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Friday, February 2 - 4:03pmSanction this postReply
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I take the word "underclass" to refer to those people that are entangled in a self-destructive behavior pattern of sexual predation, teenage pregnancy, welfare dependence, crime, and substance abuse. Unfortunately, there seem to be a lot of them.

 

Once a person is entangled in this, only he or she can get himself or herself out of it. The rest of us may be able to do things to make it easier or harder, but it is ultimately up to the individual.

 

In this country, the underclass is predominantly black. (I gather this is not true in other countries, such as England.) There are undoubtedly historical reasons for this which I will not try to analyze here. This should not be important and certainly does not change what I have already said. Since race looms large in America today, the blackness of the underclass becomes important in various ways.

 

It gives people in the underclass an excuse, if they wish to use it, for not trying to disentangle themselves or not trying very hard. It may not be a very good excuse, but it is an excuse.

 

It leads some people to say that non-blacks, especially whites, should not say anything about the underclass. Such exclusion of people from talking about an issue is not right and may lead to the loss of good ideas.

 

It provides fodder for people who are prejudiced against blacks and are looking for things to support their prejudices.

 

It skews the statistics for blacks. Different people may use these statistics in different ways, but if they do not acknowledge the skewing, they are not being honest.

 

(Edited by Doug Morris on 2/02, 4:05pm)



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Friday, February 9 - 8:22amSanction this postReply
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As I recall, the first person to earn a million dollars as a real estate salesman (as opposed to investor) was an ex-slave in Memphis.  The first woman to serve as president of a chartered bank was an ex-slave in Baltimore.  When I was in school, this book had just been out long enough that "everyone" had read it. Being newly enrolled, I had not (yet).

 

Guest host Frank Stasio has a conversation with Lawrence Otis Graham, lawyer and author of "Our Kind of People:Inside America's Black Upper Class." The book was first published in 1999 to critical acclaim, but also to a surprising amount of criticism from and controversy among upper class blacks. Graham says while he was surprised at the level of controversy, the book is intended to show that American blacks are not a homogenous group, but cover all economic and social strata. NPR here: https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1070628

 

I'll always remember a conversation I had back in the 1980's with a well-known New York literary figure about the black families who own weekend homes at Sag Harbor. He had spied on them on the beach, he said, and he could report that though they acted snobbish, they still ate watermelon. This ugly little joke showed, I thought, how uncomfortable even many of the most liberal white Americans are made by the idea of well-to-do black people. It is a discomfort that, sadly enough, has often been shared, ideologically and emotionally, by the wider black community itself. So immovably embedded in the American popular imagination -- so necessary to it, in some mysterious and tragic way -- is the equation of black with underclass that even icons of establishment success like Bill Cosby and Colin Powell have done little to seduce the public away from the conviction that the only authentic way to be black in America is to be poor. Although since the 19th century a growing body of literature has attested to another kind of African-American experience -- one of generations of material well-being -- books on the subject have most often been either ignored or greeted with a kind of amazed sensationalism, as shedding light on an entirely unknown world. -- New York Times here: http://www.nytimes.com/books/99/02/21/reviews/990221.21leelt.html



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Friday, February 9 - 9:38amSanction this postReply
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So immovably embedded in the American popular imagination -- so necessary to it, in some mysterious and tragic way -- is the equation of black with underclass that even icons of establishment success like Bill Cosby and Colin Powell have done little to seduce the public away from the conviction that the only authentic way to be black in America is to be poor.

 

That is so true (and well put).  But the equation of blacks with underclass isn't an accident. 

 

Progressivism's major engine, political correctness, and one of progressivism's central themes, identity politics, each USE the stereotyping of blacks as an underclass to gain more political control.  It is a sterotyping that is bigotry gone political and given a spin.  For generations, progressivism has used race as a political Trojan horse to provide a false moral front for the ever-continuing drive for control.  It is part of the new face of collectivism.  Identity politics is the latest version of socialism's class warfare.  Political correctness is a taught thought-control to get a population to take that political ideology as a religion.  "Gradualism" is the socialist theory of achieving their end without a violent revolution.  It is about using lies and propoganda, over generations if need be, to get people to vote themselves into socialism.  Political correctness says, in effect, "Here is a whip, beat yourself whenever your mind strays from the 'true' doctrine."  Successful blacks ruin the con.



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