No matter how particular students behave, there must be equality of outcome with respect to discipline in schools. It is the usual destructive leftist thinking. A rebellious and potentially criminal tendency is not addressed but, as it were, encouraged. We are all leveled down to sameness, for only by this means will there be nothing to resent. Indeed, it is largely resentment that drives equality of outcome, whether the idea is applied to schools or the workplace or whatever. That is why we rarely hear talk about economic sufficiency—that is, what people need to survive and live well—but almost always “income inequality.” One person has more than another, and for many that just won’t do, regardless of just desert. Meanwhile, deep down, few people really want everybody to have the same amount of wealth. The common leftist point of view is essentially selfish, albeit obfuscated by such lofty terms as social justice and equality.
The consequence of this blind leveling is the utter unraveling of the social order. It is particularly harmful to blacks, who, more than anyone, cannot afford to have excuses made for them. A black politician such as Cory Booker refuses to recognize that blacks commit certain crimes at higher incidences than other races. For him, the criminal justice system “targets” black people. Of course, given their terrible history in this country, one can readily understand what might motivate Booker to have such a belief. Nevertheless, it is mistaken, and as that wise woman Amy Wax frequently stresses, the way forward for blacks has nothing to do with the past. Like the rest of us, they too must live out what she calls “the bourgeois script”: working if you are able-bodied, delayed gratification, obeying the law, not having children out of wedlock, and all the predictable rest.
The problem here for blacks is that they are surrounded by lies, and many academics and journalists have a vested interest in peddling them. For there is a good living in that, and—wonderful thought—one can appear morally sophisticated to fellow blockheads, too. Thus, as the great journalist Heather Mac Donald has documented, our universities go out of their way to manipulate statistics in order to work up the implicit-bias boogeyman, which indeed appears rather sexy and edifying to the ordinary academic. Of course, even without academe’s shameless prostitution of intellectual integrity, implicit bias would remain appealing enough; again, for understandable historical reasons, many blacks want to resent America, just as they want to believe in “white privilege.” Moreover, these concepts are negatives, which, like the existence of God, are impossible to disprove.
The effect of all the cheap victimization that so many academics and intellectuals propagate is to fill black Americans with an overwhelming sense of despair and defeatism. Like feminists, most black intellectuals, and nearly all black politicians, are unconsciously committed to an ignoble state of unrelenting resentment. They cannot recognize progress, nor, they suggest, is it even worth it to try to get ahead. This unmanly attitude is somewhat strange to me, for having grown up around black men, and spent countless hours with them on basketball courts, I am aware that they generally possess greater vitality and vigor than we find in the genteel, effete, yuppified professional class. Still, if you understand the recent history of ideas, it is easy to see why blacks are in such a bad way. You can also see why, as things now stand, they are likely to remain so. Ever more entitlements (however unsustainable), along with university admissions quotas and job hiring quotas—that would seem to be as good as it’s going to get, judging by the hopeless attitudes of blacks themselves.
Blacks need to change how they perceive, but only they themselves can do that, and telling them to do so will not lead to much good in most instances. For people in general are no better at listening than they are at seeing. Always what is needed is wise leadership by example—which the very nature of democracy serves to obviate, however.
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