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PERPETUAL VICTIMHOOD, ENTITLEMENTS LEAD TO DESPAIR AND VIOLENCE
by Paul R. Hollrah, ©2014, blogging at Order of the Ephors
(Nov. 29, 2014) — In the wake of the St. Louis County grand jury findings in the death of black teenager Michael Brown, international television audiences have been treated to a spectacle of mindless violence in numerous American cities. The demonstrators, rioters, and arsonists are largely African-American… aided and abetted by an assortment of misguided whites, some young, some old-style radical liberals… who apparently lack the ability to process the findings of the grand jury, showing that Officer Darren Wilson acted appropriately in shooting Michael Brown to death.
In the field of psychology, practitioners often use the terms “cognitive bias,” or “psycho bias” to describe irrational behavior. “Cognitive bias” can be defined as “a pattern of deviant thinking in which inferences about people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion.” Individuals motivated by cognitive bias tend to create their own “subjective” reality from their own unique perception of events. An individual’s subjective perception of reality, as opposed to what others see as “objective,” often dictates social behavior. Not surprisingly, cognitive bias often leads to gross misperceptions, faulty judgment, illogical conclusions, or other forms of irrationality.
What better way to describe the violence and the vitriol following the public announcement of the findings of the grand jury in St. Louis County? What the grand jury found is precisely what thinking Americans already knew. In short, Michael Brown was not the “gentle giant” he was made out to be. To the contrary, he was a street thug with a huge chip on his shoulder who apparently felt that he could go through life just taking whatever he wanted.
Michael Brown was shot to death after robbing a convenience store and after assaulting a police officer who confronted him on the street just minutes later. According to eyewitnesses, Brown rushed the officer in a crouched position, much like a football player preparing to make a tackle.
So a white cop shot a black street thug who was trying to kill him. That is the plain fact of the matter. But what appears to get totally lost in the subsequent sound and fury is the fact that the St. Louis County grand jury sat to hear the case for one reason and one reason alone: the prosecutor took the case before the grand jury because he knew that, if he were to review all of the evidence, the autopsy reports, and the eyewitness testimony, he could not make the case for an indictment. He would have been laughed out of court and the black community would have charged a cover-up.
To avoid antagonizing the black community, and out of an abundance of caution, the prosecutor took the case before a sitting grand jury where all of the hard evidence and all of the eyewitness testimony could be examined and the case could enjoy maximum transparency. But that wasn’t good enough for those who screamed for “justice” while seeking only “revenge.”
Clearly, there is a great deal of “cognitive bias” involved in the riots that followed the Ferguson shooting, just as there was in the Rodney King riots and the Trayvon Martin shooting. In each instance, “cognitive bias” was a symptom, not the cause. To find the source of the black anger that seethes just beneath the surface in so many minorities, we must dig a bit deeper.
A black man does not have to look far to see that he is different from Caucasians and Orientals. And while other ethnic groups arriving in America… the Germans, Irish, Italians, Jews, Polish, Mexicans, Chinese, and Japanese, to name just a few… were forced to endure racial epithets such as “Krauts,” “Micks,” “Wops,” “Dagos,” “Kikes,” “Polacks,” “Spicks,” “Chinks,” “Japs,” and “Slopes,” respectively, many white Caucasians with European roots were indistinguishable from other nationalities, as were many of those with Oriental roots. These ethnic groups were readily assimilated into our multi-cultural society. The black man, on the other hand, readily identifiable by the color of his skin, has found it more difficult to assimilate.
As a first principle, it is important to note the significance of heritage in social behavior. Those of us who are able to trace our ancestry back six, eight, or ten generations and take pride in the accomplishments of our forebears feel a self-imposed discipline that places a damper on any behavior that might dishonor the family name or the memory of those who’ve come before us. This is true of most Caucasians and Orientals whose forebears came to America largely of their own free will from cultures in which the Age of Enlightenment produced history’s greatest advances in human knowledge.
The same is not true of black men, whose forebears were taken forcibly from primitive cultures, bringing with them no written records of lineage. They were captured by Muslims and other blacks, sold into slavery, and brought to America on slave ships. As a result, many young blacks today are unable to trace their lineage beyond one or two generations. In fact, because of the systematic and purposeful destruction of the black family unit by liberals and Democrats, many young blacks today do not know who their fathers are, let alone their grandfathers and great-grandfathers. With no family name and no ancestral accomplishments to honor, is it any wonder that their behavior in the classroom and on the streets is so often anti-social? They recognize no lasting consequences for their behavior.
What must young black children think when they see, every day, news film out of Africa in which blacks are shown living in Stone Age tribal cultures? And what must they think when they come to understand that few, if any, of the great advances in medicine, science, and technology are products of Africa? And what must they think when they realize that it is people of white European extraction who are always called upon to deal with major African disasters such as the AIDS and Ebola epidemics? It is unimaginable to think that such things would not contribute to feelings of inferiority and helplessness among blacks… young and old.
Unfortunately, in modern times, the breakup of the black family unit has relegated black men primarily to the role of sperm donors, not fathers and role models. The Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, a major contributor to the breakup of the black family unit, was passed in 1935 by a Democrat-controlled Congress with a 72-23 majority in the Senate, a 322-103 majority in the House, and signed into law by a Democrat, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
However, in an effort to make themselves appear as common-sense stewards of the public purse, Democrats required that, in order for a family to be eligible for AFDC, the family must have had at least one dependent child, under age 18, who was “deprived of financial support from one of their parents due to the parent’s death, continued absence (emphasis added), or incapacity.” In other words, if two able-bodied parents lived in the home the family was denied AFDC benefits.
Nothing… not drugs, not poverty, not urban decay, nor lack of educational opportunities… has contributed more to the disintegration of the black family unit than the restrictions of AFDC. As an unintended consequence of AFDC, marriage was discouraged, fathers were forced out of their homes, and single-parent welfare mothers found they could increase their monthly income by simply having more babies. As a consequence, we now have a society in which three out of four black babies are born out of wedlock; where black mothers, unable to discipline their fatherless children, find so many of their young men either imprisoned, addicted to drugs, or the victims of gang violence; and where a disproportionate number of young black men take advantage of every opportunity to mug, rob, loot, and burn as a means of assuaging their inner anger.
And finally, when an entire racial minority comes to the sudden realization that they’ve been played for fools for nearly sixty years, the only result can be crushing disappointment and a deep seething anger. After raising the expectations of black Americans to the skies, Democrats have failed miserably on their promise to deliver social and economic parity with whites. By offering nothing more than “free lunches” in exchange for votes on Election Day, all Democrats have succeeded in doing has been to deal a crushing blow to the pride, the aspirations, and the self-respect of our African-American citizens. Is it any wonder so many of them are angry?
In this, the land of opportunity, there are no fixed barriers to social or economic progress. Every community in America provides teachers and classroom facilities, at taxpayer expense, that are among the best in the world. Unfortunately, the African-American culture is far too often anti-intellectual. Black students who do their homework, who behave themselves inside and outside the classroom, and who make good grades are often intimidated by other black students who insist that they are “too white.” Many black students… men such as Dr. Ben Carson, the former chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, and women such as former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice… are living proof that blacks who do not succumb to self-imposed limitations are capable of achieving whatever they wish to achieve.
With all of these factors as conditioning agents, what could we possibly expect from young black men, such as Michael Brown, when they have stepfathers like Louis Head, who took to a public platform, his trousers slung so low that they almost fell off his body, exhorting a riotous crowd of young blacks to “Burn this b**** down! Burn this b**** down!?” With Brown’s natural father absent from the home, Head was the young man’s primary role model.
So is it any wonder that young black men, taught by white liberals to think of themselves as victims and burdened by a strong sense of hopelessness, would respond in a violent manner to the exhortations of such a man? White people can understand the source of black anger, but can they do anything to assuage that anger? Probably not; only blacks can do that. What recent events in Ferguson, Missouri tell us is that time is short; it’s time that the black community figured out what causes so much hatred and animosity among young blacks and took steps to counter it while we still have an outside chance for racial harmony.