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Bloviating Zeppelin: Truth?

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


"A slew of new research shows how sorry is the plight of American blacks, most acutely men. Black men, particularly those who do not finish high school, have been falling off a cliff for decades.

If you include blacks in prison or not seeking work—which conventional unemployment surveys don't—the true jobless rate for black men in their 20s without a high school diploma is 72 percent.

At the height of the economic boom, in 2000, it was still about 65 percent. This is twice the rate for white dropouts and three times that of Latinos. A University of California, Berkeley, researcher found that black dropouts in their late 20s are more likely to be in prison than working.

There's a lot of Marxist-infused nonsense about how economics are at the root of black America's problems. But this doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

Of course poverty makes social pathologies worse, but it's the pathologies that cause poverty in the first place.

Family breakdown in the black community has occurred despite a steady rise in the wages of blacks since World War II, when 80 percent were born to married parents.

Racism alone cannot be blamed anymore for causing all black problems. By every measure, racism, particularly official racism, has declined even as these problems have worsened. Racism is surely still a problem, but it pales in comparison to family breakdown. Nothing more perpetuates the cycle of moral and financial poverty.

If you are raised by two married parents today, black or white, it is unlikely that you will be poor, or poor for long.

Obviously, black America's problems are larger than the [Congressional Black] caucus. But the caucus has failed to provide the morally serious leadership—leadership that builds on the historic social conservatism and self-reliance of African Americans—that is sorely needed."

—Jonah Goldberg

Orlando Patterson wrote, in part:

SEVERAL recent studies have garnered wide attention for reconfirming the tragic disconnection of millions of black youths from the American mainstream. But they also highlighted another crisis: the failure of social scientists to adequately explain the problem, and their inability to come up with any effective strategy to deal with it.

The main cause for this shortcoming is a deep-seated dogma that has prevailed in social science and policy circles since the mid-1960's: the rejection of any explanation that invokes a group's cultural attributes — its distinctive attitudes, values and predispositions, and the resulting behavior of its members — and the relentless preference for relying on structural factors like low incomes, joblessness, poor schools and bad housing.

Nor have studies explained why, if someone cannot get a job, he turns to crime and drug abuse. One does not imply the other. Joblessness is rampant in Latin America and India, but the mass of the populations does not turn to crime.

And why do so many young unemployed black men have children — several of them — which they have no resources or intention to support? And why, finally, do they murder each other at nine times the rate of white youths?

So what are some of the cultural factors that explain the sorry state of young black men? They aren't always obvious. Sociological investigation has found, in fact, that one popular explanation — that black children who do well are derided by fellow blacks for "acting white" — turns out to be largely false, except for those attending a minority of mixed-race schools.

An anecdote helps explain why: Several years ago, one of my students went back to her high school to find out why it was that almost all the black girls graduated and went to college whereas nearly all the black boys either failed to graduate or did not go on to college. Distressingly, she found that all the black boys knew the consequences of not graduating and going on to college ("We're not stupid!" they told her indignantly).

SO why were they flunking out? Their candid answer was that what sociologists call the "cool-pose culture" of young black men was simply too gratifying to give up. For these young men, it was almost like a drug, hanging out on the street after school, shopping and dressing sharply, sexual conquests, party drugs, hip-hop music and culture, the fact that almost all the superstar athletes and a great many of the nation's best entertainers were black.

Not only was living this subculture immensely fulfilling, the boys said, it also brought them a great deal of respect from white youths. This also explains the otherwise puzzling finding by social psychologists that young black men and women tend to have the highest levels of self-esteem of all ethnic groups, and that their self-image is independent of how badly they were doing in school.


Folks, I wrote the above post last evening and I had an observation planned; since then my father has gone into the hospital suddenly and is scheduled for an operation this morning. I am surmising I might be away from the Blogosphere for a bit; unknown when I will return. Take care, and never let fly those opportunities to tell those you hold dear: I love you.



Blogger James Manning said...


I hope your father is ok. Be easy.

As for the topic at hand, I'm actually surprised that a conservative would take on such a discussion. There are a lot of myths out there when it comes to the plight of black men. But I'll just hold off and see what others say before I chime in.

Tue Apr 04, 09:28:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Gayle said...

Prayers for your father's well-being, BZ.

Interesting post. As James is black, it will be interesting to read his take on this. It would also be interesting to hear from Neo-Soc, although I believe I already know his take on it.

As for mine, I believe that peer pressure has a lot to do with it, as does the lack of a stable family, especially a father who works for a living and instills personal values in his son. But what do I know? I'm neither male or black. It just seems to make sense though, that if you don't feel you have a family, you are more apt to go find a substitute by joining a gang.
I am interested in coming back later and reading the comments from those who are black. Whatever the reason, it seems to be a fact, and it is a shameful one at that.

Blessings to you and to your father too! :)

Tue Apr 04, 10:22:00 AM PDT  
Blogger TexasFred said...

Take care of your Father my friend, this blog stuff is just crap in the course of REAL life...

Tue Apr 04, 10:48:00 AM PDT  
Blogger echotig said...

We love you too!

Tue Apr 04, 11:15:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

04 04 06

BZ: I sent you an email. Best Wishes with your daddy. This is a very interesting topic for consideration. I will have to reread it to get some analysis going. I think there are many truths and quasi truths in the analysis. And it is a VERY thorough discussion. I will come back later on to comment further. Until then God Bless BZ.

Tue Apr 04, 08:20:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Revka said...

I hope your father fairs well! Sorry to hear that.

I have no clue OBVIOUSLY what it is like to live in a different color skin and be male.

However, I will make observations based on what I see, and what I have heard from my black female and male friends- from a conservative view.
I had a long thing written here and erased it..
To make it short: If African Americans can stop living in the past and start praising those who have overcome and made it such as Condi Rice, Colin Powell and others.. If they lived with their cup 1/2 full things would change dramatically. The Whites are more sensitive to this than you would think, and what is blowing it for them are people like Cynthia McKinney and Al Sharpton and the like. They represent this to us: "WHINE, WHINE,".."All whites hate us because we are black"... So, here are the whites at home thinking.. "What?".. "I don't hate people because they are black"..

I know there is racism out there and it is unfortunate. There is a lot of evil crap out there, but African American liberals need to quit whining about the past and get with it. If you think about your potential and the African AMerican's potential, which is GREAT by the way, then who gives a flip about racist people. Just show the white racists how above them you are by overcoming that crap. Turn the other cheek, and instead of whining be the best you can be.

I hate to say this, but we can't berid racism, and backing a stunt by Cynthia McKinney is totally going to wipe out the cause.
That was NOT a racist event, but an excuse to get out of trouble by a liberal, power hungry woman.

I think African Americans have incredible talent and potential in a lot of areas, even more-so than a lot of White Americans.I know personally of some of my friends who work harder than most white people I know. SO, the phrase that black men are lazy is a myth. I think the fraction of men that are, have been taught this self-defeating liberal stuff.

The problem is that there is a faction of far-left liberals who are stuck in the past and are angry and it is getting them no where. All it is doing is dividing us.

Wed Apr 05, 07:07:00 AM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Mr. Z - Keep safe and close to the ones you hold dear.

I have said my say on education reform for eveyone in this Republic, without concern for color or income. The plight of black men is just a *symptom* of a misguided system that has incorporated the problems into it.

The system of education needs to be flexible, adaptable and customized at the local scale. One size fits all fits none well.

When the problem is given an institution to 'solve it', the problem becomes a part of the institution and never solved. It is obvious that nearly 50 years of trying to institutionalize the problem has made it WORSE.

Put responsibility and accountability down to the local level where it belongs. Get the sloganeering and the lobbying and the 'experts' out of the loop for they have no interest in *solving* the problem.

Time to stop passing this buck up and pin it directly at home. If you don't want the responsibility, then you should stop the complaints. Make the system accountable for its actions and stop trying to slather over the problems with money. It is only hiding the deepening cracks.

That *must* end. We conduct the same experiment over and over and expect to get different results? The first couple of times should have been a clue. Nearly 50 years of such is a 2x4 across the noggin.

Stop hitting yourself and the pain will stop!

Use the board to *build*, that is what it is there for!

Take up the responsibility and the accountability and tell the damn Government to 'bug off with your idiotic ideas'.

Set goals and pay as the schoools achieve them or *NOT*. It will take a few years but in the end communities will get education adapted to their needs to meet standard goals so that EVERY child can fully take part in the Republic as a responsible adult.

You cannot *mandate* good education!

You CAN mandate good performance!

Pay *accordingly*.

Stop complaining about bureaucrats not understanding the problem. They have ZERO interest in solving it as it is the *source* of their job!!!!

That should not be hard to understand. Get bureaucrats out of the loop and Citizens back *in*.

And if local Citizens cannot be bothered with it: TO HELL WITH THEM! They will get what they *deserve*. By not using their rights and the responsibility and accountability that goes with them, they lose the right to complain about the *result*.

If there is not time during the week to attend school board meetings, then hold them on a weekend!

If the district is poor, ensure that they are getting just funding from the State.

The Federal Government cannot *solve* this problem and is now *part* of the problem.

If any more 'good meaning experts' continue as they have this past 50 years, we will have NO education system at all for ANYONE.

Wed Apr 05, 07:33:00 AM PDT  
Blogger James Manning said...

As someone who survived the west side of Chicago and knowing so many that didn't I would simply say to Rev that you response is typical but does not even begin to take into account the complexity of the issue as it pertains to black men.

The racism aspect of it is difficult enough but we could dismiss racism from this subject and you'd still have some very serious subculture and structual issues that 'getting over it' doesn't address.

The articles made some sweeping generalizations that actually do a disservice to this discussion. There is no predisposition in black men that make us prefer unemployment and drug sales. If they ever discover a gene that dictates that then let me know.

As for the blame racism or acting white - that's a bigger problem with black children interacting with white children then it is in the ghetto.

I'm going to blog in detail about this but here it is in a nutshell.

Hopelessness - we have to start there. When you live a life surrounded by corpses, it takes a toll on your soul. I worked with young boys from my old neighborhood and I spent two years just trying to get them to value their lives. Imagine talking with 14 and 15 year boys who are already dead. They don't know anything about racism, Cynthia McKinney or Al Sharpton. What they see are their guys dying, drug dealers selling death and crack heads. The same thing happened to me. I buried six friends before I even hit my 30th birthday. I saw numerous go to prison.

So Reva, I respect you but everything you wrote was bullshit. The 'victim mentality' and 'acting white' catch phrases of the day are terms for psuedo-sociologist and commentors so they can package their message for mass consumption. Sort of the '7 Habits of Highly Effective People' approach to a complex pathology that exist in the black community. A lot of these brother have little or not contact with white people. Many exist in an underground economy so have never dealt with work place issue. So the overcoming racism crap don't even come to play until a brother has removed himself from the shadows of the ghetto - which I refer to as the Ditch Syndrom. That's part II of this discussion.

But to close this part out. A lot of these brothers have no hope. I'll explain why that is in a second.

Wed Apr 05, 08:25:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Revka said...

You took what i said further than I intended. I TOTALLy agree with your assessment of the Ghetto stuff. I haven't experienced it. There IS an issue with that I am sure. You know a lot more about it than I do. Just like anyone who tries to tell me about Autism and what they know when they haven't experienced it at home. So, dude I totally agree with you.
I was coming from a 'whitey' person's perspective via what we see in the media and t.v. SINCE we don't 'live' in the ghetto the only way we can know is from people like you who have been there. I can't imagine what it is like talking to a 'dead' 15 year old. It is sad. I don't want to dismiss them, and tell them to 'get over it'..
I was talking to our society as a whole and to those who aren't in the 'ghetto' and whining about how they are treated. James there are some legitimate concerns out there, but you can't deny the other group of spoiled brat African AMericans who DO know and follow the sharptons and mckenney's out there. You know, the elite liberals who have millions of dollars and privileged lives who haven't seen what you have seen or even lived it, yet claim because they are black they have and they can speak for you.. That is Bull**** in my mind.

Wed Apr 05, 08:40:00 AM PDT  
Blogger James Manning said...


I just think that bring Al Sharpton into the debate takes the focus off of the real issue and that is the plight of black men. And elite liberals have nothing to do with. You have to understand that many black men are lost long before the issue of education, racism and economics come into play.

These brothers live in a ditch wheere survival is key and it is truly survival at any cost. They are trying to build lives in a place where tools for building the 'American Dream' are limited. You either hustle or die. And there are a lot of brothers that see these two as their only options. They condition themselves to it. Then there are those that aspire to leave the ditch but see the choices limited. Rap or ball player. And they seek that route but maintain their survival instincs (Allen Iverson, Jay Z). But there is still a sense of hopelessness with them because they still beieve that if not for rapping and ball skills, they'd be in the ditch.

Then there are those that find some hope and try to leave the ditch. This is where racism, the education system and the other crap come into play.

This is when we can start to debate what tools if any we should toss into the ditch. Because you have to understand, what is required to live in the ditch will not help you get out of the ditch. There are some that say don't do nothing and then there are some that look to pull them out. That's always going to be there.

But black men are dying and they are dying long before a discussion about Al Sharpton comes into play.

I'd like y'all to visit the west side or Chicago, Watts or Brooklyn and look into the lifeless eyes of some of these brothers. Then you'll understand why I think a discussion of 'acting white' and 'getting over racism' is superficial.

Wed Apr 05, 09:44:00 AM PDT  
Blogger James Manning said...

Oh, and I have to apologize Reva. I didn't mean to say what you said was BS but that the overall concept of liberalism impact of the black male plight was BS.

I think what irks me often is that these convesations take place as though black people are not human. I got out because after my cousin was killed I packed up a bag and left. My father was moving and I told him I wasn't going to live where he was move - one because I knew the cats over there would try to get at me - but I had just had enough. I got a job paying $6.25 an hour and a bachelor's room. After six months of that I joined the military.

I mentored young men for five years in my old neighborhood. Thos boys acted a damn fool at times but they talked to me and sharing with me - I don't see them as thugs and goons. They're lost. Yeah, I had to choke 'em a couple of times but what teenage boy doesn't need a karate chop to the back of the throat every once in a while. But they know the world see black men as sub-human.

Are there policies that contribute to the cycle. Sure. Are there policies that hinder the advancement of black men. You bet.

Wed Apr 05, 10:14:00 AM PDT  
Blogger LittleOleLady said...

I'm curious, James, about what you see is the ultimate problem, or as you said plight, young black men today have and the reason they don't live up to the potential they have by living with the freedoms they have as Americans just like all of us.

Why do they feel hopelessness? Where did that feeling come from? People aren’t born with it, it isn’t genetic no more so than being a drug dealer is.

Doesn’t there come a time that it is the responsibility of their parents to teach them that their life is worth more than living as many of the young black men do today and have for years? Don’t they eventually have to accept a bit of personal responsibility for the way their life turns out? It sure sounds to me like you did and have become a better man for it.

I understood what was said about blacks saying others ‘act white’. It was said not long ago that Condi Rice wasn’t ‘black enough’, this from her own race. Isn’t that a racial slight to her? Democrat leaders have sanctioned throwing oreo cookies at Lt. Governor Michael Steele ( R ) who is running for senate, and calling him ‘less than black’, isn’t that a racist slight on him? These are from people that are supposed to be adults, not children in school yards.

I can certainly understand what you mean about there being policies that contribute to the cycle. However I have a hard time believing that there are policies that hinder the advancement of young black men, though I admit I am by no means an expert on the policies of the United States or any individual States.

I guess my problem is I feel that my intelligence is being insulted because there seems to be a tone to your posts that the problem is there and there is nothing that can be done but something should be done. There have been poor white people that have stayed ‘trailer trash’ and there have been white people that have pulled themselves up by the boot strings and changed their life. They had no more nor less chance than any other American, white or black.

One thing is for sure, if we sat down and discussed the problems with our individual races this evening we might come away with a different understanding of each other, but I believe that the only people that can change one race of people is their own race. Nothing that white people can say or do will change black people and nothing that black people can say or do will change white people. It must start from within their own race, and then from within their own families.

Wed Apr 05, 02:48:00 PM PDT  
Blogger TexasFred said...

James Manning said... But they know the world see black men as sub-human.
That's a really broad brush you're painting with James...

I spent over 20 years looking at men in all kinds of combat situations and ops and all I saw was GREEN and we all bled RED, we ate from the same mess kit, we drank from the same cup and we slept back to back to cover each other...

I am wondering just WHO the REAL racist is...

Did you not get that part of your training down??

Wed Apr 05, 03:17:00 PM PDT  
Blogger echotig said...

So then, James, in a nutshell...Cynthia Mckinney should be able to get away with not following the rules because young black men have no hope?

Wed Apr 05, 06:59:00 PM PDT  
Blogger James Manning said...


Yes, there is an element of personal responsibility. There is something to be said about taking the bull by the horn and riding it.

I dealt with plenty of young men and I always stressed the need to make good decisions. Once we've gotten some of them to value their own lives, we started dealing with the issues of underachievement and a whole host of other issues.

Parenting is definitely the key becuase it is the source of the cycle. How did it get to this point? I don't know, why is alcholism such big problem on reservations. I think it is possible to break the collective spirit of a people. And in a society honors individualism the two just made for bad bed fellows.

I really have no answers. I don't dismiss some of the things that white people say and that black conservatives say. The problem is when you want to reach someone, the best person to do it is someone the person thinks cares about them. And to be honest, a lot of black people don't think white people really care about them.

My grandfather, who never left arkansas a day in his life would always tell us, 'remember boy. white folks don't give a damn about your black ass'. Now take that statement and couple it with the racism I saw when I went down south and in Chicago. So when we have discussion like this I tend to wonder if white folks really give a damn or they just getting their jollies off talking down on black folks.

Texas, I admit that I have to fight agaisnt my own conflict that I have with white people. I tend to just accept people for who they are but at times that broad brush just comes out.

But I do believe the issue with black men is more about the culture that exist in the black community and that racism is just one spoke in the wheel.

Wed Apr 05, 07:32:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

04 05 06

Well, I am about to go to bed for the night cuz I must get teeth removed in the morning. ARGH! But this was an interesting discussion.I will likely write more tomorrow, but I wanted to address something James and Rebecca said. I DO think that the Cynthia McKinney's of the world are BADDDDD people. She obviously takes away from the seriousness of racism and other "isms" in our society by her negative, bloviating and egotistical actions. It bothers me that she aligned herself with Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover; two people who I have enjoyed as entertainers, but HATE their politics! I think the problem is that so many Black people bought the garbage that the government is a cure all and we fell for it hook line and sinker.

In terms of discussions of Black men, as I said I will have to deconstruct some of the things that were written in the post. In terms of your comment about "Acting White"-James I disagree. I grew up in East Oakland until twelve and a half. I was a very good student and my father was a teacher back then. I went to the church where my Grandpa was Pastor and had a lot of support. Then Crack came. Yuck! We still feel the effects...Anyway because I did well in my classes, I got teased quite a bit for trying to "Act White." Now at the time East Oakland was majority )95% Black and so this isn't just something that came out of interacting with White kids. Also, have you read anything by John Ogbu? He was the scholar at UCB who caught a lot of flack for critically analyzing why the Middle and Upper Middle Class Black kids weren't doing well in school even if their incomes were the same or higher than White counterparts. He boiled it down to attitudes, Black Male machisimo, the fear of being stigmitized by "Acting White" and so forth.

I have an explanation for this. There is a saying that you can take a person out the country but not the country out of a person. This explains why some of my country relatives who have "made it" economically still eat chitlins' and like pig feet! There are certain things that you cannot take away. James is right about the mentality in the ghetto in terms of hopelessness. A psychologist acquaintance said that she could not treat another buddy of mine any longer because she didn't understand his perspective and could only listen. She felt that his life experience was so outside of her own that she had no frame of reference. She said that she felt he had been depressed for years, but that he was highly functional. She said it was a general nihilism that she had seen among other Black men.

And before we moved out of East Oakland, I DID see a guy get shot. And KILLED in front of my house. For a while, almost every day you would hear about two things:
1.La Keisha had her baby...
2.Oh you heard? Jimmy got shot last week. The funeral is on Wednesday.

I can't tell you how common place those expressions were and hopelessness and nihilism BREED destruction.

Thu Apr 06, 01:40:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

04 05 06

And what is really strange is that if you talk to the old timers, they placed an extremely high value on education. My Grandpa Butch told me about his freshman year of high school in Louisiana and how there was a student in his twenties because he had never had a chance to go to school previously. At some point, there was a shift in priorities and I don't know where that came from. In some sense it may have come out of the sixties questioning norms, but a lot of scholars emerged during that time too in the Black community. I think the breakdown of the extended family networks is really what has done us in. Furthermore, that nihilism is real. We need to get back to the church and focus on faith as Americans and for me and other Blacks especially. When joblessness, homelessness and education are an issue among a certain segment, we really should try to figure out what the deal is and understand that it is a spiritual sickness. I believe all of America is touched by this sickness and we must be strong to overcome it. I am happy to be married to a good man and happy to come from a decent family. This should not be uncommon, imho.

Thu Apr 06, 01:44:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Revka said...

Wow, after reading all of that, I really admire the tone in James and Mahndisa's posts. Very honest and forthright.
I agree with James, there really are no answers within ourselves as to what can be done. I agree with Mahndisa that it is a spiritual issue. One thing I have learned living with AUtism is that you can't FORCE others to change their thinking about other people. You lobby and get laws changed etc.. and make people aware of a problem i.e. immigration, but it is difficult to change the minds and hearts of people. Truthfully, only Christ can do that. I like that because it takes a whole lot of pressure off of us knowing we can't change others, our kids, or spouses etc... We can influence, but that is about it.
I am a STAUNCH conservative, and I don't have a lot of patience for whiney people who prostitute 'racism', i.e. Mckinney.. But for those in the past who have been literally hung because they are black, spit on and abused, etc.. I get angry about.
My pastor literally got fired in Mena, Arkansas because he escorted a black family into his church. That is disgusting. His kids tell me of how there was a bridge they used to hang African Americans from and kill them. This was in the late 60's early 70's.
I have been off topic because the main topic was about the plight of 'African American' men, sorry!
But, I wish our world could be different and evil was gone, but that isn't going to happen in our lifetime. There has been a lot of injustice of slavery to African Americans and Jews (throughout history),and now in Sudan etc.. There is somewhere in Africa where the mothers and their children are hiding because their children are being snatched up by the govt. to engage them in sex slavery. This world is SICK, SICK, SICK!! There is evil in it and there is good, you can't deny that.

Thu Apr 06, 06:56:00 AM PDT  
Blogger James Manning said...


I agree with you. There is a serious issue with underachievement and it stems from a lot of different reasons; machoism, thugism, acting whit. The list goes on and on. When I was mentoring back in Chicago I found it hard to beleive the the kids of the kids I grew up with were 'so gone' for lack of better terms.

So of these kids had parents that I knew grew up in the same type of household that I grew up in. Respect was everthing, education was king and a loose lip would bring about your demise. But their kids were out of their damn minds.

My grandmother made it to third grade, my grandfather never attended school and my father got as far as 6th grade. But I never had an option of not doing well in school.

But I still have a hard time associating the discussion of black men with the likes of Cynthia McKinney. She may take away from the discussion of racism, but people who don't want to discuss racism will find any excuse to deflect from the seriousness of it. Cynthia is a blip on the radar but is easier and mor entertaining than the dealing with tough stuff.

I'm going to get involved with an organization in Los Angeles that deal with young black men through athletics. The truth is that it is going to take black men to lift up our young black men. Before we ever get to public policy, affirmitive action, overcoming racism, politicians and school choice, we have to deal with parental neglect, death, low self esteem and despair.

I can't discuss personal responsibility with someone that doesn't value his person. And the only way to do it is to go where they exist - mentally and physically. I've seen it first hand. I've seen how listening and talking with young brothers has an impact on them.

The discussion Condi Rice, liberal policies and conservatism is academic to cats on the streets. I'll bet any money that Fox News is discussing Cynthia McKinney more than brothers in the hood are.

Thu Apr 06, 07:28:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

First of all I hope and pray your father is okay. And we love ya too!!!

I only skimmed the comments but I think the articles you posted here were right on the money. I know you can't simplify it but I do think a big part of this decline for black men is the breakdown of the family.

Thu Apr 06, 08:43:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

04 06 06

"The truth is that it is going to take black men to lift up our young black men. Before we ever get to public policy, affirmitive action, overcoming racism, politicians and school choice, we have to deal with parental neglect, death, low self esteem and despair."

JAMES NAIL ON HEAD!!!!! You brought it back to the very issues that we all venerate; accepting personal responsibility! I also have a take on working out problems from within. There was a course at SFSU called "Whiteness Studies" taught by a Japanese woman. I laughed because who the hell is she to talk about Whiteness. It should come from the horses mouth, I think. Similarly when dealing with uniquely culturally Black issues, we have to handle it on our own without government nor LIBERAL PATERNALISTIC HIPPIE Assistance!

Before I check out and go back to bed, (my gums are killing me) I will give you an example from my childhood about how low expectations coupled to racism have harmed Blacks quite a bit. Liberals try to make us afraid of the big boogeyman in KKK clothing. Well I know who he is and when I see him, I walk the other direction. But these liberals are wolves in sheeps clothing and their intentions are no different than lynching someone.

When I was in elementary school, there was a fifth grade class and the teacher got sick. She had to go on disability for an unspecified length of time. There were two long term substitute teachers. The school was in the deep ghettos of East Oakland-E. Morris Cox Elementary School. Anyway, they had this young White liberal hippie as a teacher for a semester. When we all got our reportcards, she had given the majority of the students ALL A'S AND B'S! Now, I knew Tyrone was a disruption in class and never did his homework, so how in the hell could he get all A's? I went to her class for various reasons and she was playing Kum Ba Yah, had no discipline whatsoever over the class and was a laughing stock among the students. The word out was that the young white lady would give you all A's without doing the WORK!!!

The consequences of that were many. And she was replaced by an ex Military officer who happened to be a Black man. He had COMPLETE and TOTAL control of the classroom. He instilled rigor and discipline within the students and whipped their asses into shape.

When I think about it, he was the PERFECT person for that job. Many of the kids' parents were on crack and many of them didn't have a daddy at home-or lived with grandparents. When the end of the term came about then, the average grade was a B-/C+. He graded commensurate with the effort and the accuracy of your work.

As you can see, I believe that the lowered expectations of liberals have done just as much damage to Blacks as racism and SELF DESTRUCTION!

Sorry for ranting.

Thu Apr 06, 09:00:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

BZ. Hope your father is able to keep it together. Best wishes to you both.
On the post: I don't have a clue, except that I don't trust what most sociologist tell us. When I taught in upstate New York (Oneonta), my black male students were always at the top of the class. The ladies were just like all the other girls. When I moved to Georgia, the black guys were almost always down the crapper while the black girls were some of the cream of the crop. You explain it, I can't. I can't even envision what it must be like in the ghettos, but somebody has to before it can get better. You can't solve any problem till you identify it-- dispassionately and accurately.

Thu Apr 06, 09:09:00 PM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

I do hate to say it, but this is not a racist issue, per se. The education system in failing any segment of the society fails the entire society by not bringing all children, regardless of race, ethnicity or economic background up to speed on the necessities of being a Citizen and participating in society as a Citizen.

With all due respect, trying to push people *into* groups is not helping. Pushing the education *problem* up to the Federal level has not helped since 1980 and pushing it into smaller Agencies before that between 1958 and the present has not helped.

The education system is failing and yet the same old nostrums are being pushed at it to the *exact same result*. We now have decades of evidence on this. The results are clear: reading scores remain stagnant, ethnic divides still separate and economic source still determines the majority of future outcome. By not making a system that adapts and changes to meet specific economic and social needs and yet provides verifiable results, this Nation fails ALL of its children.

Grouping people and pointing fingers and attaching labels is NOT helping. Trying to give extra rights to Groups is anathema to a free People. By removing local accountability and pushing it upwards the entire system stagnantes and becomes less accountable, less adaptable and, indeed, promulgates problems as that GETS additional funding!

That *must* end.

We are funding FAILURE. By such rewards we ensure that the problem will NOT be solved. This is a systemic failure in which no amount of social engineering can overcome. Because social engineering has no valid precepts, methods of measuring results, nor of having known laws governing social behavior, or even basic standards for understanding how people interact and create social systems. Social engineering does not work because it is not engineering. It is not valid as a way of doing things without firm and hard understandings of individuals, formulations of societies and ability to make predictable changes that will have guaranteed results.

Without that we MUST go with the wisdom of the local People and let them set the education agenda. We are ill-served by pushing anything upwards in society for higher level attention that we do *not* understand. The Government is about ensuring basic rights for the People. Actually *using* those rights responsibly for social good is left up to the Individual.

If liberal and conservative cannot get this awful idea that big government can do social good, we will continue to have failure on those things it is trying to address. Because it is NOT the right level to address problems amongst people. The proper level for that is We The People. By putting something on a National stage for social engineering you get exactly one result: FAILURE.

Social security was not well thought out and will fail with changing demographics.

Work and job training programs taught inappropriate skills and were a means of doing nothing productive and getting paid while doing so and were ended because the local folks had no say in them.

Education has been addressed Nationally to no good results since 1958. We are exactly where we started from with nothing to show for it.

De-segregation was an individual's right to freely associate issue.

Equal employment opportunity eliminates discrimination due to external factors and *should* enforce merit of ability. That is necessary for a free people to know they will be treated fairly.

The War on Cancer, War on Poverty, War on Drugs and every other social thing that has been pushed up to the Federal level has failed and has only ensured that a bureaucracy to continue failure is put in place.

When one is pounding one's head with a 2x4 the easiest way to stop the pain is to stop hitting oneself.

When something fails repeatedly it is time to try something *different* unless you actually ENJOY failure. And I do mean completely different than pushing it into a Federal spotlight so it can become a National fixture on the problems landscape. If something new fails then you will have eliminated it from those things that *might* work and then go on to try something else. Repeat until you run out of ideas or come up with a solution.

The problem with black young men in prison is that the system has been designed by blacks and whites to put them there instead of giving them other options in their lives. If you want the system to do something else may I suggest you make it accountable for failure and have it try other things that may or may not fail but have not been TRIED? Is that so difficult to do? Are we so far removed from the idea of personal accountability and responsibility that having a system that fails so that it can be argued about is now the GOAL?

Because that is what we now HAVE!

Stop the arguing and use your personal rights and responsibilities and accountabilities to work for something *different* that just might be *better*. That is what you have been charged with as a Citizen of these United States. To make "a more perfect Union".

Calling someone a 'victim' does not help if the system is designed to 'victimize' them or make it easy for them to be 'victims'. These 'victims' that are churned out by the system are a problem of the system itself that has been lavishly supported to do just THAT. By both liberal and conservative agendas.

Perhaps it is time to stop thinking of yourself as a liberal or conservative and to think of yourself as a Citizen first, who has a responsibility to help all other Citizens FIRST. That is what you take up to BE a Citizen in the United States. To come together as Citizens and form 'a more perfect Union'.

That is HARD WORK.

It is the gift that was handed to you and that you take up to be a Citizen. That comes before being a liberal or a conservative. If you are a liberal or conservative FIRST you are helping to erode the Nation that allows you to be free and responsible and accountable.

Change your perspective to that of a Citizen, and your Universe will change. Yes, you will have liberal and conservative and who knows what-all leanings... but the prime question is: does this solution I am thinking about HELP the Republic and my fellow Citizens?

That is why I come up with strange ideas. I set all political leanings aside and ask if what I am proposing helps Citizens to lead freer and fuller lives and to sustain the Republic and pass down that precious gift of liberty to be built upon by the next generation. I actually have this weird notion that if we can find a way to work together as Individuals that the Nation will be better as a whole.

And I have mercilessly rendered yet another dictionary to shreds. So be it.

Good day to everyone and good health, as it is a gift you cannot buy.

Fri Apr 07, 08:12:00 AM PDT  
Blogger James Manning said...


I think you are right. My elementary school was run by a black man and most of my teachers were black. It was no joke going to school. There are aspects of liberalism that cater to the underachievement of black men. But then there is an element of conservatism that completely ignores the internal plight of black people and black men in general.

I think what we have to define who we're talking about. I'm talk about pre-teen and teenage black boys. I really need y'all to feel on this because it is a matter of perspective.

When you say take personal responsibility for your life to these young men... this is what it sounds like... Hey little black boy, you're a burden on society. I don't want to give my money to lazy, shiftless people like you. I look at you and see filth. Why can't you little black boys be more like us.

When they need to hear is Yo, I feel you young brother. I know life has dealt you a bad hand, but I'm here to help you get through it. And that's what you have to do. You have to be there to help them get through it. You talk with them, you listen, you encourage, you discipline, you teach. I dealt with a program that provided sports and arts programs because the school didn't have any. We took our kids to college campuses. I yelled at them and I listened to them. And there came a time when I did talk about personal responsibility. But that was because I knew they had the tools.

You have to be willing to grind it out with these young cats. All the slogans and rhetoric is garbage because they can't compensate for looking a young brother in the eye and telling him that you understand what he's feeling and you're there for him. And they day he believes it is the day you can begin to really help him. Everything else is stuff for liberal academia and right wing talk shows as far as I'm concerned.

Fri Apr 07, 09:09:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Revka said...

Jacksonian, Great!

Getting off the subject and onto education a bit, I just read today in the paper that the state of California is doing yet another 'social program'. They are requiring schools to teach about what the gays,lesbians,bi-sexuals and transgenders have done positive in our country throughout history... They are equating them with people like 'African Americans' etc.. so they have this special course now. WHY IN THE HECK DOES IT MATTER WHAT THEIR ORIENTATION IS? IF EINSTEIN WERE GAY, WE DON'T HAVE TO KNOW, JUST TALK ABOUT HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS. SHEESH!! SO, they will heavily accentuate the 'gay' aspect in order to 'sensitise' and 'berid' 'intolerance' in California.. Wait a minute, I thought they were accentuating the 'work' these people did.. NOT!... Did you know, California is the most accepting state of homosexuals, bi-sexuals and transgenders anyway? Did you know that the state of California has control over the publishers of the curriculum that goes out to all the schools in our nation? They can force the schools via the curriculum to teach this social crap to our kids.

SORRY BLO, went on a rampage but since Mahndisa and A.J. brought up our education system it brought that to mind..

Sat Apr 08, 07:50:00 AM PDT  
Blogger bigwhitehat said...

This whole damn conversation is shameful.

Melanin or the lack of it has nothing to do with character. Culture doesn't control character either.

No boy was ever made into a man by statistics.

If any of you wants to make a difference in this world, then quit the jaw jacking and go help a child become a better adult.

Sat Apr 08, 10:51:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

04 09 06

"This whole damn conversation is shameful.

Melanin or the lack of it has nothing to do with character. Culture doesn't control character either.

No boy was ever made into a man by statistics.

If any of you wants to make a difference in this world, then quit the jaw jacking and go help a child become a better adult."

Well BZ: I think the conversation was fruitful, if for any reason people could be exposed to another point of view. Skin color has little to do with character, but still has something to do with opportunity and really STATE of MIND. For that reason I enjoyed hearing what James had to say and listening to what everyone else had to say. I don't know about you, but such well reasoned discussions involving these issues don't happen all that often without race baiting nastiness occuring.

That didn't happen and everyone was honest in the discussion; I can appreciate that. Perspective is everything and so is exposure.Take Care:)

Sun Apr 09, 04:16:00 AM PDT  
Blogger NEO, SOC said...

Nice post. Well, as a high school dropout (mom died New Year's Eve of my senior year; when I was living on my own); who turned around and got my G.E.D. the following year; I believe it's people's unwillingness to excel. I have been doing computer work for fifteen (15) years and 98% of what I know has been self-taught on my own w/o support for the companies I worked for. God ultimately is aware of our destiny, but He does let us play a key role in that we desire in our lives. He's blessed me with a plethora of venues that has allowed to finally find the "ANY" key and restart a computer! LOL!

Mon Apr 10, 09:05:00 AM PDT  

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