What whites really don’t understand about blacks is not what they think they don’t understand

This exchange leads up to something I said as a caller to the Bob Grant radio show in 1995 about the verdict in the O.J. Simpson case, about blacks’ obscenely joyous response to same, and about the ensuing racial debate, or, rather, the racial debate that was prevented from ensuing by the media’s framing the situation as one of mutual incomprehension between blacks and whites, rather than as barbaric behavior by blacks and whites’ understandable shock and disapproval. If you like, you can skip directly to my comments, but the whole exchange is of interest.

David B. writes:

I have been following the Duke scandal closely on the “legal shows.” Most all of the pundits, Dan Abrams led the way, have called for the case to be dropped. However, these shows bring on blacks who keep saying, “Let the jury decide. Bring it to a trial. Nifong must have something. The accuser is very credible.” (This from Juan Williams).

There is a black female “former prosecutor” who keeps coming on the Abrams show, and tries to out-shout everybody else. She makes no arguments, and the other guest try, fruitlessly to reason with her. You can catch her in a repeat of the show at 6pm ET on MSNBC. It’s somewhat strange to see black commentators defending the police and prosecutors. Wonder why?

David then reminded me of an e-mail conversation we had in September 2005 about whites who mistake arguments by blacks in these cases for rational positions that should be respected. Here it is:

From David B.
Subject: You Don’t Understand Black People
September 5, 2005


Today I caught some of the Neal Boortz radio show while driving. He had a black caller with the usual complaints. He said, “Rich white people have contempt for blacks. We aren’t getting the held the 9-11 victims got.” And on and on.

Boortz then told of a telethon held in Atlanta to help the New Orleans victims. In a majority black city, over 90% of the people working were white, including Boortz’s wife and daughter. They raised almost two million dollars.

“Why weren’t more blacks helping out?”, Boortz asked the caller. “You don’t understand black people,” the caller answered. Then Boortz asked why were blacks shooting at helicopters coming to rescue victims. The caller admitted that this was “pretty insane.” The black caller never did explain why blacks don’t pitch in and help others, even their fellow blacks.

Larry, here is a question for you. Suppose somebody accused you of “not understanding black people.” How would you respond?

LA replied:

But that’s the standard line. After the Simpson verdict, the line was, “Two Americas across a chasm, not understanding each other.” The assumption was that the two races had two different points of view. This implied that the blacks had a rational point of view. The problem was that they didn’t. They just had a racialist, resentment-driven, pro-criminal attitude that was unappeasable, not appealable to by reason, and that would justify any crime against whites as payback. This was the deep black “attitude” that whites “failed to understand.”

So the way you respond is by identifying the actual black attitude, showing its irrationality and worthlessness, and saying that whites make a fatal error by entering into “dialog” with blacks in which it is assumed that the blacks are rational actors like the whites, whereas in fact they are not rational, but have what is essentially a criminal mentality, wherein they identify with and support criminals, especially anti-white criminals (even if they are not criminal themselves).

I said this all as a caller-in to the Bob Grant radio program back in ‘95 a few days after the Simpson verdict. I blew him away.

David replied:

Thanks for your reply. It’s the best answer I’ve ever heard (Boortz didn’t say it). Speaking of the Simpson verdict (I’m a Simpson Trial afficionado) for a moment, a few months ago, I went back and read the Time and Newsweek stories on the verdict.

The theme both ran over and over was that “police brutality” is the real problem, and the cause for the verdict. The “brutal LAPD reaped what it sowed,” said every writer in both newsweeklies. Just once, I would like to see a liberal (what they all are) writer flip this around and say the following: The reason residents of black neighborhoods complain about the police is because they are by far the most crime-ridden parts of every city.

I can’t put it into words as well as you can, but the “police brutality” argument can be turned around. As you said, they “identify with and support criminals.”

Thanks again for your work,

LA continued:

That is exactly what I said as a caller on the Bob Grant program. Here’s the context of my comment. Whites (including myself) had been staggered by blacks’ joy over the O.J. Simpson verdict. It was potentially a moment of a historical white awakening to the actual anti-white racism, not to say the savagery, in the black community. But this moment of awakening was short-circuited by the media’s way of playing it, as a “gap” between two races that had such different “experiences” of life that they couldn’t comprehend each other. This script, which was imposed on all further discussions of the issue, including innumerable talking heads shows on tv where blacks and whites would “debate” each other, forced the whites away from their initial, instinctive reaction, which was outraged shock at blacks’ behavior, to a situation in which the whites’ shock and the blacks’ racial vengeance became the moral equivalent of each other, with whites having to concede that they hadn’t had the experiences in life that would enable them to understand why blacks felt the way they felt, even as the whites would pathetically reach out to the blacks and try to get them to understand why the verdict was wrong.

I had been a guest on another radio program, when the O.J. Simpson issue had come up, and I began to articulate my idea. Then I thought about it some more and fleshed it out, and called up Bob Grant a couple of days later and I blew his mind.

Here’s what I said to Grant (please note that I am rendering the comment the way I spoke it on the radio that day, without the usual qualifiers to the effect that this is obviously not true of all blacks):

We know that between 1/4 and 1/3 of black men are convicted felons. That means that a very large part of the black population are either criminals, or are the relatives and friends of criminals. That means you have a pro-criminal population. Now, how do criminals feel toward the police? They regard them as their enemies. So naturally the black population is anti-police.

The “cultural attitude,” the “racial experiences” that blacks have supposedly had, and that we whites don’t understand, simply comes down to the fact that blacks are a pro-criminal population that sees the police as their enemies, and that will decry any policy work as “police brutality,” and then uses this “police brutality” as an excuse to rationalize any further criminal acts by blacks against whites.

But instead of understanding this, white people make the mistake of thinking that the black sense of grievance is a rational grievance, so the whites try to “understand” the blacks, to listen to them, to treat them as partners in a rational discussion. But this discussion can never go anywhere because at bottom the blacks are criminal sympathizers expressing their resentment of the society’s laws.

Instead of trying to “understand” the blacks’ “feelings,” whites need to understand where blacks are actually coming from. Then we will stop treating them as partners in a rational discussion and identify them as the irrational criminal sympathizers that they actually are.

—end of initial entry—

Irv writes:

Just read the entry about Simpson verdict. I too thought at the time that this was of HISTORICAL significance. People looked at me like I had two heads. Your explanation of how the media diffused the whole thing was right on target. That’s what the media does, because they know what’s best for society. They’ve been doing it what seems like forever. That’s probably why you don’t watch TV… the only thing I watch is my fix (baseball-with the sound off).

I seem to remember that call to the Grant radio show. Right on then and right on now!

I had hoped that after 9/11 they would see us as “countrymen.” That lasted for a few weeks.

Let’s see … who wants to destroy the most prosperous, most generous, most tolerant, and most freedom loving culture to have existed in man’s sordid history?

white liberals … Islamofascists … most American born blacks … our “friends” to the South … and the brainwashers of the media. Is it any wonder that my forehead just smashed into the keyboard I was typing on?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 19, 2006 05:33 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):