African Americans

Christopher Donovan: New York City Begins (More Precipitous) Slide Detroit-ward

Christopher Donovan:  I learned a lot in my seven years of living in New York City.  It’s got allure for a reason.  For bright lights, big adventure and sheer cliffs of challenge, New York is unmatched.

It is also, for a White person, no place to make a home.  New York City is essentially a boiling cauldron of competing racial and ethnic groups, all of which scrap and tear for a share of the spoils.  The job of the mayor, his chief lawyer once told me, is to figure out “which ethnic group is mad at him that day and how to make them happy again”, or words to that effect.  The effect is an atmosphere thick with barely suppressed tension.  Every human interaction is fraught, suspicious, and pregnant with explosion.  It’s all very bad for the blood pressure.

From the mayor (and that chief lawyer I mentioned) on down, New York is Jewish territory.  A few white ethnic groups have some presence, chief among them Irish and Italian (though always as those specific ethnicities, and never just “white”).  Blacks and the Hispanic groups loom large.  But it has been a long, long time since WASPs like John Lindsay held sway (and power for him meant sucking up to minorities).

If, like me, your heritage is “undifferentiated, but mostly Anglo-Saxon, White”, you are operating in New York without an ethnic safety net.  You might find a niche, like Taki, provided you’re mind-bogglingly rich.  But even talented ad execs or white-shoe law firm partners are ultimately toiling in the vinyards of a city they’ll never be completely at home in and can barely afford.

The numbers are now official.  Whites are a minority in New York as both citizens and voters.  None of it points in a good direction for whites living there.

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Christopher Donovan: Ricci Decision Hurts Whom, Again?

Christopher Donovan: It’s amazing the tidbits you find while crumpling up old newspaper for kindling for a Christmas fire. “Employers Hurt By Bias Decision” was the odd headline I spied in a July edition of LawyersUSA, a trade rag for the legal profession, while trying to get the logs to ignite.

My first thought was: Imagine a Supreme Court decision on a “civil rights” case benefitting blacks being described by the media as anything but divine wisdom revealed. “Decision long overdue”, “Blacks commend decision” or “Decision hailed, but more work needed” is more like it.

But as I read the story, the point was fair enough — in the wake of the Ricci decision, employers are put into yet another “sued if you do, sued if you don’t” situation. If an employment test keeps out too many non-Whites, tossing it out could get you into “Ricci” trouble. But keeping it in could get you into “disparate impact” trouble.

Of course, this is just the sort of impossible situation you’ll find yourself in when you try to reconcile the irreconcileable: a Black and Hispanic population that is inherently less intelligent than the white population, and a policy that requires equal outcomes for members of all racial groups.

Better headline: Whites Hurt By Multiracial Society. Watch for it soon.

Christopher Donovan: Boys Choir of Harlem No More

Christopher Donovan: It says a lot about the organizational inabilities of blacks that the venerated Boys Choir of Harlem, a 41-year institution that once ranked as an American cultural icon, is now reported as dead.

Consider the magnitude of the incentive to keep it going.  Here you have a perfect storm of America’s hopes and aspirations for race:  They’re young, they’re Black, they’re from America’s most famous and recogizable poor black neighborhood.  And rather than spew rap laden with foul language, they make White NPR listeners swoon by singing   “Mozart in Latin and Bach in German”, as the New York Times put it.  From the rubble of their White oppression, they shine forth like the jewels they truly are, proving racist Americans everywhere that they’re wrong.  It’s like a self-writing movie. 

The raw material for even a large choir wouldn’t seem difficult to come by.  New York is filled with poor young Blacks, many of whom can probably sing very well.  Little overhead is needed —  a space to sing in, a few leaders, some blazers to wear.  The white liberals are tickled by it, sure, but there’s some nice self-interest for blacks, too:  they can use the experience to launch to an entertainment career, or just put it on a resume and sail into a nice college.  And who doesn’t like to hear a nice choir singing, anyway? 

It’s further baffling to me that nobody — with the slight exception of (of all things) a White country duo — would come to their financial rescuse.  Straightening out their tax woes sounds like a gem of a pro bono project for a big New York City law firm, and I would have thought that Fortune 500 companies would fall over themselves for the opportunity to fund them.  For just a few bucks, you get to trumpet your dedication to noble Blacks — a win-win, as the corporate types like to say. 

And where are rich Blacks?  None of them could have pitched in?  If money were the only problem, Oprah’s interest earnings for the weekend could cover it. 

Ah, but we’re talking about Black people here.  The well-known IQ differences, the shortened time-horizons, and the rest of the inherited behavioral differences are what’s likely at work here.  The problem with blaming whites or other external factors for their failures in this case is that all that’s been factored out. 

The reality is that their own, Blacks are woefully unable to perform the organizational tasks that keep an advanced society functioning.  In multiracial societies, it’s Whites who carry that burden.

Christopher Donavan: A Quick Confession of (Tempered) Jealousy

Christopher Donovan:  From libertarian (and law school) days, I remain on the mailing list of a group called the Institute for Justice, a libertarian pro-bono legal group dedicated to fighting eminent domain, free speech restrictions, government-backed market cartels, and so on.  I’m looking at their most recent “Liberty & Law” (no link, but their website is here), and I have two thoughts.

One, I’m jealous of The Institute for Justice.  I wish white advocates had a legal outfit as on-the-ball as the Institute for Justice.  Law students want to join them, they get press, their litigators went to Harvard, and so on.  They’re established, they’re slick, and they’re having an impact on the law.

But two, they’re absurd.  For years, for instance, they’ve pushing the issue of African hair braiding as an enterprise that ought not be subjected to cosmetology licensing because it involves no chemicals or even equipment.  In the most recent newsletter, they have an emotional article titled “The Power of One Entrepreneur” featuring lovely photographs of the black woman helped by their lawyers.  The rest of the newsletter is peppered with photos of smiling black people who’ve all been helped by the power of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman.

“Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic” doesn’t begin to describe it.  It reminds me of what Sam Dickson once called “the silly right”, i.e., obsessing about details while ignoring the larger white dispossession.  In the face of an oncoming white minority, these jokers are dedicating their lives to African hair braiding.  Do the smarty-pants people of the Institute for Justice get any of this?

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Christoper Donovan: In Philly, Failed System… or Failed Demographics?

Christopher Donovan: The Philadelphia Inquirer is running a series on the low rate of convictions secured by police and prosecutors in the city.  The system’s overcrowded.  The sheer volume of cases makes the system unwieldy.  Defense lawyers postpone cases in the hopes that witnesses will disappear.  The black “stop sntichin'” culture keeps witnesses off the stand.  Judges dismiss worthy cases.

So, the blame comes to rest on the White “system” and its players (realizing that many in this system are actually minorities).  But the larger demographic reality is that Philadelphia is a heavily black urban area, and it’s plagued with crime and chaos for just that reason.  Juxtapose this with a criminal justice system that developed over centuries in all-white Britain — and was tweaked by all-white American Constitution framers — and you have a recipe for disaster. In fact, you have a recipe for complete unworkability, no matter how hard whites try, or how many tax dollars are squeezed from Whites.

The failure isn’t with the criminal justice system.  The failure is with the multiracial society.  Will the Inquirer take a look at that?

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