Victimology's Harm to the Black Community

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Laurence Thomas points out a piece of evidence for one element of victimology. His main thesis is that vocal black media types (he mentions no names, but I imagine he has Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton at the front of his mind) will justifiably complain and urge change when white people's behavior toward black people is quite atrocious. Yet the same people will be up in arms at any relatively minor slight by white people, and they'll say little to nothing about such gross offenses against black people as the recent case of four black teenagers raping a disabled black girl. This displays a misplaced sense of moral outrage. Laurence says it better than I could:

Blacks who have self-respect only when it comes to seeing the wrongs of whites towards blacks most certainly do not have a full measure of self-respect.

None of this is about denying the existence or the pain of racism. Rather, it is about the time-honored truth that the most important valuing in the world must come from within. The deafening silence, the utter lack of moral outrage in the black community over the Mifflin matter, reveals that the more vicious enemy is not so much white racism, but rather the failure on our part to demand that we as blacks have for one another the very same respect that we now insist that whites should have for us.

Some black folks talk as if all the problems blacks face in life are owing to white racism. Not so. And nothing more clearly evidences this than the fulsome rape of a disabled black girl by four black boys followed by the utter lack of moral outrage on the part of the black community.

The Mifflin fiasco is a black problem. What are blacks going to do about it? Be black or be just? Blacks can, of course, be both. The issue is whether blacks have the courage to do both. Painfully, the answer is not a resounding affirmative one.

I won't go through his every word to demonstrate what I'm about to say, but look closely at what he's saying and why it's so important to him. You'll see that this is yet another piece of evidence in the case I've been building that at least some of the justification for black conservatives' positions often has little to do with what white conservatives have been saying all along (though it might include that). A good deal of it is the sort of thing that requires a kind of understanding only possessed by someone who is black or who knows firsthand what black people really care about. It's also an internal critique, in much the same way that Jeremiah presented a critique of his own people and the very priestly class he belonged to on the eve of the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem.

These facts thus present a stunning refutation of the Uncle Tom stereotype that black conservatives are just trying to get it in good with those in power or trying to support views that will help them now that they're rich, never mind the even more ridiculous characterization that black conservatives are just aping white conservatives without understanding the reasoning. Black conservatism is a distinct social and political movement with a rich tradition that has not always run in step with mainline conservatism. Its argumentation is the most obvious place the differences will manifest themselves, and Laurence demonstrates one such element here.

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Jeremy Pierce, sir: Very nicely put. An excellent set of reflections. --Laurence

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