Tuesday, August 11, 2015

OLD BLAME GAME

Black Lives Matter protester harangues Bernie Sanders.

I understand more every day why some old people get crankier and crankier. When you see the same old things happening with the same old results, it gets frustrating. It is most frustrating to see educated people involving themselves in causes which are misdirected by bad leadership, or rather by lack of good leadership. The current Ferguson phenomenon is an example. 

Ferguson has come to represent everything that has never worked for African-Americans. The Black Lives Matter slogan, loosely formed into a political-social movement, is less effective and just as irritating as the Tea Party rants of the 2008 elections. The outrage expressed by Black Lives Matter activists at someone saying "All lives matter." is incredibly ineffectual. It alienates many who would readily support the basic precept of Black equality in the context of universal human rights. The Black Power and Black Panther movements of the 1960's managed the same alienation of supporters by their hostility toward anyone who was not Black. Their fueling of separatist Black hatred for non-Blacks fed the fires of rioting and looting in the 1960's and 1970's 

Requiring all Whites to remorsefully bow their heads in shame over a perceived universal White privilege is a great way to lose support. Cutting all kinds of slack for Black hoodlums with guns who sell drugs and commit violence in their own communities is another way to lose support. Blaming law enforcement for trying to effectively stop lawlessness in a community with limited tools at their disposal is another way to lose support. 

Cocky policemen are nobody's heroes. Police unions which protect corrupt and arrogant policemen of any color or ethnicity rather than weeding them out are nobody's heroes. These clowns are not enforcing White privilege against Black communities. They are just being lousy cops to the disservice of every citizen. 

My concern, as someone genuinely committed to universal human rights and the maintenance of a lawful society for all citizens, is the current exploitation of bad policing by some in the Black community who are willing to blame the lawlessness in their own neighborhoods on White racism. We have seen this before. The Miami Riot (1980), Crown Heights Riot (1991), Overtown, Miami Riot (1991), Los Angeles Riots (1992), Harlem Riots (1992), Cincinnati Riot (2001), etc.. 

The net effect of these riots on positive social change within chronically impoverished Black communities has been nil. Has this all been the fault of White people? Has this been a vast police conspiracy? Or has this been largely due to substance abuse, lack of education, lack of informed parenting, lack of positive role models within those communities, and the development of a dominant criminal culture, aided by exploitative mass media? 

There will never be a post-racial world until everyone on the planet understands and accepts individual responsibility for being a respectful, non-violent and lawful person toward all other human beings. Race is not the only barrier to mutual civility. Behavior often is. Anger and aggressive behavior do not convey blame, they evoke it. Exclusion does not promote inclusion. Demanding respect without giving respect is childish. The blame game may set off a reflex of shame in those who are so prone, but that shame can eventually morph into resentment if it is seen later to be exploitative and unwarranted. 

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