Thursday, November 03, 2005

If you want a piece of the pie, bake some pies

A reader -- let's call him AT -- offered some criticism of the last Commentary of 9/14/05. He objected to the fact that, along with columnist Gregory Kane, I agreed that the owners of the all-white Elkridge Club in Baltimore have a right to run their club on the present basis.

AT writes: The Elkridge Club like other private clubs have members who cut business deals behind the closed doors of such clubs. They cut business deals on the golf courses and back in the day made deals in steam rooms and on handball courts.

EW responds: Yes, that's why those successful black businessmen in the past in such places as Durham, Tulsa, Chicago, Philadelphia, created their own social clubs. The purpose was to form networks and interact with other business associates. They too cut deals, because that's how it works. And, no doubt, they grew their own Old Boys connections. There was no more reason for them to allow outsiders into their social settings than for whites to allow outsiders into their dealings.

AT writes: My peeve with the NAACP is they have not been aggressive in pushing for changes behind the camera, They settled on superficial stuff like more Blacks in front of the camera.

EW responds: I don't see what right any advocacy group, like the NAACP, has to go to private individuals and make demands on how they should spend their money when making movies or anything else. Blacks once were owners of a small, but thriving movie industry. Not content to build from small to bigger, once they had coerced forced integration, the middle class dropped such ventures. Had black entrepreneurs continued on the road in their many entertainment enterprises, instead of using the government to intrude themselves among whites, where they were not wanted, they might today command enough resources to own or control several cable TV channels.

Here in NYC, up and down the radio dial there are a multitude of Spanish-speaking stations. Hispanics also have a score of cable TV channels, which are busy showing films, news programs, talk shows and other entertainment. Hispanics revel in the fact that members of their various cultures create entertainment for them. They don't disdain participating in white-created entertainment, but they don't disparage their own productions as being inferior -- a pattern that is normal to the average black.

AT writes: I do notice that the Monday night line-up at CBS resembles its line-up of the early 1960's "lily-white." Oh, some shows have Blacks in supporting roles but it reeks of tokenism.

EW responds: The last time I looked, this country was still over 70% white, so why shouldn't vehicles created by the majority be directed to the members of that majority? Why should whites expend their efforts on making stars out of blacks, several of whom already have been awarded the whites' highest entertainment honors? Why should anyone but blacks solve the problem of "tokenism." If you don't want to be a token, then create your own enterprises. If you want a piece of the pie, then help to bake some pies.

AT writes: The issue with a show like Amos n' Andy or Julia is the lack of balance in the medium of television, whites had the Honeymooners or Fibber McKee and Molly but they also had shows like See It Now, Person to Person and quiz shows. They balanced off their stereotypes with programming that could uplift.

EW responds: No one should worry themselves about "balancing" anything. They should think of making profits for their investors. In the 1950s and 60s, should white men have come together, pooled their resources, in order to create black-face versions of "See It Now," just so that Americans could see that blacks could be just like Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite? Are whites supposed to risk their money, in order to make blacks feel good about themselves? The producers of such shows aren't social workers; they're people looking for bottom line profits, and nothing else.

AT writes: I would take the Jeffersons over Amos n' Andy any day of the week. George Jefferson for all his flaws spoke good diction.

EW responds: In entertainment, I guess everything is a matter of taste. In the case of that "Jeffersons" show, good diction or not, I think the main character is simply clownish. I had never seen this sitcom until recent re-runs, and I was surprised at its silliness and poor scripts. That opening tune is pitiful, yet a true representation of a typical mindset among many blacks -- they're "moving UP," if they're intruding themselves into the white man's neighborhoods. And that's something to sing about? I find this an admission of a crazed desire for acceptance. It's more embarrassing than Amos 'n Andy.

AT writes: [Concerning the White Pride piece], I suppose the T-shirt would be non-threatening if one could tear from the pages of history the image of the Klu Klux Klan marching in the nation's capitol.

EW responds: Are you suggesting that whites who live right now should be forever stripped of their constitutional right to free expression, because of the behavior of some ancestors? If this is the case, then this rule should be applied to all American citizens and everyone should be judged according to the wicked sins of bygone generations. And that includes blacks.

AT writes: Years from now with the changing demographics, whites are going to end up being a minority and some of them will not be able to cope with it.

EW responds: You're right about whites becoming a minority, but they're not the only ones who won't be able to "cope" with it, as you put it. Blacks, who have permanently hitched their wagons to their ability to bully, intimidate, and coerce goodies from the white population, will be the greater losers. As the Hispanic population, along with Asians and others, grows and moves above the 60% mark, and as whites fall downwards towards, say, 25%, blacks will discover that the set-aside, affirmative action party is over. All their special deals and biased legislation in their behalf, will be in jeopardy.

As Hispanics displace blacks in congressional districts across the country, these black legislators are going to be gone with the wind. Blacks will have no more whites to grovel to their demands, e.g., Trent Lott doing his mortifying crawl to placate them. For blacks, their power is derived from using the political system to beg, cajole, and intimidate. Threatening the white man with the prospect of "long, hot summers" has worked for over 30 years, but once whites are no longer the majority, the game will be over.

14 comments:

Frank Z said...

Bullying is the perfect word -

for the way Black Democrats treated Black Republican Michael Steele.

American_Zealot said...

Thank God for people like you Ms. Wright. I am a young libertarian and black and there are few things in American society that burn me up more than seeing blacks continue to beg for white people's approval and acceptance.

If white's don't have the decency or class to be cordial and accepting of the millions of black American citizens amongst whom they live, then so be it.

The only thing this country owes black people is the respect and protection that all individual citizens have a right to per our Constitution. Perhaps media and cultural attention should be shifted back to returning the Federal government to the bulwark against tyranny that it was intended to be instead of it being a tool for social and political coercion for social fads like integration (as opposed to desegregation, which should be policy for every government agency) and affirmative action.

Shelby Steele said it best: blacks have traded the power of individual initiative and independent power for the emotional power over guilty whites. The tragedy is that only a fraction of the potential profit of the former is available with the latter.

I am a subscriber to your organization and a donor. Please visit my blog below and keep speaking the truth. http://americanzealot.blogspot.com

Elizabeth said...

" ... few things in American society that burn me up more than seeing blacks continue to beg for white people's approval and acceptance."
---------------------

Yes, indeed.

I continue to be stunned by the fact that embarrassment has not yet kicked in. What I mean is this: Over at a fairly well-visited website, black men are comforting one another about perceived rejections by whites. You can almost hear their sobs. How much longer can this go on? At what point will they awaken, and finally be filled with embarrassment over the fact that everyone has heard their wimpering? How are they not mortified to give other men so much credence over their lives? I feel embarrassed for them. Why don't they?

American_Zealot said...

Honestly, Mrs. Wright, I would like to know what website you are talking about, so I can go and inject some get-right into the conversation.

elizabeth said...

You can probably guess them. Blackcommentator.com gave its full support to the vile attacks on Michael Steele, which were promoted by The News Blog (stevegilliard.blogspot.com), whose owner published that controversial cartoon that was eventually pulled.

It's a strange philosophy -- Those who declare that blacks should not grovel for goodies are the ones disparaged as "minstels," "sell-outs," and "traitors."

I don't support Steele politically any more than I do any other politician, but the depths to which opponents sink has entered the unbelievable zone. Certainly, the most disgusting one recently was Jon Corzine's ex-wife coming out of the woodwork to do a number on him. I pictured a train of thousands of men marching to the polls on Tuesday, to vote for Corzine, simply because they could identify with him, and have lived through similar attacks from a bitter ex.

Enrique Cardova said...

While I agree with Elizabeth Wright on a number of issues, some of her assertions are questionable here. She says there was a small but thriving black movie industry. It is an open question whether it was thriving. There were certainly a number of black filmmakers , and while their product was often appreciated by black audiences, it was generally marginal in terms of overall scope and in support among blacks, compared to the black music industry. Movie making of course is immensely more complicated and expensive than going into a studio or staying home and cutting a demo record. Kudos to the black film pioneers for overcoming numerous obstacles, but if the industry was thriving, it should have stayed in business, just like black music. The fact is that even people like the legendary Oscar Michaeaux had to scramble to stay afloat on a shoestring, with a product marred by poor lighting, amateur acting etc., just like small, independent white filmmakers. Michaeaux and the pioneers deserve credit for their work, but it was always on a shoestring.

Wright's claim that the black "middle class' coerced forced integration, and dropped such movie ventures is also dubious. The black movie industry was marginal to begin with. Integration may have had little to do with its demise. By 1930, well before any "forced" integration, few black movie-companies were around. They were put under by the Great Depression, the introduction of sound and a better competing Hollywood product. It is the story of small independents everywhere, made marginal by more expensive technology, bigger competitors and changes in the economy. Wright is attempting to force her favorite theme into this box. Even the boom in the "blaxploitation" films of the 1970s do not prove her point, for most such films were generally produced by white outfits. See: http://shorock.com/arts/micheaux/papers/sarah.html

Wright also claims that Hispanics support their own versus blacks who "disparage their own productions as being inferior -- a pattern that is normal to the average black." This assertion in the context of movie-making is again dubious. If this were the case, then the black music industry would have been dead. It is not only very much alive but most of its output is consumed by whites on the aggregate, from "gangsta" rap to jazz. As for movie-making, the black pioneers were small-time independents with a product marred by poor lighting, sound, acting etc, in comparison with well-financed Hollywood competitors. They, like small white independents too, did the best with available reources, but it is not "disparaging" to point out that quality wise, they did not have the finances to compete. Wright's attempt to pound a square peg into the "abandoned due to integration" hole doesn't quite fit.

Enrique Cardova said...

Additional note to para 2:
If integration was the problem, as Wright asserts, how to account for the boom of "blaxploitation" movies in the 1970s at the height of the integrationist tide, a boom that saw many black producers in action and even attracted white studio investment for a time?

Enrique Cardova said...

While I agree with the general self-help thrust of Wright's idea, using the TV character of George Jefferson to bang the drum on the negatives of integration or of a "mentality" that is obsessed with being around white people does seem a stretch.
In fact, anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the TV show knows that George Jefferson was depicted as a racist who did NOT like white people, a depiction that carried over from the "All In The Family" show that spun-off the Jeffersons. Indeed, the clashes between white racist Archie Bunker and blasck Jefferson, and their ironic areas of agreement (such as opposition to interracial marriages) were classic highlights of All in The Family.

The theme song "Moving On Up," did not celebrate living next to white people, but the fact that Jefferson was a self-made businessman, who made it on his own, as was proud to be able to live where he wanted to live, as opposed to maintaining his "proper" place, whether envisioned by whites or blacks.


In any event, if Jefferson moved into a mostly white building so what? Why is this "bad"? Why is that "intruding themselves into the white man's neighborhoods"? Who said the white man has a divine monopoly to certain neighborhoods? Would it have been better if Jefferson hung out in a ghetto slum in terms of authenticity? Indeed, such black integration is nothing new prior to the 1950s. As Thomas Sowell points out, prior to the Great Migration of blacks from the South, in several northern cities, blacks and whites lived in mixed neighborhoods with little widespread incident. The Migration around WWI transformed such patterns into segregated situations as tens of thousands of semi-literate, unacculturated blacks arrived, sparking a host of negative outcomes and a sharp rise in racial conflict and animosity.

In any event, in the post WWII era suburbanization and increased mobility was a growing trend among ALL Americans. It was inevitable that the black population would become more dispersed and integrated.
Veterans benefits in Housing and Education applied to ALL Americans who served, regardless of race and helped accelerate this trend. Indeed, the blacks who "voted with their feet" during the Great Migration, had no choice but to "intrude themselves into the white man's neighborhoods." In fact this is precisely how may areas became black in the first place. Black migrants voted with their dollars, outbidding even white racists who did not want them in the first place. Green power, trumped racist power. Notions that those blacks who took or take advantage of available opportunities as "intruding" on supposedly "reserved" white neighborhoods or situations appear odd and seem to ignore these general trends and historical facts.

American_Zealot said...

Mr. Cadova,

While I agree with the gist of your comments, that using George Jefferson as an example of blacks moving into white communities as proof of an obsession with folding into white society is a "stretch", it seems to me that Elizabeth Wright's consternation about blacks' muscling into white economic infrastructure is still justified and logically defensible.

You state that blacks "had no choice but to "intrude themselves into the white man's neighborhoods." This is black people "voting with their feet" according to your assertions, a simple excercise of freedom in a free country, and so it sounds as if you have rejected Ms Wright's thesis about blacks looking at whites as the way "up" in society.

However, I believe Ms Wright's point is (and the point of her entire website) that your very approach to this issue is typical of a victimhood neuroses that all blacks should be loathe to exhibit - but are not. In short, this sentiment that blacks "had no choice but to 'intrude themselves into the white man's neighborhoods'" is a falsehood.

Recall Booker T. Washington's famous quip "cast down your bucket where you stand." Elizabeth Wright, myself, and other free-market libertarian types are not interested in butting in on white people's money, especially if they insist on conducting themselves in a racist, disrespectful, and condescending manner (as is often the claim made by those who feel as if they have "no opportunities" and/or no way out of poverty).

These questions need to be asked: why don't blacks create communities where they are now, with the resources that they have now? What is stopping blacks from owning more businesses (besides an overbearing regulatory regime), going to school and graduated at more than a 50% rate? What is keeping blacks from stopping the buck-passing and blaming whites for every problem - even forces of nature like hurricane Katrina?

There is a disease eating away at black people's minds out there - and it is precisely this notion that they have nothing and can do nothing without white people's approval, support, and charity. George Jefferson or no George Jefferson, this is the truth.

I can concede the argument that blacks not supporting low-budget black movies is not necessarily symptomatic of the aforementioned psychic impedement that so many blacks seem to suffer, but there is something to be said for black men getting together and creating better, higher budget films with their own money. Mr. Cordova, even white people started making movies without mega-budgets and then grew their fortunes with enterprise. Funding is not keeping blacks from making more and better - and more expensive - movies. It is a general lack of entrepeneurship that causes black cinema to be so scarce.

Tyler Perry is a perfect example of someone doing what you say blacks cannot realistically be expected to do - independently.

Enrique Cardova said...

Fair enough. I have no argument with you or Ms. Wright on the victim mentality score, and the need for more entrepreneurship. However, I think it is stretching it too far to say that blacks taking advantage of available opportunities is "intruding" into places "reserved" for whites, nor can I see how such activity is "typical of a victimhood neuroses", nor do I see how anyone can neatly separate the larger American economy from black economic activity into a sort of closed system of black entrepreneurship. This approach appears extreme and ignores both economic reality and the example of other successful, ultra-entrepreneurial non-black minorities like Asians.


Taking advantage of available opportunities is not the same as looking at whites as a way "up" in society. That is confusing straightforward self-help and self-improvement with a white-obsessed social-climbing type mentality. The two are not the same. The fact is that the "black" economy cannot be separated from the larger US or "white" economy. Black migrants seeking housing in the north HAD to go to areas that were primarily white. Voting with their dollars, they outbid other white competitors, including hostile racists and secured expanded living space. If this were not done, then most blacks would have been forced to remain in the stagnant South with lesser opportunities, a South that at the time was beset by the brutal boll weevil plague that wiped out thousands of jobs.

It is difficult to see how this plain common sense can be translated into some type of "social climbing" mentality, that was somewhow "wrong" to "intrude" on "reserved" white areas. Indeed the move North enabled blacks to end-run the Jim Crow system, and was primarily responsible for significant increases in black income and education levels. Again, this is the basic process WHITE immigrants followed, moving from lower income European peasant situations to the greater opportunities of urban America. How come when blacks follow the same process, it is somehow "wrong"?


The example of other highly entrepreneurial minorities like Asians is also apt. Chinese and Japanese migrants followed the same path as the "social climbing" black migrants above-- relocating to where better opportunities were available. They too "intruded" into "white" areas, outbidding racist opposition with their dollars. In the case of the Japanese, they "intruded" into California agriculture, supposedly "reserved" for whites. They rose from common farm laborers to domination of certain segments, notably vegetables, flowers, fruits, certain fishing operations, and quick truck gardening type sales near urban areas. Under Ms. Wright's formulation were the Japanese "wrong" to "intrude" like this? The Chinese likewise were popular when they were mere laborers. However they too "intruded" into "reserved" white areas like gold mining, often working claims abandoned by whites as unproductive. In time they were no longer popular for they became economic competitors of whites who massacred them on numerous occassions, where as the old saying ot the time went, they didn't have "a Chinaman's chance".

One thing that marked both these minorities is that their prosperity was based on "intrusion" and butting into "reserved" white areas. They made their money trading with whites. Japanese farms and even the segregated Chinatowns were obtained by intruding into formerly white areas, again outbidding racist opposition with their dollars. Even on the international scale, trading giants like Japan and China follow the same pattern- they have "butted into" white people's business in a big way.


It should be no cause of consternation that blacks "muscle into" white economic infrastructure. It it difficult to see how they can do otherwise and create growth and prosperity. Even Booker T was an advocate of "butting in". It was either that or remain plantation laborers forever. In fact what is needed today is even more "muscling in". Notions of self-contained black economies have been around a long time and they have produced little growth, despite decades of ineffectual "buy black" or "black power" campaigns. Real growth is in the Asian method of trading with whites and muscling into fields now held by them as hard-nosed competitors. Such activity is not the same as trying to be around white people or cadging them for handouts as perpetual victims. They are 2 separate things altogether.


Perhaps our areas of divergence are primarily semantic. I believe we ultimately agree as follows: The obesssion with whites and the victim handout mentality is deplorable. However, there is nothing wrong with blacks taking advantage of available opportunities from a self-help, independent perspective, and if that means muscling in on some white people, whether in business, on the job or outbidding them for property, so be it.

Elizabeth said...

Enrique Cardova,

This is in response to your first comments. Thanks for a clear and concise response to my original post. And also thanks for the Micheaux link.

To me, Chicago, beginning in the late 19th century, is one of the best examples of some of the dichotomies going on among groups of blacks, especially as pertains to taking initiatives. On the one hand, there were these industrious black businessmen, as represented by the realtors I wrote about, and people like black entrepreneur Charles Smiley, who defied all odds, as he built one of the most successful and sought-after catering businesses in Chicago and surrounding regions.

And then there were those who represented the other mentality, who carried in their heads the notion of whites as the Credible People, to be deferred to as the creators of the only worthwhile and credible institutions and organizations. I claim that these blacks were the victors, since it was this group's philosophy (if such it can be called) that set blacks on a backward path. These were the super integrationists, and they won. They are well described in Allen Spear's book, Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto, in which he outlines the peculiar behavior of this middle class, who purposely discouraged blacks from creating institutions of their own. These were some of the leading blacks of Chicago, who feared that too many successful ventures, under black auspices, would send the "wrong" signal to the Credible People, that blacks did not, after all, crave integration.

Spear describes the shock experienced by the black journalist, Ida B. Wells, when she was thwarted from organizing a kindergarten for black children because, as explained by these illustrious black leaders, such a school might delay or stop the chances for black children to be accepted at a particular kindergarten established by the Credible People.

Other enterprising blacks were deterred from establishing a YMCA in Chicago, because it would necessarily have been all-black and, once again, the leaders considered this a bad signal to send to the Credible People, who, by the way, had their all-white YMCAs. These black elites worried about any move that might come across as seeming to say, We don't want integration. Everything had to be directed to winning places among whites, at the expense of the needs of the black masses. This black middle class didn't give a damn about the broader needs of the community, because they craved only to leave it.

You speak of the historical migration of blacks into white neighborhoods, and what you describe is true. But this movement of blacks from the South has nothing to do with the determined drive of middle class blacks to intrude themselves into middle class white neighborhoods. During that earlier period, people like Harlem's Philip Payton and those Chicago realtors made purposeful moves to change over white neighborhoods, in order to accommodate the influx of blacks. It's the later period that's instructive.

In New York, St. Albans, a section of Queens, was once all-white. By the 1960s, it had become middle-class black. It did not take long, however, for it to fall into disrepair, as crime began to take its toll. Of course, one is not supposed to acknowledge that any place can become a "ghetto," if the right circumstances prevail and the residents fail in their responsibilities to maintain the community. We're supposed to believe that "ghettos" fall from the sky, that they are not made. Without whites, St. Albans was no longer a status place in which to live. I remember getting a call from a friend who said that his relatives, who had moved to St. Albans just a half dozen years prior, were once again "chasing after the white folks," who now had fled to Hempstead, a Long Island town. These blacks' desire to follow the whites to yet another place had nothing to do with the "Great Migration" you mention.

In the late 1980s, I interviewed Jimmy Murrell, a black Harlem businessman. He, his brother and a friend had come to Harlem from the South a decade before, looked around for real estate opportunities, and began by buying a building and expanding the popular restaurant on its street floor. Murrell was livid as he described to me the attitudes and behavior of New York's middle class blacks, who refused to take risks to develop properties. He claimed that blacks around the country, who lived in predominantly black areas were "sitting on goldmines," which they refused to exploit. He shared some of the weirdest rationalizations offered by blacks who refused to pool their resources and take risks with others, to engage in just normal business transactions. Today, we have gentrification going on at breakneck speed in Harlem, with property values through the roof.

And "risk" is the operative word here. It turns out that risk is for white folks only. "Let the Credible People build the stuff, and we will get jobs among them." (The abolitionist Martin Delany, as far back as 1852, mocked this mentality among middle class blacks.) You mention the fact that Micheaux's film enterprise operated on a "shoestring," which is not surprising. But it reminds me of a time when IBM was the paramount American corporation, looked upon as the benchmark of what a company should be. At that time IBM seemed enormous and untouchable, with its branches everywhere, defining the very essence of what was acceptable in office machinery and products. Once IBM decided to manufacture a particular product, almost everyone wanted to switch to it--whether typewriter, photocopier, or computer. The question of the day became, "But is it IBM compatible?"

Well, I remember conversations with blacks who would denigrate other blacks who considered founding a small business. The naysayers would always point to that Big, Giant Colossus IBM, as an example of the impossibility of competing in any field--even fields having nothing to do with office machinery. The point was that, since you can't possibly grow as large as an IBM, not ever, then why bother taking risks with your resources? You will always be outranked by the Credible People, who will always have more resources than you. It is those who held such perspectives who set about getting unconstitutional, coercive laws passed, in order to force themselves, whether desired or not, into the IBMs of the country.

Earlier, it was also people of this mindset who disparaged firms like the insurance companies that were formed by blacks for blacks. After all, these maniacal integrationists explained, blacks were FORCED to create those companies and provide insurance, because whites cheated them on their premiums. Now, a normal person looking in on this scenario would think, Well, it's great that enterprising black men saw the need and stepped in to fulfill it. Think of all the employment those companies provided and the spin-off benefits derived. But the integrationists perceive only rejection or perverse behavior by whites. The whites, you see, SHOULD have behaved more fairly, and then there would have been no need for blacks to form their own companies. If the Credible People had only not been racists, then blacks would not have had to do that which only the Credible People are supposed to do, i.e., create organizations to tend to the needs of blacks. This is the mentality that drives folks like Jimmy Murrell to distraction.

There's more than enough evidence to give credence to Marcus Garvey's claim, made also by many other blacks, that middle class elites did not want to start small and exert the energy and resources needed to build. They wanted the whole hog in place. And the Credible People had the whole hog.

As far as the black music industry goes, you are right. One could say that this is the exception to the rule. I would not want to be as cynical as a friend who suggests that blacks put their energies into this field and continued to develop a successful industry only BECAUSE whites showed an interest in it. "Since the Credible People like it, it must be a credible undertaking."

I have had a chance to watch a couple more episodes of "The Jeffersons," and now find that show more repulsive than ever. Learning that it was a spin-off of the Bunker show is dumbfounding, considering its weak and even childish story lines. Obviously, none of the Bunker creators came along with this sitcom. The Jefferson character's supposed dislike of whites doesn't wash at all. It is in no way convincing, and is such a thin veneer, that it's never believable. With Bunker, you felt that he was a result of generations-old prejudices, passed on to him by those to whom it had been previously passed. There's no such feeling with Jefferson, who simply appears to be happy, even joyful, to be in the white circle in which he finds himself. Who's kidding who? And, of course, that theme song is, indeed, about the black man being rewarded with Acceptance by the Credible People, who even allow him to live among them--on the "East Side," no less!

Elizabeth said...

Mr. Cardova, you write about Asians:
"They made their money trading with whites. Japanese farms and even the segregated Chinatowns were obtained by intruding into formerly white areas, again outbidding racist opposition with their dollars. . . . It should be no cause of consternation that blacks 'muscle into' white economic infrastructure. It it difficult to see how they can do otherwise and create growth and prosperity."

But aren't you confusing the desire of blacks simply to live among whites, with the entrepreneurial drive of Asians to be productive in those white neighborhoods? When do blacks enter into a region and contribute to the economic infrastructure? What they desire is for whites to create the businesses, which will pay blacks salaries high enough to be able to live among the whites. Blacks want whites to guarantee middle class salaries, so that they can live well. This is not the same perspective or approach of the Asian immigrant.

Enrique Cardova said...

And then there were those who represented the other mentality, who carried in their heads the notion of whites as the Credible People, to be deferred to as the creators of the only worthwhile and credible institutions and organizations.

.... Agreed. Didnt know about the examples you give, and how bad it was so that even Ida B Wells was opposed.

==============================
Everything had to be directed to winning places among whites, at the expense of the needs of the black masses. This black middle class didn't give a damn about the broader needs of the community, because they craved only to leave it.

....Some would vigorously dispute the "don't care" part, but a fair assessment in terms of the obsession with integration versus developing and building independent capacity among the masses.
==================

..moved to St. Albans just a half dozen years prior, were once again "chasing after the white folks," who now had fled to Hempstead, a Long Island town. These blacks' desire to follow the whites to yet another place had nothing to do with the "Great Migration" you mention.

.... Agreed as far as the self-deluded social climbers. Malcolm X derided some in his Autobiography, like Negro chaffeurs and messengers who in between overly elaborate and greasy "conks", traded in inflated status, loftily claiming to be "in finance" or "in transportation". However I would add that some of those middle-class blacks also moved out because they were upset at the negative behavior of lower class blacks that turned once solid communities into war zones of crime and negativity.

Moving away is not necessarily a bad thing if productive, law abiding "strivers" are swamped with those of the opposite description. There is prior precedent for this. Sowell mentions "black flight" in parts of 18th/19th century Boston-- blacks moved out, when the rowdy, violent and unwashed white Irish moved in. In the 1970s there were lawsuits by black middle class homeowners against high rise public housing projects in their neighborhoods, arguing that they were nurseries of crime, violence and decline. In numerous cases, these projects were just that.
Perhaps a third category should be added: (1) the disciplined strivers, (2) the white-obsessed social climbers and/or victim specialists and (3) the rowdy, unproductive "street" grouping.
====================================

You will always be outranked by the Credible People, who will always have more resources than you. It is those who held such perspectives who set about getting unconstitutional, coercive laws passed, in order to force themselves, whether desired or not, into the IBMs of the country.

...Agreed. Another example might be the deplorable situation with forced "affirmative action" quotas and the farce of busing for racial "balance" on the theory that you have to sit next to some white people to learn anything.
==============================

I have had a chance to watch a couple more episodes of "The Jeffersons," and now find that show more repulsive than ever. Learning that it was a spin-off of the Bunker show is dumbfounding, considering its weak and even childish story lines.

....Agreed in part. The Jefferson's lost its biting black-flavored humor and became totally buffonish after the first seasons IMHO. The George Jefferson character was more fleshed out then as a short man with a Napolean complex who was understandably vain, but often talked up the hard work and pride of the self-made businessman. After a while it became only George the bumbling buffoon, and an equally bumbling minor white character became a major character to be George's foil. The introduction of Florence the maid added some balance, but too often the eye rolling, smart talking black maid stereotype was played up, and Florence became a major focus.
Same thing happened with the show "Good Times". In the first 2 seasons, it was the story of black strivers trying to make it (the father was present and working amazingly enough, and the mother was a strong, responsible person without children out of wedlock). Afterwards, it declined to a vehicle for the buffonish, skinnin' and grinnin' Jimmy Walker to yell "DYNOMITE" every show with the rest of the cast as mere add ons. Small wonder that strong father character John Amos along with several black writers left after the early seasons, and the show lumbered on in single-ghetto mother/trash talkin teen mode without any comparable replacement.
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What they desire is for whites to create the businesses, which will pay blacks salaries high enough to be able to live among the whites. Blacks want whites to guarantee middle class salaries, so that they can live well. This is not the same perspective or approach of the Asian immigrant.

....Agreed in part. There is such a mentality, but a blanket statement as to all blacks I would say goes too far, and ignores important differences in the black population. Black West Indians and African immigrants for example, (numbering several million) have long been operating in Asiatic mode. Indeed West Indians often clashed with native born US blacks whom they sometimes considered lazy and unambitious. US blacks in turn often charged West Indians for being too pushy, stingy and clannish. Phrases such as "Jew-maican" or "only the Bajan can beat the Jew" illustrate these attitudes. Whether the third generation of these immigrants can continue this same striving spirit is hard to say, for they are becoming more affected by the "American disease". But as to the second generation of West Indians, Sowell's stats show that they have achieved rough parity with the general white average in terms of family income and education.

Nevertheless, the outlook you mention is all too prevalent along with the coresponding "victim handout" mentality that has fostered generationsof government dependence rather than self-sustaining black growth and development. I believe our differences are more one of degree rather than substance. Kudos for maintaining an umcompromising stand on the oft forgotten and patronized "striver" part of the equation.

Elizabeth said...

Enrique Cardova wrote:

"Black West Indians and African immigrants for example, (numbering several million) have long been operating in Asiatic mode. Indeed West Indians often clashed with native born US blacks whom they sometimes considered lazy and unambitious. US blacks in turn often charged West Indians for being too pushy, stingy and clannish. . . . But as to the second generation of West Indians, Sowell's stats show that they have achieved rough parity with the general white average in terms of family income and education."

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Yes, this is well put. I would say that a little-noticed tragedy occurred in this country in regards to some black immigrants, especially those from the Caribbean. During the height of the civil rights furore in the 1960s and 70s, a great many Caribbean youths got caught up in the emotion and hype of the times, along with their American born cousins.

As the general society acquiesced to the demands of the liberals for more and bigger indulgences, and placed all responsibility for black failure on the shoulders of whites, many young Caribbean men got trapped in the falsehoods of "black nationalism," along with the more pernicious scourge of the drug culture. For many Caribbean young people, even the close-knit, patriarchal families in which they had been nurtured could not subdue the effects of the tidal wave of drugs that swept through their neighborhoods. Needless to say, this was not an unusual story for many other communities.

And then, once the Great Society handouts became routine and everybody seemed to be getting in on the act, and all you had to do was be black, the temptations became too overwhelming. Even maturer Caribbean immigrants went for the bait, and wound up seriously injuring their industrious, enterprising (sometimes labeled "workaholic") culture. They were corrupted by what you correctly label the "American disease."