Requiem for George Floyd

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Published : June 10th, 2020
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( 7 votes, 3.9/5 ) , 6 commentaries
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Category : Editorials

The occasion of the state funeral for the late George Floyd — rivaling the solemn progress of Abraham Lincoln’s casket across this land at lilac time so long ago — may be a good moment for Americans to take stock of what condition our condition is in. Going on a fortnight of protests, riots, and looting, what exactly does black America seek in its cry for an end to systemic racism? Forgive me for saying the petition is vague. To explain, I’ll have to tread into realms of discourse that are taboo these days, so gird your loins if you care to follow.

Is there a campaign of police genocide against black people? The facts and numbers say emphatically no. (They’re discussed in detail in many articles by Heather MacDonald at City Journal.) Is it true that “black people aren’t heard”? If you follow The New York Times, America’s “newspaper of record,” that’s all you will hear. Has justice been denied in the killing of Mr. Floyd? Four cops have been swiftly arraigned on grave charges. Are black people denied the privilege of governing their own affairs? Many cities are run by black mayors, police chiefs, and district attorneys where, year by year, social dysfunction has only gotten worse.

Is a substantial portion of the black population not thriving in comparison to whites and other racial or ethic groups? Apparently so. The only truly systemic dynamic in their plight is the campaign by government, ongoing for more than fifty years, to uplift them with social programs, cash assistance, and affirmative action, plus monuments, prizes, and holidays, and very vocal public encouragement from “allies” in media, entertainment and sports. All this “help” only seems to make the problems worse.

It’s beyond obvious after a half a century and trillions of dollars spent that well-intentioned government support destroyed black family formation. Seventy-five percent of black children are raised these days in households without fathers because cash assistance is forbidden where there is “a man in the house.” Everybody knows the problem is generational and severe. Paying unmarried women (often just girls) to have babies can easily be seen as leading to many social disadvantages. Who is militating to change that — say, to allow cash assistance to married couples? Nobody, most particularly black America. Why? Because it’s an established racket, a hustle, a pattern of living, complete with customs and rituals, such as giving over young black men to prison as an initiation to manhood. Why are they sent to prison? Because they commit crimes.

The bamboozlement over this was especially vivid last week in the contrast between the sanctimony of the daytime protest marches and the nighttime looting, vandalism, and arson, of which there are hundreds of videos on the web showing young black Americans acting like savages. The police all over America didn’t dare try to stop it lest they produce a new martyr to aggravate the insurrection. No plea arose from leaders in black communities across the land to stop the disgraceful behavior. It was not even recognized as disgraceful, rather regarded as a necessary ceremony for purging the bad feelings over George Floyd’s gruesome death at the knee of officer Derek Chauvin.

Why not try succeeding at school rather than prison? School has different requirements. I will venture an idea which is not just taboo, but taboo to an extreme: many black children cannot succeed in school because they do not speak English correctly at home and the schools have, as a definite policy, done nothing to correct that because it would be labeled as “racist.” If your language dispenses with grammatical form — such as the difference between the expression of past, present, and future — you’re liable to suffer cognitive disadvantages which result in doing poorly at school. You may even be incapable of showing up on time for anything.

The number one job in elementary school should be teaching children first to speak English, because without it, they’ll struggle to learn anything else. But we’re not interested. It might hurt someone’s feelings to learn that his or her speech is deficient. It might anger a parent to hear that. So, we choose to let the children fail. It’s a choice we make by consensus. Here’s some news for you: multiculturalism is itself a form of racism that ghettoizes language. Do you want that to continue? Are you really interested in change? Change that. Start there.

This points to a deeper and more fundamental question: Does black America really want to fully participate in our national life, or do they want to remain an oppositional faction within it, dependent, resentful, and violent? The George Floyd fiasco has distracted the country from the most severe economic crisis of the century, so far. Do you understand how much thought and effort it will take to reorganize America’s economic life? We are not going back to the way things were before the year 2020. A lot of familiar arrangements will not continue. Comforts and conveniences are phasing out. We don’t have time for histrionics. Can we please just respectfully bury this troubled man and get on with the tasks at hand?

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James Howard Kunstler has worked as a reporter and feature writer for a number of newspapers, and finally as a staff writer for Rolling Stone Magazine. In 1975, he dropped out to write books on a full-time basis. His nonfiction book, "The Long Emergency," describes the changes that American society faces in the 21st century. Discerning an imminent future of protracted socioeconomic crisis, Kunstler foresees the progressive dilapidation of subdivisions and strip malls, the depopulation of the American Southwest, and, amid a world at war over oil, military invasions of the West Coast; when the convulsion subsides, Americans will live in smaller places and eat locally grown food.
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I see you're right James. You can't say ANYTHING relevant to understanding the REAL situation without being called "racist." Yelling out RACIST to every comment made by a white person has become as American as Mom and Apple Pie ! !
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If you are referring to my comments, you need to read them again, or perhaps I need to write them more clearly. I don't think James is any more or less racist than the average person. I was trying to point out that part of the problem is how we talk about it. To paraphrase Morgan Freeman, we need to STOP talking about race. The problems of urban decay are not necessarily based on race, they are definitely based on years of Progressive Socialist policy, i.e. Seattle WA, Portland OR, and pretty much all urban areas of CA.
The issues are multifaceted, you can't just pin it on 1 thing. Yet that is just what everybody seems to want to do.
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Hello J. When I write a comment here it is ALWAYS to the person who is writing to me. In the case you're referring to above, the comment I wrote here was to James Kunstler: the author who was writing to me (in the General Public kind of way.) When I begin my comment with "I see you're right James" it should be obvious who I'm commenting to. If I were to reply to something YOU said ~ as I am at this very moment ~ it would be directed to the person who is writing to me: you.

Yes; I read your comments. I realize ANY reply I would write concerning your views, because of our opposing viewpoints on every issue, would be regarded as "inflammatory" ~ and so I NEVER comment on your opinions. Over the years it has turned out to be the Wise Choice.
Hi Gypsy, I thought we generally had more in agreement than not, but se est la vie.
No worries, sorry for the mis-reading.
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Habits of speech need to be addressed by all parties in America. You correctly identified that Black American's patterns of speech are holding them back, it makes them sound unintelligent, when that is not the case.
However, many of your remarks, while technically correct, can be interpreted as purely racist, when that might not be the intention. For instance, "Many cities are run by black mayors, police chiefs, and district attorneys where, year by year, social dysfunction has only gotten worse." This statement implies that the social dysfunction is because the cities leaders are black, which is plainly racist. However, the cities decay is more likely due to poor policy choices which are (mis)guided by an adherence to Democrat liberal progressivism. Getting at the root of the matter has nothing to do with skin color.
Our societies' policies, which are based on racism, have caused the current situation. End the racist policies, and we may begin to correct the things you identified in your article.
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Hi Gypsy, I thought we generally had more in agreement than not, but se est la vie. No worries, sorry for the mis-reading. Read more
J. - 6/24/2020 at 10:58 PM GMT
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