Friday, March 30, 2012

The Never-Ending Phenomenon of Black Racial Victimology

I'm actually kind of surprised to see this post from Jamelle Bouie at American Prospect, "Willful Ignorance."

Bouie doesn't link to the YouGov item, which is here: "Americans Say Blacks Should Help Themselves, Not Depend On Government." But here's how Bouie frames it (via Memeorandum):

An unnervingly large percentage of white America believes that blacks just need to "work harder" to succeed...

In case you don’t know, it’s straightforward. After the Civil War, when African Americans were freed after more than two hundred years of bondage and chattel slavery, whites in the South—with, eventually, the complicitcy of whites nationwide—engaged in a brutal campaign of violence and economic deprivation against the descendants of said slaves, the result of which was to keep most blacks in a state of near-peonage, where their opportunities for social and economic advancement were extremely limited.

Not to discount the prejudice faced by many immigrant groups, but I’m reasonably sure that this wasn’t the case for anyone other than African Americans. Which, I should add, is the reason why we have affirmative action and other such programs—the effects of this state-sanctioned mistreatment were so strong and so pervasive, that they continue to have an enduring effect on the lives and livelihoods of black Americans (in the aggregate).

But, it seems, most white Americans don’t know that. Indeed, if this YouGov poll is any indication, a fair number of white Americans simply believe that black people are lazy...
Bouie's elaborating the "accumulated disadvantages" thesis that's been the basis for the left's affirmative action advocacy for generations. But with a black president in the White House and a robust black middle class, it's increasingly hard to argue that the legacies of slavery and segregation are keeping blacks chained to poverty and economic deprivation. What's too bad about Bouie, however, is that he misrepresents the YouGov data. The report does not show that white Americans are ignorant of the history of slavery. Although it does say that whites think not enough blacks are willing to work hard. And it's not like there's a lack of evidence on that. See: "Alexandra Pelosi's Latest Video Slams 'Welfare Queens' and 'Obama Bucks'." Frankly, America's historic notions of individual initiative and self sufficiency radically violate the left's endless cries of racial victimology. And progressives like Bouie also completely (and conveniently) ignore the impact of the civil rights movement and decades of social welfare policies designed to reduce racial inequality in this country. Progressives are not only dishonest, but they're hateful and vindictive. This kind of raging racial deprivation is what's beneath this national "conversation" on race we're having in the wake of the Trayvon Martin killing. And it's the left that's pushing the country to the verge of racial civil war.

That's what explains the "regression" on racial progress in this country. And that's what's really depressing.