Tulio, a Black man in his 30′s, is a regular commenter on the site. It was nice to see him move out defensive mode on the subject and write a deep and heartfelt post about these matters which are so painfully dear to his heart. He said that he thinks about this stuff constantly, as he is a young Black man. That’s sad, but if you care, it’s understandable.
Tulio notes that the problem is now so entrenched that it seems to be intractable. He also notes the corrosive effect of a lot of the new Black music.
Even White prison gang members have remarked on how detrimental they feel this music has been to White youth in recent years. They say young White man come to prison after listening to hip hop for years and think they are tough badass gangsters going to live it up in paradise in a maximum security prison. And boy do they have another thing coming!
I would like to thank Tulio for this post. Even if these problems seem intractable, we should at least be discussing them, as the human and societal damage is of epic proportions.
As for Black crime, it’s a confluence of a lot of different things and not an easy problem to solve.
Single motherhood. You have a lot of fatherless homes and single mothers. While not all single mothers raise bad sons (I personally know great guys raised by single moms), most guys in prison never had a strong father in their life. Women’s role is nurture; men’s role is discipline. Boys aren’t afraid of their moms. They’re afraid of their dads. Boys need fathers first and foremost.
I don’t know what the high cause of single motherhood is in the Black underclass. I truly have no idea, and I think about this stuff all the time since I’m a Black man. It wasn’t always like this. There was a time that Blacks were known for having strong families. The explosion seems to have happened in the 60s.
I don’t think there’s anything genetic about it. This doesn’t seem to be the case in Africa, especially traditional African society. It seems to be something unique to Black Americans. I don’t know what it looks like amongst Black Latins or Caribbeans. But family in Africa seems pretty strong, so I know it’s not genetic.
Dead zones. Secondly you have a large cultural vacuum in certain parts of the country.
Do you ever read about how there are dead zones in the ocean? Certain areas where there is not enough oxygen and that part of the ocean is devoid of life?
The inner cities of America are dead zones. They are islands of misery, hopelessness, broken schools, high unemployment, drugs, urban decay. There’s very little there to give people inspiration and hope. The church is often the only thing. The people living there have just enough so as not to revolt, yet not enough for them to be functional players in the economy.
The origin of such ghettos can be traced back to segregation. Some of these communities thrived at a time and were fairly self-sufficient. The Black middle class fled these places. And all that was left behind were the poor and a crumbling society. The middle class Blacks might have served as role models to those less fortunate. The Whites didn’t care about them either. Everyone that could afford to get out, got out.
So what can be done about it? I don’t know. The problem seems almost intractable. So I guess the only real solution here would be some sort of gentrification. Concentrated poverty is a very dangerous thing. As I’ve shown before, it can turn White people violent as well like it did in NYC tenements or as it currently does in Glasgow.
Spreading the poor out a bit should help. And it should also make their behavior better through cultural osmosis.
I can imagine no worse situation than being a Black kid raised by a poor single mother where the only male role models are thuggish rappers and drug dealers. They need to see other things and get out of that box. They need something positive to aspire to.
High unemployment. When unemployment is high, it makes working in the dark side of the economy more seductive. I’m sure many of these kids coming up would like to be able to make a decent living and not have to worry about ending up in jail or getting gunned down. But the fewer jobs there are, the more it makes the risk of selling drugs seem worth it. Even fairly decent people will start acting shady if that’s the only way they have to survive.
Well one major problem is that many blue collar jobs that Blacks used to do for a living wage either went to China or went to illegal aliens. It wasn’t uncommon to see Black carpenters, drywallers, construction workers, meatpackers, etc.
Now these jobs are almost all entirely done by Mexicans illegally in the country. This was a huge issue in the rebuilding of New Orleans after Katrina. There were a lot of Blacks out of work that wanted those construction jobs, and they were livid that they were going to Mexicans who aren’t even citizens and don’t even have any roots in the city. How can anyone not feel their pain?
The gutting of solid blue collar work has had a huge effect on Rust Belt White America but it has been an utter disaster for Black America. I see no easy solution here either.
Music. I also thing the music is a problem. Now maybe it’s an issue of art imitating life, or it’s the other way around, I don’t know. But I do think it has something of a feedback loop effect. A lot or rap music, even if not explicitly advocating violence, tends to reinforce a lot of selfish attitudes, hyper-materialism, fast money, fast women, party hard, a lot of Machiavellianism. It’s pervasive, even in the more lukewarm hiphop music.
Sometimes it’s just the attitude. The anger. One rarely sees rappers smiling or seeming happy unless surrounded by money, bling and sexy women. This stuff has to stop, and if I had a kid, I’d be very careful about what they listen to.
That said, not all rap music is like that, a lot of it is positive and life affirming. Some of it is great to dance too or just enjoy in the background if you have the smarts to not get caught up in the Machiavellian stuff.
It should also be noted that not all “Black music” is like this. The majority of Black music is not rap and does not contain violent lyrics. Unfortunately though, most of the music young Black males of the inner city listen to will be rap and often with terrible messages. What can anyone do about this? Not much, as long as there’s a first amendment, rappers can pretty much talk about whatever they want sell their music to whomever they want, most of which is bought by Whites anyway.
Sorry I don’t have any easy solutions, but these are just a few things that contribute to the issue.
As for feminism, and I assume we’re talking about feminism of the more militant variety, the Pandora’s Box is open on that one. I wish things had stayed with equity feminism, and we could’ve left it there. But it then evolved into an assault on gender roles and gender as some sort of social construct rather than biological reality. That’s what happens when people with PhD’s take over the movement.
I know it’s not realistic for every American man to find a foreign woman, but for those that can, I think that’s the best solution. Foreign women are much more enjoyable to be around.