In Boyd Cathey’s latest article in The Unz Review, “Baltimore and The Failure of Egalitarianism,” the author contends that both the usual suspects among the left as well as those on the so-called “right,” both Democrats and Republicans, “progressives” and “conservatives,” endorse lock, stock, and barrel a shared ideological vision that has swept the gamut of our society’s institutions.
This ideology is egalitarianism, or what Cathey calls, “Neo-Marxism.”
Its proponents, in short, believe that justice demands the existence of an activist government—i.e. an omnipotent government—that will be forever preoccupied with its quest for a more “equal” distribution of material and social resources.
It is this “Neo-Marxist” Zeitgeist that accounts for why the American taxpayer has spent trillions since the 1960’s to “level the playing field” for blacks.
And it is the intellectual poverty of this ideology that accounts for why these trillions of dollars have failed miserably to yield any returns.
Having come to know Boyd as both a man and scholar, it is unsurprising that this analysis of his—like virtually every other that I’ve encountered—is as perceptive as it is well written. To the crux of his argument I have no objections. It is with some details that I take issue.
Boyd writes that the bi-partisan egalitarian fantasies of our culture’s movers and shakers gave rise to “expectations” on the part of lower-class blacks that remain “unfulfilled” because, in truth, they “could never be fulfilled or accomplished.” This, he believes, is “one of the major reasons for the pent-up anger and frustration unleashed in Baltimore and other major cities with a large black underclass.” It is this “continuing failure of expectations” that “has engendered anger and rage, but anger and rage directed”—or, rather, misdirected—“at a system perceived to be the oppressor [.]”
The problem here is that the notion that members of the black underclass are consumed by rage arising from a belief in their own oppression is an essential piece of the very narrative that Boyd urges us to reject.
That Boyd (correctly) denies the reality of this oppression while his opponents affirm it is neither here nor there: Whether the oppression is real or imagined, Boyd and his PC enemies concur that a belief in their “oppression” accounts for the riots and mob violence of underclass blacks.
To be fair, Boyd is no different than partisans of all stripes in endorsing this line.
I reject it.
I submit that the black mob violence on exhibit in hundreds of cities and towns throughout the country has absolutely nothing—to repeat: absolutely nothing—to do with any suppressed rage or hatred arising from a belief in either racist oppression or, for that matter, anything else.
(1) For starters, the orgies of violence that are daily fare in black communities around America belie the thesis that the nationally televised riots to which we are occasionally treated are the culmination of years of simmering rage: The most cursory of glances in the direction of any ghetto readily reveal that its inhabitants are among the most expressive folks on the planet.
It is also painfully clear that pillaging, looting, destroying, and violence are the preferred means of expression.
Considering that this mayhem is most often directed against their fellow blacks, it obviously isn’t the function of a belief in systemic white-on-black oppression. The culprits here are under no illusions as to the identity of their targets: It is their neighbors, not the masterminds of any “white system,” on whom they set their sights.
(2) During those decades when blacks had far fewer opportunities than they have today—when, in other words, the case could be made that they really were oppressed—there was none of the violence that we now witness. Doubtless, yesteryear had its share of blacks who were angry and hateful toward whites—and yet there was no epidemic of black mob violence as there is today.
True, one might reply, but in the past, egalitarian ideologues weren’t busy inflaming expectations by making assurances to blacks that they couldn’t keep.
Wrong: From at least the time of the completion of the War Between the States, blacks had been issued promises that white society failed to honor (Remember “forty acres and a mule?”).
So, if black thugs aren’t motivated by rage over a belief in their own oppression, then what does motivate them?
In short, black thugs act criminally because they can.
Between the time of the pre-“civil rights” era and that of the post-“civil rights” era, two remarkably dramatic changes occurred:
First, blacks lost all fear of reprisals from the white majority.
Secondly, whites acquired a paralyzing fear of offending blacks.
Moreover, blacks know that whites fear them, an insight that accounts for why threats of violence invariably accompany the ever increasing list of demands that blacks make upon (white) “society.”
Notice, we no more need to invoke anger, hatred, or oppression to explain the bullying, thuggish tactics of underclass blacks and their elitist apologists than we need to invoke the same to explain the bullying and thuggish tactics of Al Capone, John Gotti, biker gangs, etc.
We no more need to invoke these “root causes” to make sense of why young black males engage in acts of violence than we need to draw upon the same “root causes” to make sense of why any young males style themselves “tough guys.”
And we needn’t appeal to anger, hatred, or oppression to understand why cowards would resolve their individual identities into an amorphous mob in order to besiege those who are outnumbered or otherwise weaker.
For certain, those of the black underclass who are participating in “the Knockout Game,” riots, and so forth know all about the conventional template of White Oppression and Black Suffering. They’ve been imbibing it from the time that they were in their cradles. However, they’ve also imbibed from their elders stories of God and Jesus. That black thugs have an abstract awareness of such ideas scarcely means that they have the subjective conviction that they are true. But in the absence of the latter, without this passionate commitment to a proposition or belief, there is no motivation to fight for a cause, least of all a cause as noble as that of “freedom.”
This is the difference between black rioters, on the one hand, and, say, Islamic jihadists, on the other. The latter have committed their hearts, minds, and souls to realizing their theocentric vision of the world. Murderous jihadists are evil, certainly; but they are sincere: The killing of every infidel is driven by a desire to honor their God.
In the case of those black thugs who burn senior citizen complexes to the ground and vandalize CVS stores, though, there are no such commendable motives. Even their “hatred” is counterfeit.
The sooner we realize this, the better we might be.
It’s time to reject the dominant PC paradigm.