For much of my life I’ve seen, heard, read all about the pathologies of the Black community. And I swear it’s true, every time I see a new one I compare it to the advice given on the same problem at the turn of the century.
Knowing that the same solutions are being offered for 100+ year old problems is kind of frustrating.
I used to get drawn into discussions about why some specific shortcoming isn’t a sign of some terminal flaw in Black people, Black culture until I realized those sorts of challenges are unending. We are not the public ideal. No one is…but point that out and you get “just because they’re fucked up doesn’t mean we have to be.” Which I agree with, but I also notice that not being fucked up is a requirement for success that is unique to Black folks.
There’s a LOT of things that are unique to Black folks.
Rah, rah, Talented Tenth, Black people already give more to charity than any other crew. And of course we should be taking class differences into account.
At the end of the day, I wonder as I examine the solution du jure exactly whose problem is being solved here. It’s true a +10% Black unemployment rate is a problem for everyone, it’s true a failing public school system is a problem to everyone but the nature of the problem differs depending on your situation. The problem of failing public schools, for instance, means something entirely different to those who need skilled workers and those who pay for the schooling. So when I read
To combat the problems, Gates has called for a new civil rights movement within the black community. For that to succeed, the “talented tenth” — meaning college educated blacks — must address and correct self-defeating behavior, in themselves and others.
I’d love to know what self-destructive behavior these college educated Black folks have that so desperately needs rooting out. Yes, put on the hair shirt Black folks…
I ain’t really mad at him, though. See, he’s kinda right.
Problem is, humans don’t work like that: “Hey, let’s all stop being as flawed as everyone else.” If we could, those old-time rednecks were right…we would have taken over.
Yet because of our situation we can less afford such flaws.
And every exceptional requirement reminds me of something written about Mo Tse a couple of centuries ago:
That which sets itself apart from the common man must be regarded are far from the Way for the common man
But I’m not seeing a lot of choice.