Tag Archives: race

Miscegenation in American Politics

I had previously known that Vice President Curtis as American Indian, in the sense that Barack Obama is black (both being racially admixed). I had not realized that Vice President Johnson (the least famous one) openly lived with an octoroon who acted both as his common law wife and business manager.

Barack Obama less represents a “post-racial America” than an America waking up from a weird historical period where race was considered a central organizational principle. Race was not so privileged during the Revolution — the bill of rights is clearly a set of laws for the monied and/or landed — and is not so now.

Related: Sino-American Miscegenation in Shanghai (1936).

Smoking gun: The Affirmative Action Financial Crisis

It’s really sickening how big-government liberals can create a problem, and then demand a big-government solution like the Bush-Pelosi bailout:

Half Sigma: Smoking gun article: liberals, Democrats, poor people and non-Asian minorities caused financial crisis
A conservative warns of the problem, but he is ignored by Democrats because Democrats and liberals know that the conservative is motivated by racism.

The change in policy also comes at the same time that HUD is investigating allegations of racial discrimination in the automated underwriting systems used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to determine the credit-worthiness of credit applicants.

It’s all clear…

Banks should have been smart enough to recognize that pro-“diversity” laws, rules, regulations, Congressional hearings, and the like were going to lead to the liquidity crisis, and tried to lobby against it as hard as they could.

The Affirmative Action Candidate

John McCain is once again against racial preferences.

Barack Obama plays the race card yet again, “jokingly” complaining that he is “too black.” This is analogous to if John McCain would complaining that he is “too heroic” — it is obvious, cheesy, and an attempt to short-circuit debate.

I am against race-based campaigns or race-based administration, so Barack Obama’s race-baiting (and John McCain’s attempt to move the country beyond race) makes the decision in 2008 even clearer for me.

John McCain already had my vote for his find stand on positions such as immigration, free trade, Iraq, and abortion. The weekend’s news made it clear that John McCain is right on race, too.

Barack Obama, meanwhile, is the Affirmative Action candidate. Too bad.

Decapitating the Black Community as a Political Bloc

Eddie of Hidden Unities emailed me the following story. My response follows the excerpt below:

Save D.C.’s Vouchers
Better schools. Higher scores. And satisfied parents. That’s the record of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. It is helping us keep our promise to leave no child behind in America. If Congress is thinking of breaking this promise, the nation deserves to know the story.

Signed into law by President Bush four years ago, the program is the first to provide federally funded education vouchers to students. It awards up to $7,500 per child for tuition, transportation and fees; in 2007-08 it enabled 1,900 students from the underperforming Washington public school system — the highest total yet — to attend the private or religious schools of their choice.

For many, this was their first opportunity to receive a high-quality education. “They not only educate them, but they are teaching them to be young men and young women as well,” Sheila Jackson, the mother of a 12-year-old scholarship recipient, told a reporter.

I responded:

Opposition from black political leaders would seem to come from some form of recognition that blacks are at a disadvante compared to other whites in market competition in most areas. (Wheter you say this is from g, or structural racism, or western-values, or whatever, the effect is the same.) So allowing blacks to rise according to individual effort and ability has the effect of “decapitating” the “black community,” giving those in the top 30% the opportunity to internalize “middle classness” (the bete noir of Obama’s old church), while the larger mass is stuck in “trainable” trades.

Thus, keeping the best blacks down is critical if blacks are going to remain a united political block.

I think this is accurate. The war that the black leadership has waged on blacks who want to rise up has been notable since W.E.B. DuBois overtook Booker T. Washington as a leading intellectual. I think men like Jessee Jackson, Al Shaprton, and Jeremiah Wright are dangerous, unamerican, and racialist, but I don’t think they are stupid.

They have a reason for opposing the integration of professional blacks into the middle class. To avoid decapitation.

Discrimination and how to pay for it

While it has a bewildering number of defenses, one of the primary functions of affirmative action is to assist blacks in resource competitions against hispanics. Both groups are disproportionatedly uneducated, but political organization among blacks far outpaces that among hispanics. Therefore, rationally, blacks political activists attempt to reward their supporters by supporting laws, rules, and regulations which assist blacks in getting jobs, contracts, and admissions, while making it harder for hispanics to do so.

It’s thus not surprising that many hispanics are skeptical of Barack Obama:

The Weekly Standard
Napolitano, who describes herself as a “dyed in the wool” Democrat, said she will vote for and support the Democratic nominee in the fall. But she has not seen the type of commitment to Latino issues from Obama that she says she saw in Clinton.

“Unless I see something inherently helpful to our community, I’m going to sit back and see what happens,” Napolitano said. Napolitano and some of her Hispanic colleagues are informally boycotting Obama campaign events aimed at reaching out to Clinton supporters because the candidate himself has not asked for their help.

Obama has stated that he supports affirmative action. This helped him racially polarize the election in which he defeated Hillary Clinton, but has harmed him among latinos. So far, Obama has only vaguely hinted that he might modify the system, from prevent the marginal number of black millionaires from benefiting to shifting some the costs (in terms of unrewarded merit, lost opportunities, discrimination, etc.) to middle-class whites, jews, and asians.

However, Obama has only hinted as a recalibration of affirmative action’s costs. Further, it’s obviously more difficult to change a whole system than to continue a policy of rewarding supporters and punishing their rivals.

Still waiting for Obama’s national discussion on race

For all the talk about Obama’s national dialogue on race, so far it’s been limited to blaming old people like his grandmother and his minister for living in the past.

But America’s racial problems are not the fault of the likes of Barack’s grandmother. Rather, they have their route in systemic and sustained differences in performance on a variety of measures. For instance: pro-social behavior.

Half Sigma: School teachers in Fairfax County are racist
(1) Someone decided that in addition to teaching traditional academic subjects, the Fairfax County schools should also teach life skills deemed “essential for success in the workplace” such as “the ability to contribute effectively in a group” the ability to “resolve conflicts,” and “the demonstration of moral character and ethical judgment.”

(2) Part of the plan included measuring students’ level of ability in these non-academic life skills.

(3) The measurements showed that blacks do poorly in these non-academic life skills compared to whites.

(4) The Fairfax County School Board thus votes to “abandon” the report (how do you do that exactly?) and change the plan because the skill gap between whites and blacks demonstrated that the teachers were racist in measuring their students. The Fairfax County School Board, you see, has received word from Higher Powers that blacks and whites are identical in these life skills, and thus they know that the only reason the measurements would show otherwise is because of racist teachers.

An actual national discussion on race would tackle the difficult question of how to create an equal and equitable society in a country of great diversity. Obama’s campaign and supporters, by contrast, have been limited to saying how great it is for a black to have a shot at a prestigious job.

Obama’s run a racially divisive campaign, so it’s no surprise that his base of support is largely blacks (who politically recognize themselves to be in a poor situation and thus rationally attempt to use political organization to extract wealth from society) and nearly everyone else (asians, latinos, uneducated whites, etc.). The exception here are educated whites who are socialized into the softer university subjects, and thus seek signs that they are not racist.

Obviously, a real national dialog on race would be better than this mess. We’re just not going to get it with Barack Obama.

Will Barack Obama Condemn Race-Based Adoption Laws?

This is a great opportunity for a Sister Souljah moment, in which Barack Obama could make it clear that race-based preferences (under the euphemism of “recruitment”) have no place in our adoption laws.

De-emphasis on Race in Adoption Is Criticized – NYTimes.com

Of course, Obama won’t. The original “Sister Souljah” moment, after all, was done by Bill Clinton. And Obama is more liberal/leftist than the Clinton Machine.

And anyway, why would Obama criticize people he agrees with?

(Hat-tip to Half Sigma.)

The Races of the Ancients

Genetics is fascinating. The study of population structure — those nations and races that make of humanity — has been infinitely improved by careful analysis of our genes. DNA has replaced the imprecise tools of facial features, skin color, and linguistics as the best tool for understanding the group-level diversity we see today. It was once thought (at least 10 years ago, when I came upon the theory) than the Ashkenazi Jews were an inbred German population, given their Germanic language (Yiddish) and looks that were taken to be exaggerations of European features. It is now generally accepted that the Rhinelander Jews are a Southeast European/Levantine population that at one time were more numerous than “white” Europeans.

Genetics continues to look at these subpopulations — races, you might say — deeply. Now comes an article on two ancient races, that existed for half of humanity’s history — entirely on the African continent:

Mitochondrial Eve And Humanity’s 100,000 Year Genetic Divide | Scientific Blogging
The human race was divided into two separate groups within Africa for as much as half of its existence, says a Tel Aviv University mathematician. Climate change, reduction in populations and harsh conditions may have caused and maintained the separation.

Dr. Saharon Rosset, from the School of Mathematical Sciences at Tel Aviv University, worked with team leader Doron Behar from the Rambam Medical Center to analyze African DNA. Their goal was to study obscure population patterns from hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Rosset, who crunched numbers and did the essential statistical analysis for the National Geographic Society’s Genographic Project, said the team was trying to understand the timing and dynamics of the split into at least two separate groups.

Recent data suggests that Eastern Africa went through a series of massive droughts between 90,000 and 135,000 years ago. It is possible that this climate shift contributed to the population splits. What is surprising is the length of time the populations were separate — for as much as half of our entire history as a species.

Dr. Spencer Wells, director of the Genographic Project and Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society, said, “This new study illustrates the extraordinary power of genetics to reveal insights into some of the key events in our species’ history. Tiny bands of early humans, forced apart by harsh environmental conditions, coming back from the brink to reunite and populate the world. Truly an epic drama, written in our DNA.”

While much of this research is conducted because of scientific curiosity, the engine that keeps it going is pharmaceuticals. There’s big money in genes, in changing how they express themselves and even changing which ones are in a body. As we resurrect long-dead plants and animals, it will be fascinating to see how many “extinct genes” rise again through gene therapy and modern medicine.

The Black Value System

I’ve referenced the “Black Value System” (VBS) of Barack Obama’s church before. As the church has begun to redesign their site to make the embarrassing less notable, I’ll copy the BVS to this website to create a a record of it for me at a site other than Obama’s church’s.

About half of the BVS is boilerplate social conservative. Anti-intellectualism, self-discipline, and care for children are specifically mentioned. Other portions of it are backward looking and grievance based, such as a reference to “our racist competitive society” and a strange line about “Placing them in concentration camps, and/or structuring an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons.” However, the most alarming parts are the explicitly racist, such as “The highest level of achievement for any Black person must be a contribution of substance to the strength and continuity of the Black Community.,” or cultic, as in “Pledge Allegiance to all Black Leadership Who Espouse and Embrace The Black Value System.”

Many of Barack Obama’s apologists have argued that the statements of his pastor, who married him and from whose speech Baracks’ book got its title, because what was said were extemporaneous thoughts in a broader context. But certainly the core doctrines of the church provide context!

I’ve yet to hear Obama address the Black Value System. My assumption is he is trying to foster strategic ambiguity, allowing his supporters to defend BVS as reasonable (the “highest level of achievement” for a Christian can be loving your enemies, receiving divine grace, or supporting a race-based community: take your pick!) while denying any association between Obama and BVS.

And Obama wonders why so many minorities don’t trust him.

THE BLACK VALUE SYSTEM

The Black Value System

These Black Ethics must be taught and exampled in homes, churches, nurseries and schools, wherever Blacks are gathered. They must reflect the following concepts:

Commitment of God

“The God of our weary years” will give us the strength to give up prayerful passivism and become Black Christian Activist, soldiers for Black freedom and the dignity of all humankind.

Commitment to the Black Community

The highest level of achievement for any Black person must be a contribution of substance to the strength and continuity of the Black Community.

Commitment to the Black Family

The Black family circle must generate strength, stability, and love despite the uncertainty of externals, because these characteristics are required if the developing person is to withstand warping by our racist competitive society.
Those Blacks who are blessed with membership in a strong family unit must reach out and expand that blessing to the less fortunate, especially to the children.

Dedication to the Pursuit of Education

We must forswear anti-intellectualism. Continued survival demands that each Black Person be developed to the utmost of his/her mental potential despite the inadequacies of the formal education process. “Real education” fosters understanding of ourselves as well as every aspect of our environment. Also it develops within us the ability to fashion concepts and tools for better utilization of our resources, and more effective solutions to our problems. Since the majority of Blacks have been denied such learning, Black Education must include elements that provide high school graduates with marketable skills, a trade or qualifications for apprenticeships, or proper preparation for college. Basic education for all Blacks should include Mathematics, Science, Logic, General Semantics, Participative Politics, Economics and Finance, and the Care and Nurture of Black minds.
To the extent that we individually reach for, even strain for excellence, we increase, geometrically, the value and resourcefulness of the Black Community. We must recognize the relativity of one’s best: this year’s best can be bettered next year. Such is the language of growth and development. We must seek to excel in every endeavor.

Adherence to the Black Work Ethic

“It is becoming harder to find qualified people to work in Chicago” Whether this is true or not, it represents one of the many reasons given by businesses and industries for deserting the Chicago area. We must realize that a location with good facilities, adequate transportation and reputation for producing skilled workers will attract industry. We are in competition with other cities, states, and nations for jobs. High productivity must be a goal of the Black workforce.

Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect

To accomplish anything worthwhile requires self-discipline. We must be a community of self-disciplined persons, if we are to actualize and utilize our own human resources instead of perpetually submitting to exploitation by others. Self discipline coupled with a respect for self, will enable each of us to be an instrument of Black Progress, and a model for Black Youth.

Disavowal of the Pursuit of “Middleclassness”

Classic methodology on control of captives teaches that captors must keep the captive ignorant educationally, but trained sufficiently well to serve the system. Also, the captors must be able to identify the “talented tenth” of those subjugated, especially those who show promise of providing the kind of leadership that might threaten the captor’s control.

Those so identified as separated from the rest of the people by:

Killing them off directly, and/or fostering a social system that encourages them to kill off one another.
Placing them in concentration camps, and/or structuring an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons.
Seducing them into a socioeconomic class system which while training them to earn more dollars, hypnotizes them into believing they are better than others and teaches them to think in terms of “we” and “they” instead of “us”.
So, while it is permissible to chase “middle-incomeness” with all our might, we must avoid the third separation method-the psychological entrapment of Black “middleclassness”: If we avoid the snare, we will also diminish our “voluntary” contributions to methods A and B. And more importantly, Black people no longer will be deprived of their birthright, the leadership, resourcefulness, and example of their own talented persons.

Pledge to Make the Fruits of All Developing and Acquired Skills Available to the Black community

Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions.
Pledge Allegiance to all Black Leadership Who Espouse and Embrace The Black Value System.
Personal Commitment to Embracement of the Black Value System – to Measure the Worth and Validity of All Activity in Terms of Positive Contributions to the General Welfare of the Black Community and the Advancement of Black People towards Freedom.

Obama’s Awful Speech on Race

RealClearPolitics – Articles – A Speech That Fell Short
Barack Obama has run a campaign based on a simple premise: that words of unity and hope matter to America. Now he has been forced by his charismatic, angry pastor to argue that words of hatred and division don’t really matter as much as we thought.

Barack Obama’s speech on race sounded like a prologue. All of his speeches do. While Barack’s old speech serve as a prolog to words on economic growth, national strength, and unity which have never come, now he promises sermons on racial differences and historical grievances. If Obama continues his pattern, he will not be any more specific this time.

This is too bad, because he recognizes the need for tackling his difficult issue:

But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America – to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.

The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through – a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.

So here are just two issues that Obama raised and then dropped. Both of them raise complex problems that just, workable, and future-oriented solutions. Which means, of course, Obama won’t bother. But I will:

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

If Obama wants to do something more than running down his grandmother, he should address why an elderly woman should be fearful. For instance (Peterson, R.D. & Krivo, L.J. (2005). Macrostructural analyses of race, ethnicity, and violent crime: Recent lessons and new directions for research. Annual Review of Sociology, 31, 331-356):

The racial character of crime reflected in Russell’s critique is based on more than media stereotypes. In the United States, blacks are a disproportionate share of those victimized, arrested, and imprisoned. In 2002, the rate of violent victimization was 34.1 per 1000 for non-Hispanic blacks compared with 26.5 for non-Hispanic whites (Maguire & Pastore 2004). Blacks now represent 38% of persons arrested for violent crimes, but they constitute only 13% of the U.S. population (Federal Bureau of Investigation 2003). In contrast, whites make up 60% of violent arrestees and 75% of the population. The most dramatic differences are for homicide, for which black rates of victimization and offending were 6.2 and 7.6 times those for whites in 2000 (Maguire & Pastore 2004).

This is a serious problem that needs a serious solution which is just, workable, and future-oriented. The solution would be complex, and involve multiple factors. Would it help to legalize many drugs, thus lifting some blacks out of the black market and into a white one? Yeah. Would it help to castrate violent criminals, preempting felons before they are even conceived? Yeah. Instead, Obama talks about “original sin,” a nicely theological concept that no one can do anything about.

Moving on. Education:

That has been my experience at Trinity. Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety – the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinity’s services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.

Obama seems to be talking about long term memory. All normally developed humans appear to have the same processing capacity one the appropriate knowledge is stored into long term memory, so the solution is increasing long term memory. In the context race this poses a problem of justice and advantage-maximization, because American blacks tend to possess less working memory, and thus have a harder time getting that information into long term memory in the first place. This implies that many blacks would benefit from more intense, more structured education with more worked examples. It also implies that if we are going to teach those with less working memory more intensively, classrooms may break down somewhat along racial lines. This rightly a a “red flag” in the minds of many, so either we need to justify it or find a different way.

Instead, Obama ignores the problem. His next paragraph starts: “And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright….” No, it doesn’t, Senator. It explains why you see serious problems, and join in with a race-baiting demagogue rather than propose policies to end those problems.

Obama’s speech was based on the idea that hateful words do not matter, and divisive speech that avoids the important issues is OK. If this is true, there’s no reason to vote for Obama in the first place.