Star Parker’s “The Curse of Racism of Diminished Expectations.”
Dec. 27, 2006 – The Curse of Racism of Diminished Expectations.
Posted in Commentary
Near the end of Ms. Parker’s article she writes the view that coincided pretty much with mine : “So, in answer to the CNN crew’s question, there is indeed racism under the surface in our country today that we’re neither really aware of nor willing to admit. It’s a racism of diminished expectations.
A racism that says blacks still need special treatment in education and job placement, that we can’t give black parents freedom to choose where to send their kids to school, that we can’t let low-income black workers build wealth through a personal retirement account, instead of paying Social Security taxes, because they won’t know what to do. This is the racism that will keep this community disproportionately in trouble.” (end quote) My generation as the first to work for, and live with, the problems of integration and civil rights and over coming the Jim Crow laws and attitudes, understood that Blacks needed a hand up in order to catch up. Being suddenly in integrated schools and restaurants just wouldn’t do the trick.
They needed to claim their place in the work place and colleges in large numbers and not just the “token” Black that was being touted as progress. I was around and watched it happen. A Black was hired and given a job with no real responsibilities but a high profile. It was frustrating to the Black and disgusting to those of us working to see change. More Blacks were needed in the work place and schools not to satisfy favorable publicity for the school or company, but so that both Blacks and Whites would gain a respect for the abilities of Blacks that had been denied and denigrated since the first black slave was brought to America. Sadly the worst thing that could be done to a people is to destroy their pride and make them believe in their own inferiority.
Unfortunately it was so easy to do with African Blacks when brought to a society with outwardly more sophisticated tools and other accouterments of life than the culture they had left behind. Whites of course seeing only the primitive clothing and weapons placed the black slaves just a tad above the other farm animals. Soon this attitude of Black inferiority was shared by both Blacks and Whites. And this became the prevailing attitude for 300 years. Both races therefore needed a period of seeing for ourselves the worth and abilities of the Black Americans. Over the years many Blacks were able to gain self respect as they became assimilated into the Western society. This was especially true after the Civil War when thousands of Blacks migrated north into the factories and began to slowly improve their standards of living.
The Blacks who remained in the South were forced to continue the social behaviors of slavery without the benefits of being cared for. Life was a struggle at best and self respect a long hard battle in gaining when society at every turn points out an imagined inferiority. World War II helped Blacks take a large step towards gaining self respect as they fought just as hard as the Whites and even against prejudice were able to garner medals and merit awards. These men came home and just as their counterparts in the lower class Whites they demanded some changes be made in the work place and with regards to salaries and benefits. This was the catalyst for the Civil Rights movement. It was the gaining of some self respect and then coming home to the same old ways that spurred the small Black middle class to rebel against the social system that kept them in as unfair bondage based on a misconception, a lie.
The attitudes of the country outside of the deep South had also undergone a change and was ready to support the Blacks who were standing up for more rights. The rights offered to all Americans. The black population alone could not have made the changes or gotten the laws passed. It took the help of mainly middleclass Whites to demand and get the laws passed to force schools and businesses to admit more than the token Black. This need to go beyond the token lead to the quotas and preferential treatment made into law in the late 1960’s and 1970’s. I believed these laws to be necessary and right, therefore I didn’t begrudge the quotas and the preferential treatment that several times discriminated against me a white woman. I would go on and prevail with another position, but that Black person who was given a position over me when I felt I had the better qualifications might not get another chance.
All of this was necessary in forging Black leaders to show the way and it just happened as fate or history catching up would have it that my generation was the one to make the adjustments necessary. It was as simple as that. Someone had to be willing to step off the sidewalk for a Black person as they had always been forced to step off the sidewalk for Whites, and the time that came just happened to be ours. As stated above, I did not begrudge these small sacrifices and perhaps injustices against me a White person because my Black contemporaries needed a hand up if our society was to pull itself out of the hatreds, biases and total misunderstandings one race had for the other. I began to begrudge these same quotas and preferential treatment however when they continued into my children’s generation and are now still in place for my grandchildren’s generation. Now after 53 years of nationally required integrated schools and almost 40 years after the laws were passed and enforced for the quotas and preferential considerations it is past time for the need of these measures. Long past time!
At this point the preferential treatment is doing much more harm than good in that it allows Whites who wish to continue to believe in the inferiority of Blacks. And much worse, it keeps Blacks wondering about their own abilities to progress without special treatment. Unfortunately there was another unexpected psychological backlash that happened along the road to gaining equality. The something that happened with the gaining of power was the growth of a deep resentment and desire for revenge. Not from the Blacks who had suffered discrimination, but from their children and grandchildren. I once had a Black lady my age tell me that her children were angry with her and those before her for “taking it”.
These children who were raise in another world with different values were ashamed of their ancestors and had no understanding for or about the struggle. They lived in a time when lynchings of Black people were no longer tolerated and they had no fears about speaking and acting out. At the same time they themselves were admitting with their actions in demanding more and more special treatment for Blacks that they still held ( and hold!) a lingering and fatal self doubt and even self hate. When people meet as equals there is no animosity. It is only when one feels inferior to the other that anger grows and controls the actions of the angry one. Those who feel themselves equal do not allow themselves to be considered victims!
These insecure members of the Black community and have allowed themselves to be exploited by unscrupulous Black leaders. Leaders who with their demands for unequal treatment of those of their race are fostering the deep seated feelings of inadequacy in their followers which then arouses the anger that stops rational thought. This then gives the Black leaders the inordinate power to exploit both races for their own personal gain. They prey on Black’s their people to keep them in bondage to the old and outgrown feelings of inferiority which leads to anger and keeps these manipulative leaders in power no matter what outrageous crimes they commit. Feeling of inferiority and self hatred that lead them to the racism of diminished expectation. Diminished expectation is the real racism that we face today. The Racism of Diminished Expectation is held predominately by Blacks against Blacks, and themselves most particularly.
It is this that drives the self destructive behaviors of today’s Blacks. It is this attitude that excuses as truly Black the behaviors that are designed to hold a population down and from achieving economic equality in the world with the rest of us. Speaking “Black English”, doing poorly in school so as not to “Act White”, accepting an illegitimate birth rate of upwards of 70% no matter what harsh living conditions these dysfunctional families have to suffer or the damage done to the children leading the girls to follow in their mothers footsteps of families without fathers and poverty and leading the boys of these families into lives of crime, drugs and all too often, early death. These angry Blacks who still feel inferior are exploited by criminal Black leaders who have them convinced that it is right and good to get revenge on the White community. It is only “getting theirs back” when funds are misused by Black elected officials.
They elect these people again and agian and refuse to accept that they are only harming their own constituent by taking funds that could be used to bewtter the neighborhoods and lives of athese people. A good example of Blacks accepting and being proud of bad behavior in their politicians was selecting Marion Berry as Mayor of Washington DC while he was in jail for taking bribes, soliciting and using the services of a prostitute and using drugs. This was not hearsay but was actually recorded and Berry admitted to doing it. Yet his constituents who were overwhelmingly Black re-elected him to office to represent them and see to their best interests.
They did this because of their self hatred and Racism of Diminished Expectations and they felt Marion Berry was all they were worthy of. He was like them. Any Black man who is an upstanding and a decent human being is “acting white” or an “Uncle Tom N—”and therefore not like them. And, sadly there are many Whites who outwardly thru the racist feeling of superiority to Blacks continue to pander to them and pass over or ignore Blacks bad behavior as just natural for Blacks. Believing that they can’t be held to the same standards as Whites. Greensboro City Manager Mitch Johnson was interviewed by Jerry Bledsoe for his book Cops in Black and White and the conversation and quoted remarks were published in Part #4. Johnson holds a strong view that Blacks needn’t be held to the same standards as Whites and I called him a racist in my blog at that time for his “racism of diminished expectations”. Excerpt from Cops in Black and White Part 3 : “
Johnson, like White, found no fault with that situation. He also found some of the other integrity issues that were raised, such as officers using their police identification cards to gain free admission to Christie’s Cabaret, where topless dancers perform, to be “no big deal.” (Johnson’s words) “I had a few officers that were higher ranked people that brought some stuff to me, and I felt like they thought it was a serious issue,” he said. “I think a lot of what I was hearing was this cultural difference between what some officers in our department felt like were appropriate standards of behavior and maybe what Robert (Robert White a black police chief before Wray. Italics mine) felt were appropriate standards of behavior from a different environment.” It was this attitude of Johnson’s that I believe lead him to excuse the very serious attack of Officer Morton on a handcuffed prisoner. An action that is grounds for immediate dismissal in any properly run functioning police department.
Yet, Johnson excused this behavior and countermanded Police Chief Wray’s decision to fire Morton. It is I also believe this racist attitude of “diminished expectation” that allows Johnson to praise the misfit and cause of all the problems, former Police Chief White. And, of course the toleration of not only bad police work, but immoral behavior by Lt. Hinson. In point of fact, I am afraid that there is a great deal of this “racism of diminished expectation” in Greensboro/Guilford as a whole, as certainly can be seen in the failure of all Black schools such as Dudley and Smith as just one example. How else explain many in the Black comunity’s praise for the vitriolic rhetoric of Skip Alston and Company on the County Commission? Why else are her colleagues and the people of her district simply ignoring and acting as if all is normal and friendly over the illegal action of Diane Bellamy-Small but this attitude of expecting Blacks to be less honest than Whites?
Why accept as good stewardship of the publics money when the Black elected leaders demand minorities be recognized in the bidding for public works and then accept and pay the outrageous over charges for the work after it is found that the bid wasn’t accurate and by bidding at a much lower price than the work can be done is corrupting the bid process. Why do our governmental bodies accept that it as alright for the Blacks contractors to lie and steal? These are all examples of Black Racism of Diminished Expectation! The Black community should be appalled and angered and up in arms to be represented by these criminals. Instead the self-hating “racism of diminished expectations” accounts for the toleration of all Black short comings even as far as being immoral and criminal.
The self-hating attitude allows the Black people to accept their ministers in the Pulpit Forum to represent them and preach to them or lead them by example to excuse Black criminals and immoral police officers and Black children running loose in their neighborhoods with guns killing other children and saying nothing about Black responsibility and blaming the Whites for everything that is wrong in the Black community. The self-hatred of “racism of diminished expectations” accepts the immorality and irresponsibility of up to 80% of Black babies being born in the Triad to be illegitimate. Black babies whose irresponsible parents both father and mother insure that they will grow up with social problems that often lead to dropping out of school, drugs, poor work ethics and even prison.
Black hating Black ministers teaching their people to hate themselves and destroy themselves under the guise of just getting theirs back from the White man and declaring it Intolerable (White) Racism when Black children fail in schools where they are sitting side by side with White and Hispanic students using the same teachers and books. All of the above brings me to the racism of the Truth and Reconciliation nonsense that we in Greensboro were asked to shallow whole. This parody of truth put together by these same self-hating Blacks and Whites who apologize for Blacks behavior because their White brothers and sisters are after all superior to Blacks.
Somehow this Truth finding committee failed to find that those little children who were supposedly traumatized by the shooting and killing in their neighborhood that day in 1979 had already been traumatized by the shooting and killing and gang warfare and drugs and prostitution that were tolerated in that same neighborhood long before and long after that day in 1979. ( Do a check of the N&R archives as I did and you will not be able to refute this fact. I do not give source dates because there are far too many.) So much for your Truth and Reconciliation committee Report!
Another example of Black Racism of Diminished Expectations. We have a beautiful city in Greensboro that is being torn apart by “racism of diminished expectations” by both Blacks and Whites and we are allowing it to fester rather than admit that it is at the root of schools like Dudley and Smith, the destruction of our police department and the thousands (yes! Thousands!) of little children just in Greensboro alone who will not have a father at their dinner table tonight. It’s time both the Black and the White citizens of good will come forward and do what is right to root out this evil that is destroying my people. And yes, I did say MY people because I was in the first wave of the movement to help the Black man pull himself up out of the hole White people had tossed him in. Now I am in the background but trying to get others to step forward and help the Black man pull himself out of the hole he has put himself in. I only hope someone out there hears me. Brenda Bowers