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Thursday, June 11, 2015

A 1906 Travesty And The 21st Century Grievance Industry

Bushman Oto Benga on display at the Bronx Zoo in 1906

Please read the entire article before commenting.

Haven't we as a society come a long way since then?

Not so much, according to the promotion of the grievance industry at the end of the article:
Even if Republicans and Democrats somehow act to shelve policies that have resulted in the African American male prison population tripling between 1980 and 1999, how do we address the mindset that allowed a war on drugs to become a war on black males -- when they are no more likely than their white counterparts to abuse drugs?

More than 100 years after blatant bias resulted in the traumatic caging of a human being in a zoo, it behooves us to ponder the resonance of ideas firmly planted in the American mind.
Additional reading: The diminutive African tribesman who was treated like a zoo animal, which makes the following point:
...In time, [Samuel Phillips Verner, who brought Benga to America] managed to land a commission from organizers of the St. Louis World’s Fair (including the National Geographic Society and the American Anthropological Society) to provide human exhibits. Or, rather, to offer “certain natives the opportunity of attending the Exposition in person.”...
America's history is not spotless; neither is the history of the world. In my view, however, turning the travesty of what happened to Ono Benga into yet another facet of the grievance industry will not serve to make our society a better one.

35 comments:

  1. Looks like someone we all know and love.

    ReplyDelete
  2. *sigh*

    Various thoughts come to my mind:

    First, it always saddens me to read a story like this about a person snatched from his environment, put on display in a strange land, and being driven to an extreme and tragic end.

    Second, all societies exhibit in greater or lesser degree, racism. We are most familiar with how white Europe did it. Ever heard the term octaroon? We looked upon Latin Americans much the same way back in that era, with serious people conjecturing they were a mixture of man and banana-eating monkeys swinging from trees. I leave it to those familiar with other cultures to describe their own view of others, but no culture or people are immune.

    I knew where this article was going when I saw the headline, but I read it anyway.

    This was the linchpin of the article:

    "More than a century later, the mass incarceration of young black males, many for low-level drug offenses, and the pervasive police killings of unarmed men have only recently received sustained national attention. And while the televised spectacle of videotaped police shootings has heightened public awareness, many Americans had for decades normalized -- even celebrated -- the criminalization of black men, just as a desensitized public sanctioned the caging of Ota Benga"

    A whole essay could be written on this fallacy-ridden false analogy. She conflates disparate pathologies and moshes together various incidents that have nothing in common other than a black man confronted by police.

    People who commit crimes are responsible for their own behavior, and therefore they themselves and no one else are responsible for their incarceration. She makes it sound like white men are out hunting down black men for sport, pulling them out of school libraries, soup kitchens, and happy home while they play with their children.

    She is fundamentally dishonest. The comparison to Mr. Binga (an innocent man dragged from his home) does not hold.

    The rate of black male incarceration has surged over the past five decades. Why is it higher now than during the Jim Crow era? The thread of causality between slavery/racism and modern-day incarceration is broken.

    Articles such as this studiously ignore the crime statistics that reveal black men die at the hands of other black men at such a high rate as to make death by cop a statistical anomaly. Black men commit more crime. Not just petty crime; but violent crime. Decriminalizing marijuana and other misdemeanors will barely put a dent in the black prison population.

    Finally, I absolutely hate quotes like this:

    "many Americans had for decades normalized -- even celebrated -- the criminalization of black men"

    Yes, many Americans have. Most prominently, Hollywood and some black people themselves via the rap culture they package up and sell to America.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SF,
      Thank you for pointing out the linchpin of the article:


      "More than a century later, the mass incarceration of young black males, many for low-level drug offenses, and the pervasive police killings of unarmed men have only recently received sustained national attention. And while the televised spectacle of videotaped police shootings has heightened public awareness, many Americans had for decades normalized -- even celebrated -- the criminalization of black men, just as a desensitized public sanctioned the caging of Ota Benga"
      .


      One of the agendas right now is promoting white guilt. If I understood correctly what Obama said yesterday or the day before, he will, in effect, dedicate the rest of his term to promoting white guilt. I wish that I could find the link to exactly what it was that he said.

      Delete
    2. Ducky,

      Browder never should have seen the inside of a cell. Not for a non-violent petty crime.

      Blame the DEMOCRAT-DOMINATED PROGRESSIVE bureaucracy for demanding a $10,000 bail for the theft of a $30 backpack. Do you see why government abuse makes us 'baggers' sick?

      But what bearing does this man's story have on the subject at hand?

      Delete
    3. No. I'll blame the stinking "tough on crime" dipstick right.

      I'll put the damn blame where it should be.

      Delete
    4. "The Right" has never run anything in New York, a totally and completely Democrat-controlled state. Yeah, Pataki and Rudy, but they had solid Democrat legislatures and councils they had to work with, and Bloombergovitch is a committed progressives, so own it.

      Speaking of the "tough on crime" whine, Bolshevik Bill's soft on crime is really working out for New York, isn't it?

      Delete
  3. More to think about:

    A quote from Jesse Jackson:

    "There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.... After all we have been through. Just to think we can't walk down our own streets, how humiliating."

    I don't post this with a smirk, but to illustrate that rational people, using their faculties of reason, will recognize potential threats and adjust behavior.

    Violent crime rates are higher among young black males. That's a statistical fact. That the vast majority of good, innocent young men get unfairly lumped in with the malefactors is a tragedy, but people just want to get through their day without being attacked or killed, so we make shorthand decisions.

    I recommend this article by Heather MacDonald.

    The dirty little secret left-wing progressives want to keep hidden is that law-abiding citizens, including black people living in crime-infested neighborhoods, want aggressive policing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, the rate is higher.

      Primarily low level non violent drug offenses and black on black crime.

      Maybe the dirty little secret is that as we give more nd more young black men police records and lock them out of jobs to help perpetuate the under class and fuel a prosperous prison growth industry, minorities would prefer the police find a way that addressed crime and didn't treat them as a source of income.

      Delete
    2. We agree about petty crimes, but go look at violent crime rates. Minorities still punch way above their statistical weight.

      Delete
    3. Everyone note the passive language Ducky uses when describing social pathology:

      "We give them" police records and lock them up. Not 'they have police records because they committed crimes, and end up getting themselves locked up."

      I guess according to Ducky, once the prisons hit their demographical quote of percentage of black rapists, robbers, assailants and murderers, the rest should be let go.

      Delete
    4. Let me get this straight, silver.

      As a culture we have no control over who the cops arrest and why?
      You have a very fundamentalist attitude toward the problem.

      The NYPD tells the cops to go out and make their ticket quota hassling minority kids with j-walking tickets to bring in the income and it's the kids fault.

      Arrest them after an unconstitutional top because they had a few seeds in their pocket and you don't have the sense to see harassment there?

      Delete
    5. @ SF,


      "Everyone note the passive language Ducky uses when describing social pathology"

      Yes, duly noted. It's just more evidence that the term "liberal logic" epitomizes the definition of the word 'oxymoron'.

      Delete
    6. Saw an headline over at Huffpost today:

      "Colorado Man Shoots Self in Foot to Learn How It Feels"

      Thought of you, Berg.

      Delete
    7. @JonBerg,

      I did not realize you lived here in Colorado. We're practically neighbors, I live just down the road a ways from you.

      Delete
    8. Hey Duckling,

      "Colorado Man Shoots Self in Foot to Learn How It Feels"

      Sorry to took so long. Yes thanks , I do live in beautiful Colorado. Now I guess that you must be referring to our Governor, Lickenpooper who shot himself in the foot when he signed the authorization for rampant Marijuana use. The cartel has never had it so good. Sales going, sky high-no tax. I honestly wish that I could buy you for what you are worth and sell you for what you think that you are worth-damn I could have retired long ago!


      Delete
    9. @SF,

      I live on W. .Jewell, between the two Kiplings right across the street from Smith Reservoir.

      Delete
  4. Does anyone remember The Elephant Man?

    This is not really about "race" per se, but just another of many thousands of examples of how insensitive, cruel and abusive human beings have always tended to be towards one another and to fellow animals as well.

    "Race" may certainly provide one pretext for it, but what "it" is at root is the wicked impulse we all share to make ourselves feel better about ourselves by downgrading, –– assuming superiority towards, –– expressing extreme suspicion of, –– taking advantage of, –– exploiting, –– abusing, –– and freely committing atrocities against any individual, and any ethnic or religious group, –– and any of myriad cultural manifestations perceived as "DIFFERENT," and therefore, "ALIEN," and of course "UNWORTHY."

    It's a kind of bloodlust deeply embedded in our human nature probably stemming from our ancient beginnings as wild creatures fighting for mere survival in the brutal environment from which we gradually evolved.

    What we either forget, –– or don't care to admit, –– is that we are STILL evolving and have a very long way to go before we may become the truly superior creatures we've deluded ourselves into imagining we were simply because some of us have had the physical strength and mental capacity to outwit, conquer, enslave and destroy others whose property we coveted and whose labor we needed to fulfill our vain dreams of glory.

    In short most of us feel a NEED to find some sort of object to ridicule, subjugate, torture, and destroy.

    Unless and until we can FACE that horrible thing within ourselves and RESIST trying to find "good excuses" for nurturing it, and giving it freedom to express itself unreservedly, no fundamental change will ever take place in the realm of human interaction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FT,
      The Elephant Man!

      I've read the book, seen the movie, and attended the Broadway play when it came to the Kennedy Center.

      The story of the Elephant Man teaches many lessons -- not only the one you cited. Are you familiar with any of the uplifting lessons we can learn from the story of the Elephant Man?

      Delete
    2. Exceedingly well stated. We are tribal creatures. As a conservative Jersey might say, "only a leftwing loon would deny that."

      Delete
    3. Well, I have consistently said that we should try to unlearn the Old Testament lesson that outside the tribe anything goes.

      Better to try to enlarge the tribe.
      When we try we seem to think the military and police are the answer. No wonder we've been failing so badly

      Delete
    4. What YOU need to unlearn, Canardo, is your obsessive-compulsive drive to apply Gramsci-and the Frankfurters damnable CRITICAL THEORY to every topic that come up for discussion.

      Now QUICK! Tell me I have no idea what I'm talking about, and am insufficiently educated to voice an opinion on politics and economics.

      HURRY! I'm waiting for your oh-so-predictable, knee-jerk eruption of canned communist rhetoric and stale leftist shibboleths.

      Delete
  5. "the African American male prison population tripling between 1980 and 1999"

    Yeah, 1980-just enough time for "Great Society" to start showing its results.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or the drug laws and mandatory sentencing.

      Delete
  6. The dirty little secret left-wing progressives want to keep hidden is that law-abiding citizens, including black people living in crime-infested neighborhoods, want aggressive policing...this is very true AOW!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's "aggressive policing"?

      Shooting an unarmed man in the back like that cop in South Carolina who's probably going in on a 1st degree murder beef?

      Seems all but the far right thought that was too aggressive.

      Delete
    2. ... but it's true. "Aggressive policing" makes the peeps feel safe and it meshes with their limited analysis.

      Never asking if it's working. That might give some a headache.

      Delete
  7. Obama's "solution" to the problem of race relations in the United States:

    Obama making bid to diversify wealthy neighborhoods.

    Excerpt:

    The regulations would use grant money as an incentive for communities to build affordable housing in more affluent areas...

    Didn't work very well recently in McKinney, Texas, where something similar is the situation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Obama making bid to diversify wealthy neighborhoods"

      DETROIT, coming soon to a neighborhood near you! This may well be the most whackadoodle idea since the "Great Society". Notwithstanding the obvious absurdity of this; where does a nation awash in irreconcilable debt, plan to obtain the "grant money"? It should be obvious, to the most casual observer, that B.O has., once and for all, POPPED HIS CORK!

      Delete
  8. Duck,
    Do you really think that blaming the police in such a broad-brush manner is constructive?

    Frankly, I'm wondering who in the world would not want to be a police officer. The grievance industry is taking its toll as young people think of careers they want to pursue.

    I used to have students who said, "I want to be a policeman." No more! They see the trend right now and want to avoid a career in law enforcement.

    Do we have any stats relating to how many are lining up right now to enter law enforcement -- particularly in communities such as Baltimore and other troubled communities which so need a law-enforcement presence? The plum jobs -- such as Great Falls, Virginia, and Beverly Hills, California -- have many applicants for the police forces there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blaming?
      Not so much blaming as criticizing.

      When you have someone like Bloomberg saying that the NYPD is his personal army then changes need to be made.
      Does Baltimore need a law enforcement presence? Yes but we don't ask what form it should take.
      Maybe we should continue with citation quotas and predictive algorithms from Walmart and Amazon that are being adopted by police? No, probably not.
      Cops using the country's asinine drug laws to fund themselves? No, hasn't worked for anyone's benefit except the cops.

      No, we need the criticism. Would there have been any reforms in L.A. without it?

      Delete
    2. What YOU need to do, Canardo, is drop your obsessive-compulsive drive to apply Gramsci-and the Frankfurters' damnable CRITICAL THEORY to every topic that come up for discussion.

      Now QUICK! Tell me I have no idea what I'm talking about, and am insufficiently educated to voice an opinion on politics and economics.

      HURRY! I'm waiting for your tedious, oh-so-predictable, knee-jerk eruption of canned communist rhetoric and stale leftist shibboleths.

      Delete
    3. I doubt you've ever read Gramsci.

      But it is true that a militarized police force can be seen as a cultural hegemony.

      In your case you think it's justified because the brothers in the 'hood listen to a little Snoop Dogg with their Mozart.

      Delete
  9. Contrast the following with the terrible treatment of Oto Benga:

    City's NAACP leader accused of falsifying race.

    Excerpt:

    Rachel Dolezal, the president of the Spokane, Washington, NAACP, is being accused of falsely portraying herself as a black woman, CBS News' Adriana Diaz reports.

    Her biological parents claim she is misrepresenting "major portions of her life," including being born white. As the city's mayor says it has opened an investigation and is gathering facts to determine if any city policies were violated, Dolezal is denying these accusations.

    "Actually, I don't like the term African-American; I prefer black. So, if asked, I would say, yes, I consider myself to be black," Dolezal said to Spokane affiliate KREM.

    But Dolezal's biological parents say that's just not true.

    "Our daughter is primarily German and Czech and of European descent," her mother said.

    Her parents, Ruthanne and Larry, live in a rural home in Troy, Montana.

    Her father described a young Dolezal as blonde, blue-eyed and freckled-face.

    "No way to get around it," he said.


    She also has signed onto the grievance industry:

    KREM-TV obtained police reports in which Dolezal claims to be the victim of several hate crimes. They found that police responded but no suspects were identified and no arrests were ever made.

    ReplyDelete

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