The Problem With Black People
And how to fix it.
Last night, while despairing about the re-closing of gyms in California, I stumbled upon this video in which 7 very bright Black intellectuals and Bret Weinstein tried to figure out where do the problems in the black community arise from and how to fix them.
Unfortunately, despite the obvious best intentions from the participants, the Elephant in the room went unaddressed although Glenn Loury got very close to it.
Simply put Black people have 2 problems: the first is that they don’t have in their arsenal a narrative of Victory, almost nowhere in History are stories of conquest or excellence linked to the Black Identity. In fact the opposite is usually the case. This is the exact same problem with boys who grow up without a father, which was well discusses in the chat, applied to an entire race. You can take practically any ethnic group on this planet and carve out from their history a moment of Victory, a baseline from where to start again. Even the Native Americans, which possibly suffered a worse fate, can go back to the glorious days of when America was their backyard and they rule it supreme. The Jews, who had to escape genocide for millennials, have the story of Israel, have defeated the Nazi, have their prosperous homeland, have won wars after wars, have climbed to the peak of societies wherever they have gone. However for an accident of History it’s incredibly difficult to do that with Black People.
The human desire to anchor themselves to a past of success is so strong that Black People have eventually created a fictional one, Wakanda: an imaginary place where Blacks are the Kings of the world. This as we should see later is a much better solution than Reparations.
The 2nd problem is that they are continuously reminded of their 1st problem. Worse, their 1st problem is sometimes inflated beyond imagination. I think it was Coleman Hughes who once pointed out that the New York Times run a story about Slavery at least once a month, 150 years after the practice of white people owning blacks was abolished. Countless movies and books have been made about Slavery, awards given, interview broadcasted, march held.
A speculation of why this continuous reminding of the failures of Blacks is happening could be easily made but, frankly it’s not relevant to the matter at hand.
What’s instead relevant is how we could, as a society, fix this problem which impacts all of us in one way or another.
Let’s start by putting to rest once and for all a recurring “solution” which is akin of pouring fuel on a fire.
Reparations: the idea that you can pay black people essentially for being descendant of “losers” is not only impractical, as was pointed out in the conversation numerous times, but will do nothing except for reminding Black people once again of their horrific origin story in this country, their country.
The goal should be to psychologically move away, as fast as possible, from Slavery; not sending them a check with blood all over it.
There is no upside in teaching young black kids that most likely one of their ancestors was owned by a white man, none whatsoever. In fact, as controversial as this might sound, Slavery shouldn’t be taught at all. Blacks need to be freed from their past so that they can prosper in the Future.
Imagine the trauma that a young black man or woman must experience after having spent most of their young life hearing about stories of white people owning, raping and torturing their ancestors for centuries and being stopped by a white cop or walking into a bank and seeing all white faces.
We can’t rewrite History but at least we can stop obsessing about it and forcing black people to live with the horrors of their past forever while expecting them to flourish in a society that is still mostly run by “White Villains”
At the same time that we throw Slavery in the basement of mistakes we should re-route the attention towards all of the incredible stories of black men and women that have succeeded and excelled in America. A new Narrative — movies, songs, books, op-eds in the NTY — needs to be created, one in which Blacks can feel as winners in the past and in the future.
Until then, all discussions, all the marches and all the efforts & money spent to “fix the black community” will be tragically in vain.