Is This the Conversation?

This piece by Matthew J. Franck at Public Discourse began in life originally as a submission to Newsweek, was published there briefly in heavily edited form, and was quickly taken down after its author rejected that it be counterbalanced by an opposing view. Is it objectionable? You be the judge. Here’s its conclusion:

Are there white supremacists in America? Yes, to be sure. But the fact that they are a tiny fraction of the population, and politically powerless, is waved off. A “system” of white supremacy in which all are complicit is supposedly the real problem.

Are there racist cops? we might ask. Surely with the large numbers of law enforcement officers in the United States, the answer is that there are some; who and how many are important questions if we want to know about where to assign responsibility. The system-racism proponent is uninterested; the system is to blame, all cops are presumed racist, and they must have their consciousness raised by the right training in the truth about systemic racism.

Are there racist policies at work elsewhere in American criminal justice, or in education, or housing, or professions and trades? Maybe, but the systemic-racism theorist is relieved of any burden of showing concretely what they are, or who needs to do what about them. Struggle sessions for everyone are a much neater solution. In a “hearts and minds” approach that pointedly leaves out the minds, everyone is invited to feel good about feeling guilty of vague sins they needn’t actually confess.

There’s also a concluding paragraph for which, if you’re interested, you’ll need to go to the link above.

Let’s consider a few statistics. Roughly one out of every seven people living in the U. S. is black while about one out of every six people living in the U. S. is Hispanic (a term I find questionable on its own). Lumped together as “persons of color” they account for about three of every ten people living in the country. Six of every ten are of primarily European descent, lumped unceremoniously together as “white”. Increasingly, I see blacks reacting to the PoC terminology.

About a dozen years ago, after the decision in the Trayvon Martin case was handed down, I saw a resurgence of calls for “an honest conversation about race”. Is what’s going on right now that longed-for conversation? Is it a conversation at all? What I see is that any viewpoint about race other than the viewpoint of race activists is quickly shouted down in favor of consciousness-raising sessions of which a major component seems to be whites confessing their guilt. I don’t think that’s the conversation we want or need.

In the past I’ve said that I believe in “systemic racism” in the sense that it’s harder to be black than white but I also do not believe that is actionable by which I mean that the underlying issue, as noted above, is that blacks are a minority in the U. S. and will always remain a minority. That the majority do not experience or see things as you do will inevitably place you at a disadvantage.

Let’s be very clear. Blacks should be treated justly. They should not constantly fear for their lives. There are many things that we can and should do about that. That still won’t change the experience of blacks. That’s what I mean by not actionable.

8 comments… add one
  • Greyshambler Link

    it’s harder to be black than white

    They want to frame the argument, plead for special treatment. Is it really harder to be LeBron James than a white person with Parkinson’s?

  • Greyshambler Link

    Check out any crime related article on Fox News website and scroll down to the comments.
    Are these people racists, the grumblers ? How many are they? How many are bots? How do you define a racist? By their thoughts? Good luck with that.
    We all have reactions and sometimes fail to temper them

  • TarsTarkas Link

    ‘Conversation’ to the Woke and Social Justice Warriors are ‘Shut up, hear our rant, admit you are guilty, grovel, and pay up!’ They own the Revealed Truth, they are the General Will, they are never, ever wrong. Anything other than instant agreement and compliance is evidence of unforgivable guilt.

    It’s all about appearance, nothing about character, in order to gain wealth and power the old-fashioned way; by theft.

  • steve Link

    If you just want to build a bunch of straw men it does make it hard to have a conversation doesn’t it?

    “The system-racism proponent is uninterested; the system is to blame, all cops are presumed racist,”

    The percentage of people who believe all cops are racist is probably close to the same…”Are there white supremacists in America? Yes, to be sure. But the fact that they are a tiny fraction of the population”. What most people believe is that there is small fraction of police who are badly racist, but the system protects them. Like in most military or para-military systems, you protect your own. Beyond that there is abundant evidence that the “system” engages in race biased acts. As I have noted many times when it comes to the arrest, prosecution and incarceration of drug related crimes it is heavily biased against minorities. Then you have car stops and searches where you have over 100 million stops documenting what loo”ks like systemic bias.

    “nothing about character”

    A Trump supporter worrying about character? You guys kill me.


  • PD Shaw Link

    Glenn Loury was bemoaning last week that the conversation was being reduced (in the particular, but exemplary situation of higher education) to either there is something wrong about black people or there is something wrong about the tests that black people don’t do well at. Thus you are either for eliminating the tests, or you are racist. The inquisitive middle about what might cause a given racial group to do better or worse on a given test is becoming verboten.

    There is no conversation to be had, either the educational system, the healthcare system, the legal system, the welfare system, the political system are intrinsically racist and must be set aside or the racists win.

  • steve Link

    PD- But there is tons of stuff written about minorities and education that does not claim that the tests are racist or that the tests are the problem. I am sure that if I explicitly say that most police are not racist but that police tend to protect their own, which includes the racist cops, that would taken by a lot of people as saying all cops are racist. The conversation is being deliberately distorted so that it gets aborted, favoring the status quo.


  • bob sykes Link

    The average IQ of the black population is 85. Half the black population, some 20 plus million, has an IQ less than that, many in the 70’s. They are the black underclass. The underclass is also marked by impulsive behavior, high time preference, and violence. The black underclass is largely uneducable, and has no economic function in a modern economy. They live off white charity, the so-called welfare state.

    All of this is permanent. We will always have a black underclass, and we will always have trouble policing and managing them. They cannot be integrated in the broader society, and their largely self-segregation in the black slums is probably as good as it is going to get.

    Nixon’s affirmative action has benefited the other half of the black population, those with IQ’s above 85, low time preference, nonviolent, the Obama’s for example. For those people, American society is pretty open.

    The future problem will be the Mexican and Central American immigrants now flooding into the US. They have no racial guilt over slavery, and they by and large despise blacks (and Jews). Where the Mexicans and Central Americans have congregated, like southern California, they have largely driven out the native blacks, often violently. We don’t hear much about gang wars in California, because the Mexican gangs won.

    A country in which whites are merely the largest minority will be a bad place to be black, even if you have a high IQ and a Harvard degree.

  • Grey Shambler Link

    If Bob Sykes is right, planned parenthood and the democratic party may have the answer:

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