On Racialization of Crime and Violence

This post is mostly a data dump, but I personally think the data included is quite fascinating. Part of my motivation was in response to another blog. I already responded once before. That previous post was about Appalachia. This one is more general— mostly about race, crime and violence, but also including issues of poverty and class, history and ethnicity, health and environmentalism; et cetera.

My thinking about all this has been going on for quite a few years now. There is a lot of data out there, but it takes immense effort to even begin to grasp what it all might mean. Trying to analyze the data can seem like a fool’s errand, for many reasons.

The breakdown by race, for example, is pretty much meaningless. Some argue that Hispanics should be separated from ‘whites’. But why? Other ethnic groups (Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, Jewish-Americans, etc) used to be separated and at the time they had high crime rates. No one has a clue what the crime rates of these groups are today.

Also, should we try to separate the percentage of crimes by the percentage of racial genetics. So, if a black person is 60% European, then 60% of their crime should be put into the ‘white’ category, right? In that case, how do we categorize the crimes of blacks who have no detectable African genetics (about 1 in 20 blacks)?

The reality, however, is that we don’t know the genetic breakdown of criminals. Considering that, shouldn’t we ask who is determining the race of criminals when it gets recorded in official records? Is it self-identification or is it what the arresting police officer perceives, the same police officer that is arresting people based on his perception of race, as studies show?

Is it surprising in a racist society that people who are perceived as a black or another minority are more likely to be arrested for the very crimes that are perceived as being black/minority crimes, whether or not that is the case? And is it surprising that those who are arrested are more likely to be perceived as black or another minority? In the eyes of a police officer, what is the difference between a light-skinned black and dark-skinned white, both before and after the officer decides to stop and confront the person?

It is always good to keep in mind that FBI statistics are arrest data, which may have little correlation to crime data. We know that blacks get arrested more (along with convicted more and imprisoned longer) than whites, even for crimes that whites commit as much or more. Also, police are more likely to see black as carrying guns when they aren’t and more likely to see whites as not carrying guns when they are, despite the fact that whites are more likely to carry both legal and illegal guns than blacks. It’s no surprise that the police have a bad habit of shooting blacks first and asking questions later. Once dead, blacks tend to be portrayed as criminals, and without video footage the police can say whatever they want.

Interestingly, overall crime arrests for whites are about equal to their percentage of the population (here is the 2009 FBI data, in order to compare against the 2010 census data). It’s only with certain crimes that whites show disproportionate lower arrest rates, whatever that may say about their actual crime rates. There are some crimes, however, that whites commit at much higher rates. There are such things as high rates of white-perpetrated child molestation, but I don’t know if that means whites really are more inclined to pedophilia or just more likely to get reported.

A more interesting example is everything related to intoxication. Whites have a major drinking problem for some reason. You are way more likely to get killed by a white drunk driver, but these deaths aren’t included as part of the homicide rates. Even with drugs, whites have a greater predisposition to addiction, although not necessarily more drug use, depending on the drug. This might relate to their greater rates of carrying and dealing drugs, even as blacks get arrested at higher rates for drug crimes because of racial profiling (the Drug War has been mostly fought in poor minority neighborhoods, because they are a population that can’t easily defend itself: legally, financially, and in the mainstream media’s court of public opinion).

What racists like to focus on are the arrest data on murder offenders. The total numbers between whites and blacks are about equal, the difference not being statistically significant. Racists argue that whites are a larger population and so have a lower rate. That misses the point that there is no single population of either blacks or whites.

Violent crime is mostly about poverty and all that goes with it: unemployment, homelessness, heavy metal toxicity, undiagnosed mental health issues, lack of healthcare, food deserts, underfunded public schools, general lack of opportunity and resources, etc; not to mention cross-generational carryover effects from past environments caused by epigenetics, as even slavery is well within the known range of epigenetic influence. When controlled for poverty (both in terms of severity and concentration), the differences in violent crime rates disappear; other non-criminal social problems also equalize along economic lines. The fact that the total numbers of murders for blacks and whites are about the same is merely indicative that the total numbers of severe and concentrated poverty are fairly close (and becoming closer), although the percentages are different within each race.

It sucks to be a poor white in a poor area about as much as it sucks to be a poor black in a poor area. Pointing to statistics is small comfort to a poor white. Class ends up getting conflated simultaneously with race and crime, but a lot of this has to do with inequality. Poverty most often manifest as major social problems where high levels of inequality are found. The United States does indeed have high inequality compared to less violent Western countries, and that goes along with the United States also having lower economic mobility which of course is worse among minorities, but also worse where poor whites are concentrated (not to ignore the fact that poor whites do even more badly where black poverty is found the most, which so happens to directly map onto the areas of former slavery and the continuing regional legacies of inequality).

One thing I noticed in the homicide data is the shifts across ages. The lowest rates of  black murders compared to white murders shows up in the oldest demographics. This fits the lead toxicity hypothesis. Lead toxicity mostly hit poor minority communities during specific decades. The oldest blacks grew up during a time prior to the spike of childhood lead exposure. On top of that, the oldest blacks reached adulthood before the deindustrialization and ghettoization of the inner cities. So they never experienced the high rates of unemployment that younger blacks have known nor did they experience the drug wars that targeted specific generations of young black males. Though older blacks did spend much of their life during a more overtly racist time, they were able to establish their careers and families while society was more stable and the economy more prosperous.

My point is that the generational differences being greater among blacks shows that environmental factors are playing a larger role for the black population. This makes perfect sense in relation to other data. For example, it is known that environmental factors have a greater influence on IQ for the poor than for the wealthy, whereas genetic influences are nearly undetectable for the poor because of all the environmental noise of confounding factors.

That ends my personal commentary. The rest of my post will be the data dump. I’ll first share some of my previous posts. Following that is a slew of info from articles and books.

* * * *

Opportunity Precedes Achievement, Good Timing Also Helps

White Violence, White Data

“Before the 1890s…”

America and the West: A Comparison of Violence

Paranoiacs With Guns: Violence and More Violence

Real Threats

Death of Millions is a Statistic

Jimmy Carter & Clean Air Act

No, The Poor Aren’t Undeserving Moral Reprobates

Are Blacks More Criminal, More Deserving of Punishment and Social Control?

Young Poor Darker-Skinned Minority Men

An Unjust ‘Justice’ System: Victimizing the Innocent

Structural Racism and Personal Responsibility

The Myth of Weak and Broken Black Families

Black Families: “Broken” and “Weak”

Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, & the Issues Being Discussed

Paranoia of a Guilty Conscience

Crime and Incarceration, Cause and Correlation

Americans Left Behind: IQ, Education, Poverty, Race, & Ethnicity

Working Hard, But For What?

Whose Work Counts? Who Gets Counted?

Worthless Non-Workers

The Privilege of Even Poor Whites

Poverty In Black And White

Race & Wealth Gap

To Be Poor, To Be Black, To Be Poor and Black

Facing Shared Trauma and Seeking Hope

Union Membership, Free Labor, and the Legacy of Slavery.

Substance Control is Social Control

To Put the Rat Back in the Rat Park

Rationalizing the Rat Race, Imagining the Rat Park

The Desperate Acting Desperately

Immobility Of Economic Mobility; Or Running To Stay In Place

Consumerism, Poverty, and Economic Mobility

* * * *

Race and crime in the United States: Prison data

A 2011 study which examined the racial disparities in violent crime and incarceration from 1980 and 2008 found little difference for black share of violent offending. Racial imbalances between arrest rates and sentencing have caused some to question the disparities. The authors argued that the prior studies had been confounded by not separating Hispanics from Whites.[26] Another recent study in 2012 raises a different concern, showing that Hispanics and blacks receive considerably longer sentences for the same or lesser offenses on average than white offenders with equal or greater criminal records.[27][28] Another recent study in 2012 raises a different concern, showing that Hispanics and blacks receive considerably longer sentences for the same or lesser offenses on average than white offenders with equal or greater criminal records.[27][28] A 2012 University of Michigan Law School study found that African Americans are given longer federal sentences even when factoring prior criminal records, and that African American jail sentences tend to be roughly 10% longer than white jail sentences for the same crimes.[29]

There’s no evidence of a ‘new nationwide crime wave’

These ten charts show the black-white economic gap hasn’t budged in 50 years

Baltimore: The divided city where Freddie Gray lived and died

The Poor Have Double the Rate of Violent Crime

The overall pattern of persons in poor households having the highest rates of violent victimization was consistent for poor non-Hispanic white households (46.4 per 1,000) and non-Hispanic black households (43.4 per 1,000). However, the rate of violent victimization for Hispanics did not vary across poverty levels. Poor whites (56.4 per 1,000) and poor blacks (51.3 per 1,000) in urban households had higher rates of violence than persons in all other types of households.

Violence against persons in poor (51 percent) and low-income (50 percent) households was more likely to be reported to police than violence against persons in mid- (43 percent) and high- (45 percent) income households.

This pattern of lower reporting of violence among mid- and high-income households held true for whites but not for blacks or Hispanics. […]

Poor Hispanics (25.3 per 1,000) had lower rates of violence compared to poor whites (46.4 per 1,000) and poor blacks (43.4 per 1,000).

The Myth of the Black-on-Black Crime Epidemic

  • Black-on-Black homicides have decreased by 67% in 20 years, a sharper rate of decrease than white on white homicide.
  • According to FBI statistics 7361 Blacks were killed by fellow African-Americans in 1991. In 2011, it dropped dramatically to 2447 African-Americans.
  • Among Black youth, rates of robbery and serious property offenses are the lowest in more than 40 years.

Mass incarceration no factor in crime drop

The 134-page study, titled “What Caused the Crime Decline?” found that “when other variables are controlled for, increasing incarceration had a minimal effect on reducing property crime in the 1990s and no effect on violent crime.”

The report continued, “In the 2000s, increased incarceration had no effect on violent crime and accounted for less than one-hundredth of the decade’s property crime drop.”

Some states with large Black populations, such as Michigan, Texas, New York, and California, even reduced their prison populations during the crime decline with no adverse effects. Texas, for example, has decreased its imprisonment rate by 15 to 25 percent since 2000; at the same, both property crime and violent crime have dropped about 20 to 30 percent.[…]

The United States accounts for 5 percent of the world’s population but holds 25 percent of its incarcerated population. One in three Americans now has a criminal record. One in nine school-aged Black children has or has had a parent in prison. The Brennan Center calculates that federal prison spending has increased 1,100 percent in 30 years as a result of being overpopulated by more than 30 percent – fueling the rise of for-profit prisons that disproportionately house young Blacks and Latinos. […]

“Research has shown, in fact, that the U.S. poverty rate has increased by 20 percent because of mass incarceration rate. There are proposals on the table to cut back on mandatory minimums, to curb nonviolent drug offenses, and there is renewed attention being paid across the country to rehabilitation to lower recidivism rates. All of these proposals are worth great consideration.”

Black Children in U.S. Are Much More Likely to Live in Poverty, Study Finds

Black children were almost four times as likely as white children to be living in poverty in 2013, a new report has found, the latest evidence that the economic recovery is leaving behind some of the United States’ most vulnerable citizens.

The share of American children living in poverty fell to about 20 percent in 2013 from 22 percent in 2010, according to the report by the Pew Research Center, which analyzed data from the United States Census Bureau.

But the poverty rate remained stable for black children, while it fell for Hispanic, white and Asian children, a sign of just how pervasive and stubborn poverty has been for African-Americans, according to the report. About 38.3 percent of black children lived in poverty in 2013, nearly four times the rate for white children, at 10.7 percent. About 30.4 percent of Hispanic children and 10.1 percent of Asian children live in poverty.

For the first time since the federal government started collecting the data, the number of black children in poverty appears to have overtaken the number of poor white children, even though white children far outnumber black children in the American population, the report said. About 4.2 million black children were living in poverty in 2013, compared with 4.1 million white children, though researchers said the difference was not statistically significant.

A household in poverty in 2013 was defined as a family of four, two of whose members were children, living on an annual income of less than $23,624.

In actual numbers, there were still more Hispanic children in poverty, 5.4 million, than any other group, researchers said, a ranking the group has held since at least 2008. The Hispanic population is larger and younger than any other racial or ethnic group, and the child poverty rate is relatively high. […]

The child poverty rate is closely related to the unemployment rate, as children are more likely to be poor if their parents are unemployed.

The Crime of Innocence: White Denial, Black Rebellion and the Cost of American Obliviousness

…it is undeniably true that when it comes to our political anger and frustration (as contrasted with that brought on by alcohol and athletics) we white folks are pretty good at not torching our own communities. This is mostly because we are too busy eviscerating the communities of others—those against whom our anger is aimed. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Panama, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Manila, and on down the line.

When you have the power you can take out your hatreds and frustrations directly upon the bodies of others. This is what we have done, not only in the above mentioned examples but right here at home. The so-called ghetto was created and not accidentally. It was designed as a virtual holding pen—a concentration camp were we to insist upon honest language—within which impoverished persons of color would be contained. It was created by generations of housing discrimination, which limited where its residents could live. It was created by decade after decade of white riots against black people whenever they would move into white neighborhoods. It was created by deindustrialization and the flight of good-paying manufacturing jobs overseas.

And all of that is violence too. It is the kind of violence that the powerful, and only they, can manifest. One needn’t throw a Molotov cocktail through a window when one can knock down the building using a bulldozer or crane operated with public money. One need not loot a store when one can loot the residents of the community as happened in Ferguson—giving out tickets to black folks for minor infractions so as to rack up huge fines and fees, thereby funding city government on the backs of the poor. Zoning laws, eminent domain, redlining, predatory lending, stop-and-frisk: all of these are forms of violence, however much white America fails to understand that. They do violence to the opportunities and dreams of millions, living in neighborhoods most of us have never visited. Indeed, in neighborhoods we consider so God-forsaken that we even have a phone app now to help us avoid them.

As I was saying, it is bad enough that we think it appropriate to admonish persons of color about violence or to say that it “never works”—especially when in fact it does. We are, after all, here, are we not? Living proof that violence works and quite well at that, thank you very much. What is worse, as per Baldwin, is our insistence that we bear no responsibility for the conditions that have brought about the current crisis, and that indeed we need not even know about those conditions. That innocence, as Baldwin expressed it, was the crime, because it betrays a non-chalance that ensures the perpetuation of all the injustices against which those presumed to be uncivilized are rebelling.

Charles Murray, Maytag Man

The Two Americas

Coming Apart excludes non-whites from its discussions of unemployment, out-of-wedlock births, and other troublesome social indicators, but at the end of the book Murray recalculates his findings to demonstrate that in nearly every instance the same dismal patterns hold within the colorblind proletariat. (The only notable exception is the incarceration rate, which shoots way up when you include blacks.)

Blaming Decline in Family Values for Soaring Inequality

Reading Mr. Murray’s book and all the commentary about the sources of moral collapse among working-class whites, I’ve had a nagging question: Is it really all that bad?

I mean, yes, marriage rates are way down, and labor force participation is down among working-age men (although not as much as some of the rhetoric might imply), but it’s generally left as an implication that these trends must be causing huge social ills. Are they?

Well, one thing oddly missing in Mr. Murray’s work is any discussion of that traditional indicator of social breakdown, teenage pregnancy. Why? Because it has actually been falling like a stone, according to National Vital Statistics data.

And what about crime? It’s soaring, right? Wrong, according to Justice Department data.

So here’s a thought: maybe traditional social values are eroding in the white working class — but maybe those traditional social values aren’t as essential to a good society as conservatives like to imagine.

Review – Our Kids: The American Dream In Crisis

Putnam shows that as social capital has now deteriorated, poorer families generally have fewer close friends and fewer “weak ties” that help parents and their children navigate through school and work. Compared to wealthier families, poor families’ networks are disproportionately concentrated within their own extended family and perhaps a high school friend or two. He calls lower-class social circles, “redundant,” that is “their friends tend to know the same people they do, so that they lack the ‘friend of a friend’ reach available to upper-class Americans.” He reports that 64% of wealthier kids have some mentoring beyond their extended family, while on the flip side, 62% poor kids do not. This affects kids’ ability to handle difficulty at school or at home, Putnam argues, by making it difficult to navigate through challenges and build resiliency.

“Studies during the past 40 years have consistently shown that, if anything, drug usage and binge drinking are more common among privileged teenagers than among their less affluent peers,” Putnam reports. “What is different, however, are the family and community ‘air bags’ that deploy to minimize the negative consequences of drugs and other misadventures among rich kids.”

Poverty leads to death for more black Americans than whites

She said that poor white Americans are more likely to reap the benefits of living near areas with better resources and higher incomes, while poor black Americans tend to live in relatively isolated inner-city neighborhoods.

“When low-income whites can reside in close proximity to higher-income whites then they reap the benefits of living in a higher-income area and everything that goes along with that,” Nuru-Jeter said.

In black communities, economic segregation is much higher. Higher-income black people are more likely to move away from low-income black people. Poor black communities often struggle with higher crime rates, fewer grocery stores, a higher proportion of liquor stores and less green space such as parks.

“In terms of opportunity to lead the healthy life, the environment doesn’t really support that,” Nuru-Jeter said. […]

A college education, commonly believed to be a ticket out of poverty, is expensive. In fact, about half of black college students graduate with more than $25,000 in student loans. Yet even a college degree doesn’t guarantee that they will be better off. In fact, a recent Demos analysis of Americans’ net worth revealed that white high school dropouts have about the same wealth that black college graduates do.

Concentrated poverty and homicide in Chicago

If the homicide rates in the poor black areas were twice the rates in the better-off white areas, that would be significant. The differences above, averaging about 13 to one, are staggering. This is what apartheid looks like.

Let’s remember how things got this way, in Chicago and a host of other northern cities. Policies throughout the first seven decades of the 20th Century—some governmental, some commercial—hemmed blacks in geographically. So did the bombing and burning of the homes of blacks who tried moving into white neighborhoods, and the shooting and stoning of these intruders. Racial segregation combined perfectly with racial discrimination in hiring and schooling to create vast areas of concentrated poverty—most notably in housing projects, but in other black neighborhoods as well. In areas of concentrated poverty, children are far more likely to grow up with one parent or no parent, neglected and abused, amid alcoholism and drug addiction. If you want children to become violent in their teens and early 20s, these are the right ingredients. Merely having more police around to catch them in the act is like throwing thimblefuls of water on a house fire.

The Enduring Effect of Neighborhoods
Richard Florida interviewing Robert J. Sampson

Chicago is hailed as a great comeback city. Business and the arts are flourishing and it has seen extensive investment and renewal and gentrification, yet in one startling graph, you show the striking persistence of poverty across its neighborhoods from 1960 to 2000. Earlier anthropologists and sociologists like Oscar Lewis would have pointed to a so-called “culture of poverty.” You disagree with that. Explain.

“Culture of poverty” advocates typically attribute the persistence of poverty to self-defeating norms among the poor. Structural forces take a back seat. I view culture and structure as inextricably linked, with structure in the driver’s seat. So while culture matters—here Lewis was right—the question is how and why.

My data show that the poor are quite conventional morally. It is also a myth that the work ethic is weak among the poor, witness the long hours put in among first-generation immigrants in concentrated immigrant communities.

Despite commitment to mainstream values and striving to get ahead, the stigmatization heaped on poor neighborhoods and the grinding poverty of its residents are corrosive, leading to what I call “moral cynicism” and alienation from key institutions, setting up a cycle of decline. Those with the means move out, leading to further cynicism and an intensified “poverty trap” in the neighborhoods left behind.

Trust and altruism toward strangers—such as giving CPR to heart attack victims or mailing an anonymous lost letter on the street—are undermined by levels of concentrated poverty and segregation laid down as far back as 1960. Initial conditions thus matter, setting in motion a reinforcing mechanism.

Despite political change and urban social transformation toward the end of the 20th century and gentrification in the early 21st century, neighborhoods remained remarkably stable in their relative economic standing—whether at the bottom or the top. Overall, then, while cultural norms shaped by poverty may linger or take on explanatory relevance, they cannot be thought about independent of structural change and socioeconomic resources.

A good deal of the book and a great deal of your own work focuses on urban crime. In another startling graph, you show the “spatial persistence” of the rate of incarceration in Chicago neighborhoods. What causes such localized persistence of incarceration and crime?

Much interest has been focused of late on the national phenomenon of “mass incarceration.” Yet mass incarceration has a local concentration too, what we can think of as “punishment’s place.” Like the geographically concentrated nature of crime, a small proportion of communities bear the disproportionate brunt of U.S. crime policy’s experiment with mass incarceration. For example, large swaths of the Chicago, especially in the southwest and northwest, are relatively untouched by the imprisonment boom no matter which time period we examine, with almost no one sent to prison in some areas. By contrast, there is a dense and spatially contiguous cluster of areas in the near west and south central areas of Chicago that have rates of incarceration many times higher that cannot be explained away by crime differences. In fact the incarceration rate in the top African-American community is over 40 times higher than the highest incarceration rate in the white community. This is a staggering differential even for community-level comparisons —a difference of kind, not degree.

The rate of male unemployment predicts crime and incarceration in predominantly black communities much more strongly than in white communities. Incarceration is part of the cycle of “poverty traps” that find their most intense manifestation in segregated and racially isolated communities. There is a reciprocal feedback – imprisonment removes males from their families and the wider community, a form of disruption, while at the same time unemployed males drive the incarceration “input,” thus reinforcing a vicious cycle of disadvantage. Counterintuitively, then, incarceration does not just reduce crime through the incapacitation of criminals, at the same time it appears to indirectly increase future crime through a neighborhood feedback effect

Twin Pillars of Poverty in Black America: NTDs and Incarceration

In the United States of America, a higher percentage of African Americans live in poverty than any other racial/ethnic subgroup. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 27.4% of blacks lived below the poverty line in 2010, compared to 9.9% non-Hispanic whites, while 38.4% of black children (almost five million children) lived in poverty compared to 12.4% of non-Hispanic white children [1]. A high percentage of Hispanics (26.6%) and their children (35%) also live below the poverty line [1]. […]

This disturbing data undoubtedly account for a significant amount of maternal and child poverty among African Americans in the U.S. Five years ago, I proposed a second possible underlying factor, namely high rates of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) among the poor, especially in the American South [3]. NTDs are chronic infections often lasting for years that both occur in the setting of poverty and can actually cause poverty by making people too sick to go to work and causing developmental delays in childhood. My research published in a PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases article entitled, “Neglected infections of poverty in the United States of America”, identified a (previously hidden) burden of NTDs among the poor in the U.S. and mostly among people of color [3]. The leading NTDs among African Americans include toxocariasis, a parasitic cause of asthma and epilepsy; trichomoniasis, a sexually-transmitted parasitic infection, congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection that results in severe mental disabilities and deafness, congenital syphilis, and possibly dengue [3]. I estimated that the number of cases of these NTDs among African-Americans exceeds 4 million at any given time [3]. These are not rare diseases! Among Hispanics, a second group of NTDs includes Chagas disease and cysticercosis [3]. I recommended a series of measures to combat NTDs in the U.S. including programs of active surveillance, disease transmission studies and research and development efforts to produce new drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines [3].

Who Benefits From the Safety Net

Another finding of the study is that the distribution of benefits no longer aligns with the demography of poverty. African-Americans, who make up 22 percent of the poor, receive 14 percent of government benefits, close to their 12 percent population share.

White non-Hispanics, who make up 42 percent of the poor, receive 69 percent of government benefits – again, much closer to their 64 percent population share.

The Nurture Assumption
by Judith Rich Harris
p. 240

I mentioned a study of African -American kids from “high risk” families —no fathers, low incomes. The ones who lived in low-income neighborhoods were more aggressive than their middle-class counterparts; aggressive behavior was the norm where they lived. But the ones who lived in mostly white, middle-class neighborhoods were not particularly aggressive. These black kids from fatherless, low-income homes were “comparable in their level of aggression” to the white, middle-class kids they went to school with. They had adopted the behavioral norms of the majority of their peers.

pp. 285-7

When the biological father is living but not living with his kids, you have a family situation that is statistically associated with unfavorable outcomes for the kids. Let me show you how it might be possible to account for the unfavorable outcomes without reference to the children’s experiences in the home or to the quality of parenting they receive there.

Most single mothers are nothing like Murphy Brown: most of them are poor. Half of all homes headed by women are below the poverty level. Divorce usually leads to a drastic decline in a family’s standard of living— that is, in the standard of living of the ex-wife and the children in her custody. 22

The loss of income impacts the kids in several ways. For one thing, it can affect their status in the peer group. Being deprived of luxuries such as expensive clothing and sporting equipment, dermatologists and orthodontists, can lower kids’ standing among their peers. 23 Money is also going to play a role in whether the kids can think about going to college. If it’s out of the question, then they may be less motivated to graduate from high school and to avoid getting pregnant.

But by far the most important thing that money can do for kids is to determine the neighborhood they grow up in and the school they attend. Most single mothers cannot afford to rear their children in the kind of neighborhood where my husband and I reared ours —the kind where almost all the kids graduate from high school and hardly any have babies. Poverty forces many single mothers to rear their children in neighborhoods where there are many other single mothers and where there are high rates of unemployment, school dropout, teen pregnancy, and crime. 24

Why do so many kids in these neighborhoods drop out, get pregnant, and commit crimes ? Is it because they don’t have fathers? That is a popular explanation, but I considered the question in Chapter 9 and came to other conclusions. Neighborhoods have different cultures and the cultures tend to be self-perpetuating; they are passed down from the parents’ peer group to the children’s peer group. The medium through which the cultures are passed down cannot be the family, because if you pluck the family out of the neighborhood and plunk it down somewhere else, the children’s behavior will change to conform with that of their peers in their new neighborhood.

It’s the neighborhood, not the family. If you look at kids within a given neighborhood, the presence or absence of a father doesn’t make much difference. Researchers collected data on 254 African-American teenage boys from an inner city in the northeast United States . Most of the boys lived in households headed by a single mother; others lived with both biological parents, a mother and a stepfather, or in other kinds of family arrangements. Here are the researchers’ conclusions:

“Adolescent males in this sample who lived in single-mother households did not differ from youth living in other family constellations in their alcohol and substance use, delinquency, school dropout, or psychological distress.” 25

Within an economically disadvantaged inner-city neighborhood, the kids who live with both parents are no better off than those who live with only one. 26 But within a neighborhood like this, the majority of families are headed by single mothers, because mothers with partners generally can afford to live somewhere else. The higher income of a family that includes an adult male means that kids with two parents are more likely to live in a neighborhood with a middle -class culture and, therefore, more likely to conform to middle-class norms.

Homelessness: It’s About Race, Not Just Poverty

Homelessness is primarily a poverty issue. In 2010, nearly one-quarter (23.3 percent) of black families lived in poverty, three times the rate of white families (7.1 percent).

But there is more to it than that. Understanding why blacks are overrepresented in homeless shelters requires an examination of the longstanding and interrelated social and structural issues facing the black community. Throughout U.S. history, housing discrimination has been ever-present, both in the form of official government policies and societal attitudes. Federal policies that reduced the stock of affordable housing through urban renewal projects displaced a disproportionate number of poor blacks living concentrated in cities to other substandard urban neighborhoods.

Residential segregation, which affects black households to a greater extent than other minorities, perpetuates poverty patterns by isolating blacks in areas that lack employment opportunities and services, and experience higher crime and poverty rates. Blacks are also overrepresented in the criminal justice system, which increases the risk of homelessness and developmental delays among affected children.

Lower educational attainment among blacks, in particular black males, is a barrier to gaining any employment and especially to qualifying for jobs in well-compensated sectors. Black males earn bachelor’s degrees or higher at half the rate of white males (15.6 percent compared to 32 percent). Employment disparities rooted in subtle forms of discrimination persist even with educational advancement.

In 2010, blacks with an associate’s degree experienced a higher unemployment rate than whites with a high-school diploma (10.8 percent and 9.5 percent, respectively). Furthermore, a male black employee with a bachelor’s degree or higher was paid one-quarter (25.4 percent) less on average in weekly full-time salary ($1,010) in 2010 compared to a male white worker ($1,354) with the same level of education.

Getting unstuck: Why some people get out of poverty and others don’t

While many of the factors related to increasing income are at least potentially under the control of people born in the lowest income level, at least one important item is not: race.

“If you look at the findings, there are some that are not potentially encouraging,” says Elliott. “This study reinforces how difficult movement is upward out of the bottom (fifth) for blacks rather than whites.”

The study is based on the Panel Study of Income Dynamics — a look at actual parent/children pairings starting in 1968 and continuing to today. This means that because so few samples were taken in the 1960s from Latino families, there isn’t enough data available to see how those families have fared over time. So the study is best able to look at black and white families. Elliott says Pew has found a persistent gap between white and black families.

Whites were two times more likely to leave the bottom fifth of income than blacks. Forty-five percent of blacks got out of the bottom versus 68 percent of whites.

That 23-point difference shrinks when comparing the percentage of whites and blacks that climbed to the middle fifth. Twenty-five percent of blacks at the bottom made the middle while 35 percent of whites did — a 10 percent difference.

“This underscores the persistent race gap in economic mobility,” Elliott says.

When Exceptions Prove the Rule: Poverty, Whiteness and Privilege

So, in the case of Appalachians, the proper test of their racial privilege (or lack thereof) would be to compare whites in the region with blacks in the same region and to then ask, do whites have an advantage or privileges relative to their regional counterparts of color? That most people aren’t even aware of the existence of blacks in Appalachia (though they comprise about 6 percent of the region’s population, and are among some of the poorest) seems a pretty good answer to that question. That whites are the ones we instantly think of when we think of Appalachian poverty, and the ones for whom we typically then express such great sympathy, seems to indicate a very substantial kind of privileging; a kind that erases from our consciousness altogether, the problem of rural black poverty as though it were a non-factor.

And indeed there is far more sympathy expressed for the white poor, historically and today, than for the black and brown poor: another form of implicit preference for, and privileging of, whiteness. Now that the economy is imploding, one can hear concern expressed about the poor (especially the once middle-class poor, mostly constructed as white), and how terrible it is that they are now facing such hardships. Yet when those same hardships were being experienced by the urban black and brown (whose communities have been in a recession or even depression state for entire generations in some cases) little sympathy attached. Indeed, as Martin Gilens explained in his book Why Americans Hate Welfare, as the media imagery of the poor began to shift in the early 1970s, from mostly white and rural to mostly black and urban, public animosity towards the impoverished rose in lockstep. As contrasted with the mostly sympathy-filled portrayals of the Dust Bowl poor in the 30s, or the white families that were losing their farms in the 80s, black families suffering under the combined forces of the decline in city-based manufacturing employment, as well as racism, redlining by banks and neglect of urban school infrastructure, were viewed as responsible for their own plight.

The simple truth is, working people are not all in the same boat, and white working class folks have real advantages. Black and Latino workers are typically the first fired in an economic downturn, and remain twice as likely to be unemployed and 3-4 times as likely to be poor, in good times or bad; and white high school dropouts are twice as likely to find work as similarly uneducated African Americans.

Furthermore, according to Thomas Shapiro’s groundbreaking work on the racial wealth divide, whites in the bottom fifth of all white households (in terms of income) have, on average seven times the net worth of similar blacks. In large part this is due to a major advantage in home ownership and thus equity, due to passed down property from parents. Indeed, whites with incomes below $13,000 are more likely to own their own homes than blacks with incomes that are three times higher, largely due to these intergenerational transfers of wealth.

When Poverty Was White

Involuntary sterilization is no longer legal, and intelligence is recognized as a complex interplay between biology and environment. Indeed, the 1960s, the era that Mr. Murray blames for the moral failings that have driven poor and middle-class white America apart, was the very same era that stemmed the human rights abuse of involuntary sterilization. (Not coincidentally, it was the same era that began addressing the discrimination that entrenched black poverty as well.)

The stigmatization of poor white families more than a century ago should provide a warning: behaviors that seem to have begun in the 1960s belong to a much longer and more complex history than ideologically driven writers like Mr. Murray would have us believe.

Crime and Criminal Statistics in Nineteenth Century Massachusetts
by Roger Lane

This data from Massachusetts challenges the traditional assumptions at two levels. First, the available evidence points to the fact that serious crime was not increasing but decreasing between 1835, the first date for which reasonable records are available, and the turn of the century. Second, while a full explanation for this decline would require a social history beyond the limits of a brief study, the structure of the evidence suggests that, under relatively stable conditions, the urban-industrial growth of the commonwealth was itself a major contribution. In short, the growth of cities had a literally “civilizing” effect on the population affected. […]

At the beginning of the period covered, in 1835, Massachusetts had a population of about 660,940, 81 percent rural, still overwhelmingly pre-industrial and native born.” Its inhabitants, used to living and working independently, were more free than lawabiding, not easily constrained by formal rules. Although scarcely a frontier, the commonwealth was used to this condition and was prepared to tolerate considerable disorder. No city in the state boasted a full-time professional police. The machinery of justice was not equipped to handle many cases, and the citizens often ignored their lesser injuries or dealt with them privately.

By 1900, in contrast, the 2,805,346 inhabitants of Massachusetts were 76 percent urban. And the move to the cities had produced, for better and worse, a more tractable, more “civilized,” more socialized generation than its predecessors. What had been tolerable in a casual, independent society was no longer acceptable in one whose members- were living close together, whose habits were governed by the clock” and whose livelihood, controlled by a supervisor, was dependent upon cooperation and a delicate interdependence. All cities and many towns had acquired police forces. And throughout the state, the victims of violence and theft were conditioned to seek official help. The whole system of criminal justice had expanded to meet new demands. As a relative decrease in major offenses eased the task of dealing with minor ones, the system was increasingly able to undertake the task of “maintaining order,” of dealing with irregular or distasteful behavior.

In nineteenth-century Massachusetts, then, the figures indicating a “rise in crime” represent at the least a misleading half-truth. Further study may well show that the case is similar for other times and places. If so, we should readjust the conventional notion of an inevitable urban viciousness.

Its acceptance on the one hand is part of a continuing tendency to pasteurize the image of our rural past. And on the other it helps to perpetuate that mistrust of the city that has haunted our society for too long.

Crime and Policing in Rural and Small-Town America: Third Edition
by Ralph A. Weisheit, David N. Falcone, L. Edward Well
p. 48

Informal social control, keeping things in, and showing a greater suspicion of government may also help account for rural-urban differences in the willingness of local communities to cooperate fully with reporting to the FBI’s UCR. Reporting to the CR program in 2003 differed by population density, with reports covering 95% of citizens living in metropolitan statistical areas but only 83% of those living in rural areas (FBI, 2003). Similarly, Laub (1981) has found that while the overall likelihood of reporting crime to the police is similar for rural and urban citizens, those in urban areas fail to report because they think nothing can be done, while those in rural areas fail to report because they consider the crime a private concern, even when the offender is a stranger. As a New Mexico state police officer observed: “In a lot of these [rural] areas, there’s really no law enforcement—no police, no sheriff, no state police station. People prefer to handle their own affairs and disputes themselves” (Applebombe, 1987, p. 11). The officer’s comment should be taken as more figurative than literal, although there are remote areas of Alaska where the statement could be taken literally. The statement does reflect two dimensions of the issue that are distinct but tend to reinforce each other. First, rural citizens may less often to choose to deal with a problem formally because they see it as a local problem. Second, in some rural areas formal police authority is in fact physically distant and is not an immediate option.

p. 55

Kenneth Wilkinson (1984) also used county-level data but came to a very different conclusion. In contrast to other data, he found that homicide rates were higher in rural areas. He accounted for this by noting that in a geographically dispersed population, social interactions occur more frequently among family members and close acquaintances; both are groups at a relatively higher risk for homicide. Wilkinson also observed that when compared with large cities, homicide rates were higher in rural areas but lower in small cities. Taken together, these findings highlight the importance of crime-specific analyses and of using care in defining the term rural. Simply treating everything outside of major metropolitan areas as rural can mask important patterns.

p. 59

Finally, official police data provided in the UCR also reveal some offenses for which the rates are higher in small towns and rural areas than for large cities… [R]ural counties are much higher than large cities in the arrest rate for DUI and for crimes against family members and children. This last finding conflicts with field research and some survey research that suggests that family violence rates are similar across rural and urban areas and that police in rural areas are more hesitant to respond to family violence… [S]mall towns are higher than either large cities or the most rural areas in arrest rates for fraud and vandalism. In small towns and rural areas arrest rates for fraud are about four times greater than in the largest cities. Curiously, arrest rates for vandalism are lowest in the most rural areas and highest in small towns, with city rates falling in between.

Is Water Fluoridation an Environmental Racism issue?

Lead and Crime: Some New Evidence From a Century Ago

Cities with at least some lead piping had murder rates that were, on average, 8.6 percent higher than cities with galvanized iron or wrought iron pipes. Other causes of death were mostly unrelated. Only the murder rates changed1.

Protect – Heavy Metals

In the United States, nearly a million children between the ages of one and five have lead in their blood at levels above the safety threshold.

Low-income children are eight times more likely to be exposed to lead paint, and African-American children are five times more likely than Anglo children to suffer from lead poisoning. […]

Toxicity Threshold for Lead and IQ Scores – Studies

In the largest study of its kind, data from 4,800 children and adolescents showed that those with blood lead concentrations as low as 5 ug/dL had learning problems. For every 1 ug/dL rise in blood lead levels, their reading scores dropped an average of 1%.

The more data we get, the more we must lower the toxicity threshold for lead. “There is no safe level of blood lead,” says Dr. Bruce Lanphear, an associate professor of pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati. It’s estimated that one in every 30 U.S. children suffers from the harmful effects of lead.

” Until the last decade, we couldn’t find children with levels low enough to study them in this way,” said he study’s author Dr. Lanphear at a news briefing in March 2001, sponsored by the Alliance to End Childhood Lead Poisoning and the American Public Health Association.

His research team also measured blood lead levels in 276 New York children – twice a year, from six months to five years old. At age five, the kids were given an IQ test. Those with a lead concentration of less than 10 ug/dL scored on average more than 10 points lower on the Stanford-Binet IQ test, compared to children with concentrations of less than 1 ug/dL.

Levels as low as 2.5 ug/dL were associated with lower scores in tests of reading and mathematics. (The CDC’s threshold of safety established in 1991 is still 10 ug/dL.) Lanphear said the study also found that for every additional 10 ug/dL increase in blood-lead concentration, IQ declined by an average of 5.5 points.

Low-Level Lead and Cognitive Performance – Study

Neurologists at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem found a direct link between low-level long-term exposure to lead and deficits in cognitive performance and behavior in childhood through adolescence.

They also concluded that “there is no threshold below which lead remains without effect on the central nervous system.”12

Intellectual Impairment in Children with Low Blood Levels – Study

Researchers at the College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, released a new study in April of 2003 to examine low blood lead concentration and IQ. The results suggest that there may be more U.S children who are adversely affected by environmental lead than previously estimated. In the study, 172 children had their blood lead concentrations measured at 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, and 60 months of age.

These same children were given the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale at the ages of 3 and 5 years. 101 of the 172 children whose blood lead concentrations measured below 10 µg per deciliter (the CDC’s threshold of safety) showed a 7.4 point decline in IQ.13 […]

” Of wider concern are the subtler effects on mental function seen among children exposed to lead before birth. Researchers have now documented small but significant mental deficits among children whose fetal lead level (measured in umbilical cord blood at birth) exceeded 10 ug/dL. . . . If the exposure ends at birth, the effect appears to be reversible and children recover normal IQ scores by four or five years of age. But if a child is also exposed to lead after birth (as is often the case) or is raised in an otherwise disadvantaged environment, his intelligence may be permanently compromised.” […]

“Lead Kids” and Attention-Deficits-Studies

According to Ruth Ann Norton, executive director of the Baltimore-based Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, “lead kids” have very low levels of concentration, are very disruptive, and have violent tendencies.

The relationship between hair lead levels of children and their attention-deficit behaviors in the classroom was evaluated at the University of Massachusetts. Researchers found a “striking dose-response relationship between levels of lead and negative teacher ratings. . . An even stronger relationship existed between physician-diagnosed attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and hair lead in the same children.”16
A similar study done at Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam found that children with relatively high concentrations of lead in their hair “were significantly less flexible in changing their focus of attention.”17

Violent Behavior: A Solution in Plain Sight


According to a study by the Environmental Working Groups, blood samples from newborns show exposure to over two hundred eighty-seven toxins, including mercury, fire retardants, pesticides and Teflon—exposure that occurs even before they are born. Of these, one hundred eighty cause cancer in humans or animals; two hundred seventeen are toxic to the brain and nervous system; and two hundred eight cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.123

Common exposures have been documented for mercury from vaccines, amalgam fillings, and fish; for lead from paint, soil and water fixtures; for arsenic from treated wood, pesticides and shellfish; for aluminum from processed food, cookware and deodorants; for cadmium from shellfish, paint, pesticides and piping; for antimony from Scotchgard; for manganese from soy milk, welding and metal works; and for fluoride from water, tea, medications and soy. All of these metals are documented to be extremely neurotoxic.

Heavy metal exposure compromises normal brain development and neurotransmitter function, leading to long-term deficits in learning and social behavior. Studies show that hyperactive children and criminal offenders have significantly elevated levels of lead, manganese or cadmium compared to controls; high blood lead at age seven predicts juvenile delinquency and adult crime.124

Prenatal and neonatal toxic metal exposure to mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, nickel and aluminum have been documented in medical publications and medical texts to cause common and widespread neurological and psychological effects including depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders, social deficits, mood disorders, schizophrenia, anorexia, cognitive impairments, ADHD, autism and seizures.125

High lead, copper, manganese, or mercury levels are associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), impulsivity, anger, aggression, inability to inhibit inappropriate responding, juvenile delinquency and criminality.126Occupational mercury exposure has been found to cause depression, anxiety, anger, antisocial behavior and aggressiveness.127

Manganese toxicity has a known association with impulsive and violent behavior. A poor diet increases the susceptibility to lead and manganese toxicity. The most significant dietary source is soy infant formulas, which typically have very high levels of manganese.128

Lead has been the subject of extensive research documenting its relationship to all of these conditions and to juvenile delinquency. Based on a national sample of children, there is a significant association of lead body burden with aggressive behavior, crime, juvenile delinquency and behavioral problems. After adjustment for covariates and interactions and removal of non-influential covariates, adjudicated delinquents were four times more likely to have bone lead concentrations greater than 25 parts per million (ppm) than controls. Communities with a higher percentage of children having blood lead over 10 mg/dL are significantly more likely to have higher rates of violent crime and higher rates of educational failure.129

Communities using silicofluorides in the water supply also report higher rates of learning disabilities, ADHD, violent crime and criminals using cocaine at the time of arrest. The use of fluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6) to fluoridate public water supplies significantly increases the amounts of lead in the water. Data from analysis of a national sample of over four thousand children show that water fluoridation is associated with a significant increase in children’s blood lead, with especially strong effects among minority children.129

Studies have found that heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead, aluminum, nickel, and tin affect chemical synaptic transmission in the brain and the peripheral and central nervous system.130,131 They also disrupt brain and cellular calcium levels, significantly affecting many body functions. Inadequate calcium levels in the brain can adversely affect cognitive development and contribute to degenerative CNS diseases. Calcium-dependent neurotransmitter release results in depressed levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine, all conditions related to mood and motivation.131

Are Big Cities More Dangerous Than Small Ones?

So where did we see the most exposure to gasoline lead? Answer: in places with the densest concentration of automobiles. And that’s in the inner core of big cities. In the early ’60s, big cities had double the ambient air lead levels of midsize cities, which in turn had air lead levels 40 percent higher than small cities. (Nevin, p. 316.) So if lead exposure produces a rise in crime, you’d expect to see a bigger rise in big cities than in small ones. Over time, big cities would become increasingly more dangerous than small ones.

Likewise, when lead was removed from gasoline, and children started to grow up normally, you’d expect to see a bigger crime decrease in big cities. Over time, crime rates would start to converge.

And that’s exactly what we see in the data.

Environmental racism

The protests in Warren County, North Carolina in 1982, to prevent the siting of a polychlorinated biphenyls landfill in the county became the driving force to a 1983 US General Accounting Office study, “Siting of Hazardous Waste Landfills and Their Correlation with Racial and Economic Status of Surrounding Communities.” The study revealed, “ Three of the four commercial hazardous waste landfills in the Southeast United States were located in majority black communities.” The General Accounting Office Study, or GAO study, solely studied off-site hazardous waste landfills in the Southeastern United States limiting the scope of the study.[60] In response to this limitation the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, or CRJ, directed a comprehensive national study on demographic patterns associated with the location of hazardous waste sites.[60] The CRJ national study conducted two examinations of areas surrounding commercial hazardous waste facilities and the location of uncontrolled toxic waste sites.[60] The first study examined the association between race and socio-economic status and the location of commercial hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities.[60] After statistical analysis, the first study concluded that “the percentage of community residents that belonged to a racial or ethnic group was a stronger predictor of the level of commercial hazardous waste activity than was household income, the value of the homes, the number of uncontrolled waste sites, or the estimated amount of hazardous wastes generated by industry”.[61] The second study examined the presence of uncontrolled toxic waste sites in ethnic and racial minority communities, and found that 3 out of every 5 African and Hispanic Americans lived in communities with uncontrolled waste sites.[62]

Other studies like the 1987, “Toxic Waste and Race in the United States,” by the Commission for Racial Justice, found race to be the most influential variable in predicting where waste facilities were located.[63]


Red Barns and White Barns: Why Rural Crime Skyrocketed in the Late 1800s

In short, lead paint simply wasn’t available in most rural areas before the 1880s except in very narrow corridors with good transportation. You can see this in the prevalence of white barns along the National Road. Then, starting in the 1880s, revolutions in both rail transport and mail order distribution made economical lead paint available almost everywhere—including rural areas. A couple of decades later, homicide rates had skyrocketed in rural areas and had nearly caught up to urban murder rates.

By itself, of course, this would be merely speculative. What makes it more than this is that it adds to the wealth of other evidence that lead exposure in childhood leads to increased violence in adulthood. In the post-World War II era, lead exposure came mainly from automobile exhausts, but in the post-Civil War era it came mainly from the growth in the use of lead paint. And when lead paint became available in rural areas, farmers found it just as useful as everyone else. Given what we now know about the effects of lead, it should come as no surprise that a couple of decades later the murder rate in rural areas went up substantially.

Where slavery thrived, inequality rules today

In a passing comment, Chetty and his co-authors observed that “both blacks and whites living in areas with large African-American populations have lower rates of upward income mobility.” Far from being divergent, the fates of poor blacks and poor whites in these regions are curiously, inextricably, intertwined.

Instead of chalking it up to race, recent research points toward a more startling and somewhat controversial explanation: When we see broad areas of inequality in America today, what we are actually seeing is the lingering stain of slavery. Since 2002, with increasing refinement in the years since, economic historians have argued that the “peculiar institution,” as it was once called, is dead but not gone. Today, in the 21st century, it still casts an economic shadow over both blacks and whites: “Slavery,” writes Harvard economist Nathan Nunn, “had a long-term effect on inequality as well as income.” […]

The question, then, is how exactly did slavery have this effect on contemporary inequality? Soares and his colleagues speculated that limited political rights for slaves and their descendants played a role, as did negligible access to credit and capital. Racial discrimination, too, would have played a part, though this would not explain why whites born in former slaveholding regions might find themselves subject to higher levels of inequality. Nunn, though, advanced an additional explanation, pointing to an idea advanced by Stanford economic historian Gavin Wright in 2006.

In lands turned over to slavery, Wright had observed, there was little incentive to provide so-called public goods—schools, libraries, and other institutions—that attract migrants. In the North, by contrast, the need to attract and retain free labor in areas resulted in a far greater investment in public goods—institutions that would, over the succeeding decades, offer far greater opportunities for social mobility and lay the foundation for sustained, superior economic growth.

Black Pathology and the Closing of the Progressive Mind

In his masterful history, Reconstruction, the historian Eric Foner recounts the experience of the progressives who came to the South as teachers in black schools. […] In short, white progressives coming South expected to find a black community suffering the effects of not just oppression but its “cultural residue.”

Here is what they actually found:

During the Civil War, John Eaton, who, like many whites, believed that slavery had destroyed the sense of family obligation, was astonished by the eagerness with which former slaves in contraband camps legalized their marriage bonds. The same pattern was repeated when the Freedmen’s Bureau and state governments made it possible to register and solemnize slave unions. Many families, in addition, adopted the children of deceased relatives and friends, rather than see them apprenticed to white masters or placed in Freedmen’s Bureau orphanages.

By 1870, a large majority of blacks lived in two-parent family households, a fact that can be gleaned from the manuscript census returns but also “quite incidentally” from the Congressional Ku Klux Klan hearings, which recorded countless instances of victims assaulted in their homes, “the husband and wife in bed, and … their little children beside them.”

The point here is rich and repeated in American history—it was not “cultural residue” that threatened black marriages. It was white terrorism, white rapacity, and white violence. And the commitment among freedpeople to marriage mirrored a larger commitment to the reconstitution of family, itself necessary because of systemic white violence.

“In their eyes,” wrote an official from the Freedmen’s Bureau, in 1865. “The work of emancipation was incomplete until the families which had been dispersed by slavery were reunited.” […]

Nor had the centuries-long effort to destroy black curiosity and thirst for education yielded much effect:

Perhaps the most striking illustration of the freedmen’s quest for self-improvement was their seemingly unquenchable thirst for education …. The desire for learning led parents to migrate to towns and cities in search of education for their children, and plantation workers to make the establishment of a school-house “an absolute condition” of signing labor contracts …

Contemporaries could not but note the contrast between white families seemingly indifferent to education and blacks who “toil and strive, labour and endure in order that their children ‘may have a schooling’.” As one Northern educator remarked: “Is it not significant that after the lapse of one hundred and forty-four years since the settlement [of Beaufort, North Carolina], the Freedmen are building the first public school-house ever erected here.”

“All in all,” Foner concludes, “the months following the end of the Civil War were a period of remarkable accomplishment for Southern blacks.” This is not especially remarkable, if you consider the time. Education, for instance, was not merely a status marker. Literacy was protection against having your land stolen or being otherwise cheated. Perhaps more importantly, it gave access to the Bible. The cultural fruits of oppression are rarely predictable merely through theorycraft. Who would predicted that oppression would make black people hungrier for education than their white peers? Who could predict the blues?

And culture is not exclusive. African-American are Americans, and have been Americans longer than virtually any other group of white Americans. There is no reason to suppose that enslavement cut African-Americans off from a broader cultural values. More likely African-Americans contributed to the creation and maintenance of those values.

The African-Americans who endured enslavement were subject to two and half centuries of degradation and humiliation. Slavery lasted twice as long as Jim Crow and was more repressive. If you were going to see evidence of a “cultural residue” which impeded success you would see it there. Instead you find black people desperate to reconstitute their families, desperate to marry, and desperate to be educated. Progressives who advocate the 19th-century line must specifically name the “cultural residue” that afflicts black people, and then offer evidence of it. Favoring abstract thought experiments over research will not cut it. […]

And it’s not just knowable from Eric Foner. It can be gleaned from reading the entire Moynihan Report—not just the “tangle of pathologies” section—and then comparing it with Herb Gutman’s The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom. It can be gleaned from Isabel Wilkerson’s history of the Great Migration, The Warmth of Other Suns. One of the most important threads in this book is Wilkerson dismantling of the liberal theory of cultural degradation.

Slavery By Another Name
by Douglass A. Blackmon
Introduction (from excerpt)

As I began the research for this book, I discovered that while historians concurred that the South’s practice of leasing convicts was an abhorrent abuse of African Americans, it was also viewed by many as an aside in the larger sweep of events in the racial evolution of the South. The brutality of the punishments received by African Americans was unjust, but not shocking in light of the waves of petty crime ostensibly committed by freed slaves and their descendants. According to many conventional histories, slaves were unable to handle the emotional complexities of freedom and had been conditioned by generations of bondage to become thieves. This thinking held that the system of leasing prisoners contributed to the intimidation of blacks in the era but was not central to it. Sympathy for the victims, however brutally they had been abused, was tempered because, after all, they were criminals. Moreover, most historians concluded that the details of what really happened couldn’t be determined. Official accounts couldn’t be rigorously challenged, because so few of the original records of the arrests and contracts under which black men were imprisoned and sold had survived.

Yet as I moved from one county courthouse to the next in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, I concluded that such assumptions were fundamentally flawed. That was a version of history reliant on a narrow range of official summaries and gubernatorial archives created and archived by the most dubious sources—southern whites who engineered and most directly profited from the system. It overlooked many of the most significant dimensions of the new forced labor, including the centrality of its role in the web of restrictions put in place to suppress black citizenship, its concomitant relationship to debt peonage and the worst forms of sharecropping, and an exponentially larger number of African Americans compelled into servitude through the most informal—and tainted—local courts. The laws passed to intimidate black men away from political participation were enforced by sending dissidents into slave mines or forced labor camps. The judges and sheriffs who sold convicts to giant corporate prison mines also leased even larger numbers of African Americans to local farmers, and allowed their neighbors and political supporters to acquire still more black laborers directly from their courtrooms. And because most scholarly studies dissected these events into separate narratives limited to each southern state, they minimized the collective effect of the decisions by hundreds of state and local county governments during at least a part of this period to sell blacks to commercial interests.

I was also troubled by a sensibility in much of the conventional history of the era that these events were somehow inevitable. White animosity toward blacks was accepted as a wrong but logical extension of antebellum racial views. Events were presented as having transpired as a result of large—seemingly unavoidable—social and anthropological shifts, rather than the specific decisions and choices of individuals. What’s more, African Americans were portrayed by most historians as an almost static component of U.S. society. Their leaders changed with each generation, but the mass of black Americans were depicted as if the freed slaves of 1863 were the same people still not free fifty years later. There was no acknowledgment of the effects of cycle upon cycle of malevolent defeat, of the injury of seeing one generation rise above the cusp of poverty only to be indignantly crushed, of the impact of repeating tsunamis of violence and obliterated opportunities on each new generation of an ever-changing population outnumbered in persons and resources.

Yet in the attics and basements of courthouses, old county jails, storage sheds, and local historical societies, I found a vast record of original documents and personal narratives revealing a very different version of events.

In Alabama alone, hundreds of thousands of pages of public documents attest to the arrests, subsequent sale, and delivery of thousands of African Americans into mines, lumber camps, quarries, farms, and factories. More than thirty thousand pages related to debt slavery cases sit in the files of the Department of Justice at the National Archives. Altogether, millions of mostly obscure entries in the public record offer details of a forced labor system of monotonous enormity.

Instead of thousands of true thieves and thugs drawn into the system over decades, the records demonstrate the capture and imprisonment of thousands of random indigent citizens, almost always under the thinnest chimera of probable cause or judicial process. The total number of workers caught in this net had to have totaled more than a hundred thousand and perhaps more than twice that figure. Instead of evidence showing black crime waves, the original records of county jails indicated thousands of arrests for inconsequential charges or for violations of laws specifically written to intimidate blacks—changing employers without permission, vagrancy, riding freight cars without a ticket, engaging in sexual activity— or loud talk—with white women. Repeatedly, the timing and scale of surges in arrests appeared more attuned to rises and dips in the need for cheap labor than any demonstrable acts of crime.

HBD debunked – Debunking hypocritical hereditarianism and “human biodiversity” ‘role models’

Putative “role models” show high rates of violence. It just depends on the era studied.
As regards the 2011 black homicide rate of 17.51 per thousand this is high, but often surpassed by whites- it just depends on the time period you want to study. The supposedly more self-restrained Dutch of Amsterdam posted a whopping 47 per 100,000 in the 16th century, higher than any rate ever recorded for New York City, Irish and all. (Epstein and Gang 2010. Migration and Culture, Vol 8) In Maryland the rate at which unrelated European adults killed was 29 per 100,000 adults per year in the mid 1600s. In white Virginia it was 37 per 100,000. The supposedly more virtuous Yankee peoples in colonial America in the Chesapeake posted a rate of 12 per 100,000.

In some decades of the 1800s, white San Francisco posted rates well above 17.5. Even allegedly milder white Oregon posted a rate around 30 per 100,000. (Randolph Roth- Homicide Rates in the American West) Using modern FBI formulas, mostly white Los Angeles County in the 19th century ran up a body count of about 414 homicides per 100,000. (McKanna 2002. Race and Homicide in 19th Century California). Nor is the West unique. Studies show the heavily white Scotch-Irish Kentucky-Tennessee borderlands posting a rate of 24 per 100,000 starting in the 1850s. ( –Randolph Roth, 2009. American Homicide). In a study of homicides in white Russia, it was found that in 1998, the homicide victimization rate was 23.9 per 100,000. The 1999 homicide figures were substantially up over those for 1998.” –Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment, Vol 1. 2002 (David Levinson ed) p. 1426. […]

Whites post higher rates of child molestation than other groups according to scholars Hattery and Smith 2007, depending on the baselines measured, and said white child molesters serve LESS time for their crimes than black crack cocaine offenders, according to some studies. QUOTE:

‘Furthermore, our analysis suggests that child molesters, who are primarily white men, serve shorter average sentences than crack offenders who are primarily African American men. Child molesters serve an average of 6 years and only 43% of their full sentences, whereas the average inmate serving a sentence for possession of crack serves 11 years and 80% of his or her sentence.”
–(African American families, by Angela Hattery, Earl Smith, SAGE 2007. pp. 245)

and as one conservative police chief report states:

“Criminal profiling has a legitimate and successful history when applied to serial killers, rapists, hijackers, child molesters and arsonists. Ironically, some criminal profiles show a racial relationship between white males and serial killers, rapists, and child molesters.”
(– Carl Milazzo (1999) Race Relations in Police Operations: A Legal and Ethical Perspective. International Assn. of Chiefs of Police)

The police chief profiling report mentions several offenses, but when broken out separately, a pattern emerges of whites as over-represented among child molesters. Kirk (1975) found that black offenders were more likely to pick out adult females for sexual assault at a rate three times more than white offenders (34% and 11% respectively), compared to white offenders who selected non-adults more. Kirk’s finding is supported by West and Templer’s 1994 study of incarcerated sex offenders, which found that a disproportionate number of child molesters were white, compared to negro offenders.
(Kirk, S.A. (1975). The sex offenses of blacks and whites. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 4, 295-302)
(West, J and Templer D. (1994). Child molestation, rape and ethnicity. Psychological Reports, 75, 1326)


The heavy white pattern varies by state. For example, a 1998 study in Florida was carried out on molesters over a 21 month period. Of these 88.4% were white, versus 7.9% black. Around 1998, Florida’s populations stood at 78% white, and 14.6% black (Bureau of the Census 2000). Whites were thus overrepresented among the child molesters relative to general population, (88% molesters versus 78% general population) versus blacks who were underrepresented 7.9% versus 14.6%) on molestation offenses.
— Tingle, et al (1998) Childhood and Adolescent Characteristics of Pedophiles and Rapists.

An alternative point of comparison is to compare criminals to criminals – those actually in jail for crime – rather than non-offending persons in the general population. In the 1990s in Florida, whites made up less than 50% of the prison population.* Based on such patterns, whites are thus overrepresented as a proportion of those in jail. The same pattern repeats itself nationally. (*Data Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 1995 – State detail.)

The white pattern is also seen in some federal crime reports. Per the website below- quote:

“According to the Survey of Inmates of State Correctional Facilities by the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, the following statistics have been recorded concerning the characteristics of offenders who violate and assault children.

* Those inmates who were convicted of committing violent acts against children were more likely to have been white, a percentage of nearly 70%, than any other race.
* White inmates were nearly three times more likely to have victimized a child than black inmates.”


Detailed data from Federal prison statistical reports also show the same pattern. Under the “Other sexual Assault” category, which is primarily child molestation, whites were six times more likely to go to state prison than Blacks and twice as likely to go to prison for such offenses than Hispanics. Under the category “Parole violators returned to State prison” whites were twice as likely to be returned to prison for the sexual offences than blacks.
–Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics. National Corrections Reporting Program, 1994.
NCRP9404 – New court commitments to State prison, 1994: Offense by sex, race and Hispanic origin
NCRP9405. Parole violators returned to State prison, 1994: Offense, by sex, race, and Hispanic origin

And in 1994 the white prison population was less than 50%, (48,21% per the Federal Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics- 1990) and yet whites made up 77% of all child molesters in prison, almost 30 percent more than their representation in the general prison population. Whites are thus overrepresented as child molesters in proportion to their incarceration rate. […]

Much is made of comparisons to blacks and assorted European immigrants, but as the example of the Irish shows, blacks are not some unique, basket case. They suffered and show the same patterns that often accompany rural people being urbanized. As anyone who has a basic knowledge of black history knows, WWII was to spark major changes and population movements in Black America. The MAJORITY of Blacks became an urban people, in contrast to the majority rural volk of previous decades. As becoming urbanized, blacks fell prey to a common pattern that often afflicts ‘country’ people who are squeezed into the crowded slums, violent streets and indifferent attitudes of cities – there is greater social dysfunction as the old rural community bonds begin to break down. It happened with whites from and in Ireland and Britain. It happened with Chinese in the over-packed slums of numerous Chinatowns. It happened with a host of other people in varying measures. But according to HBD “experts”, black people are these unique basket cases as far as such problems go. Only they are permanently affected by such horrible dysfunctions, you see, because’ they are black. Never mind the white people who have gone before, and who underwent the same pattern. They are exempt, and covered with a magical mantle of white goodness and virtue.

Ethnic America
by Thomas Sowell
pp.25, 277

Such living patterns reflected not only the poverty of the Irish but also their being used to squalid living conditions in mud huts in Ireland… Sewage piled up in backyard privies until the municipal authorities chose to collect it, or else it ran off in open trenches, fouling the air and providing breeding grounds for dangerous diseases. The importance of proper garbage disposal, to keep the neighborhood from being overrun with rats, was one of many similar facts of urban life that every rural group new to the city would have to learn over the years, beginning with the Irish, and continuing through many others until the present day. Cholera, which had been unknown before, swept through Boston in 1849, concentrated almost exclusively in Irish neighborhoods. In New York, cholera was also disproportionately observed in Irish wards. In various cities, both tuberculosis and fire swept regularly through the overcrowded tenements where the Irish lived, and there was a high rate of insanity among the Irish immigrants.. The incidence of tuberculosis in Boston varied closely with the proportion of the Irish living in a neighborhood.

Patterns of alcoholism and fighting brought over from Ireland persisted in the United States. Over half the people arrested in New York in the 1850s were Irish.. Police vans became known as ‘Paddy wagons” because the prisoners in them were so often Irish. “The fighting Irish” was a phrase that covered everything from individual brawls to mass melees (known as “Donnybrooks” for a town in Ireland) to criminal gangs.. Irish neighborhoods were tough neighborhoods in cities around the country. The Irish Sixth Ward in New York was known as “the bloody ould Sixth.” Another Irish Neighborhood in New York was known as “Hell’s Kitchen,” and another as ‘San Juan Hill” because of the battles fought there. In Milwaukee, the Irish section was called the “Bloody Third”.. Where the Irish workers built the Illinois Central Railroad, people spoke of “a murder a mile” as they laid track. The largest riot in American history was by predominantly Irish rioters in New York in 1863..

Even the proportion of the black population who were laborers and house servants in Boston in 1850 was much lower than among the Irish, and the free blacks in mid-century Boston were in general economically better off than the Irish. The Irish-women’s work as domestic servants and washerwomen was usually more steadily available than that of Irishmen- a situation later to be repeated among blacks.

As in Ireland itself, the poverty and improvidence of the Irish immigrants to America often reduced them to living on charity when hard times came. In early nineteenth-century Ireland, even before the famine, it was common for whole families of the poor to go ‘tramping about it for months, bragging from parish to parish.’ Recourse to public charity was a well-established habit carried over to America. Expenditures for relief to the poor in Boston more than doubled from 1845 to 1855, during the heavy influx of the Irish, after such expenditures had been relatively stable for years. In New York City in the same era, about 60 percent of the people in almshouses had been born in Ireland. As late as 1906, there were more Irish than Italian paupers, beggars and inmates of almshouses, even though the Italians arrived a generation later and were generally poorer at the turn of the century. radically different attitudes toward accepting charity existed in Ireland and Italy, and these attitudes apparently had more effect than their respective objective economic conditions in America. There were similar cultural differences in attitudes toward the abandonment of wives and children. In the 1840s, ‘it was almost automatically assumed than an orphan was Irish,” and as late as 1914, about half the Irish families on Manhattan’s west side were fatherless. No such pattern appeared among the Italians.

Although the Irish immigrants (like other immigrants) had a disproportionate representation of young people in the prime of life, the mortality rate shot up after their arrival. Boston’s mortality rate in 1850 was double that of the rest of Massachusetts, even though there were relatively fewer aged people in Boston. The difference was due to the extremely high mortality rate in the Irish neighborhoods. Diseases that had become rare in America now flourished again. In 1849, cholera spread through Philadelphia to New York and to Boston- primarily in Irish neighborhoods. There had not been a smallpox epidemic in Boston since 1792, but after 1845, it became a recurring plague, again primarily among the Irish. The spread of the Irish into other neighborhoods, mean, among other things, the spread of these and other diseases. The residential flight of middle-class Americans from the Irish immigrants was by no means all irrationality…

Today’s neighborhood changes have been dramatized by such expressions was ‘white flight’ but these patterns existed long before black-white neighborhood changes were the issue. When the nineteenth-century Irish immigrants flooded into New York and Boston, the native Americans fled. With the first appearance of an Irish family in a neighborhood, ‘the exodus of non-Irish residents began. ‘White flight’ is a misleading term, not only because of its historical narrowness, but also because blacks too have fled when circumstances were reversed. Blacks fled a whole series of neighborhoods in nineteenth-century New York, ‘pursued’ by new Italian immigrants who moved in. The first blacks in Harlem were fleeing from the tough Irish neighborhoods in mid-Manhattan, and avoided going north of 145th Street for fear of encountering more Irish there.

Rethinking Southern Violence: Homicides in Post-Civil War Louisiana
by Gilles Vandal
pp. 162-73

Information compiled on 557 black homicides committed against other blacks provides comprehensive evidence of the frequency of black intraracial homicides in rural Louisiana. This data becomes an even more significant record of real physical violence in rural Louisiana when black intraracial homicidal behavior is compared not only to black homicides committed against whites, but also with white homicidal behavior.

Against the scattered evidence of contemporary prejudices and perceptions, one must set the hard statistics concerning black homicide. The black community certainly had its criminal elements, but in spite of the economic, social, and political emancipation that they gained through enfranchisement, blacks, with some minor exception, were less prone than whites to violence. Indeed, whites had little need to fear from blacks. The cases were rare and were mostly related to either robbery or work relations. […] The evidence provided by quantitative analysis is overwhelming. Although they formed 60 percent of the population, blacks were responsible for only 25 percent of all murders committed in rural Louisiana between 1866 and 1884 (table 7.1). In the same period they were victims of 72 percent of all homicides. The situation was even more striking during Reconstruction, when blacks committed less than 20 percent of the homicides, but were the victims in 80 percent of all murders. Furthermore, only 20 percent of whites killed during the whole period died at the hand of blacks, while 75 percent of black victims were killed by whites. Thus, though black homicides were a feature of the period, their importance was minimal compared to white homicides.

The figures in table 7.1 show important differences between black homicides and those involving both whites and the total population. Most black homicides were also intraracial in nature. Almost all black homicides were perpetrated against other blacks during Reconstruction (77%) and the early post-Reconstruction period (83%). In contrast white homicides were largely interracial during Reconstruction (77%). Only after 1876 were more than half of white homicides directed against other whites (56%). […]

Whatever the conservative newspapers may have said about black homicidal behavior, the evidence clearly shows that black intraracial homicide rates were lower than white rates during both periods. The data show that there were fewer black murders per 100,000 persons than there were white. While black homicidal behavior decreased slightly, with rates of 8.9 per 100,000 during Reconstruction and 6.6 in the early Redemption period, white intraracial homicide rates dropped from 17 to 8. The last noteworthy feature to emerge from these data is the apparent stability of black homicidal behavior as a proportion of all homicides in the twenty years with which we are concerned. But the question arises why black homicide rates remained more stable while those of whites strongly decreased.

Data in table 7.1 show that the overall homicide rates in Louisiana actually declined as Reconstruction ended. Though the evidence certainly shows that blacks were far less prone to homicides than whites, they were far from being upright and law-abiding as shown by their involvement in property crimes. Still, the figures in table 7.1 show clearly that black patterns of homicidal behavior diminished only slightly through the years, while white rates went through a slow but constant decline.

Blacks, then, were less likely to resort to murder. Moreover, when they did, blacks acted alone. Indeed, 86 percent of black intraracial homicides involved only one assailant. This was also true for black interracial violence; in 66 percent of such cases, a lone black killed a white. In sharp contrast, white intraracial (33%) and interracial (70% murders tended to involve two or more assailants (fig. 7.1). Clearly, homicide among blacks followed different patterns and thus had different consequences and meanings than among whites.

As we have seen in chapter 5, a striking feature of this analysis is the absence of women as either murderers or murder victims. Women represented only 4 percent of 156 whites killed by blacks, they cocmprised 10 percent of the victims of black intraracial violence. Meanwhile, white and black women represented 3.4 percent and 3.5 percent respectively of the victims of white violence. The higher number of black women dying at the hands of other blacks may imply a greater tendency among blacks to turn their aggression against themselves rather than against whites. The absence of women as assailants is even more evident. Indeed, women, whether black or white, represented less than 1 percent of the people committing homicides.

One must not forget that a large portion of the black population was young and consequently fell into the age group that tended to be more prone to violence. Not surprisingly these data indicate that younger members of the black population had a greater propensity to commit homicides than did their elders. This is even more obvious when compared to the rates for young whites. Thirty-four percent of blacks who killed other blacks were less than 24 years old, compared to only 23 percent of whites who killed other whites. Furthermore, only 15 percent of blacks involved in intraracial homicides were 45 years old or more, compared to 26 percent for whites. The analysis of interracial homicides gives similar numbers for each racial group. For blacks, being young and male were the conditions most consistently associated with the risk of becoming involved in a murder. this may suggest that younger blacks were more free from the restraint of slavery, less submissive to whites, and consequently less afraid to resort to violence to solve their disputes.

The data reveal few cases of homicide among the black elites. The killing of William Weeks, the assistant secretary of state, by George Paris, a former member of the state legislature and a member of the state board of assessors, represented the most notable case. But such bloody incidents among the black elites were rather rare. Most black intraracial homicides involved people from the lower social strata of the black community in both the city and the rural areas.

Meanwhile white intraracial homicides were spread more evenly through the different levels of white society (figure 7.2). This finding contradicts studies of twentieth-century North America and sheds light on attitudes prevailing within white society after the Civil War. The involvement of a large number (33%) of members of the social and economic elites is an important characteristic of white intraracial homicide. Finally, the presence of large numbers of skilled workers, day laborers, businessmen, professionals, and public officials seems to support the hypothesis that a great number of homicides, for both races, took place in towns and villages. […]

Although conservative press asserted that blacks regularly killed each other for trivial matters, my data show that the prime motives for black intraracial homicide were similar to those which moved whites to kill each other. Blacks (37%), as well as whites (32%), killed each other over personal grudges, in self-defense, and over trivial matters, as violence became an extralegal means of defending their honor and gaining respect within their own communities. Blacks lived in a world they could not change. The endemic frustration of black life and their particular code of honor were expressed not in encounters against whites but in violence within the black community. […]

Familial and marital quarrels were the second major category of criminality among blacks. Quarrels over women and disputes of passion were one of the main causes for which blacks killed each other. As shown in chapter 5, there were also a few instances of wife-killing. The killing of men by their wives did occur, but very infrequently. Overall, the relative scarcity of black intrafamilial homicides is striking when compared to modern industrial societies. […]

In spite of the conservative presses’ allegations that blacks had become inveterate criminals and that they monopolized the criminal calendar, the data presented here show that they were less prone to resort to homicide in the course of another crime. Only a few homicides could be linked to other forms of black criminal behavior. Although robberies were regularly committed by blacks in rural Louisiana, evidence shows that blacks rarely committed murder while perpetrating theft. Only 34 black homicides, of which 19 were against whites, were linked to robbery. Meanwhile, 61 white homicides originated with robberies, and 37 of these were intraracial in nature. The fact that so few homicides were related to robbery is in itself rather surprising.

When all of the evidence is evaluated, one is left with the impression that most intraracial homicides, for both races, were not premeditated but rather spontaneous acts arising from disputes between individuals who knew each other. These data confirm the view that both blacks and whites in nineteenth-century Louisiana had quick tempers and an exaggerated sense of honor. When these two elements combined with whisky, gaming, and pistols, they became highly explosive. Indeed, these were the cultural characteristics that made intraracial homicides a daily occurrence for both races in rural Louisiana.


Twentieth-century social scientists have fully examined the various factors that underlie black and white violence. They have demonstrated by sophisticated analysis how violence was deeply rooted in poverty, lack of education, poor housing, and disrupted family. Nevertheless few historians have examined nineteenth-century black violence, except in very general terms. Since intraracial homicide rates have been especially high among African Americans in the United States during the last century, these historians have concluded, without detailed study, that the same was true for the nineteenth-century rural South. They were therefore rather quick to draw sweeping conclusiosn and to adopt the impressionistic portrayals of black violence that they found in the local conservative press.

The foregoing analysis of the general patterns of homicide and the statistical breakdown between races show that these historians have been too hasty in blaming blacks for the high level of violence that marked the period. In fact, whites were largely responsible for the general atmosphere of violence that prevailed. Proportionately they killed each other in greater numbers than did blacks. Evidence presented here clearly shows that there were fewer black intraracial homicides per 100,000 persons than there were among whites.

This data set also reveals several important characteristics of post-Civil War homicidal behavior in Louisiana. First, violence became more intraracially oriented with the end of Reconstruction. Second, white intraracial homicide rates declined significantly with the end of Reconstruction, while black homicide rates also fell, but much less sharply. Third, white and black intraracial rates varied within the various areas of the state and were closely linked to the general rates of violence that prevailed in those regions.

The sharp decline of white interracial violence was due to a greater consensus among whites about the black issue, the fall from power of the Republicans, and the appeasement of the social and political disruption generated by the Civil War. Paradoxically, the same factors that eased the tension within the white community were responsible for the relative stagnation of black homicidal behavior. As blacks became more socially and politically alienated, violence remained a dominant feature of their community.

Roots of Violence in Black Philadelphia, 1860-1900
by Roger Lane
p. 165-74

As was appropriate for these decades of stasis, the Afro-American murder rate simply started high and stayed there. It began at 12.9 convictions per 100,000 population during 1901-1907, dropped marginally […] The most thorough investigation ever into the patterns of criminal homicide was conducted in Philadelphia during this hopeful period, from 1948 through 1952. This was in retrospect the high point of the urban-industrial revolution. Three full generations had passed since the city’s overall murder rate had begun to fall in the 1870s—since the public and parochial schools, factory and white-collar work, had combined to redirect the aggressive impulses of most of the population. Homicide was not then a major social problem for most of the population. The overall murder rate for Philadelphia, as counted by the best and highest method, the number of offenders known to the police, was 6.0 per 100,000 of population, very close to the big-city average of 6.8. By comparison with earlier years, and later, murder was almost domesticated. Over half of all killings, or 51 percent, occurred in the home and were confined largely within the circle of family, friends, and acquaintance. Only 14 percent of victims were strangers; less than 8 percent of them were robbed. The white murder rate stood at 1.8; the black at 24.6, or just fourteen times as high. Thus, for the first time in generations the officially recorded racial gap in this index of violence had not grown at all.

The future had not looked so promising for decades, as greater opportunities continued to pull blacks out of the South and into northern cities. These in-migrants were by no means troublesome social problems on arrival. On the contrary, transplanted southerners were typically vigorous and ambitious young people, more of whom had graduated from high school—34 percent—than the 33 percent among the white population of the cities in which they settled. In Philadelphia specifically they were also much less prone to mental illness than those who had been longer exposed to the multiple problems that still afflicted people who had grown up in a metropolis.

Many of the hopes, too, of these Afro-American migrants were apparently realized. The breakthroughs in civil rights helped create a new leverage in urban politics. Above all, the gains continued in factory and white-collar employment, matched by the steady but far smaller increases among professionals managers and other elite groups. The situation in Philadelphia was again typical. As of 1950, 8 percent of the black male work force had won white-collar jobs, fully 25 percent were classified as operatives and kindred workers,” and another 11 percent were called “craftsmen, foremen, etc.” Over the next decade these figures crept up, the white-collar workers to 10.5 percent and the craftsmen to 12.5.

The year 1960 marked three related and dramatic firsts. The census of that year, marking the climax to the long historic process of migration, recorded that the black population of the United States, once overwhelmingly rural, had reversed that situation and become more typically urban than the whites, by a margin of 73 to 70 percent. The end of an almost equally significant process was signaled by the black proportion of factory workers for the first time exceeding the white, or 28 percent to 21 percent in Philadelphia, 25 to 20 percent across the country. In a further development, the national death rate from homicide dropped for both whites and blacks—the white rate from 2.6 to 2.5 per 100,000 annually, the black from 28.8 to 23.1. As of 1960, which closed out three eventful and promising decades, the overall murder rate of 4.7 was the lowest in any decennial year since the F.B.I. began collecting statistics in 1933.


Yet the promise of the mid-century decades has not generally been realized, and in particular the condition of poorer blacks in cities is in many respects worse than it was a generation ago. Patterns of criminal behavior have intensified, exacerbating all other problems, as part of a wider national and even international increase in violent and illicit activity of all sorts. In other respects, too—some positive, many negative—the postindustrial era dating form the late 1950s has created a different world for Afro-Americans and indeed for everyone.

The central irony is that just as blacks were beginning to enter the urban industrial age, the economy and indeed the whole society shifted beneath them. The high point occurred toward the middle of the 1950s when the Afro-American unemployment rate reached a historic low of 4.5 percent. From then on, though migrants continued to move into the city, the city itself was increasingly not what it had been. Part of the reason that blacks had by 1960 become more characteristically urban than whites is that whites were leaving the city in larger numbers.

Race, Reform, and Rebellion (3rd ed.)
by Manning Marable
p. 152

In 1960, the homicide rate per 100,000 blacks was 21.9, slightly less than the black homicide figure of 1910 (22.3). By 1970, the black homicide rate reached 35.5 percent, compared to a 4.4 figure among American whites. During the Nixon, Ford and Carter administration, black fratricidal violence soared. About 55 black males per thousand were victims of violent crime during the 1970s. Of all black working-class and impoverished households 13 to 16 percent experienced robberies every year in the decade. Black male homicide rates were between 600 and 900 percent higher than those for whites by the late 1970s. And by 1980, 50 percent of all American homicides were black males killing other black males.

American Homicide
by Randolph Roth
Kindle Locations 222-225

Race and slavery are connected to America’s homicide problem, but not in a straightforward way. Before the 1890s, for example, African Americans were far less likely to kill than whites were, and especially unlikely to kill one another. Why, for the past century, has the opposite been the case? Why were Virginia and Maryland no more homicidal than Pennsylvania in the 1720s and 1730s, when they had more slaves and free blacks? Why did slave states become more homicidal after the Revolution, when free states became less homicidal?

The Ethnic Myth: Race, Ethnicity, and Class in America
by Stephen Steinberg
pp. 111-124

However, now that immigrants have escaped from the poverty of earlier generations, they tend to look back on their experience in poverty as different from that of lower-class minorities today. Thus, Nathan Glazer distinguishes between “slums of hope” and “slums of despair,” by which he implies that immigrant slums were not afflicted with the social disorganization and cultural distortions that are identified with present-day slums. According to this view, despite their material privations, immigrant families stayed together, workers organized for better wages, and a stubborn ethnic pride cemented immigrants together in collective self-defense against the deprecations of the outside world. The solidarity of family and community is assumed to be the chief reason that immigrant ghettos were spared the social pathologies associated with today’s ghettos.

But were they so spared? A number of recent studies suggest that social pathologies of various kinds were more widespread in immigrant communities than has previously been acknowledged. Once again, it will be useful to focus on the Jewish experience, since Jews have so often been held out as an example of a group that, despite the poverty of the immigrant generation, did not produce high rates of crime and other such pathologies.

“Slums of Hope”

Chroniclers of the Jewish experience in America have rarely suggested that crime among Jews was ever more than an idiosyncratic event. […] However, this was not the prevailing view in the early part of the century.

In 1908 the “crime wave” among immigrant Jews emerged as an explosive political issue […] In the popular mind Jews were very much a part of the crime wave that had besieged American cities, and Jewish groups were kept busy defending Jewish honor against the exaggerated and often malicious allegations that periodically appeared in the press.

The debate within the Jewish community over the “criminality problem” produced the usual ideological split. Most of the Yiddish press, as well as moderate Jewish leaders, attributed the rising rate of crime among Jews to the breakdown of the traditional order. The problem, they believed, was that in America parents had lost control over their children, and religion and other traditional values had been shattered. To remedy this situation, they called for a revitalization of traditional values through religious instruction and various social work programs; they also advocated a more concerted effort within the Jewish community to stamp out crime.

The socialist Forward, however, took a quite different view of the rising rates of crime among Jews. The problem, the Forward insisted, was not with the Jewish community or even an erosion of traditional values, but with capitalism. The Forward explicitly rejected the notion of “Jewish crime.” It seemed obvious that the destitute condition of immigrant Jews was the root cause of crime, and for this reason the Forward opposed the Kehillah and other specifically Jewish efforts to control crime. If crime was a product of conditions endemic to capitalism, then narrow strategies that treated crime as an internal disorder of the Jewish community were misdirected and doomed to failure.

The experience of other immigrant groups certainly is consistent with the Forward’s view that crime had nothing to do with ethnicity as such, but was primarily a function of poverty. The history of prostitution in America is a case in point. The “oldest profession” has always been the province of the newest group to reside in urban ghettos. In the middle of the nineteenth century it was the Irish who, despite a strong tradition of chastity, figured most prominently among the streetwalkers of New York and Boston. Later in the century they were replaced by Jews and other immigrants. Only in recent decades has this dubious mantle been passed on to blacks and other newcomers to the city.

Generally speaking, there has been an ethnic succession in an all areas of crime, beginning with the Irish, who were the first identifiable minority to inhabit urban slums. In the 1860s Harper’s Magazine observed that the Irish “have so behaved themselves that nearly 75% of our criminals are Irish, that fully 75% of the crimes of violence committed among us are the work of Irishmen. . . .” Speculation as to the causes of the alarming rate of crime among the Irish centered on ethnic traits, especially the intemperate disposition of the Irish “race.”

By the end of the century, the connection between immigration and crime became something of a national obsession. The United States Immigration Commission, which carried out a series of studies on the “immigration problem,” devoted a whole volume to “Immigrants and Crime.” On the basis of extensive statistics collected in New York, Chicago, and Massachusetts, the commission drew up a composite picture of “races and nationalities . . . exhibiting clearly defined criminal characteristics.” Italians figured most prominently with respect to crimes of personal violence, including murder. The Irish stood out among those arrested for drunkenness and vagrancy. The French and Jews were disproportionately represented among those arrested for prostitution. In addition, Jews were second only to native Americans when it came to crimes against property, including burglary, larceny, and receiving stolen goods. Greeks, Italians, and Jews all ranked high with respect to infractions against city ordinances regulating peddling and trade. The commission concluded that “immigration has had a marked effect on the nature of the crime committed in the United States.” Though the report did not attempt to explain the observed relationship between crime and ethnicity, neither did it consider the possibility that the correlation was simply a by-product of poverty. For the commission, the relationship between nationality and crime was self-evident, and implied its own remedy: crime should be reduced by restricting the immigration of those “races” that were prone to criminality.

Today, of course, it is blacks, Puerto Ricans, and Chicanos who are blamed for high rates of crime, and as before, crime is treated as a cultural aberration rather than a symptom of class inequality. No doubt, the incidence of crime in immigrant ghettos was lower than it is today; nor, perhaps, were homicides and other crimes of violence as prevalent. But neither were immigrants mired in poverty over many generations. On the contrary, having entered an expanding economy, most immigrants were on the threshold of upward mobility. Yet if the Irish, Italians, Jews, and others produced as much crime as they did in a single generation, what could have been expected of these groups had they remained in poverty for five or eight or ten generations, like much of the nation’s black population?

That crime in immigrant communities was primarily a response to economic disadvantage, and not a product of deeper cultural abnormalities, is easier to see now that these groups have attained middle-class respectability. To realize this should make it easier to avoid confusion of social class with culture and ethnicity when considering the problems of minorities today.

“Slums of Despair”

If social scientists have idealized the immigrant communities as “slums of hope,” they have also portrayed the communities of today’s racial minorities as “slums of despair,” characterized by a tangle of pathology involving high rates of crime, unstable families, weak and disorganized communities, and a debilitating culture of poverty that is said to impede social and economic progress. In this respect, contemporary sociological thought is reminiscent of nineteenth-century Social Darwinism. Then, as now, the prevailing attitude toward the ghetto was of moral condemnation, and the onus for the ethnic plight was placed on the ethnic groups themselves. Of course, there is no small irony in the fact that the “New Darwinists” invariably have their roots in the very ethnic groups that were previously maligned by the Social Darwinists. […]

Controversy surrounded Moynihan’s insistence that the problems of black families today are a by-product of the ravages of slavery on the black family. This is a seductive argument, since it appears to place the onus of blame on a racist society. But for Moynihan it is not our sins but the sins of our fathers that are at the root of the problem. That is to say, the report tends to minimize the role of present-day conditions as they operate to undermine black families; instead, the emphasis is upon racism as it operated in the distant past. Aside from this misplaced emphasis, more recent historical evidence calls into question the assumption that slavery shattered the black family as a cultural institution.

In his history of The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, Herbert Gutman marshaled an enormous body of evidence to show that despite the abuses inflicted on black families during slavery, the cultural fabric of the family remained intact, and blacks left slavery with very powerful family traditions. Even before Gutman’s book was published there was evidence that contemporary problems in black families do not have their roots in slavery. Had Moynihan examined available data prior to the 1940s, he would have realized that illegitimacy and family instability are only recent trends that began with the mass movement of blacks to cities since the First World War. In other words, if there is a crisis in the black family, it has its roots not in slavery, but in the conditions that black migrants encountered in northern ghettos.

When immigrants lived in urban slums, they, too, experienced strains in the family system. In the early 1900s, for example, desertions wee widespread among Jewish immigrants, and Jewish journals and social agencies expressed alarm over the “desertion evil.” Some indication of the magnitude of this problem can be gleaned from the records of the United Hebrew Charities of New York, which reported that in 1903-4 alone it had received over one thousand applications for relief from deserted women. The Jewish Daily Forward routinely ran a “Gallery of Missing Husbands” to assist women in locating their errant spouses.

Once again, it would not be correct to imply that family instability was as common among Jews and other immigrants as it is among today’s racial minorities, for this was not so. But neither was their experience in poverty the same. Despite the hardships of immigrant life, most immigrants had left still more depressed conditions in their countries of origin, and their American experience of poverty was generally short-lived. In the case of New York’s Jewish population, the proportion residing on the Lower East Side declined from 75 percent in 1892 to only 23 percent in 1916. If this was a “slum of hope,” then it is clear that there was something to be hopeful about.

The vulnerability of the family to poverty was revealed during the Depression. A study by Edward Bakke, called Citizens Without Work, traced the devastating impact of unemployment on the family system. Bakke wrote:

“The family, dissociated from many of its former community contacts, is now thrown in upon itself where conflict and confusion dominate and established relationship patterns have disintegrated. There is no comfort in the family circle. The breaking up of the family unit may be considered at this time by one or both of the parents since there is a present failure to receive satisfaction customarily expected of the family and very little prospect that the future will offer anything different.”

The dissolution of families occurred despite the fact that the “citizens without work” had been unemployed for only a short time, and could hardly blame themselves for a collapse in the national economy. In contrast, racial minorities today not only experience chronic unemployment, but do so at a time of general prosperity, a condition that exacerbates feelings of self-blame, with dire consequences for the family. […]

The issue with respect to the culture of poverty, however, goes beyond the question of how much weight is to be given to internal versus external factors. The more compelling question has to do with the relationship between these two sets of factors and particularly with the ways in which external structures impinge upon and shape the values and life-styles of the poor. The stark figures presented in the Moynihan Report, for example, do not shed light on the process that results in a high rate of illegitimacy and family breakdown. To suggest that a weak family system produces family instability is meaningless, when the only evidence for the claim that the family system is weak is the high rate of family instability. To break out of this pattern of circular reasoning, and to understand the process through which family relationships are undermined, it is necessary to explore the linkages between economic forces, cultural values, and individual states of mind.

“Whites commit crimes, but black males are criminals”

In The Condemnation of Blackness, Muhammad shows how “the racial data revolution” was made to work against blacks even as social scientists, journalists, and reformers created pathways to rehabilitation for Irish, Italian, and other foreign-born immigrants once tagged with a similar stigma of criminality. Where white criminals enjoyed the privilege of “racial anonymity” and were afforded an understanding of the structural roots of poverty and crime, black criminals, whose crimes, we can now see, differed little in form and function from those committed by whites, were made to stand in for the imagined deficiencies of the race as a whole, so that in evaluations of black fitness for modern life, the innocent came to be tarred along with the actually guilty. “Whites commit crimes, but black males are criminals”—in exposing the roots of this persistent refrain, one that has justified not only racial violence but the kind of benign neglect that has relegated blacks to the margins of an American social sphere that has historically expanded to incorporate new and different groups, Muhammad shows how this particular mismeasure of man has become foundational to our thinking about modern urban America, and how its insidious logic remains with us to this day.

White Logic, White Methods: Racism and Methodology
Chapter 18
“Being a Statistician Means Never Having to Say You’re Certain”
by Oscar H. Gandy Jr
Kindle Locations 5769-5785

Arguments in support of racial profiling that are based on crime statistics often point to the “fact” that “blacks, who are only about 13 percent of the population, make up ‘35 percent of all drug arrests and 55 percent of all drug convictions,’” implying that African Americans are responsible for a “disproportionate share of the crime” (Muharrar 1999, 8).

It then falls to public intellectuals like Kennedy to remind us that not only is the implication that one is likely to draw from these statistics dangerously incorrect, in that arrest and conviction rates bear no necessary relationship to the commission of drug-related crimes, but that the social cost of using race to activate police surveillance exceeds the short-term benefits that the supporters of profiling might reasonably expect.

Kennedy (1999) suggests that each encounter that an “innocent” or nonoffending African American has with the police increases their sense of alienation, resentment, and disregard for the police and for the criminal justice system. Public opinion data support this claim, in that African Americans are more likely than Whites to hold unfavorable opinions of the police, with young Black men most likely to hold unfavorable opinions of their local police (Gallup 1999). This alienation feeds back into the system and weakens it, inviting high-level concern about the nature and extent of “jury nullification” and the reluctance among African Americans to participate in the imprisonment of still more young men (Cole 1999).

Most of what we have read about racial profiling has been framed in terms of the importance of the war against drugs (Allen-Bell 1997). The police and much of the general public have come to believe incorrectly that African Americans are far more likely to be users of illegal drugs than Whites. For many, the numbers of African Americans in prison for drug offenses supplies all the proof that anybody might need. But those “facts” deserve greater scrutiny.

If the truth is that African Americans are no more likely than Whites to be carrying drugs as they drive the New Jersey Turnpike (ACLU 1996), yet they are far more likely to be stopped and searched

Chapter 19
“Crime Statistics, Disparate Impact Analysis, and the Economic Disenfranchisement of Minority Ex-Offenders”
by Regina Austin
Kindle Locations 5910-5930

One of the most significant disabilities burdening the economic advancement of blacks and Latinos today is the tendency to link their race and/ or ethnicity with crime and violence, a linkage that statistics seemingly confirm. For example, although Blacks represent roughly 12.8 percent of the population, they constitute 28.6 percent of persons arrested, 27.7 percent of persons convicted in federal courts, 44 percent of those convicted of felonies in state courts, 37.8 percent of those incarcerated by federal authorities, and 46.5 percent of those incarcerated by state authorities. 2 Similarly, Latinos, who represent roughly 11.9 percent of the population and may be of any race, are 27.3 percent of federal inmates and 17 percent of state inmates (Bureau of Justice Statistics 2000; U.S. Census Bureau 2000). 3

All manner of social and economic consequences follow from the mistaken significance attached to such racialized criminal justice data. Because minorities are disproportionately represented among those arrested, convicted, and incarcerated, it is assumed that any individual minority person is more likely to engage in criminal behavior than any individual White person. It is accordingly thought to be rational for actors or decision makers in political, economic, or even social settings to avoid contact or interaction with minority persons who might use the encounter as an opportunity to commit a crime. There are many problems with this approach. For one thing, it is an erroneous interpretation of the gross criminal justice statistics. Even if the data are taken at face value, the percentage of the minority population engaged in criminal behavior is still quite small and so are the chances that any random minority individual poses a threat of criminal behavior (Armour 1997, 38– 39, 165 n. 10). 4 More importantly, action predicated on misinterpretations of racialized crime data produces grave social, political, and economic consequences that contravene norms of fairness and equality. The burdens imposed on Blacks and Latinos because of the inappropriate interpretation of crime data extend beyond racial profiling by law enforcement officers, a practice nearly universally condemned. 5 For example, statistical discrimination and the exaggerated fear of minority criminality have impaired the ability of law-abiding minority citizens to engage in such mundane activities as shopping in a retail establishment without being closely watched, having a pizza delivered to their door (because deliverymen fear being mugged), or paying for a purchase by check (because merchants fear that the checks will bounce) (Austin 2000; Linstedt 2000). 6

Kindle Locations 6210-6218

All racialized crime statistics should be published, read, or interpreted with the following explicit or implicit disclaimer:

Racial and ethnic data must be treated with caution because of the varying circumstances under which such information is recorded or reported…. Race and ethnicity may be recorded from observation or from self-identification. The use of racial or ethnic descriptions may reflect social custom rather than genetic or hereditary origins. Moreover, existing research on crime has generally shown that racial and ethnic identity is not predictive of crime behavior within data which has been controlled for social and economic factors such as education levels, family status, income, housing density, and residential mobility. (Minnesota Department of Public Safety 2000)

Stated more succinctly, descriptive racialized crime statistics that are not controlled for social and economic factors are “not sufficient for causal analysis and should not be used as an indicator of the role of race and criminality in economic decision making” (Walker, Spohn, and DeLone 2000).

The Condemnation of Blackness
by Khalil Gibran Muhammad
pp. 5-9

In the period under investigation, crime, despite its variability in form and expression across groups, was a ubiquitous problem across the nation— so much a problem in the urban North that it was not clear that blackness would eventually become its sole signifier. Even the wellsprings of violent crime, as historian and criminologist Jeffrey S. Adler found in his recent definitive study of homicide in Progressive era Chicago, flowed from the same broader cultural, social, economic, and demographic shifts and tensions affecting all non-elite urban people. “Contrary to the impressions of most observers,” he writes, “African American violence was similar to white violence. It resembled white homicide in the form it took; and African-American violence paralleled white violence in how that form changed.” 22 From the 1890s through the 1930s, from the Progressive era through Prohibition, African Americans had no monopoly on social banditry, crimes of resistance, or underground entrepreneurship; the “weapons of the weak” and “lower-class oppositional culture” extended far and wide and in many directions. 23 The Condemnation of Blackness demonstrates and explains how ideas of racial inferiority and crime became fastened to African Americans by contrast to ideas of class and crime that shaped views of European immigrants and working-class whites. 24

Whiteness scholars have shown how crucial the attributes of skin color, European ancestry, and the gradual adoption of anti-black racism were to immigrant assimilation “into the singular ‘white race.’ ”25 Such benefits, Thomas Guglielmo found recently, even secured the whiteness of Chicago’s “Sicilian Gunmen” because their criminality “never positioned them as non-white in any sustained or systematic way.” 26 Building on whiteness and critical race scholarship, I explore how postbellum southern black out-migration to the urban North— to Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York in particular— fueled an invidious black migration narrative framed by crime statistics and reshaped broader racial discourses on immigration and urbanization during Progressive era. Evoking the specter of black rapists and murderers moving north one step ahead of lynch mobs, innovative racial demographers such as Frederick L. Hoffman explicitly sanitized and normalized the criminality of northern white working and immigrant classes. Consequently, the black southern migrant— the “Negro, stranger in our midst”— was marked as an exceptionally dangerous newcomer.

One of the strongest claims this book makes is that statistical comparisons between the Foreign-born and the Negro were foundational to the emergence of distinctive modern discourses on race and crime. For all the ways in which poor Irish immigrants of the mid-nineteenth century were labeled members of the dangerous classes, criminalized by Anglo-Saxon police, and over-incarcerated in the nation’s failing prisons, Progressive era social scientists used statistics and sociology to create a pathway for their redemption and rehabilitation. 27 A generation before the Chicago School of Sociology systematically destroyed the immigrant house of pathology built by social Darwinists and eugenicists, Progressive era social scientists were innovating environmental theories of crime and delinquency while using crime statistics to demonstrate the assimilability of the Irish, the Italian, and the Jew by explicit contrast to the Negro. 28 White progressives often discounted crime statistics or disregarded them altogether in favor of humanizing European immigrants, as in much of Jane Addams’s writings. 29 In one of the first academic textbooks on crime, Charles R. Henderson, a pioneering University of Chicago social scientist, declared that “the evil [of immigrant crime] is not so great as statistics carelessly interpreted might prove.” He explained that age and sex ratios— too many young males— skewed the data. But where the “Negro factor” is concerned, Henderson continued, “racial inheritance, physical and mental inferiority, barbarian and slave ancestry and culture,” were among the “most serious factors in crime statistics.” 30

Similar comparisons would echo for the rest of the twentieth century. The Progressive era was indeed the founding moment for the emergence of an enduring statistical discourse of black dysfunctionality rather than the 1960s, as is commonly believed. The post-Moynihan social-scientific and public policy view of black pathology that scholars such as Robin D. G. Kelley criticize as “ghetto ethnography” began, statistically speaking, in the 1890s. The racial project of making blacks the “thing against which normality, whiteness, and functionality have been defined,” was foundational to the making of modern urban America. 31 Shaped by racial ideology and racism, the statistical ghetto emerged, study by study, in the Progressive era as the northern Black Belt formed block by block. 32 Inextricably linked at birth, they grew up together.

Northern black crime statistics and migration trends in the 1890s, 1900s, and 1910s were woven together into a cautionary tale about the exceptional threat black people posed to modern society. In the Windy City, in the City of Brotherly Love, and in the nation’s Capital of Commerce this tale was told, infused with symbolic references to American civilization, to American modernity, and to the fictive promised land of unending opportunity for all who, regardless of race or class or nationality, sought their fortunes. In these imagined communities of a post-slavery, post-Reconstruction civil rights America, “color-blind universalism” added an additional thread of contempt to the narrative. In a moment when most white Americans believed in the declining significance of racism, statistical evidence of excessive rates of black arrests and the overrepresentation of black prisoners in the urban North was seen by many whites as indisputable proof of black inferiority. 33

What else but black pathology could explain black failure in these modern meccas of opportunity? Unlike subsequent commentators in the 1920s and 1930s, Progressive era white race-relations writers frequently asserted that racism had nothing to do with black criminality. They self-consciously critiqued black criminality in what they perceived to be race-neutral language. The numbers “speak for themselves” was one frequent refrain, followed by “I am not a racist.” 34 A variant attached to both rhetorical strategies accused black race-relations writers of being biased and sentimental toward their own. They were accused of “coddling” their own criminals and excusing their behavior. When black experts dug in, when they made forceful counterarguments of epidemic racism in the heyday of “separate but equal”— even in the North— they were often charged with playing the race card (a concept then still in its infancy). The familiar resonance of these statements and exchanges is a testament to their longevity in American culture and society. 35

One explanation for the staying power of black crime rhetoric is that it had far more proponents than opponents compared to other racial concepts. 36 Beginning in the late nineteenth century, the statistical rhetoric of the “Negro criminal” became a proxy for a national discourse on black inferiority. As an “objective” measure, it also became a tool to shield white Americans from the charge of racism when they used black crime statistics to support discriminatory public policies and social welfare practices. Evidence throughout the first half of this book shows that the gap in the racial crime rhetoric between avowedly white supremacist writers and white progressives narrowed significantly when it came to discussing black crime, vice, and immorality. Progressive era white social scientists and reformers often reified the racial criminalization process by framing white criminals sympathetically as victims of industrialization. They described a “great army of unfortunates” juxtaposed against an army of self-destructive and pathological blacks who were their “own worst enem[ ies].” 37 Race and crime linkages fueled an early antiliberal resentment that pushed African Americans to the margins of an expanding public and private collaboration of social, civic, and political reform. 38 Northern white settlement house workers, for example, drew on these ideas when they limited their crime prevention efforts “for whites only.” 39 Local YMCA officials, playground managers, and recreation center supervisors drew on these ideas when they locked black youngsters out of constructive sites of leisure and supervised play. Trans-ethnic gangs of white men— backed by consenting police officers— drew on these ideas as they attacked black pedestrians and homeowners in an increasingly violent and enduring contest over racialized space in the urban North.

To be sure, racial liberals— a subset of white progressives— pushed back against the rising tide of northern segregation, discrimination, and violence during the Progressive era. 40 Such leaders as Jane Addams and Mary White Ovington distinguished themselves in their NAACP commitments to civil and political rights. Drawing on the pioneering work of cultural anthropologist Franz Boas, racial liberals also promoted new cultural explanations of black criminality and rejected the biological determinism of the racial Darwinists who had dominated scientific discourse on race since the mid-nineteenth century. But there were limits to Boas’s culture concept. 41 The statistical evidence of black criminality remained rooted in the concept of black inferiority or black pathology despite a shift in the social scientific discourse on the origins of race and crime. The shift from a racial biological frame to a racial cultural frame kept race at the heart of the discourse. Although racist notions of (permanent) biological inferiority gave way to liberal notions of (temporary) cultural inferiority, racial liberals continued to distinguish black criminality from white and ethnic criminality. In effect, they incriminated black culture. Attempts to deemphasize blackness and provide social welfare for African Americans never matched the scale or intensity of the Americanization project among immigrants. The racial-cultural content of white ethnic criminality gradually began to lose its currency during the Progressive era, while black criminality became more visible (and more contested by blacks). 42

African Americans & Crime

War on Drugs and Marriage

ARE Blacks A Criminal Race? Surprising Statistics

Unfortunately, this false debate has obscured the deeper issue – whether or not Blacks contribute disproportionately to the crime rate. Media coverage, conviction rates and “common knowledge” (stereotypes) all suggest that Blacks commit crimes at a rate disproportionate to our numbers in society. Conservatives embrace this assumption, and call for tougher laws. Liberals embrace the same assumption, though squeamishly, and instead call for more social programs.

The better question for public debate is this: do the actual government statistics bear out the claim that Blacks contribute disproportionately to the crime rate? Or is this largely a stereotype, which is driven by the disproportionate rate of ARRESTS and CONVICTIONS of Black people? And does the over-focus on Black crime conceal an alarmingly high crime rate within the white population? […]

Those who believe that African American or Latino youth are more “criminal” than any other ethnic groups are simply wrong. The real facts tell us much more than stereotypes, or musings—both of which obscure the well-documented disparate treatment accorded African Americans compared to whites within the justice system. These comments on racially disparate crime also overlook the area of “corporate crime.”

And another thing about that “Blacks being more Criminal…” noise

As you can see the clearance rate for violent crimes are far far higher than they are for property crimes such as Burglary or Larceny – yet Burglaries and Larcenies occur many times more often, which means that since the most common crimes actually lead to the lowest percentage of arrest we really have NO IDEA whose doing what “the Most”.

If they’re only arresting 22% of the people who perpetrate larceny, that means 78% of them are getting away with it. 78% of 6.1 Million is 4,797,000 Crimes being committed that no one is being arrest for. […]

[Ed. To reinterate: being ARRESTED MORE OFTEN doesn’t mean that someone is necessarily GUILTY More often. Arrests only show the amount of focus that Police are placing in that particular area, so what we can see is that the Police focus is HIGHER for Murder and for Robbery than it is for Burglary and it is for Larceny, even though Murder and Robbery are much less frequent than the others. It doesn’t mean Black people committed more of these crimes, it only means they get presumed guilty and arrested for them more often.]

It’s very possible that Black People are arrested more often simply because they are suspected more often regardless of whether they did the crime or didn’t. We can see from the results of the Innocent Project that using DNA evidence 317 people who had been convicted and sent to death row – Couldn’t Have Done the Crime, so exactly how positive can we be about everyone else in prison with cases against them that are nowhere near as rigorously vetted as Death Row Cases are? […]

The presumption of Black Guilt drives police to stop, question, ticket and arrest black people far more often than they are found actually committing crimes, and the same type of thing affects who gets charged, who gets sentenced harshly [remember “affluenza”] and who ultimately winds up in jail and prison for longer periods. This is has been shown to be case by many studies. […]

What we don’t see here in any of the data is a greater propensity for Black Criminality Across the Board. It’s not across the board, where’s there’s a disparity it’s limited to specific areas and doesn’t spread to every type of case.

Yes, even if we were able to add a control to eliminate the police disparity and bias that has been repeatedly proven, proportionally Blacks would probably still be far too represented in cases of Murder and Robbery, but there may be reasons for that. Many of the Robberies are economically induced. People steal because they Want Stuff they don’t have. People who have stuff, and are earning a decent wage at a decent job don’t usually need to commit Robberies – those people can commit Larceny by stealing from their employer while they’re on the job.

Also a lot of Murders in the Black community are retaliatory, especially when Gangs and the Drug Trade are involved. They’re Pay-Back for someone else being Murdered. People are getting Street Justice, because they don’t think the POLICE are going to catch the person who did the first crime [rightly or wrongly the perception is that many murders of Black people are far more likely to go unsolved without an arrest or prosecution even when other Black people are the perpetrators], so as a result they take the law in their own hands. […]

Yeah, it’s an issue. Yeah, they’re out of “proportion” in these two areas. But it’s interesting how people that harp on this proportion stuff, don’t ever want to recognize that they’re also dramatically out of proportion on access to jobs, access to healthcare, access to housing, and access to decent education. Their out of proportion in their access to HOPE, and without Hope nothing good can flourish. These things are not unconnected. If you go further down the table Black people are actually below their proportion – just 12-13% of those arrested – when it comes to DUI and liquor laws but I’m not really expecting that they get any “credit” for that stuff. Blacks overperform in plenty of areas and that’s used against them all the time.

But again, the total number of Murders we’re talking about are fairly small compared to every other crime that’s happening on the list. Same thing with the Robberies. Take an unemployment rate somewhere in the 20-30% for young black men, add some resentment, persecution, lousy schools, hopelessness, desperation and puree for 50 years and a shit load of pointless Murder and Robbery is just a couple of the crappy results you’re gonna get. Shiny Happy Talk about “Opportunity” and “Pulling up your Pants” aren’t very convincing in that environment.

Yes, Murder is a far more serious crime, but is Robbery really that different from Burglary or Larceny? We’re literally comparing Millions of Crimes, with Thousands, and Hundreds. Why doesn’t that proportional difference count?

Either way we can see that Larceny – one of the most common crimes – isn’t where you see Black people jumping out way ahead of White people. Not even.

In raw simple numbers Black people with 2.6 Million Arrests really can’t possibly commit More Crime than White People at 6.5 Million Arrests. That’s just not logical. Maybe if Black people were only at 1.7 Million Arrests, or 1.4 Million some people who seem eternally bothered by this would feel better – but it still feels like a big smoke screen to take our attention away from the OTHER 4.7 Million Criminals that are getting away without an arrest and without a conviction for their crimes, year after year after year. Now I think it’s safe to assume that some of those missing arrests are for repeat offenders, even if they don’t get caught the first, second, third or tenth time – they might get them on the eleventh so there just might not be a one-to-one relationship between one single crime each being performed by one single criminal.

But then that means we really have no fracking idea how many of who is actually doing what now what do we? All we know is who is far more likely to pay the price for it in our jails and losing their lives on our streets.

Although I can’t prove it, somehow I just don’t think most of those missing guys and gals doing the most crimes and not getting caught – are Black. I just don’t. Black guys, generally speaking, are automatically suspected of everything and practically can’t get away with anything.

Black-on-Black Crime You Say? White People Kill Each Other Just as Much as Black People Do

The final issue with the “Black-on-Black Crime” argument involves the disparate treatment of Black and White offenders in the criminal justice system. Whites represent a majority of the American population and are responsible for 54% of murders involving an intimate partner, 59% of murders involving a family member, 55% of murders involving infants, 56% of murders involving elders, 54% of sex related murders, 53% of gang related murders, 70% of workplace related murders, 55% of arson related murders, 80% of poison related murders, and 53% of murders involving multiple victims (BJS, 2011). Blacks comprise 13% of the population and are responsible for 59% of felony murders, 65% of drug murders, 50% of murders involving an argument, 56% of gun homicides, and 54% of murders with multiple offenders (BJS, 2011).

Although Whites commit more types of homicides in comparison to Blacks, Blacks are more likely to be arrested and convicted. Whites are just as likely as Blacks to commit crimes against people of their own race, but Blacks often receive longer sentences and are more likely to be incarcerated or sentenced to death when they commit crimes against people of their own race. It is a double-standard that Whites who commit crimes are more likely to be acquitted, and Blacks who commit crimes and are more likely to be convicted. This historical issue of racially disparate treatment in the criminal justice system is another reason why people rally for justice. Using the “Black-on-Black Crime” argument only serves as a means to distract people from macro-level issues of injustice.

White People Commit the Most Heinous Crimes, So Why Is America Terrified of Black Men?

In our nation’s history, so many of the sickest, most appalling crimes have been committed by whites. Yet no matter how sadistic the crime, no matter how young the victims, no matter how much fear is engendered in a community, no matter how much media attention and public discussion the crimes of whites engender, the race itself is never sullied. One does not look at a white man or woman and feel concern that pale skin enhances the likelihood that he or she is an assassin, a bomber, a murderer. […]

Let’s look at run-of-the-mill crimes today. Who’s committing them? Who should be feared? Again, it depends on what categories of offenses we choose to fear. Whites are disproportionately arrested for some crimes, such as arson, driving under the influence, and vandalism. That is, even with the focus of police resources on black communities, whites are convicted of these offenses at numbers greater than their percentage of the population. Drunk driving is a real menace, killing over 10,000 Americans per year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. Yet no one eyes a white driver next to him on the road and says, “A-ha, light-skinned guy, he’s probably drunk, I’m calling the police.” The statistics don’t matter. Our perceptions do.

How much crime overall is committed by African Americans? You’d be surprised at how difficult it is to strip away anxieties and emotions and arrive at the factual answer to this question. Most go quickly to FBI arrest or incarceration statistics, to see who has been convicted and sentenced for various offenses, broken down by race. But this data doesn’t include every state or even consistent reporting from one police department to the next. Nevertheless, this FBI data shows that African Americans, who comprise 13 percent of our population, represent 38 percent of inmates in state and federal prisons. That is, blacks are locked up at nearly three times their rate in population, a shockingly high number. This statistic is often used in support of the black-as-criminal conclusion.

But these numbers are almost entirely useless, because they are both over- and under-inclusive. They include a small number of people who may be innocent as well as a very large number of inmates incarcerated for nonviolent offenses, especially marijuana possession, which does not strike fear in the hearts of most people. Worse, these numbers are flawed because they do not reflect who’s committing the crime, merely who has been apprehended and locked up. They leave out all the burglars and rapists and killers who are still on the loose.

And the statistics don’t take into account unequal policing. Many people are unaware of the huge disparity of law enforcement resources applied to majority black urban neighborhoods in comparison to the relatively lax policing of white suburbs. Police departments send legions of officers to patrol inner city neighborhoods, with high concentrations of blacks, stopping, questioning, and frisking African Americans (and Hispanics), and where law enforcement has more eyes on a community, it finds more offenses. Once in the “sticky” criminal justice system, young men of color are likely to find themselves under correctional control, monitored, watched for many years, even after release from incarceration. To make room for the skyrocketing number of Americans (disproportionately men of color) incarcerated in the last few decades, we’ve slashed and generally eliminated prison counseling, drug treatment programs, education and vocational programs. Once released, ex-cons are legally discriminated against by employers, denied food stamps, access to public housing, school loans, professional licenses, and access to many other basic services. As a result, the United States has a high recidivism rate, as drug dealing and other criminal enterprises are the rare occupations that offer jobs to released former inmates. In inner city neighborhoods, it’s easy to fall under correctional control, and once in, it’s tough to get out.

The chief problem with arrest and incarceration statistics, compiled so diligently by law enforcement annually and relied upon heavily by most legal analysts, is that they are only as good as the humans making decisions as to where to focus police, what crimes to charge, what plea bargains to offer, what sentences to impose. As we’ve seen, nearly everyone harbors implicit racial fears and assumptions, and the humans staffing our criminal justice system are no better nor worse than the rest of us. We know that at every turn, similarly situated African Americans are treated more punitively than whites in the criminal justice system.

Thus the decisions made at the entry point to the criminal justice system – community policing decisions as to who gets watched, who gets stopped, who gets questioned, who gets patted down for contraband – powerfully determine not who is a criminal, but who gets labelled as criminal. All things being equal, inmate numbers would easily tell us who has broken the law. But again, almost nothing is equal in our justice system.

For example, arrests. We know that overall blacks and whites use marijuana at about the same rate (whites are more likely to sell). Among young people aged eighteen to twenty-five, the most common age to be caught up in the criminal justice system, whites are more likely to have smoked marijuana. This is contrary to the widely held association of drug use with African Americans. When we include other narcotics, whites constitute the vast majority of drug users. Yet in one survey, when subjects were asked, “Would you close your eyes for a second, envision a drug user, and describe that person to me?” Ninety-five percent of respondents pictured a black drug user.

Nationwide, four times as many African Americans as whites are arrested for marijuana possession. In Iowa and the District of Columbia, the number jumps to eight times as many. How does this happen? Because police departments, partly driven by a desire to increase their drug arrest statistics, concentrate on minority or poorer neighborhoods. Focusing on low-level offenses is easier and cheaper than investigating serious crimes, and drives those arrest numbers high, triggering increased funding. And so hundreds of thousands of inner city residents are arrested, convicted, and incarcerated for having a joint, a cookie, or a baggie of marijuana in their pocket, even though the majority of Americans favor legalization.

When was the last time you saw a drug sweep in the suburbs?

If one reasoned only from arrest records, one would conclude that blacks are four times as likely as whites to smoke marijuana. And we know that would be wrong. Reasoning backward from arrest or imprisonment statistics to conclude that minority groups are violent criminals is equally flawed.

We know that police disproportionately target neighborhoods of color, so that’s where the vast majority of arrests occur. That does not necessarily mean that’s where most of the criminals are.

White people are more likely to deal drugs, but black people are more likely to get arrested for it


Here’s a pretty astonishing chart on the skyrocketing number of arrests of black Americans for nonviolent drug crimes. Brookings’ Jonathan Rothwell lays it out:

Arrest data show a striking trend: arrests of blacks have fallen for violent and property crimes, but soared for drug related crimes. As of 2011, drug crimes comprised 14 percent of all arrests and a miscellaneous category that includes “drug paraphernalia” possession comprised an additional 31 percent of all arrests. Just 6 percent and 14 percent of arrests were for violent and property crimes, respectively.

Even more surprising is what gets left out of the chart: Blacks are far more likely to be arrested for selling or possessing drugs than whites, even though whites use drugs at the same rate. And whites are actually more likely to sell drugs

U.S. Homicide & Suicide Rates in Whites & Blacks

(6) The suicide rate is notably increasing for whites.
(7) The homicide rate is notably decreasing for blacks.

White-on-white murder in America is out of control

And there are many countries full of white people — Norway, Iceland, France, Denmark, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom — where white people murder each other at a much lower rate than you see here in the United States. On the other hand, although people often see criminal behavior as a symptom of poverty, the quantity of murder committed by white people specifically in the United States casts some doubt on this. Per capita GDP is considerably higher here than in France — and the white population in America is considerably richer than the national average — and yet we have more white murderers.

To understand the level of cultural pathology at work here, it’s important to understand that 36 percent of those killed by whites are women — a far higher share than you see with black murderers.

Race, Crime and Statistical Malpractice: How the Right Manipulates White Fear With Bogus Data

* Only about 1 percent of African Americans — and no more than 2 percent of black males — will commit a violent crime in a given year;
* Even though there are more black-on-white interracial crimes than white-on-black interracial crimes, this fact is not evidence of anti-white racial targeting by black offenders. Rather, it is completely explained by two factors having nothing to do with anti-white bias: namely, the general differences in rates of criminal offending, and the rates at which whites and blacks encounter one another (and thus, have the opportunity to victimize one another). Once these two factors are “controlled for” in social science terms, the actual rates of black-on-white crime are lower than random chance would predict;
* No more than 0.7 percent (seven-tenths of one percent) of African Americans will commit a violent crime against a white person in a given year, and fewer than 0.3 (three-tenths of one percent) of whites will be victimized by a black person in a given year;
* Whites are 6 times as likely to be murdered by another white person as by a black person; and overall, the percentage of white Americans who will be murdered by a black offender in a given year is only 2/10,000ths of 1 percent (0.0002). This means that only 1 in every 500,000 white people will be murdered by a black person in a given year. Although the numbers of black-on-white homicides are higher than the reverse (447 to 218 in 2010), the 218 black victims of white murderers is actually a higher percentage of the black population interracially killed than the 447 white victims of black murderers as a percentage of the white population. In fact, any given black person is 2.75 times as likely to be murdered by a white person as any given white person is to be murdered by an African American.

Nazis Can’t Do Math: Reflections on Racism, Crime and the Illiteracy of Right-Wing Statistical Analysis

To say that white people’s lives are endangered by black folks, as though it were some widespread social truth, is to ignore the facts in the service of one’s prejudices and paranoiac fears. According to the most comprehensive data set ever compiled regarding homicides in America, which breaks perpetrators and victims down by race and ethnicity, the numbers of black-on-white homicides, and the percentage of homicides by African Americans that involve white victims are both much smaller than one would expect. And although interracial homicide in either direction is quite rare, the fact is, any given black person in the U.S. is almost three times as likely to be murdered by a white person as any given white person is to be murdered by someone who is black. […]

[O]nly a ridiculously small percentage of African Americans will kill anyone in a given year. In 2010, since there were 42 million African Americans in the population, for there to have been 8,384 black murderers (and even if we assumed that each of these were separate and unique persons — i.e., there were no repeat offenders, which is unlikely), this would mean that at most, about 2 one-hundreths of one percent of all blacks committed homicide that year. So to fear black people generally, given numbers like these, is truly absurd. […]

In other words, although interracial homicides are incredibly rare in either direction, any given black person in the United States is about 2.8 times more likely to be killed by a white person than any given white person is to be murdered by a black person.

Just to put the risk of a white person being murdered by a black person in perspective, that risk is one-fifth the risk of dying while out for a walk, and we’re about 2.5 times more likely to die from choking, more than twice as likely to die from post-surgery complications, and about 60 percent more likely to die from falling down stairs.

Likewise, we are more than 40 times as likely to die in a motor vehicle accident, about 3 times as likely to date a supermodel, 4.5 times as likely to strike it rich on Antiques Roadshow, and far more likely to die from falling in the bathtub.

Which is to say, rather than fearing black people, white folks should — statistically speaking — stop bathing, stop driving, gather up all the dated nicknacks in our basements and call our local public television station, never climb stairs, and go on a completely liquid diet that won’t involve chewing. […]

*A note here about why the black homicide offending rate is so much higher than the rate for whites. Contrary to the arguments of many on the right — and especially white nationalist types — that the disproportionate rate of violent crime (and especially murder) is due to something either genetic or cultural about black folks specifically, the facts say otherwise.

According to the research by actual criminologists (which is to say, not by racist internet trolls), socioeconomic variables explain the difference between white and black violence rates, and where economic conditions are comparable between whites and blacks, there are no significant racial crime differences. In fact, the correlation between economic variables and crime are remarkably consistent from one society to the next. Evidence gathered from more than thirty countries has found that race and ethnicity have far less to do with crime than these environmental factors.

Please note, it is not that poverty in the abstract causes crime — or is, in and of itself, even the main correlative factor for crime — but rather, the kinds of conditions associated with extreme poverty that are to blame. Although whites in the U.S. also suffer poverty, black poverty is more severe and more likely to correlate with crime. Seven out of ten poor whites live in stable, mostly non-poor neighborhoods, while eighty-five percent of the black poor live in mostly poor areas. Blacks are three times more likely to live in extreme poverty than whites (less than half the poverty line), and six times more likely to live in concentrated poverty neighborhoods. Indeed, three-quarters of persons living in concentrated poverty neighborhoods are people of color (powell, john, 2001. “Socioeconomic School Integration,” Poverty and Race Research Action Council Bulletin, 10: 6, November/December: 6).

Looking specifically at homicide rates, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that crowded housing was the key to higher murder rates among blacks in the U.S. When census tracts with similar incomes, population density and housing conditions are compared, racial murder rate differences evaporate, (Pope, John, 1995, “Murder linked to dense poverty,” New Orleans Times-Picayune. June 14), because the poorest neighborhoods have similar homicide rates, no matter their racial composition.

A 1990 meta-analysis of twenty-one different studies on homicide, covering thirty years of research found much the same thing: among all the factors positively correlated with higher homicide rates, two of the most significant were unemployment rates and community resource deprivation.

Indeed, racial crime gaps in the U.S. are largely a reflection of geography. Since blacks are more concentrated in cities, which have higher crime rates no matter their racial makeup, the crime rate among blacks is skewed upwards; but this has nothing to do with any genetic or cultural predisposition to crime. In large measure, because cities are more crowded, and because crowded areas tend to increase levels of anonymity amongst residents, and chip away at the levels of organization in a neighborhood, they will be the site of elevated levels of crime. Adjusting violent crime rates for levels of urbanization alone cuts the racial disproportion in half, with economic conditions explaining the remainder.

In fact, absent a litany of socioeconomic factors, there is no substantial independent relationship between a community’s racial composition and its homicide rates (Johnson and Chanhatasilpa, 2003: 92). Although the homicide rate among “middle class” blacks is higher than that for middle class whites, the reasons for this have nothing to do with race: middle class blacks tend to live in much closer proximity to poor communities, tend to be substantially less well off than middle class whites, and are thus exposed to more negative social influences than whites of their same general class group (Ibid, 107).

The role of social and economic environment and community conditions in determining crime rates is particularly evident among juveniles. A comprehensive analysis of homicide and robbery data, which looked at the importance of such things as race, poverty, family disruption and unemployment in determining crime rates in these categories, found that black male joblessness explained black family disruption, which in turn was highly related to black murder and robbery rates, particularly for youth.

Race Matters: Study Claims White Men Are More Likely To Commit Mass Murders Than Blacks Or Any Other Racial Group

Via LAWSONRY News And Analysis reports:

While the majority of all violent crimes are perpetuated by men, American mass murders in particular seem to be the territory of white men. The Encyclopedia of Murder and Violent Crime writes that, “Compared with assailants who kill but one victim, mass murderers are overwhelmingly likely to be male, [and] are far more likely to be white,” and the numbers prove it. According to Wikipedia, 75% of the rampage killings on US record were perpetrated by white males, as were 71% of massacres in schools, and 60% of workplace rampages – a seriously disproportionate number for the number of white males that make up the general population. Clearly, there is more at play here than the advantage of opportunity. […]

News outlets have a also broken down by demographic, shooter’s identities, weapons and number of victims of these shooters. The most common denominator, most of these killers were white men…

Whites Commit More Crimes Than Blacks, FBI Says

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 910,200 of the men and women behind bars last year were black, 777,500 were white and 395,400 were Hispanic.

In 1997, about 9 percent of the black population in the U.S. was under some form of correctional supervision compared to 2 percent of the white population and over 1 percent of other races.

Blacks were two times more likely than Hispanics and five times more likely than whites to be in jail.

But those numbers count only those who were jailed for a crime. In 2003, more than twice as many whites as blacks were arrested and charged with a crime, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports.

Of 9.5 million offenses charged, 6.7 million whites were arrested, compared to 2.5 million blacks.

The most common crimes were drug abuse violations, resulting in arrest of 770,430 whites and 381,006 blacks.

Whites were far more likely to be arrested driving under the influence. Of 998,035 total offenses, 877,810 of those arrested where whites.

Blacks, meanwhile, were more than twice as likely as whites to be arrested for gambling, 5,153 to 1,964.

And while blacks comprise about 13 percent of the population, they were charged with most of the robberies, 40,993 compared to 33,070 for whites, and nearly as many homicides–4,395 black and 4,454 white.

Whites outnumbered blacks about 2-1 in arrests for other crimes, including rape (11,766-6,114), aggravated assault (203,076-103,697), burglary (143,889-103,697) and larcey/theft (556,215-233,806.)

Whites also were most often arrested for motor vehicle theft, arson, other assaults, fraud, embezzlement, dealing in stolen property, vandalism, weapons charges, prostitution, sex offenses, crimes against families and children, liquor laws, drunkenness, disorderly conduct, vagrancy, curfew and loitering, suspicion, as runaways and all other offenses not including traffic.

The Distorted Exaggeration of Black-on-Black Crime Ignores Much of America’s Criminality

This myth relies on shaky evidence and a selective definition of crime that ignores crimes committed by powerful institutions and the people who run them, many of whom are white men.

Blaming the crime problem on black people is unfair and ill-founded. On one hand, according to FBI homicide data, African Americans commit more homicides than other racial groups. In 2013, there were 5,375 black homicide offenders versus 4,396 who were white and over 4,000 whose races were unknown. However, that is a very small percentage of the national black population, which is over 40 million people. The vast majority of black people do not commit any crimes.

Moreover, so-called black-on-black crime has decreased over the decades. In the past 20 years, black-on-black homicides decreased by 67 percent—a sharper decline than white-on-white homicide—and “[a]mong black youth, rates of robbery and serious property offenses are the lowest in more than 40 years,” according to Demos. Throughout the country, crime has continuously fallen since the 1990s. Plus, black-on-black crime is hardly unique. Most crime is intra-racial. Around 90 percent of black homicide victims are killed by black offenders, while white people kill each other at roughly the same rate. […]

American discourse on crime is deeply politicized and influenced by racial and class bias. “Crime” is synonymous with “black.” In news reports and TV shows about crime, the criminal is usually a black person, especially a black male. But as legal expert and author Lisa Bloom points out in her book Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat it, many mass killings and heinous crimes — such as the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people and the 2012 theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado that killed 12 moviegoers — are committed by white people. White people are also the ones most frequently arrested for crimes like rape, robbery, assault, forgery, and fraud. Yet unlike black people, white people are not collectively blamed for violent crimes committed by people who look like them.

Missing from American discourse on crime are those abuses committed by the powerful. War crimes, human rights abuses, violations of international law and the U.S. Constitution, and corporate and financial crimes are regularly carried out by governments, large corporations, and people with wealth and political clout. These crimes harm large numbers of people but are largely ignored and mostly go unpunished.

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports — the official national crime database—leaves out many corporate and state crimes, while largely emphasizing street crimes. It tracks some white-collar crimes, like fraud and embezzlement, but leaves out many others, like money-laundering and human rights abuses or civil liberties violations. These infractions are tracked elsewhere, but extra digging is required to find the information. Such discrepancies have a serious effect on how the public perceives what is and is not a crime.

Here are five examples of the kinds of crimes that slip under the radar in the U.S.

1. America’s Illegal Invasion of Iraq […]
2. The CIA’s Secret Torture Program […]
3. Banks Undermine the Economic Status of Minorities […]
4. Wall Street Is Complicit in the International Drug Trade […]
5. The U.S. Government’s Covert Role in the Drug Trade […]

Crimes of the powerful are far more destructive than any street crime could ever be. Street crimes, from theft to murder, harm individuals or small groups of people, while crimes of the powerful, from aggressive and perpetual war to money laundering and economic plunder, destroy entire communities and countries.

Crimes of the powerful are sophisticated and effectively concealed. Street crime is visible. State and corporate crimes involve manipulating complicated laws, rich lawyers siding with the powerful, multiple actors, layers of bureaucracy, and government secrecy. People with power have the resources and connections to manipulate the system so that they are not held accountable, like corporations buying loyalty from politicians through campaign contributions.

This is what makes our entire discourse on crime a total joke. Crimes committed by marginalized groups receive attention and punishment, while crimes of the powerful go ignored and unpunished. The black criminality myth cloaks anti-black fears under the guise of “law and order.” It serves to justify routine police brutality and the mass incarceration of black people. It means that whenever a police officer kills an unarmed black person, racist apologists can pull out the black criminality myth card and say they had it coming.

The True Lie that Black Men Commit More Crime than Whites

The black people commit more crime canard is a fallacy of both process and outcomes. African Americans are subject to discrimination in the legal system at every level. As documented by The Sentencing Project, and detailed in such works as Race, Crime and the Law, and The New Jim Crow, African Americans are more likely to be stopped by police without cause, to be more aggressively questioned, receive longer and more severe charges for the same crimes as white defendants, and to have fewer resources to defend themselves in court.

As compared to white neighborhoods, black and brown communities are also subject to more severe surveillance and aggressive police tactics. Moreover, the disproportionate number of minorities in the criminal justice system can be largely explained by the War on Drugs. In total, if white communities were subject to the same type of aggressive police tactics as black and brown communities, the number of white people in prison would skyrocket.

The data is very telling here. While people of color are the prime targets of such policies as “stop and frisk” and racial profiling, it is in fact white people who are far more likely to be both drug users and to be in possession of narcotics at a given moment. This reality signals to a larger social phenomenon: black individuals who commit crimes are representative of their whole communities, crime is racialized, and there is no qualifier of individual intent. All black people are deemed suspicious and guilty because of the deeds of the very few.

In contrast, white people who commit crimes are unique individuals: the criminals who destroyed the global economy, a group of white men, were not taken as representative of the entire white community. There is a long list of crimes such as domestic terrorism, serial murder, child rape, sedition, treason, and financial fraud that are almost exclusively the province of white people. But again, whites as a group are excluded from suspicion or indictment as a “criminal class.”

The supposition that black men (and black folks more generally) are by definition “suspicious” is a channeling of the once in vogue concept known as “rational” or “reasonable” racism. Applying this logic, George Zimmerman is justified in shooting first, profiling, or harassing black people because “statistically” the latter are more likely to commit crime. Again, this is a chain of reasoning that is rife with problems.

Generalized statistics about crime tell you very little about a given person’s likelihood of committing a criminal act. This is especially true in a society where race and class are variables which over-determine how the courts treat suspects and who the police choose to single out for surveillance, harassment, and arrest.

Broad statistics also tell us little about a given population’s capacity or propensity to commit crime. For example, while black men are disproportionately incarcerated, the majority are in jail for drug offenses. African Americans are also more likely to be poor than whites. When a researcher accounts for these variables, the story becomes one of class and not race. Further problematizing the true lie that “black equals criminal,” is that disparities in crime largely disappear when you consider the black middle and upper classes in comparison to their white peers.

As demonstrated by Jody Armour in her book Negrophobia, less than 2 percent of black men are incarcerated for violent crimes. By implication, to generalize from the demographics of a given prison population to a specific person’s likelihood of committing a violent crime is a fool’s errand of the first order.

This is a counter-intuitive dynamic: just because a given group may constitute a higher percentage of those in jail, it does not in fact mean that a given individual is more likely to commit said type of crime.

A person is more likely to suffer a violent crime at the hands of a family member, friend, or acquaintance than a stranger; and most crime is intraracial.

Ultimately, incarceration is a function of many structural factors in relation to the criminal justice system.

Anecdotes matter. Police often give a pass to those who they know or trust. The white kid with weed just made a mistake; the black or Latino is a hardcore thug to be jailed. The judge may give parole or a lenient sentence to a white defendant in order to “teach them a lesson” about bad behavior. By comparison, a person of color before the same judge is already a “lost cause,” someone to have the book thrown at. We see this same dynamic even in schools: researchers have determined that white and black youth who are accused of the same offenses see wildly different outcomes in terms of punishment. The latter are suspended or expelled, while the former are given warnings or other remediation.

Blacks are 13% of Population, yet Commit more than Half of the Murders (drugs, FBI)

People living in poverty with access to less quality education, and fewer everyday mundane resources(jobs,healthcare, recreational parks) tend to commit way more crimes than those who are from a more affluent upbringing.

In general most black people tend to live in densely populated areas(cities),whereas poor white Americans tend to live in less densely populated areas(rural settings) where the nearest neighbor may be a few miles away.

Guess which population of poor people are more likely to have confrontations, the people living in the densely populated area. Theoretically if more poor white Americans lived in more densely populated areas(in cities), white on white crime would be astronomical.

It should come as to no surprise either blacks are routinely aggressively policed harder, yet non-blacks are more to carry guns or contraband:

White People Stopped By New York Police Are More Likely To Have Guns Or Drugs Than Minorities | ThinkProgress

With that said, the stats suggest there are about 4400+ black homicides a year, and there are 40 million blacks in America.

4400/40,000,000 x 100% = 0.01 aka less than one percent of the black population will likely commit a murder.

There’s no way you can parrot the “black on black gun crime epidemic” narrative without acknowledging that statistically, the clear majority of firearm related deaths in the U.S. are white males cooking their own noodles…and well out of proportion to their numbers in the population.

Contrary to white propaganda, the face of firearm death in the U.S. is a white male with a pistol to his head or a shotgun in his mouth


In case it hasn’t been pointed out, I will state that the FBI statistics are only statistics on arrests, not actual perpetuators of crimes.

Black people are arrested more often due to a racial bias against them in law enforcement. I know a person who was arrested for murder in 2009 and therefore was a part of those statistics and he was acquitted at trial.

Just because someone is arrested, doesn’t mean they committed the crime.

Also, the FBI statistics usually has between 4000-6000 murder arrests listed as “unknown.” For all we know, all those people could be white.

Another also, white people commit DUI (they are convicted of it) much more often than black people. Over 10000 people are killed annually by drunk drivers. Most years the FBI statistic data states that 80% of the arrest for drunk driving were white people, by those statistics alone, whites would commit over 8000 murders by themselves. Many times, homicide by vehicle or DUI are not listed as actual homicides on FBI statistics. […]

It is always interesting to me how certain many people are so apt to believe that murder statistics in general “prove” that black people are violent, when even if we take the arrests into consideration, there are usually about 4000-5000 black people who are arrested for murder and that is 0.000125% of the black population.

As a whole, if you tally up the total amount of arrest by black people in any given year, it is 1-2% of the population that is even arrested. Considering that a majority of those arrests are cleared through the court processes, one can be fairly safe to say that less than 1% of black people commit crime in any given year.

ETA: One can even look into the prison population as people like to use that to claim some sort of “super criminality” in regards to black. On any given year there are 1-2 million blacks in prison. A large majority of those are non-violent offenses, but the total prison population in compared to the black population is about 2.5%. Not very significant or proof of any sort of wide spread black crime element in the country. Violent black criminals in prison are less than 1% of the black population. And even when you take into effect the storied black male criminal, overwhelmingly when you look at the numbers black males are not very violent or murderous on the whole. There are about 20 million black males in the country. Only about 5000 are even arrested for murder. I would guess that of those 5000 maybe 3000-4000 are convicted, that is only .00175% of the black male population.

White on White crime more prevalent than Black on Black

Most White people don’t kill White people. Yet media pundits, from Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly to CNN’s Don Lemon, have no problem using the phrase “Black on Black violence” despite the fact that most Black people don’t kill Black people.

When the news talks about gang-related deaths, they treat it as an almost exclusively Black problem. However, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, for the period of 1980 to 2008, a majority (53.3 percent) of gang homicides were committed by White offenders, and the majority of gang homicide victims (56.5 percent) were White.

When was the last time you’ve seen on the news, discussions about a White-gang problem?

Crimes committed by White people are explained as deviations of the individual but have nothing to do with race, but crimes committed by Blacks or Latino’s are somehow attributed to race. Gang-bangers from South Chicago have somehow become a symbol that Black men are to be feared, but you don’t get the same fear that one could attach to the brutal murders committed by Neo-Nazi skinheads.

According to statistics from the Justice Department, White men are more likely to kill than any other racial group. When it comes to how and why people kill, Black men do, in fact, outnumber Whites in gun-related homicides, but especially drug-related offenses. However, White men top the list in most all other categories.

When the Bureau of Justice Statistics collected homicidal rates from 1980 to 2008, they found that compared to Blacks, Whites were more likely to kill children, the elderly, family members, and their significant others. They commit more sex-related crimes, gang related crimes, and are more likely to kill at their places of employment.

Mass Shooters Have A Gender and a Race

Although White individuals made up 69.2% of arrests for crimes in 20111, Black men still account for the majority of the prison population, more than six times as likely to be incarcerated than White men. Black men are also subjected, according to Lawrence Grossman, former President of CBS News and PBS, to media stereotyping where TV newscasts “disproportionately show African Americans under arrest, living in slums, on welfare, and in need of help from the community.” However, men of color do not represent the majority of school shooters or mass murderers.

Recent studies reveal that most school shooters are White males, with 97 percent being male and 79 percent White. Over the last three decades, 90 percent of high school or elementary school shootings were the result of White, often upper-middle class, perpetrators. These shootings are a direct reflection of White male privilege and the consequences that occur when groups like the NRA control influential conservative leaders. […]

There is a pattern in these school shootings that has been coined as “suicide-by-mass-murder,” and seems to be an almost-exclusively young-White-male phenomenon. Michael Kimmel, a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Stony Brook University and founder of the academic journal Men and Masculinity, has been conducting research on the intersection between race and gender of American school shooters, and observed that “victims of [young men of color] are usually those whom the shooter believes have wronged him. And it rarely ends with his suicide. .. White men, on the other hand, have a somewhat more grandiose purpose…’If I’m going to die, then so is everybody else,’ they seem to say. Yes, of course, this is mental illness speaking: but it is mental illness speaking with a voice that has a race and a gender.”

Characteristics of Offenders Who Violate and Assault Children

* Those inmates who were convicted of committing violent acts against children were more like to have been white, a percentage of nearly 70%, than any other race.
* White inmates were nearly three times more likely to have victimized a child than black inmates.

Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis For Professionals Investigating the
Sexual Exploitation of Children Fifth Edition 2010 Kenneth V. Lanning
Former Supervisory Special Agent Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
p. 139:

In relationship to the age of child victims, potential offenders can be peers, slightly older adolescents, young adults, and significantly older adults. The National Juvenile Online Victimization (N-JOV) Study that looked at an estimated 2,577 arrests by law enforcement for Internet sex crimes committed against minors during the 12 months starting July 1, 2000, (Wolak, Mitchell, and Finkelhor, 2003) found the vast majority of offenders were non-Hispanic White males, older than 25, acting alone. […] The sex offenders discussed here have tended to be White males from a middle class or higher socioeconomic background.

National Juvenile Online Victimization (NJOV) Survey Publications
Chapter 2 Internet Sex Crimes Against Minors
pp. 2-7

Offender Characteristic
Male 99%
Non-Hispanice White 92%

Police posing as juveniles online to catch sex offenders: Is it working? Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment
pp. 249-50

All but one were male, the majority was between the ages of 26 and 39
(61%) with an additional 33% ages 40 or older, and most were non-Hispanic
White (91%). Nearly half (43%) had annual household incomes between $20,000
and $50,000 with 36% having incomes greater than $50,000.

Federal Prosecution of Child Sex Exploitation Offenders, 2006

Eighty-nine percent of arrestees charged with child pornography
were [non-Hispanic] white, 99% were male, and 58% had
attended some college. The median age at arraignment
was 42 years. […]

Most suspects charged with sex transportation offenses
were [non-Hispanic] white (70%). Twelve percent of sex transportation
suspects were non-U.S. citizens, and 9% were female.
The median age at arraignment was 36 years. Twenty-six
percent of sex transportation defendants had a prior felony
conviction compared to 20% of pornography defendants
and 21% of sex abuse defendants.

Southeast Asia a Haven for Pedophiles

Thailand has a reputation for engaging in one of the largest child sex trade operations in Southeast Asia. UNICEF estimates the number of Thai children involved in prostitution to be between 60,000 and 200,000, though the organization says the exact number is difficult to track.

The U.S Department of Justice said the growing popularity of the very profitable child sex tourism trade contributes to the problem. A Thai organization called FACE, the coalition to Fight Against Child Exploitation, claimed that 5,000 foreigners come to Thailand each year to have sex with children.

The organization described the average sex tourist as a middle-aged white male from either Europe or North America who often goes online to find the “best deals.” One particular Web site promised “nights of sex with two young Thai girls for the price of a tank of gas.”

The violence that goes unnoticed

Nixon and the stories he tells also cast light on the differences between top-down and bottom-up environmental movements. “Full-stomach” environmentalism in rich nations, for instance, has tended to focus on the preservation of charismatic megafauna and majestic landscapes, often to the exclusion of the people native to those landscapes. This is the environmentalism of Priuses, debt-for-nature swaps, recycling campaigns and dreams of going “off the grid.” Poor-nation, “empty-belly” environmentalists, by contrast, “experience environmental threat not as a planetary abstraction but as a series of inhabited risks.” Although Nixon doesn’t address the environmental justice movement among poor and minority communities in the U.S. as an example, the principle is similar: environmental justice advocates, like poor-nation environmentalists, are often spurred to action by a direct threat to which the larger society — itself the perpetrator — pays little attention. There’s power to be gained by the two sides coming together, by environmentalists embracing the diversity of their causes alongside activists for women’s rights, minority rights and other rights discourses. If, as Maathai writes, “Poverty is both a cause and symptom of environmental degradation,” then each movement can be strengthened by joining forces with the other.

Doing Environmental Studies During Times of Racialized Violence

Eric Garner, who suffered from asthma, died in a police officer’s chokehold, screaming, “I can’t breathe.” These horrifying last words have been transformed into a protest chant across the United States. But they must also be historicized, attuned to both slow violence and recent acts of police violence. Before Eric Garner was exposed to the act of state violence that killed him, he was caught up in what Gregg Mitman calls an “ecology of injustice that structures urban life.” In New York City’s ecology of injustice, “asthma disproportionately affects people of color living in impoverished inner-city communities.” These disproportionate rates of suffering are a result of differential exposure to health risks, such as living close to bus depots, polluting industries, cockroach allergens, and pesticides.

Rather than claiming a direct connection between, say, asthma and police brutality, we are recruiting concepts such as slow violence and ecologies of injustice to unpack the complexity of the events surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and other victims of racialized state violence. Moreover, it connects the recent killing to a broader history of unjust urban ecologies that expose some people to risk more than others. The environment thus becomes not a marginal concern, but a central issue in understanding risk and exposure in the struggle for justice.

Freddie Gray’s life a study on the effects of lead paint on poor blacks

Before Freddie Gray was injured in police custody last month, before he died and this city was plunged into rioting, his life was defined by failures in the classroom, run-ins with the law and an inability to focus on anything for very long.

Many of those problems began when he was a child and living in this house, according to a 2008 lead-poisoning lawsuit filed by Gray and his siblings against the property owner. The suit resulted in an undisclosed settlement.

Reports of Gray’s history with lead come at a time when the city and nation are still trying to understand the full ramifications of lead poisoning. Advocates and studies say it can diminish cognitive function, increase aggression and ultimately exacerbate the cycle of poverty that is already exceedingly difficult to break.

It is nonetheless hard to know whether Gray’s problems were exclusively borne of lead poisoning or were the result of other socioeconomic factors as well. From birth, his was a life of intractable poverty that would have been challenging to overcome.

Equally difficult to know is the total number of children lead has poisoned. That’s because the declared threshold for how much lead a body can safely tolerate has shifted dramatically over the years as researchers have come to better understand its dangers. Decades ago, city health officials tested for blood lead levels that were higher than 20 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. Now, it is believed that anything higher than 5 micrograms can cripple a child’s cognitive development. […]

“A child who was poisoned with lead is seven times more likely to drop out of school and six times more likely to end up in the juvenile justice system,” Norton said. She called lead poisoning Baltimore’s “toxic legacy” — a still-unfolding tragedy with which she says the city has yet to come to terms. Those kids who were poisoned decades ago are now adults. And the trauma associated with lead poisoning ­“creates too much of a burden on a community,” she said.

Why environmentalists should support the Black Lives Matter protests

“Limiting the conversation about racism to just about how we’re policed is a lost opportunity,” Bautista wrote to me. “Folks should care not only about how racism kills quickly (via the police), but how racism also kills slowly and insidiously.”

624 thoughts on “On Racialization of Crime and Violence

  1. People who only want to have children they think will be easy to raise and who will live up to their parent’s daydreams of parenting should rethink their decision to have children.

    Children are inherently unpredictable. A child who is born perfectly healthy could be injured in an accident or become ill and survive with disabilities. Teenagers bring all sorts of unpleasant surprises. Adult children may have their own ideas about their career paths and other life decisions.

    So unless you’re willing to accept whatever happens with your children, don’t have kids. Most insurance covers tubal ligation and vasectomy surgery so you don’t have to worry about unscheduled pregnancy.

    Regarding the autistic who answered this question saying they would abort rather than bring another autistic person into the world, here’s my comment on a collapsed answer.

    I am sad to see that someone in my community has internalized the negative messages about autism so thoroughly. The language you use is directly from the anti-autism, curebie rhetoric of Autism Speaks and their ilk.

    “a burden for society to support”
    “neurologically defective”

    It breaks my heart that you, and others, think of yourselves in these terms. It infuriates me that these groups put these ideas into circulation–primarily to raise money to pay their inflated salaries–with no regard for their effect on autistics who grow up hearing this rhetoric or find it on the internet. These hatemongers are the ones who are unethical.

    A compassionate civilization values all humans for being human, not for their contribution to the balance sheet. All lives are worthy of life.

    If we need to abort Autistics and those with other disabilities because they will be burdens on society, doesn’t it also follow that we should euthanize elderly people with physical or mental disabilities? How about people of any age who acquire a disability via disease or accident? Considering that 1 in 5 people will have some type of disability during their lifespan, that’s a great way to reduce the surplus population.

    You could’ve made the same arguments about eugenics to prevent the birth of blacks or LGBTQetc people because prejudice made their lives miserable. Instead, we had civil rights movements acknowledging the rights of people who are different. Although prejudice still exists and many are still affected, it’s only been one generation since Selma and Stonewall.

    Civil disobedience also pointed the way towards the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA was the first major step towards integrating the disabled into everyday life. As society accepts people with disabilities (including developmental disabilities such as Autism and Downs Syndrome) their lives will be better. Accommodations and supports, as well as research into what works best, will make Autistics/Aspies’ lives better. (I don’t know much about Downs except that people with DS are often happier than the “normals” around them.)

    Autism spectrum disorders are a good example of something you can look at through the social model of disability and realize that the problem is less in being autistic than that the world around you is designed for others with different needs. Adjustments such as accommodations and hacks for sensory sensitivities, as well as common courtesy from others, make a world of difference. Bullying in schools and workplaces should be stopped for everyone’s benefit. “Therapies” that emphasize shaming autistics for being different are harmful and counterproductive.

    In conclusion, I am sad to see yet another autistic who has accepted these horrible messages about autistics and seeks to pass them along. We are on the brink of a better world for autistics and others who don’t fit the “normal” stereotype.http://www.quora.com/Autism/If-you-were-pregnant-and-you-found-that-your-child-is-will-be-autistic-would-you-have-an-abortion/answer/Ghengis-Kahn-2?__snids__=92173647&__nsrc__=4#

    • A parent choosing not to have a child is not the same thing as a government enforcing eugenics on a population. This is a silly childish argument, an attempt to emotionally manipulate because they can’t make a rational argument. If the issue is about abortion, then say so. But in that case, I’d point out that countries that ban abortions on average end up increasing the abortion rate, just made illegal and more dangerous.

  2. No. Having a child is not like buying a car, or planning a vacation. There are no guarantees of how life will turn out regardless of your child’s neurology and if you begin on the outset looking for a child that’s perfect, or that will fit your preconceived notions you will be disappointed. (As Kathryn said, If you would abort because of autism I urge to rethink parenting entirely)
    As for autism, I am a mother of six, I relate to my autistic children better than the “normal” (what is that exactly anyway?) I have changed diapers on an eight year old, cleaned feces of walls, been up all night with a pacing kid, and I would still say 100 percent. no. never.
    416 views • 10 upvotes • Written 7 Jan, 2013 • Not for Reproduction

    Vineet Kumar
    Vineet has 10+ answers in Autism.
    The more social our world gets, the more closely we will begin to understand its extremes and people whose minds place them on its fringes. It’d be a great disservice to try to limit the tail of what essentially is a spectrum of minds that follow a normal distribution, because the people at its tails (where autistics lie) are what increases the spread and hence the diversity of what our minds are capable of.

  3. There are no guarantees, but there are probabilities.

    I know autism is a spectrum, like every other disability. It’s not a convincing argument at all.

    Oh, so you want people to take THAT chance?

    • You want people to take the chance and console themselves that maybe they’ll be more a temple grandin instead a guy who needs his diaper changed at 30?

      Meanwhile a “regular” the probability is in favor of him developing into an inherently capable adult, regardless of his motivations. It’s not the “take a chance” as much as disability spectrums

    • Here is my response to those who want to stop abortions for reasons of potential genetic-caused problems. It’s the same response to those who want to ban abortions in general.

      If this is genuinely a moral concern, then it must be made a law that every pregnant woman who loses the option of abortion gets the right of state-supported care for their child, and in extreme cases, for the entire life of the child. Many of these mothers, even if forced to give birth, won’t necessarily keep the kid. Who is going to adopt them? Are we going to create large facilities to house all the unwanted children with severe problems?

      I’m entirely against self-righteous people forcing problems onto others. The reason pregnant women consider abortion is because in many cases these women already find themselves in difficult conditions, such as poverty, overworked, etc. We can’t even get a minimum wage increase passed in this country, much less a welfare system that actually helps the people most in need. How is forcing struggling people into even greater struggle going to help anyone, including a problematic child.

      And why assume the child is going to thank you for being born? I’m willing to bet that many people born with severe problems wish they never had been born. What is it about our society that believes that life is a blessing of God no matter how suffering it is?

  4. This is weird. I understand opposition to abortion because of disability, if it is held by someone who opposes abortion fullstop, but if you support choice then think about what you are saying. At twenty weeks you support the right to an abortion, if wanted, for any reason, including lifestyle reasons. However, if a woman is suddenly confronted with the huge emotional, financial and sibling impact of a severely disabled child then she has less right to terminate than the woman who wants to make partner first? This is dangerous ground for pro-choice so please don’t walk into the elephant traps set for you!

    callaspodeaspode Opinioned

    @Opinioned – Superbly put.

    If you believe abortion should be legal, it’s no use then turning round and saying that special protection must be enacted for disabled fetuses.

    In other words, to claim that women must, like in North Dakota, be forced to give birth to a baby with Downs Syndrome or Spinal Bifida, but if they want to abort a non-disabled fetus because they don’t feel like they can afford a child, or are in the right mental place to bring up a child, or whatever other reason, is screamingly hypocritical.

    BlackberryBlossom Opinioned

    @Opinioned – no – and it speaks for the staff member who highlighted this comment that they’ve misunderstood the issue pretty badly as well.

    Really, it’s not difficult. The article itself says: “Faced with the results of a prenatal test about their unborn child, we must still have the right to choose what to do.” I can’t see any readers contending that this position is wrong.

    The article is not saying women should no longer be allowed to have any choice over ending a pregnancy the moment disability is detected: it is asking whether it is right that disability does lead to abortion; or whether a disabled child’s life might actually be very wonderful in its own way – but requires a better understanding of some disabling conditions, and improved support for the parents.

    ArecBalrin Opinioned

    @Opinioned – I am ‘pro-choice’ and I am disgusted by the act of abortion for reasons of disability. This is a position I can take without contradiction: I can support the individual being able to choose but that does not mean I have to like it. I can still be judgemental- there should not be no consequences for such a decision; they just should not be decided by the state. Wider society, yes, but not the state.

    It’s a simple position to arrive when you look at this way: you do not have any rights. The moment you have rights, you have to consider who else has rights. Rights do not in fact end where another individual’s begin: all rights infringe on others and there is no margin wide enough to prevent the gigantic overlap. A right to abort a disabled foetus might not harm any identifiable individual, but it harms an entire group of people.

    Better that people believe they have done the right thing and still be sorry for the consequences it has for others than to believe doing the right thing absolves them of any responsibility and all guilt.

    • As a society, we don’t even take care of already born children. We have a massive number of people in this country who are poor, unemployed, homeless, hungry, sick, etc. And these people often don’t get the basic needs, including healthcare, that they need. We live in a sociopathic society. I’m never going to judge someone who refuses to force a potential living hell onto another being, by going to full term with a severe genetic disorder. There is nothing inherently great about life just for the sake of it. I doubt children with spinal bifida are going to thank their parents for giving them life.

      From a personal perspective, I often state that I’d rather not been born and I live a fairly comfortable life compared to most people with far worse problems. My mother has even said that she sometimes wishes she hadn’t given birth, because she suspects that she simply passed on bad genetics to her children. I don’t think she is a bad mother for saying that. It’s simply true that her family has severe problems across generations: depression, alcoholism, learning disorders, etc. Is there any point in passing all that on? Why?

  5. I have always opted out of the Downs syndrome screening as I would not have an abortion on any grounds, though I am not prepared to prevent any other woman opting for an abortion.

    However, as I had my two youngest children when I was considered of an age to be high risk for Downs I was pressured by the medical establishment to take a test. I still refused. Then, at the routine 20 week scan, I was told my youngest son had several soft markers for Downs syndrome. I still remember the shock of the conversation with the consultant who said, ‘what do you expect having a baby at your age?’ When I complained that in looking for soft markers during a routine scan the medical staff had ignored my clearly expressed wishes I was told that not to check for such markers might render them liable to be litigation.

    I went away and told my other children, the four oldest agreed with me that I should not take an amniocentesis test as the risk of miscarriage is high, the two younger ones were four and eight at the time, and were given a simplified explanation of the problem based on excellent information from the Downs Syndrome website. They were very aware that they might then be left to care for a disabled sibling, as there is a 22 year gap between my oldest and youngest, but all were supportive. Having access to PubMed I did look up a number of medical papers on soft markers for Downs, and decided that the evidence was inconclusive and that it might simply be I was having a large baby boy (I do not ask the gender, as I like a surprise).

    It turned out that I did indeed have a large baby boy, who is perfectly normal and now age 10 is a pretty good musician .

    However, the attitude of the medical professionals made it very clear that a child with Downs was not welcome, that the NHS view was that identification of the condition, followed by termination of the pregnancy was the preferred approach and that in failing to take the ‘advice’ of professionals I was considered irresponsible and irrational. Had my son actually had Downs, as do the children of two of my close friends, I would have had to fight for him every step of the way.

    mickeybee SandGrown

    @SandGrown – very fine response to the situation you found yourself in. There is so much pressure on parents – at a time when they are under great strain – to take the easy way out. You had that pressure put on you but you made your own decision and you certainly don’t regret it!

    The pressure gets more severe as social funding gets cut. Not everyone could stand up to it at such a time as you did. And the baby was normal.

    How would a mother feel who had an amniocentesis test, found that it showed that her baby did not have downs syndrome and then had a miscarriage?

    Plus (personal belief based on working with children with special needs and following ideas of the spiritual teacher Rudolf Steiner) I believe downs children have a task to bring love and joy into a world that is growing colder and less loving.

    An autistic child is more difficult, in my opinion, than downs. I’ve asked myself this question also. Very complex and yet there is a reason for all that happens and autistic children too are teaching us something. In the process of learning how to work with them I have learned so much. But I am not a parent of one. That would be hard. I don’t think they’ll find a gene as autism seems somewhat different from downs in that downs is unquestionably genetic and autism seems to be more subtle – a profound turning away from life at a certain age. As if a child, who often seems to be acting normally, gets a great shock and the spiritual part of them disconnects from their body.

    All I could say would be let the parent decide without pressure and may that parent know that others in the community do not judge those born who are different and that there will be for them all the support that they will need.

    • I would agree that parents should be allowed to decide without pressure. But many who are against abortion don’t seem to want to allow parents to decide without pressure. It’s just that these advocates want to control the pressure being put on potential mothers.

  6. Chinese culture never really added any moralistic reasons for anti-lgbt the way you see in abrahamic religions. It’s just that Chinese culture hugely prizes biological descendants, and, well, son, if you gay, then our bloodline will not continue! Lol

    Same as China. Bisexuality and homosexuality used to be normal. (But this homophobia may be due to western influence, being gay only became a crime in the 1920s.)

    • I’m not familiar with this aspect of Chinese history. The same thing was true of Africa. Bisexuality, homosexuality, and such used to be common in traditional African culture. It was only the influence of foreign cultures and religions that caused Africa to become so sexually prudish. I’ve blown the minds of some black supremacists who think that Westerners introduced gay issues into Africa, but the reality is quite the opposite. Westerners and Islamic Arabs introduced gay oppression. If the black supremacists want to fight colonialism, they should have sex with someone of the same gender in protest and in defense of traditional African values. LOL

    • It seems to be indicating there is great variability among females with autism. The article discusses how autism expresses differently for high and low IQ females. But in the past many of these girls either weren’t diagnosed at all or diagnosed as something else.

      So, it seems that the female variability was possibly being overlooked. It just didn’t follow the variability pattern of boys.

      “Curiously, the researchers also found that regardless of IQ, girls with autism show more irritability and externalizing behaviors than boys who have the disorder. That’s a surprise because externalizing behavior — that is, acting out — is typically thought of as a boy-like behavior.”

      Maybe that would fit my friend’s observations of her daughter. One of the main problems is her acting out, i.e., externalizing behavior.

      ““The interesting bit is that females with autism were similar to the typically developing males,” says McGillivray.”

      That might explain some tomboys. My friend also had social problems when she was a girl. She has told me that she has always had more male friends than female.

  7. Ugh

    yah i guess what i mean is like… somehow europe was the breeding ground for the newer more efficient firearms, steampower, industrial revolution etc etc but somehow not China, a country that has been miles ahead technology-wise compared to the rest of the world for so long.
    a lot of chinese feels that that there are cultural and racial traits at play here and that is why they will begrudgingly respect white ppl but not necessarily other races
    im just trying to kind of explain the type of mentality and reasonings i see on chinese social media

    • I’ve always thought of Americans like the Borg. Maybe the same would apply to other Western countries that are former empires.

      What I mean by that is that much of the innovation in America comes from elsewhere. I doubt American would be all that innovative, if not for centuries of near constant waves of immigrants from other countries, not just from Europe but also from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, etc.

      It has been a massive global brain drain that has made America possible. America is a leech living off the social capital of other countries. It’s always been that way.

      But I guess you have to give countries like America credit for being so attractive to and relatively tolerant of immigrants. That is harder for older established societies to do as well. The old European powers maybe learned to do this better than most because they were constantly conquering each other, which forced them to deal with diversity and be more tolerant of immigrants and all that they brought with them. Britain’s history is a near endless series of conquering and being conquered. The same went for earlier empires like the Romans.

      That is one of the accidents of history that caused China take a different path. They were a more isolated society. Recent globalization has forced them to deal with greater diversity. The advantage Western countries hold in this regard might not last long. Countries like China are able to bring entirely new thinking that Westerners don’t know how to deal with. For Western countries, it might be like a boxer fighting a lefty for the first time and getting seriously beat upon in the process.

      Changing conditions can make prior advantages into disadvantages. It has happened many times before. Theree were many great civilizations before the rise of the West. But then at some point three advantages were no longer advantages. Instead, the backwardness of the West itself became an advantage. It’s highly probable that the future great powers will be those that have been considered backwards by those who have been in power for recent history.

  8. Here are some reasons why Asian-American women dislike Asian men:

    1) Daddy issues. Very few girls are going to admit this if you don’t know them well but 1st generation asian fathers in the U.S. are usually awful to their daughters. The dads are too strict, fobbish, uncool, and very beta in behavior. The daughters aren’t taken care of in any meaningful way or given any life lessons. It’s not unusual for a lot of 2nd generation AA women to absolutely hate or have no respect for their fathers on some level. I found this to be very common with the hardcore insecure asian-american women. They dated outside the race to piss off daddy as well as to erase their own dysfunctional upbringing.

    2) General self loathing. Barbie is blonde. Ken is blonde. The media shows the best looking women and men as white. You have Latino and Black women who are pretty famous and pervasive in American media. Asian women have Lucy Liu and a piece of trash like Tila Tequila. That’s about it. When they see asian women on tv they are usually supplicating to some white people or having sex with white people. So their standards of beauty are internalized as white only. Just like good ambitious asians they want to be the white ideal for competitive reasons too. That’s why you see some asian-american girls run around with cheesy dyed hair and blue contacts or adopting hilariously stupid valley girl type accents. They are mental cripples.

    3) Status. The second best thing you can get aside from trying to look white is to date white. Asian women latch onto predominately white men as a status symbol. You hear a plethora of reasons why they prefer white men etc.. but really it just comes down to asian style hypergamy. Dating a white man is like purchasing a Hermes bag. It’s used to show off her social status. It has nothing to do with bigger dingalings, wallets, height etc.. it has everything to do with racial approval seeking. That’s why you don’t see asian women dating black or latinos anywhere close to the same proportion.

    4) Beta asian males. The same things that cripple most asian-american women mentally and emotionally in the U.S. also have some effect on a lot of asian-american men. Except with men it tends to create passive betas with no social skills. This is not as true if an asian guy grew up in a major U.S. city like Honolulu, NYC, or the LA area but it’s very true if they grew up in 2nd tier cities or in the boonies where there are no asians. So a lot of AA guys come off as weaklings or social retards if they have no positive social group of friends growing up. The U.S. media reinforces that image. Other minorities relentlessly rip into us whenever they can too. So it builds up to an overall negative portrayal of Asian men in the U.S.

    5) Religion. This is a pretty minor thing but significant in the bigger picture when it comes to culture. Most asians are secular. There are a lot of practicing catholics, buddhists, etc.. but when you look at daily life most asian-americans actually live very secular lives. This means any kind of mentality to preserve the cultural family unit for traditional reasons are non-existent. Compare Asian-Americans with Indian-Americans. Indians are very adamant about marrying other Indians because their culture and religion demands it in most cases. Arab-Americans marry mostly Arab-Americans if they are muslim. Again, religion.
    In the past asians followed this type of culture with marriages of convenience and arranged family marriages but it doesn’t really happen much anymore. Asians who come to America almost never practice this.

    6) Lack of identity. Asian-Americans are only 4% of the U.S. population. I’d say maybe a third to half of those people are fairly recent immigrants. This means you have some 2nd generation born AA’s mixed in with a lot of fobs too. There’s no cohesive pan-asian identity. You have dumb asian kids trying to act, talk, and dress black. You have asian kids wearing A&F trying to act like preppy whites. You have dumb a** fobs who try to act like they are back in the motherland. You have asian pride guys who are mostly angry virgins. Not to mention there’s all sorts of inter-ethnic asian rivalries. Koreans hating Japs hating Chinese hating Vietnamese etc.. etc.. It’s a huge cluster f**k.

    It’s not like latinos or blacks in the U.S. who have developed a solid American cultural foundation and identity. If you’re black at least you know where you stand. Asian-Americans don’t know what the f**k is going on half the time. So when you have a lack of your own cultural identity it’s easy to latch onto the mainstream as your identity.

    • I’m sure there is a lot going on. Everything is complex. I don’t have much opinion about the listed explanations, but the last couple interest me.

      “5) Religion. This is a pretty minor thing but significant in the bigger picture when it comes to culture. Most asians are secular.”

      I suspect that might be part of the class issue of self-selected immigrants. Most recent Asian immigrants and their children are of a wealthier class, which in many countries correlates to lower rates of religiosity or else more secular attitudes about their religion. That isn’t just an Asian thing.

      “6) Lack of identity.”

      This is a standard problem faced by every new wave of immigrants. There was no cohesive European identity among European immigrants of the past. There often wasn’t even a cohesive identity among people of the same country of origin, such as the conflicts between Northern Italians and Southern Italians.

      “It’s not like latinos or blacks in the U.S. who have developed a solid American cultural foundation and identity.”

      Those aren’t immigrant groups in the normal sense. Most blacks were brought here as slaves centuries ago. Most Hispanics immigrated to the Americas centuries ago and mixed with the black slave populations and with indigenous people. Those groups are more established in this country and continent than are most white people. And they have always been a large part of the population, including being the majority in various areas at different times.

  9. This is absolutely true in many cases unless the asian-american woman is a seasoned gold digger too. See: Wendi Deng.

    It’s ironic that in their quest for racial approval asian-american women often date white men who are actually considered bottom of the barrel economic and social status wise amongst whites. It kind of reinforces the whole class/race system in American society. It’s commonly perceived that minorities are on the bottom in descending order of pop cultural relevance and if you’re a minority the best you can hope for is a bottom of the barrel white person.

    This is also why white guys always say black men are dating fat white trash that no white man wants.

    It reinforces race and class hierarchy. America has a caste system.

    • His complaint doesn’t seem to be against all racial/ethnic tribalism. It’s just that whites, including white ethnics, in the past were able to use tribalism to keep everyone else in their place. The main competition used to be between white ethnics, not between whites and non-whites. White tribalism doesn’t have the power it used to have in the US. As white tribalism fails, there will be some that try to use dogmatic ideologies as an attempt to hold onto power, but that has nothing to do with such authoritarians and xenophobes actually caring about any particular ideology. It’s just realpolitik and reactionary bullshit. Silliness, as you say.

    • It’s same bullshit as ever. It’s amazing how much historical amnesia there is.

      Everything immigrants do today was done by immigrants in the past. Everything non-white immigrants do has also been done by white immigrants. As it is pointed out, Eastern European immigrants have been using birthright immigration. It has been used by Western and Southern Europeans as well, especially in earlier waves of immigration.

      There is nothing new about this. It’s only an issue when other people do it. It’s the old trick of making sure to pull up the ladder behind you. Most Americans of all races and ethnicities descend from anchor babies and birthright immigrants. It has been such a common practice for so long it is practically an American tradition.

      • One of my ancestors was an anchor baby. She was born in Indian Territory during British rule.

        There were treaties in place that made it illegal for white people to be on Indian land. It was an illegal settlement. People would establish families and communities on other people’s land and then declare that it was their land. That kind of thing was so common that the it was normal.

        The only reason the government cared at all is that they didn’t want to incite conflicts. But certainly the government didn’t care about the non-British who were having their rights infringed. When the Native Americans tried to enforce the law, they were violently attacked for trying to expel the settlers and their anchor babies.

        All of America was founded on anchor babies and birthright citizenship. The practice then continued throughout the entire history of the United States. It used to be far more common than it is today, in fact. Immigration is way more controlled than it used to be. There was no such thing as fully militarized borders and coastlines until WWII. Before that time, immigrants used to freely come and go, and few worried about immigrant laws.

        Those on the political right are always talking about how government has become oppressive and that America used to be more free in the past. This argument only is ever applied to people like themselves, not others. They are fine with more oppression and less freedom for others.

    • That definitely wasn’t a story about immigrants. It is highly possible that the black guy’s ancestors weren’t immigrants at all. Unlike many whites, he most likely doesn’t even know who his ancestors were or exactly where they came from. It’s as non-immigrant of a story as is possible. If his site was only about anti-immigrant issues, there would be absolutely no reason to post about that story.

      • The only thing that annoys me about him is that he walks and quacks like a duck while yelling that he isn’t a duck. Like no dog whistles like many people use, he literally is a duck who screams he isn’t a duck while blatantly being a duck!

        Duck meaning white nationalist

    • I was looking at the pictures of Elliot Rodgers. In many of them, his Asian features aren’t obvious to me. If I had met him in person, I don’t know that I would have had any clear notion of his ancestry. Going by some of the pictures, I actually might suspect some Hispanic in him.

      I’ve known many people of unclear ancestry and most of the time I don’t even think much about it, unless I’m around the person a lot and we end up talking about family or whatever. Most Americans aren’t even certain of their ancestry. I wasn’t until I did genealogical research. It isn’t the type of knowledge that necessarily gets passed on, since in the past most older generations wanted to assimilate or else were forced to assimilate. The past gets quickly forgotten when your ancestral culture, language, and religion was lost.

      I have a diversity of ethnicities in me. One of those is Palatine German, which Benjamin Franklin complained about. Palatine Germans were the most threatening ethnicity in centuries past. My ancestors probably experienced plenty of prejudice and some of them, like Elliot Rodgers, probably hated themselves for not being part of the ruling race/ethnicity. As Franklin pointed out, they had darker skin and so it wasn’t as if they could pretend to be English or any other variety of British. They were clearly seen as foreign and a threat.

      Given enough time, even the most foreign and threatening races/ethnicities will be assimilated. Everyone but blacks. Even Native Americans can often pass as ‘white’, because there is much common features. Native Americans, after all, descend from Eurasian populations. I’ve met people who were Native American and I would have had no idea that they weren’t ‘white’, until maybe I looked more closely trying to find telling features.

      That reminds me of something. You wrote this comment:


      In it, you mentioned that:

      “European ethnic groups that tend to have epicanthus relatively frequently are Scandinavians, Poles, Germans, the Irish and British.”

      I forgot to mention a personal anecdote. When I was a baby and into childhood, I had Asian-looking eyes. My parents joked about it because my mother had an Asian doctor. I don’t have Asian-looking eyes as an adult or look Asian in any kind of way. I do have a lot of German and British ancestry, and so that fits what you stated.

      But I wonder if my father seriously thought maybe I wasn’t actually his biological child. I could see how my Asian-looking eyes might have brought doubts to his mind, as I don’t think anyone else in the immediate or extended family had eyes like that. Of course, genetics are complex in relation to features.

      It is strange how people put so much value on ancestry and appearances.

    • Yeah, she is familiar. I went to her blog again. I couldn’t help myself and ended up commenting on one of her posts:


      Political correctness has existed as long as language has existed.

      It would have been far worse in socially-conservative traditional societies. In the past, when you said something politically incorrect, you were beat up and lynched by a mob, thrown into a dungeon, tortured, publicly executed, sold off into slavery or indentured servitude, banished from the community, excommunicatd from your church, or simply became a pariah who fell into poverty and maybe homelessness.

      Even in 19th century United States, public censure could have some destructive consequences that it is hard for us to imagine today. Back then, the entire community was in your business. It was common for your neighbors to go snooping into your house if they thought you were up to no good and there was nothing you could do to stop them. For example, if they thought you were having an affair, a mob would break into your bedroom and try to catch you in the act, and then they’d drag you out into the street for public punishment and humiliation. Imagine how much worse it would have been if you had something politically incorrect about the local priest or ruling elite.

      Usually the worst that happens today in response to political incorrectness is you might lose your job, but that is extremely rare.

      It was only with the rise of liberalism during the Enlightenment that the worst strictly authoritarian and violently oppressive forms of political correctness began to wane. In the developed world today, you don’t have to worry about those most horrific of punishments anymore. That is quite a bit of progress. But we could always progress further, no doubt.

      Perspective is important. But to have perspective, you must take the long view of history. Political correctness is far from being a modern invention. We live in the least politically correct age in all of history. We have grown so sensitive to political incorrectness being punished because it has become uncommon relative to the past. We have taken this as normal and forget how unusual it truly is.

    • Here is my second comment to the same post:

      I’m a libertarian, of a left-liberal variety. I’m not a fan of political correctness from either the left or the right. What really annoys me is how often those who complain the most about political correctness do so in defense of yet another variety of political correctness. They want free speech for themselves, but not necessarily for others.

      I must admit that I don’t have as strong worries about political correctness. For one, as I stated in my previous comment, I recognize that it used to be far worse in the past. We live in a time of immense freedom and we have become so used to it that we take it for granted. Second, I also see it as more complex.

      It isn’t just academia pushing political correctness. Private businesses do the same. The reason they do so is because private businesses have no particular reason to care about free speech, especially among their employees. I’m not sure why we would expect academia to act any differently, although I do support holding academia to a higher standard, but I would prefer that we acknowledge that we are doing so because otherwise it can seem hypocritical.

      There is good reason that many push political correctness, in public and private spheres, in academia and business. There are actual advantages and benefits to it, even as they come at costs. But a private business, in particular, won’t care much about the costs to freedom, just as long as there are concrete and practical results. Research indeed has shown that political correctness, under particular conditions, does lead to positive results:




      Even so, we should never forget the costs to society, if political correctness goes too far. It is one thing to be respectful toward others, but it is a whole other thing when genuine fear of speaking openly becomes dominant and oppressive. Like all of life, there are always trade-offs. No one ever said maintaining a free society was easy. As Burke argued, it requires balance and moderation.

  10. Christen and Caroline over at Stuff Mom Never Told You did an episode about this. Basically what it boils down to is that when Westerners realized that they would never be able to annex and exploit the Far East they same way they did with Africa, the Americas, and the Indian subcontinent they instead decided to culturally neuter it in a massive sociological case of sour grapes. You see this not just with the submissive geisha girl stereotype of Asian women, but also with the idea that Asian men are rarely seen or portrayed as being strong or masculine in western culture. It’s a very enlightening listen, and it’s shocking just how far back this whole thing goes.

    • As I’ve been responding to your other comments, I was listening to the podcast you refer to:


      I’m reaching the end of it. I don’t think I’ve listened to one of their podcasts before.

      You know how much I’m always pointing to history. Almost every issue you can think of has deeper roots in the past than most people realize. Most people aren’t all that informed about history. It’s not their fault. Few people get a good education in history and they simply don’t know what they don’t know.

    • There does seem to be a difference. I’ve mentioned that in terms of the research done on wheat-growing and rice-growing communities. The different agricultural and hence social conditions apparently shape divergent attitudes and worldviews. But it is unclear that traditional East Asian cultures are going to lead to less environmental destruction. We do need new thinking of some sort.

      • No.

        I say so because as you might know, the western Left is notoriously hypocritical and shortsighted. You know how I linked many links with the “advanced moral whites, backwards non-whites?” I just want to point out the BS in thy view

      • I guess I find most people in the world of so many ideologies are hypocritical and shortsighted. But maybe it is more irritating when one finds it on the left, because they theoretically argue for a higher standard.

        That said, you are more likely to find acknowledgement of ethnocentrism and cultural biases on the political left than anywhere else, including among most liberals. Many more on the political left at least discusses these issues, not that all do so or do so well.

        I’m fairly equal opportunity in my pessimism about humanity, in all societies and across the political spectrum. I have yet to find any large population, group, or movement of people that doesn’t include many people who are hypocritical and shortsighted.

        What makes it worse in the West is that this common human trait of hypocrisy and shortsightedness is combined with being enmeshed in dominant cultures. That hypocrisy and shortsightedness can get spread far and wide. But this has been true of every society that has come to power. I see no reason it won’t be equally true of the Chinese as well.

        Humans suck like that. We will likely be our own doom.

  11. I find that many people really don’t get what’s happening in this election. In this election you FINALLY have a chance to change the very thing that is getting every American pissed off after elections are over. The fact that nothing seems to change enough to dig America out of this treacherous hole of corruption, income inequality, establishment politics. The fact that you can never trust a politician, the fact that people have lost hope on the system, the fact that compared to other industrial countries we really don’t care about our own citizens. It’s pretty embarrassing. Bernie Sanders and other figures like Elizabeth Warren have been preaching about this for decades yet people are still busy discussing, Trump, Hillary and whoever else more of the same. It truly blows my mind. Not that other countries don’t have similar battles but from someone with an outsiders perspective why are people debating so much when the obvious vote should go to Bernie? Do his criticizers really listen to him? Sheesh, American’s blow my mind some times.

    • This is the most interesting campaign season I’ve seen in a while. Sanders is way above average. But he still supports American militarism. I wish Nader could have been president. That would have been awesome. Still, it is amazing what those like Sanders are able to bring into the mainstream. Even though he is no radical socialist, he is a genuine social democrat, which is a rare thing in our corporatist society. Sanders would be a big step in the right direction.

  12. I’m already planning my move to Canada

    ”Bernie might have been a good candidate at one time, but no longer.

    Regarding Bernie, “I would never give up my microphone,” said Trump. “I thought that was disgusting. That showed such weakness.”

    Trump is right, Bernie willingly gave up his microphone to an activist mob. What would Bernie do when faced with a mob again? Would he cave or would he lead? Would he just as easily back down against someone like Putin?

    I can’t in good conscience support a candidate who allows themselves to be railroaded by activists, or worse, possibly foreign adversaries. That’s not good for America, and that’s not a leader at all. Its spineless and I won’t have it in the Oval Office. Bernie should have stood up for himself. He could take a few lessons from Trump on being in charge.

    Until then, Biden is the natural pick for Dems for someone who can take charge and get things done, if he ever makes up his mind to run.
    Danny Simon
    4:07 AM EDT
    You’re taking a micro-event and making overgeneralized assumptions.
    Dante M
    5:12 AM EDT
    Bastille, I guess you don’t know how disruptive activism works. Those activists were going to endlessly scream into the microphone and in Bernie’s face no matter what he said or did. Is only option was to do what he did. Second option is IF security were present which I don’t think they were, the two women would’ve been aggressively removed by security. Had their been security, the latter of the two options would have looked horrible as Bernie removes and kicks out two black protesters which right wingers would eat up and use as fodder worse than they used the current series of events. This is why you sir could never be a politician albeit a successful one. So easy to sit from a distance and boast about how to better scenerio handle it. Moreover Trump can say what he wants, but when Jorge Ramos interrupted him he turned red did not know what to do and allowed security to handle it for him. Even if you side with Jorge Ramos look at the backlash Trump is getting for removing him. Had Jorge Ramos been more aggressive as an activist not a journalist with the attempt at using disruptive activism and had an entire group with him, and Trump had no security, how in the world do you think he would have handled that situation better? Your lack of insight and understanding is why you will vote against your own interests.

    • I’m fine with homeschooling. But I think it needs to be well regulated. The article points out one problem that I always see:

      “That said, homeschooling isn’t for everyone. It takes a certain financial security and access to resources that many of us don’t have.”

      That is what is wrong with our society. In a just and fair society, no one would be trapped in paralyzing poverty and lack access to basic resources. But that isn’t an issue just of homeschooling.

  13. While women have had to fight their way to the top of the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and The Wilderness Society, history shows that almost all the major grassroots environmental movements in the United States were started and led by women. Why? The quality of their daily lives and the lives of their children was shaped by the health or filth of their neighborhoods.

    Women-led community-based movements were strong, effective, and hard to break because of one-on-one conversations, women’s intimate connectedness and personal experience with the issues, and their desire to build solid relationships around the information they gained. As one indigenous activist from New Mexico said in Robert Bullard’s book Unequal Protection, “We deal with the whole of life and community; we’re not separated, we’re born into it—we are it.”

    Post-colonial environmentalism started in the United States in the 1880s. The “common good” approach to environmental ethics was developed from a blend of the older indigenous spiritual traditions of the American West, predominantly those of the Ute Indian nation and their contact with the Mormons. The “laws of land stewardship” dictated that there should be cooperative use of land and water to benefit the whole community.

    This anti-riparian philosophy came eastward, taking hold in industrial centers and giving birth to the urban environmental ethic: Industry and manufacturers had a responsibility to the health and welfare of their workers and to the communities in which they were located.

    In 1888, Jane Addams, influenced by this form of community stewardship as well as the “settlement house” movement of England, founded Hull House in Chicago—an inner-city, immigrant neighborhood home that was at once a part of and an alternative to the urban, industrial order. Addams wanted Hull House to be a center for the progressive urban reform movements; it became an underground university for women activists focusing on questions of housing, sanitation, and public health.

    The most severe problem in the neighborhood was inadequate garbage collection. The Hull House Woman’s Club launched a major investigation into the city’s garbage collection system, then Addams submitted to the city government her own bid to collect garbage. The resulting public uproar forced the mayor to appoint Addams as garbage inspector for her ward. The Hull House women formed a garbage patrol, getting up at 6 a.m. to follow the garbage trucks, mapping routes and dump sites, and making citizens arrests of landlords whose properties were a health hazard. Their vigilance moved garbage reform to the top of Chicago’s civic agenda, forcing industry to take responsibility for its trash.

    Hull House “graduates” included Crystal Eastman, Florence Kelley, and Ellen Starr, who forged the critical link between issues of community, environment, and the work place (see Eastman’s Work Accidents and the Law); Julia Lathrop and Grace Abbott, the first chiefs of the federal Children’s Bureau; Edith Abbott and Sophonisba Breckinridge, pioneers in the field of social work; and Alice Hamilton, the first urban-industrial environmentalist.

    The war and Depression years, 1917-1945, were environmental Dark Ages. The natural and human resources of the United States took a beating in support of the troops and protecting our national interests. However, the dislocation of the rural populace off the land and, especially in the 1950s, the relocation of urban poor people to make room for factories, highways (to transport the factories’ goods), and suburbs (predominantly white) did not occur without powerful resistance. From rural West Virginia, 5,000 widows from the West Virginia Black Lung Association marched on Charleston demanding compensation for their husbands’ deaths. Mexican-American women’s groups in East Los Angeles fought against losing their homes to the East L.A. freeway interchange (see Rudolfo Ancuna’s A Community Under Siege: A Chronicle of Chicanos East of the Los Angeles River, 1945-1975).

    IN 1962, THE environmental movement made a paradigm shift because of one woman—Rachel Carson. The publication of Carson’s Silent Spring ushered in the anti-toxic environmental movement and introduced “ecology” into the American lexicon.

    Carson’s earlier writing (Under the Sea Wind and The Sea Around Us) identified her as a rigorous scientist, naturalist, and conservationist. With Silent Spring Carson called into question the postwar success of the chemical pesticide industry: “For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death.”

    Carson began work on Silent Spring in 1958 when her friend Olga Owens Huckins reported that the birds around her house were “dying horribly, with their bills gaping open and their splayed claws drawn up to their breasts in agony.” Massachusetts had just initiated a mosquito eradication program, fogging her neighborhood each evening with DDT. Carson found that there was no independent, critical research on the effects of pesticides on animals or humans. She devoted the rest of her life to documenting those deadly consequences. In America, DDT became a household word.

    Though Silent Spring focused on the effects pesticides had on song birds (hence the title), Carson also raised the unpopular issue of the dangers pesticides posed to farm workers. This scientific research, along with the dismantling of the Bracero Program (which provided legal contracts for Mexicans working in U.S. agriculture), gave Chicano leaders Delores Huerta and César Chávez the climate they needed to mobilize for the rights and safety of farm workers.

    Silent Spring was Carson’s last work; she died of cancer 18 months after its publication. Through it she radically altered environmentalism, liberating it from old, limited definitions. Nature was now understood to be a living, dynamic mechanism that humans can indeed damage; natural and human environments became inextricably linked; and social justice movements emerged as vehicles for environmental transformation.

    Over the years, this insight has proved prophetic. In 1979, an African-American neighborhood in Houston made environmental history when attorney Linda McKeever Bullard charged the Texas Department of Health and the Browning-Ferris disposal company with “environmental discrimination” in zoning black neighborhoods for industrial waste sites.

    The ’70s also brought Earth Day and “ecofeminism,” which intertwined feminist, ecological, and anti-nuclear thought as a springboard for direct action (see Rosemary Radford Ruether’s New Woman, New Earth, Carolyn Merchant’s The Death of Nature, and Susan Griffin’s Woman and Nature). Out of this movement came the November 16, 1980 Women’s March on the Pentagon. Using huge white, red, yellow, and black puppets and brightly colored yarn, thousands of women joined hands around the world’s largest office building and wove closed the Pentagon entrances. Sixty-five women were arrested. From the Arlington County jail, Nesta King wrote, “The everyday oppression of living in an increasingly authoritarian, toxic, and militarized society is…a feminist concern. Civil disobedience might help save our planet and usher in a free, feminist future. That is why they put us in jail.”

    DURING THE LAST 15 years, women have continued to be on the forefront of environmental justice. In East Los Angeles, Juana Beatriz Gutierrez, a homemaker, and Gloria Molina, a state assembly representative, banded together to oppose a state prison in their community, then defeated a gas pipeline and toxic waste incinerators also slated for their neighborhoods. Los Madres of East L.A. (MELA) defied the racist assumption that Latinos are easy to manipulate because they are apolitical. MELA activist Aurora Castillo said, “My family was here before the first Anglo set foot on California soil….And we’ve been fighting ever since for the lives of our children. You know, if one of her children’s safety is threatened, the mother turns into a lioness.”

    In Washington, D.C., Cora Tucker, Penny Newman, and Lois Gibbs (wearing florescent pink T-shirts with “Tough Women Against Toxics” printed on them) formed Women In Toxics Organizing. Tucker, an African-American grandmother, activist, and self-described homemaker, had lived her whole life in Virginia’s rural Halifax County where she fought uranium mining projects and nuclear waste dump sites. Newman led the fight against the Stringfellow Acid Pits that contaminated the groundwater of her Southern California town, leaving her son’s health permanently damaged. Gibbs (see “What Sustains Over the Long Haul?”) organized the Love Canal Homeowners Association in Niagara Falls, New York, when she discovered her children’s public school was built over a chemical waste dump. She eventually forced the government to pay for their relocation, precipitating national legislation on Superfund hazardous waste sites.

    In 1990, Judi Bari of the radical environmental group Earth First! led a series of public protests along California’s North Coast—an ambitious organizing feat to save old growth forests and small family lumber businesses, called “Redwood Summer” (see Sojourners, November 1990). Earth First! came to infamy in the late 1980s for their acts of “eco-tage” such as tree-spiking and pouring sugar into the gas tanks of clear-cutting bulldozers. Bari, however, is credited not only with the feminization of Earth First! but also with guiding the organization to adopt an extremely effective policy of nonviolent direct action.

    Bari survived a 1990 car bombing that left her in a wheelchair. Her case accusing the FBI of conspiring in the bombing and framing her as a terrorist to discredit her and the environmental movement is still in the courts. Bari died of breast cancer in March of this year.

    HOW WILL WOMEN DEFINE environmentalism in the years ahead? Perhaps women will lead us back to what our indigenous ancestors in faith have never forgotten—the spiritual nature of the Earth as one of God’s primary revelations. Poets and mystics tell us that humankind is fashioned to witness to the wonders of God. Women have been the voices of witness throughout history. “Between the hammerblows/our heart survives,” wrote Rilke, “just as the tongue, even between the teeth, still manages to praise. Indeed, do praise, but tell the angel about the world.”

    – See more at: https://sojo.net/magazine/july-august-1997/good-housekeeping-award#sthash.iB1FU4ln.dpuf

    • “The war and Depression years, 1917-1945, were environmental Dark Ages.”

      It was the Dark Ages for most of the US, but not all. That was the era of Milwaukee when the Sewer Socialists ran government. It was a good time to be in Milwaukee.

      “In 1990, Judi Bari of the radical environmental group Earth First! led a series of public protests…”

      That was when I began high school. It was also when I became aware of environmentalism. In the years immediately following graduation, I became aware of Earth First! and regularly read their publication. I remember the outrage I felt at that time while learning about all that I hadn’t been taught in school.

  14. ^^^I have found that the more I learn and read, the more I realize how silly people like this are, LOL


    • I’ve seen those kinds of arguments before. That view is popular among HBDers. They love to talk about WEIRD: Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich, and Democratic. It is a simplistic understanding of human societies, but that is to be expected.

    • I always wonder where a person like that is coming from. Ethnic immigrants often don’t assimilate. That is as true for immigrants from European countries. But why should they assimilate? I grow tired of the American attitude that everyone should assimilate to some dominate culture.

  15. Study political issues in envurojnentalism. Environmental injustice.

    The environmental movement scks. It is pretty much the vice of people least screwed over my environmental issues: privileged rich white people who like camping. These people benefit the most from environmental destruction. The same destruction that funds their opulent lives, while other people are screwed over. They think camping a few days then retreating back to their opulent lifestyles means they are the only who care about nature. The people most screwed over by it are marginalized.

    I’m so angry benjamin. I’m so so so so so fuckijg angry. I’m beyond angry. I want to scream. I’m that angry. I am that angry

    • The environmental movement is complex. There are plenty of farmers, hunters, poor people, and minorities who are also environmentalists or often allies of environmentalists in particular actions. But those other people don’t get as much attention in the mainstream media, for obvious reasons. For example, there have been poor minority communities that have organized to fight environmental racism in terms of trying to keep waste dumps being placed near their homes. And of course, Native Americans have regularly been involved in the environmental movement in all kinds of fights over land use and pollution. Sadly, most people don’t hear about those fights. It’s these voices being silenced and ignored that angers me.

      • ”Sadly, most people don’t hear about those fights. It’s these voices being silenced and ignored that angers me.”

        YES. But I’m also angered that this lets people pull shit like like the stuff I linked above outta their ass. WEIRD, I mean.

        I’m not sure why but I get extra extra angry at it. I’m not why I should care about what these ignorant over-simplistic losers think, but I do. And it angers the fuck outta me.

        • It makes me fume. These people who expouse WEIRD sentiments. I’m not sure why. It makes me fume. It gives me an anger I rarely feel. I just got so angry today. I just got so incredibly ANGRY. I feel like I’m more angry at the WEIRD advocates than at environmental justice itself. It’s so weird.

        • The combination of WEIRD supremacists and environmentalism is truly messed up. It is hard to know how to respond. They are trying to coopt some of the rhetoric of the political left for their own purposes. It is what Corey Robin describes in his book about the reactionary mind, the motivating force behind modern conservatism, especially in the US. Since the Enlightenment, conservatives have been taking on the language and tactics of liberals and leftists for reactionary purposes of defending their preferred social order. It’s a strange phenomenon.

      • I more or less understand where you are coming from. Your experience is different than mine, but I’ve seen all the same kind of annoying crap you’ve seen. Anger is something I’m intimately familiar with. There are plenty of reasons to be angry, endless reasons.

      • I know benjamin. I never thought they don’t exist. i’m saying that the loudest most prominent voices in the environmental movement are frankly, the people least screwed over by environmental issues. The privileged

        • That was even true among blacks in the Civil Rights movement. The black voices that got heard and promoted tended to be the respectable blacks. There is the example of a black woman before Rosa Parks who refused to go to the back of the bus. But the civil rights leaders wouldn’t take up her case because she wasn’t respectable enough.

          It was class issues playing out even within the oppressed. There has always been an antagonism between middle-to-upper-class blacks and all other blacks. This is how some blacks end up siding with white social conservatives or white reactionaries. You see this dynamic with people like Bill Cosby, Ben Carson, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, and of course JayMan.

          It often plays out through colorism. Wealthier blacks also tend to be lighter-skinned. Privilege comes in many forms.

          But you are pointing to the most privileged people of all, those at the top of the heap. It is easy for them to be righteous from the position of fearing little real harm. Environmentalism for well off whites too often becomes a strange form of identity politics, a hobby for those with too much time on their hands.

          Then again, privilege will only protect you so far. Plenty of relatively privileged whited activists have been killed, hurt, and imprisoned. When someone challenges the power structure, those with vested interests won’t necessarily respect their privilege. Judi Bari being a case in point.

          Those who piss me off the most are the faux environmentalists. They go to charity dinners, maybe occasionally join a protest march, donate to mainstream environmental groups, lobby their congressperson, and wear their environmentalism like a badge of superiority. Meanwhile, they live in the suburbs where there is little pollution. They don’t worry about anyone attempting to put a waste dump in their community. They have no clue what real environmental harm looks like. It’s all a political game to them.

          You can see the same thing with other forms of activism. Black feminists have a long history of pointing out the failures of white feminists. You often hear middle class white feminists talking about how often women are raped. What you rarely hear middle class white feminists mention is that most women who are raped are poor minorities. You also don’t hear about the large number of poor minority men who are raped in prisons.

          It is the whole intersectionality thing. There is bad and then there is really bad. It’s those dealing with a ton of issues that fully understand. It isn’t just racism or poverty or environmental problems or sexism or whatever. For many people, it is all of these issues and they can’t be separated. It isn’t just about one’s favorite cause, but about one’s entire lived experience.

  16. I’m not even going to touch on the part where the rich white people “vacation” in these areas where those poor, unappreciative of nature brown people live. You know, where they work and stuff for the white people who are there vacationing. Where their environments are being destroyed before their eyes to find rich whitey’s opulent lifestyle. Where their environment is polluted, fracked, drilled for oil, toxic waste dumped, so white rich people can camp for a few days and “appreciate” nature.

    So climbing mt Everest means only whites like nature? Where white westerners pollute Mount Everest with oxygen tanks, plastic, garbage, before they retreat to ther first world rich enclaves leaving the long-time residents to deal with the aftermath.

    You know what’s the opposite of appreciating nature? Treating it as your personal recreational getaway and letting less privileged people take the brunt of your lifestyle while self righteously thinking only you appreciate nature because you enjoy staring at pretty mountains a few days a year.

    Meanwhile toxic waste, fracking, oil drilling, pollution, is dumped on lands occupied by those “unappreciative of nature” so you can keep taking your vacations. Fuxk you. Fuck you. Fuck you with a polluted fracking waste cactus. Fuck you a thousand years with carcinogens dumped into the river native Canadians live off of. Fuck you with the plastic and oxygen tanks that litter Mount Everest from your 5 day nature appreciation streak. Fuck you with the highways that have cut up and environmentally destroyed poor (minority)?neighborhoods so you can escape to your three day nature appreciation.

    It’s not even the lifestyle that annoys me at all. It’s the sheer hypocrisy. The sheer almost colonial condescension.

    I’m seeing red benjamin. Sorry. I’m that angry. I’m that angry. I’m so angry I want to explode.

    • I’ve felt that anger many times throughout my life. If you really want to be pissed of, read some Derrick Jensen. His books showed me an entirely different view of the world. His writings will make you despair for humanity and, like Jensen, you might end up hoping for the collapse of civilization. I’m not able to follow Jensen down that road, but I fully understand the moral outrage, the anger and despair. I know it and I know how it can eat away at you from within. It is a burning anger. It will make you feel exhausted. It takes a lot out of you.

      • exhibit A

        ”There are two sides of this situation. Yes there are a lot of idiot racists out there, who are singling out Chinese for questionable activities that many other groups do just as often. But, there are also legitimate reasons why people may have issues with Chinese immigration and business activity in BC.

        Take the environment issue for example. While this is of course a generalization, it is pretty apparent that Chinese-Canadians ON AVERAGE care less than your average Vancouverite about the environment. Styrofoam containers, unsustainable meat and seafood, it’s all on show at a higher proportion of Chinese restaurants than others.

        The problem is this kind of talk is not really allowed in public conversation in Canada, and so it becomes difficult to try to improve a problem that no one will publicly admit exists.

        I think we would do a lot to lower anti-Chinese sentiment if we were more open about communication, and then things wouldn’t quietly simmer so much, then leading to periodic outbursts that lead to accusations of BC being a “racist” place.

        Also, agree with others who say that it is very important for Chinese people to not play the race card and imply that criticism of the Chinese government and their horrific policies in African and elsewhere is simply out of racism. That will only cement negative attitudes towards them.”
        Reading Chniese sits, I think nmany Chinese feel like westerners are very colonial and hypocritical towrds them. They feel that white people attack them for doing things white people do, and white people are basically doing the ”I did it before, you’re not allowed to do the same thing though” attitude

        • I think many Chinse see westerners as self righteous hypocrites with a ”drawbridge mentality”

          ”McKenna, Dave Ball, Mark Bowen (and some others) – well said. I don’t want to MY country to sell out to Any country – but certainly not a communist one – and least of all CHINA.

          I have no problem with Chinese-Canadians, but cannot overlook the atrocities that have been committed in China itself. Their country of origin is one that does not regulate many of its industries (they can’t even prevent manufacturers from putting poison in baby formula, pet food, or dog treats)!

          Shame on our government for selling out to China. For an institution that is supposed to represent “the people,” they did a shoddy job of representing us.

          Our “non-living” natural resources are just the beginning. This disturbing trading partnership that the current government has gotten us involved with has perched us upon a very slippery precipice. We are now situated to trade tens of thousands of our slaughtered seals (the numbers are slated to increase by 40,000 this year as another species is being targeted in Canada). China will take these dead seals off our hands in return for the horrifically killed dogs and cats that they export over here in the form of trim on gloves, parkas and Children’s Toys! This is all being in done under the guise of making the “TRUE NORTH STRONG AND FREE.”

          THIS is what our country’s “leaders” have gotten into bed with.

          THIS is what scares me.

          Don’t point the finger back at Canada for not wanting to accept this kind of partnership….for there are three fingers pointing back in your direction if you do.”

          • I doubt these natuer loving Canadians give a shit about, say, native Canadian whose lands are being dsetroyed by alberta oil mining. Thesadness of a native canadian telling a white visitor not to eat the fish because ti was contaminated from the waste dumping, then eating it himself cause he has no choice

    • I noticed this:

      “In the past, people who have received help have sometimes gone on to sue their rescuer, often in the hopes of winning damages, fuelling the perception that offering assistance is too risky.”

      That is a problem in the US. We are a lawsuit happy society, moreso than many countries. It can be problematic for obvious reasons.

    • This man is an animal, the type of criminal I hate to see still breathing! If he were Black, he would be dead by now! Why is he still breathing?! I dont want to see a single tax dollar of mine go to keeping this trash alive! Shoot him between his eyes…..RIGHT NOW!

      swampwiz Aug 17, 2011
      While we set here all smug and consider the killer as Satan himself, shouldn’t we all feel a bit guilty in that we have such a weak social welfare system for caring for our unfortunate, that we have driven this man to do the unthinkable? Perhaps this man has been struggling with the fact that he can’t get health care, because of our incredibly brutish health care system (that thankfully has been put on track to be fixed in 2014 by our great POTUS.) Perhaps he has been struggling to find a decent paying job, but because he outsource all the jobs to China and India, he can’t find decent work.

      coyote55 Aug 17, 2011
      You haven’t read this story at all. He wanted the kid dead at six months old. It has nothing to do with unemployment. OMG…so brain dead.

      dawnyawn Aug 17, 2011
      His innocent soul is still wondering what he did wrong to deserve such suffering and mistreatment.

      sparkzz Aug 17, 2011
      His innocent soul is in a much better place.

      sparkzz Aug 17, 2011
      You don’t understand. In his mind he didn’t kill a child, he eliminated a severely retarded blob, and in doing so saved himself and the taxpayers thousands and thousands of dollars.

    • Honestly if I didn’t want a disabled kid that badly I’d just give him up for adoption not kill him

      ”How many of these posters are certified psychiatrists? Just because someone commits an act that we can not comprehend does not mean that they are mentally ill. It just means that they are not guided by the same moral compass. Mentally ill means that they are unaware of what they are doing at the time and are unable to judge right from wrong. This man clearly stated that he was sick of taking care of this poor soul and that he wanted the mother to feel stupid. He knew what he did, he confessed, he has no remorse, and he’s just happy that he doesn’t have to take care of the child anymore.”

  17. reality always seems to blow WEIRD outta the water dosen’t it?

    ”My family came as Civil war refugees to the United States from Guatemala, during the height of the genocide campaign. The syphilis experiment was one of the more mild things the United States did in Guatemala. The worst easily, was the overthrow of president Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 that triggered the start of the war in 1960. American owned companies owned most of the land in Guatemala, often forcibly taking it from Indigenous peasants and using them as servants on plantations. Arbenz enacted Decree 900 to take land from those companies (notably United Fruit Company) and distribute it to native Guatemalans. UFC stood in front of Congress and said Guatemala was becoming a Soviet beachhead and demanded intervention.

    The CIA began covert operations in Guatemala soon after, in the name of communist containment. And the rest is history.

    The United States continued to support several capitalist dictators in Guatemala through funding, specialized training, and military arming — most notoriously Rios Montt (there was attempts to put him on trial for crimes against humanity and war crimes a few years ago). Rios Montt is well known for having ramped up the genocide campaign against political dissidents and the natives. The eventual death toll was 200,000. More than 50,000 Guatemalans are still missing and suspected assassinated. 1 million Guatemalans were forced to flee the country.

    I often mourn the beautiful country that my family was forced to flee. My mother still has post traumatic stress over it. I don’t know if Guatemala will ever truly recover or if the United States and related parties, such as Rios Montt, will ever admit responsibility for the pain they’ve caused our people. The bright side to it all is that Guatemalan culture, indigenous languages, and political resistance still flourish despite the aggressive attempts at annihilation.”

    • It bewilders me that most Americans can know so little of what is done in their name and using their tax money. It’s not just an isolated incident. This has been happening for more than a century. The US has been involved in some very messed up activities. It’s not just foreign populations. There were US towns that the US government sprayed with chemicals or covered with radioactive dust in order to see what would happen. It wasn’t just minorities. The government has admitted to doing these things.

  18. Jusst more tragic evidence of the American lack of social safety net 😦

    Honestly life DOES suck if you are the underprivileged parent of a disabled kid. If you’re relatively well-off sure you might handle it, but in America? If you don’t have money and you have a disabled kid…


    • I would rather my taxes go to pay for taking of those truly in need than going to funding military, CIA covert operations, corporate subsidies, etc. We don’t lack money. There is no reason so many Americans should fall into desperation and feel that desperate acts are their only recourse. I regularly have the sense that this country is ruled by sociopaths. I’m not sure how to explain the depths of moral depravity that is considered normal here.

  19. Life sucks, and life can suck more when the self-righteous relatively privileged descend on you

    ”I really should not have checked the Huffington Post article’s comments.
    “As someone who has helped raise a similarly disabled child, I am sympathetic to these caretakers. The constant toll over 14 years with little reprieve, and no chance of things getting better, have made me suicidal too. My mother, his primary caretaker, has admitted to fantasies of driving off a bridge with him in the backseat. Best case scenario, he predeceases all of us by natural causes.
    Do not judge these people until you have walked in their shoes.”
    The fact that people think like this is genuinely terrifying. Support groups do exist, for people of any age, and at any point on the autism spectrum. Taking care of a child with autism, any kind of autism, is exceedingly difficult, but to have fantasies of brutally murdering their own child, considering it generous to just hope that the kid dies before themself, then telling others not to judge them because they’ve never dealt with it is one of the worst things I’ve ever heard.
    More support exists now than ever before, but these parents just seem lazy and sadistic. I have no idea what’s feasible or what could even help at this point with all the misinformation regarding autism floating around; maybe parents should be psychologically assessed along with their children during autism diagnosis.
    Top CommentREPLYFlagPermalink
    Sarah Jane Smith
    Sarah Jane Smith 2 years ago
    Support groups. A place where you get to talk (whine) about how stressed out you are. What a bunch of bunk and worse a waste of time. Time better spent trying to get your kid to eat a green vegetable. Secondly, support for parents of autistic children varies dramatically based on where you live.
    Given that I have a stay-at-home partner and a good job with good insurance and we still have a hard time. I’m truly surprised I haven’t read more stories like this particularly from single parents. I’m actually (pleasantly) surprised that this isn’t more common.
    What do you do when your teenage autistic child is able to overpower you? This is a very real fear in my world.
    Top CommentREPLYFlagPermalink
    Andrew Kilroy
    Andrew Kilroy 2 years ago
    Aw, thanks for referring to us as tyrannizing murderers who are a threat to your life whenever we are physically stronger than you.
    First thing though, why is it that an autistic would try to overpower you in the first place?
    You’ve done exactly what Emily said you would. You have tried to make people try to give these murderers a free pass, murderers of my people. You don’t even sound a single piece of regret for our deaths, only glib surprise that it isn’t more common.
    You make us out to be monsters. No wonder your son is impossible to handle. Maybe for once stop blaming us for psychopaths murdering us.
    Top CommentREPLYFlagPermalink
    amatore 2 years ago
    You’re shunning your own child and other autistics, you don’t realize it but you are. How else could you speak so coldly and think it would be acceptable? If you don’t think Autistic children merit the same consideration that NT children do you might have a deficit – of character.
    amatore 2 years ago
    All parents have that fear when their children get older. Perfectly normal.
    DHat85 a year ago
    Aren’t you cute, Andrew Kilroy? Do you believe you have autism? Do you believe you know what autism is?
    You probably don’t have the slightest clue, as shown by your first question. You seem to believe that autistics are whole human beings who just have troubles expressing their feelings. That an autistic individual wouldn’t need to resort to violence unless he felt threatened. Hah! Just shows how little you know.
    I have an autistic brother, who’s 26 years old and 6 feet tall. He’s violent, unpredictable, and most of the time… cannot be reasoned with. He has inflicted several injuries, going as far as breaking bones, on my parents when I’m at work and can’t protect them. He does not communicate very well and lashes out violently if contraried in the slightest ways, such as seeing his favorite soccer team miss a goal opportunity, a weather forecast he doesn’t approve of, when a movie he wanted to see gets delayed, or receiving the news that his favorite news anchor is going to retire. And don’t even get me started on what happens when one of his toys break.
    You see, not all autistics are made equal. I’m sure there are plenty of them who are as sweet as puppies, marvelous little creatures full of joy and love – but there are just as many who are the complete opposite. You sound just like someone who claims racism doesn’t exist anymore because you’ve never seen an act of prejudice with your own eyes, but that doesn’t make it the truth!
    And for the love of all that is holy, don’t call yourself autistic. It’s really insulting to the families of real autistics whenever a pretentious hipster kid with Aspegers claims to have a mental illness.

  20. I LOVE the complaints because they’re so ironic, they’re the same complaints white people made back in their “good old days” when you could string up any non-white and not feel guilt. At the core they’re all about ‘white power.’

    For example, the complaints about wages, about ‘invaders,’ about taking away jobs, etc, they’re the same complaints people were using that brought about things like the Chinese Exclusion Act and White Australia Policy in the first place. Soon they’ll be complaining about laundry again: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asiatic_Exclusion_League#Anti-Jap_Laundry_L

    The irony of the some posts almost convinces me to go to law school sometime in the next couple years. If foreign invaders coming in and taking everything and not learning the language is a viewed as “bad” (among other things on the posts), then I remind white people your complaints are what your ancestors did to mine. As I’ve pointed out before there are (basically) no treaties here in BC, yet there are the invaders proclaiming “MY land, MY jobs, MY resources,” etc. Even where there are treaties we never agreed to sign anything over (or ‘cede’) yet there are white people pointing guns at us over little protests or road blockades.

    Even the whole “democracy” thing is just a vehicle to push their ideas and make it seem like their complaints are “just.” Look at what white people did with their “democracies,” they took away babies worldwide (South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, US, etc), they were all for slavery, they started the KKK, the C.E.A, the Indian Removal Act, the Indian Act, Apartheid in South Africa… the list goes on and on.

    So… the complains are eerily similar to the same complaints whites were making in the not too distant past. Also, truthfully they’re only doing what white people would do themselves AND did do themselves. I guess it’s only wrong because it’s non-whites doing it to whites, if it’s the other way around then it’s right. “White power” is what it’s all about, read the posts.

    • Why can’t people see the obvious? Many of these people are even Christians. One of the central tenets of Christianity is to not do to others what you would not want them to do to you. Yet the hyporcrisy goes on as blatant as ever.

      It makes me realize how odd I am. Even most liberals I know, mostly white and relatively well off, don’t seem to take these issues seriously or really understand them. It’s not real to them, because it isn’t part of their daily experience. But I don’t know how to not notice all the injustices in the world. My mind obsesses over it. All the suffering is very real to me. I feel it.

      I wish there was something I could do about these problems. But I couldn’t say what. Even many leftists are clueless. I’ve tried to get well-informed activists to understand intersectionality and most of them just couldn’t grasp it. It made me lose hope. If I can’t communicate to those people, who will listen?

  21. Of course all the Chinese people interviewed for this article see racism. Its the one card all the minorities play ALL the time EVERY time whenever their motives or morals are questioned.

    For Mr. Wong to compare the Irish quotient of temporary workers to the requirement of a Chinese mining company that all prospective employees speak Mandarin is laughable. One would think that the reporter would actually challenge Mr. Wong on such a preposterous statement.

    Are the Irish being brought in to especially exclude Canadian workers from Canadian jobs? Or are they being brought in to fill a multitude of low paying service jobs that modern Canadian parents feel their children are too precious to do?

    The author of the article is really bending over to be penetratingly politically correct in mentioning the labour movements involvement in the forming of a “league” over 100 years ago. How is that even relevant to this discussion.

    Why doesnt the authour do the work to find out if the claims by the Chinese mining company are even true. What exactly is the design of the proposed mine. Are there actually qualified Canadian citizens available to do the work? Rather than taking the easy way out of apparently printing special interest groups press releases and finding some talking heads from some special interest front groups seemingly only interested in perpetuating the racial guilt of Canadians for some as yet unknown reasons.

    • There is no money in not printing the words of special interest groups. Those special interest groups are funded by corporations, investors, and other wealthy individuals and organizations that are connected to those who own the media or who pay for the advertising in the media.

  22. LOL

    I highly recommend an article, “Red China Immigration Blues”, published in The Advocate, the professional magazine of the BC Bar Association’s July 12 issue.

    A very enlightening read. It focuses on the financial and legal implications of high net worth immigrants (who buy their way into Canada – thanks to the Feds)…many of which are real eye-openers.

    Since so many people are in bed with them and making loads of $$ servicing these HNWI, no one is saying anything.

    It is estimated that 80% of all homes over $1.5 – 2M on the West Side in the last two years have been sold to mainland Chinese. Similar homes in Seattle cost less than half that…there is something seriously wrong with this picture. Vancouver has no real industry or head offices (compared to Seattle).

    This is about preserving the cultural fabric of our City, which I’m afraid, has long been sold out and impossible to reverse at this point. We are too far gone and It makes me sad.

  23. hina and Russia, the world’s most evil places :p

    Many of us have Chinese family’s as friends and neighbors. It’s not the Chinese people. It’s more like, China’s Communist Government.

    It was said. China hacked into other country’s secret files. China sold infected electronic components to other country’s. U.S. missiles and other weapons, had infected components purchased from China. There was a worry, planes could fall out of the sky.

    Other country’s are having to escort China out of their territories. China has been showing aggression around the globe.

    In Ghana they detained Chinese miners, for mining illegally. China does not respect other country’s mining claims.

    South African people, were being cheated out of their wages by China.

    There was the Murray River incident. 300 BC miners applied for the 200 mining jobs. Chinese miners earn, $800 per month. China sued in BC to take those mining jobs. Harper’s Omnibull-S-Bill gives China the right to sue, any Canadians getting in Red China’s way.

    Harper is giving Canada to China. Harper has permitted China to set up shop, on our Canadian soil. Harper has given China the resources and the resource jobs. China refuses to pay Canadian wages. Harper has permitted China to bring their own cheap labor here to take Canadian jobs. China’s resource workers earn, $800 per month. China’s minimum wage is, $236 per month. Harper has permitted all company’s to hire that cheap labor.

    Harper is planning for China in the rich resources of the High Arctic. Who gets those jobs?

    There are nine new mines and mine expansions, going into Northern BC. Who gets those jobs?

    There lies the anger, within the Canadian citizens. If Harper carries this on, yes, there will be trouble. People will want the Chinese removed from Canada. There are thousands of University and College Grads, with huge student loans, that need good paying jobs. However, Canadians are not permitted the resource jobs. I really can see a blow-up down the road.

    The Enbridge pipeline, is a very sore spot for the BC citizens. That will be fought, right to the last ditch. Harper is not a favorite, with the BC people. The oil sands nor the Enbridge pipeline, does one lick of good for BC. BC owes Harper, Enbridge, Alberta nor China squat.

    It is a puzzle why, the Chinese keep coming to Canada? China is a very wealthy country.

    • Those in other countries have been asking for centuries why do rich wealthy come to their countries to colonize, enslave, commit genocide, and steal resources. If Western countries are so rich, why do they need to take the wealth away from everyone else? The Native Americans thought: It is a puzzle why, the Europeans keep coming to North America? European countries are wealthy.

  24. I’ve listened to a lot bashing of Canadians of Asian origin from euro-Canadians. They get blamed for causing all the crime in the crime in country, even though the statistics show otherwise. There are too many at university, hard work and studying are bad things.
    Vancouver isn’t a Canadian city because of them. And, I’m sure many have heard some of the far more disturbing stuff that some euro-Canadians say about them. Of course they aren’t the only Canadians who are unfairly criticized but I certainly here more chatter about them these days than others.

  25. Have ignorant rednecks taken over the comments section of the Straight? Don’t you have aryan brotherhood meetings to attend?

    First off, a lot of China’s foreign/industrial/human rights policies/actions are the same things all the current “enlightened” Western countries did during the 19-20th centuries. People here complaining about that is akin to a Rockefeller bitching about the Walton’s unethical business practices.

    Second, oh boo-hoo first generation immigrants don’t want to speak my language or hang out with me and my idiot friends and eat the same food we do. You’d probably do the same thing if you moved to a foreign country. Besides, I thought we were defined by our multiculturalism? If you want people to assimilate, go move to the USA, they use the melting pot model there.

    Third, some of us are actually good at our jobs, so we’re not worried about immigrants from any country trying to “steal” them (that’s not a reference to this whole coal mining issue, that’s a whole other ball of wax). What a weak argument to thinly disguise your xenophobia.

    “The Chinese are way more racist than us” Show me some evidence that’s not annecdotal. I’ve got plenty of anecdotal evidence to the contrary, so your claims don’t mean anything to me. Maybe Chinese people just hate you because you’re morons?

    Real estate? I don’t have an issue with foreign ownership as long as people are living in the goddamn buildings. It does suck to not be able to afford to buy a home in a desireable location while hundreds of homes stand empty. Though I blame our governments (and the people who voted for them) for this. It’s the same with selling off our natural resources; if we’re so willing to sell we have no one to blame but ourselves/our government if someone buys them.


    Canada is not China,the scale is tipped. A majority of people from a specific culture and make it the majority, the values, ways of living and persepctive becomes the norm to the rest of the society. It is called the pecking order in groups, either join or be dismissed. I have lived in Vancouver and with a clean eye have seen this city go to a sad case of overpopulation by a culture who are in the dark ages of darwinism of dog eat dog, no manners, sardine mentality, sociopathic behavior and if it was another culutre well the same goes, the west is inundated by Chinese that are not going to change anytime soon and will eventually take over this land and without taking a plane to China, your Canada is soon to change its face to a mongoloid.

  27. Many AA made a good point. People criticize us for not ”integrating” but it’s not mutual, because these peopel will enver accept us as ”one of their own” so why should theintegrate? I will identify myself as America, IF you respect that, and not perpetually consider me foreign

    ”Deekra (dear) I myself life in Singapore and have nothing but high regard for Chinese people. However China is a bully and a threat to the world ever so. Also too many immigrants from China do confuse race with nationality, so in a way I can understand the anti-Chinese sentiment. It would help if Chinese would try harder to integrate and get out of those Chinatowns.

    • German-Americans lived in Germantowns. Irish-Americans lived in Irishtowns. That is what they were, even though they were never called that. It is precisely racism that makes people refer to a Chinese area as a Chinatown, but never use the same kind of terminology to refer to majority white ethnic areas.

      China is less of a bully and a threat to the world than the US. The difference is that white Westerners benefit directly from US global power, but not from that of the Chinese. It’s standard self-serving hypocrisy.

  28. I’m an ethnic person with what some call “yellow” skin (Chinese), and I’ve experienced racism before as well and it came from people of many different races.

    I went to high school at John Oliver in East Vancouver, and being one of the few “yellow” people at the time I was discriminated against by the “browns” (a group of brown kids called me ‘chink, ching chong chang etc.’ every day. The racist attitude they harbored against me later manifested into physical harm…) Long story short I moved on and saw past the hate, because I believed that only cowards needed to bully, and my seeming racial handicap was the only justifiable reason they had for attacking me.

    One time I was walking with an Asian friend of mine in the neighborhood when a white woman pushing a stroller yelled at us “Go back to China, you China men” for no reason (is there ever a good reason for that kind of talk?). We didn’t even respond we were so taken aback. Later on when my friend wanted to go back and look for the woman to confront her I told him to let it go. “Ignorant people exist,” I said, “just ignore them.” That was how I dealt with racism.

    Years later, I started working as a salesperson. My boss was usually nice to everyone, and no one would ever think that he could be as racist as he really was. At a company party one time we all had a bit too much to drink, and he started blaspheming racial slurs. “Thanks to all the chinks and EIs coming into our store, we are actually doing very well for the quarter…” I wasn’t comfortable about it at first but condoned it anyway. The culture of the company changed since then and many of my coworkers started talking the same way, even in front of me and other ethnic people.

    I learned that sometimes ignorance could be pretty explicit. However, it really chills one’s spine to experience that kind of treatment in a country where one calls home. Upon experiencing racism in any shape or form, one feels as though part of our Canadian character–the part that consists of our loving and accepting nature that we call “multiculturalism”–becomes denigrated. Unfortunately I think it has metastasized like cancer in recent years.

    • Globalized capitalism/corporatism/fascism/neoliberalism combined with neo-imperialism is exacerbating tensions. It is not unlike how tensions between ethnicities and nationalities heated up in the years before and during the world war era, the era when globalization first became a major force. It does make one wonder if a WWIII is near inevitable, simply because there are too many people spoiling for a fight.

  29. I have no respect for people like this. Th

    Race has nothing to do with it. Does anyone know how other races are treated in Asia? The population of Japan is less then 1% non-Japanese and yet there are riots in the streets about non Japanese people “taking over” their land. Ad there’s nothing illegal about it. There are no anti discrimination laws in china, you can put a “no black people” or “no white people” sign on your restaurant or salon no problem and nothing will be done about it. Racism in Canada is NOTHING compared to the racism in Asia and by asian I mean Japan/china specifically. Status and wealth are everything there and when they come to an egalitarian country like Canada they bring that mindset of money=better then you, with them. There is absolutly nothing racist about the concern over the mass immagration of asians into Vancouver. Even the people who can speak English choose to speak Chinese instead and only associate wi the own people. I am all for integration and Canada being a multi cultural society. But that means integrating with Canada, not sectioning off your own part to live separately away from everyone and putting up Chinese signs with no English signs and putting your kids in Chinese schools with no other kids and brining their racist attitude towards other races them. I have no doubt there is tension against asians in Vancouver, and its their own fault.

  30. I have been working and living in downtown Vancouver for 1 year. It is the safest city I have ever lived in, with polite courteous people as well as wonderful and affordable food, especially Asian food. Reading through all the comments so far, one would think Vancouver is a third world Asian slum. As a neutral observer, this seems very unfair on the Chinese people who are living here.

  31. Just reading some of the comments here is already a great reflection of how racist Vancouver really is. For some reason, a Chinese accent is frowned upon – yet people seem to have no problem with a Russian accent, for example. They always say how Vancouver is such a “multicultural” place and how diversity is to be embraced, but I really beg to differ. Asians are always looked down upon, and I see this continuing in the future.

    I’ve experienced some passive aggressive racism at School and at work by Caucasian counterparts – despite the fact that I speak fluent English. To them, Asians will always be inferior. Now some of you may protest and never admit it – but deep inside I know many of you feel this way about us.

    Even in employment they always say how they’re an “equal opportunity employer” but this is hardly the case. I’ve submitted an application for many jobs I was more than qualified for and yet didn’t even get called in for an interview. That really says something.

    • The only thing that will improve all countries in the world is actual functioning democracy. That is our one and only hope. On the federal level, a country like the US is no more democratic than China, especially in terms of the US acting as neo-imperial power. That is the dark reality few in American want to face. Even other Europeans are reluctant to challenge US power because to varying degrees they benefit from it.

    • Many like to argue that any true conservatism would be interested in conserving and hence conservation. That definitely used to be true. Many of the early environmentalists were socially conservative bigots. There was no question that they wanted to conserve. Rather, the question was what they wanted to conserve and for whose benefit. We might see a return of this kind of old school conservatism. You hear it among the reactionaries in speaking about WEIRD. The rhetoric of conservation can easily be used to reinforce nationalism, xenophobia, and much else.

      • It’s funny, but I’m less upset at the fact that mainstraem environmentalism marginalizes the voices of non-rich white people. I’m most angry that some people look at the phonomena of the voices in the world being mostly rich white people, and coming to the conclusion that ONLY rich white peopel care!

        I can’t even think about ti without my blood pressure rising

    • That is the greatest of hypocrisies. If white Americans were genuine about their environmentalism, they would take seriously Native American views and make Native Americans central to their organizations and activities.

    • The problem as I see it is that it goes beyond the moral issues. Sure, Westerners are hypocrites. Many don’t want other countries to do exactly what Westerners have done in their development and rise to power. The danger we face, however, is global. If all countries do what Westerners have done, the planet will become uninhabitable. We Westerners should be looked at as an example of precisely what not to do, if survival of the human species is to be the central concern. Westerners have fucked up big time and nothing can change that. There is no reason for other countries to accept moral lecturing and enforced demands from the West. For that very reason, non-Western countries have to find a way to do better than the West has done. This is about survival and not further externalizing costs onto future generations, no matter what ethnicity and nationality they are.

  32. I can’t stand the ”race is irrelevant mentioning race mean you da real raycess” types lol

    I need a break. This stuff does get to me and overwhelms me. The fact that I can’t do anything about it, especially. That people are gonna suck and I can’t do anthing about it 😦

  33. In general, the US media views everything Chinese as illegitimate. It simply cannot accept a Communist Party. We take a dogmatic child-like view of good guy, bad guy when it comes to tolerating non-Democratic political systems.

    And yes, China’s media has its biases and certain papers are outright propaganda pieces but that doesn’t justify the distorted caricature of China our media constantly promotes.

    Just one other point, China isn’t claiming to be the shining city on the hill. We are. So, we should be holding ourselves to higher standards because that’s what we stand for, not feeling good about ourselves because we think we are more objective than the Chinese media.

    • Yep, it is countries like America claiming to be superior and an example for everyone to follow. The least we could do is to attempt to live up to the standards we use to criticize others. Let’s focus on the plank in our own eye. If we actually were a shining city on the hill, we wouldn’t have to constantly state it in trying to convince ourselves.

    • I learned a new word: schadenfreude. It does fit Western media’s reporting of China, but also its reporting of Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. I’m sure non-Western countries have similar biases. The difference is that non-Western media doesn’t have the reach and influence of Western media.

  34. The U.S. likes to see itself as the beacon on top of the hill – a beacon of freedom to the world. But it was a beacon only to certain select groups of Europeans. It could be a beacon only to certain groups. These were not just blips of history. These were the defining currents of history.

    Going back further in history to the enlightenment, one sees that demands for various rights such as “freedom of speech” and “freedom of religion” and for people power were the result of power struggles between church, royals (“state”), aristocracy, and the merchant class. Such rights were irrelevant for the common man then … and irrelevant today. The common man never had much power or freedom, except as pawns for the powerful to fight over, to recruit and to campaign to. 2

    • That is why revolutions happened. But sadly they were either violently put down or coopted. The greatest fear the powerful have is that of democracy, where even the common man has rights and freedoms, where everyone is involved in self-governance.

  35. The ccp blows skunk ass, but so does western worship. We need balance

    “Thanks for that perspective. It’s definitely a sincere opinion expressed by some people in Hong Kong. The real issue, I believe, is certain Hong Kong segment of population looking for any catalyst to express their fundamental political stance that Hong Kong ought to be separate – independent or semi-independent – from China. These people look down to China and Chinese history … and see the West as something lowly Chinese ought to aspire to.

    Whether it’s democracy … or public peeing – they single out China as the opposite of their ideal … but when one more carefully digs under the cover, it’s B.S. that holds no water under the sun.

  36. I thought that this is a really good article about the issues that they have in Hong Kong and none of it is about democracy. Part of it is that the majority Hong Kong’s economy is controlled by a essentially 6 families within Hong Kong and the gap between Rich and poor is so great that Hong Kong government failed to deal with for years, which goes back when it was ruled by the British. The government has alot of money yet it failed to do alot of welfare programs for the poor.

    Not all the problems is because of Hong Kong government’s fault. Part of it comes from Hong Kongers who think that they are better than the mainlanders but slowly the opposite case of it is true because alot of wealth is coming in from the mainland. Part of it is as many Hong Kongers leaving there towards Canada and the US, more mainlanders are coming to live and stay in Hong Kong that Hong Kong is becoming increasingly gentrified more like the mainland and many Hong Kongs don’t like it. For that this is what many of them won’t accept.

  37. Wtf. Standard thinly veiled sinophobia.

    Maybe our author can do something like, you know, get Good Samaritan laws passed. Chinese people can be scared to help others because they often get sued for trying to help. Te not uncommon for someone to purposely get injured just so they can sue a Good Samaritan and often win.


    Sorry benjamin. I’m just pissed

    Sinophobia and Russophobia. Classic western dishes

    • Articles like don’t serve the purpose of seeking genuine understanding. I doubt the author is being consciously bigoted, but it is the same difference. That person is unable to see outside of their own culture and so they simply project their biases, their fears, their issues onto others.

  38. It is an unfortunate fact that China is behind in an overall sense (not in all areas, but an overall sense) in terms of wealth, science, and technology, and we have been for almost two centuries, but that does not mean we cannot have a healthy national esteem.

    Do ones own parents have to be the smartest, the richest, the best looking, in order to love one’s parents, and to be proud of ones own family, and to esteem them more than any other people in the world? Of course not.

    If Chinese think their national esteem is necessarily connected to GDP and GDP only, then we might as well drop down on our knees and prostrate ourselves to “mighty whitey” right now.

    Our national pride should come from the heroic way in which Chinese have fought against the odds for national independence, that we were the first nation to fight US and Western imperialism to a standstill, to the inspiration that China gave the rest of the developing world, to the incredible gains in life expectancy, literacy, and the economy, over the past 60 years. And we have a glorious civilisation, the longest continuous civilisation in world history. And that we have a new civilisational paradigm to offer the world, that development can take place without invading and exploiting foreign peoples, and indeed can take place even while helping foreign peoples also develop.

    • Many Americans like to dismiss Scandinavian countries. They do so with the criticisms that those countries aren’t as wealthy, powerful, influential, and innovative as the US. The fact that they aren’t as morally depraved, oppressive, and militaristic as the US doesn’t seem to matter. So, if even if those well functioning social democracies can’t faze American arrogance, it is irrelevant anything that China has or will accomplish.

  39. The reason for this is Muslims even if they are dirt poor have something that whites do not have – spiritual and religious truth (to them at least). That helps give them some backbone.

    If we frame this angle in Muslims vs the West, an important factor to consider is that the Islamic world had the “conflicts” with the West and was winning throughout the Medieval to early industrial revolution, so to speak, e.g. Moorish Iberia, the westward expansion of the Ottoman Empire. The Islamic elites don’t look at the West as intrinsically superior. Wholesale Westernization can’t be seriously considered, but rather what were the missing ingredients in returning the former glory?

    The East though has never had that experience in victory vis-s-vis the West. Japanese came closest in winning the Russo-Japanese War, but its ambition was whacked and sent to a servile position in the WW2. The defeatism has permeated the thought process of the modern Chinese intelligentsia from the May 4th generation onward, to arguably in retrospect the recent global financial meltdown. Everything about China had to be wrong — the philosophies, the governmental system, the societal norms, all the way down to the language itself. Many Chinese elites at one point seriously argued that the written Chinese being non-phonetic was the root cause of China’s backwardness, without even looking at the fact that Japanese had developed better than Koreans and Vietnamese.

    • Until recent history, the contact between Asia and Europe has been severely limited. In the perspective of longer history, they simply have followed different paths.

      The Middle East is different in that it has never been separate from Europe. I’ve read that, until a little over a century ago, the Middle East was mostly Christian. Europe and Middle East have a common cultural tradition of Abrahamic monotheism, along with a tangled history that goes back millennia.

      The relationship between the two civilizations is well established at this point. Between Asia and Europe, both sides are still trying to figure out what the other is about. I don’t think either side has a clear advantage in this negotiation of culture, economics, and power.

  40. Here is your humor for the day:


    CHICAGO—Explaining that the sense of unease she felt walking to and from her home had declined markedly over the years, Humboldt Park resident Kirsten Healy expressed her disappointment to reporters Thursday that her neighborhood was becoming too safe for her family to afford. “When we first moved in seven years ago, we didn’t even feel like we could leave the house after dark, which was great for a family on a limited budget,” said Healy, who noted that, given how little she lies awake these days worrying about a potential home invasion or assault, she can tell her family will soon be priced out of their apartment. “The way things are going, we won’t even feel unsafe walking the few blocks to the grocery store in a year or two—I just don’t think we have the kind of money for that. We’d love to stay here, but with our finances the way they are, the minute we stop needing the second bolt on the back door we’ll have no choice but to go out looking for a neighborhood that’s more terrifying.” At press time, the Healys breathed sighs of relief after hearing about a shooting that occurred just five blocks away.

  41. If democracy were ever to take foot in China, it must be of Chinese people’s own wish, construed by Chinese people, and for the benefit of Chinese people, rather than to comply with the demands of foreign powers. It will be for no other reason than an expectation that democracy can produce solid positive results for China. But right now, people in China don’t have that much confidence in democracy to have such expectations.

    The west is naive to think that the benefits of democracy are self-evident to everyone and needs no explaining. Chinese people are closely watching the color revolutions around the world and how democracy is fairing in other developing countries, and many are left utterly disappointed to say the very least. Naturally, many Chinese are not convinced, so unless the west can make a solid case that democracy can create a net gain for China instead of shouting ideological slogans, it will continue to fall on deaf ears.

    • I don’t think the benefits of democracy are self-evident. Most Americans don’t even seem to understand what democracy is, much less what its benefits might be. They think democracy simply means voting, but there are plenty of banana republics where people get to vote and it still doesn’t mean anything.

      It’s not an issue of understanding. Rather, it is about imagination. Democracy has to be imagined. It’s similar to the research done on racism. The only thing proven to lessen implicit bias was when people were asked to imagine blacks doing something positive on their behalf. That act of imagination changed altered their unconscious thought processes. Changes in reality also shift our ability to imagine, such as how blacks tested better after Obama was elected. Blacks were able to viscerally imagine themselves as more capable and worthy.

      We are better at imagining different possibilities than people from centuries ago, but imagination is a difficult thing. People have to be taught how to imagine in the way people have to be taught how to read and learn. Imagination is a muscle most people can go through their entire life and rarely ever have to use it in an active, conscious way.

      I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Imagination is the most powerful force in human reality. But most of the time all that we are able to imagine is the status quo. And as we imagine, so it is. But occasionally throughout history some people have been able to imagine something else and what once was impossible became a force for new possibilities.

      The Chinese, like every other people on the planet, has to find their own way to imagine their own future. But globalizing conditions, including environmental catastrophes, might force us all to start imagining possibilities on a larger scale or else face tragedies on a scale never before seen. We must also learn to imagine the negative possibilities, such as global warming, in order to be able to imagine possible responses.

  42. It’s funny, but the west has always had a weird complex towards east Asia. They’ve always been shit scared of East Asians on a level

    Why Do you Hate Us
    When We were called Sick man of Asia, We were called The Peril.
    When We are billed to be the next Superpower, We are called The threat.  

    When We were closed our doors, You smuggled Drugs to Open Markets.
    When We Embrace Freed Trade, You blame us for Taking away your jobs.  

    When We were falling apart, You marched in your troops and wanted your “fair share”.
    When We were putting the broken peices together again, “Free Tibet” you screamed, “it was an invasion!”  

    ( When Woodrow Wilson Couldn’t give back Birth Place of Confucius back to Us,
    But He did bought a ticket for the Famine Relief Ball for us.)  

    So, We Tried Communism, You hated us for being Communists
    When We embrace Capitalism, You hate us for being Capitalist.  

    When We have a Billion People, you said we were destroying the planet.
    When We are tried limited our numbers, you said It was human rights abuse.  

    When We were Poor, You think we are dogs.
    When We Loan you cash, You blame us for your debts.  

    When We build our industries, You called us Polluters.
    When we sell you goods, You blame us for global warming.  

    When We buy oil, You called that exploitation and Genocide.
    When You fight for oil, You called that Liberation.  

    When We were lost in Chaos and rampage, You wanted Rules of Law for us.
    When We uphold law and order against Violence, You called that Violating Human Rights.  

    When We were silent, You said you want us to have Free Speech.
    When We were silent no more, You say we were Brainwashed-Xenophoics.   

    Why do you hate us so much? We asked.
    “No,” You Answered, “We don’t hate You.”  

    We don’t Hate You either,
    But Do you understand us?   

    “Of course We do,” You said,
    “We have AFP, CNN and BBCs…”  

    What do you really want from us?
    Think Hard first, then Answer…   

    Because you only get so many chances,
    Enough is Enough, Enough Hypocrisy for this one world.   

    We want One World, One Dream, And Peace On Earth.
    – This Big Blue Earth is Big Enough for all of Us.

    • Similar to how few Americans really care or talk about what happens on Native American reservations (or to people in countries where the drug wars are happening or any other number of examples). Both the US and Chinese governments have and continue to do horrible things to various populations. That is always the problem of large powerful countries. Concentrated power on such a scale always leads to corruption and oppression. In a fair and just world, Tibetans and Native Americans and thousands of other ethnic groups around the world would have the independence, freedom, and right to self-governance.

      Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 12:32 pm
      Chinese in Tibet
      Re: angry Tibetans being upset at the Chinese in Tibet; in the 13th century, China was ruled by the Mongols. Let us see how the Chinese would react if Mongolia today claimed China as part of Mongolia, sent an army into the country, and saturated Beijing with ethnic Mongolians who said they were there to liberate the Chinese. No doubt ethnic Chinese would be unhappy and seek to defend their homeland and way of life. If China would seek to understand others in the same way it asks to be understood, it would come to see that Tibet, as a free country or truly autonomous part of China, would not be a threat to its national security, anymore than are Nepal or Bhutan. I do not believe that Chinese-owned shops should have been burned, or that ethnic Chinese in Tibet should have been attacked, but I can understand Tibetan outrage. They have been attacked, killed, marginalized in their own homeland, and deprived of religious freedom.

      Anonymous on 04.25.2008 at 1:10 pm
      Western media attacking the China?
      Although I do believe that the western media may not be portraying China fairly, but some activities of the Chinese people are irrational. The Chinese have a proud history and are very nationalistic people but why would they counter protest a French supermarket brand? Is it because it is simply… French? the company’s leaders clearly stated that they support the Beijing Olympics but are still facing major protests today as we speak. Why are journalists not allowed into Tibet? If the Chinese government feels confident in how they are handling the situation, why not allow free press in the area? It reminds me of how the Chinese government desperately tried to play down the Tiananmen Square incident, calling the protesters mindless criminals aimed at stirring anarchy. Although the Chinese populace and government have a right to be angry with how the west portray their country, the Tibet incident is on the news because it has a source of truth. Thank you Prof. Yang and Ms. Chung for your honest opinions. I hope that things will turn out for the better and China will successfully host the Olympics this summer.
      P.S. Personally I think people who are planning boycotts do not know how the world works. We are in a globalized age and are interdependent on each other. China is a leader of manufacturing. Good luck finding products to boycott because all the things you buy probably have something made there.

      Tsui Wa on 07.08.2008 at 12:52 pm
      Dalai Lama is not anti-Chinese
      What all people need to understand is Dalai Lama is not anti-Chinese he is only asking to provide basic human rights for Tibetan People that is rights for religious freedom, rights to preserve culture and history, free speech and rights for a peaceful & human freedom.
      What all Chinese Asking for:
      Defend of human right for all Chinese in Mainland & Freedom for all Chinese from unfair Restriction and restrain form Chinese Government. No brain wash of Chinese Children. Free Speech & free press for all Chinese…..ect
      As a Chine I support Free Tibet; world Map is changed unless we all still be ruled by Alexander the Great.

  43. Dosent this apy to Americans too?

    If anything, I think Chinese people have a better view of America than the other way around

    Every nation in the world presents their media in such a way that satisfies their self-interest. In America, American politicians and journalists depict things to make american values seem best and in China they depict their stories to make chinese values seem best. I understand the frustration of the two speakers because they feel an emotional attachment and nationalism towards the country. But the reality of the fact is that the Chinese Communist Party depicts media in china in such a way that it brainwashes the people of China into false nationalism. There is really little to be thankful for with the CCP. ALL over the world, the CHINESE GOVERNMENT (not the people) are victimizing people. The thing is that the Chinese people are just as much victim to this cruelty because they are brainwashed by the system into false appreciation for a system that is actually harming them. Nationalism has been a huge driving force for all wars and it is never really the people who do the wronging but it is always the governments. That’s clear. it doesn’t matter what nation you are from, what culture you have, what matters is our global culture as human beings. We need to put aside our boundaries and cultural differences and differentiate what is good from bad rationally without any attachments to our nations. It is usually not the nation that is wronging people but the nation’s government, therefore there is no need to feel attached.

    • Democracy, which is just to say basic freedom, requires the population be well educated and well informed. Many Americans would argue this is the failure of China. But the reality is that it is also the failure of the US. Chomsky regularly discusses this problem in great detail.

  44. My mum is someone with an internalized inferiority complex. I’ve had to deprogram myself from her.

    This isn’t unique to china. To americans, a nation is either an evil threat or one if America’s bitches.

    on 04.25.2008 at 12:03 pm
    Re: Why do you Hate Us?
    Dear author of “Why do you Hate Us,” thank you for being so eloquent; you’ve just said exactly how I feel and how many ordinary Chinese people feel. Whether it’s left, right, up, down, all around, it seems the western media can always find a negative spin. Well, Wag the Dog.

    If the western media could take the time to step outside their comfort zones and do some unbiased research and understand that China as a coming world power is not a threat, but a country whose people have been expressly and implicitly bullied for too long.

    China has much to offer and also much to learn. It has valuable history that we can embrace, not throw away. Every nation must depend on its own historical trajectory to improve. We can’t just transplant A into B and say – that’s the solution you should adopt. What happened to Russia? It’s a great country with hardworking people, and yet it suffered when it tried to change so suddenly. Gradual reform and stability is a Middle Way. Also, we can try to not be too attached to our own views – Buddhism is being happy with a Middle Way.

    Angela Chung
    on 04.25.2008 at 12:14 pm
    RE: Boycott Made in China, False Nationalism
    Ask any Chinese person do they do (or attend) any of those things you listen above? Interview 100 people from China, I guarantee you’ll be lucky if even 1 has witnessed those weird acts. Stuff like that is what makes the news, and less intelligent people assume that all Chinese are like that. Maybe you should boycott Made in Spain because of Bull Fighting, or Made in US because of that Polygamist Sect. I read that people in Japan buy fruit flavored human poop and eat it, but I’m not stupid enough to believe that even 1% of the Japanese population actually does that.

    And by the way, “brainwashed” into Nationalism? I’ve only been to China once in my entire life, and I’m still very, very proud of my heritage. I suppose you’re going to say my parents brain washed me? Just from watching World Cup season, I think it’s quite obvious that many countries have a LOT of nationalism, but don’t get accused of being “brainwashed” into it. Nationalism is not necessarily a bad thing. Radical nationalists who begin to assume their race is better than all others is when it gets bad, but that’s not how most Chinese people are. It’s always the extremists whose voices get heard the loudest; I think there’s the same PERCENTAGE of extremists in China as in any Western country, but since China has 1.3 Billion people that same percentage ends up being a lot more numbers.”

  45. To Why I Boycott Made in China: Personally, it disheartens me to see such an ignorant posting made by a fellow student. The entire purpose of the above article is to encourage readers to take a larger perspective on foreign issues. Instead, you selected a handful of grotesque and unfounded examples from the PETA website and applied it to their entire country. You watched a YouTube video about eating monkeys (probably fabricated by a group of bored teenagers) and applied it to their entire culture.

    There have been two good points stated in the article and reiterated through user comments: 1. It is important to distinguish a government’s actions from their citizens; and 2. Incidents of cruelty and human rights violations occur every day in every country, including ours. Many “made in China” goods have to be such low quality in order to meet extreme price-cut practices by US retailers. The Chinese suffer too, both as consumers of these products as well as laborers being paid unbelievably low wages because that’s all foreign companies are willing to shell out for the product. It saddens me that you believe boycotting the “made in China” pajamas from your local Wal-Mart will make a statement against animal cruelty and human rights violations in the “cold-hearted” country.

  46. I have to admit the first time I went to china I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived there, I actually had visions of being followed by black cars and seeing troops marching in the streets the people I thought still wore grey down filled clothes with the caps..lol wow was I wrong.

    I found a very beautiful country with people who I found were no different then my self, caring and friendly, within a week of seeing the true china, even with its faults I was in love with the people and the land. Some people say I have yellow fever, I think that im just a man who tries to look past a fa?ade and try to see what truth lays somewhere in the middle.

    With all the bad press ,most blown out of purport ion I wanted to talk about what I have seen and heard

    after arriving back to the states from china I called my brother to talk to him and he was relieved we made it home safe because he heard that it was almost civil war over there ..lol I told him there that there was no civil war there..lol

    I’m tired of being asked about how bad the Tibetan people are being treated, first lets see the real picture of whats going on over there, not half truths and clearcut lies, I don’t know for certain what is the truth but I can say what I have seen with my own eyes. We were eating dinner in a high end restaurant in Hong Kong when two Tibetan monks with another man and three women sat down at the next table, both monk were plump (hadn’t missed many meals I would have to say) they were eating lamb chops and talking on their Iphones. Not looking like the monks the western media always shows. I started wondering what the truth of Tibet really is, after the monks I realized its about money and power. Someone has to pay for the women , Ipones and 500 US dollars meals, besides I don’t think the dalai lama rides economy when he flies. The money has to come from some where and with the upsurge of tourism bringing the almighty dollar with it the real question is a free Tibet for the people or for the money, HUM I wonder what the truth really is.
    tonight I read a news story about how china hid the protest from the Chinese people…hell I was there when they covered the story, I watch the news coverage of it …I watch CNN in china refuse to talk to the Chinese press about the vulgar comments that Jack Cafferty made about the Chinese people and basically threw the Chinese press from their offices there..i want to add this link to the story of china hiding the protest … http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/5000/

  47. Re:”Hmm”
    I am sorry but I have to say that you don’t really understand the Chinese Culture. First of all, tell me how much Chinese literature, docs you have read and how much Chinese you understand. Do you really understand the typical Chinese philosophy accumulated along a 5000 year civilized history? I am a 35 year old engineer who grew up in China and came to the states at the age of 20. I am adopting a lot of US mindset, I benefit from the advantage of the “East meets the West” background. However, I still can’t tell you I understand some of your behaviors and the culture behind it. So how will you make yourself a spokesperson of the world understands China and her culture? IMO, Chinese are way better in approaching the world, than the world in approaching China. Simple fact: can you tell how many Chinese are willing to learn English and how many outsiders of China are willing to learn Chinese? I can definitely tell you that there are much more Chinese want to learn the West than the Westerners to China. It’s a superior lead both in the figures of headcounts and in percentage of the population. So, will your case still stand? Please try to respect and appreciate the difference between cultures.

    Re:”Chinese in Tibet”
    If you actually believe what you said, you did not know what you were saying. But if you tell me that IRA (Irish Republican Army) was fighting for a good cause, and GB should let up the control of the northern Ireland, I won’t waste my time with you. If you do agree that IRA was not representing the majority of the people from northern Ireland, they were terrorists, cracking down the IRA activities was an internal affair of GB or anti-terrorism, then from what you said, you used double-standard. Can you tell me what makes you believe that the separatists of Tibet is actually representing the majority of the people? Can you tell me why you think they are not terrorist by killing innocent people before the government was involved? Can you tell me how you justified this incidence as suppression of peaceful protest? Were you there? Have you been there? Have you polled the Tibetans? When you called others “brain-washed”, have you checked with yourself to see if you have also been “brain-washed”?

    • Here is where I differ from most people. I see both the US and China as terrorist states. That is just a fact. They commit terror on other people. Not all states are as violent as these two. The US and China imprison, kill, and harm more people than any supposed terrorist group on the planet. The United Kingdom also has a bloody history and has been an ally to the US in its bloody history. I have no idea if the IRA or the Tibetan freedom fighters (or however they identify themselves) represent the majority of Irish and Tibetans. It is irrelevant. The UK and China don’t represent most British and Chinese in any meaningful sense, and the same goes for the US in relation to the American people. Social contract theory of representation is bullshit. State terrorism is never justified, although often rationalized by both propaganda and mainstream media.

    • I’m not ideologically anti-statist, although I am anti-imperialist. I just get tired of big countries bullying everyone else because they can do so and no one can stop them. It’s authoritarianism using the guise of nationalism and patriotism, often with racism, ethnocentrism, and xenophobia thrown in.

  48. Some Americans always say that since media is “free”, they must get an accurate picture of the outside world. They are either too naive or too self-righteous. Taking reporting about China as an example, mainstream media almost always give one negative side view on every China-related issue and ordinary Americans have been well brainwashed about China for decades. Besides, most Americans don’t actively go out to seek different opinions for various reasons (language difficulty, cold war mentality, cultural bias, wishful thinking, etc.).

    At the same time, even with some government restrictions, most Chinese can read in English and have a variety of ways to seek various information on an issue on Internet. The major difference is: most Chinese are ACTIVELY seeking different viewpoints! In fact, Chinese have better critical thinking skills. They develop good critical hinking skills throug hard ways, they sort out truth from lies by comparing different viewpoints and they form their views on China and Chinese government by living and experiencing their lives in China.

    Mainstream west media is very very skillful in terms of brainwashing. It is NOT what the media reports, it is HOW it reports. When the media reports on China, they always use labels such as “communist China”, “government controlled media” to start with. The use negative headlines. American news consumers don’t need to listen to the rest of the story because you are already given a negative image, yet most people even don’t realize such brainwashing.

    When mainstream west media pretend to be fair and occationally provide some opinions of two sides, what tactic they usually use? They will start with the opinion of Chinese government or Chinese citizens as these: “Chinese communist government says:…… ; The government controlled media says………; Chinese students who only receive information from state-owned media tell the reporter…….”, and they will finish with the anti-China anti-Chinese individuals/groups’ viewpoints: “Howver, according to nobel prize DL……. according to human rights activits……..; according to west reporters………”. Do people see such brainwashing tactics? They first set the negative tone and demonize one side, they then create a very positive image for the latter and use the latter to give their viewpoints!

    on 11.30.2009 at 7:38 pm
    Read these comments

    Please see this page and read comments on the article. It seems to most journalists in America, if Chinese disagree with and question their viewpoints on China, they are labeled as “being brainwashed” by Chinese government. But if they agree with their viewpoints, they are good and smart. What can be more ironic and arrogant? Who are trully brainwashed? Their limited education on China, their often suspecious attitude towards a very different culture and people, their cold war mentality, their old limited information about China, their lack of knowledge of Chinese language and their unwillingness to seek different viewpoints from sources other than mainstream west media, all these (and more) make some American journalists to be so biased when they talk and write about China and Chinese people.

    By the way, while beautiful phrases such as “human rights and public opinions” have been repeated used to criticize China, some west journalists shamelessly against 2008 Olympics. Do they realize that they are actually against majority of Chinese “public opinions” (97% Chinese support Beijing Olympics) and violate and abuse Chinese people’s HUMAN RIGHTS to hold the game in their country?

    on 11.30.2009 at 8:14 pm
    Why not give America back to Native Indians?
    To those “free Tibet” Americans, why don’t you ask U.S. government to return the land to Native Americans first? Maybe this will set a good example for Chinese. Did Native Americans happily give up their land? The hard fact and reality is: Tibet region has been under Chinese administration for a long long time; much longer than the entire history of the United States, and ordinary Tibetans lives have been grealy improved! Dalai Lama was a slave-owner and he never practices what he says! He is a political monk.

    Human rights should be cherished, no question about it, but no double standards please! How about allow all those Iraq refugees (who are currently homeless in neighboring countries) to immigrate to U.S.? Aren’t they victims of the Iraq war? Should human rights activits show some human passion and care about these refugees’ sufferings?

    I see so much hypocricy from some comments posted here.

    on 12.01.2009 at 11:36 am
    Respect should be mutual!
    “As for places outside the office, I can’t even count how many times, in the taxis, at malls, at restaurants, that I have heard average Chinese discussing western media with a very disrespectful tone. ”

    What can you expect from ordinary Chinese citizens after decades of mainstream west media’s demonization of and lies about China? Respect? Love? Does U.S. elementary school education teach kids the lesson of human decency that RESPECT SHOULD BE MUTUAL?! No one is entitled to be respected or liked. There is an old Chinese saying: You harvest what you plant. If you plant seeds of dislike or hatred, what do you expect to harvest from the seeds?
    Chinese people are one of the most peace-loving people on the earth and any American who has visited that country can experience their kindness and goodwill. In fact, most Americans receive much better treatment in China than in France or other European nations. However, no one can take their kindness and goodwill for granted. Chinese people have endured decades of unfair and biased treatment from mainstream west media, now, they’re saying loudly: “Enough is enough!” I don’t agree with some radical messages from some emotional Chinese citizens, but who plant such seeds of hatred first? When mainstream west media appraised and cheered at the disruption of Beijing Olympics torch relay in London, Paris and San Francisco, what did you expect Chinese to react? Happy?! Yes, to majority of Chinese, the self-claimed moral highland by some journalists has become a joke and does not have any credibility in China.

    Remember, no matter what kind of government China has, Chinese people always have a deep deep, very strong love to their country. Such deep love and strong cultural identity shared by majority of Chinese all over the world are beyong some American journalists’ understanding, and of course beyong any ideology and time.

    on 12.01.2009 at 11:51 am
    Be careful with words like “world”
    We often hear such word and phrases like “The world” and “the international community” from major west media. But we should be careful. The world or the international community do not mean a few major west nations, they include the whole world including about 20% of Chinese! When major west media talk about “world’s public opinions”, we should also keep in mind the world’s opinions do not mean opinions from west media, u.s., or a few major west countries. The world is much bigger. The frequently use of such phrases to express west’ viewpoints display a self-centered and arrogant attitude.

  49. [–]Little_Demon 3 points 1 year ago
    I hope you don’t mind that my answer is a bit simplified and condensed because this is a pretty complex situation. Generally speaking, in postcolonial Asian countries, even after the colonizers have left, the structures of privilege are still intact, even if they may begin to be occupied by locals. The system itself is set up to favour those who are participants in white privilege. This leads to a lot of Asians who wish to acquire status to take on the attitudes and beliefs of white privilege. An example would be the Hong Kong club, which was exclusive to white people until the 80s. You’d think Asians would have enough pride not to join, but nope…as soon as the rules were eased, these wealthy Asians were practically shoving white dicks in their mouth for a chance to get in.
    That mentality trickles down into the main population in different degrees (I always feel like the working classes are more immune and though many may be ignorant and say dumb shit, they don’t have the ingrained prejudice that the higher classes do), and this is exacerbated by the expats who continue to profit from living in a former colony. What they have done / still do is sort of similar to what the Belgians did in Rwanda to pit Hutu against Tutsi. They provide favours and tiny privileges to a certain group, in our case, a certain group of Asians. In order to maintain these advantages, Asians have to buy into colonial mentality even more, thinking that as long as they continue to follow the rules, they’ll be almost — ALMOST — as good as white. But everyone knows deep inside that they’ll never achieve the status of whiteness. And so because they see that privilege means being able to do what you want without suffering too many consequences, they turn around and take it out on those who are lower on the privilege ladder, usually poorer Southeast Asians and Africans.
    When I say whites pit Asians agains Africans, I mean more about the structures that they support and continue to perpetuate, although there really is no shortage of expats saying stuff like how nice it is in Asia because there are no “ghettos” and how horrible and violent black people back home are. And most Asians who have never lived outside of Asia and interacted with African and black people will believe them, because all the media they see from the West portrays black people in a negative light.
    On the flipside, because white privilege in Asia is so ingrained and accepted and subtle, whites don’t see themselves as being racist even as they enjoy/abuse their privilege. So they’re the first to be shocked — SHOCKED — when Asians do racist shit to Africans. If they have black/African colleagues, they’ll be the first to start saying how racist and horrible Asians are, as though this racism exists in a vacuum. It’s perfectly understandable for black/African people to feel alienated from Asians and then stick closer to white people because at least white racism is familiar and less obvious. And the white people will “protect” them by lashing out at Asians and accusing them of racism, etc. Asians, who already know they aren’t as privileged as whites, then feel resentment at being accused by white people, and take it out on the less privileged, and the entire terrible cycle just keeps going.
    Hm…this has gone on longer than I intended, but since I’m on a roll, I’ll give you a real-life example using the local jazz scene. It’s an open secret that white musicians are preferred above all others. Many of these musicians are not good at all, and they’re in Asia because they can’t find work back in the West (and a lot have an Asian fetish, but that’s another story). This leaves a few spots for Chinese, black, and Filipino musicians to fight over. When Chinese musicians get the spots over black or Filipino musicians, you hear white musicians complaining about how racist Chinese people are. Of course, many of them are dating/married to Asians, themselves, so THEY KNOW PERSONALLY the pain of being discriminated against by Asians. Oh, how privilege hurts!
    But when black or Filipino musicians get the spots, then you hear white musicians saying how they got the job because Chinese people don’t understand jazz and they think just because someone has a darker skin tone, that means they’re good musicians. So…the solution is obviously to just hire white musicians, that way, racism will no longer exist!
    I hope this helps…as I said, this is just a simplification of a really complex matter.
    permalinksaveparentgive gold
    [–]Babahoyo 2 points 1 year ago
    Okay I see you. The racial hierarchy is ingrained from colonialism and western media, and white expats living in Asian countries don’t see that their treatment of preferring “white” standards or privileging some Asian groups over other Asian groups actually parallels the racism the “preferred Asian group” to blacks.
    Its not enough to just get outraged against racism, especially not without understanding your own contribution to it.
    I remember being so stoked to be a white boy in Japan with a bunch of Japanese girls getting a picture of me.

  50. I thought of j lol
    Another thing is that a lot of Africans especially the ones who moved here as children can be as anti-Black as a typical racist. The problem is they see black people as lazy and squandering opportunities. So my experience with blackness is weird because I am black but wasn’t accepted as so when I was a kid. I don’t see myself as different or special from black people because I am Nigeria.

  51. White hipster gentrifiers are the absolute worst

    I’ve been in NY for a very very long time. (Though I also worked on Daredevil and not all of it was Brooklyn and the Bronx) And Little Italy has been dead almost as long as I’ve been alive. But this goes for all the ethnic communities. But there still is a thriving Little Italy in the Bronx. When I was in HS we took trips there in Italian class because Little Italy in Manhattan is just tourist town.
    But it’s not really solely about how many immigrants come. There is still a decent amount of Polish immigration, yet Greenpoint’s Polish population shrinks by the day. Because like Little Italy, Greenpoint is being pushed out by the ever expanding Williamsburg. This is similar to the communities in Little Italy and the Lower East Side, they got destroyed by what was cool, and where the money was. Not necessarily whether or not there were immigrants.
    While Chinatown has done a lot to resist, and we have gotten to the point where we have laws on the books now, the gentrification there that is happening is less visible. It is happening inside apartments and in residences, the gentrifiers like the “authenticity” and the look.
    I do believe over the years there has been a gradual increase in the Chinatown in Flushing. So one could say the Manhattan one is eventually doomed to shrink while the one in Flushing grows. But I haven’t been out to Flushing that often to really see for myself.
    In short, since I’m rambling, I think there’s more of a difference than just amount of immigrants. Because other ethnic areas were killed when there still were, or still are, immigrants.

  52. “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania,”

    Actually, where you go does seem to matter, which is one reason the “Top” schools are so competitive. I’m not sure you get a better education at Harvard than at a State School, but it certainly increases your chances of having contacts for lucrative, powerful, and competitive positions.

    Every Supreme Court justice went to either Harvard or Yale. The last President to not attend the Ivy League was Reagan. That’s just the people on the top, where do you think most of their clerks, advisors, under-secretaries, etc probably went?

  53. DaveConnecticut
    This is the global capitalist system of the 21st Century in action. “Success” is available to fewer and fewer people. The middle class is vanishing quickly, and the gap between the 0.01 percent and everyone else has widened to the point where you are either super wealthy or unable to make what used to be considered a respectable living. As a result of this, parents are frantic to provide their children with every chance to “make it” and kids are feeling the pressure to excel. Psychiatrists tsk tsk about people not knowing how to handle a B or a C, but a B or a C in the 1970s did not rob someone of opportunity to succeed later in life. Nowadays, the perception is that if you don’t graduate from a top school with honors, you don’t have a chance. Typically, the solution is supposed to be an individual effort by the parents or the students to adjust their attitude or their behavior. Why is nobody discussing the possibility of collective action to make our whole society better so that someone who does not have a degree from the Ivy League, or any college for that matter, can still earn a living and contribute to their community without needing food stamps? DON’T AGONIZE, ORGANIZE!
    July 28, 2015 at 4:16 p.m.
    Recommend (13)
    Regarding your thought about organizing collective action to help society be paid better, I wonder whether this change could be possible through everyone protesting companies’ practices of hiring unpaid interns or volunteers to work for them by not sending in their resumes for those unpaid positions, like the people in the civil rights’ movement who boycotted businesses until the latter finally relented. Perhaps, if companies aren’t able to find anyone willing to work for them without pay, they might be forced to offer a paying job.
    July 29, 2015 at 12:48 a.m.
    I forgot to add that I think that unpaid and volunteer positions are an important problem to change for workers because I’ve heard that decades ago, companies paid workers while training them on the job- unpaid internships/jobs didn’t exist.

    • This.

      “Typically, the solution is supposed to be an individual effort by the parents or the students to adjust their attitude or their behavior. Why is nobody discussing the possibility of collective action to make our whole society better so that someone who does not have a degree from the Ivy League, or any college for that matter, can still earn a living and contribute to their community without needing food stamps? ”

      Nothing will change until the American people collectively force change. All the progressive reforms of the early 20th century and all the civil rights reforms of mid 20th century followed large scale riots and protests. The ruling elite began fearing the possibility of social breakdown. The Bonus Army was violently attacked because of the fear of coup d’etat. People were so desperate at the time that either those in power were going to accept change willingly or else have it forced upon them. So, they began implementing reforms.

  54. I feel so incredibly lucky that we live in Canada. My 2 teenagers have never experienced this kind of crazy stress. One reason might be that the schools here, at least in Montreal, do not give out A’s left and right from the start. I remember my eldest’s 1st grade report card—she had done very well in all tests and homework, but received a 79 and 78 in both English and French. When I met with her teachers, they said that no one had received over an 80 and that there is always room for improvement, whether grammatically, verbally, creatively, socially, etc. This American emphasis on perfect marks is what leads both kids and their parents to create an unrealistic fear of failure.

    Even the one Tiger Mom in my 16-year-old’s class is pretty easy-going when it comes to her violin-virtuoso daughter’s below-average French and theater marks. No one gets straight A’s. There is no valedictorian, no class rank. And, thank God, no SATs—just the provincial education minister’s exams the encompass every subject. Additionally we have a 2-year free pre-university college system (grades 12-13) that prepares kids for university. 60% of the kids in my daughter’s college (grade 12) flunked calculus and have to re-take it in the fall. They aren’t thrilled, but they can accept it—maybe bc the college system is free of charge, so adding a semester won’t create financial debt. The ridiculous tuition rates in the US can’t help but exasperate the stress that American kids feel.

  55. I dunno. I think the middle-upper middle class college perfection frenzy is a symptom of this growing inequality

    Meanwhile, many poor kids of color are either being killed by the police or committing suicide because of real problems. Take Kalief Browder–a teen who was held in solitary confinement for three years and never charged with a crime. After not getting the mental help he needed, he committed suicide. The young people in this article have access to SO many resources. They don’t know what problems are. And I don’t want to deny any person their pain, but I do think that pain can be accentuated by a severe lack of perspective. And the bubble that these affluent young people live in is limiting their perspective on life to the extent that they are being emotionally and mentally handicapped. Our country’s growing wealth gap is not without its own sense of irony, it would seem.

  56. The sad fact we have to face up to in developed societies is that not everyone can succeed at the elite level, and inherited advantage in genetics and social status will have an increasingly large effect on access to achievement. As pointed out by T. Piketty, America can expect slow growth in the indefinite future, and inherited wealth and class advantage always becomes more important in periods of slow growth, according to his analysis of reams of economic data.

    We are headed back to a more rigid class system, as the elite cannot afford to tolerate upstarts threatening their children’s future anymore. Helicopter parents have intuited this already, but their methods are still primitive and often counterproductive.

    Psychologists are just starting to figure out that “preventive therapy” is going to be the most profitable growth sector in the future. Wealthy parents will pay a lot to give their star children a psychological competitive advantage. A prep school teacher I know told me that she knows a few kids whose parents have added achievement psychology coaching to their kids’ tutoring regimen. Tony Robbins clones are coming soon to your child’s school.

    Millennials and future generations are going to have to find new ways to cope with novel evolutionary pressures, or be weeded out. It’s necessary for continued human evolution. We have mostly accepted that humans are part of the animal kingdom, but we haven’t admitted that some have to fail for others to succeed.

  57. While this certainly has a psychological dynamic, I’m tired of reading these pieces about millenial stress which ignore a very real factor: the state of our economy. With so much “winner take all” afoot, the truth is parents worry about their kids ability to remain in the middle class, so they push, push, push. An upper-middle-class parent, though less sympathetic, is understandably even more vigilant.

    No more of these pieces without fair discussions about student debt and reliable job prospects.

    • The entire larger context of social problems should be included. Everything is getting harder for everyone. It’s just that each new generation gets hit by these ever worsening problems. But it ultimately is a society-wide spiral downwards that goes way beyond any single generation. It’s because there is so much uncertainty and fear right now that someone like Trump gets so much attention. It’s during times like these that demagogues gain public attention and large followings.

      • On the blessed parents… for such superintelligent parents to superintelligent and sensitive and quirky kids, they’re pretty fucking bad at actually seeing and understanding the world around them :/

  58. I wonder how related the gifted craze is

    “One item beyond the scope of this article is the contribution high-achieving high schools, both public and private, make in this abhorrent trend toward success at all costs. Already a dozen suicides in NYC schools over the past two years. (Where is coverage of this?) Students are arriving to colleges in shambles because secondary education, arguably even more than helicopter parenting, has leached every last iota of individual agency, emotional resilience and independent mindedness out of them.

  59. LOL, so the gifted mum just wrote this as a new status. WTF

    At least you can afford the doctors, brah.

    ”Printing a 28, as in twenty eight, page form that I have to fill out and bring to a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. An annual follow up appointment, not a new patient. 2-8 pages. 1. I should have photocopied the last one. 2. I think the thug life might be easier than the mom life, it certainly has less paperwork…”

    • LOL wtf I commented that at least she could afford the doctors like that, a lto of people especially in a country of rising inequality and poverty can’t, including those living the ”thug life” and she deleted my comment lol wtf

      • Oh and she banned me from commented. HAHA wtf. I don’t think I’m being an asshole or anything. I mean, isn’t what I say true?

        • Speaking of thug life vs well off mum,

          I wonder how she feels about considering the possibility of living the thug life as a mum of two kids who don’t “fit in” society. She would not be able to afford all those services for her disabled kid, and the only school availible to her blessed by god kid would be the crappy “school” where there are shootings in the hallway, drug dealers at the Enterance (often the parents of one of the kids, so the principal dosent do anything because if he nabs the dealer, a student will become parent less) and more kids go to prison than college

          • I’ve known a principal in a shitty school. Thres a resident drug dealer outside the school, and the principal has made an agreement with the guy that if he dosent bother the kids, he won’t bother him. It’s been a working deal so far. That dealer is the father of one of his students, so that’s partially a motivator for him to let him be as long as he lets the kids be.

            No one really wins here, though

    • Seriously the post and comments make me wanna bang my head on my desk

      For people blessed by god/genetics they sure are blind and dare I say it, intellectually unimpressive.

      So they’re sensitive/high strung, precocious and a bunch of things. Sounds like they’re conflating a bunch of things into a labled called ”blessed by god” that renders theuir whole point, ironicall,y pointless

      Why do you think the teachers laugh at them like the comments said? Cause teachers are mean and ignorant?

    • They argue that they need a gifted label in order to get access to resources. But what if we ensured all kids had access to resources? Then labels would be irrelevant. Problem solved.

      But I suppose that misses the point that these parents are obsessed about. If all kids received equal access to resources, their kids would no longer be special. It might even turn out that their kids aren’t as special as they thought, when the playing field is leveled.

    • Allie Engle Warfel · York College of Pennsylvania
      “Yes, there were some serious unintended consequences of pressuring a child to succeed, such as depression and eating disorders, but there were also a lot of positives.”
      Is this a satire piece?

      • People stereotype those in the education academic departments (Education majors, education professors) as dumbshit. These folks certainly aren’t doing anything to dispel teh stereotypes 😛

  60. ”Alissa Quart’s book takes a particular position which it advances relentless and articulately: Identifying and providing targeted services for gifted children is a form of harm which deprives them of childhood, freedom and a chance to develop without becoming parental “projects.” As a prodigy herself, she felt harmed by being identified as gifted; ergo it is bad for all gifted children.

    She makes as good a case as I’ve read, but I doubt that any single solution works for all children. As one of the people she interviewed in the book as having expertise in this area, I see some of the children she describes but I also see the children who are floundering without accommodation. What about the 5-year-old considered “too immature” to be advanced from first grade into second, but her immaturity disappears when she is actually given books at her actual reading level? Would anyone have given her the 4th grade books in class if someone with and alphabet after her name and objective test results hadn’t documented it? How many times would she have read “Pat the Bunny” before getting a little punchy?

    There is a reason that gifted is mentioned under the section on Attention Deficit Disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV TR). It reminds all of us in the mental health business that we need to make certain that we aren’t labeling and medication children who are simply academically underchallenged. Crushing boredom isn’t therapeutic and children don’t respond well to it. Bored kids entertain themselves in ways that are sometimes disruptive, thoughtless and annoying. Some of these kids aren’t relishing the lack of academic pressure; they are being given prescriptions for Ritalin. Miraca Gross’ research on gifted is solid, lovely work – and it supports academic acceleration as generally benign and often transformative for bright, underchallenged children.

    In the three hours of telephone conversation, Alissa and I ranged pretty widely. It was sad that she highlighted the exchanges which were the most unkind to parents of gifted children. While there are parents who can be overly invested in their children, most of the parents of gifted children that I have met are not. Many of these parents are slow to embrace the label and worry that they will raise a generation of pint-sized narcissists. Every group has its fringe: a bit entertaining, a bit bizarre and not representative of the community. While they make good anecdotes, they do not make good ambassadors.

    I chose to do work with gifted children and their parents because there is a need. The people hovering on either end of the bell curve tend to have a rougher time of it. Few would argue that providing services to children with mental retardation is somehow an expression of parental narcissism, but apparently children who are equally statistically unusual are going to be happier if they are shoehorned into someone else’s idea of normality. I’d rather we support them in discovering their own abilities and difficulties while supporting their parents with the shockingly hard job of parenting.”

    • “There is a reason that gifted is mentioned under the section on Attention Deficit Disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV TR).”

      That is most definitely interesting. That is the first time I’ve heard this mentioned.

      “It reminds all of us in the mental health business that we need to make certain that we aren’t labeling and medication children who are simply academically underchallenged. Crushing boredom isn’t therapeutic and children don’t respond well to it. Bored kids entertain themselves in ways that are sometimes disruptive, thoughtless and annoying. Some of these kids aren’t relishing the lack of academic pressure; they are being given prescriptions for Ritalin. Miraca Gross’ research on gifted is solid, lovely work – and it supports academic acceleration as generally benign and often transformative for bright, underchallenged children.”

      I personally think almost all kids are bored and underchallenged in school. It’s not just precocious, genius, special, gifted kids who aren’t having their potentials tapped and aren’t getting the resources they need. It’s all kinds of kids that are being limited by the less than optimal conditions of schools and being given Ritalin to deal with it.

      I’m not sure why this is so hard to understand. Nearly every parent thinks their kid is special whereas all the other kids of other parents are just normal. Nearly every parent think their kid needs more resources, more attention, more of everything.

  61. Whoa! I was expecting a well-written study of the lives and perspectives of

    young geniuses and high-IQ adults from this New York Times journalist.

    Instead, “Hothouse Kids” insults and distorts the subject and subjects of


    The author skewers everyone she meets: parents,”gifted” study educators

    and researchers, educational product developers and competitive events

    organizers, even the bright children–whom she pities for what she sees as their

    their “nerdish freakiness”.

    A former smart girl herself, the author can’t seem to find anyone likeable

    in the subculture she has chosen to explore. She pokes fun at how these

    people look, the clothes they wear, the cars they drive. One mother of a

    brilliant child, for example, has hair “suitable for a Journey music

    video.” Another walks with a “jerky gait which combines a limp and a

    strut”. One man has “wiry clown hair”, another communicates through

    “swaggering body language”. A gifted child’s build reminds the author of

    “Matt Damon on a stretching rack” (whatever that means). Somebody has a

    “lazy eye”, someone else rolls her eyes (which is, apparently, too “Gen X”),

    and a respected leader in the field of gifted education is accused of

    dressing like “a mystic”. One family’s kitchen, where the author was

    welcomed, confided in, and provided with food and drink, is criticized as

    “rickety–even eccentric”. The meal, too, is weird, not up to the author’s

    standards. Apparently, she finds everyone in the “hothouse” she is studying

    to be strange and distasteful.

    Several interview subjects for this offensive book have complained of being

    misquoted (see other reviews). This is not surprising as the included

    quotes typically consist of odd jumbles of disconnected ideas and thoughts

    –as if the author had extracted sentences from lengthy interviews and

    strung them together out of context.

    As the author of more than two dozen nonfiction books, I was shocked and

    disheartened by “Hothouse Kids”. It is difficult enough for writers to

    persuade people to agree to interviews without such a glaring reminder of

    the potential for journalistic abuse of power. The process of interviewing

    requires trust: that the writer will not use the interviewees’ words

    against them. If I want to write a book on the subject of high-IQ children,

    who in the field would gladly agree to an interview now?

    Perhaps the author feels that she has exorcised some of her own disturbed

    memories of childhood. Unfortunately, she has added little to the study of

    gifted kids while hurting a number of people in the process of vindicating

    her own bitterness.

  62. Having raised an extraordinarily talented whiz kid, I have since read many many books on raising gifted children (AFTER my son was an adult) . I am obsessed and fascinated by out of the ordinary, highly unusual, extraordinarily, profoundly gifted children. She had put together an exhaustive number of personal stories and examples. Having spoken to, interviewed, and taught a few of these unbelievably bright children myself, I think Quart has done a phenomenal job of portraying them in contemporary society. Clearly a talented writer, she has put together a lot of opinions and studies in very readable and interesting form as few could. Thanks, Alissa for all the work that went into providing this book for us to read. Those of us who have to figure out how to address the needs of these children thank you! For teachers and parents who have only encountered the merely very bright (95% types) and not the amazing 99.99% types, you have no clue how hard it is to figure out how to meet the needs of these misfit children. We lose more of the 99.99% children than the average ones. Sad, sad, how the very important needs of these children are ignored or misunderstood.

  63. There are many problems with this book. The sad part is, I kept making excuses for it most of the way through.

    The first and biggest problem is that it is extremely biased. At first, this doesn’t seem obvious — the author’s story about her own parental issues in the first chapter didn’t seem like an admission of bias at first, more a frank disclosure of the reason the subject interested her in the first place. The more I got into the book, though . . . the more clear it seems she really does have an ax to grind, and is not interested in being fair to the majority of the people she is interviewing.

    The first chapter was overall excellent — engaging, with lots of vignettes and probably (one hopes) subjects who would not mind her portrayal of them. Fairly balanced, it shows first the dangers of prodigihood and then several examples of people who were happy about it. That worked. I liked it. I bought the book.

    Later on, however . . .

    There’s a whole thing with this little girl painter named “Marla.” The whole thing with her strikes me as . . . as something that her parents would not appreciate reading. The tone of the whole thing seems snide towards them, as if the author has decided that their daughter’s prodigy is all the result of their pushing her into it. She does *try* to give a sense of fairness at the beginning (quoting, for instance, the girl’s parents insisting that she paints because she likes to), but she ends in a way that gives the readers the strong sense that Marla’s parents using her for their own money or glory, period. While I know nothing personally about their situation, I find it very suspicious that this story (as well as others) throughout the book portray parents-of-gifted in a bad light almost uniformly. (She even insults ordinary people who are interested in child prodigies, claiming that we watch TV shows about them, etc., because we resent them and want to watch them fail. That’s rather a nasty thing to say.) Even if not actively malicious, this is, if nothing else, awfully rude.

    The thing that finally tipped me off was the ninth chapter, about “Teen Preaching Tournaments.” Now, I have never been to a teen preaching tournament, and so at first, my reaction was, “Huh? Those exist? How weird.” As the chapter kept on going, though, I kept reading between the lines and thinking “That sounds actually quite neat” — at the same time that the author was trying to be extremely condemning. Now, I’d say that, overall, the idea of the competing in preaching sounds a little too secular for my taste — but the people she described sounded a lot like the sort of very sincere people I went to high school with and learned to highly respect.

    She did NOT treat those people with respect. She VERY clearly had an ax to grind against them.

    Most telling, and most annoying, were the details she kept choosing to use that were:

    a) irrelevant to the subject at hand,
    b) exactly what you would assume anyway, and
    c) bound to offend people who have different views politically (“prolife pamphlets,” “homophobic,” that sort of thing).

    While almost certainly true (and not at all surprising), how on EARTH were these relevant to the subject at hand?! She also had this sort of attitude throughout the chapter that was extremely patronizing and extremely annoying. Even cute details like the campus coffee shop being named “Great Awakenings” (which sounds funny and clever to me) she tries to use to make John Hopkins seem like a ridiculous place.

    I also found it very weird that she dedicated an entire chapter just to that subject, when the previous chapter had been all about children’s competitions, and she could very easily have put all of the relevant information about teen preaching competitions into chapter eight. It wasn’t till I had finished the chapter that I finally realized why she’d chosen to stick it into its own chapter: she wanted to finish with the grand flourish that these teens were even more oppressed than their secular counterparts, because they *obviously* must be spiritually condemned if they don’t follow in their parents’ exact footsteps.

    And how she did come to this conclusion, I might add? She came to this realization after receiving an e-mail finishing with: “Please don’t take what you observed as a show of talent or some form of religious promotion. Though this was a competition the message is real and we each must choose for oursevles what we will do with Jesus!” (Page 183.)

    So did she interpret it this way? No, of course not, as that would have undermined the whole chapter she’d decided to write about it. Instead, she took this as an invitation to assume that “These boys believed that if they were good enough, if they were gifted enough, they could literally save the soul of a ‘fallen’ adult — even one such as myself. If not, I supposed, then that soul might be lost to hell forever. . . . In the secular world, the fall of a gifted child exists for some as a romantic metaphor: for the early bloomer who faded away, the barest hint of mortal failing gives the story line extra flair. Among gifted preachers, however, lapsing into adulthood and even failing to be gifted enough to convert *is* a mortal failure.” (Page 184.)

    That is NOT AT ALL what the e-mail she received was saying — or even IMPLYING. She even admitted, herself — all through the chapter — that these teen preachers all said God inspired them, rather than claiming that the talent belonged to them. (Not that she put this in a positive light, mind you.) Which means that success or failure of “their preaching” could not possibly be dependent on their own skills, since they’d never claimed to have those in the first place.

    I went to high school with a great many pastors’ children and children of Baptist missionaries. I am not, myself, Baptist. (I am Christian, but my faith does not have professional clergy.) But I learned to develop a great deal of respect for these people. While I’m sure there are some less-than-ideal parents in the Christian communities (as with any community), I am greatly angered by the disdain with which she treats these people who, even in her extremely biased writing, seem nothing more than dedicated and happy and sincere.

    Now, to be fair, there were some positive examples of parents-of-smart-kids throughout the book. (I would love to meet chapter seven’s Bess family. They sound like amazingly cool people.) And, again, the first chapter seemed to be both fair and quite engaging. And that is why I’m giving it two stars (and was tempted to give it three): because, for most of the book, it is interesting.

    Therefore second problem is much less important than the first, but still worth mentioning: some of the chapters are boring. The fifth and sixth chapters (about giftedness in schools and standardized testing) contained a lot of information that would probably only interest educators (and which really only relate to her subject tangentially). The tenth chapter had me snoring (though I may have also been pulled out of the book after the ninth chapter had so thoroughly annoyed me). And the epilogue did nothing more than repeat everything she had already said, except with clear political agendas thrown in on top of it. Goody.

    Overall, I don’t regret that I read the book, but I wish she’d actually made it as fair as the opening chapter made it seem. It started fascinating and it wound up aggravating. I’m particularly disappointed to see how many people she actually interviewed writing reviews here saying that she misquoted them. It could have been a neat book, and instead it wound up just not working.

    Oh, well. I’m sure I can find something better and fairer and cooler about gifted children and child prodigies.

  64. It goes like this. When one white person does something, IT REPRESENT ALL WHITES. When one asian person does something, he is an individual but he probably stole it from a white, them asian cheat all the time, copying and stuff. Even if it was original, not enough compared to whites.
    When a white person does something bad, it is only that person fault example like dylan roof. When an asian person does something bad, somehow it represent all of asians of that ethnicity, like cho from virginia tech.

    • That is standard psychology for the mindset of any dominant group. Privilege goes to one’s head. That is true even when one isn’t personally powerful and wealthy. The privilege of being white takes many forms, such as worrying less about being arrested or shot by a cop.

      There is a mindlessness and arrogance that privilege makes possible. As part of dominant society, whites get to judge who is good and bad, who gets collectively blamed or individually excused. Whites live in a white world and see everyone else through the lense of their own whiteness.

      From Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates:


      “Some days I would take the train into Manhattan. There was so much money everywhere, money flowing out of bistros and cafés, money pushing the people, at incredible speeds, up the wide avenues, money drawing intergalactic traffic through Times Square, money in the limestones and brownstones, money out on West Broadway where white people spilled out of wine bars with sloshing glasses and without police. I would see these people at the club, drunken, laughing, challenging breakdancers to battles. They would be destroyed and humiliated in these battles. But afterward they would give dap, laugh, order more beers. They were utterly fearless. I did not understand it until I looked out on the street. That was where I saw white parents pushing double-wide strollers down gentrifying Harlem boulevards in T-shirts and jogging shorts. Or I saw them lost in conversation with each other, mother and father, while their sons commanded entire sidewalks with their tricycles. The galaxy belonged to them, and as terror was communicated to our children, I saw mastery communicated to theirs.”

    • When diversity starts to hurt?

      Dominant Americans have been complaining about immigrants and diversity since before the US was a country (e.g., Benjamin Franklin worrying about those dark-skinned, non-assimilating Palatine Germans who had become the majority of Pennsylvania). That this would destroy what is good about American society is a prediction that is centuries old. It hasn’t come true yet. Instead, our entire culture has become defined by it. If we stopped having a constant influx of diversity from immigrants, we’d no longer be America and our entire national identity would have to be redefined.

      That is in the aspiration of the name itself, America. We don’t call ourselves United States-ians. No, we are Americans, citizens of America, even though technically the Americas extend up to Canada and down to another continent in South America. On top of that, all of the US used to be Native American territory and following that most of the US used to be the territory of the French and Spanish Empires. There are many parts of the country that have never been majority white at any point in history.

      The vagueness of being an American has always been part of our national identity.

  65. In China (and I believe most of the developed Asian countries), white people are seen as “superior”. But not superior in the “WHITE POWER” kind of way. But rather, they came as an invading force that won the wars. After Western forces beat the Asian powers, they brought a lot of cultural characteristics and rituals from the West. Things like wearing suits, long dresses, ties, afternoon tea, cakes, etc.
    This, combined with the “shame” of losing the wars and being treated as second-class citizens, many Chinese people started idolize the “white” standard. So much that being “white” meant you lived above the poor masses, were refined, clean, cultured, educated, strong, tall, fair (fair skin is seen as beautiful, but this was way before white people), and most importantly, rich. So this eventually boiled down to “Foreign/Western/White” = “better”.
    You can ask a lot of Chinese females what they think of the stereotypical Chinese male, and they will probably have two overarching stereotypes. 1) the fat, old, sweaty, ugly, short, balding, classless, pervy, misogynistic uncle OR 2) the young, effeminate, weak, girly guy.
    A non-Asian foreigner in China (and probably other developed Asian countries) will be seen as gold. Because everyone wants to be rich, and dating a foreigner means you might become rich one day. And more importantly, social stature will be raised because you bagged a foreigner.
    In that sense, White fetishism has existed for a LONG time since the civilizations clashed. Except now more Asian women are actually able to meet white men.
    The above applies to men as well. I am an Western-raised Asian male dating a White female. My family all thinks I’m the shit because I’m dating a white girl. Some Asian coworkers tell me “you must be so great to have gotten a white girl”.
    White fetishism definitely exists. But it’s much deeper than just a fetish. It has roots entangled with shame, longing for prosperity, and LOTS of history. People don’t know where it comes from and are very reluctant to admit it.

  66. It’s a lot more complex than this, but I think you are the closest so far to hitting the nail on the head. Growing up in Asia you see lots of weird behavior from the locals towards white foreigners. A mixture of resentment and admiration too.
    Also, extremely different attitudes from the more wealthier, cosmopolitan cities (Singapore, HK) to rural poorer parts. In the wealthier parts of Asia, people won’t bat an eyelid even if you are white. There is even growing bitterness that these white expats are “stealing our jobs”. Although, most of the white expats that come here are highly paid professionals so they are bound to be rich. No poor ass white guy would ever come to a city like Singapore, that’s for sure. So the only exposure people have is to the “cream of the crop”.
    IN the past, it used to be just admiration, because white people were considered really novel. But nowadays I can see a huge wave of xenophobia in Asia, especially towards white foreigners (and partly, like you said, they symbolize the enforcement of the racial hegemony and also because of shame and a hunger for prosperity). For example in Korea, I’ve heard friends saying that the ESL teachers that come here are actually losers who like think they’re “all that” while in Korea etc. I never heard stuff like this when I was a little kid in Asia. There’s a strange new underbelly of resentment, which comes parallel with the desperate need most Asian countries have to prove themselves (this is most apparent in China. Criticize all we want about China, but when I went there I could almost feel the ambition of the people, but that’s a topic for another day)
    However these places are still far and few in between. Most of Asia is still poor and still get goo-goo eyes over seeing white people. And also dollar sign eyes…
    Another facet of this is that the younger generation have a lot more curiosity because of the exposure to Western culture growing up. This may have fueled a lot of “white fetishism”. I find that the older generation have very different attitudes towards white people, it wasn’t too long ago that Asia was in the backwaters so you’d find that without that “globalized” exposure, and also possibly because they lived in an era closer to the war, they are much less inclined towards “white fetishism” since they saw more of the bad than the good.
    Anyway, sorry if I went a little off-tangent. Yes, white fetishism does exist (and so does Asian fetishism) and your last paragraph is really accurate. The shame aspect is somewhat similar to how black people feel as a collective, though probably too a lesser extent. I also think that Asians born outside of Asia have really different perspectives too, if they prefer dating white people…would that really be so unusual? I mean, that’s basically their environment. Most Asians in Asia still like dating Asians, it’s not like we all think that Asian guys suck. Most of the time when I see people putting down Asian guys, it’s usually from Asians not born in Asia…

  67. Self-hate, especially for minority groups, happens when the group is small.

    I don’t think it happens as much when there’s just one Asian, black, whatever… then you’re just the token minority. But when there’s more than one person of your ethic/racial group (but still small enough to be considered rare/uncommon), then if you hang out with him/her, it highlights your ethnic/racial difference from the others. Highlights your “otherness”. In that situation, a lot of Asian kids hate to associate with each because they’d rather have more friends and assimilate with the larger crowd.

    This is what I saw happen to Esther, myself, and many others. Constantly bashing or avoiding each other. Proving to others that “We’re different.”

    So if you want to avoid kids with self-hate, it could help you to live in an area with higher percentage of your ethnicity/race. It’s counterproductive to “diversity” and “intregration”, but if you’re not fighting for social justice and just looking out for yourself and your family, it’s something to consider.

    • I understand the last part, but I think there can be a better way to deal with it.

      “So if you want to avoid kids with self-hate, it could help you to live in an area with higher percentage of your ethnicity/race. It’s counterproductive to “diversity” and “intregration”, but if you’re not fighting for social justice and just looking out for yourself and your family, it’s something to consider.”

      I have nothing against ethnic enclaves. I just think that diversity has its advantages. Kids that grow up in more diverse communities tend to grow up more tolerant and less bigoted. I personally think that is a good thing. If there had been more diversity in Germany, the Nazis would have been less likely to have come to power.

      • I would think that people tend to get threatened more when outgroups are in bigger numbers, especially if they;’ve lvied there many years. For example the old whites in Asian enclaves, who’ve lived there and watched the places change, tend to be really racis.

      • There is temporary disruption that creates problems. But in the long run breaking up the lack of diversity is good in order to prevent holocausts, genocides, and internment camps. The whites in majority white areas are going to be freaking out in the near future, no matter what happens. We might as well take this opportunity to socialize the next generation so that they be slightly less bigoted. As a society, we have to start where we are at.

  68. Take a look from the opposite side of this discussion Why do a lot of Caucasian men prefer Asian (Oriental) Women Im a Black man who’s in his early forties and what I’ve seen from Orientals my whole life is that they have this great need to be accepted by White people much more than any other race (Black Hispanic Pacific Islander other Asian races) I’ve ever seen Its like they try very hard to out white white people They give themselves the whitest white names like Jenny Justin Lori Bill Brad Beth Chrissy Suzy etc etc etc.. When they talk they sound white as can be They dress like white people They even laugh just like white people N

    • The second post was amusing. It reminds me of something I might post on my blog. However, one of the articles linked to got me thinking in a different direction:


      Liberals on average, when compared to conservatives on average, are less overweight, eat healthier, live longer, have higher IQs, are more well educated, are wealthier, and are more professionally successful. Even a conservative libertarian like Charles Murray had to admit in his recent book that the group with highest rates of pro-social behavior (in terms of what he was focusing upon) were extremely liberal, both socially liberal and economically liberal. HBDers have come to similar conclusions.

      That makes one wonder. Something obviously is being missed.

  69. Ouch

    You can give Jayman some credit- the fat acceptance movement has gained remarkable traction in the past several years, which, with it’s fixation on it being genetic, overlaps remarkably with HBD yet is reluctant to extend it to things like race differences in obesity (of which there are marked differences) and other physical traits, and ultimately with many of the same arguments employed in it’s favor the kind you’ll see over general HBD, so he’s atleast being consistent with the social justice left. Though despite his insistence he really is a liberal, they’ll probably always think he’s crazy and riddled with self-hatred, and he is after all basically autistic.

    • JayMan even admits, however unintentionally, that racial categories are bullshit:


      “Your skin tone can easily be found in Southern Europe or in the Middle East, too.”


      “What do you pick – just curious?”

      I pick multiple races (Black/White/Asian).

      • He seems to only identify as black when it’s convienent (ex: defend hdd with ”I’m black!”) if you know what I mean

  70. Thanks for pointing that out. The world bank/IMF has a long history of pressuring nations into demolishing working public infrastructure and then “liberalizing” it into dysfunction. After a certain amount of popular discontent states feel the need to recreate the wheel again. This happened in Egypt in the late 90s with their first World Bank sponsored economic “reform” that basically didn’t do shit and was later cited as a causative faction and subsequent “reform” and even more liberalizing despite the fact that the WB was responsible for much of the economic misery that resulted. They are very good at hiding their own complicity in economic mismanagement, to say the least.

    • Women are blamed. Minorities are blamed. The poor are blamed. Et cetera. Those criminals who are some combination of male, white, and wealthy are the least likely to be investigated, arrested, charged, punished, and imprisoned for their crimes. There are entire categories of crime such as white collar crime that are largely ignored by officials. Much of corporate wrongdoing, political corruption, and state terrorism isn’t even considered a crime by those in power. There is a lot of data and research out there that shows this to be true.

  71. http://www.theonion.com/article/new-magnet-school-opens-students-interest-receivin-51206

    New Magnet School Opens For Students With Interest In Receiving Competent Education

    PHILADELPHIA—Saying it would give local youths a wider range of academic options, Philadelphia public school officials expressed high hopes Thursday for the recently opened Edison Magnet School, a new pilot initiative that caters to students who are interested in an adequate education.

    Though still in its earliest experimental stages, the specialized high school has reportedly attracted students from across the city who share a desire to receive the kind of competent instruction in math, reading, and science unavailable in more traditional American classrooms.

    “A few years ago, we started to realize that many young people in our district really wanted to become proficient in core academic subjects, so we decided to develop a school that places a strong emphasis on learning,” said Denise Paulson, Edison’s principal. “While our approach may not be for every student, we feel obligated to provide this alternative to those kids who wish to acquire basic factual knowledge before they graduate.”

    “We’re offering them a unique opportunity, something they won’t find anywhere else,” she added.

    In a radical departure from the norm, Paulson explained, teachers at the school have been carefully trained in the subjects they teach. Reports confirmed that these specialized educators are also required to prepare ahead of time and create lesson plans for their classes, with the chief objective being to ensure students gain at least a passing familiarity with a particular area of study, such as algebra, history, biology, or English composition.

    According to district administrators, any student who aspires to read at grade level or possess a rudimentary facility with numbers can apply to the new competency-track program offered at Edison.

    “I know it’s only been a week, but their method seems to be working—my daughter Lisa has already learned several new things,” said Edison parent Jeremy Lancaster, who noted that his daughter’s previous school didn’t even offer a single course for students interested in acquiring knowledge. “The philosophy at Edison is to teach students something new every day. There aren’t many schools like that around the country, so we’re very grateful.”

    “Lisa has always showed an interest in knowing things, so her mother and I feel Edison’s focus on academics makes it a good match for her,” Lancaster added.

    In alignment with the school’s unorthodox mission to ensure its graduates are reasonably well equipped to head out into the world, even the layout of the building and the provision of learning materials reflect what administrators are calling Edison’s “scholastic approach” to education. Officials confirmed the well-lit classrooms have been made large enough to tolerably accommodate the number of students assigned to the class, and in stark contrast to prevailing trends, each pupil is given his or her own relatively up-to-date textbook.

    Several students told reporters they appreciate the new school’s highly original methodology, but conceded it may take a while to grow accustomed to the process of learning information and developing skills in a classroom setting.

    “I’m used to regular-style classes, so it’s definitely been a big change to come here and have these coherently explained lessons day after day,” Edison sophomore Carly Gutierrez said. “It was kind of shocking that first day when I realized my teachers actually seemed to have a halfway decent handle on what they were talking about.”

    “It’s just completely different from any other school I’ve ever been to before,” Gutierrez added.

    • The blessed-by-god kids are so amazingly advanced that we should just send them straight to college. Let the colleges deal with them as they wish. They can even dump them all into the same classes together to socialize them, for all I care.

      But I still like the idea of maybe sending them to developing countries where we can give them special education at cheap costs, so as to not be a burden on the rest of society. After that, they can be sent back to America to be our future social darwinian ruling elite.

      Or we could even send them into space to colonize the moon and nearby planets. There are so many options. I don’t want to limit these blessed-by-god kids by sending them to normal school with normal kids. I really am starting to think they are destined for the stars and we should send them off in space rockets right away!

      • Sometimes it gets overwhelming how shitty things are, and not even because people are consciously being shitty, but just as a byproduct of the human condition, especially since most of us lack sufficient self-awareness

        Most evil doers I bet didn’t think they were being shitty. Not the nazis, nto the kkk, not victim blamers, etc.

        It gets overwhelming

      • I agree. That is the saddest part. The unconscioussness, obliviousness, and general cluelessness. The ignorance and the ignorance of ignorance. Worst of all, the kneejerk defensiveness against anything that might wake them up to reality.

    • There is one strange thing. The just world hypothesis is highly selective.

      A cop kills an innocent poor minority and it is just. But cop gets shot and it is injust, no matter the circumstances, even if the cop shot first at an innocent person, because that is how the mainstream media will spin it. Terrorists kill a few thousand innocent people on 9/11 and it is injust. But the US military in response kills a few hundred thousand innocent people and it is just.

      Whatever maintains the status quo of power and hierarchy is just. Whatever challenges it is injust. This is why Edmund Burke thought it perfectly fine for the French king to violently oppress, starve, imprison, torture, and execute French citizens while it was injust for those French citizens to fight back to stop the suffering and horror.

  72. http://brainblogger.com/2015/07/21/cats-and-mental-illness-the-role-of-toxoplasma-gondii/

    Lately, a substantial amount of evidence has been suggesting that latent toxoplasmosis can cause behavioral changes in humans. The existence of this association has actually been suspected since the 1950s, or even earlier, but that hypothesis was revamped in the 1990s by studies highlighting a common risk factor between toxoplasmosis and schizophrenia: contact with cats. Currently, the available evidence for this association is massive.

    Research has shown that schizophrenia patients have a significantly higher prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in their serum; likewise, having anti-Toxoplasma antibodies significantly increases the likelihood of being diagnosed with schizophrenia. Toxoplasma infections preceding the development of schizophrenia are widely described, and this association gets stronger throughout disease progression. Furthermore, a higher severity of schizophrenia-associated symptoms has been reported in patients that have been infected with the parasite.

  73. Compare the writing styles and content of these works, and tell me it’s not a sockpuppet


    Additionally, why is ”larry murckock’s” email avigoldberg@gmail.com, and why are all three of these names ungoogleable/have no internet footprint? It’s possible that these are pseudonyms, but that dosen’t make the sock-puppetry less apparent. Plus, if Chris really is a grad student, his school must have insanely low standards :/

  74. Funnily enough, my conclusion is that amren must have really dumb readers, or the writers there must think their audience is a bunch of idiots :/

  75. Well you said diversity. It seems in california diversity means to talk badly about neighbours behind theur backs 😛

    Honestly this stuff doen’t bother me. The ”impolitness” or whatever. The only cultural thing I might have an issue with is ose people sneezing into their hands rather than arms. Some immigrants from Asia do that.

    -I’m sure somebody will cry racist, but there are too many “FOB’s” (fresh off the boat). San Jose has many people who’ve come from foreign countries (mainly China, Vietnam and India) who speak little or no English and don’t really try either and who also drive terrible. Their concepts of what would be considered rude or inappropriate behavior in this country are different than ours. The upside is that there are many different cultural food choices in the SJ area. The downside is that I’ve been in numerous situations where the actions of foreign people who are unaware of how to act in a typical American environment cause my quality of life to be lowered. Sometimes something as simple as ordering food can be a huge challenge. After awhile it gets very frustrating dealing with people who can’t speak English and it gets especially annoying dealing with people who have no business driving in this country due to their complete lack of driving skills. You’ll especially experience this on the east side of town. Since I’m sure somebody will call me racist after my comments (somebody always does), I should add that this is from numerous personal experiences and is not based on ignorance. I know many people who feel exactly the same way…and not just white people. A lot of long time residents just suck it up and bite their tongues, but inside they are pretty irritated. It does get old after awhile.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/san-jose/1481512-what-you-dont-like-about-san.html#ixzz3kQQiPcuL
    I currently live in an even far more FOB-errifically populated place than San Jose. Fremont is worse than San Jose in this regard. I’ve yet to meet any longtime resident here who finds that the overwhelming foreigner population is a positive thing. Most longtime residents find it to have negatively impacted their lives. If the immigration had occurred at a moderate, reasonable pace it would be different. Almost overnight though the population demographics completely changed and most longtime residents have pretty much become outsiders.

    As far as my comment about ordering food, I wasn’t referring to ordering food at ethnic restaurants. I’d expect it there. I’m talking about mainstream American establishments where employees would be expected to speak English and most of the clientele is English-speaking.

    And yes, many drivers do suck everywhere. However, many Asian drivers have certain characteristic driving styles that exhibit a complete lack of driving skill. You may have not experienced this firsthand, but where I live, I see it every day. I work in the car business in Fremont. 80% of our customer base is Asian/Indian. I see daily firsthand their complete lack of knowledge of even basic driving principles. Many of them don’t even know how to operate basic controls on their cars. It’s seriously like running a daycare sometimes with some of the customers. Many of them never owned a car before coming to the U.S.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/san-jose/1481512-what-you-dont-like-about-san.html#ixzz3kQQHcdUO

    • Once you’ve lived in and dealt with (mostly white) Boston drivers you’ll neer complain abotu drivers again at least in America

    • I’ve seen Chicago drivers in crowded traffic. They can be pretty aggressive. But they it works out, as no one seems to take the aggressiveness personally. They just get out of each other’s way.

      I learned to drive in South Carolina. People there aren’t so bad. But everyone runs red lights. You would have to be insane to stop at a yellow light with a car right behind you. I even lived in a fairly diverse big city for the Deep South. It was Columbia which is the state capital, has a major state university, and is the location of a military base. Still, I don’t recall driving being an issue there.

      In Iowa, drivers are extremely laid back. This town is unusual for Iowa, in terms of it also being diverse. There are a fair number of minorities, including Asians, in town and they are concentrated downtown because of the university. I don’t notice any crazy driving. But maybe it is a different demographic with lots of students. It can’t be just that, though. As a parking ramp cashier, I interact with drivers who can’t speak English and obviously aren’t students, and I don’t notice driving issues even with them.

  76. Originally Posted by sjnative View Post
    Worse than all the FOB’s is their sympathizers and the political correctness preachers. Just look at how quickly everyone jumped on mstnghu2.

    Yes, most of the FOB’s do drive incompetently and are mindlessly rude. They don’t cover their mouths when they sneeze. They don’t seem to want to make friends outside of their culture.

    Fortunately there are exceptions and I do have foreign-born Asian friends who have assimilated to some degree to American culture while still retaining their parents’ cultures, making them truly bicultural. I’ve enjoyed learning about their cultures from them in addition to simply being friends with them. In my experience of growing up in a heavily Vietnamese area, though, this is the exception and not the rule as most of the newly-arrived seem to stay within their cultural enclaves.

    OK, now someone needs to give me a sermon.
    Worse than all the FOB’s are nativist ethocentrists who can’t deal with diversity and mindlessly stereotype.

    Political Correctness is always used as a foil by people who want to make their rudeness more acceptable.

    I never hear anybody complain about Anglos who don’t venture past their cultural enclaves or have circles of friends that aren’t of different cultural backgrounds. Go figure.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/san-jose/1481512-what-you-dont-like-about-san-4.html#ixzz3kQi0bEOa

    • Americans, especially white Americans, talk about the ‘bad’ behavior of immigrant groups. But has always been the case. Part of the reason we have regional cultures is because there were large immigrant groups from Britain and Europe that refused to assimilate. Many of these groups, like the Scots-Irish, were known for their ‘bad’ behavior. It’s the same basic pattern repeating. You’d think Americans would have some sense of history, it being such a young country with such a short history.

  77. Honestly, no offense, but mainstream “American” food is some of the blandest ass shit ever. I almost don’t mind them because hey, their loss. Not my fault they’re gonna go through life thinking bland steak and boiled potatoes is the finest food known to man.

    Russian food’s alright


  78. This article and the comments pretty much sum up why being bi-cultural Asian-American sucks, and yet at the same time is the greatest thing ever. I’m starting on the opinion that AA’s like her (and myself), in order to live honestly, are required to bridge perhaps the biggest cultural and linguistic gap that exists on the planet. When it comes to language, even polyglots that can speak 15 language fluently can barely get a handle on Chinese. When it comes to culture, even the greatest diplomats like Kissinger could barely understand what the Chinese are really thinking. Every AA I know has to bridge these gaps, and bridge them well if they want satisfying family and social lives. It’s a silent miracle, really, that will never be recognized because, frankly, others can’t comprehend it.
    So it’s the greatest thing because, personally, I feel like being Asian-American forces me to become worldly at a level exceeding almost everyone else that I know. I appreciate it when white people try and expand their cultural horizons, but as an AA I’m at a level of expansion that they will never truly understand. I do know some white people who are culturally transcendent in this manner, and are very articulate it about it, and they are generally world-reknown writers or scholars. It’s strangely satisfying to be a relative nobody and yet understand things at that level.
    I think articles like this express that sort of frustration. She’s extremely worldy, this young author, apparently a producer for the great Kojo Nnamdi. She thinks something and has it published in the Washington Post. She should be admired. Instead, threatened readers try and knock her back down by calling her whiney or racist.

  79. [–]dekrantSeattle [score hidden] 8 hours ago
    When you’re an impressionable immigrant kid, the one thing you do is try to fit in. Everything seems to be going fine until someone points out something that speaks to the harshest truth that you’ve been trying to hide. When that happens, your illusion of yourself shatters.
    permalinksaveparentreportgive goldreply
    [–]dasheea [score hidden] 6 hours ago
    Yeah, we shouldn’t belittle or underestimate the social journey that an immigrant kid has to go through. The immigrant parent is busy with survival and livelihood. The immigrant parent also, if they live in a big metropolitan area, can always find solace in their ethnic town, whether for social reasons or food. But the immigrant kid is often tasked with maintaining certain native ethnic culture at home as well as navigating the “outside,” mainstream world better than the parent in the future. Maintaining culture at home on one hand and integrating with the mainstream, white world on the other is not an easy task, especially when you’re completely outnumbered.
    permalinksaveparentreportgive goldreply
    [–]wiseoracle [score hidden] 8 hours ago
    That was one example that carried over through her life growing up.
    I had the same experiences as well. My mother would offer my friends food and most if not all of them refused.
    I also want to put emphasizes that most kids are picky eaters and when they see any kind of food they are not familiar with, most will say the same things.
    It does feel that in the last few years asian cuisine food has leaked into mainstream areas, but it’s possible because most of the people eating the food are adults and not children.
    permalinksaveparentreportgive goldreply
    [–]csl512 [score hidden] 7 hours ago
    Kids are assholes to the “others”. And impressionable. Shredded pork? Carpet. Jerks.
    permalinksaveparentreportgive goldreply
    [–]chuho1 [score hidden] 56 minutes ago
    The “I was made fun of as a kid for being asian, became self-hating and white worshipping for a long time until I found my identity” trope was sympathetic for a while but now it is becoming nauseating. I got bullied and picked on for being asian for couple years in my earlier life and it only made me double down into my identity, not reject it like some easily molded lemming.
    permalinksaveparentreportgive goldreply

  80. I’m pretty irritated at the American way of appropriating everything from food to martial arts, stripping them of their history, and continuing to look down on the people that they were taken from.

    • We are Borg. Assimilation is the greatest talent of Americans. It’s just what we do. It is what our entire society is built on. We either assimilate something or we destroy it, and sometimes we assimilate whatever is left over after its been destroyed. If we stopped assimilating, we’d no longer be American. We have nothing else. We are an immigrant country. Nearly everything we have comes from other societies. We aren’t all that original. We will improve upon what others do and make it better. But that is being a bit unfair. We Americans did help create the internet. We do get credit for that. We also gave the world the atomic bomb.

  81. Yeah, the problem with this “appropriation” mindset is that it once again sends the message that nothing is good until it has White people’s seal of approval.
    permalinksavereportgive goldreply
    [–]structuralbiologyDREXEL!!!!<3 [score hidden] 4 hours ago
    This is perpetuated everywhere because it is true in many people's minds. Westerners do commercials for many brands in Asia for this reason and are considered very effective spokespersons. Look at Brad Pitt, for example. Even generic white people are used as models for random things, and the products become pretty successful.
    Asian brands trying to go upmarket do collaborations with established Western brands. For example, Hyundai teamed up with Hermes for the Equus and Lexus teamed up with Coach in the early 1990s. Chinese brands resurrect old European brands like Lanvin are used to sell expensive products to consumers who will only buy things if they have European pedigree and popular with Europeans.
    permalinksaveparentreportgive goldreply
    [–]sesstreets [score hidden] 3 hours ago
    Do you see that as a problem with white people or do you see that as being exploited by advertisers.
    permalinksaveparentreportgive goldreply
    [–]structuralbiologyDREXEL!!!!<3 [score hidden] 3 hours ago
    White people themselves aren't the problem. Asian people who regard white people very highly and advertisers who exploit Western brands' great reputation is the problem. One of my parents is part of the auto industry and it is known the Chinese want things that European people want. They want to emulate that romanticized lifestyle. So white people need to put their stamp of approval on products.
    It's common knowledge that Chinese people don't know what luxury is. They look to what white people prefer and consume to guide their own purchases and preferences.
    permalinksaveparentreportgive goldreply
    [–]asiantemp [score hidden] 2 hours ago
    Yeah, at a certain point, we Asians have to take ownership and responsibility for our own attitudes. We can't keep on pretending to be helpless programmable robots that can never resist racial and cultural prejudices.
    Still, I hesitate a bit on expecting too much from anyone who is only a generation or two removed from poverty to adopt a "proper" American-style activisty mindset.
    permalinksaveparentreportgive goldreply

  82. R/bad history

    Amen. Ms. Tam comes off as quite the racist. You are lucky enough to live in a melting pot of races, a social experiment the likes of which has never existed before. Created by the white ancestors of the white-skinned people you depise, btw.

  83. The American story

    First of all, Asians only make up 6% of the general US population. And yes, I always do fine in any situation with people of other races. I probably get along better with non-Asians that Asian Americans. Especially with Chinese American men who still claim first allegiance to China… but that’s a whole other thread topic.

    And I DO understand why in Quincy, there are non-Asians that object to the creation of a new Asiatown in their town. And if Asians were trying to make an Asiatown in the North End, they would be unwelcome also. It’s not about assimilation. Making a Asiatown is them refusing to integrate gracefully into the rest of society. Making an Asiatown is Asians refusing to mingle with other cultures and races.

    And that’s why I think that Asian Americans should avoid living in clusters with other Asian Americans. And if they need Asian groceries, then visit one of the number Asian markets in the metro Boston area. But please don’t just cluster together and form an Asian American neighborhood.

    Personally, and as an Asian American, I don’t want tons of Asians moving into the blocks around my home in Newton, especially if they are not going to be speaking English. And I don’t want a bunch of Asian markets popping up near me either. The Super 88 Market in Allston is close enough for me to shop at if I need Asian groceries.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/massachusetts/1738131-my-racial-experiences-asian-american-boston-7.html#ixzz3kSlxXlKd

    • There is one nice thing about cities, especially big cities. There can simultaneously be immense diversity and ethnic enclaves/neighborhoods/’towns’. I think that is a good thing. I like diversity, but that can only exist as long as it is allowed to exist. I worry more about a town that is all white and raising new generations of bigots than I worry about a small cluster of ethnic non-whites.

      The town I live in isn’t large, but like much of the Midwest it used to have ethnic neighborhoods and ethnic churches. There used to many Germans and Czechs, in particular. The first Catholic Church built here had a German priest and part of the service was done in the German language. With an influx of Czech Catholics, they had the problem of not understanding German and so built another Catholic Church. These two churches were only a mile a part. It was still a shared city with a common downtown.

      It took a century or so for assimilation to fully happen, which was sped up because this town has a large transitory population. I find that a bit sad, though. The ethnic history of this town is its heart and soul, and now it is mostly dead.

    • I lost an iq point for every word I read. I think I’m in the negative range now.

      Idiot! Hindi isn’t a European language! Hindi just belongs in the INDO-European language family, which includes the euro languages.

      Also I doubt he’s korean

    • The pennyone commenter made some good points:

      “No you don’t. If you think China is some sort of “hermit” empire, then you know diddly squat about Chinese history. Just because you grew up in however many countries does not make you an expert in Chinese history. Just the idea that China can somehow “close its doors” is a preposterous idea, given China’s long and complex history of interactions with Central Asia, South Asia and even farther afield. And if you think the Swedes and the Irish had any sort of “constant mixing for thousands of years”, then you also know squat about European history.”

      It also reminds me of that video about the relationship between the Chinese and Russians. Most people don’t realize how close Asia and Europe are to each other in certain areas. Also, trade between Asia and the Southern Europe has been going on for millennia. In early Christianity, there were churches built in China.

  84. Below is a comment from a discussion I’ve been participating in for quite a while. Someone just posted it. When I read it, I immediately thought of you.



    “As a White American living and working as a business start-up in Asia, I would like to apologize for the cluelessness of my fellow Whites, represented in many comments here.

    “Unfortunately, this kind of lower form of White person is giving our race a bad name. People in Asia are thinking we are all this dumb and it is hurting our “brand”.

    “Please, clueless racists, read, think, communicate with normal people or just shut up.”

  85. Love miu miu
    (An interesting viewpoint. Let’s change the scenario where you’d have to choose between running down the dog and a five year old girl. Are you still running down the human? And would you still indulge in a lot of palaver to justify it?)

    Of course I would still run down the human. Why would you even bother asking me this silly question?

    Or how about choosing to save some endangered species like the panda bears or polar bears over a school bus full of children… of course I would choose to save the bears. There are several billions of human beings on earth, we actually have way too many people on our poor overtaxed planet, humans are not a rarity. Most of the world’s crises right now are due to issues of shortages of food, clean water, and decent jobs. And take away a few billion people who drive and we wouldn’t be having a oil crisis right now.

  86. Those genes

    There was an interesting experiment featuring both western and asian infants, where the young babies where placed on their backs and had a single layer of tissue placed on there faces. The wester babies promptly removed it but the asian babies didn’t, which would imply there is a tendancy to passivity amongst asians. This could play into feelings of inferiority based aroung their greater tendancy to collectivity/passivity compared with greater individualisation in the west.

      • No, she really seems to be what asian discussion forums talk about.

        Heck, even black people have picked up on it. Only whites haven’t. Then again talking about issues with most whites for some reason seems futile :/

      • I know there are people like that on Asian discussion forums. I don’t doubt that in the slightest. It’s just that sometimes some comments can seem over the top. It is hard for me to imagine those who live in such a worldview. There is such a disconnect from the larger world.

        • Miu calls her dad her ex-dad, lol.

          Also, this is completely my own psychological hypotheses, but I believe Asian women (and men), begin to self-hate their own race depending on their relationship with their parents and family.

          If they have a horrible relationship, it strengthens their self-hatred and then you get those pathetic individuals that lash out at their culture. They basically buy into the racist stereotypes and “try to be white.”

          But if they have a good relationship, I feel that shields their self-esteem until they get stronger. Because they see the good side of their culture.

          Because from my own observations, every self-hating Asian had a horrible relationship with their parents.

  87. Holy shit benjamin.

    This miu miu chick :/ she’s also one of those “only white men please” types, I feel like I Gouda the asian uncle ruckus

    “Yes I know the Internet empowers these imbeciles with all types of Ecourage… I’ve only had one racist say something slick to me in person (he was drunk) and I gave him an ass wiping that he probably still remembers to this day…
    Two very predictable replies from a black poster, and how very juvenile and schoolyard! And both supporting another strong stereotype of black people… that they are highly prone to violent outbursts.

    Instead of responding to words with more words, as in a discussion or debate, black people quickly resort to making physical attacks. Just as the Rodney King incident proved and any other time that the black community didn’t get their way. And what would your precious Martin Luther King Jr think of your solution to being compared to an animal? Shame on ALL of you!!!

    And know this, that as long as black people respond in such a immature way with these physical outbursts and tantrums, they will never be respected by other races. And as long as blacks use the N word, others will, even if they won’t use the word in public themselves, be thinking of it when black people are behaving poorly and in an uncivilized way.

    Violence and even threats of physical violence are NOT the way to earn respect from others and to change others opinions of you. It only makes others wish that you would go away or didn’t exist. And angry black men like you is why other races don’t want their daughters marrying your kind… not that you’re the marrying kind of men. And they think that because of all the unmarried black baby mommas in the US.

    And right now, I am visualizing SHABAZZ (I really hope that isn’t your name in real life) being an angry monkey in a cage at a zoo who is throwing poo at the humans looking at him… and it’s not a solution that would make other races admire them.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/politics-other-controversies/1613735-radio-host-calls-obama-monkey-facts-44.html#ixzz3kXJW5rIN

    • That really does seem like the kind of comment a troll would write. Even an average racist wouldn’t make such an absurd comment. This ‘Miu’ person is fishing for a reaction. Then again, maybe Miu is actually an absurd person in real life and is entirely without self-consciousness about such absurdity. Such people do exist, even if not as many as act that way on the internet.

  88. More miu

    Holy shit benjamin. This lady

    “I hate to break it to some of you, but racists ARE a minority.
    Ummm…. unless you personally know every person in NH, you cannot state that as a fact. Humans are visual creatures and it is completely naturally to be aware of how others look. When we approach a complete stranger, how they look and move begins our assessment of them. We can never be completely colour blind. Otherwise, no one in NH would ever object to Huxtable type families moving in next door to them. But… what’s wrong with not being happy to have an influx of urban rapper gangsta types move into their town. And the same goes for gay and lesbian couples. They make fine neighbors, but I wouldn’t want to have my town turn into having a gay atmosphere like Oquongquit or Provincetown in the summertime.

    There is nothing wrong or to be ashamed of for NH being a white majority state. Not only that, it’s a highly rural state with it being over 95% still covered with forest. Country living does not appeal to most minorities. Most minorities prefer urban living and the amenities that come with it.

    Anyway, as a long time observer of the human condition, what I find is that the racism is not about skin colour, it’s more about clashes between the different cultures, religions and lifestyles. And when I examine my own social interactions, my best friends are people who happened to grow up in white majority middle suburbia. And the people who I don’t get along with (poor work ethic, lack of morals such as thinking that baby mommas are no big deal) just happen to always have grown up in the cities. People who have had childhoods in the inner city are just not my kind of people… no matter what the colour of their skin is.

    And of the people I have personally known, the blacks are the most racist, the whites the least.

    Lastly, just because I don’t find black men sexually attractive, does not make me a racist.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/new-hampshire/1975700-where-settle-nh-closing-racist-trees-2.html#ixzz3kXObKogx

  89. Miu makes my jaw hit the floor so hard it registers on the Richter scale

    “Otherwise, I believe that blacks would do better to assimilate into US society by moving to areas that are not black majority. And in order to be able to afford to do so, they need to work harder on their academic and job skills, and also go the more traditional route of marriage (having two incomes to pay for housing) and having children later in life (not in their teens or early 20’s and being single) when they can better afford to raise them properly.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/politics-other-controversies/1802734-west-unfriendly-black-people-racism-military-6.html#ixzz3kXQFQKLy

      • I meant entertained in a somewhat facetious sense. I’m actually pretty fuckijg irritated. If anything, people like miu irritate me more than ignorant whites. You know what I mean?

        Anyway discussing and raising racial issues are pretty hopeless when dealing with whites online. Even liberal whites. Hence why POC often dislike white liberals. In the forums, you can see that the trend is for nonwhites the think miu is wtf-worthy whereas white commenters tend to look at her uncle-tom’ism and think “you got a good point!!”

      • The problem with online is you really don’t know who anyone is. For example, in real life, I’m a teenage lesbian Native American living with my adopted Islamic parents in communist Cuba. But I’ve created this complex alternate persona so that no one will know who I am online. I find pretending to be an average white male American makes interactions easier, because then people are pleasantly surprised when I don’t act like a typical privileged ignoramus. Plus, it’s just a fun game to play. My entire blog is a vast trolling exercise and I totally suckered you into it. Ha!

        • No, I believe she is who she says she is. Her post historydoesn’t suggest a fake identity. It totally makes sense for an Asian woman. It’s almost mainstream, even. Uncle Tom Asian women are the bread and butter of mainstream AA discourse. Heck, the most mainstream ”asian american literature” is by uncle tom, white worshipping, Asian women like Amy Tan. Plus, this lady is in her mid 50’s, which makes it even more beleivable.

        • I’m not doubting that there are plenty of people like that. I just suspect there are also plenty of people online pretending to be who they aren’t, making up things about their lives, or exaggerating that which is otherwise true. Plus, there are quite a few people online who to varying degrees seem a bit crazy or otherwise disconnected from reality.

          I wouldn’t necessarily take too much at face value, especially on the average discussion forum, unless I got to know the people well by regularly interacting with them. My personal philosophy is to take everything with a grain of salt. Each individual must be taken on a case by case basis.

          In this particular case, she probably is who she presents herself as. But I still wouldn’t put much significance in what she says. I doubt she is representative of anyone other than the average abnormal forum commenter. What goes for mainstream on online discussion forums is probably far different than what goes for mainstream for the average person in reality. I’ve rarely come across online discussion forums that seem representative of large groups of people in offline reality.

          If one spends too much time on the internet, one begins to get an extremely distorted view of reality.

  90. ……….

    “It’s like me being irritated when a random acquaintance walks up to me (Chinese) and starts a conversation off by making comments about how wonderful my heritage is, or how they went to China and everything was so beautiful. Meanwhile, I’m thinking… I’m American, what do I want to talk about China for? And don’t even ask me to translate for you either, especially if the characters are actually Korean and not Chinese. Grrr. However, I usually just politely disengage from them and run in another direction.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/relationships/427195-interracial-relationships-have-you-ever-been-28.html#ixzz3kXVV5BsH

  91. What I get out of Miu is that her parents are Chinese immigrants who settled in NYC flushing, a heavily asian area. However her parents divorced and her dad was basicay outta her life. She calls her dad her “ex-dad.” After that her mum married a white guy and she grew up in an all white area. She not likes white men and look at her attitude towards other non-whites including her own ethnic group…

    Well, there’s one person who fits one guy on a black american forum asking why so many asian women self hate… Daddy issues

    • Such articles amuse me. There is the offering of interesting info mixed with basic confusion.

      “The discovery raises the possibility that around 30,000 babies a year could be diagnosed and treated with thyroid tablets before the problem damages their education.”

      There is an element of genetic determinism thrown in for good measure, but in a kind of vague way, just a cultural assumption that doesn’t even need to be stated explicitly. Then it discusses the actual data that disproves genetic determinism.

      There is no such thing as genetic influence separate from environment, since genetics are part of and an expression of the evolutionary environment. All the article says is that some genetics under particular environmental conditions lead to particular IQ results and under other conditions lead to other IQ results.

      This shows that genetics themselves aren’t the determining factor. Thyroid hormone levels is a health issue. There are many factors that contribute to this. If we ensured that all children experienced optimal conditions for thyroid health, then probably millions or billions of children would be ensured to have higher IQs.

      Part of the problem is modern environmental conditions are in many ways far different from the environmental conditions humans evolved under for hundreds of thousands of years. It is unsurprising that there sometimes is an unhealthy relationship between our biological inheritance and our modern environmental conditions. All the article is saying is that many children don’t live in environments that optimize the full health and cognitive potential inherent to their genetics.

      That would have been a much more interesting and accurate conclusion to have stated in the article. I think the author of the article has their IQ impaired and could use some improvement of their environmental conditions, whether through health intervention or education intervention.

  92. 19. Yes, when I first heard the story and then saw his mother was asian I was like ‘aha…and she’s married to a WHITE guy…and I think her husband or man before that was ALSO white? It’s so sad how asians are taught to hate their own race, but in the case of the women they buy into it WAY more than the asian men do, cuz you see, the asian women (and society as a whole) is fed this idea (at least in the US) that asian men are dorks. It is EXTREMELY rare to see an asian male depicted in TV or film with a love interest. Most times the asian male is ALONE….no mention of a love interest. No so with the asian actresses in the US. They are almost ALWAYS paired with a non asian male. Coincidence? Not enough asian male actors out there? I think not. And don’t tell me the asian actresses don’t notice they are always paired with a non asian male? clearly they dont care though..,..none of them want to stand up for their asian brothers because after all …most of these women HATE being asian and hate asian men. They have been taught to worship whitey, and now are even chasing after the forbidden, exotic, and (giggle giggle) big black man. When you see so many asian women with non black men ti’s very clear that in most instances it’s the women doing the chasing or otherwise make it very clear to these men that they are er….receptive to them. It’s really quite messed up, and oh so transparent. But no one wants to talk about it much less acknowledge it, especially these asian women (you know…the very same women who ‘complain’ about all the men with yellow fever ‘chasing them’, and then who are these women dating/married to? WHITE MEN. Talk about hypocrites. but you gotta admit it’s a clever ploy of these women…go on and on about YELLOW fever and then no one will think to question HER and HER possibly racist motives for always ending up with non asian men. But hey, I guess we are the ‘racists’ for even bringing this up right? 😉
    Posted by: lisa evers | Jun 27, 201412:36 AM
    20. Advice from a Asian Hi, Guillermo glad to read your article. As a chinese who grows up partially in China and partially in Europe I just want to say asian americans have problems, big problems. One of the most important is: they don’t learn their own history. all people in US just learn the “white history”: english history, german history, french history, well, just the european history. NO body needs to learn what happened to the ppl in China and Japan or other asian countries. you think that ain’t a problem? No, to my experience, knowing chinese history made me proud, it’s simple, we had a very rich history, after leaning it you realize you were leading most of the time white ppl just got ahead in recent 300 years. We defeated mongols for thousand years while mongols raped Europe for thousands years. That’s where my pride comes from. Without this pride, you can only hate yourself being a asian, because you are not white.

  93. “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.” –Noam Chomsky

    The DNC is trying to coronate Hillary.

    • Chomsky has a way of hitting the nail on the head.

      As for the Democratic Party, I long ago lost interest in it, not that I ever had much in the first place. Party politics are boring. Wake me up when the revolution begins.

    • “Congress Passes Bill To Add Armed Patrol To U.S. Poverty Line ”

      Do they really need more funding to better patrol? It seems they are already doing an excellent job. Otherwise, more great reporting from The Onion.

  94. http://www.theonion.com/article/5-year-old-underfunded-kindergarten-enjoying-last–51230

    5-Year-Old At Underfunded Kindergarten Enjoying Last Few Weeks Before Achievement Gap Kicks In

    SHREVEPORT, LA—Saying the sense of equality and self-worth wouldn’t last much longer, local 5-year-old Katie Williams told reporters Tuesday that she was enjoying the final few weeks before the achievement gap between her and children at better-funded schools really kicked in. “Pretty soon, kids my age who live in wealthier districts will start testing better than me in every subject, so I might as well try to make the most of this parity while I have it,” said Williams, adding that she planned to savor the experience of being on equal footing with other 5-year-olds until the difference in resources being funneled to their respective schools began hindering her ability to learn basic language skills and math. “I really want to appreciate what little time I have left, because once I’ve internalized the idea that I’m not as smart as other kids, it’s only going to get worse. When I’ve dropped out of school nine or ten years from now, I want to at least know that I took full advantage of this time in my life.” At press time, a teacher was passing out tablet computers to a kindergarten class across town.

  95. So I was just looking at a clinical psychology textbook, and…

    now im depressed again. I was just sheddding that hdd shit

    BTW, iq score gets more heritible the older you are, showing early malleability/intervention may be key. But thaT early intervention so far has been mixed.

    • They don’t get more heritable in the normal genetic sense.

      It’s just that we have less knowledge and technology at present to create the conditions that would alter the expression of genetics in older people. It is easier to do make vast improvements in young people. But recent scientific research shows that there are ways to reverse to some extent even damage done when people are young. The main problem is that the genetic-environment link becomes mostly set at a certain age and we aren’t good at resetting it, even if there is immense genetic potential that remains untapped.

      That said, your statement is technically true in the scientific definition of ‘heritable’, a term that few people understand. But that isn’t what genetic determinists mean by it.

    • That is what real terrorism looks like. It is the wanton abuse of power that destroys lives and then the refusal of those who help cause the suffering to alleviate the suffering. It is a violence so horrific that it expresses itself as a depraved moral indifference.

  96. So, I was just thinking about the thread that started this all: the fact that am exists, and why it does, and why trp attracts some am. I was thinking about the racial issues faced by Asians, and how there is so much gender division among Asians. Asian women are hyper sexualized, asian men emasculated. In America, asian women marry and date out at a higher rate than other women. Asian women are the only women who don’t prefer their own race in this nation. The reverse is not true: asian men do not prefer white women. The same issue exists in the black community with reversed genders, but even then, to a much lesser extent. As a result, asian men and black women are seen as undesirable.
    There are countless other issues. In general, asian american voices are marginalized even compared to other minorities like blacks and Latinos, and Asians have less political power and voice. Asian voices, especially Asian male voices, are marginalized. Mainstream liberals are often criticized for marginalizing many voices. This includes Asians. Especially Asians, even.
    On the marginalized voices, it’s evident on thebluepill. As white fiminism is often criticized for ignoring issues by POC women, it is especially guilty of ignoring POC men. Even though many bloopers are aware of issues, we saw that in TBP, gender issues affecting asian men were minimized and marginalized. Dismissed as “preferences.” Systematic racism against Asians, especially asian men, that affect gender, are brushed off by liberals. Many Asians criticize liberals for ignoring Asians as “not oppressed enough.” We see this.
    Because, you see, preferences don’t come out of thon air. They are indeed influenced by society, and the lack of desirability of asian men, even by their own race, is not born out of thin air. There is a very real societal racism influencing this. And for liberally minded people to brush off asian male concerns, creates the rise of am.
    But what if the situation is reversed? What if it was black women raising the same issue, since black women experience the same? I think, that TBP would take them more seriously, because they are women. I wonder, of black women talk about how undesirable thy are by society, TBP would be more sympathetic to the idea that societal and media influence influences desirability and perception, rather than brushing it off as “people have preferences and can’t help it. Get over it. I have no time to care about your issues, at least you are not beig shot by police.” Because these issues matter, and it’s insane that people supposedly fighting for the marginalized, marginalize people themselves.

  97. I’m looking forward to seeing North Quincy High compete on High School Quiz Show this weekend!

    I’m white and live in Quincy. I agree with both perspectives here. I’ve certainly seen examples of racism–for instance, a storefront will stand vacant for years. Then an Asian business moves in and people complain, “The Asians are taking over!” Would people really prefer vacant storefronts?

    I also agree that the Asian kids have a positive impact on the schools. And the Asians commit much less crime, per capita.

    At the same time, I am frustrated by some behavior, from what I assume are recent immigrants. Spitting all over the sidewalks. Coughing and sneezing on trains without covering their mouths. Darting into the street, in the midst of traffic, not 100 feet from a crosswalk. (There have been a huge number of Chinese pedestrians hit by cars in Quincy.) Not following the rules of the road while driving. Etc.

    On the whole, I think the Chinese influence in Quincy is positive. But I don’t find myself wishing for the old-timers to all be replaced, either. There is a long-standing working class community here. Quincy is still one of the most affordable cities in the greater Boston area. I don’t want it to become super-gentrified, flashy and expensive.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/massachusetts/1738131-my-racial-experiences-asian-american-boston-8.html#ixzz3kdtt1dN9

  98. Sorry to bump an old thread, but this is a good conversation.

    I’m also Chinese-American, highly educated, but born and grew up in a wealthy part of China (Shanghai). As a visible Asian minority, there’s definitely a certain tension walking around Quincy that I didn’t experience in say Cambridge, Newton, Dedham, Hull, Hingham, Marblehead, Lynn, Saugus, Natick, Milford, you get the idea.

    I hate to agree partly with miu, but there should be some responsibility of the Chinese newcomers in Quincy to at least try to learn English and mingle more with the larger community (i.e., give business not to just the Chinese ones). What’s the point of coming to the US to replicate China? That’s the same kind of full-retard attitude I see in some Hispanic communities as well (escape Guatemala to join a Latino gang in the west side of Chicago, outcome: largely the same).

    Part of the reason why there is tension is that BOTH the Asian newcomers and the white locals aren’t all that educated (I generalize). Most of the Chinese moving into Quincy are low-skill Cantonese villagers who came through chain migration, not the H1B/student Chinese immigrants that can be found throughout many college towns in America. I could almost strangle the Chinese FOB I saw on Hancock landing a massive loogie onto the sidewalk. Some of the superstitious stuff I see going on (like during a grand opening or home purchase) makes even me a China-born Chinese (but not born in Bum Fùk Mi village) cringe. And the goddamn parasols!

    Also because the Chinese community in Quincy is so large and tend to be from the same small area of China, whatever things these Chinese in Quincy do, I feel like I’m guilty by association simply of being also Chinese. You become trapped with perceived cultural traditions and habits that aren’t really even yours to begin with! I mean China is a HUGE continental-sized country that is as ethnically and culturally diverse as Europe.

    But for the most part these Chinese immigrants work hard, save every penny, and emphasize school to their children. By the time the second-generation starts living in Quincy, I envision the place to be a lot more assimilated and wealthier. The risk (I think low) is that Quincy turns into a seedy Chinatown full of the equivalent of Chinese “white trash” before the second-generation is contemplating buying in the neighborhood.

    So while I agree with miu’s viewpoint now of the Chinese community in Quincy and how it’s viewed by the locals, I do think in the long run Quincy will be a fairly nice place with minimal racism. Education is the key.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/massachusetts/1738131-my-racial-experiences-asian-american-boston-8.html#ixzz3kduMGCCm

  99. oh miu miu

    ”Well… I guess that pennyone has never spent any serious time in Boston’s Chinatown. That place is definitely not as squeaky clean. They’ve always had issues with Chinese gangs, and there are still Asian gangs around today. In addition, there are private gambling clubs and not all Chinese and Asians strive for their kids to be college bound. Basically, when any immigrant decides to immerse themselves in a community of their own nationality and is not able to speak and read English well, they tend to get taken advantage of by thugs of their own background.

    I also object to pennyone lumping all Asian nationalities into one stereotype of Asian cultural behaviour. Honestly, speaking from personal experience, of all the Asian nationalities (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipinos, Indian and Pakistani), I would say that the Japanese would fit pennyone’s stereotype most perfectly. Next would be the Koreans. The Japanese and Koreans tend to keep their homes clean and will leave their shoes by the door and walk around inside in stocking feet. However, the Japanese and Koreans (that I’ve known) tend to smoke cigarettes, so that can offset their cleanliness factor. But if I were to take in tenants again, a Japanese tenant would always be my first preference for the timeliness of their rent payments, honouring the lease agreement to the letter, consideration towards their neighbors, and the lack of personal drama.

    And I won’t say which ones are sometimes referred to (by other Asians) as “Jungle Asians” for their lack of academic and cultural achievements within their home countries. But yes, no Asian person likes being stereotyped and grouped together with Asians of other nationalities. Historically, there have been frictions between all of the Asian countries. And I have a Korean manager who gets upset when others joke about one of the Chinese workers being her sister.

    Again, it’s a grave disservice to help and encourage to formation of these little ethnic communities where the recent immigrants can get by without learning to speak and read their new country’s language. When you allow adult immigrants to get by without learning English well, they produce children who will also have poor English skills and need more help with their classes since their parents will be unable to help them with their homework. And that ends up costing the rest of us taxpayers more to educate their children. I firmly believe that no immigrant should be a financial burden to their new home country, a country that they freely chose to move to.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/massachusetts/1738131-my-racial-experiences-asian-american-boston-6.html#ixzz3kdv6zVFa

  100. Yes. Government handouts are just enough for the chronic poor to maintain their slacker lifestyle and keep reproducing. And it’s not unusual for a family on government handouts to have several generations doing the same. They have enough to get by and still have their smartphones, cigarettes, booze and other vices. They also throw money away on lottery tickets. Having this safety net has caused the chronic poor to have no incentive to leave their cocooned existence. There is nothing forcing them to stand on their own two feet and be independently productive. It’s just too scary and risky for them to leave their comfortable existence of doing nothing to make too much money to qualify for government help.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/politics-other-controversies/2439894-disgraceful-surging-ranks-americas-ultra-poor-5.html#ixzz3kdvU2P3D

  101. Oh that… well it’s their garbage lifestyle and laziness that causes them to lack any valuable job skills. No one has a right to a decent paying job. You want a good job, then put some real effort into bettering yourself. Go back to school, or at the very least go learn a trade. Then pool your whole family’s income into a savings account, stop having babies you can’t afford to raise, and together buy real estate that needs fixing up, then fix it up yourself with your new trade skills… then sell for a profit and repeat the process. Honestly, a college education is not the guaranteed path to success in America, plus one ends up with massive student debt. And raising minimum wages is also not the answer as all other prices rise along with that increase. Having a career on minimum wages just means always being on the bottom level of income. Those jobs are mean to be starter jobs for teens and young adults, never family breadwinners.

    What more recent immigrants have over the chronically impoverished is that they are willing to do anything to get ahead. They aren’t waiting for government handouts.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/politics-other-controversies/2439894-disgraceful-surging-ranks-americas-ultra-poor-2.html#ixzz3kdvhTQia

  102. Well, I think that our post is, if you ever get pulled over by a cop, it honestly won’t be due to the colour of your skin. Or your foreign accent. As if you are polite and respectful to the officer, most likely (unless you have done something extremely horrible like excessive speeding) you will be let off with a warning.

    So I hope you know that when you are pulled over in your car, pull your vehicle way over to the side of the road to park, so that the officer isn’t going to be hit by a passing vehicle. Roll your window all of the way down and then shut off your engine. And place both of your hands on the steering wheel. If it is dark outside, then turn on your inside dome light so that the officer can see you better and that both of your hands are on the steering wheel.

    Don’t ever argue with the police officer. If you are in disagreement with the officer, just take the ticket and argue it later on in court.

    ^^^ I always do this, and I am an older (Asian) woman.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/new-hampshire/1426273-being-black-nh-nashua-live-moving-7.html#ixzz3kdvr1YCS

  103. Going by my white boyfriend’s experiences, the local cops treat all vehicles alike, if you are speeding, have a loud exhaust, an expired inspection sticker, or doing anything else that you’re not supposed to be doing, they will pull you over for the sake of generating income. No one is getting a pass for being white aka non-minority. The cops are looking at the vehicle, not the colour of the driver’s skin.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/new-hampshire/1426273-being-black-nh-nashua-live-moving-7.html#ixzz3kdwMcvIW

  104. To the OP, how diverse should a neighborhood be? Reflective of the overall US population numbers? Or the US prison population? Or even numbers of each?

    At work, the lunch tables are pretty much self-segregated by race. Occassionally, by age group. But it’s very clear that the bro’s have a special bond. Then the Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese speaking people prefer to chat amongst themselves.

    In the 1970’s a black family was imported into Concord, MA, a middle-class white majority suburb with a reputation for a great public school system. The down payment on the house was paid for by a liberal group. The family just had to keep up with the mortgage payments. My parents paid $70K for our house, so their place must have been around that or less (ours was newer construction). Anyway, after a year or so, the house was foreclosed on. The interior of the house was trashed.

    Anyway, one thought I have is that most blacks I know prefer city life. It’s just much more interesting to them. They like the clubbing scene with their type of music and dancing. The women like their makeup, high heels and hair styling. Concord, MA had none of that. My current town in NH also has none of that in a bigger way. The blacks I work with in the Boston area would be very bored with suburban and country life. And their ebonic speech patterns with their hip urban slang just doesn’t fit in either. And If I had kids, I’d be really mad if my children were to start talking all streetwise.

    I admit that I get along much better with blacks who can just talk like a normal (white) person.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/charlotte/2426934-survey-how-encourage-racial-diversity-4.html#ixzz3kdwaQfkI

  105. I don’t know any teens that actually have no money at all. Otherwise, how else would they buy their makeup, clothing and get out there to meet the boys they are having sex with? And of course, every teen and young adult I know has a smartphone to text their friends with… so a big back at you!!!

    In addition, I don’t understand what this trend is towards every person who mismanages their life and personal budget to be so deserving of FREE healthcare, housing and food. So many getting government handouts are now unable to function without them. All that sort of help was meant to be a temporary fix, not a lifetime habit.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/politics-other-controversies/2418150-why-cant-poor-people-afford-birth-21.html#ixzz3kdwzbhfT

  106. tak nravitsya

    Do you have a specific ethnic group in mind? There is a big Vietnamese community in Dorchester (Boston), MA. Some of the best Pho places are in Dorchester, and some of the squeakiest clean Vietnamese restaurants I’ve ever seen…and I’ve been to Little Saigon in CA.

    And I won’t say which ones are sometimes referred to (by other Asians) as “Jungle Asians” for their lack of academic and cultural achievements within their home countries. But yes, no Asian person likes being stereotyped and grouped together with Asians of other nationalities. Historically, there have been frictions between all of the Asian countries.
    Urgh. I hate that term “Jungle Asians”. It’s really offensive, especially if it’s coming from a certain Korean American comedian, even if it was satire. Yeah, like the Koreans didn’t get their countries bombed the *** out like Vietnam or get invaded by the Japanese (who just invaded everyone back in the day) or get their poor women treated as prostitutes. Sniff, so what if the Koreans have the most delicious tasting meats in the world. In Vietnam, we have the fish sauce and the um, tropical fruit desserts and French influenced cuisine…

    As for the whole shoe in the house custom. I’ve seen some very Americanized Japanese Americans walk around the house in their street shoes. Whereas my Chinese and Vietnamese relatives are so obsessed about cleanliness that they even have “guest” slippers because they feel bad about making non-household members take off their shoes and walk around barefoot or with slippery socks. I know every time a repairman or cable guy walks through my apartment in their boots, a little part of my inner Asian mother freaks out inside.

    I would also add that these days it can be harder to determine what someone can be. Certainly if someone writes down a language it can be a giveaway but colonalization and modern trends changed things. During the 1990’s I went to France and a waiter in Paris thought me and some friends were German
    Haha. I went to Paris last summer, and we were shuffled to the backroom at a nice French restaurant. At first, we (Asian Americans) were confused and thought, “Oh, maybe they don’t like Asian people sitting at the windows or maybe we looked too youngish.” Then we started realizing that we understood all the conversations buzzing around us in the backroom, though they were all in different accents of English…we found ourselves amongst middle-aged Cantonese Hong Kong couple speaking with British accents; young, white Australians from a Contiki tour; British black professionals; and an entire midwestern American family….

    It turns out the restaurant had put all the English-speakers into one room. And the patient, English-speaking French waiter seemed DELIGHTED to be serving us all. I’m guessing it’s because most of us English speakers were in the habit of tipping waiters 15-20% which is higher than the norm.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/massachusetts/1738131-my-racial-experiences-asian-american-boston-6.html#ixzz3kdx7heiZ

  107. Rant: I hate when Asian Americans are concerned abotu racism and some guy always ahs to say ”look how racist Asia is!” like that’s related to the topic

    ”Originally Posted by gamma19 View Post
    What is surprising to me is the level of racism in Quincy against Asians, especially since Asians make up such a huge portion of the city population (something I didn’t know until I moved here). Furthermore, when I’m in Boston itself (financial district, back bay, downtown areas) I feel pretty safe and accepted. I’ve also been to Cambridge to hang out a few times and I didn’t feel any racial tension there either.

    Anyway, those are my experiences, I just wanted to get that off my chest and am wondering if anybody else has seen or experienced anything like what I wrote about?
    Perhaps, but it wasn’t long ago Quincy was mostly all white. Now, imagine what happens when white people go to an Asian country, for instance, China or Japan. There would be considerable discrimination. Now, take it a step further, if white people kept immigrating in droves, displacing natives, taking jobs, etc. Those people would be treated a lot worse than you will ever be treated in this country. And in Asia there are no hate laws, or anti-discrimination laws.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/massachusetts/1738131-my-racial-experiences-asian-american-boston-6.html#ixzz3kdxDdl8S

  108. Buddy, if my scenario is so imaginary, why are you experiencing racism? And who really cares if you were born here?? You don’t look any different from any other Asian. Sorry, but your image of America, is not the melting pot you, and some other politically correct people insist on believing in. This country was a former colony of England. As a matter of fact our entire culture came from England! Our judicial system, our legislative/government, our education and our democracy all came from England. And most other immigrants were almost exclusively Western European. It wasn’t until LBJ abolished the National Origins act did we even allow a lot of non-Western Europeans into our country.
    Rate this post positively

    Old 12-12-2012, 05:43 PM

    1,947 posts, read 1,311,531 times
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    I was trying to be polite and not argue against Miu’s previous post against me for some imaginary “Asiatown”. But it seems that 9162’s comment above has really stole the show on this topic. While Miu browbeats new Chinese immigrants for wanting to move to Quincy in droves (for a variety of economic, social and cultural reasons), it seems that, even with Miu’s “flawless” English and other brave and proud efforts at assimilation, someone like 9162 will still consider her like “any other Asian”. So I guess 9162 thinks all Asians look the same, even those with “flawless English”! So much for all that hard work at assimilation!

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/massachusetts/1738131-my-racial-experiences-asian-american-boston-6.html#ixzz3kdxjHos1

  109. I just happened on this tread because it showed on the main page and it caught my attention because I like to hear stories of asian-americans who’ve grown up on the mainland US and compare them to my upbringing. I grew up in Hawaii and hearing all these stories about the racism asians have received on the mainland, I’m so glad I did. I’ve never really been the victim of overt racism (knock on wood) during my time living mostly in Hawaii but also a few years on the mainland. I mean a couple times I’ve been called racist names by someone I’m already upset at but nothing too serious, and I usually yell something back to them. I guess I’ve just been lucky in that respect. Being that Hawaii’s culture is a mix of asian, polynesian, white, and many other’s, there’s really no dominant culture here.

    I’ve never felt my race was anything that could hold me back, in fact many times I felt like it was an asset (ex. applying for jobs). My self-esteem never suffered because of my race (although it did suffer from severe acne in high school, LOL). Even to this day I never feel the need to fit in anywhere, I’m confident in who I am. I’m pretty sure I would have turned out differently had I grown up in a place like the OP. With my personality, I probably would be more angry and want to lash out, and less confident of myself. Well I just wanted to share a little about my life experience.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/massachusetts/1738131-my-racial-experiences-asian-american-boston-3.html#ixzz3kdyKUHx8

  110. miu miu

    A few more thoughts… and speaking as an educated Chinese American who speaks English flawlessly.

    1. Most of the Asians living in Quincy creating a new Chinatown are NOT educated and they speak English poorly. What they have going for them is that they are very hardworking food service workers holding down two jobs and as a family pooling their money. That is how they are able to buy real estate.

    2. And they want a chinatown so that they can speak their home tongue and mingle with others of their culture.

    3. Most well educated Asians with good English speaking skills, well educated and with well paying jobs would prefer to live in good communities which are predominately white and with good public schools. They are keen to assimilate into Western society, therefore they aren’t interested in living in a chinatown.

    And lastly, not everyone is meant to be a homeowner. Renting is a very valid lifestyle. And trying to enable ALL Americans to be homeowners is what helped create our last housing crisis with the burst value bubble and the mortgage foreclosures. I object to the notion that those who don’t like the situation can solve it by “buying back their neighborhood”. What is this… some sort of real estate market war you want to start? And then you would get people paying over market value for their homes and causing another real estate bubble.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/massachusetts/1738131-my-racial-experiences-asian-american-boston-3.html#ixzz3kdyQAk2d

  111. well im a american born chinese and i was born and raised in boston, been around quincy, and lived in other states. i also lived in small towns before.

    what you described, it will get worse if china and america have issues. the average american will get racist very fast. just look at what happened in 9/11 and middle eastern folks here. or, look at the Japanese interment. people were interned even if they were 1/16th Japanese, that is if one of your great, great grandparents were Japanese, your going to the camps. all it takes is one manipulation from the news or the government to spread hate. some Chinese are 5th generation, some of their ancestors came in the 1800’s. a second generation russian/european kid can be fully american. if you asked me the real americans are the natives, their land got robbed. we are still living on the land that was taken away from them.

    quincy, before there was not many chinese there. when the 70 and 80’s came along, many chinese came in a wave, and once they got money, they started buying up quincy, thats why there is 50% asians there. some people feel that quincy is being taken over. there will always be racist people and non racist people. i think your experience a little bit of identity crisis (if you went to your ethnicity’s country) in my case, china, i would be considered too american and cant speak mandarin. but in the states, im just a chinaman to some people. if i have kids, their chances of speaking chinese is very little, but their skin color is still yellow.

    what you said about that guy going to stab you, google “vincent chin” and you will understand.

    pm me if you have questions.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/massachusetts/1738131-my-racial-experiences-asian-american-boston.html#ixzz3kdytXx9r

  112. Anyway, I am a Chinese American woman who grew up in Concord, MA, went to college in Providence and ended up living in Cambridge and then Newton… and I have experienced very little racism. In fact, I feel very much welcomed anywhere I’ve been in New England. I am very much Americanized and speak flawless English.

    Only two times have I ever had racial slurs thrown at me. Both were sort of road rage incidents. The first was when I honked an SUV that was straddling two lanes on the Fresh Pond Parkway. When he finally selected one lane to be in, I was able to pass him. Then we were abreast at a red light, where he yelled and called me a ***. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to tell him what a sloppy driver he was and that I was actually Chinese. The second time was many years later. My bf and a white trash driver were having some frictions in Watertown Square. Four lanes across at the main intersection which always causes some confusion as to which lane to pick. Anyway, at another red light, we were abreast of this car. Our windows were rolled up and as we turned to look at the car, we could see that the driver (who was to our right) was angrily mouthing something to my bf. My bf rolled down his power window just in time to hear “and your g**k gf!” And actually, the comment bothered my (white) bf to the point where he pulled over to discuss it with this driver. As for me, all I could think of was that I wasn’t Korean.

    Anyway, being called a racial slur has never bothered me. And I only think that the people using them are just terribly uneducated and of the trash element.

    Otherwise, I understand why some Quincy residents would be resentful and even mad over their city being taken over by Asians. Demographic changes are never taken well by any community. I know that I would not be happy if my own neighborhood changed, like if there was an invasion of loud college students or ghetto culture. Or if their was a massive influx of families with lots of young kids and teens. I love my peaceful older and quiet neighbors.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/massachusetts/1738131-my-racial-experiences-asian-american-boston.html#ixzz3kdz1hL74

  113. What I find interesting about this thread is that it’s acceptable to throw around the term “white trash” and that it’s also acceptable for these Asians to create a chinatown in Quincy. Why no encouragement for the Chinese to go out and integrate into other cities and towns? What they are doing is very anti-diversity, and usually the members of this board are all about having more diverse neighborhoods. Asians make up only 6% of the overall US population, so these chinatowns are not reflective of what an even distribution of races in any area ought to be.

    And imo encouraging the OP to move to Quincy is only adding fuel to the fires of the racial tension in Quincy.

    And it’s really naive to think that only ignorant “white trash” are upset about the waves of Asians moving into Quincy. What if Quincy was turning into a mini India and the non-Indians were complaining about the curry spices smell emanating from their neighbors’ kitchen windows?

    Otherwise… what the Asians are doing in Quincy supports my belief that it’s only natural human nature to want to live around others of similar race and culture. The Asians are moving to Quincy because they want to be close to their Asian grocery stores and restaurants and to have Asian neighbors where they live. And they will have more people to talk their mother tongue with. And then it will also be much more likely that their children will grow up and only marry other Asians. So we should be fair and not put down “white trash” or any white people who might be grumbling about their predominately white neighborhoods are changing in the other threads on C-D.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/massachusetts/1738131-my-racial-experiences-asian-american-boston-2.html#ixzz3kdzDVVKJ

  114. To be frank, I am not surprised at all. My family is Asian. My cousins live in Quincy near Wollaston and they moved there from Dorchester. He’s a gun-wielding Boston Police Officer. Obviously, when he’s in uniform he doesn’t get any lip. But when I asked him how it was to live in Quincy, he rolled his eyes and just muttered “big town but small minds”. I don’t think his kids have any problems in the school system, but my sense is that the parents face some racist flak. My husband suggested Quincy was “nice” after visiting my cousins very large home and he suggested perhaps we should move there, and I had to sit him down and explain to him what my cousin’s comment really meant.

    I’ve lived in South Boston for 25+ years in the poorer section in and near the projects, which is now getting very gentrified. I wish I could report that the racist taunts have lessen over the years. The taunters have turn from poor whites to poor blacks. But it’s always children and teenagers, and I’m shocked that adults would think they can get away with threatening a young woman of any race. I’ve had my slew of the ching-chong jibberish nonsense, fresh off the boat comments, and karate chops. But never the ch*nk.

    I think you’re going to see it throughout Boston where there are ignorant, ill-mannered people. My husband (who is mixed race) told me he saw a disturbing incident on the downtown T where a bunch of laughing black teenagers flicked pieces of paper onto a sitting Asian man, and no one on the mostly empty train had the nerve to tell them to stop except one outraged, older black woman (good for her). So I say it’s a manners, maturity, or an education thing (and idiots are especially emboldene

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/massachusetts/1738131-my-racial-experiences-asian-american-boston-2.html#ixzz3kdzORxjE

  115. From my own experiences growing up in Concord and living in Cambridge and Newton, you would be welcomed working and living anywhere in the entire state of Massachusetts. But the only resistance would be in a situation like in Quincy where there is a growing new Asiatown where there are many Asians that don’t speak English well. So if you were to move to a white neighbor, it honestly wouldn’t be any big deal. But if moved to Quincy and in the immediate area of a predominately Asian neighbor, most likely there would be resentment from longtime white residents.

    So to summarize, individually, you are welcome anywhere in Massachusetts.

    And BTW the same negativity would be felt towards any group bringing in a different non-English speaking culture, nationality or religion into a community which used to be predominately white and English speaking.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/massachusetts/1738131-my-racial-experiences-asian-american-boston-7.html#ixzz3kdzkrEnm

  116. OMG. I just realized. Miu=Michelle Malkin! lol

    Actually not. On my own, I am completely assimilated. And many times, new contacts have asked me if I was native American or Hawaiian. And it’s because of my mannerisms. I dress, move and speak unlike any Asians outside my family. In Chinatown, I stand out as not blending in with “my people”.

    And as an Asian woman, unlike others of “my kind”, I take my driving skills seriously and have competed in autocross events. I am even mechanically savvy about my cars. I am expert on American and European antiques.

    Anyway, my point has been that individually and in small numbers, people of other nationalities, cultures and religions have an easy welcome in any Massachusetts community or workplace. But outside of Chinatown, if we become the new majority in these situations, the regular locals of course would be taken aback as they would be if faced with a sudden and heavy influx of any differing nationality or race. Sudden major changes are never easily accepted by most.

    As to Quincy, in all honesty, I never pass through there. I am not much of a South Shore person, so visiting that area is just not in my normal path of travel. However, I know many Asian friends and co-workers who live there, and only one or two living in other Massachusetts towns. And it does have a reputation for having an Asian center of commerce. So there is definitely a significant amount of Asians living and doing business in Quincy and much moreso than the majority of towns in Massachusetts. So I don’t think that a growing Asiatown in Quincy is in anyone’s imagination.
    Rate this post positively

    Old 12-13-2012, 10:58 AM

    Location: MA/NH
    13,655 posts, read 25,021,163 times
    Reputation: 10977
    Another thing that bothers me about pennyone’s posts in this thread, is that I think that she thinks it a bonus to have an Asiatown in her town, that she is able to enjoy the culture of China without the long plane flight, like an Epcot Center exhibit. And I find that attitude demeaning in the sense that the Asian American community isn’t for pennyone’s entertainment or anyone else’s. Chinatowns are not some sideshow for her viewing and eating pleasure.

    And when non-Asians visit Chinatowns, they are more struck by the differences in the culture than the commonalities. Especially when most of the Asians there don’t speak English well and only converse in their native tongues.

    And another downfall of have these ethnic pockets where the immigrants never have to learn English is that they get taken advantage of by those pretending to help them or just being bullied by their own kind. And that’s why how illegal sweatshops crop up and function. So it’s really much better for immigrants to be incorporated into the mainstream American society. Sure, it’s uncomfortable at first, but it does force them to learn English and step up to being American citizens in every sense.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/massachusetts/1738131-my-racial-experiences-asian-american-boston-7.html#ixzz3ke0J9nHG

  117. miu, if you read my posts carefully, you will see that I am not wishing to see an ‘Asiatown’ for my own benefit. My take for Quincy, a city that I pay plenty of taxes to, is that the arrival of large numbers of Asians is a good thing, for many reasons. My biggest credit to Asian people is that their kids work very hard at school, and this pans out quite clearly with the fact that North Quincy High, with more than 65% Chinese kids, is ranked far higher than the Quincy High with far lower percentage of student body being Asian. Also, North Quincy High is one of the last 16 to make it to the High School Quiz Show this season, along with the likes of Wellesley High and Needham High etc (you can see for yourself). North Quincy High has more than 93% graduation rate and more than 85% of the kids go off to college. You can theorize FOBs and smelly, spitty “Asiatowns” all you want, but my point is that North Quincy High has improved markedly over the course of the “Chinese invasion”. This is not something that can be taken away by anyone, even one with “flawless English”.

    Miu, I am happy that you are proud of your assimilation. You may be very happy with who you are, but please do not belittle the things I see everyday in my city. Like you said, you do not come through Quincy often. Let us agree to disagree. End of story.

    By the way, Miu, one does a “flawless” handstand or triple jump, but one possesses a “fluent” command of the English language.
    Last edited by pennyone; 12-13-2012 at 01:08 PM..
    Rate this post positively

    Old 02-06-2013, 03:46 AM

    1,948 posts, read 1,311,531 times
    Reputation: 4347
    Default A quick thing I found this morning
    This is for Miu, as part of our ongoing discussion about being Asian and assimilation into the American way of life…Please read this article from this morning.

    North Quincy High


    These are the kids of my Quincy Asian neighbors who are hardworking, diligent, and who love their newly adopted country. They are hardly creating an “Asian ghetto” in Quincy, but instead are combining the best elements of the American dream for success, the American spirit of community service and the age old Chinese cultural work ethics to make their city better. I dont think even you can fault them for not wanting to “assimilate”.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/massachusetts/1738131-my-racial-experiences-asian-american-boston-7.html#ixzz3ke0UOMlc

    • Another thing that bothers me about pennyone’s posts in this thread, is that I think that she thinks it a bonus to have an Asiatown in her town, that she is able to enjoy the culture of China without the long plane flight, like an Epcot Center exhibit. And I find that attitude demeaning in the sense that the Asian American community isn’t for pennyone’s entertainment or anyone else’s. Chinatowns are not some sideshow for her viewing and eating pleasure.

      And when non-Asians visit Chinatowns, they are more struck by the differences in the culture than the commonalities. Especially when most of the Asians there don’t speak English well and only converse in their native tongues.

      And another downfall of have these ethnic pockets where the immigrants never have to learn English is that they get taken advantage of by those pretending to help them or just being bullied by their own kind. And that’s why how illegal sweatshops crop up and function. So it’s really much better for immigrants to be incorporated into the mainstream American society. Sure, it’s uncomfortable at first, but it does force them to learn English and step up to being American citizens in every sense.

      Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/massachusetts/1738131-my-racial-experiences-asian-american-boston-7.html#ixzz3ke0nVblU

    • A Chinatown in some places is not really any different than an Amish community in a Midwestern state. The Amish community around here is a bit of a tourist attraction. The Amish have their own lifestyles, cultures, religion, and language. People visit their communities because of how different they are from mainstream society. It doesn’t matter that they are as white as white can be.

  118. I think this is the most cryptic, and depressing comment. You?

    ”Miu, I am not fighting with you. You are entitled to your views. I am simply pointing out 9126’s position that, regardless of whether you were born here in the US or a recent immigrant, or whether you speak “flawless English” or Chinglish, or dress a certain way or not, or still hold allegiance to China or not, you will still be “like any other Asians”. Hence, your very heroic effort at assimilation really doesn’t amount to much, at least in 9126’s universe. I guess you will never be good enough.

    For people like 9126, do you think any amount of your prescribed assimilation could suffice? My point, going back to the OP’s question, is that, at least in Quincy, there are still far too many “uneducated people” like 9126 who has this view. Even just one Asian, with the most “flawless English” would still be TOO many for Quincy!

    By the way, Miu, I lived and went to school in that beautiful campus on Lowell road for 4 years. I know Concord very well. It’s a highly educated and affluent town. I used to be on the running and rowing teams of this little boarding school, and I still remember the beauatiful fall colors all around me as we ran through the country roads and the acres of woods. I do have to tell you that, for the most part, the p