law, violence is very often necessary and justifiable.

The fact is that when a person is resisting arrest, police are forced to commit violence of some sort in order to apprehend and restrain the suspect (wrestling a suspect to the ground, holding them, pointing a firearm at them, ect). The only alternative is to just let the suspect go. And if you're going to just let a suspect go, why bother having laws at all? So while it's practically axiomatic that police are forced to commit violence when discharging their duty, does that mean that it can be failry termed "brutality" if it's justifiable? What one person thinks of as justifiable violence another person may define as sadistic cruelty, but people tend to view things through the lense of their own interests.

I have no doubt that there are bad cops. There are sadistic cops. There are racist cops. There are cops who are "on the take", corrupt, and criminal. The question is how many of them are there as a percentage of the whole? 1%? 3%? 10%? And what percentage whould qualify as a "systemic" problem? Any percentage? If there's even one bad cop, is it a systemic problem? If not, then at what point can it fairly be defined as systemic?

And if we're focusing on the police, are we ignoring larger problems? Is black on black violence not a big problem too? Or is it just too large a problem to tackle?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I wonder, with many who've already written, what happened to Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams. Also, I'd add, the late Stanley Crouch, who was a brilliant jazz critic and acclaimed as such, but became much less acceptable to "modal" black opinion whenever he wrote about anything else.

Sowell taught me a lot about affirmative action and its equivalents worldwide. Preferential Policies was the name of the book I read, though there have been others since bearing on the same themes. What startled me then and now was the extent to which actual, government-imposed segregation was opposed over and over again by business people. His opening example was from South Africa, where the Afrikaner government wanted vast preferences for white workers, and the people who actually ran the mines evaded them as much as possible. Then he moves to buses in the American South (yes, really) and shows that while the pols were for segregated busing, the bus companies generally weren't. This is why apartheid-like "solutions" have to be legislated. "Natural" white supremacists would do all this stuff as a matter of course, but they had to be repeatedly dragged to it, and fined if they didn't comply.

Amadeus 48 said...

"by the way blacks are treated in Chicago"

Roughcoat--does your wife recognize that most of the bad stuff done to black people in Chicago is done by other black people? Did she look at the tapes of looting in Chicago this summer? Did she see any white people? Has she looked at the homicides in Chicago over the past several years? It is mostly black people shooting other black people.

Night said...

Amadeus 48 said...
"by the way blacks are treated in Chicago"

Roughcoat--does your wife recognize that most of the bad stuff done to black people in Chicago is done by other black people?

** The woke psychology is to suggest that these violent blacks are being influenced and controlled by white privilege's. Modern day systemic slaves so to speak. If one follows that out to a Bill Ayers extreme then Chicago should be applying eminent domain to their rich neighborhoods and swapping people out. Examples of success would be Russian and Chinese Red Revolutions.

Leland said...

e.g. the modal black person is not going to ask "if" there is police brutality...they see it

I'm a person the media would describe as white. I agree there is police brutality. I just see that it lacks a racial component. For instance, more white suspects are shot by police than blacks. The modal black person sees only blacks being brutalized, so they claim it is racial. When facts are presented, the modal black person will point to weighted statistics. Yet the same modal black person will ignore the same weighted statistics that show police also protect black neighborhoods by crime at higher levels than other. Thus crime rises when police are defunded from modal black neighborhoods.

Jupiter said...

"The Blacks in the second group generally suspect that Whites behave deceptively and unfairly, with ulterior motives."

Most of the whites and yellows who intentionally put themselves in a position to encounter modal Blacks do so for very specific reasons. To make money, to score dope, to signal virtue. These reasons can all be regarded as exploitative. They would not interact with members of their own race for these reasons.

Gahrie said...

"1. IQ testing is the most robust area of social science."

Not in California. It is almost impossible to give an IQ test (in school, for instance) to a black child.


First of all, it is not almost impossible for a school to give an IQ test to a Black child in California, it is illegal. IQ tests are used every day in California to qualify students for special education. In order to qualify, it must be shown that your academic potential (as measured by IQ tests for everyone except Black children) is not being achieved. Then the student is evaluated for possible reasons, and then accommodations are designed. Basically special education means smaller classes, more resources and powerful legal protections. The problem was, most Black children were not qualifying, because their IQ was too low. I had this happen to me once as a middle school teacher. (The student was a Hispanic female though) The family and I struggled to help one of my students, and we turned to special education for help. After some testing the school pysch told me there's nothing we can do, she's simply low IQ, and doing the best she can. Thankfully I didn't have to tell the parents this. (I later had her younger sister who was a straight A student)

So yes, IQ is the most robust area of social science, and it is banned for Black children in California for precisely that reason.

h said...

The "modal" black person is not a member of a university faculty. And most black members of a university faculty have a more "integrated" life experience than blacks who are not faculty members. The faculty members have white colleagues, live in upscale neighborhoods with white neighbors, attend conferences with many white attendees, and eschew activities like church attendance that might be racially segregating. (Did anyone notice how Obama -- celebrated for his attendance at a black church prior to the Presidential race -- never attended church while at the white house?) So the difficult question for me is not why the black faculties members listed in message 1 differ from the "modal" non-faculty members. The question that should be addressed is why these individuals differ so much from their "anti-racist" colleagues: Coates, Ibrahim X. Kendi, Cornell West, etc.

Jupiter said...

"Gahrie said...

"Black people make up less than 14% of the US population, so society mostly ignores the concerns of Black people."

Jews make up somewhere between 2% and 3% of the US population. That's why society mostly ignores the concerns of Jewish people.

Jupiter said...

Especially modal Jewish people.

gilbar said...

Do cops treat young blacks like they are all criminals?
Well, i've never been a young black; but i've dealt with a LOT of cops in the last 40 years;
and they've ALL treated ME like i was a criminal (which, often; i WAS)

There's reasons why i ALWAYS treat police politely and comply with their instructions;
It has kept me out of jail.
It has kept me from being shot.
It has kept me from being maced.
[MANY times, it's kept them from searching my car, which turned out to be VERY convenient]

Do i think cops go looking for reasons to arrest black men?
Well, i've had PLENTY of cops go looking for reasons to arrest me... So, yeah

If you Assume, that cops are Vicious, and Armed, and Looking for it;
your action shouldn't be to antagonize them... It should be to get out of there alive

Cops beat you A LOT LESS, if you don't resist arrest. This is not rocket science

Howard said...

Gotta agree with Achilles on IQ. Having spent a full career working alongside blue collar men on drill sites, large excavations and in heavy industry, some of the smartest guys could barely read and write. However, I learned more practical science, engineering and mechanics from these low IQ knuckle draggers than most of my erudite post graduate peers and bosses. Most of the work was acutely and chronically dangerous where death, major injury and disease were always lurking. We had to trust each other because our lives depended on it. Non hackers (worms) were summarily run off.

For you IQ aficionados, you can eat shit and go home to momma.

BUMBLE BEE said...

UMMM... I nominate Dr. Benjamin Carson M.D. to that list. I don't put a lot behind 'people killed by people' comparisons. Many of those shot become tortuously disabled which adds to misery without end. Second City Cop reported each Chicago gunshot victim costs the county $60,000 for E.R. treatment on average. That figure does not include therapy or medical appliances. Do the math. That devastates the entire community and generates resentment. Religious/secular divisions also fit into the black urban sociology stew. P.S. as mentioned upthread, respectful responses save a lot of friction. Also, my father told me that if I ran from the cops, they were within their rights to shoot me. Different world.

Achilles said...

Joe Smith said...

Or university professors are university professors because they're smart? Not saying they have common sense.

This is my point. They have one type of intelligence and the IQ test focuses on that. But intellectuals by and large have become the worst leaders in history and more often than not their leadership leads to mass graves.

I'm going out on a limb, but I'd bet dollars to donuts that STEM professors have much higher IQs than social studies professors.

I would agree. I would also say that STEM professors don't need an IQ test to claim legitimacy because they can just quit and go get a real job paying 10 times what a university professor makes. If the history professor or sociology professor looks for a real job they go find a sinecure at a museum or work for McDonalds. They produce nothing.

If you are throwing around IQ in relation to race though, Asians and Jews do better than whites, so it's not a white supremacist conspiracy.

It is not white supremacist. It is a stupid way to measure intelligence designed by people who could not get past their own biases.

mezzrow said...

If you're going to bring in Stanley Crouch, let us also bring in Albert Murray. My interest started with what Murray had to say about music, and I decided to stay and read through the rest as well.

Time well spent. I would love to know what he would have to say about our present situation.

Francisco D said...

Howard said...Gotta agree with Achilles on IQ. Having spent a full career working alongside blue collar men on drill sites, large excavations and in heavy industry, some of the smartest guys could barely read and write. However, I learned more practical science, engineering and mechanics from these low IQ knuckle draggers than most of my erudite post graduate peers and bosses.

For you IQ aficionados, you can eat shit and go home to momma.


I find it fascinating to hear from people who know absolutely nothing about the scientific research on intelligence testing, but have very strong opinions based on their own idiosyncratic perceptions.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Howard said...
Whole lotta splaining: The One and your Judge friend were model Black exceptions that proves the structural racism rule.
**********************
How conveeeeenient a dodge. It was **millions** of Whites who elected Barack. If "structural racism" and "white supremacy" were a real "thing", they never would have done that.

Obama himself nominated a large number of minority judges, with Bush and Trump picking fewer.. If "structural racism" were a real thing, along with "white supremacy" and "the patriarch", why would a largely white male Senate approve their nominations?

(I can hear your reply already: "They were just throwing blacks a bone.")

My judge acquaintance was nominated by a white governor, btw.





Krumhorn said...

Using music as the metaphor, perhaps he should have used the distinction between modal and tonal. In each case, there is a tonal center, but it is a different center. The difference is in the harmonic language used to describe and reach that center.

The functional harmony in tonal music, whether major or minor, is so well understood that if the dominant chord is minor, it sounds modal to our ears when it tries to move to the tonic (the tonal center). So instead, we all agree to raise the seventh note of the scale to create a leading tone directing us to the tonal center.

As lovely as modal music often is, it has a different tonal center and operates under very different harmonic rules.

In this context, the word 'minor', as a matter of serendipity, serves a useful dual purpose. Here's to a raised 7th as a matter of common understanding.

- Krumhorn

Achilles said...

bagoh20 said...

We always hear that we need to have an honest conversation on race, but it seems to me that people who say that don't really want honesty or a conversation. I think a real honest conversation is exactly what we need, but I have never seen that happen, even when people sincerely try it. You need people who would be called racists on both sides to sit down and talk to get that. People in the middle don't seem to have the balls.

This.

Fixing the plight of Black people in this country starts with fixing the nuclear family. Kids without dads do poorly no matter what race.

If the conversion does not start here and spend most of the time here it is not honest.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Francisco D said:

I find it fascinating to hear from people who know absolutely nothing about the scientific research on intelligence testing, but have very strong opinions based on their own idiosyncratic perceptions.
*******************
Howard has an ingrained habit of confusing his perceptions aka anecdotes with "science" or "data".

RichardJohnson said...

Fernandinande said...
So the typical black person knows other typical black people who have been harassed or shot by other blacks and that's the fault of white people.

Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a best-selling book,Between the World and Me. Oppressive whites and all that. At the same time, he wrote of several abusive patterns from his childhood. His Black Panther father regularly beat him for disciplinary reasons. So did his peers in the black neighborhood he lived in. But he spends most of his book complaining about oppressive whites.

Achilles said...

Francisco D said...

You might want to look up the history of IQ testing. The US Army played a bigger role than university professors, in my opinion.

The Army is a lowest common denominator organization.

I took the ASVAB. It has several sections with individual scores, an overall percentile score, and an overall General Technical score. There is, or was, a spacial section and an electrical knowledge section, stupid vocab games and a bunch of problem/word problem math. For people who need to you can study for it and retake it to get into OCS school. The cutoff is 1 standard deviation above the mean which is 110 General Technical. With a 100 GT you get into pretty much anything in the Army.

People that prepared generally could get a 110.

This naturally describes the problem with IQ scores. It is a system to be gamed. People with means will game it.

Using this kind of input is a terrible way to design public policy.

Joe Smith said...

"I've noticed lately that every advertisement I see has some affluent Black person in it."

No, it's just a jobs hustle and a white guilt thing.

Corporations have been made to feel guilty, and threatened with boycotts, for not throwing enough cash at blacks. See: BLM.

So now companies and ad agencies swing far the other way, over-representing blacks in all forms of media.

Just check out all the Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. They used to be all Canadian (white) actors (cheaper to film in Canada).

Now, the stories still take place in Maine and Saskatchewan (pretty snow), but suddenly every couple is inter-racial and/or everyone has black friends : )

We'll be having lots of lesbian Christmas stories soon, with trans close behind (so to speak).

Joe Smith said...

"Not only that, but biracial couples in commercials are always Black man, White woman, not the other way around."

"Where are all the white women at?"

-- Mel Brooks

Joe Smith said...

"Jews make up somewhere between 2% and 3% of the US population. That's why society mostly ignores the concerns of Jewish people."

Yeah, but everyone knows the Joos control the banks and the media, and can even change the weather : )

tcrosse said...

The White man-Black woman thing is historically problematic. Think Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.

Joe Smith said...

"For you IQ aficionados, you can eat shit and go home to momma."

I don't think there is necessarily a correlation between 'education,' 'credentials,' and IQ.

I was tested in third grade, for instance. I had no credentials except second grade and kindergarten : )

When I did attend classes for 'gifted' students, I met all kinds there. Burnouts, druggies, etc., not just the valedictorian types. Sometimes the 'smart kids' didn't even make the cut.

If your 'knuckle draggers' were tested, they'd probably score very well.

My father never went to college, but if the Norks ever drop the big one, you want to be living with him.

He can take scrap metal and build almost anything. He can build a house from the ground up, electrical and plumbing included.

He also does the NYT and WSJ crossword puzzles (the hard ones) in ink at the age of 92.

Joe Smith said...

"The Army is a lowest common denominator organization."

It seems that some police departments are as well.

Not so long ago a candidate was refused a position on a police force because he had scored too high on an intelligence test.

The reasoning was the police work is repetitive and can be boring, and that he would get frustrated and quit after having a lot of money spent on him for training.

He sued and lost.

"Monaco and the city’s deputy police chief, William C. Gavitt, have said in the past that candidates who score too high could tire of police work and leave not long after undergoing costly academy training. The city spends an estimated $25,000 to train a police officer.

Jordan scored a 33 on the intelligence exam, described as a short-form IQ test that measures a person’s ability to learn and solve problems. Following a policy in place for at least five years, New London police only interviewed candidates who scored from 20 to 27."

wholelottasplainin' said...

Blogger Achilles said...

"The Army is a lowest common denominator organization.

I took the ASVAB. It has several sections with individual scores, an overall percentile score, and an overall General Technical score. There is, or was, a spacial section and an electrical knowledge section, stupid vocab games and a bunch of problem/word problem math. For people who need to you can study for it and retake it to get into OCS school. The cutoff is 1 standard deviation above the mean which is 110 General Technical. With a 100 GT you get into pretty much anything in the Army.

People that prepared generally could get a 110.
***************

How did those ordinary people do when they were required to operate highly technical equipment during ground operations?

They sure as shit aren't all officers calling in an A-10 attack and setting GPS coordinates so they don't get strafed by mistake.

Ditto the non-coms who maintain, repair and arm highly-sophisticate weapons systems.

Fact is, a lot of grunts and non-coms do highly specialized technical work.

Could you perform those jobs, Achilles?

The Vault Dweller said...

If there is a broad distinction among Black folks between integrationists and modal black folks, with modal black folks living around and associating with primarily other black folks. Wouldn't that make integrationist Black folks more likely to experience racism. There has to be a relation to how likely a black person is to be the victim of racism and how frequently that individual black person is around or associates with white people. Similarly, in crime statistics white people are more likely to be the victim of white criminals and black people are more likely to the victim of black criminals. I'm assuming this is primarily because white people tend to associate with other white people and black people tend to associate with other black people. And if it is reversal of the cause and effect scenario with modal black folks having been the victim of racism in the past which then drives them to associate primarily with other black people, then wouldn't there be a continuous stream of integrationist black folks being driven into the modal black communities?

Paul Snively said...

Isn’t this a tacit admission that “white” culture is higher-functioning than “modal black” culture? The good news seems to be that the color of your skin really is irrelevant. There’s no claim that “assimilated” blacks aren’t “authentic.” So what makes the difference? Culture is the only thing that comes to mind. I can appreciate an attempt to encourage genuine empathy. There but for the grace of God go I. But I still see no discussion of individual choices and responsibility. It still reads like the things that happen to “modal blacks” just... happen, passively. This seems insurmountable until and unless there’s an acknowledgment that “modal blacks” can, and perhaps should, change cultures.

RobinGoodfellow said...

“So integrated black folk may not have had life-altering experiences with racism ...”

I love this. Some people would use this as an argument that there is no systemic racism. I mean if the modal black person (in statistics, the mode is the one the turns up the most frequently) hasn’t had life-altering experiences with racism ...

But this guy is using it to argue the opposite. The “modal black guy” is not a good example BECAUSE he has integrated into society. He has (clutch pearls and run for the fainting couch) WHITE FRIENDS! He doesn’t count. He is not authentically black.

Wilson Carroll said...

Barack Obama would appear to be the most "integrated" black man on the planet, but he still claims to see racists hiding under every rock. I also know plenty of modal blacks who think other blacks are bums.

Odd that a sociologist would traffic is such broad generalizations.

Francisco D said...

Joe Smith said...It seems that some police departments are as well. .. Jordan scored a 33 on the intelligence exam, described as a short-form IQ test that measures a person’s ability to learn and solve problems. Following a policy in place for at least five years, New London police only interviewed candidates who scored from 20 to 27."

That sounds like the Wonderlic which the NFL uses extensively. It is not a proper IQ test but a convenient one for quick, mass testing. I reluctantly used it for executive assessment and found it to be a reasonably rough measure. I would never report a Wonderlic score, but rather a general band (e.g., Average, High Average) based in part on the score and my own evaluation.

I also performed several hundred psych exams for police officer candidates, sometimes using the Wonderlic. I never heard of a candidate being refused for scoring too high, although I can see the logic of a poor fit. However, that assessment really depends on many different factors. There are some pretty smart cops out there, although most struck me as having Average to High Average intelligence.

Achilles said...

wholelottasplainin' said...

How did those ordinary people do when they were required to operate highly technical equipment during ground operations?

They sure as shit aren't all officers calling in an A-10 attack and setting GPS coordinates so they don't get strafed by mistake.

Ditto the non-coms who maintain, repair and arm highly-sophisticate weapons systems.

Fact is, a lot of grunts and non-coms do highly specialized technical work.

Could you perform those jobs, Achilles?


My job in the Army as a non-com was hunting people down by their cell phones. I spent most of the time at the FOB in S2 trying to coordinate them with the unit I was in before we went out. I have an idea what the technical side of the Army is and how service personnel are trained and what they can do. Mostly because I did it. But while my job was technical they didn't really need me to learn the GSM system or be able to list and describe the 15 parameters of the BCC channel. Most of my peers knew that we used "beer goggles" to search otherwise known as CRO. We practiced a job and we did it every night. My deeper understanding of the systems we used helped in a few situations and made for some good interview question answers, but otherwise weren't necessary.

The FO's in the field were generally Non-Com's. Like anyone else they had a specialized job and they practiced it for years state side to the point where it was reaction level memory. They knew the MSD's and they knew the assets we used on our missions. They knew the protocols and they knew the language. A fire mission was a series of repeated steps that was practiced over and over and over.

The Army has a distribution of intelligences just like any other population. The key to the success of the Army is that it has systems in place to put people in places where they can do their jobs. Each job has a minimum level of skill to do the job. There are no jobs in the Army that really require anything crazy. No person in the Army is in charge of more than 4 other people. Everything is reduced to a battle drill. The lowest common denominator.

In all ways the Army is actually a team effort. The Army really has no use for the right end of the Bell Curve. They don't mind it, but they don't need it. If they needed it the Army wouldn't work.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

tcrosse,

The White man-Black woman thing is historically problematic. Think Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.

Well, OK, though I hope we aren't, in 2020, still thinking of the White man as Master and the Black woman as Slave. But the Black man/White woman thing is at least equally fraught. Cf. the Scottsboro Boys. Or is the idea that White women and Black men both belong to discriminated-against categories, but if the man is White and the woman Black, it's the non-discriminated-against vs. the doubly-discriminated-against?

I just typed that graf using the WaPo's preferred caps, and I don't like it. I'm going back to plain old uncapitalized black and white, thanks. Saves me having to think about "brown," and why it alone doesn't get a capital letter. (This matters more than it used to, what with various activists going on about "Black and brown bodies" and so forth. What is it? Black is Beautiful, White is Wonderful, brown is . . bleh?)

Big Mike said...

Thus, while it is easy for some white folks to support the "reasonable" and "rational" Loury, McWhorter, Reilly, and Hughes, they ignore the concerns of most black people.

As they should. It is a pathology.

Achilles said...

Big Mike said...

Thus, while it is easy for some white folks to support the "reasonable" and "rational" Loury, McWhorter, Reilly, and Hughes, they ignore the concerns of most black people.

As they should. It is a pathology.

That is gross and unacceptable.

Unknown said...

Two kinds of black people - what a tool!!
I find the claim that “most” black Americans fit the “modal” type worth challenging. I live in a mostly black, big neighborhood, and would describe the majority of blacks in my area as being more integrated with whites than this doofus’ explanation describes. -willie

DEEBEE said...

If the integrated blacks can be lulled into a sense of blindness to “systemic racism”, why the counter of non-integrated blacks frothed into seeing that same — systemic racism — when in actuality it does not exist.
Would be nice if we get off this effing “woe is me because of systemic racism” and fight the individual racist bastards wherever they exist. Perhaps then we will be able to really attenuate if not eliminate this boogie-man

Rusty said...

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." CS Lewis
Reminds me of Howard.

Peter said...

Why would you not want “modal” to become “integrated “? Surely a better, more fulfilled life (looking at the examples given). Yet the movement by the likes of Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ibrahim X Kendi and other Black influencers is the opposite — to denounce the integrated as “coons”, “Uncle Toms”, “House Negros” and all the rest of the dreary Oreo claptrap.

Phil 314 said...

“ There’s too much money to be made from blabbering about racism to allow racism to go away.”
For once ST nails it.

Skippy Tisdale said...

United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, whose childhood was spent growing up in Jim Crow Georgia, blows this theory all to hell.

Skippy Tisdale said...

I am affluent, but live in a black inner-city neighborhood by choice as do the black folk here whose behaviors range from standing next to a public trash can while throwing their empty Cheetos bags right next to it on the sidewalk to those who shoot one another for short-term glory.

My body, my choice.

My race, my choice.

Connect the fucking dots.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Skippy Tisdale,

Clarence Thomas wasn't just black in Jim Crow Georgia, he was Gullah. The Gullahs are a small subset of black folk in Georgia and (I think) South Carolina, inhabitants of small barrier islands off the Atlantic coast. They speak a very distinct English dialect and have a lot more trouble integrating into wider society than, e.g., your average middle-class black person from Atlanta.

Skippy Tisdale said...

Is "modal" as used here just a euphemism for nigger? And should nigger, like Black and African-American, be capitalized?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3PJF0YE-x4&list=PLkVda1KXNCQu3AqkPW49f8yA9rLrQkOFl&index=45

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

That said, I hope you don't transmit your evident contempt for the black people you meet so that they can see it. I know exactly what you mean, about littering and shooting both, and it burns me up too, but it does no one any particular good to bristle about it.

(Remember the DC lawn after the first Obama inauguration? Remember the same lawn after the big Tea Party rally? Me too. But "You people are gross, you just throw your trash everywhere and expect someone else to clean up after you" is not going to change anyone's minds. The Tea Partiers, who said nothing but just left the place cleaner than they found it and let others draw what conclusions they would, had the better idea.)

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Oh, jeez, Skippy, now you're forcing me to tell you to f off. (And, NB, "African-American" is capitalized for the same reason that, say, "Italian-American" is. Who was it who, when asked why he capitalized Hell, replied, "Because it's a place. You know, like Scarsdale"?)

Skippy Tisdale said...

"and have a lot more trouble integrating into wider society than, e.g., your average middle-class black person from Atlanta."

True that, which is why I posted the Chris Rock video. I lived in Atlanta in the late '90s. I was having my truck repaired at Beaudry Ford. Across the street was a Bentley dealership. As I was walking down the street between the two dealerships a nice looking young black man asked me how I was doing. I looked at him as would anyone who'd traveled a good bit of the country solo and he could immediately tell I was a little apprehensive. He smiled and said, "I'm not looking to ask for money." to which I replied, "Oh I just figured you were getting your Bentley detailed across the street. He laughed. We visited for awhile and he told me that he worked two good jobs and that anyone in Atlanta who couldn't find work clearly wasn't looking. That encounter has always stayed with me. I regret not getting his contact information as he was a really descent guy.

As are my black neighbors next door. The father worked as he went to school to get a degree in social work, which is what he does now and his wife works for the city. They send their kids to private school because they value education and hard work. Their kids are so polite and respectful. I have lots of black neighbors on my block like that who pursuing careers ranging from a man who is now a retired contractor who secured contracts to build several of our light rail stations (man, does he have a nice boat!) to Charles, who works for the county in the property tax division. Another neighbor writes for the StarTribune. And then there's Sherrod, who earned a graphic arts degree (he's really gifted). I also spent years working with homeless kids who at least in this city are disproportionately black. They made great strides towards their goals by working hard and getting an education. Many went on to college.

The flip side of that are the children of gang parents (it's better here now than 15 years ago), who traveled in packs vandalizing property just for the hell of it.

What I have learned from living here for nearly forty years is that poverty is a choice and ghetto is a mental illness.

Skippy Tisdale said...

I also recall a young black couple on the five bus getting their three-year-old to say, "BACK BACK MOTHERFUCKER!" and, "GIVE ME MY SHIT!" Three-years-old, FFS. Oh he's on a great path.

As I said, poverty is a choice and ghetto is a mental illness.

Jjk500 said...

“Racist” = “N-word”.
Anyone stereotyping a white person they don’t know as “racist” is the same offense as calling any black person the “N-word”.
When will outrage be equivalent?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Skippy Tisdale, I do know what you mean. I spent the better part of ten years living on a block in Emeryville, CA (barely in Emeryville -- if you walked in any direction but one, you were in Oakland within three blocks, while the one direction that took you to the rest of Emeryville was barred by many train tracks). The block was roughly 1/3 each black, white, and Indian subcontinent, and extremely friendly; it was the sort of place where total strangers shouted "Good morning!" to one another across the street. All the same, it was also the place where a black man held up my husband as he returned home after a late gig.

For me, it's been like that all my life. The vast majority of my interactions with black people have been friendly, which is to say, "ordinary." And then there are the few who are bent either on taking advantage, taking stuff, or getting high on little power plays. I got scammed twice as a new college student (you know the sort of thing: "My car broke down, and I can't have it repaired because I don't have any money, and I can't call my my out-of-town husband b/c the only reason I'm here in the first place is to file for divorce, so won't you please give me money for Amtrak so I can get back home?"), but after that I offered to help in any way I could -- but only if I could tag along for as long as I needed to to make sure the money was going where she said it would. (I had another guy, Asian-American rather than black, who used to accost me on the way to review concerts; he hadn't eaten for two days, when I offered him my dinner, he said he couldn't eat it because of bad teeth; when I offered to go to a restaurant with him, he said it was in Chinatown . . .)

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Speaking of concert reviews, that same place (Civic Center Plaza in SF) is where I almost got mugged. I say "almost" because I didn't let go of my bag, and the guy was so shocked that after a second or two of tussle he gave up and fled. The UC/Berkeley professor I'd given my second comp to was pretty shocked herself. The dude was black.

And then there are what I suppose are now called microaggressions: The black girl who, when I got on a crowded bus, deliberately blocked my way (towards the back of the bus, yet!) with a sneering "You're SUPPOSED to say 'Excuse me!'," the four black girls who spread across a sidewalk so as to force me to step into the street, that sort of thing. I can understand why people find this sort of shite irritating, b/c the few incidents still rankle with me. But they're so unnecessary! If someone wants to get onto a bus, I automatically move to let them pass; if I see someone coming my way on a sidewalk, I step as close to one side as I can, and if I'm walking with other people, we go momentarily single file. It never occurred to me to do otherwise until I saw what these girls were doing with it.

Charles said...

Classic example of the No True Scotsman Fallacy. Roughly - Anyone who departs from my characterization of the group must not really be part of that group. Always a good tell that you are likely dealing with a bad or at least mistaken argument.

SensibleCitizen said...

I believe we are more classist than racist. Our out-group biases toward poor black people are similar to our biases regarding white 'trailer trash.' In some ways we are more deferential to out-groups of color. For example, I'll get away with calling poor white people 'trailer trash.'

It's time to ditch race as a construct and work on elevating the underclass. I suspect that violent crime rates among young white men in Hazard County, KY are similar to rates of violence in Chicago. The issue isn't race; it's toxic culture, bad schools and absent fathers. We can solve these problems over time if the racial element is eliminated. Otherwise, we're stuck with this circular thinking where all roads lead to racism and systemic bias -- an unsolvable problem.