Chauncey DeVega

Chauncey DeVega
Location
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Birthday
September 11
Title
A (Sometimes) Respectable Negro
Bio
Editor and Founder of the blog We Are Respectable Negroes He has been a guest on the BBC, Ring of Fire Radio, Ed Schultz, Joshua Holland's Alternet Radio Hour, the Burt Cohen show, and Our Common Ground. His essays have been featured by Salon, Alternet, the New York Daily News, and the Daily Kos. The NY Times, the Daily Beast, the Utne Reader, Washington Monthly, Slate, and the Week (among others) have featured his expert commentary and analysis on race, politics, and popular culture.

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Editor’s Pick
MARCH 29, 2012 2:36PM

Smearing Trayvon Martin: Blacks Commit More Crime And...

Rate: 31 Flag

The killing of Trayvon Martin is a Rorschach test for American society. This tragedy reveals a deep divide in our political imaginations and communities. It also is a mirror for the fissures of race, ideology, and party that still vex and befuddle us to the present.

Some folks imagine themselves, their children, and members of their communities as Trayvon Martin. To their eyes, Trayvon is a symbol of how American society all too often devalues the lives of people of color.

Other people imagine themselves as George Zimmerman. To them, he is a "victim," a "good" man who only wanted to protect his neighborhood from crime and "suspicious" people. Moreover, the assertion that George Zimmerman acted out of racial bias in his hunting and killing of Trayvon Martin is personally offensive to them.

Because Zimmerman is “them,” and “they” are Zimmerman, he is quite simply a "law abiding" citizen who is being made a victim of "reverse racism," "race hustlers," and "the liberal media."

Black men are scary, frightening, and suspicious to George Zimmerman and those people who think like him. These beliefs are part of a matrix of racism, prejudice, and stereotypes which are reproduced and disseminated throughout American culture. Ultimately, many on the Right see George Zimmerman as a hero figure; for voters primed on a toxic mix of conservative rhetoric that bundles together such issues as race, guns, and crime, George Zimmerman is a fetish and totem for their wish fulfillment.

In the post civil rights era, old fashioned racism is out of style. Consequently, supporting George Zimmerman necessarily requires the shaming and smearing of Trayvon Martin. Perhaps I am too generous, but I would like to believe that even for the most strident conservative authoritarians and colorblind racists there would be some level of cognitive dissonance to be overcome in order to justify the killing of an unarmed black teenager who was guilty of no more than holding a bag of Skittles, and walking home wearing a hooded sweatshirt in the rain.

The solution to this puzzle comes in a common sense appeal to black thuggery, hooliganism, and a logic which suggests that people like Trayvon Martin are existential threats to civil order and society: to that end, Zimmerman's defenders marshal "data" and "statistics" which "prove" that black men commit a "disproportionate" amount of crime in American society. This "fact" becomes a casus belli for shooting down innocent black and brown people in the streets either at the hands of police, or corrupt vigilantes such as George Zimmerman.

This logic hangs in the ether, hiding in plain sight, and has gone little discussed in the public conversation about the Trayvon Martin shooting. The claim that black people commit more crime, and thus black men in particular should always be treated as uniquely and singularly capable of violence, is accepted and legitimized even by some liberals and progressives.

When conservatives bring up this point, many defenders of Trayvon Martin stutter, hew, and stammer through the inevitable, "that may be true, but..." moment. Rarely do they attack the premise of what is a centuries-old "true lie" that black people, and black men in particular, are criminal bogeyman and hoodlums--civilized and under control until they decide to lash out and show their true selves like metaphorical savage beasts, a dagger, or a bomb waiting to go off at any moment in the heart of “normal” society. Instead, many accept the terms of this true lie, and give it credence by accepting the premise of the argument.

In reality, matters are much more complicated. A surrender to a basic and fallacy laden argument that black people, and black young people in particular are uniquely and especially prone to violence, oversimplifies the nature of crime in America. As the old saying goes, "numbers lie and liars figure." Or alternatively, the lazy recitation of statistics is a dumb person's idea of how a smart person sounds.

The black people commit more crime canard is a fallacy of both process and outcomes. African Americans are subject to discrimination in the legal system at every level. As documented by The Sentencing Project, and detailed in such works as Race, Crime and the Law, and The New Jim Crow, African Americans are more likely to be stopped by police without cause, to be more aggressively questioned, receive longer and more severe charges for the same crimes as white defendants, and to have fewer resources to defend themselves in court.

As compared to white neighborhoods, black and brown communities are also subject to more severe surveillance and aggressive police tactics. Moreover, the disproportionate number of minorities in the criminal justice system can be largely explained by the War on Drugs. In total, if white communities were subject to the same type of aggressive police tactics as black and brown communities, the number of white people in prison would skyrocket.

The data is very telling here. While people of color are the prime targets of such policies as “stop and frisk” and racial profiling, it is in fact white people who are far more likely to be both drug users and to be in possession of narcotics at a given moment. This reality signals to a larger social phenomenon: black individuals who commit crimes are representative of their whole communities, crime is racialized, and there is no qualifier of individual intent. All black people are deemed suspicious and guilty because of the deeds of the very few.

In contrast, white people who commit crimes are unique individuals: the criminals who destroyed the global economy, a group of white men, were not taken as representative of the entire white community. There is a long list of crimes such as domestic terrorism, serial murder, child rape, sedition, treason, and financial fraud that are almost exclusively the province of white people. But again, whites as a group are excluded from suspicion or indictment as a “criminal class.”

The supposition that black men (and black folks more generally) are by definition “suspicious” is a channeling of the once in vogue concept known as “rational” or “reasonable” racism. Applying this logic, George Zimmerman is justified in shooting first, profiling, or harassing black people because “statistically” the latter are more likely to commit crime. Again, this is a chain of reasoning that is rife with problems.

Generalized statistics about crime tell you very little about a given person’s likelihood of committing a criminal act. This is especially true in a society where race and class are variables which over-determine how the courts treat suspects and who the police choose to single out for surveillance, harassment, and arrest.

Broad statistics also tell us little about a given population’s capacity or propensity to commit crime. For example, while black men are disproportionately incarcerated, the majority are in jail for drug offenses. African Americans are also more likely to be poor than whites. When a researcher accounts for these variables, the story becomes one of class and not race. Further problematizing the true lie that “black equals criminal,” is that disparities in crime largely disappear when you consider the black middle and upper classes in comparison to their white peers.

As demonstrated by Jody Armour in her book Negrophobia, less than 2 percent of black men are incarcerated for violent crimes. By implication, to generalize from the demographics of a given prison population to a specific person’s likelihood of committing a violent crime is a fool’s errand of the first order.

This is a counter-intuitive dynamic: just because a given group may constitute a higher percentage of those in jail, it does not in fact mean that a given individual is more likely to commit said type of crime.

A person is more likely to suffer a violent crime at the hands of a family member, friend, or acquaintance than a stranger; and most crime is intraracial.

Ultimately, incarceration is a function of many structural factors in relation to the criminal justice system.

Anecdotes matter. Police often give a pass to those who they know or trust. The white kid with weed just made a mistake; the black or Latino is a hardcore thug to be jailed. The judge may give parole or a lenient sentence to a white defendant in order to “teach them a lesson” about bad behavior. By comparison, a person of color before the same judge is already a “lost cause,” someone to have the book thrown at.

We see this same dynamic even in schools: researchers have determined that white and black youth who are accused of the same offenses see wildly different outcomes in terms of punishment. The latter are suspended or expelled, while the former are given warnings or other remediation.

Two points are readily apparent.

The demographics of those in jails, prisons, and hospitals are a means of judging a society, as well as determining which groups of people are valued (and those who are not). By that calculus, the poor, working classes, and people of color are second class citizens in the United States.

If American history's circumstances were reversed along the axis of the color line, then our country's jails and prisons would be filled with millions of white people. In the sum total of this alternate America's history there would likely have been many thousands of white people killed at the hands of black mobs and blood thirsty vigilantes obsessed with maintaining the racial order, and protecting themselves from white “criminals” and “thugs.” In this world, there would likely have been many "Black" George Zimmermans and "white" Trayvon Martins.

Here is the true failure of political imagination and empathy in the present: many white conservatives instinctively defend George Zimmerman because they cannot imagine themselves, their kin, or their children, as victims of unjust violence at the hands of the police.

Sadly, the consequence is an inability to find a sense of shared humanity with Trayvon Martin, because to do so would require a leap of faith in the pursuit of shared humanity and the common good across lines of race and class--a journey that many white conservatives and others are unwilling to entertain even in the twenty-first century.

Once more, our politics are sick. 


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No argument... it is what it is and the numbers speak for themselves.
I agree, sometimes what is missing is "a leap of faith in the pursuit of shared humanity and the common good across lines of race and class" (as well as across the lines of gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, etc...). It seems like in the US, and in many volatile areas around the world, the idea of universal human rights needs to replace some kind of outdated tribalism mentality, which some people are always trying to amplify and resurrect; maybe based on fear, or maybe just for their own power or ego, I don't know. I think that's the heart of it, being able to see the humanity in one another. And not listening to the voices that will try to tell us otherwise. Thanks for sharing this post.
An OS "blogger" has recently put up a post consisting of two photos, purportedly of Trayvon Martin, at least one of which has been proven to be a fake, and has even been retracted by the website which first put it up. The sole purpose of that post is to smear Trayvon Martin. He claims that the retraction is an invention of the liberal media, and directs everyone to check out the "truth" at stormfront.org. Granted, this person is an anomaly on OS, but I'm pretty sure his viewpoint is very prevalent out there. He even got a few ratings on it.
beautifully thought out and expounded.
I absulotely know in my gut and mind now that what you write is true. Four years ago, I would not have understood or I would have thought you paranoid even. Four years ago a well connected maniac decided to target me with false accusations and I watched as the whole system caved to her demands long after they knew she was a pathological liar. What I saw of the police and prosecutors was that they perecieved that without money I posed no challenge and they did not have anything to fear . That is how they saw Trayvon as he lay dead on the floor, I'm guessing. No need for an investigation or tests or a CSI team etc.

Great article and yet I doubt even white liberals will digest it until they've seen it with their own eyes. The heart of your piece for me was this:
"Here is the true failure of political imagination and empathy in the present: many white conservatives instinctively defend George Zimmerman because they cannot imagine themselves, their kin, or their children, as victims of unjust violence at the hands of the police."

but I would include all white americans or any american who has been spared the specter of how the criminal justice system really operates in America.
People love to argue with things they don't like, when I bring some truths up they argue with me because they don't like it. The truth doesn't care if we like it or not.

Like it or not, this is the truth about racism in this country.
Chauncey,
This morning I had nothing much to add to your post, but I ran across this stuff at the Gawker:
http://gawker.com/5897485/white-supremacist-hacks-trayvon-martins-email-account-leaks-messages-online
http://gawker.com/5897424/the-daily-texan-cans-its-colored-boy-cartoonist
http://gawker.com/5897093/texas-college-cartoonist-i-was-fighting-media-bias-with-colored-boy-cartoon
Sorry to say I attended UT Austin in 1967, looks like not a lot has changed in the last thirty-five years.
Chauncey, there is merit in much of what you say but, I only see blacks as victims in all your posts. You have your fans here but, if you want to move those on the fence you might want to brings some accountabilty to the table.
There is now a bounty on Zimmerman's head, this is third world justice.
There is a rush to judgement in this case. The left wing media and black militants have tried, judged and put a death sentence on this "White Latino". These are the actions you decry so elequently.
I cannot say what happened that night: I wasn't there. All I can say is that Martin was unarmed, and Zimmerman's story has been contradicted by eyewitnesses (not reliable) and security footage at the police station where he was taken (reliable). The fact that the footage from the station discredits his story should be enough for the witnesses to be taken seriously and for him to be put away for a good long time. How long is it going to take to get the average Joe back in touch with the time and place in which we leave? Too long. Zimmerman is nobody's hero. He's just a poor broken relic of a thankfully bygone era waiting to be disposed of.
Yes, absolutely. People are all the same. Depending on the time and the culture, your low-class, criminal, degenerate folks could be Turks, or Mexicans, or Irish, or whatever. The U.S. has a history of passing laws against the poor. Maybe you can do a historical post about how it became economically advantageous for post-Civil War blacks to become a criminal class to replace the free labor of slavery.
@Jay Richer

Can you cite one example of a white child being murdered when his known murderer wasn't arrested?

Thanks
There is no scenario in my mind that justifies the murder of an unarmed 17-year-old boy by a gun-toting, older vigilante in civilian clothing. I don't give a rat's ass about Zimmerman's ethnic background. What he did was wrong, plain and simple. My heart breaks for Trayvon's parents.
You're just fueling the flames of racial polarization with crap like this, "There is a long list of crimes such as domestic terrorism, serial murder, child rape, sedition, treason, and financial fraud that are almost exclusively the province of white people."

Black domestic terrorists: Angela Davis
Black serial murders: http://www.theroot.com/views/6-stereotype-defying-murderers

For black child rapists, I looked up the sex offender list of a city with a large black population. The fifth sex offender on Atlanta's list was a black man accused of child molestation.

Financial fraud: Roy Fluker

Treason: Soviet archives have proven that the Soviets had successfully recruited some members of black power groups to spy for the Soviet Union.

Sedition: Some of the black power movement manifestos were called seditious,

Financial fraud: Roy Fluker

African-Americans represent 15% of the population, which means you'd expect them to be 15% of the criminals. The scandals we remember are the big ones and there, the relative representation of prominence matters. Bernie Madoff made the front pages of the newspapers while Roy Fluker didn't because the connections Madoff swindled were rich, hence Madoff was able to swindle a huge sum of money. Fluker's circle of influence was much poorer, so he didn't gain as much. Essentially, their crimes were the same.




But what gets on the front of the newspaper and into our memories are the grander scandals. Bernie Madoff's crime and modus operandi were no different from that of Roy Fluker. He preyed on his own group. The difference was that Bernie Madoff was well-connected and had a prominent resume. The people he swindled were rich, so he landed on the front page of the national newspapers. Roy Fluker's connections were of much more modest means, so his net was much lower, leaving him to local papers and obscurity.

Frankly, your claim that whites disproportionally rape children is no different from another's claim that blacks disproportionally commit violent crime. Please look at yourself in the mirror and stop this racial slurring.
Rated. Excellent work as usual Chauncey. As you point out one can tell what side of the political divide one is on by the taking of sides in the Martin case. As usual conservatives feel they have to defend a trigger-happy wannabe cop. No surprise there. This case resonates, especially with blacks, because no matter the social status, wealth, education, Trayvon could be a family member. It hurt so much to know that someone so innocent and young could be killed because he is viewed by some as a thug or someone evil because of his race. We have made so much progress yet we have so far to go.
I have no expertise on the prison system so will stick to the obvious surface-it stinks, reflects our fears, George Zimmerman's actions reflect our fears, prejudice is our fear. A strong Society can face its fear, its guilt, its anger and then judge dispassionately as a developed human realizes his prejudices and fears even as he feels the hormones kicking in and then analyzes and addresses his emotions first and then handles the situation. lapel pins and success at wars aside, we are not a strong mature society.
James -go buy a carton of milk, most of those children ain't coming home.
Chauncy.. put down that malt liqueur man. Bad drugs!
I have been following your posts carefully and with admiration.
No matter how true or deftly persuasive the content of your post is... I can't shake the notion that part of the problem belongs to black men.
We live in a racist society my friend, therefore we all are racists.
Playing that victim card is old soup.
Are you enjoying the typical Salon bobble headed recognition ?
There is certainly a lot of symbolism, a Rohrsach test if you will, in this case involving Martin and Zimmerman, as to connections that come to the unconscious mind, which isn't helpful right now in levering certain things in the Middle East short of war, because if you look too divided, the ultimatum's lack credibility, and you get a war you would rather actually not, which will hurt everyone.
If the country divides as in Rodney King, the consequences could be catastrophic in character, and that need not be the case. As to the criminal matter, time will gradually reveal enough information to see the truth.
Very clever Chauncey. Why don't intellectuals and leaders like yourself clean up the South Side of Chicago? Huh? Like I said before, I respect respectable Negroes, and I would happily support any reasonable policies and programs to bring more African-Americans into the middle class.

Perhaps one of the causes of rampant vilolence among the black underclass is a 'racial' division within an ostensibly monolithic or uniracial African American community. After all, you are descendants of the captured peoples of Africa who were enslaved and trafficked to the New World. Among these polyglot groups of enslaved Africans there was probably a racial hierarchy operating already. Whether Zulus or Hottentots or Pygmies, or the long-limbed Bantu or lean Somalis, there are biological capacities and predilections at work, socially stratifying those 19th century African societies in a Social Darwinian process. Perhaps the culturally and intellectually superior blacks like yourself should cut your affinities to the genuine subhuman savages of the inner cities and let's all make a clean breast of things.
I would also suggest, if I may, and I am speaking sincerely, that the African American community and the larger white, slightly right of center (on these issues) dominant culture try to make some mutual concessions. As you know, the demographic realities of the US will make the white population smaller and smaller in time. If you want a real taste of racism wait to see what you will get under a Han Chinese societal structure. The Han Chinese have tremendous contempt for the Negro populations, in their exploitation of Africa's natural resources, and in their treatment of blacks in China, as students or workers. Would you prefer Chinese rule, or the still more understanding Caucasians?...wink
Wow. This is an amazing analysis. I've found that the comments sections, on here, and on news sites in general, are more instructive as to what the real issues are. There's a lack of empathy, and for sure sympathy, as to what it means to be a minority. Keep on writing.
Once again, you play the race card.
We can easily examine the issues of the Trayvon Martin case without having to resort to bigoted jibes, just as I have done here.t
Can we not condemn Zimmerman for shooting an unarmed teenager? Or does he have to subscribe to your ethnic and racial categories in order to be a bad man?
Thank you, Chauncey. I live in Alabama. I am white. Racism is as prevalent as ever. It just has a different form than in the 1960's and earlier.

To those who think that racial stereotypes are extinct, or that skin color has nothing to do with Trayvan's shooting and the "blaming the victim" mentality that has cropped up since he was shot":

Examine your own hearts and minds, if you have a conscience. Have you ever once considered what it is like to be black and living in the South? (I will not comment on the North because I have never lived there.) What it is like to be the mother of a small child and have the other children at school call your baby a "n*****"? Or what it is like to be a black man walking home from work and have people cross the street to avoid you? Or to go to your locker at work and find a noose hanging on it as a "joke"?

Black people and white people are the same, except that some of us are melanin-challenged. There are good, moral black people and there are bad, immoral black people. There are good, moral white people and bad, immoral white people. Skin color does not indicate character.

Since I am nearly 60 and grew up during the Civil Rights Era, and heard racist epithets every day growing up (and still do most days, now), and saw the church after the bomber blew up four little black girls, and saw the pond dam where the three civil rights workers were buried in Neshoba County, Ms. ( about three miles from my grandmother's home) and watched the Selma to Montgomery March and saw a cross burned on a pastor's yard in my home town, and heard the other school children cheer when our teacher told us President Kennedy was killed (he was a n******-lover, you know), I hoped things were getting better.

My heart is breaking, because it's the same old song, another verse.
Congrads on the EP.. excellent write.
hollyberry-we are not the same. If you gave everybody a million dollars, 75% of us would live with like people. There is nothing wrong with that as you will notice most liberals tend to gravitate towards Salon where conservatives go elsewhere. There are negatives to this but, when push comes to shove most humans like to be with people they share their space with people who look and act as they do.
We cannot celebrate diversity if we are all them.
"The story becomes one of class and not race."

And that is yet one more little ditty swept under the rug by the dominant narrative.
Hi Chauncey, Your comments are well taken, there is a need for discussin and discourse such as what you speak of. Either time race is mentioned some one is running to the extremes of the argument, but there are so many other areas that aren't addressed. Social and political climates are neglected, neighborhoods that are distressed in all areas that are not able to grapple with the day to day areas that are being neglected in their own households, that no one else nows about nor cares about nonetheless. We appeal to people through so many ideas that in todays society we are as lost as we are found. There are many fragments that include both good things and bad, people that are propelled to do bad are going to pay a price. It may or may not be a big price, but it is a price. People that are ignorant will continue to find people who are willing to tolerate or share their ingnorances, it is just the way things are. Challenges are open to those only willing to participate in a way that shares no real open door. Only what is known behind the closed door, and usually most are deeply saddened or deeply shamed by what they know, or by what they have been exposed to. It is rare to find people who are willing to not monopolize in the contradictions that exist, for that we could be here for eternity discussing the why things are by nature opposite to our own distinct and individual beliefs. It is in becoming aware of how much of a propoenet we are for other narrow segements of thought, act and deed. We ponder too infrequently on other areas and other peoples that live also in dogmas, sub-cultures, and live in completely silent societys that no one is aware of. So in pacing the subject of race, we tirelessly become inhumanized to the sancticty of what is in a sense horseless race. We will have people that came before us and will come after us with different race, creed, religion and sex, what to make of it? No more than what was created for what purpose it was created for, and to allow emotions to be balanced by serious ways in discussing why we are differnt, and what different means. Different only means that I am not the same, not that I matter less or more. That is only a self determination of that I make for myself. No one else can determine my worth, no more than the sense of Treyvon who only wanted to go out and buy his kid brother some Skittles and Ice Tea. The other man for what ever reason he felt fearfull and fearfull for his life, could have unfortunately been his imangination running away with itself. If only he could have utiilzed his imangination for other areas of his being, but that sense of being has to be built in, and needs nurturing. Something also neglected in this day and age, since as a society we are on a dog sled team to make money...and we are on a constant treadmill of political types and other co-operate types that are fruadlent and corrupt, no wonder there are vigilanates out there. There is too much activity in the areas of the brain that result in fry outs, versus too little time in activities that promote peace, give education and promote harmony and understanding. Thank-You for your enlightened piece. R
The racists I know do not really fear black people. Oh, they talk gleefully about blowing one away if he dares to step on white property. But that is just a fun game they play in their minds.

They do not fear black people. They enjoy feeling superior to a significant percentage of the population down here in the South. When they get together, they reassure each other that blacks are still inferior, and the white people are still in charge. Then they gleefully remind themselves of the inferior characteristics of black people and how they will never amount to anything and whites will always be superior and the South shall rise again.

Then they attend their Baptist churches several times per week and talk about how they "love Jesus."
T0 Jay Richer: Yes, we are the same. I know hundreds (thousands?) of black people. They are hard working, God-fearing family people who struggle every day--like the rest of us--to support their children, to see that they get a good education and to teach them good values.

I have black friends. I do not only want to be around people who are just like me. I like to know people from different backgrounds.

Racism is not inherent. It is taught. Some people feel better "knowing" that there are millions of people inferior to them. Others of us feel better knowing (absolutely) that all of us are in this together.
hollyberry, If you know thousands of black people than, you must know some lazy ones as well. If we are all the same then the % of lazy blacks should be consistent with the % in the white population.
If they are god fearing then, they will not get many props here in secular heaven. That characeristic makes them intellectually lazy by many in the OS community.
@ Malusinka

Chauncey makes a valid point – if white people comprise 80ish% of the population – and they head most of the large multinationals, and most government departments (aka where most violent crime originates), then they are obviously responsible for most of the violent crimes that plague us.

@ davyboy

“the problem belongs to black men”
???
That’s a ridiculous assertion – as is your excuse for small-minded thinking i.e. “we all are racists”. As if that’s to be accepted?
“The victim card”? An African-American was killed – therefore he was the victim – and doubly so because it was the melanin in his skin that was his inadvertent undoing.

@ rwnutjob

Human beings are capable of violent acts…sad but true. Nearly everyone who lives in Haiti is a person of colour, therefore most of the people who commit crimes there are people of colour. But what does that prove? Nothing except what I said at the beginning…human beings are capable of violent acts. You need to learn about context.
“Blacks, on average, ARE dangerous violent savages.”
All races are capable of violence. Savagery is a subjective term. Are the predominantly white militaries of the west savages? To those in the homeland, no…to those who fall under their swords, yes.
“On average”? What does that even mean?
Do yourself, and your country a favour, and try to fight the ignorance you embody.

@ Jejune Podiatrist

Clean up the South Side of Chicago? You mean wave a magic wand and immediately end all economic inequality, years of hard feelings, and bitterness, and systemic rot? Here’s an idea, how about you clean up the cobwebs clouding your ability to reason.

You respect, respectable “Negroes”? You undo yourself with the use of that charged word. If you truly respected African-Americans you would choose sensitivity in speaking on matters of race. That’s what empathetic people do, the ones who have some knowledge of history, and the reasons behind how we got to where we are now.

You need not say “intellectuals” with a sneer, you too can be an intellectual, but first you’ve got to drop the blinders. African-Americans don’t need you to “bring” them into the middle-class; they can get there on their own if only the racists who clog up the system would get an education, and get out of the way.

Your diatribe on natural selection and “racial hierarchy” in pre-New World Africa is frightening. You are lost. There are minor differences in skin tones, cultures, attitudes, and physical makeups among all peoples…welcome to humanity. For every sub-sector of African culture you highlight there are just as many among white populations, as there are in every corner of the globe. To call African-Americans who live in the inner-cities “sub-human” is deplorable. For shame. We are all homo sapien sapiens, you should try to understand that the exterior of one’s appearance is not indicative of their intellect nor their behavioral tendencies.

You need to get out more.

And mutual concessions? Are you serious? How much more should the African-American community give? They’ve done nothing but concede for centuries…give your head a shake.

Your ramblings about Chinese “societal structure”…what is your point? You basically conclude that African-Americans are to be ruled, so they ought to pick their poison. That is condescending beyond all recognition. Maybe there is no hope for you.

@ James Robins

I think Chauncey correctly points to the systemic racism that underlies Zimmerman’s actions. To say it isn’t relevant is to deny such racism’s existence. Yes, we can and should condemn Zimmerman for shooting an unarmed teenager, but we also know there’s more to it than that, and unless we want to live in a society where more of these types of things will happen, we need to tell the whole truth, and try to rise above – as human beings.

@ Jay Richer

There is no such thing as lazy – there is such a thing as un-motivated – something which we all suffer from, from time to time. Much like your obvious lack of motivation to lend any credence to what Chauncey has posted, probably because doing so would require you to do some heavy-lifting of your own to try and challenge some of the tightly-held beliefs that you have.
rwnutjob:
"Actually, people of color devalue the lives of people of color. Tens of thousands of rapes in Haiti, 1500 rapes a day in the congo. Blacks, on average, ARE dangerous violent savages. See my latest post."
And I suppose that white people are docile and warm a fuzzy? It's nice to only cherry pick examples while forgetting the types of white violence that is also quite out of control. The fact is white people are extremely dangerous, violent savages. Spend more time reading history and perhaps you might learn a few things!
"No argument... it is what it is and the numbers speak for themselves."

And all the numbers tell us is who's being arrested. But I suspect that what you believe those numbers say justifies some special policy or approach specific to Blacks. So let's use your line of reasoning: Since White men commit more crime than White women we should profile them, then replace all of them in power, at jobs, etc. with the less criminal White women until the men can show us they have that crime thing addressed? You up for that? Just remember % is only one category, at any given moment the total number of criminals walking our nation's streets are White.
greyman-Silly semantics on your part. Let's go with unmotivated for your sake. So I guess it is someone's fault that they are not motivated sufficiently?
Chauncey would possibly motivate me more if he even hinted that blacks had some accountabilty to their plight. I certainly know many who came up the hard way in environments he so eloquently describes and they would take great offense to his diatribes.
He makes some good points but, he fails to express any views other than that the black male is a "scary superman that the white man is keeping down not because of ignorance but, because he knows he is better.
Why don't you ask him?
Chancey, keep speaking out.

"The FUNDAMENTAL truth that bigotry is on the rise, that it's gaining acceptance and momentum in the guise of dyslexic "South Will Rise Again" emotionally driven hysteria, motivated by the stunted mentality of morose, intellectually impeded "Good Old Boys".

Even today increasing bigotry remains an "Abstraction", far removed from our daily lives. Right, Non-Minority?

Essentially, many of we unresponsive "Non-minorities" enable intolerant behavior by inaction, by failing to correct that abhorrent behavior, by neglecting to discourage Bigotry however blatant it's lately become.

That's what preceding generations have done, truth be told, engaged in collective white disregard for the welfare of repressed, gnerationally impoverished minorities.

Our "Willful Ignorance" has provided COVER for the actions of aggressive Conservative Aristocracy, whether the majority of us participated or not.

Non-participants are COMPLICIT by failure to take significant action AGAINST such aggression.

In support of long held White privilege gained (and enforced) by virtue of nothing more than genetic lineage held under threat of violence.

Even today increasing bigotry remains an "Abstraction", far removed from our daily lives. Right White America?

Self-Defeating "Willful Ignorance" isn't nearly as far removed from our current Dysfunctional Society as most of us would like to believe. History SHOULD provide needed context.
_______________________________________________
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Martin_Niem%C3%B6ller
"Chancey" again ;-) Sorry Chauncey, my proof reading isn't quite what it should be, I'm rushed to post in current work conditions.

Maybe should have waited 'til I got home ;-)

Regardless, Thanks for your sustained outspoken TRUTH.
you did somehow got it right
@greyman

No, it is not the" black mans fault"...my words were "part of the problem" simply to assume some accountability. You don't think that is fair? Too bad.

Racism of course unacceptable... yet there it is year in and out . I do regret the sins of white society. Personally I never participated in the historical oppression. Yet because this is a racist society I am guilty by my lack of melatonin. I am white therefore the oppressor. If you don't think Chauncy is racist you are a smaller minded fool than your rebuttals attribute.

Yes, Trayvon was tragically profiled and victimized by a Latino. The end of` black victimization and what is far worse, black on black victimization must come from within the black community itself. Responsibility for consistantly raising the children you father would be a good place to start.
Many African Americans (more women ) are taking whatever educational advantages available and successfully achieving their dream to escape poverty. Black women are leaving black men behind. Check the stats on higher ed graduation for African Americans if you doubt this. www.jbhe.com/preview/winter07preview.html These achieving men and women would not appreciate this boo hoo lament you proffer with your classic white apologist rhetoric. It's a lot easier for a kid to stand on the street corner slinging rock than it is to conform and make something of themself. Enlightened educated men like yourself are racist and "in the way" of black advancement in far more damaging ways than your redneck counterpart.

What are you and Chauncey doing to actively support your African American community ? I for over 25 years attend and financially support a diverse inner city church and community center. Free facilities include a gym, pool, game room, weight room, auditorium and kitchen. Programs are available for literacy, parenting, drug and alcohol and more. See 1. www.pghpresbytery.org/mission_agencies/.../alghAssociation.htm
Trayvon Martin was killed by long-standing doctrines that prescribe discrimination against Americans based on sociodemographic characteristics and other traits. Trayvon Martin was killed by politicians who fail to set policies based on a boundless respect for human life and our leaders who have an obligation to lead society away from the disrespect of so many lives. Trayvon Martin was killed by all who stand silent in the face of intolerance.

I wrote an article I called "Black on Black Crime is a misnomer", because it is. People love to quotes statistics, but Zimmerman is proof that you can't count the number of convictions...you need to examine the number of arrests and even that can be misleading.

Black-on-Black Crime is a Misnomer - http://www.thepragmaticpundit.com/2012/03/black-on-black-crime-is-misnomer.html
Well stated - Thank You!
Chauncey, I am deeply humbled and amazed at your wisdom and pragmatism. As a writer myself, I wish to learn as much as I possibly can from you. This is quite possibly one of the greatest pieces of journalism about the Trayvon Martin case I have ever seen. Wow.
A sence of proportion is critical in assessing the fear one should feel in the presence of an unknown individual, whatever that person's appearance . If, for example, you are confronted on a deserted street by a young black man, it would be racist to fear him more than seven times more than a young white man as statistics would show he is only seven times more likely to kill you. So if Zimmerman had been rationally profiling, he would have stayed the hell in the car.
I see Zimmerman as the right's new Terry Schaivo - a brain-dead body they project their own beliefs into and try to re-animate.

Because the right
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