a reply to: PansophicalSynthesis
I'm not in any way blaming you anymore than I'm blaming myself or any other white person. It's not about the "white man" keeping anyone down. At
least not overtly. What I'm suggesting is not that you, or I, or any other white person is playing the game unfairly. I'm suggesting that the game
is just not a fair game. It is a game in which, societally, systemically, black people are disadvantaged. I'm sure you work hard. I'm sure your
parents worked hard. I'd be willing to bet that your grandparents and great grandparents worked hard too. And you benefited from all of that.
There's nothing wrong with that. But a lot of people's parents, or great-grandparents, or great great grandparents worked hard too...and because of
racism...racism which was overt for the greater part of our country's existence. Racism which prevented those people from accumulating wealth, from
getting good jobs, from going to good schools, and from living in entire areas. Those people, through no fault of their own, were forced into ghettos.
They were treated unfairly by the justice system. They weren't able to obtain a decent education. Etc. Etc. That legacy of overt racism has been
passed down to us. We didn't ask for it...but it's true. I grew up in a good neighborhood because my dad could afford it. I went to a good high
school because I lived in a good neighborhood. I went to a decent college because I went to a good high school. I got into professional school because
of my education in high school and college. And I didn't end up in the criminal justice system because I lived in a good neighborhood and went to
good schools. The correlation is proven again and again in study after study. If you don't like the studies I've posted, you can research it for
yourself. And that doesn't make me a racist...it doesn't mean I've kept anyone down...it means that the system worked in my favor. And for a lot of
people...because of racism which is both historical and present even today...racism which has left a deep and enduring legacy...for those people, the
system has worked against them.
You say the people of ferguson should work hard. I absolutely agree. It would be a lot more productive given the current systemic flaws than rioting
and looting. If you work hard, some people still can drag themselves up. But if you want to know why those people are rioting and looting, deep down,
it's not because of Michael Brown. It's because they don't have the same opportunities that white people do. It's because they're mad that they
were born into a place and into a circumstance which has made it difficult to drag themselves up. Not impossible, but difficult.
I don't know what kind of statistics you want from me. Apparently something specific to Ferguson? A town of 20,000? I would be surprised if any in
depth social research has ever been conducted on that limited pool of people. But I've given plenty of research on racial disparities nation wide.
And many more exist. So given those racial disparities...the only two real conclusions are either (1) there is a systemic problem which has led
african-American's to be statistically undereducated, over incarcerated, and poor. That is what I'm going with. Or (2) African-American people are
inherently lazy or dumb or...what? I absolutely reject that hypothesis. If that's what you're going with, then I don't really need to respond
anymore, because that's just an outright racist view which cannot be rationally discussed.
If you want black people to stop being angry, to stop rioting, to stop crying foul every time someone gets shot, the real solution isn't more police.
It's not welfare, or handouts. It's not telling them to work harder. The solution is to make sure that all of our citizens, white and black, rich
and poor are afforded a good education from the time they're kids. It's to stop locking people up for drug crimes, and instead direct them into
rehab programs. It's to make sure that every school has pre-K programs, and good after-school programs. It's to make police a part of the community
who want to help the residents of that community, rather than just people in police cruisers who roll around and look for suspicious black men. It's
to help prisoners reintegrate into society so that people aren't marked for life based on one mistake. It's to make sure that kids get a good lunch
no matter how poor they are. If you want people to stop being angry, then you need to give them every opportunity to succeed...Because right now...its
not a fair game. And communities like Ferguson will keep getting mad at how unfair the game is. If a white kid got shot today in a white neighborhood
by a black police officer...there would be no riots...not because white people are more civil or more peaceful or harder working. There would be no
riots because white people are confident that society, and the police, and the government at large has their best interests in mind.