Patterico's Pontifications

8/1/2010

L.A. Times Writer: Let’s Have Another National Conversation on Race

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Race — Patterico @ 2:11 pm

I’ve got a better idea: let’s don’t.

In most of the country, the conversation isn’t about whether Obama is favoring blacks or whites or anyone else; it’s about whether his stimulus plan can work and whether he’s running too big a deficit.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t also need to talk about racial equality and ethnic diversity. Who could lead such a dialogue in a civilized, useful way? Bill Clinton, who launched a similar conversation in 1997, could help. Gates, the Harvard professor, knows a thing or two. Or Jim Webb, the Democratic senator from Virginia who’s criticized diversity programs for favoring high-income minority candidates over low-income whites. Or Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), one of the surviving heroes of the civil rights movement that made Obama’s presidency possible.

The president doesn’t need to teach on every issue. But on this one, he might consider asking someone else to.

Those last couple of paragraphs tell you all you need to know about the “conversation” Doyle McManus wants us to have. Namely, he doesn’t want a conversation so much as a lecture. “Gates, the Harvard professor, knows a thing or two” about preaching to the racial grievance choir; what he doesn’t know is how to listen, as his encounter with a police officer at his home demonstrated. If you’re looking for someone to “teach” white America about how they’re still keeping the black man down, who better than John Lewis — who has supported a discredited narrative of Tea Partiers screaming the n-word at him, and has not been forced to explain to Big Media why numerous videotapes show that narrative to be false.

I notice that McManus does not suggest J. Christian Adams as someone who might help us lead the conversation. I wonder why not.

These “national conversations on race” always turn out to be a chance for Our Betters to lecture us on our institutional and unconscious racism. I’ll pass, Doyle McManus. I’ve been lectured enough, thank you very much.

48 Responses to “L.A. Times Writer: Let’s Have Another National Conversation on Race”

  1. Mr. P but didn’t Andrew invite as much with his… honest hard-hitting expose of black racisms?

    happyfeet (19c1da)

  2. I should add that while I have never met McManus, I have had several genial e-mail interchanges with him and find him a pleasant fellow. I just think this was a lazy and poorly thought out column.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  3. In academia, “a conversation” usually means the administration tells you what to do. After all, they know best.

    Eric Blair (d5d7c2)

  4. I don’t ming a conversation on race, but does it have to be with the race-baiters recommended in that column?

    SGT Ted (fa9b46)

  5. er…I don’t “mind”, it should be…

    SGT Ted (fa9b46)

  6. Doyle need to man-up
    wait for next call from DEMs to
    carry O’s water

    ColonelHaiku (537db7)

  7. What a moronic newspaper. Folks: The way to fight back is to stop reading it (I did years ago), stop advertising in the LA Times (I sold my Hollywood Hills home using Craigslist), stop quoting it. It’s dying, just let it writhe. And enjoy the view.

    Kevin Stafford (abdb87)

  8. I’d like to see BHO confront the dysfunction in the black community forcefully. He has a unique opportunity to address high black crime rates (read his hometown Chicago Tribune on any random day,) and also the current black cultural opposition to academic achievement. If we have to have a conversation on race, how about having that one?

    gp (65970c)

  9. Let Big Zero share
    rationale why he oppose
    DC school vouchers

    ColonelHaiku (537db7)

  10. They should discuss Charlie Rangel.

    They don’t say “spic” or “nigger” anymore, they just say “let’s cut taxes.”

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  11. I’d like to see BHO confront the dysfunction in the black community forcefully. He has a unique opportunity to address high black crime rates (read his hometown Chicago Tribune on any random day,) and also the current black cultural opposition to academic achievement. If we have to have a conversation on race, how about having that one?

    Very good point.

    Those same pathologies existed among the Irish back in the 19th century. How did the Irish overcome them?

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  12. gp… excellent post. I wonder how much credibility Obama actually has in the hard core African-American sub culture. I wonder if they view him as “acting white” in order to get elected.

    Huey (efe02b)

  13. Some say Irish not
    overcome pathologies
    just sublimate them

    TimesDislaiku (aa2850)

  14. What a patronizing bit of twaddle. Is this the best the LAT is now capable of? I’m embarrassed for McManus.

    One only has to read who he suggests lecture us about race to realize this is a not even cleverly disguised piece of Dem promotion. What, are there no conservatives able to logically, rationally and with gravitas, converse about racism? I feel discriminated against based on political preference. Let’s have a conversation about that!

    The dishonesty regarding the subject of racism in America is really getting on my last nerve. The issue is not race – the issue is left v. right, R v. C, and framing the subject (which is an extraordinary tool of manipulation in the correct hands) adeptly enough to promote one’s agenda. Can someone just be honest about it!

    To most of white America, he’s just the president, not the black president. In most of the country, the conversation isn’t about whether Obama is favoring blacks or whites or anyone else; it’s about whether his stimulus plan can work and whether he’s running too big a deficit.

    Bullshit. If McManus truly believed this then why do we need to have aconversation lecture about race? It would appear by his statement above, that all is well, and priorities are in their correct place.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  15. relax it was a joke
    some my best friends are Irish
    now finish your drink

    TimesDislaiku (aa2850)

  16. I’d like to see BHO confront the dysfunction in the black community forcefully. He has a unique opportunity to address high black crime rates (read his hometown Chicago Tribune on any random day,) and also the current black cultural opposition to academic achievement. If we have to have a conversation on race, how about having that one?

    If the motivation were to honestly and directly confront the dysfunction and not to push the left’s agenda – which frankly hasn’t helped the black community – then this would be immensely helpful. Who better to do this?

    Unfortunately I think his handlers would put (or perhaps have) put the kabosh on any attempts made. It could have cause resentment, or accusations of Obama acting white. It has the potential to weaken his base. And I don’t believe that’s a risk any are willing to take.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  17. 1. There’s only one race (human).

    2. NO ONE ever became rich or free by having gobs of government.

    End of conversation.

    No charge.

    Dave Surls (6f2481)

  18. Those same pathologies existed among the Irish back in the 19th century. How did the Irish overcome them?

    Comment by Michael Ejercito

    I don’t think you know what you are talking about. The first Irish came as common laborers and the women were house maids. They worked and they kept their religion which kept most of them out of trouble.

    They tended, as the century moved along, to join the military and the police force of big cities. Their principal vice was alcohol. They would get drunk on Saturday night and fight with fists.

    I remember a time when the street cars on Halsted Street in Chicago, would close all the doors and windows at about 35th street and make a run for it to Cermak Road, which was 13 blocks. This was because that was the Irish neighborhood and lots of drunks would get on street cars and continue their fights.

    No guns, no drugs, just fists.

    As far as academic achievement is concerned, when a new Catholic parish was opened in Chicago, the first structure built was the school. Catholic schools were started in the late 19th century and it was a fight to get them because the dominant culture was anti-Catholic and anti-Irish.

    Going way back to the pre- Civil War days, a friend of mine has a number of friends in Alabama who are descended from the old plantation owners. They have told him that the most dangerous jibs in cotton bailing and shipping were done by Irish. Slaves were far too expensive to risk that way.

    The way the Irish rose in the American society was hard work, education and their religion. The blacks can do it the same way but they have got to stop listening to race baiters like Jackson and Sharpton. The Mexican immigrants can do the same if they will let go of the Mexican flag and the La Raza fools.

    Mike K (0ef8c3)

  19. Not a single black conservative in the writer’s recommendations.

    Steve Rudd (f5f915)

  20. The Democrat strategy is perpetuate a society divided into identity groups by race, class, gender, religion and sexual orientation. Their legislative agenda parallels that strategy with hate crime bills and preferences, etc. Conservatives, IMHO, would rather see everybody have equal opportunities and be treated equally under the law. Liberals want equal or preferential outcomes not just on legal matters.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  21. Not a single black conservative in the writer’s recommendations.
    Comment by Steve Rudd — 8/1/2010 @ 3:37 pm

    For, what do Shelby Steele, Thomas Sowell, or even Larry Elder have to say that would be relevant?

    AD - RtR/OS! (d51e57)

  22. James Webb’s recent Wall Street Journal Op Ed Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege would probably not fall into the same category as those of Gates or Lewis or the structural racism crowd.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  23. I should add that while I have never met McManus, I have had several genial e-mail interchanges with him and find him a pleasant fellow. I just think this was a lazy and poorly thought out column.

    You give McManus more credit than he deserves. I wouldn’t be as annoyed if the slant of his column were due mainly to laziness and a lack of thoughtfulness. In actuality, I’m sure he writes happily in a bubble of liberalism, filters things through leftist sentiment, and then fine-tunes the end results with liberal sympathies.

    The topper is I bet McManus is one of many fools in the MSM who proclaims “the media isn’t liberal! It’s progressive!” (Or the alternative: “How can the media be biased to the left when it’s owned by big corporations!!”)

    Mark (411533)

  24. One of my poor site’s commenters, Hube, noted what Eugene Volokh had to say on President Obama’s notion that we ought to be discussing this around water coolers at work: not if you don’t want to get fired.

    I’d add that we might as well face the facts: such discussions around the water cooler would inevitably be racially segregated. If you held the opinion, for example, that the urban black culture was the primary problem holding down black economic achievement, you would be far less likely to say so if one of the people around the water cooler was black, even if you weren’t concerned about getting canned.

    It’s real simple: only the Officially Sanctioned Position on Race may be discussed, or you are automatically a Racist™. Your opinions, therefore don’t count, nothing you have to say has merit, and you should not be admitted into polite company.

    The discussion cannot be had, and the problems cannot be addressed.

    The Dana who tells it like it is (474dfc)

  25. #12 Huey:

    I wonder if they view him as “acting white” in order to get elected.

    LOL! Funny, I’ve always viewed him as “acting black” for the same reason.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  26. If you held the opinion, for example, that the urban black culture was the primary problem holding down black economic achievement

    In my case, I would ask “why is so much of the black community devoted to leftist ideas, politicians, sentiments?! Has all that liberalism made black America happier, wealthier, kinder? Has all that leftism resulted in less anti-social behavior and more generosity (of both spirit and money) to one another?”

    Mark (411533)

  27. I lent my copy of Catch 22 out awhile back, but I seem to recall a passage where a general is speaking to his troops about how he wants them to be completely honest and candid with him and not be afraid to say anything critical. One soldier turns to Yossarian and says “did you hear that?” And Yossarian says something to the effect of “Yes, I did, he said keep your mouth shut if you know what’s good for you.”

    Obama’s “invitation” to join in an “honest dialouge” about race is kinda like that.

    Sean P (6f6c60)

  28. Ah. So it wasn’t that the progressives disliked the preachy conservatives telling people how to live – it is just that THEY wanted to be the ones telling others how to live. “Everyone knows” = “God intended…”

    Californio (757c2c)

  29. I.E. Everyone knows that racism, by certain groups, is “bad”.

    Californio (757c2c)

  30. We can have an honest dialog about race when “Norwegian”, “Swedish”, “Danish”, “Finish”, “Lapp”, “Pennsylvania Dutch”, and “Damn Yankee” appear on the official forms. “Mongrel” would be good, too, along with “Irish”, “Scots”, “Welsh”, “Icelandic”, and “Northern Peoples”.

    htom (412a17)

  31. James Webb’s recent Wall Street Journal Op Ed Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege would probably not fall into the same category as those of Gates or Lewis or the structural racism crowd.

    White privilege in America is of a much smaller magnitude than French privilege in France, or Malay privilege in Malaysia.

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  32. Hmm, the state of race relations in the US? In the 2000 census, I admitted my race to be “human”. This year, Red County Wife said we better not before censusdroids started to harass us.

    I’ll consider the race conversation to be real when my 2000 answer would be acceptable to the gummint.

    Red County Pete (c953d7)

  33. yeah, that advice is a perfect example of how Obama has no idea what REALITY is like for us, on a day to day basis, the irony being that liberals have created that reality.

    Sure, talk about your prejudices around the water cooler. Then get sued for a hostile work environment, or more likely lose your job.

    That is throw something at the screen cluelessness.

    And of course to the President, a conversation on race, is a chance for white people to flog themselves. It is never for the shirley shirrods of the world to admit to their current bigotry or race-baiting.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  34. Lets try another tack: let’s all NOT speak of race for the next six months and see what happens.

    Patricia (358f54)

  35. htom wrote:

    We can have an honest dialog about race when “Norwegian”, “Swedish”, “Danish”, “Finish”, “Lapp”, “Pennsylvania Dutch”, and “Damn Yankee” appear on the official forms.

    Down home, the first six are all combined under the seventh heading; it’s all we need.

    The Confederate Dana (3e4784)

  36. Mark wrote:

    In my case, I would ask “why is so much of the black community devoted to leftist ideas, politicians, sentiments?! Has all that liberalism made black America happier, wealthier, kinder? Has all that leftism resulted in less anti-social behavior and more generosity (of both spirit and money) to one another?”

    Racist.

    I hereby denounce you.

    The Rev Dr Jeremiah Wright (3e4784)

  37. Honest dialogue would be what most people do all the time….not something we have to schedule. Every time a white guy brings up race in a meaningful way, he opens himself up to accusations of racism. Breitbart, Rush…for example. Neither of these guys care about color, but care deeply about fairness, opportunity and America.

    (Although out of billions of white guys, the left will bring up Jimmy the Greek, Mel Gibson and and any other dufus — and I’m supposed to be shamed because another pale guy is a jerk? Why do I share the blame for dead slaveowners and living caucasian idiots just because we share a similar skintone? THATS my question in our honest dialogue.)

    ukuleledave (4e6cbb)

  38. Basically, as long as white people in America keep denying that their modern day privilege and wealth stems from their past and present exploitation of and theft from non-whites both domestically and internationally then there really is nothing to discuss. This isn’t about assigning blame or “punishing” whites for past crimes, it’s about fixing a social structure that is currently rigged.

    AJB (d64738)

  39. Basically, as long as AJB remains a racist, he’ll never have to face up to all his lies.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  40. AJB – Are all white people priveleged in America or just a select number? Are all minorities disadvantaged or just certain numbers? Can you elaborate?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  41. “it’s about fixing a social structure that is currently rigged”

    I’d like to report a rigging failure. POTUS election 2008. Or maybe it was rigged, but rigged in exactly the opposite direction you suggest.

    With the MSM it’s important to look for the dogs that don’t bark. Remember Obama’s election raising a beacon to Black America – you too can make it as a Black Man in America! I, for one, was looking forward to rising Black test scores and High School graduation rates. I also said that to be fair some time needs to pass i.e. favorable numbers aren’t going to show up right away. Well now we’ve had two High School graduating classes in the age of Obama. Were is the media? Did Obama inspire Black America to achievement? Or is he inspiring Black America to remain at the buffet of ‘blame whitey’? Why isn’t the media addressing this?

    East Bay Jay (2fd7f7)

  42. Those who believe that every instance of black dysfunction is evidence of racism deny in substance that blacks are responsible for anything. Is the percentage of illegitimate black children proof of white racism? Even when it did not exist in its current high numbers thirty or forty years ago? Is the number of blacks who are in jail prove white racism? Or black failure in education? I am neither black nor white and I do not believe that any of these establish proof. What the figures indicate is that the black sub-culture needs to change. Politics can not do that.

    mhr (efa965)

  43. AJB is a racist, and proves why this “discussion” fails every time. There is no desire for a discussion, just a lecture, and some flogging.

    JD (6ca166)

  44. AJB wrote:

    Basically, as long as white people in America keep denying that their modern day privilege and wealth stems from their past and present exploitation of and theft from non-whites both domestically and internationally then there really is nothing to discuss. This isn’t about assigning blame or “punishing” whites for past crimes, it’s about fixing a social structure that is currently rigged.

    OK, if that is the case, what exactly do you propose to do about it? If you believe that the “social structure . . . is currently rigged,” how would you go about derigging it, and how would you know when that balance has been achieved?

    Associate Justice Sandra O’Connor, in her majority opinion in Gratz v Bollinger, tried to strike some sort of balance between quota-based Affirmative Action and more narrowly tailored systems, and suggested that, in 25 more years, Affirmative Action should no longer be needed. Gratz was a 2003 decision, which means that seven of those 25 years have already elapsed. What can be done between now and 2028 to address your concerns?

    The serious Dana (3e4784)

  45. AJB

    Explain th success of the Vietnamese in America?

    Detail how THEY exploited themselves?

    EricPWJohnson (ab6cc8)

  46. Those who believe that every instance of black dysfunction is evidence of racism deny in substance that blacks are responsible for anything.

    Everyone has got to take a deep breath and realize that “black dysfunction” is really “American black dysfunction.” African blacks, West Indian blacks, and any other geographical origin blacks do just fine in the American educational system. They marry whites, graduate from college and are successful in careers while American blacks are mired in the racial spoils system that teaches hem to be victims and that education is “acting white.”

    I’ve previously recounted stories here of my medical students so won’t belabor that point but the social pathology of American blacks seems to be localized here and to have arisen since 1960.

    Jesse Jackson and his ilk have much to answer for.

    Mike K (0ef8c3)

  47. 39.

    Basically, as long as white people in America keep denying that their modern day privilege and wealth stems from their past and present exploitation of and theft from non-whites both domestically and internationally then there really is nothing to discuss. This isn’t about assigning blame or “punishing” whites for past crimes, it’s about fixing a social structure that is currently rigged.

    Comment by AJB

    Growing up in Montana more than a half century ago, the “down” groups in my town were the Native Americans, Germans, Catholics, and Swedes. Down the road a bit, it was Native Americans, French, Jews, and Norwegians. We didn’t have enough colored folk (as they were called then) to discriminate against them. There might be some come by in a car, or get off the train for some reason, but they were just a wonder to behold and rarely stayed more than an hour. I never really understood the thing about being “colored” — it was blindingly obvious to me that everyone was colored, indeed, almost everyone was usually several colors! (Sunscreen didn’t exist them.)

    I think you’re confusing classism for racism, myself, and if that’s the case, you’re going to have a hard life. The world mostly doesn’t care what race you are; it cares a great deal what class you are, and what class you show.

    htom (412a17)


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