Saturday, August 1, 2020

Acceptance And Accommodation

     There’s a mountain of stuff to write about today. As I’m loath to space assorted pieces too closely, I’ve been looking for a unifying theme. I think I’ve found one. Perhaps you’ll agree with me about it. At any rate, I hope so.

     If you live long enough (“How long is that?” I hear you mutter), you’ll surely be told, in the face of some unpleasant imposition, that you’ll get used to it. I’ve heard that dread phrase many times in my sixty-eight years. The tally is higher than I care to count. You might have a similar story to tell.

     The truly terrible thing about you’ll get used to it is that in the overwhelming majority of applications, it’s absolutely correct. There are few things one cannot “get used to.” The human body and mind are immensely adaptable items. Our adaptability is why humans can survive both Antarctica and Death Valley. It’s why neither torrential storms nor protracted droughts can kill us off. But paradoxically, it’s also a weapon that can be wielded against us.

     Once people accept that some disliked condition cannot be dispelled, they begin the process of accommodating themselves to it. They make necessary adjustments. They budget for palliative treatments. Most important for the theme of this tirade, they condition their minds to the thing: If it’s not going away, I might as well get used to it. The product of such mental accommodations resembles a kind of numbness.

     We are sometimes – often? – subjected to demands to broaden that numbness. As with friction, it’s the initial transition from rejection to acceptance that costs the most pain and effort. Subsequent broadenings that merely “expand on the theme” cost less, at least viewed independently of one another.

     I could tell you stories, but I’m sure you have enough of your own. Instead, I’ll recap a few noteworthy developments of decades past, in my own, admittedly tendentious manner. What follows is a narrative that’s been acted out in far too many places.


     Sure, they’re not much like us most ways, but that doesn’t mean they can’t become more like us. We can educate them, prepare them to assimilate to mainstream society. So why don’t we? Build them schools, put good teachers in them, and we’ll see what happens. What? Why separate schools? You don’t want our kids have to sit next to theirs, do you?

     All right, maybe it was unfair to make them go to separate schools. After all, they need models to emulate, don’t they? So enough with the separation, let them into our schools. What’s that? Of course we’ll make them toe the line! One set of rules for all is the American way!

     Yeah, they’re kind of boisterous and unruly. We didn’t expect this much of it...or that our kids would start to emulate them rather than the other way around. But we can keep order. A few more hall guards and recess monitors won’t break the budget. If we can’t have absolute decorum, we can still insist that there be no violence or theft.

     What do you mean you can’t get Tyrone’s dad in here for a conference? Have you insisted? Doesn’t he have a dad? What? He doesn’t know who his dad is? Who supports him and his siblings? Oh, the hell with it. Call the precinct and have him charged with assault and battery.

     The principal heard from the chief this morning. They won’t be charging any more of our bullies or vandals. Something about flak from the state capital. We’ll just have to deal with them ourselves...though how and with what, I can’t imagine.

     Sorry, Miss Jones, but Rufus isn’t going to graduate. He’s failed four subjects, he’s been absent more than half the school year, and he can barely read. If I were to allow him a diploma, it would cheapen every other diploma I award...what’s that, Lawyer Smith? I must issue him a diploma? Even though he’s assaulted thirty other students and is on trial for armed robbery? Who’s paying your fees...oh, them. We’ll see about this!

     Yeah, they’re a problem. Our kids try their best to stay clear of them, but it’s not always possible. Unfortunately, because of what all the new social workers and counselors have cost us, we can’t afford to hire more security...and the board won’t let us give the guards as much as a nightstick. Something about pressure from higher up, though what’s gotten into their panties no one will say.

     No, we can’t make them attend. They simply won’t, their mothers are uncooperative, and the truant officers can’t bring them in. Their buddies protect them too effectively. Maybe it’s for the best. After all, they weren’t learning anything, and having them out of the school means our kids are a little safer, even if it means the streets are a little less safe.

     What? You want me to teach there? Do you have any idea what goes on in that school? I won’t even drive through that neighborhood! They can drug and kill each other until there are none left!

     Then the federal government sites a “public housing” project in a previously peaceful district.


     The little tale above begins somewhere in the early part of the Twentieth Century, shortly after Plessy v. Ferguson. Today it’s rolling forward at high speed, in tandem with all kinds of other developments that are as bad or worse.

     First we accept. Then we accommodate. The consequences aren’t always as purely negative as the above mini-narrative, but when it comes to compulsory integration of the races, there have been more developments that conformed to the pattern than departed from it.

     Don’t think the pattern as I’ve depicted it pertains strictly to schooling. Anytime we say to one another that “we can’t fix it, so we’ll just have to get used to it,” the pattern is reproduced, with details of its own. The burgeoning welfare state and the rise of the permanent underclass. The explosion of single motherhood, in which the State replaces the father as the primary provider. The creation of unpoliced “no-go” zones. The emergence of cooperative arrangements between law enforcement and criminal organizations. And now, two months of highly destructive riots, supposedly over the death of a convicted felon at police hands.

     Economist Herbert Stein has famously said that “If something cannot continue indefinitely, it will stop.” Needless to say! The absence of a reliable end date does not invalidate the observation. It does, however, make the rest of us wonder what “stopping it” will require of us.

     Quoth Fred Reed:

     [R]ace is just the most explosive part of an unfunctioning polity. Other things ratchet up the fury. Add economic decay and you get more anger, more pressure. People live paycheck to paycheck, maxed out on credit cards. They don’t have a thousand dollars, or five hundred, for an emergency. The young live in their parents’ basements because they can’t get jobs to buy houses and start families. People don’t see doctors because medical care is both costly and wretched. Student loans crush the young. Grade schools are propaganda mills; parents know it, but can do nothing. Retirement programs vanish as employers turn employees into independent contractors, avoiding the expense of benefits. People see no hope. This makes them dangerous. Watch.
     And BLM wants to go into the suburbs to get Whitey. God help us. Then it will well and truly blow. BLM doesn’t know how many white men are sick of the chaos and destruction, sick of BLM. They quietly say, “Bring it on. Let’s settle it.” Laden words.
     While these undercurrents grow, the media will chirp and lecture and say virtuous things. Then, boom....
     The deadliest question is how to accommodate blacks. One mustn’t say what everyone knows, that blacks are the least educable, least productive, most criminal, most violent, most dependent, and least assimilable of the population. If anything can be done about any of these, it won’t be, because no one is permitted to name the problem. No one is in charge.

     [Emphasis added by FWP.]

     Fred is spot on, especially in the emphasized sentence. Further accommodation is not possible without surrendering the country to a black-supremacist ideology in which enough melanin renders the possessor above the law. Yet we are here because of previous acceptances and accommodations, mostly the fruits of benevolent intentions.

     We meant well. Every step of the way, we told ourselves that we only meant to help. And the Good Intentions Paving Company was there to reassure us that we were “doing the right thing.”

     Were we?

     I’ve described one possible outcome to this madness. There are others, mostly worse. Whichever one should ultimately arrive, it will be mainly our fault for acting on our wishes and intentions instead of on the evidence of our senses.

     Further relevant links:

     Buy ammo. And pray.

6 comments:

NITZAKHON said...

Apropos nothing, but this Trump ad is a MUST POST. I'll be posting it too, tomorrow.

It is uplifing, inspiring, proud, bold, pro-American, mentions G-d. Of course the Left is approaching stroke-level blood pressure watching it even as I watch it and feel hope again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z88rA5HFrU

SWVAguy said...

I expect, sometime soon, that vanilla ice cream to be banned, as it is a symbol of white supremacy, the patriarchy and anything else these people can name that's caused all the evil in this country. Bend over backwards until your spine breaks white man!

Linda Fox said...

And, yet, amazingly, despite the pull towards the easy life, many in the Black community withstand the temptation. Most are:
- strongly religious
- military in family
- educated in parochial/charter/private schools
- immigrants - Caribbean, Africa, other English speaking countries

I've had students - many - who demonstrated traits that marked them for success in modern life. They are not different due to genetics (some come from the same kinds of family situations that sideline others); but they have the ability to withstand pressure to take the easy way.

There are others - many of them White in both color and upbringing - who have wasted their time on the planet. They demonstrate no difference between their actions and those of the 'Urban Youth' that cause so much chaos to their own lives and that of their family.

It's not color - it's culture.

Linda Fox said...

That 'immigrants' part - should have said "many have immigrant heritage" - not all (unless you count moving from the South, or the North, to be a migration).

NITZAKHON said...

@Linda:

Agree. Culture.

You look at titans like Williams, Sowell, Elder, Steele, Owens, and others... perfectly capable. But it's the VALUES they had instilled that made them. As opposed to no-father homes, chasin' hoes, etc., and that culture.

Francis W. Porretto said...

Linda and Nitz: The "culture canard" doesn't hold water once we take account of our social pathologies' disproportionate representation among blacks. At the very least there's another factor at work. I say it's race -- not because there are no decent, law abiding, responsible, highly accomplished blacks, but because the disproportion speaks to statistical differences in intelligence, the ability to self-restrain and self-deny, and the propensity toward aggression.

Your challenge is to explain why the hypothesized culture that causes American blacks to be heavily over-represented among felons, drug users, unemployed idlers, the ineducable, and the producers of illegitimate children is so prevalent among them and so weak among other races. Though I admire Sowell, Williams, Larry Elder, and other specific black thinkers, their existence is irrelevant to the larger issue. All distributions have tails. It doesn’t prove that women are taller than men to stand a five-foot man next to a six-foot woman.

Consider the enduring statistical differences among Oriental, Caucasian, and Negro intelligence distributions. The mere mention of those differences has destroyed the careers of several perfectly honorable researchers who sought to investigate them. Yet the differences persist despite enormous efforts to reduce or eliminate them. How could this be, unless there were some factor powerfully resistant if not utterly immune to environmental correction?

If it were culture, black assimilation to the more successful white/Asian norms would correct the problem over time. But instead of progress we've seen regress: actual increases in the pathologies and socially disruptive behaviors mentioned above. That such things tend to attenuate as the demographic ages is understandable: crime, violence, and the destructive vices are "a young man's game." But we all start out as infants; no society can contrive to have some of its people skip from the cradle directly to mature middle-age.

Whatever the reason may be – and any of us could be right, wrong, or somewhere in between – it demands exploration. And with that let us segue to the hoped-for discussion I suggested earlier this morning.