I recently heard on the radio 45% of American Black males do not graduate from high school. Why does their education end before their 18th birthday? Is there something culturally askew where education has no value? Are they born not to succeed in life? Is there a genetic code that denies them fruitful opportunity for living? The answer to those questions is a resounding: No!

So what options are we left with to try to understand the statistical failures of Black men to earn the right to higher education in the American public schools system? The only reason I can come up with — beyond the usual ghetto code of the street and poor economic standing and disinterested cultural educational values is: Racism. Is it not Racist that 45% of Black men do not finish high school? Is it not Racist to not make that matter a national emergency with the same urgency and imperative used against terrorists in faraway lands? Where are those 45% going to end up? On the street? In prison?

Is it Racist that the Army now takes high school dropouts? I guess you don’t need a high school diploma to shoot a rifle. As we turn away from the 45%-ers, so too, do we turn away from the myth of Racial Harmony. We aren’t getting warmer and friendly across cultures. We are getting more openly dumb and dangerous as witnessed in the NYPD shooting of a Black man in Queens over the weekend — and oddly defended by the police as a sort of “viral reaction” to a perceived dangerous element:

It is known in police parlance as “contagious shooting” — gunfire that spreads among officers who believe that they, or their colleagues, are facing a threat. It spreads like germs, like laughter, or fear. An officer fires, so his colleagues do, too.

The phenomenon appears to have happened last year, when eight officers fired 43 shots at an armed man in Queens, killing him. In July, three officers fired 26 shots at a pit bull that had bitten a chunk out of an officer’s leg in a Bronx apartment building. And there have been other episodes: in 1995, in the Bronx, officers fired 125 bullets during a bodega robbery, with one officer firing 45 rounds. Just what happened on Saturday is still being investigated.

Police experts, however, suggested in interviews yesterday that contagious shooting played a role in a fatal police shooting in Queens Saturday morning. According to the police account, five officers fired 50 shots at a bridegroom who, leaving his bachelor party at a strip club, twice drove his car into a minivan carrying plainclothes police officers investigating the club.

In addition to shooting unarmed Black men, we also have the wrenching of racial harmony at Boston University with the rise of a Whites-Only Scholarship:

Joe Mroszczyk, president of the College Republicans at Boston University, admits he set out to stir up a hornet’s nest when he came up with the idea of offering a whites-only scholarship at the school. But he got a little more buzz than he bargained for. All the media attention is focused on a $250 Caucasian Achievement and Recognition Scholarship offered by Mroszczyk and the BU chapter of the College Republicans.

Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher; they must write two essays; and, here’s the kicker, they must be at least one-quarter Caucasian. The application itself offers an explanation: “We believe that racial preferences in all their forms are perhaps the worst form of bigotry confronting America today.”

We all know about Michael Richards’ racist rant and over the weekend it was revealed he also previously insulted Jews as part of his stand-up comedy routine:

Richards allegedly lashed out at Jews during performance earlier this year, yelling at one audience member: “You’re a f***ing Jew. Your people are the cause of Jesus dying.”

Carol Oschin, who was at the show, said: “We didn’t know if this was part of the act. He was getting very (verbally) violent, very agitated.”

O.J. won’t go away as the wounds of Race and culture re-explode in hatred and viciousness. Mel Gibson’s previous rant confirmed that, when things get rough, go ahead and blame it on the Jews like Michael Richards did.

One of my UMDNJ medical students, a bright and worldly Indian woman, The Apu Affectasked one night in class why some people use a fake “Indian accent” when they are trying to be funny or act stupid or indignant.

We discussed several reasons why it was acceptable to make fun of an Indian accent, but not a “Black accent” or an “Iraqi accent.” The “Stupid Southerner” and the “Crazy German Nazi” accents have been safer for others to mock mainly because the mocking was first done by the originating culture.

I offered my theory of “The Apu Affect” from The Simpsons where, for over a decade, the Indian accent has been made socially safe to mock in mainstream media during Prime Time television and that results in a dulling of cultural sensitivities that leads to the unfortunate stereotypical use of the accent by non-Indians. Have we always been culturally insensitive and racist but just repressed it better than we do today?

Or has Hate Speech found fresh footing in the foundation of Freedom of Speech where we can now openly be as dumb and as dangerous as we wish in our mocking of other cultures and Races without fear of retribution or punishment?

I believe hateful thoughts and feelings must be publicly expressed so a public correction and shunning of the behavior can be heaped upon the offender to set the wrong right. The problem today is the hate is spewing forth with ferocity, but we’ve lost our community nerve and our national moral fiber to spigot the spew, and force it down the drain where it belongs.

25 Comments

  1. David- David- There is only one race, the human race.
    Eden Ahbez, composer of “Nature Boy,” said it very well.
    “Some white people hate black people, and some white people love black people, some black people hate white people, and some black people love white people. So you see it’s not an issue of black and white, it’s an issue of Lovers and Haters.”
    Just watched an excellent video, tied into today’s topic, “The Human Stain.” i’m sure you would like it.

  2. Hi fred!
    Thanks for the prescient comment as always!
    How do we get along when people seem to divide on color and not character? The two of us may not judge on color and cultural affectation, but many in the world do — how are we to survive among them?
    I read “The Human Stain.” The book is much better than the movie. Philip Roth is one of my former teachers at Columbia.

  3. David- Simple question. No simple answer. Unfortunately, i feel there is little we can do to get others out of their “pit bull,” mentalities, other then what we do. It’s almost as if people have been bred to be divided and conquered, themselves and each other.
    To survive among them? i suggest “run and hide.” i seem to get into enough trouble without looking for it .As Ramakrishna said “God creates the tiger, but don’t embrace the tiger.”
    Thanks for the tip on the book, i plan to read it.
    i wonder why my Avatar doesn’t show up.

  4. fred!
    How can we possibly live among the tiger without embracing it?
    I’m with you on the running and the hiding in order to avoid the extinction, but it can make for a frustrating and lonesome life.
    As for your Avatar… are you logged into WordPress.com? You know you are logged in if you see the blue Admin bar at the top of your browser when you visit this site and when you visit your site and any other WordPress.com site.
    Also check our Roth’s “The Plot Against America.” You will thrill to it:

    During his long career, Roth has shown himself a master at creating fictional doppelgängers. In this stunning novel, he creates a mesmerizing alternate world as well, in which Charles A. Lindbergh defeats FDR in the 1940 presidential election, and Philip, his parents and his brother weather the storm in Newark, N.J. Incorporating Lindbergh’s actual radio address in which he accused the British and the Jews of trying to force America into a foreign war, Roth builds an eerily logical narrative that shows how isolationists in and out of government, emboldened by Lindbergh’s blatant anti-Semitism (he invites von Ribbentrop to the White House, etc.), enact new laws and create an atmosphere of religious hatred that culminates in nationwide pogroms.Historical figures such as Walter Winchell, Fiorello La Guardia and Henry Ford inhabit this chillingly plausible fiction, which is as suspenseful as the best thrillers and illustrates how easily people can be persuaded by self-interest to abandon morality. The novel is, in addition, a moving family drama, in which Philip’s fiercely ethical father, Herman, finds himself unable to protect his loved ones, and a family schism develops between those who understand the eventual outcome of Lindbergh’s policies and those who are co-opted into abetting their own potential destruction. Many episodes are touching and hilarious: young Philip experiences the usual fears and misapprehensions of a pre-adolescent; locks himself into a neighbor’s bathroom; gets into dangerous mischief with a friend; watches his cousin masturbating with no comprehension of the act. In the balance of personal, domestic and national events, the novel is one of Roth’s most deft creations, and if the lollapalooza of an ending is bizarre with its revisionist theory about the motives behind Lindbergh’s anti-Semitism, it’s the subtext about what can happen when government limits religious liberties in the name of the national interest that gives the novel moral authority. Roth’s writing has never been so direct and accessible while retaining its stylistic precision and acute insights into human foibles and follies.

  5. David- O.K., minimally embrace the tiger.
    Will read “The Plot Against America.” Thanks.
    i appear to be logged in to word press with the blue bar on my site.
    i am more concerned with the people behind the government, ( secret societies) than with the government. Just read an interesting quote from President Theodore Roosevelt. “Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisable government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisable government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of today.” (TR 1906)

  6. fred!
    Consider the tiger embraced! Now come over here for your hug!
    😉
    Did you go into your WordPress.com User area and upload your Avatar there?
    There is, certainly, a Big Money Shadow Government that rules us and it is led by Halliburton and Gulf and Exxon and all the military defense complex — Democrats threaten to “follow the money” that led us into Iraq and I hope Rep. Dingell is strong enough to follow through on his promise.
    http://www.house.gov/dingell/

  7. David- The difficulty with the standard definitions of “solipsism” and “solipsist” is that most people read them to mean that their physical body (as opposed to their consciousness) is all that exists. It starts to get confused with ego-centricity. If we could arrive at the eastern concept that it is ALL illusion we might get more towards where we all, deeply want to go.

  8. David- Yes the companies you named are a big part. How about Skull and Bones and the Illuminati. i call them all MCSMICE. Military, Church, State, Media, Industrial, Crime+pseudo crime fighting (see “Atlas Shrugged”), Educational. i believe this “shadow (not to give shadows a bad name) government sees that it has it’s hand in controlling all these groups.
    i did upload my avatar at wordpress user area. They showed my a picture of it and that’s the last i saw of it.

  9. Yes, you’ve pinpointed the shadow structure quite well, fred. Now what are you going to do about it?
    I would click on the FEEDBACK button in the upper right hand corner of your web browser when you are logged into your Admin area. Tell them what’s up and see if they can fix your Avatar for you!

  10. David- i spread the word with eveyone approachable on the web and in 3D world. i humbly join the six billion (minus 20 people) and wait for any opportunity to subvert and iconoclastize the REAL subverters and iconoclasts. i try to promote “free music” and pareidolia as a way of having people see the solipsistic view.

  11. Hi David,
    It’s funny that Askimet grabbed you for posting a .gov link. Maybe Askimet is politically biased? 😉
    I was listening to Al Franken on the radio today and he was talking about the resistance to calling what is happening in Iraq as “civil war.” (I also listened to the other side while I was driving as well).
    Franken said something along the lines that if we don’t define a problem, we can’t figure out how to solve the problem. It makes sense. If we define the problem, then we can attack it most effectively. If we deny a real problem, it usually gets worse.
    The same thing is true for many social problems. If we say everything is okay, then it’s easy to dismiss complaints and to forget about problems.
    Indiana’s Dept. of Ed. is redefining the way drop outs are counted in the state so that people will know the true extent of the problem in society. Rather than basing the drop out rate on the number of high school seniors who complete school, they are going to compare the number of students who enter high school and the number who graduate.
    While it might not be nice to hear something described, we need to know the true to be able to solve the problem.
    As for the cops firing at someone 50 times in 8 seconds, that’s a function of automatic weapons with easily reloaded magazines. Back in the good old days, the six shooter took a little longer to reload, but the cops were out-gunned. Now, I assume most cops in our area have AR-15s in the trunk ready to go, if needed.
    From Seattle Weekly:

    IN RECENT YEARS, police around the country have turned to the AR-15 family of semiautomatic assault rifles, largely as a reaction to an infamous North Hollywood, Calif., bank robbery, when the would-be robbers used assault weapons to pin down cops who were armed with little more than handguns and shotguns. The AR-15 is the civilian version of the military’s fully automatic M-16. It’s an accurate, reliable weapon, with a much greater range than service pistols, which lose much of their accuracy beyond 25 yards.

    NYC needs to investigate what happened (and also hold off on judgment until the full story comes out, since it isn’t clear what happened).
    Also, people need to be taught how to handle themselves during encounters with the police.
    Rule #1, don’t ever threaten or ram a police officer because he or she will probably end up firing!
    Same thing goes when an officer pulls someone over at night. Be aware that the situation can be tense, so don’t do anything to increase the danger. Flip on the inside light and keep your hands on the wheel at all times. Let the officer tell you to get the registration and your driver’s license. Don’t make any sudden or threatening movements.

  12. I probably should have written that the ability to shoot 50 shots in 8 seconds is a function of semi-automatic weaponry, instead of automatic weaponry. I assume the cops had to pull their triggers each time they fired.

  13. Hi Chris!
    Oooo! I didn’t link the .gov and the Akismet grab! Nice work! There must be some kind of conspiracy brewing!
    😀
    Counting real dropouts is extremely important. Count them the way universities count athletes on scholarship: Graduation rate by year, class graduation rate, etc.
    Iraq has been in a civil war for at least 8 months. Jimmy Carter is being interviewed right now and he said it doesn’t matter what we call it, we just need to fix it. He said in comparison with the Civil Wars in the Sudan where 2 million people were killed and in the Congo where 4 million people were killed the situation in Iraq, and even our own American Civil War, pale in comparison with that kind of genocide.
    The cop who shot 31 times had a 9mm Glock that holds 15 rounds in a magazine with one in the chamber. So he had to reload once. Former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik, in calling for peace and calm until the Grand Jury returns its findings, said it could take anywhere between 10-20 seconds to single-fire 31 rounds.