In the post of mine that you responded to, I made the argument that not everything is about race, and that we need to be a bit more careful in claiming otherwise. You are arguing against a position I don’t hold, which is that nothing is about race. That’s not something I’ve ever said. And in the process of trying to rebut that straw-man position, you’ve also made lots of assumptions about my other positions which just aren’t true.
“So the shooting and killing of unarmed people of color is not something to be upset about because you already have reached a conclusion.”
All shootings of unarmed people are problematic. Let me quote what I wrote in this piece in which I examine the way the narrative of #Blacklivesmatter has been invented and distorted by the media:
The irony of the media’s irresponsible approach to the issue is that police brutality and police violence are serious issues. Instead of focusing on those issues as a nation united by a cause and mobilizing a cross-racial movement focusing on police conduct and police brutality, what we have is a divisive, polarizing story that leads people into a false dichotomy of being on the side of blacks or being on the side of whites & cops. In cynically maximizing its own profit margin at our expense, the media is needlessly inflaming racial tensions while taking the spotlight away from the real issue in need of resolution.
So the killings of unarmed black people are definitely an issue. However, I just don’t see any evidence for the fact that there’s a specific race angle to this story.
“This is why you support Donald Trump? Because you are tired of people of color pointing out unequal treatment?”
No. I support Trump primarily because of his opposition to the militarism of Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush and the rest of the neoliberal/neocon establishment that gets us involved in costly foreign wars that create ten terrorists for every one they stamp out instead of focusing on actual issues we have here at home, and I also support Trump because of his opposition to an unchecked flood of unskilled and uneducated illegal immigrants that take jobs away from poor legal American citizens. If you are concerned about the plight of African-Americans, you should embrace Trump’s tough stand on illegal immigration. Try going to Whole Foods in New York. Look at the employees there. Almost everyone is black, and there are very few Hispanic employees. You know why? Because Whole Foods hires LEGALLY. (I’m not suggesting all Hispanics are here illegally, of course, but just doing a bit of profiling to make a point.) Now go to your neighborhood convenience store or restaurant in New York. Most of the employees are Hispanic, and there are comparatively few black employees. This is because these businesses AREN’T hiring legally. Everyone knows that restaurants have illegal immigrants working in the kitchens, as busboys, etc. The main people these illegal immigrants take jobs away from are African-Americans. The policy of our modern “left” (I put “left” in quotes because, as I’ve described here, identity politics is just repackaged right-wing nativism rather than any true left-leaning movement to me) is completely incoherent. They complain about income inequality and the plight of African-Americans, on the one hand, and then, on the other hand, invite in this flood of illegal immigrants (whom they want to legalize) who increase income inequality and take away jobs that would otherwise go to African-Americans. The only standpoint these conflicting policies both make sense from is the standpoint of maximizing voters in the Democratic fold because the policies pander BOTH to blacks AND to Hispanics. I also support Trump because he’s opposed to political correctness, which, among other things, is undermining our ability to confront real issues of international Islamic terrorism and forcing us to focus on identity politics over real economic change. I actually supported Bernie Sanders, but between Clinton and Trump, Trump, to me, is the FAR better choice.
“You say that black people interact with police more but you ignore the FACTS that show that black people are often stopped and searched more than white people-remember stop and frisk-without probable cause.”
Cops are present in far higher numbers in poor neighborhoods because that’s where the crime is. African-Americans disproportionately are the ones who live in those neighborhoods. So why would anyone be surprised that they are searched/stopped more often than whites? This is part of why I’ve been repeatedly saying that until the underlying problem of disproportionate black poverty isn’t addressed, we’re not going to get anywhere in fixing anti-black racism.
“You seem to think that black people want to be treated differently. WRONG. All black people have ever said is to be treated FAIRLY. You seem to equate fair treatment with special treatment. That is a shame.”
Actually, I don’t think that. Rather, I think most black people DO just want to be be treated fairly rather than differently. In fact, you might be surprised to hear that in a Gallup poll on affirmative action that was conducted recently, only 22% of whites, 44% of blacks and 29% of Hispanics thought that it’s okay to take race or ethnicity into account in college admissions. The problem is that there’s a vocal and over-represented (in the dialogue) minority of African-Americans and others who are trying to push a very different set of policies. This minority doesn’t want people to be treated as individuals. It doesn’t believe in the ideal of colorblindness. In fact, it views colorblindness as racism. It believes that people should be held to different standards depending on what race they are, so that racism against black people can and does exist but racism against white people can’t or doesn’t. It’s this vocal minority that’s trying to subvert the conversation and destroy the race-blind ideal of the Civil Rights Movement that I’m vehemently opposed to.
As of 2015, relative to the average hourly wages of white men with the same education, experience, metro status, and region of residence, black men make 22.0 percent less, and black women make 34.2 percent less. Black women earn 11.7 percent less than their white female counterparts. The widening gap has not affected everyone equally. Young black women (those with 0 to 10 years of experience) have been hardest hit since 2000. And like a lot of the data out there on different kinds of wage disparities, the EPI report found that “observable factors,” like differences in education, can explain part of the racial wage gap. But after running through all of those factors, it also concludes that the wage gap has grown “primarily because of discrimination.”
I’m not sure how this is relevant or what you’re trying to prove to me. That discrimination against blacks still exists? Of course it does. I’ve never denied this. The question is how to fix this. My point is and has been that if you focus on race and racism, this gets a large segment of the white poor and working class up in arms, and then you don’t get anything accomplished because these whites flee to the Republican Party and oppose the kind of fight against poverty and inequality that would lift all boats but lift black boats the most (simply because more blacks are in poverty). If you make black poverty and inequality a race issue, you instantly create an us-vs.-them mentality in many people on both sides, and you foment a race war instead of reform. This is why I believe it needs to be approached as a class issue (which I think it largely is anyway). Because the poor and working class outnumber the rich by far, the only chance the rich have to keep the status quo is to pit members of the poor and working class against each other based on superficial features such as race. This is exactly what they do, and so little real change ever occurs. If we want change, we need to appeal to class, not race.
Your solution is for the “poor” to unite. Really? In a county where people like you complain and support Donald Trump, the man who called black people lazy, because black people speak out about racism? You feel that that is political correctness. You support a man who calls women ugly, black people lazy, Mexican immigrants rapists, and questioned the birth and educational records of the first black president and refuses to apologize for ANY of it your person. You support a man who discriminated against black people in rental units and employment, but you have the audacity to tell black people that pointing out racism caused you to support a racist? That is rich.
I explained why I support Trump over Clinton. I would’ve supported Sanders, but he was defeated, primarily by virtue of the neoliberal/neocon Corporate Clinton’s pandering to black people on the basis of their race in order to win the South. You’re very clear-sighted about the way Trump divides people, but you seem blind to the ways the neocon/neoliberal orthodoxy that Corporate Clinton represents has divided people through identity politics. That’s what led to Trump’s rise, as I’ve explained here. I don’t see a great option in this election, though, for all his many faults, I actually like Trump much more than the traditional Country Club Republicans of the Bush/McCain/Romney sort and the Country Club Democrats of the Clinton sort, whose main goal is to help out the other members of their country clubs and who have to start race wars and foreign wars to keep people in line. If there were a viable candidate who supported a cross-racial war on the poverty and inequality, I’d line up behind him or her, but I’m just dealing with the reality we’re faced with. In the same way many support Corporate Clinton because they see her as the least bad alternative, I support Trump for similar reasons.
Unless and until people like you take a honest look at the history of this country, and stop trying to tell black people that their experiences and history do not matter, you will continue to be part of the problem and not the solution.
You know, history is complicated, and as I’ve tried to explain here, when we get into this game of who-had-it-worse-in-history and basing present policy on that, it’s just a black hole we all wind up getting sucked into. My approach is to focus on the real problems we have right now rather than worrying about what brought those problems into existence. When I look around today, I see black ghettos and black poverty. I see a black underclass. I don’t care whether it was brought about by slavery and Jim Crow and housing discrimination and mass incarceration, as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Michelle Alexander and others argue, or whether it was brought about by destructive welfare-state policies and poor choices within the black community, as Glenn Loury, Thomas Sowell and others argue, or whether it’s some combination of all this stuff (which is most likely). All I care about is that it’s a problem right now, and it’s resulting in a completely dysfunctional society, and it needs to be fixed. And the way to fix it, in my view, is, as I said, to unite people on the basis of class rather than divide people on the basis of race.