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The National Review continues, unsurprisingly, to have a race problem. This time it's Victor Davis Hanson who offers up the rationale for why the president is wrong and why suspecting young black men of being criminals just makes common sense:
I think that experience -- and others -- is why [my father] once advised me, "When you go to San Francisco, be careful if a group of black youths approaches you." Note what he did not say to me. He did not employ language like "typical black person." He did not advise extra caution about black women, the elderly, or the very young -- or about young Asian Punjabi, or Native American males. In other words, the advice was not about race per se, but instead about the tendency of males of one particular age and race to commit an inordinate amount of violent crime.
It was after some first-hand episodes with young African-American males that I offered a similar lecture to my own son. The advice was born out of experience rather than subjective stereotyping.
Hmm. When I was a child our neighborhood was terrorized by our unambiguously white neighbors, a group of young and usually drunken petty thieves who would, when the money ran short, steal anything that hadn't been glued to the sidewalks; had they been black, would that have cemented a lifetime of Victor Davis Hanson assumptions about racial predispositions? Would it have made me edgy about a group of black youths approaching me, but not edgy about an identical group of white youths doing the same thing? That seems to be the lesson Hanson gleaned from (presumably genuine) crimes against him; it is not the situation you find yourself in or the behavior of the individuals that might clue you in to their intent: You can much more easily judge your relative safety by noting the races of all involved. Group of black youths "approaches you" in the big city: trouble. Group of white youths "approaches you" in the big city: safe. A young black person tries to steal your bicycle: evidence of males "of one particular age and race" to commit violent crime. A young white person runs off with it: huh, well ain't that something. (Missing from this equation are the Brown Youths, usually a favored target in their own right—as Steve King suggests, their melon-sized calf muscles, toned from years of border drug smuggling, could probably snap your neck and your bicycle both. Hanson is getting sloppy even in his discussions of which races to be afraid of.)

Let's ponder a bit on the central flaw of his argument, below the fold.

At The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates dubs Hanson's talk as stupidity. While I would never go so far as to suggest that someone on the National Review site was in fact an imbecile, Coates does make a good case:

Let us be direct -- in any other context we would automatically recognize this "talk" as stupid advice. If I were to tell you that I only employ Asian-Americans to do my taxes because "Asian-Americans do better on the Math SAT," you would not simply question my sensitivity, but my mental faculties. […]

There is no difference between my argument above and the notion that black boys should be avoided because they are overrepresented in the violent crime stats. But one of the effects of racism is its tendency to justify stupidity.

Or one of the effects of stupidity is to justify racism—I think which is the cart and which the horse has been amply demonstrated through the years, and with a statistical clarity that even Victor Davis Hanson himself could find satisfying.

Coates' broader point is that the use of race-based nationwide statistics to determine situational personal safety when approached by one or several anybodies in the fine locale of anywhere is an intellectual car wreck; it substitutes a preferred ideological preconception for daily common sense. I was once stopped on a busy street by a very large man, sweating and shaking profusely. His eyes were focused entirely on my bicycle, never on me; when they weren't, they darted to and fro, nervously marking each and every passing car as if they were hungry wolves flitting in and out of view. He stood too close—by a lot. He was obviously right in the head at that moment, and his wide eyes and not-entirely-stable stance suggested an obvious pharmaceutical explanation as to why. I kept a firm hand on the bike; I gave him five dollars for the bus, which was the ostensible reason he approached me with such vigor. We parted ways, him still looking at the bicycle and at each car as it drove past us, visibly still unhappy.

I haven't told you what his race was. If you think it matters, my crime-savvy friend, you are a bit of a dim bulb.

Closing with Coates, again:

These two strands -- stupidity and racism -- are inseparable. The pairing seem to find a home at National Review with some regularity. It's been a little over a year since the magazine cut ties with self-described racist John Derbyshire for basically writing the same thing that Victor Davis Hanson writes here. Hanson couldn't even be bothered to come up with anything new. He just ripped off Derbyshire. His editors could evidently care less.
If you're going to be fired for racism in the conservative movement, it will only be because you have been staggeringly obvious about it. This is a movement that considers all well-built brown children to be probable drug mules, and we won't even get started on the obvious racial implications of hoodie-wearing or Skittles-buying. It is a movement that especially prides itself on its "intellectual" racists; if Hanson is ever someday asked to step outside the big conservative tent, it will be because he has embarrassed his peers by saying something so outlandish that it finally strips all pretense at the intellectual part and makes them all look like thick-headed morons.

God only knows what that thing might eventually be. In the meantime, we have a long history of evidence as to what sorts of things the National Review is willing to support; that's probably more telling than any possible thing he could say that they wouldn't.

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Comment Preferences

  •  From the article: (31+ / 0-)
    "My point is that parents who regularly have to cope with violent crime understand the advantages of good, solid intelligence. They know that saying '"stay away from black kids" is the equivalent of looking at 9/11, shrugging one's shoulders and saying, "It was them Muslims." "
    Reading the advice from knowledgeable parents, (quite on target by the way) you realize how utterly stupid VDH is.

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

    by the fan man on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:43:54 AM PDT

  •  When it comes to considering personal safety (32+ / 0-)

    as a woman and a not very tall  or big woman I have to admit I am wary of being approached by groups of males of any age or any race especially if I am alone and in an area isolated from others. Realistically I could also be a target of crime for a group of women. I think it would be naive to assume women could also not target individuals.

    I know men do not particularly like the idea of being profiled in general as being capable of committing crimes by women. They resent the idea that they are considered threatening and often want to protest that they are not "that guy". I don't walk around in a heightened state of paranoia but I am pretty conscious of my surroundings especially if I am alone at night and I am usually gauging an escape route or exit. Generally when out with friends we make sure everybody gets to their car safety and when we get home we text one another to confirm arrival.

    So I do profile others to the extent that I perceive myself to be vulnerable in certain situations.

    •  My one recollection in that regard (27+ / 0-)

      was something my mother said to me fifty years ago about riding the subway, but it had just a slightly different twist.  She said that if I was to get on the train and find no fully-empty seats, I should first look to sit next to a white woman.  

      She will thank you for it.
      As it happened, last week I walked into the bus terminal and looked to sit on a bench closest my stop.  There were two young African American men - I'd say seventeen or eighteen, and one seat available next to them, so I sat.  The young man closest me turned and flashed a huge grin and greeted me.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:53:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  +1 (11+ / 0-)

      It's not racism.  It's common sense.  

      The patellar reflex is a deep tendon reflex which allows one to keep one's balance with little effort or conscious thought.

      by SpamNunn on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:00:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As a female, now older, (24+ / 0-)

      in my sixties, I have always "profiled" males of any and all races of a certain age.   Fear of rape was real for me.  I escaped an attempted sexual assault by a thirty-something white male with red hair and blue eyes at age eleven.  I have to be honest, for much of my dating life, I profiled (and avoided) red headed males.   Wrong, unfair, but fortunately never had an issue since the few red headed men I met were not particularly drawn to my dark haired, olive skinned (other)look.

      Like you, I do not walk around in a state of paranoia but I always walk where I feel safe, in the daylight, and near residential neighborhoods.   I also had an incident of needing to escape a bad situation in my early twenties which just increased my lack of confidence in my own judgement.

      As an educator,  I could easily profile if I chose. The majority of students (in sixth grade) that I taught who had major emotional issues, (impulse control, anger management, passive aggressive behaviors) were white males.   I taught in a school that was relatively diverse (30% AA, 35% Latino, the rest mostly white (with small percentages of Asians and Native Americans).  

      My experience I guess would dictate I profile all white males of any age (and lately with the statistics on how many of that group carry guns), I probably do on some level.

      Point is, we all can have reasons to profile, from how we are taught to our experiences.   Overcoming the false generalizations is on us. I try. But at the same time, I am not sure men, particularly white men, can quite understand the vulnerability (some) women feel.   As I get older (now on the downside of the sixties) it is somewhat subsiding for me, though I am not sure why.

      “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.” Louis D. Brandeis

      by Jjc2006 on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:08:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  being street smart, is just that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OrdinaryIowan, marykk, irishwitch

        it's choosing not to let someone victimize you.

        however, it's one thing to be street smart, it's another
        to be paranoid.

        on a crowded street, i'm more concerned about petty thieves, on an empty street, i want to be aware of robbers or
        drunk nutcases.

        it's also a matter of who and what.
        Late at night the street people can get kind of whacky,
        while a man in a business suit who'se 4 sheets to the wind
        is more likely to be stupid.

      •  you describe my view perfectly, except I'm (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marykk, irishwitch

        still pretty cautious. I feel vulnerable now because of age, rather than gender.

        While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

        by Tamar on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 11:14:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  As I calculated in a diary (11+ / 0-)

      the number of murders in the United States committed by an African American against a white person they do not know is 233.  The odds of an African American killing a white person they do not know are .000212.

      The fear is irrational.  

      Crossing the street to avoid an African American is almost certainly more dangerous than the African American you seek to avoid.

      http://tinyurl.com/...

    •  This whole discussion reminds me of the (6+ / 0-)

      line in Norma Rae:

      "I never had any trouble with the black men," Norma tells him. "Only trouble I ever had in my life was with white men."
      The two people over my lifetime who physically assaulted me (one a molester when I was about 11, the second was a rapist -- unsuccessful, luckily for me -- when I was a young women) were both middle-aged white men.
      If I were to profile people to be afraid of based on my personal experienced, it would be middle-aged white men.
      Of course I'm married to one of those and he's never attacked or harmed anyone in his life (except when he drives me crazy with his irritating habit of singing along to a well-loved song but getting the words all wrong).

      While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

      by Tamar on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 11:11:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The soundness of the "stay out of the way of (27+ / 0-)

    gangs of black youth" is neither here nor there.
       The problem is that this reasoning is used to justify Zimmerman in tracking and killing a black teen ager.
       The message that the NR and the RWN media is putting out is "Black kids are dangerous. Kill them before they kill you."

    •  just was thinking about this as I started (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Old Sailor, irishwitch

      4th of July by James Patterson. In it, 2 detectives are chasing a Mercedes that has passengers who may be linked to a murder -- though they don't know who the passengers are. When the Mercedes crashes, the detectives see that it's two scared-looking middle-class white teens, a girl and boy. The teens are worried they'll get in trouble with their father for taking his car, and one is throwing up, so the detectives let down their guard to help them and end up getting shot -- both teens have guns.
      While this is fiction, it's probably pretty accurate in terms of police reaction to these kids.
      I couldn't help but contrast it to the way the police would react if the teens had been black -- my guess is they wouldn't let down their guard until they checked for weapons.

      While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

      by Tamar on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 11:20:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is Incredible Where The Human Mind (6+ / 0-)

    can go if not bathed in wisdom from time to time. A new documentary shows the reality in the most powerful way imaginable.

  •  Depressing. nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenderRodriguez, OhioNatureMom

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:46:13 AM PDT

  •  i for one (16+ / 0-)

    consider white men in three piece suits with a briefcase to be the real criminals in todays society, they may not rob you with a gun but they none the less steal much more than the average criminal and do multiple times more damage to all concerned in the 99%.

  •  Well he says he is going by personal experience (14+ / 0-)

    I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt and then I will do the same thing and avoid white males. They have proven to me personally that they are the most dangerous people to be around.

    I also wonder about all these government statistics that they talk about. Also from personal experience. My ex assaulted me threatened to kill me and then choked me. When I got the police there they only charged him with menacing (3 days in jail, 3 years probation). If he had been black or brown instead of white would he have been charged with a violent assault? W9ould he have ended up in those famous statistics everyone talks about? Another reason to fear the dark-skinned bogeyman? I tend to think he would have. Especially in this town where driving while black is a real problem for the local police according to my daughters ex-boyfriend. I think that these statistics are meaningless when they are based on the choices made by biased cops in a clearly biased system.

    Menacing in Oregon, by the way is a class A misdemeanor involving putting me in fear for serious physical injury.  

    That passed by; this can, too. - Deor

    by stevie avebury on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:48:47 AM PDT

  •  Who are the criminals? I don't see many (7+ / 0-)

    Black men killing white people. I just see is as another law that advocates our continuing extermination and oppression in the name of white supremacy. That supremacy is enabled by the use of guns in public.

    This is danger & a menace but the evil powers don't care if we kill each other off.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:53:13 AM PDT

    •  usually it's black on black violence. (0+ / 0-)

      that's 90% of it.

      a community with enough trouble and internally tearing
      itself apart.

      •  So is "white on white" violence but the RW (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OrdinaryIowan, CaliSista

        White supremacist controlled media makes it about the scary nigroes.

        In fact white people kill each other more.

        Black to black crime is just a way to change the subject away from the individual and system racism that benefits white people. Like white people care about crime in our 'hoods.

        nosotros no somos estúpidos

        by a2nite on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:17:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  maybe (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brooklyn137

          but the black community is in real social crisis.

          teen pregnancy, illiteracy, poverty, unemployment,
          single parent households, life expectancy, obesity,

          Can you tell me any measure of social progress where the
          african-american community is doing well?

          Like white people care about crime in our 'hoods.
          By the way, that's a kind of racist statement there.
          •  No maybe (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CaliSista

            No maybe to it. White people kill each other more.

            I don't like any of the killing whether it's black on black or white on white.

            you're the one pushing right wing media racist talking points.

            I mean really fox news crap and you didn't think anybody would notice.  

            •  you probably hated Daniel Moynihan too. (0+ / 0-)

              If you think the sole problem of the black community
              is racism, that's a copout.

              racism is a problem, but, racism isn't an excuse to do nothing.

              15 year old black girls are getting pregnant at a unacceptable rate. You can blame racism for that, or you can discuss how to fix it.

              moynihan wanted to discuss it in the 70's and got
              beat around something fierce.  A generation later
              it's just worse.

              personally i think just as some schools have dental programs for the kids, they should look at contraceptive programs for the kids.

  •  Don't they determine the number of violent crimes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Geogre, skohayes

    by the number of convictions?

    Because isn't the arrest rate similar in terms of proportion?

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:54:51 AM PDT

  •  So, he is saying to avoid contact with (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, OhioNatureMom, OrdinaryIowan

    a certain group. He is not saying that one should put a round in the chamber and stalk them.

    As an old, white man, I never want to be alone, at night, on foot and be approached by a group of young males of any color.

    I have read a couple of Hanson's books, and I have listened to him in a couple of very long interviews. He is a right-winger, but he does seem to handle ancient history fairly well. I wouldn't put much faith in his current social commentary or politics.

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

    by hestal on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:55:27 AM PDT

    •  Second that. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CaliSista, hestal

      The situation is the risk, and whether it's a group of young or old, white or not, men or women, the risk is in being outnumbered and perceived as vulnerable by a group intent on mayhem. I'm not convinced that there is much additional risk associated with a group of young black men - there are plenty of skinhead types out there who like to beat the crap out of whomever they feel deserves it.

      Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

      by OrdinaryIowan on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 11:28:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ya know.... (12+ / 0-)
    "When you go to San Francisco, be careful if a group of black youths approaches you."
    I'm an old white woman.
    I lived in SF in the mid 70's.  Never had a problem with anyone.  But, I was never warned about a race of people either.
    Whenever I have been bothered it's been by bullies (male AND female) who were Caucasian.  Some I've known and some I didn't know.
    I just don't go anywhere looking to avoid people or to be 'on the look-out' for a certain race of people, because that's how I was raised, but also because it's a sure-fire way to find 'trouble' when there really isn't any.
    Not saying there aren't evil people out there who want to harm you, there very definitely are, but they come in all colors and races.  And, I'm also not saying to be completely unaware of your surroundings.
    What I am saying is you can't live in fear that you'll meet bad people, 'cause the very people you're scared of may be the people to come to your side if you actually do need help.

    I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

    by Lilyvt on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:02:36 AM PDT

  •  since the crime rate has gone down steadily for (19+ / 0-)

    decades now, this whole "watch out for the criminals !!!" thingie strikes me as just more ginned-up paranoia, the kind that makes scared-shitless-at-nothing people want to carry guns and bomb other countries because everyone everywhere is out to get them oh noez !!!!!

    We live in a sick society which has only a tenuous connection to reality.  (sigh)

  •  People. Class. Crime doesn't care. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    micsimov, The Marti, a2nite

    When I was fifteen, my suburban friend and I were mugged, violently, by a group of ten to eleven Black teens in inner city Atlanta. I was assaulted with a steel pipe in the process.

    Were they Black?

    No, they were teens in 1976 in the inner city who had formed a gang and decided to go out stealing for money. They watched kung fu movies non-stop and had the whole thing down.

    Poverty, drug addiction, unemployment lead to crime. Violence at home leads to violent behavior, along with poor nutrition. These things don't care about genetics, and not much about "culture."

    Women have to have the "talk" about situational awareness. Well, that's true of anyone. If I'm in a suburb and I see a kid, I assume it's a suburban kid until he or she tells me otherwise. If I'm in a working class neighborhood, I assume the kid is working class, which means he works or wants a job and is no more or less likely to be __ than an Vietnamese kid or Anglo kid or anything else.

    Of course, recognizing the causes of violence has always embarrassed the right.

    Everyone's innocent of some crime.

    by The Geogre on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:04:09 AM PDT

    •  Not the way you intended it, but "class" or rather (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Geogre, deha, a2nite, skohayes

      "subculture" probably has much higher correlation with violent crime among teens, and adults, than race. It probably has nearly the same correlation within a gender.

      A gang of teens from relatively impoverished backgrounds, not well guided by responsible adults capable of such guidance and with few prospects in society are more likely to become engaged in such activity. From personal experience (in quite a few countries) and statistics one stands a higher chance of violent confrontation there regardless of race and to some extent even sex—though male teen hormones sure seem to get involved. That is the case from Belfast to Rio to Rome to Washington.

      Worldwide, poverty, lack of opportunity, sense of grievance of being deprived of opportunity and youthful hormones are the real problem outside the few pure and simple pathological sociopaths that are more likely loners anyway.

      A far better "safety talk" is one that provides that context. Else the recipient of that talk may avoid the "black teen" and find themselves devastated by one of the other truly dangerous gathering of ill will and teen hormones. And that includes the all white, middle class "jocks" that beat a neighbor's kid almost to death over a jacket years ago.

      A far, far better system of solving the problem is working on eliminating the roots of those problems, particularly the grievances of "no future baring a lottery win (or big crime score)" here and elsewhere. And any effort to do that is precisely what the "crime fighting" GOP seems to love gutting and attacking.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:38:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think we agree (0+ / 0-)

        I meant class in the Marxist sense, which is to say that there is an economic determinist element in this. Of course subcultural identity is massively complex and individual. I agree with everything you said and had meant "factors" when I spoke of "environmental awareness."

        I think "sense of grievance" is vital, and I'm glad you added it. For crime, people are more likely to violate "the rules" if they believe that those rules are unfair or already violated.

        Working on the roots of the problem, yes. That's what we on the left keep saying. The right wants to say that the problem is a race (which I don't think even is a valid concept), or a "culture," or a hypothesized national origin. They want to make the person the problem.

        Everyone's innocent of some crime.

        by The Geogre on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:47:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Class might sometimes be a factor. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dogs are fuzzy, marina, 1040SU

        but it's hardly a reliable predictor. I know a lot of women (myself included) who have been assaulted/raped/nearly raped by drunken entitled frat boys.

        •  Rape DEFINITELY has its own skew (0+ / 0-)

          Absolutely right that there is less class/crime split in the case of rape, or at least to my knowledge there is. That pathology -- the hatred of women and violence against women, plus stalking -- seems to be . . . .

          I've never been satisfied with any of the explanations I've heard. Culture and subculture can contribute to allowing boys to remain in their fog of "if it feels good to me, she's enjoying it, too," and in terms of effects on women a confused rapist is no better than an intent one, but that's all that I'm comfortable with. Well, ok, perhaps also population density may be correlated.

          Everyone's innocent of some crime.

          by The Geogre on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 12:01:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  it may be considered sexist (0+ / 0-)
        A gang of teens from relatively impoverished backgrounds, not well guided by responsible adults c
        but teenage boys need fathers. If there isn't a responsible
        male at home, they need a father figure.

        i'm not trying to bash single moms, but teenage boys are
        a real handful, and need a lot of guidance.

        •  It would be optimal to have two parents (0+ / 0-)

          It would be even better to have extended family involved. We can surmise that that's how humanity has mainly worked -- with cousins and grandparents in the same or a nearby house.

          Two women can raise a boy just fine. Testosterone is a banned substance for a reason. The stuff is potent, and no one's ready for it. However, the best of best worlds is a multitude, or, as Hillary wrote, "a village."

          Everyone's innocent of some crime.

          by The Geogre on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 12:04:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Testosterone is not banned- (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Geogre, Ricochet67

            other than in competitive sports, for its supposed performance enhancement. It is hardly banned in the public sphere, just check all the TV ads for it.

            I agree that the village model is ideal, and that two women can raise a boy just fine. So can one woman, if she's prepared for the job. I know quite a few single moms who have raised wonderful sons, and one woman who has successfully raised 12 kids, six of them adopted from various nieces who were too young or too addicted to care for the kids.

            There can be an advantage to an additional parent, but it's not all about numbers. One great parent is better than two crappy or mediocre ones.

  •  History of violence will stick till it disappears (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sooner2703, patbahn

    People fear black young men because they associate them them with violence and crime. This is not a recent phenomenon.  People can think this is without justification with the use of statistics. But the President was followed  as was Trayvon because black people are looked upon with suspicion. Ending that suspicion of violence and crime is what  should be addressed. It won't go away. As has been  pointed out the Irish had similar treatment but is rare today. It did not go away with protest rallies. It went away because the Irish changed. The Church preaching again drinking and supporting them with schools went a long way all without government involvement. God helps those who help themselves was an Irish expression. Blacks should do likewise. A better economy and education would do wonders.

  •  If you really want to feel uncomfortable, (17+ / 0-)

    watch the white guys mobbing gun shows.

  •  No pondering necessary. He's a racist-in-denial. (10+ / 0-)

    It's like defending George Zimmerman's pursuing and killing an unarmed black kid, on the grounds that the kid was a thug who looked suspicious and didn't belong.

    Evidence suggests George was wrong on pretty much all counts.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:12:46 AM PDT

  •  Thanks Hunter for weaving together (3+ / 0-)

    Hanson's rant with Coates' rebuttal and your personal experiences.

    Hanson seemed to be building up steam to a more encompassing racial rant when he got into bashing Obama directly.

    I am saddened that there is still so much fear and anger towards "the other".  These days, racists like Hanson seem more emboldened to speak out openly.

    On the positive side, perhaps more people will now be waking up and confronting their own latent racism - having just realized it was there (or still lingering).

    "Always look on the bright side of life..."

  •  I'ved lived in France for a long time. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, bumbi, patbahn, Jay C, Tonedevil

    Before then  I lived in Washington, D.C. for thirty some odd years. Washington at that time was 70% black and heavily poor. My business was held up twice, once at gunpoint, by black teenagers. I must admit that if I was walking alone late at night and encountered a group of black teenagers I felt a little nervous.
    Happily, I was able to set aside that fear and I lived for many years in a racially mixed neighborhood (Adams Morgan).
    If you asked me what is the one thing that I miss most about America I would answer Black Americans.

  •  New statistics showing there are as many white (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, OhioNatureMom, a2nite, Yumn

    single-parent (most led by mothers) families as minority single-parent families show that class is as much a problem as racism.
    But the righties on the HuffPo blame that all on Obama...yes, he's the one who ruined the economy...how stupid can they be, don't they have any memories at all of what happened in 2007/8 long before he was elected?
    Anyway, it sort of invalidates all the folks saying that black folks caused their own problems with so much out-of-wedlock birth.
    Oh, also the black poverty percentage went down while the Latin percentage went up (and the white percentage went way up).  
    Racism is real and pernicious, don't mistake that, but we need to really start thinking about poverty in general.  Oh, and the righties say 'LBJ starting spending all the millions and it was wasted, it never did any good'.  Well, it did some good before the Rethugs took over in the 1980s and started our long decline (beginning with Reagan spending astronomical amounts on weapons - remember the space lasers? - and driving up the deficit).  

  •  My gut response (0+ / 0-)

    I feel an instinctive unease in public (outside of family situations) in anything but a diverse (gender & ethnicity) environment.

    Makes it difficult for me to travel to certain places. :)

    •  my older daughter went to racially and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sturunner

      ethnically diverse public schools and when she looked at colleges, the ones that were almost all white made her uncomfortable. She now lives in Brooklyn -- an area that's heavily West Indian but has other groups also and is very happy with her neighborhood.

      While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

      by Tamar on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 11:39:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nov. 4, 1980. Reagan won. My parents wept. (7+ / 0-)

    I think that experience -- and others -- is why my father once advised me, "When you grow up and are able to vote, be careful of anyone advising you to vote Republican. Note what he did not say to me. He did not employ language like "Socialist Party." He did not advise extra caution about the Green Party or Libertarians or Pat Paulsen or Harold Stassen.

    In other words, the advice was not about politics, per se, but instead about the tendency of one group of politicians to commit an inordinate amount of bottomless stupidity and meanness.

    It was after some first-hand episodes with Republicans that I offered a lecture to my own son. The advice was born out of experience rather than subjective stereotyping.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:37:29 AM PDT

    •  good one! My parents were certainly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sturunner

      like that though in their era there were several really great Republicans whom they liked -- e.g., Jacob Javits. They had one additional profiling element -- politicians with southern accents. My parents were huge supporters of civil rights and they taught us to be very suspicious of southern politicians. I remember hearing some southern Senator on TV arguing against the Civil Rights Act and my father saying "doesn't he sound stupid!" It took me quite a few years to stop equating southern accent with stupid. (now I like southern accents so long as they're coming from a good person).
      If my parents were alive now, they'd be saying their "doesn't he/she sound stupid" about Louie Gohmert, Michelle Bachmann, Steve King, and I'm sure Eric Cantor -- despite the fact that he's Jewish. Southern accents wouldn't be the relevant feature.

      While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

      by Tamar on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 11:48:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The malignant fallacy of racial profiling: (5+ / 0-)

    Think about this: While offenders are disproportionately young black males, so are victims.  But they're not treated as potential victims by cops - just potential criminals.  That's how you know it's racism and not a rational approach to statistics.

  •  I must be among the very few ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    myboo, Yumn, sturunner

    white males in the U. S. who has never been mugged or threatened by young black males, at least according to some.  True, I did not grow up in the middle of Detroit or Atlanta, but I lived not far from a black section of town when I was growing up. I have also visited Cleveland, Buffalo, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Tampa, Atlanta, Phoenix, Gulfport, New Orleans, Washington (DC), Seattle, Boston, and San Diego.

    A few years ago I had the experience of visiting a city (Port of Spain, Trinidad) where my companions and I were the only Caucasians in a sea of black. Not once did I feel threatened. The drivers of our maxi-taxis were usually black and most of the people I met on the street were either black or East Indian. The forest rangers were black. How in hell did I survive?  

    When did I feel threatened or was victim of a crime in my life?  When a pick-pocket (very white) took my wallet that I had idiotically placed in my back pocket (he "bumped" into me), when a local (white) policeman stopped me for no reason I could ascertain (other than my bumper stickers) in a rather strange town in New Mexico, and when two plain clothes-men stopped me on the street in a costal Texas city and told me to "assume the position," apparently mistaking me for some local hood.  Both were white.    

  •  violence and the underclass (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yumn

    in the 19th century and early 20th century these were
    poor whites and poor working class whites who engaged
    in this level of violence within their gangs and neighborhoods.
    now it's poor blacks and hispanics.  

    just watch "Gangs of New York" to get a sense of what it was like, or talk to anyone who grew up in Hells Kitchen.

  •  "Thug" doesn't have a color. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenderRodriguez, Yumn, skohayes

    The common advise is "hand over your money, and hopefully no one will get hurt". It's not "ONLY hand over your money if the thug is black, go ahead and argue with the white thug!"

    "Thug" doesn't have a socio economic descriptor, either.  Cause, you know, how about the thugs at BofA who tried to steal my house, WHILE I WAS IN IT!.  We're all in way more danger from those kind of thugs, statistically, than from being confronted on the street by a bunch of thugs of ANY color.

  •  There is clearly a class of white middle aged (5+ / 0-)

    columnists who want us to profile based on race in order to justify their racism and to keep them employed. They don't really have that many topics to write about and they sense their own encroaching irrelevance as authority spokesman on well anything. Now nothing against middle aged white dudes some of them are among my friends and that is also my dating pool but none of them make a living writing these stupid opinion pieces.

  •  I grew up in NYC (7+ / 0-)

    I grew up in NYC and not the gentrified version of today.  A bad neighborhood was a bad neighborhood.  Thugs were thugs.  

    It's the economics, stupid.  

    •  Many on this topic are in denial (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BroadwayBaby1, Ricochet67, sturunner

      "I grew up in NYC and not the gentrified version of today.  A bad neighborhood was a bad neighborhood.  Thugs were thugs. It's the economics, stupid.  "
      ------------------
      You got it.  You lived in it. It isn't color you avoid, it's crime. Those that lived near those areas, also got the 'talk'.

  •  I'm sure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    this guy doesn't profile well-dressed white men with firm handshakes as being likely to embezzle his money, even though that probably describes the vast majority of embezzlers.

    29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:28:35 AM PDT

  •  A racist will never admit they're racist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite
  •  "Lesbians don't tip" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, owlbear1

    It's one of the most pervasive and annoying stereotypes in the LGBT community. I have heard server after server at restaurants and bars that serve my community make this comment - typically they are gay men. They will then state "I don't even bother to give them good service, because their not going to tip me anyway" without ever realizing they are perpetuating the cycle.

    If you treat people as de facto criminals, they will, eventually, start acting as criminals. If you leave a community with little hope, limited education and economic opportunities, and trap them in substandard housing, crime will result. The pattern repeats no matter what the race, religion, culture, etc. of the people in that situation. Humans are pretty predictable, at least in the aggregate, yet we act surprised when we see the consequences in action.

    Fox News - it's like the old Pravda, but without the journalistic integrity.

    by CPT Doom on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:50:59 AM PDT

  •  Hiss. Profile the surroundings, not the people. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrdinaryIowan

    Street crimes happen at the borders between populated and deserted areas. There have to be enough people around to be victims, and not enough to be witnesses in order for a street criminal to hang around.

    Short lines of sight and hidden areas are more dangerous.

    The absence of an escape route is dangerous.

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 10:06:27 AM PDT

  •  FBI statistics (0+ / 0-)

    In case anyone on this thread is interested in the actual statistics on the matter, here they are.
    http://www.fbi.gov/...

    In short 3172 white people were murdered in 2011, 2630 by white people and 448 by black people.  82% by white people and  14% by black people

    2695 black people were murdered in the same year, 2447 by black people 193 by white people.  91% by black people and 7% by white people.  

    13% percent of the US population is black, AAs are almost 7 times more likely to be murdered than whites.  If a white person is killed he or she is twice as likely to be killed by a black person as a black person is to be killed by a white person.

  •  I've met (0+ / 0-)

    I've met some of the readers of the right wing rag and a lot them are racist as hell.  They're racist towards Jewish folks.

     

  •  VDH: lending a patina of false intellectualism... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, sturunner

    to blatantly, grotesquely racist ideas.

    Hansen has spent his academic 'career' mining the classics for scraps and brain-droppings which, taken utterly out of context, give bogus legitimacy to precisely the kind of racism, sexism and genuflection toward wealth and privilege that basically define modern conservatism.

  •  I got very scared the other day (2+ / 0-)

    I was approached on the sidewalk by a group of middle-aged men in suits carrying briefcases.

    I was terrified they might gamble away my pension fund, bankrupt my 401K, cut my wages and outsource my job overseas.

    I was tempted to "stand my ground".

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:19:48 PM PDT

  •  My father was in a neighbordhood watch (0+ / 0-)

    group back in the 70s. We'd had break-ins. Turned out to be teenage son of  working mother in the process of divorcing her adulterous husband.  All were white.

    I worked ar Brooklyn Public Library in the 80s.  The one person who truly scared me was the guy we called the
    pcoket version Marlon Brando" because he looked like a 5'6" verion of Stanley from Streetcar.  He was a body builder and, I suspect, a pedophile because he liked to approach very young teenage girls. I got one of them away from him one afternoon and he threatened me.  I had the guard watch until I got on a bus safely. I was right to be afraid. Months alter, after I moved to another branch, Stanley was forcibly escorted from the librry by a different guard, a retired cop.  Stan the Man waited for him till after the library closed--and put 23 stitches in his head with brass knuckles.

    Stan was white.

    I guess I should be worried about screw-eop white kids from good families--or crazy body builders, judging from my experience.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:38:04 PM PDT

  •  I hear my son saying things that i consider racial (0+ / 0-)

    stereotyping about the kids he is teaching. The black kids are thus and so. The Hispanic kids are such... There are only about 10% white kids in his class. He doesn't group the white kids by traits.  I don't like to hear these generalizations, as I think they may work their way into pre-judging. Interestingly, his assessment if the Hispanic kids as a group is very positive. Is it actually possible that they ALL can be so hard working? Well, my son isn't white either, but this is the first time in his life that he  wasn't the 10%-er.  Just sad that I'm hearing stereo types from his mouth.  

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