August 12, 2011
Dismal Racial Premonitions
by Fred Reed
Like everyone else, I suppose, I’ve been watching the racial riots that have erupted across England. The newsies of the BBC carefully avoided saying who was rioting, vandalizing, and stealing, and the footage was all fuzzy long shots or of rioters from the back. They were, however, as a reporter for The Independent pointed out, black.
There was the usual puzzled, or pseudo-puzzled wondering: Why did the “youths”–they are always called youths — doing it? Curiously, it was a black conservative on Hardtalk (of the BBC) who said it: the rioters were , criminal, unsocialized to civilized norms and simply wanted to rob stores selling things they liked.
Which led me to think about the US. It’s a little more complicated. Imagine a black kid of seventeen in Detroit. He can’t read or, if he can, barely. He has never read a book, and never will. He doesn’t know where England is, or Africa, or the United States. His mental world is small beyond the imagining of the literate. He has no grasp of government, and has never heard of any author. He cannot do simple arithmetic. He has perhaps never seen a checkbook, and will never have one. He doesn’t watch the news. If he did, would not understand what he was seeing. Ideas like Prime Minister, exchange rate, and United Nations are utterly beyond him.
I am not being cruel. I am describing a condition, the normal, usual, unexceptional condition of American blacks of the urban slums.
Of history, the kid knows only that blacks were enslaved by whites. He cannot approximate the dates of the Civil War (as neither, astoundingly, can many white “college graduates”) and cannot name a single country in Africa, but he knows that blacks were stolen from their homes and very badly treated.
He has in all likelihood never been out of Detroit, or perhaps his neighborhood. He has no contact with the larger society except through the police and television, where he sees whites leading glamorous lives in a wide world beyond his grasp. He would be very uncomfortable in a small town in white America, having less familiarity with the culture that would an American in a small town in Italy. Further, he speaks something so far from standard English that he would have difficulty talking to most whites.
He doesn’t have a job or, if he does, it will be of a very low level with no future that he can see. There is a reason why cash-register keys in fast-food chutes have pictures of hamburgers and milk shakes instead of words, why the registers make change automatically. The kid in Detroit can’t make change. Little commercial demand exists for the illiterate and innumerate who have very bad attitudes.
Which the kid has. He hates whites, whom he blames for all of his troubles and inadequacies. He hates Asians, who excel in school. It is an ugly hatred on a hair trigger and explodes readily in savage violence. The media play this down, hard, but what you pretend doesn’t exist still does.
The kid from Detroit has no loyalty at all to the United States. Why would he? It is a white country, and he hates whites. He doesn’t know who fought in World War Two, or when it took place, but he knows that whites enslaved blacks, and that he is on the bottom of things. He blames whites. “Country” is too large an abstraction for him.
Now, intellectuals and quasis of the salon classes, few of whom have the slightest familiarity with kids from Detroit, prattle of oppression and opportunity and social this and social that, and blame blacks, or whites, or God, or sunspots — but chiefly, each other. Racial discourse in America usually consists of liberals and conservatives battling each other, neither having much interest in blacks. Both offer solutions of which the kid is perfectly incapable. Liberals believe that with enough federal uplift and and warm-and-fuzziness he will have better self-esteem and begin to study and prosper—which for a variety of reasons he hasn’t, isn’t, and won’t. Conservatives think that if he only worked hard and read the Founding Fathers, he would rise like Rockefeller, which he can’t and won’t.
What we have then in England and the US are large concentrations of people who do not share the values of Caucasian civilization. This matters. A society’s accepted values, not its laws, determine its behavior. When the tidal waves wrecked Japan, how many mobs of looters attacked the unguarded shopping centers? For the mathematically advanced reader, I will offer a hint: It is a non-negative integer less than one. Years back, I wandered the side streets of Tokyo after midnight, without fear, and saw dating couples doing the same thing. The Japanese do not refrain from violent criminality because the police watch them, but because they agree that they do not want a violently criminal society.
The blacks of the festering, simmering slums clearly do not share the values of European whites, and will loot when they can get away with it. I might also if I saw the surrounding country as my enemy. The difference between the looting in England and that in the US seems to be that in London it was more a matter of stealing electronics, whereas in the US it involves much more of racial hatred.
Where does this lead? What do we do? The approach both tacitly accepted and firmly enforced has been one of bread and circuses, or rather welfare and television, to keep the lid on in the “inner city,” as we say; this, accompanied by heavy pressure from government and salon not to notice what is happening. It was perhaps the best response — best for whites, anyway. It left the slums hopeless, depraved, but quiescent. Affirmative action kept the pressure down, and smart, ambitious blacks were admitted in small numbers to the salons and became superstars, like Jessie Jackson. This kept them from becoming real revolutionaries. The blacks of the slums stayed chiefly in the slums and, while welfare produced a terrible dependency, all of these measures ensured a static, artificial calm.
But now bankruptcy looms, and Congress threatens to cut social spending to pay for the wars. There is no longer enough money in a divided nation to buy everyone off. Whites will not revolt, not violently, but blacks will. I don’t think the faculty lounges understand how much anger there is among whites. I’m sorry, Ms. Couric, but it is not just twelve louts in the KKK and a few militias in Idaho that are very pissed at blacks. It is pretty much the blue-collar world, the cops, the firemen, and most (I really think) educated conservatives. Plus a whole lot of journalists who keep their mouths carefully shut.
This is not good. Not good at all.