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Black Man’s Burden: Those Who Make Them Victims

Posted By Larry Elder On January 19, 2011 @ 12:16 am In Afternoon Edition,Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 6 Comments

“Black man’s burden,” read the headline in the Los Angeles Times piece. “African-American men,” read the subheading, “are still often judged by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character.”

It must be MLK Day.

This is when the guilt-ridden, blame-seeking, personal-responsibility-avoiding, racism-under-every-rock, oh-so-sympathetic, victicrat media tell us about Martin Luther King’s “unfinished” legacy. Never mind that America, two years ago, elected a black president.

“Racism is like that,” Judy Belk wrote. “A dripping faucet of sorts. You ignore it until you can’t anymore.” As proof of today’s “dripping faucet” of “racism,” Belk gives three examples.

First, she warned her son, then 13, to be wary of “strange-acting folks” when riding on Oakland’s BART rapid transit system. Her son, however, told her that riders assumed him to be in the category of “strange-acting folks.” “I just noticed,” he said, “the last couple of times I was on BART, I could feel I was making several white women nervous when I sat near them. … I could just tell.” Her son, says Belk, was being … stereotyped! Racism!

News bulletin: The crimes committed by a minority of young blacks affect how others — of all races — view the majority of law-abiding young blacks. And Oakland is one of America’s most crime-ridden cities, with a disproportionately large amount of the crime committed by young black men. And though a lot of crime is same-race crime, when it is black-white interracial, by an overwhelming margin the perps are black and the victims are white.

By their early 30s, 3.2 percent of white males have been imprisoned, while 22.4 percent of black males — nearly 1 in 4 — have spent time behind bars. Yes, people find young black men, especially if they look and dress like Coolio, scarier than old white men who look and dress like Bob Newhart. Weird.

Jesse Jackson once told an interviewer that when hearing footsteps behind him while walking down a street at night, he is relieved if he turns to see the sound is coming from white feet.

Michelle Obama, when asked whether she worried about the safety of her then-presidential candidate husband, said, “I don’t lose sleep over it, because the realities are that, you know, as a black man, you know, Barack can get shot going to the gas station.” She probably didn’t mean a gas station in Beverly Hills.

Second, Belk said that her 6-foot-5-inch son, then 16, “stormed into the house complaining to no one in particular: ‘Why does everyone assume that just because I’m black, I play basketball? That’s just plain racist.’” Sure, while his height was “undoubtedly part of the equation, it wasn’t all of it (emphasis added).” What’s the rest of “the equation”? That a lot of black men who are tall don’t play basketball — and it’s “racist” to assume that they do? Oh, where have you gone, Rosa Parks?!

Third, Belk’s son, then starting graduate studies at the University of North Carolina, and her husband were victims of “racial profiling” on a road considered “treacherous territory for black men”: “The night he and my husband arrived in town to move him into his new apartment, they were stopped on the interstate by the police, allegedly for not moving to the outer lane when passing a police car that had stopped another driver.

… Like it or not, racial profiling still plays into many law enforcement decisions.” Racism, case closed!!!

Police departments in many major cities have long required cops to write down the race of those stopped, as well as the race of the cop doing the stopping. In some cases, cops do indeed stop a “disproportionate” number of black motorists — compared with their percentage of actual drivers. Does this show illegal “racial profiling,” as opposed to cops focusing on high-crime areas or cops responding to the very behavior of the drivers stopped?

New Jersey state troopers, during the late ’90s, were accused of illegally profiling black drivers on the New Jersey Turnpike. At the request of the U.S. Justice Department, the state commissioned an independent study to find out why troopers stopped so many black motorists. It turned out that black drivers drove faster than white drivers — and the faster the speed the more likely the driver was black. The Justice Department, citing “flawed methodology,” refused to accept the study. New Jersey commissioned a second study. Same result.

More to the point, Belk writes, “My husband told me he was glad to have been there to model … how to behave during a police stop, something every black man needs to be prepared to handle.” Exactly. Behave appropriately and so will the cops, the occasional bad apple aside.

Belk is right. There are certain things every young black person “needs to be prepared to handle.” And one of them is this: learning to reject newspaper articles, relatives, friends, teachers and the media that are determined to convince them that they remain forever victims. Now, more than ever, hard work, drive and focus win the race.


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