Sure, Goffman’s account of six years in the chaotic life of one random family includes numerous incidents of blacks choosing to prey upon each other for petty, stupid reasons, but that doesn”t count. You see, black people don”t have agency.
Or at least that’s Goffman’s interpretation. In an eviscerating review of On the Run in City Journal, however, anticrime intellectual Heather Mac Donald summarized the actual tragicomic events in Goffman’s book. A sample:
One night, when Ronny was 16, he and some Sixth Street associates try to break into a motorcycle store on the outskirts of Philadelphia to steal motorbikes. They fail to get in to the store and, when their Pontiac doesn”t start, are unable to make their getaway. Ronny calls Goffman and Mike at 2 AM to pick him up. (Mike is, at that point, living in Goffman’s apartment, along with Chuck.) The silent alarm in the motorcycle dealership has already alerted the police. They arrest Ronny and Mike, and in the stationhouse, Ronny falsely incriminates Mike as the mastermind behind the break-in. The police let Ronny go and charge Mike with attempted breaking and entering. Mike spreads the word that Ronny is a snitch. Eager to redeem his reputation, Ronny burgles a house in Southwest Philly with Mike’s gun and pays Mike’s bail with the proceeds from the stolen TV, stereo, and jewelry.
There are about a dozen paragraphs like this in Mac Donald’s review of Goffman’s book.
Eventually, in the emotional climax of Goffman’s study [spoiler alert]:
After Chuck is killed, she chauffeurs Mike around the neighborhood, Glock in his lap, as he seeks to find and gun down the murderer.
Uh…driving a would-be killer as he looks for a victim is, technically speaking, a felony called “conspiracy to commit murder.” When another reviewer pointed that out, Miss Goffman revised her sociological interpretation: Mike was just engaged in a sort of armed mourning ritual. The New York Times explained:
But what her critics can”t imagine is that perhaps both of the accounts she has given are true at the same time”that this represents exactly the bridging of the social gap that so many observers find unbridgeable.
It’s like SchrÃ¶dinger’s cat: alive or dead? Much like the guy Goffman was helping Mike try to find…
Of course, the unnoticeable reality is that the reason so many of these knuckleheads shoot each other is that they don”t know what they are going to do either, and when the time for choice comes, they aren”t very good at deciding intelligently.
If you think it’s punching downward to blame poor dumb black guys for killing each other, maybe you should punch upward against lauded thought-leaders like the Goffmans, father and daughter, who have expended so much intellectual energy socially constructing a higher homicide rate.
Miss Goffman’s book, published on May 1, 2014, helped establish the ideological atmosphere that led to the Obama administration’s catastrophic decision that August to support the Black Lives Matter rioters in Ferguson. Obama’s backing helped touch off a black-on-black murder wave in which homicides grew 29 percent from 2014 to 2016 in the thirty biggest cities. Thousands more blacks are dead because of this BLM-encouraged surge in murder.
Of course, the reason Mac Donald noticed that Goffman’s book doesn”t say what Goffman thinks it says is because Mac Donald is a notorious crimethinker. When Heather recently tried to speak at Claremont McKenna College, a mob led by students from the adjoining Pomona College assaulted people trying to attend.
Pomona’s president then sent out an email defending free speech as an aid in the search for truth. In response, a group of twenty black students scoffed that everybody knows truth is racist. Their open letter propounded:
Historically, white supremacy has venerated the idea of objectivity, and wielded a dichotomy of “subjectivity vs. objectivity” as a means of silencing oppressed peoples. The idea that there is a single truth””the Truth””is a construct of the Euro-West that is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment, which was a movement that also described Black and Brown people as both subhuman and impervious to pain. This construction is a myth and white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and the United States of America are all of its progeny.
Goffman might have found some pleasure in the Pomona black students” denigration of her ideological rival Mac Donald, who gave her such a bad review. But to the Pomona protesters, there’s not much difference between the two. Whereas twenty denounced Mac Donald, 128 excoriated Goffman:
…we demand the termination of her contract….
Should we not receive a response to our demands by Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 5PM, we will take direct action.
It’s simple: What matters in 2017 is that Goffman, like Mac Donald, is white.