Friar Bijou wrote:
I disagree that racism, in any form, is more than a small contributor to the current state of black America.
That would be, as they say, the crux of the problem.
You think that it's primarily racism that is causing the current state of black America? Specifically as it relates to disparate poverty rates? I get that this is a narrative the left loves to trot out, but where's the evidence? If racism itself were the primary cause, wouldn't we be uncovering vast racist plots all the time? It would require large percentages of the population constantly and consciously making decisions to prevent blacks from succeeding out of a belief that their own race is superior (that's what racism means, right?).
The problem is that this is exactly the circular reasoning I'm talking about. You start with the assumption that disparate racial outcomes are the result of institutionalized racism in a society. You then see that the racial outcomes are disparate and accept this as proof that institutionalized racism is alive and well. The problem is that this all derives from your own starting assumption.
I challenge that assumption. 50 years ago? Sure. Today? I'm just not seeing it. Sure, you can find some guy over there, or over there, using the occasional racist slur, and maybe, just maybe that guy might just be in a position once in a great while to hamper some black person's success. But on the kind of scale we're talking about? The numbers involved? The size of the poverty gap? I don't see how that's possible.
But if we abandon the starting assumption, broaden our thinking on the issue, and accept that there could be forces in our society that can adversely impact a group of people who share a common attribute (skin color in this case), where the cause of that impact has nothing at all to do with racism, then we can start looking around for examples of this. And when we do, we start seeing a whole host of factors out there that affect blacks to a different degree than whites. And most of them exist because of well meaning people, with no racist intent at all, who think they are helping people. I've listed several. There are many more. But you can't get past the assumption that if something bad happens to someone, someone else must have intended that bad thing to happen.
In the real world, bad things happen to people, even to groups of people, without needing harmful intent all the time. You didn't intent to lose control of your vehicle and hit that other car, but it happened. To assume that accidents only happen by malicious intent is absurd, right? Yet, that's essentially what you're arguing here. Until people drop this ridiculous assumption that racial disparities can only be the result of racism itself, we can't ever even start discussing this issue. Which is sad, because the people most harmed by that are (once again) the very people you presumably think you are siding with.
Here; I'll give you an example you can understand:
"I disagree that socialism, in any form, is more than a small contributor to the current ideology of the Democratic party"
You would rightly argue that in that statement I'm either woefully uninformed about the issue or deliberately lying to obfuscate the truth. As you do in yours...get it yet?
Oh, I get it. But my response to that statement wouldn't be to mock your statement, or dismiss it out of hand. I'd ask you for evidence to support your position. I'd also provide support in opposition that presumably supports my position (like, I don't know, providing example of behavior by the Democrats which matches with socialist behavior). Neither you nor Alma have done that. You've just restated the assumption that racial disparity can only result from racism and moved from there. Restating the same starting assumption isn't an argument, when the starting assumption is the very thing in dispute.
I can show you, step by step, how any of a number of welfare programs contribute to keeping black people poor in this country. It's not even that hard to do. I seem to recall we got into this very discussion some months back, and I showed the stats for black in the US relative to whites, and you could see both groups steadily improving right up until the late 1960s (when most of the Great Society legislation actually started to have an impact), and then suddenly it was like some magical wall divided the two groups. Whites continued on a steadily improving condition, with poverty rates decreasing to a current relatively steady point, while blacks stopped improving and have stayed at a much higher rate (about double the rate of whites) of poverty ever since.
Is that not evidence that something happened right then that inhibited blacks reaching parity with whites in this regard? What happened? The welfare state happened. Prior to that happening, blacks were improving economically at a steady pace. There's no reason to assume that they would not have erased the existing poverty gap between them and whites within a couple decades. But then... it just stopped. And they've been stuck in the same spot ever since.
You can't explain that with racism. Racism has quite clearly decreased dramatically over the last 50 years. Yet the relative condition of blacks has not. That should be your first hint that there's something else going on.