The Racial Reckoning Comes

  
Via:  john-russell  •  3 months ago  •  29 comments

 The Racial Reckoning Comes
The American story is the conflict between oppressors who seek to preserve white supremacy and people who seek to move beyond it. The essential American struggle is to confront the national sin, have a racial reckoning and then seek reconciliation.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


DAVID BROOKS - NYT

I was a boy I was taught a certain story about America. This was the land of opportunity. Immigrants came to this land and found an open field and a fair chance to pursue their dreams. In this story Benjamin Franklin could be held up as the quintessential American — the young hustler, who through his ingenuity and dogged self-improvement created new businesses and communities, a new sort of person and a new sort of country.

This was a unifying national story. When it dominated, politics was over which party could offer the most opportunity.

But that story has been challenged over the years, most compellingly by the people we used to call multiculturalists. The Ben Franklin story, they point out, doesn’t include the Native American or African-American experience; it doesn’t take into account the ways America has not really offered a fair chance to many of its people.

The multicultural story gradually began to rival the Ben Franklin story, especially in schools. Over the past two years it has almost entirely eclipsed it in many parts of our society.

I realized this while reading my friend and colleague Eric Liu’s new book, “Become America.” Eric’s organization Citizen University hosts regular gatherings called “Civic Saturdays.” These look like church or synagogue services, but the object of veneration is America. How can we tell our story? How can we be good citizens? What rituals embody our civic creed?

Eric gives sermons in the middle of these sessions, and the book is a collection of sermons delivered between November 2016 and August 2018 — nearly the first two years of the Trump era. The collection is like a penetrating time-lapse movie of the American mind over that period.

Eric is an enlightened Seattle progressive but with a reconciling, loving temperament. His hero is Abraham Lincoln and his goal is to heal a divided nation. In the early sermons, just after Donald Trump’s victory, Eric is torn — he wants to empathize with Trump voters but also to judge them harshly. But, over all, the emphasis is on humbly understanding global populism.

Then come Charlottesville, the outrages at the southern border. As the months go by, Eric’s attention turns more to race. Trump is no longer seen as a historic aberration, but the embodiment of white supremacy that has always been near the core of the American experience. He is the modern-day John Calhoun, just as mass incarceration is the modern-day Jim Crow.

Eric is not alone in his shift in emphasis. As Zach Goldberg points out in Tablet, over the past several years there has been a sharp shift in opinion, especially among white progressives, on all subjects racial. For most of the latter half of the 20th century, for example, about 10 percent of white liberals supported increased immigration; now it’s 50 percent. As Goldberg writes, African-Americans are actually less progressive on these issues than white liberals.

Both Trumpists and their opponents have also de-emphasized the Ben Franklin narrative and embraced narratives that put race at the center. Trump’s narrative is: We real Americans (white) have to protect our culture from the alien (brown) who would weaken it.

The opposing narrative is something like this: America began with a crime — stealing the land from Native Americans. It continued with an atrocity, slavery. The American story is the conflict between oppressors who seek to preserve white supremacy and people who seek to move beyond it. The essential American struggle is to confront the national sin, have a racial reckoning and then seek reconciliation.

“A religion provides a moral framework for choice and an ethical standard for action,” Eric writes. Both these narratives have taken on the qualities of a civic religion.

As many writers have noted, in the progressive account, racism has the exact same structure as John Calvin’s conception of original sin. It is a corrupting group inheritance, a shared guilt that pervades everything — it is in the structures of our society and the invisible crannies of our minds.

I don’t know about you, but I walk into this next chapter of American life with a sense of hopefulness and yetgreat fear. America needs to have a moment of racial reconciliation. History has thrown this task upon us.

But we Americans are not at our best when we launch off on holy wars. Once you start assigning guilt to groups, rather than to individuals, bad, illiberal things are likely to happen. There’s a lot of over-generalized group accusation in both these narratives.

I’m haunted by that sentence in Lincoln’s second inaugural: “And the war came.” Nobody wanted it, but it came. Eric’s great contribution is to show how to mix conviction on racial matters with humility and gentleness. Moreover, he is always pushing toward an American creed that moves beyond both the white monoculture and the fracturing multiculturalism. He is always pushing toward a national story large enough to contain all the hybrid voices.

Somewhere in America a young artist is writing that story, that new vision that will serve as a beacon to draw us all onwar

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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    3 months ago

Donald Trump inadvertently put the wakening toward racial equality into a new phase with his relentless dog whistling to the white grievance crowd. I think we probably are at a point where racial divisions become heightened. It has always been inevitable. Hopefully the country will grow from the experience. 

 
 
 
Jack_TX
1.1  Jack_TX  replied to  JohnRussell @1    3 months ago
the wakening toward racial equality

There is no "wakening toward racial equality".  There is simply a "wakening of emotion for a new generation".

Absolutely nothing that would bring about racial equality is even being discussed, nor is it likely to be.  

I share your desire that the country will grow from the experience, but I abandoned hope on the idea years ago.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
1.2  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @1    3 months ago

Kinda hard for the country to heal when guilt ridden mostly white liberals keep stirring the racial pot and try to make an issue of it. They are attempting to make any problem regarding race worse by their incessant lies and propaganda.  Most minorities are not buying the lies and bullshit either.

There is NO widespread racism in the US.

There is also NO widespread and organized white supremacy movement occurring in the US.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
1.2.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2    3 months ago
Kinda hard for the country to heal when guilt ridden mostly white liberals keep stirring the racial pot and try to make an issue of it.

Right, it's the people who feel guilty about the irrefutable racial disparities in the justice system, education, housing, employment and opportunities in general that are "the problem". /s

That's exactly what those who continue to harbor deep seated racial prejudices would like you to believe. They want to claim some phantom "reverse racism" because their pedestal of privilege is slowly being lowered while the minorities they worked so hard to keep down begin to gain access to equality.

When You’re Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression.

The reason we can't get past this racial divide is because there are those who continue to cling to some imagined "white culture" and feel it's under attack. We have too many who cling to the ideology of white supremacy, Christian supremacy and male supremacy, which combined create the foundation of tens of thousands of Trump supporters who proudly accepted the "deplorable" label even after it being defined as "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic – Islamophobic".

Most Americans recognize those phobias as being worthless, unfounded and idiotic. The irrational fears of a shrinking majority that will soon become a minority is what has riled up those who gnash their teeth at the thought of diversity and equality. They are the ones who have tried to increase the divide in an attempt to reassert themselves at the top of some imaginary racial and religious hierarchy.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
1.2.2  Greg Jones  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @1.2.1    3 months ago

You claim that whites are somehow holding blacks back. What evidence do you have of that. With all the concessions and preferences given to them, why are they allegedly not doing as well as whites?

Why do Asians, and Asians immigrants in general,  do remarkably well, given that a great many of came from a very deprived background?

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
1.2.3  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2.2    3 months ago
You claim that whites are somehow holding blacks back. What evidence do you have of that.

I'm not saying whites are somehow "holding blacks back", I'm saying that the facts show clear racial disparities.

In March of 2019, researchers compiled and analyzed data from more than 100 million traffic stops in the United States. What they found: Police were more likely to pull over black drivers. The researchers were able to confirm racial bias by measuring daytime stops against nighttime stops, when darkness would make it more difficult to ascertain a driver’s race. As with previous studies, they also found that black and Latino drivers are more likely to be searched for contraband — even though white drivers are consistently more likely to be found with contraband. They also found that legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington has caused fewer drivers to be searched during a stop, but that it did not alter the increased frequency with which black and Latino drivers are searched.

A 2015 county-level study of police shootings from 2011 to 2014 found “a significant bias in the killing of unarmed black Americans relative to unarmed white Americans, in that the probability of being black, unarmed, and shot by police is about 3.49 times the probability of being white, unarmed, and shot by police on average.” The study also found “no relationship between county-level racial bias in police shootings and crime rates (even race-specific crime rates), meaning that the racial bias observed in police shootings in this data set is not explainable as a response to local-level crime rates.”

A 2018 study of bail practices in New Orleans found that black people are more likely to be required to pay bail, are more likely to have higher bail, are less likely to be able to afford bail and, therefore, are more likely to remain incarcerated before trial.

A 2018 survey of bail practices in Miami and Philadelphia found that “bail judges are racially biased against black defendants, with substantially more racial bias among both inexperienced and part-time judges. We find suggestive evidence that this racial bias is driven by bail judges relying on inaccurate stereotypes that exaggerate the relative danger of releasing black defendants.”

While black youths make up 14 percent of the youth population, a 2018 study found that they make up 53 percent of minors transferred to adult court for offenses against persons, despite the fact that white and black youth make up nearly an equal percentage of youth charged with such offenses.

A review of homicide cases in Missouri between 1997 and 2001 found that both geography and race are important factors in whether a defendant receives the death penalty. Black defendants in the large urban areas of St. Louis and Kansas City were less likely to get the death penalty, likely because of the higher rate of black jurors in jury pools. This also meant that white defendants accused of killing white people were more likely to be sentenced to death as black defendants accused of killing black people.

A 2008 study of parole board decisions found that “black offenders spent a longer time in prison awaiting parole compared with white offenders,” and that “the racial and ethnic differences are remained as an influence on parole decision-making after controlling for legal, various individual demographic and community characteristics."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/04/09/more-studies-showing-racial-disparities-criminal-justice-system/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.624bd2e94404

You can choose to ignore the facts, choose to stick your head in the sand and say "Well I treat all black people just like anyone else so racism doesn't exist", but that would be far from the truth. By continuing to deny such racism and inequalities existence, you are effectively condoning it.

 
 
 
Don Overton
1.2.4  Don Overton  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2.2    3 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
evilgenius
2  evilgenius    3 months ago

It was less than 20 minutes ago I heard NYC reported a 60% spike in reported hate crimes last year.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
2.1  Ozzwald  replied to  evilgenius @2    3 months ago
It was less than 20 minutes ago I heard NYC reported a 60% spike in reported hate crimes last year.

But not because the numbers have grown, more because the number remaining have been emboldened by Trump's rhetoric and pandering to the white nationalists and so come out of the racist closet and acted upon their feelings. 

With each generation the number of racists are dwindling, unfortunately because of the sheer numbers, the racist half life will extend beyond any of our lives.

 
 
 
evilgenius
2.1.1  evilgenius  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1    3 months ago
But not because the numbers have grown, more because the number remaining have been emboldened by Trump's rhetoric and pandering to the white nationalists and so come out of the racist closet and acted upon their feelings. 

An interesting comparison was commented on the radio at the time - The rise in NYC Anti-semetism also corresponds to the rise in measles reports in NY. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
3  Vic Eldred    3 months ago

Nobody walking the earth today is responsible for anything that happened centuries ago. Liberals have whipped up racial animosity, sometimes simply to turn out minority voters and sometimes through pure hate. In the process, they have awakened those they used to serve as the "foil". They have ushered in the rise of the resistance on the right.

May they never win another election!

 
 
 
Greg Jones
3.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Vic Eldred @3    3 months ago
May they never win another election!

They way they are going,  the probably never will.

Blacks and legal residents are probably doing better now than at any time in the history of the country.

The left wingers must really despise minorities if they think anyone is buying their lies

Not sure why such inflammatory misinformation is allowed on this forum.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
3.1.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  Greg Jones @3.1    3 months ago
Blacks and legal residents are probably doing better now than at any time in the history of the country.

Without a doubt. 

The left wingers must really despise minorities if they think anyone is buying their lies

The left is kind of transparent, aren't they? There are black Americans who are uncomfortable with it.

Not sure why such inflammatory misinformation is allowed on this forum.

LOL, that line seems to have bypassed me

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
3.2  Sean Treacy  replied to  Vic Eldred @3    3 months ago

Progressive  race obsession makes it impossible to vote for them.

They don't want an America where all Americans are equal, they want a peretual racial divides they can keep exploiting. 

Identity politics makes a functioning republic impossible. Everyone retreats to their tribes.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
3.2.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.2    3 months ago
They don't want an America where all Americans are equal, they want a peretual racial divides they can keep exploiting. 

And the elevating of the special groups over everyone else! Thus, Starbucks only can enforce anti-loitering policy when it comes to white loiterers.


Identity politics makes a functioning republic impossible

"A House Divided Cannot Stand!"

 
 
 
It Is ME
4  It Is ME    3 months ago

The only thing that needs "Healing", are the "Bullshiters" that keep telling us how bad "Racial Divides" are (that's a "Money" maker all by itself for a few).

People need to start talking to their neighbors and honest "Real" folks more on their own, and get off this "As seen on TV" shit !

The "Racial" thingy ain't as bad as the "Money Grubbing" media makes it out be.

Take the "Border" problem ……. please !

Nothing there has anything to do with "Race", but the "Media" is damn sure gonna tell you it is.

"ILLEGAL" ……. Isn't a Fucking "Race".

It's always about Race, Race, Race by so-called "Intellectuals", and reporters. Both have an agenda of their own..

BULLSHIT on their houses !

 
 
 
Don Overton
4.1  Don Overton  replied to  It Is ME @4    3 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
MUVA
4.1.1  MUVA  replied to  Don Overton @4.1    3 months ago

I see your comments all the time.

 
 
 
It Is ME
4.1.2  It Is ME  replied to  Don Overton @4.1    2 months ago
Been awhile since I've seen so many ignorant comments all gathered in one place

#METOO jrSmiley_15_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
4.2  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  It Is ME @4    3 months ago
It's always about Race, Race, Race

Race is the fall back excuse.

Trump imposed a travel ban - "It's racist". Despite his predecessor doing the exact same thing.

Trump wants to secure the southern border - "It's racist".  Despite laws being passed to do just that long before Trump came into the political area.

 
 
 
It Is ME
4.2.1  It Is ME  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @4.2    2 months ago

Liberal types are all about ….Despite our guy/gal....the other can't do the same !

Only Liberal Types are allowed to be "Pure" in their intentions. jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Tessylo
6  Tessylo    3 months ago

(that's a "Money" maker all by itself for a few).

How is that a money maker????

 
 
 
Colour Me Free
7  Colour Me Free    3 months ago
Both Trumpists and their opponents have also de-emphasized the Ben Franklin narrative and embraced narratives that put race at the center. Trump’s narrative is: We real Americans (white) have to protect our culture from the alien (brown) who would weaken it.

Interesting opinion, yet I keep hearing the left making race the center of the narrative and that the only reason anyone could possibly desire to have a secured border is because they are racists afraid of the browning of America.  The colour of an individuals skin is not the issue .. illegally entering the United States is the issue.  The US southern border is so infamous that now African refugees / asylum seekers are going to Brazil to begin their trek to the Southern border.

For 8 years calling people a racist was common place if they did not agree with former President Obama … now it is rinse repeat all over again... 'cept this time if one does not condemn Trump to hell, they are a white supremacist …………. I swear that there are those that think a white supremacist is hiding behind every corner.  The sky is not falling, and supremacy is not taking over … hits on a website does not equal people becoming skin heads.

But hey, fear sells and what better way to keep the divide in the US alive and well … but to sell the lie that everything is about race / racism?

 
 
 
Don Overton
7.1  Don Overton  replied to  Colour Me Free @7    3 months ago

The hypocrisy of the comments are so high it 's pathetic

 
 
 
Greg Jones
7.1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Don Overton @7.1    3 months ago

Another ignorant comment to add to the total.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
7.1.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Don Overton @7.1    2 months ago

Pot meet kettle....jrSmiley_86_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
JumpDrive
7.2  JumpDrive  replied to  Colour Me Free @7    2 months ago
yet I keep hearing the left making race the center of the narrative and that the only reason anyone could possibly desire to have a secured border is because they are racists afraid of the browning of America.

This is nonsense. You only have to go back to the Obama Administration’s policies for the proof. Obama deported more people that any other administration. Obama built the biggest deportation engine this country has ever seen. In fact, Hispanics referred to Obama as the Deporter in Chief. Obama also employed a strategy begun at the end of the GWB Administration, which was to process and catalog people attempting to cross illegally. This made prosecution possible on their second attempt. Before this policy illegals were simply thrown back over the border making it a play until you win game.

Obama had a two-pronged strategy, 1) track down and deport recent arrivals; i.e. seal the border. And, 2) track down and punish/deport criminal illegals; i.e. protect Americans. Contrast this with the randomness of the current administration.

There is a crisis at the border; problems in Central/South America are causing record numbers of asylum seekers. The Trump administration’s response to this is making it worse.

First, cut off aid to the countries with problems, and verbally attack them. Making the situation worse in those countries, and antagonizing the governments we need to work with is a brilliant strategy. These countries are not sending people, the people are trying to escape.

Second, put in place ineffective policies that can’t possibly be maintained. Like, ‘zero tolerance’ and family separation. People will give their kids up when the alternative is death. There’s also the morality problem, not that that’s a problem for this administration.

Third, distractions like Trump’s wall, troops at the border, and tweeting blame. Even congressional Republicans didn’t provide the wall money during the two years they held a majority. A wall isn’t going to affect the asylum seeker backlog, or improve conditions in the countries these people are coming from.

Previous administrations have dealt with this problem. First, when this starts happening, asylum mills start churning out papers for people who do not qualify. Many more judges were hired, and the order processing was changed from first-in-first-out to last-in-first-out. That results in a lot of the people never making it into the country, instead of being placed somewhere and then living here for *years* waiting for their case to come up. Second, aid and other help to the countries in trouble to stem the flow of asylum seekers. Third, technology to process and track people.

The current problem exists because we have no executive leadership. It is the immoral treatment of these people that looks and is racist. There are people in our government who know what to do, but they’re not consulted; they are relegated to carrying out stupid policies because the President has a "big brain".

 
 
 
1stwarrior
8  1stwarrior    2 months ago

384

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
8.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  1stwarrior @8    2 months ago

Well said!

 
 
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