Racists are popping up like mushrooms these days, Donald Sterling hot on the trail of Cliven Bundy. Cliven Bundy is the kind of guy everybody assumed was a racist anyway, but Donald Sterling was due for an NAACP award. What’s up with that?
Donald Sterling is a very rich Jewish liberal of the kind that has sponsored the black cause since the early 20th century. At 80 he has been and adult, and a rich one, throughout all the modern civil rights era. He gets some media attention from owning an NBA team, so being involved in a business with mostly black employees is good for him. The NBA itself is run by nepotistic Jews, the new commissioner being the son of a friend and law partner of the last one. But- he doesn’t want blacks around him socially, and not even around his trashy gold-digger mistress.
There’s something that goes unsaid in all the racial debate, which is almost entirely between progressives who say blacks are victims of whites, and HBD advocates, who say blacks behave as they do because of genetics. Nature or nurture? There is a lot of nurture going on, but not of the kind people usually talk about.
The “Negro Problem” was what earnest liberals back in the 1950’s used to talk about what the US was going to do about blacks. In his 1963 essay, Norman Podhoretz had the temerity to say that in his personal experience, black people weren’t all that oppressed- in 1930’s Brooklyn the black kids were the ones doing the oppressing. Black people in the South were aggressive with poor whites, as Richard Wright tells us in “Black Boy” and in the North they had even fewer constraints. But in a general environment of assumed black inferiority, this could be still plausibly written off as an oppression issue.
Pop psychology came to the rescue of blacks. The Brown v. Board decision in 1954 made school segregation impermissible, not from any legal principle, but on the idea that it reduced the self-esteem of blacks, causing their poor performance in various metrics.
The whole nation embarked on the project of raising black people’s self-esteem. They- and we- were told they were in no way inferior, and in many ways superior. They were encouraged to feel wonderful about themselves, and proud of themselves, and to respond aggressively to anything they perceived as a challenge. Walter Russell Mead calls this “the new culture of pride and assertiveness”, in his delightfully understated way.
We’ve had two generations of this now, of this heavily promoted and harshly enforced policy of black wonderfulness. It has worked, in one way. Black people have very high self-esteem, to the point of narcissism. According to the theory, they should now be performing as well as whites. But they don’t. And the argument goes on- hidden racism, that must be rooted out by any means necessary, or genetic determinism.
There’s another thing going on here though. Think of a person who doesn’t have that much going for them, but has been told constantly by parents and teachers they are great. They have a lot of help shoring themselves up and getting nice things they couldn’t get on their own. They view their unearned status and possessions as theirs by right, but can’t take any responsibility for their shortcomings. They have a certain superficial charm, that is nice in small doses, but a bad temper that makes it dangerous to be around them if they are thwarted, or frustrated or questioned in any way. Do you really want to be around such a person? Do you want people close to you to be around such a person? Some work and government functions may require you to, and you may be required to pretend you like them for social reasons, but you will avoid them when you can and your general opinion of the will be, “What a tool…..”
Multiply this problem by most of the black population and you’ve got a real problem.
People like this wear out their welcome, eventually. If you want to hang out with people you have to bring something to the table. I read a newspaper article, decades ago, about UN diplomats in New York complaining nobody wanted to hang out with them any more. Apparently in the 1960’s it was very fashionable to have UN diplomats to your Manhattan parties, but by the 1980’s that wasn’t the case any more. The spurned seemed to mostly be Third World types, the trouble being just because your uncle is Dictator for Life and can get you a cushy posting in New York, doesn’t mean upper-class people in Manhattan have any interest in you.
This is why gays are the new blacks, and have been for a long time. Gays, or at least some portion, are much more socially attuned to what the elite like and make much better hangers-on.
Donald Sterling will get his whipping. It doesn’t really matter, because billionaires will still avoid socializing with blacks, and still want their trashy mistresses to avoid socializing with blacks. I’m baffled by why anyone would want to spend any time with Sterling or his “girlfriend” but there you have it.