It’s Not About Race, Rev. Wright

African Americans today are split between two cultures. One is a culture of assimilation and success. The other is a culture of victimization and failure. There have always been African Americans who didn’t buy into the “street” subculture, who have striven to rise up out of the ghettos, to assimilate and succeed in mainstream American life. Many have done it, and many more continue to do so. Assimilation is never easy, and can take generations. But the common success factor is a persistent focus on individual accomplishment, hard work, and pushing the children to get the best education they can to prepare them to succeed in a highly competitive world.

The African Americans who embrace the street/ghetto culture have defined themselves (and all African Americans) as victims, and perpetuate a subculture steeped in resentment and entitlement. People who define themselves as victims don’t aspire to success, because they’ve already conceded failure and placed the blame on someone else. Perceived victimization engenders resentment, which justifies a sense of entitlement. Instead of aspiring to rise higher with each successive generation, they sink deeper into the culture of poverty and recrimination, accepting the ghetto as their fate and entitlements as their due.

Participants in the street culture look down on those who work to achieve something better, sneer at education, and prey on those who live according to traditional values. They prey on each other, too. The street culture glorifies violence, drugs, and crime. It thrives on hatred — hatred of whites, hatred of the country in which they live, hatred of other races, and hatred of other African Americans. It’s a culture of self-victimization and false entitlement, and it will forever resist assimilation because its values are antithetical to the values of mainstream America.

This subculture, exploited by the media, and pandered to by black leaders, makes it much harder for those who want to rise up, who want to participate in the opportunities of mainstream American culture, and who want to leave a legacy of success for their children instead of a legacy of failure and resentment.

There is no question that African Americans have suffered from persecution and discrimination in this country. But, throughout human history, cultures have overrun, oppressed, abused, enslaved, and persecuted other cultures. (See What about the Jews?) That doesn’t make it right. It’s wrong. But history goes on. The survivors survive and adapt, and cultures change and evolve. But individuals don’t succeed, and cultures don’t evolve, by clinging to victimhood or by accepting/demanding entitlements to sustain the status quo. They survive, succeed, and evolve by overcoming and, by overcoming, becoming stronger.

Leaders whose truly desire to help their people achieve success do not preach hate. Hate is a cancer that eats the soul, and is ultimately more harmful to those who hate than to those who are hated. They do not preach victimization, resentment, and separatism; they teach individual accomplishment, responsibility, and assimilation. They don’t lead their people deeper into the ghetto mentality that holds them back and keeps them firmly entrenched in the ghetto; they lead them out of it. Those misguided or narcissistic leaders who reinforce the barriers that separate their people from all the freedoms and opportunities that America has to offer should be repudiated, not supported, by those who have successfully assimilated and who know there’s more to life than the everlasting ghetto.

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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. There was a buddy of mine that used to slip into the ‘you just don’t understand’ rationale for ‘how the “man” holds him down’ and when it annoyed me I’d snark “yeah, how about those Koreans though” just to provoke the inevitable melt down.


  2. Excellent post. Much of what’s been written here can be applied to the situation in Australia regarding the Aborigines.

  3. Ditto the “excellent post.” And I suspect the same could be true of the Palestinian situation.

    The only way to terminate racial animosity is to recognize race as a non-factor. Those that choose to focus upon race as an issue (from whichever side) need to be condemned and avoided.

  4. Jackson,

    I could not agree more. I believe it is partly the fault of the media that race is even an issue in many of our elections. Who cares that Obama is black? Well…the media cares! They subtle try to pull the “if you vote against him you’re a racist” card. If the media wouldn’t make such a issue out of race (or sex), it would diminish the overall problem (however large or small it is).


  5. Good article. In response to the first comment, I’ve said the same thing. How come cultures such as the Asians can succeed so well and receive no special treatment, and other cultures cannot? They don’t ask for anything special…. they just bust their balls to get where they want. THAT is the American Dream…

  6. News flash. This just in. Rev. Wright is not running for President. More details as they become available…

  7. What’s Up GNYD???

    I guess I should start by saying that I don’t agree with 50% of Rev. Wright’s comments and 95% of the ways in which he presents his arguments. Honestly, his message does seem hateful…and to even give off that appearance as a religious leader seems non sequitur.


    You seem to think that Blacks are born and given the decision whether to be “successful” or “ghetto” which is a mindset that is as biased and uninformed on the White end of the spectrum as Rev. Wright’s comments are on the Black end. I can’t ignore the dichotomy you present: “street” vs. “assimilate and succeed” and I agree that the two are opposites, I think we disagree as to why. You see, for Blacks to “assimilate and succeed” (whatever success is…) without giving back to those “streets” that you may have come from is a failure in and of itself…forgetting your culutre and background so that others feel more comfortable is what has been asked of Blacks since the Civil Rights years…not gonna happen. On the other hand, if you can identify yourself as a knowledgeable “street” member you can have a much more profound impact on helping your community and those around you by passing on positive and accurate information to those who might not hear it (or listen to it) otherwise. Make sense?


  8. Good to see you again, TCS. Welcome back.

    I realize it’s not as easy as making a choice, “do I want to succeed or do I want to be stuck in the ghetto?” But the process has to start with a choice. In some cases, it will take more than one lifetime to actualize that choice. But that isn’t unique to black people. If you take any given individual, and compare them to other random individuals throughout the world, there are many people better off and many much worse off than they are. Life’s not “fair.” In this country, we have a long and proud history of assimilation. That’s one of the things that makes this country great. Sometimes it takes generations of hard work and perseverence, and a determination to push each generation to go beyond where their parents were able to go.

    However, during the Great Depression, FDR instituted the New Deal, consisting of programs originally intended as emergency relief measures. As is the tendency with government, what started out as temporary economic recovery programs evolved into permanent maintenance programs. The availability of these programs made it possible for people to continue subsisting in poverty indefinitely, generation after generation, creating a poverty culture. This was true for whites and blacks. However, because it was more difficult for blacks to assimilate and get meaningful work, the path to overcome poverty was steeper for them. Because most had already been struggling with poverty for generations, this new subsidization of poverty made it easier for them to accept it than to keep striving ever harder to overcome it.

    That wasn’t something the government did on purpose to keep blacks in the ghetto. It was done with all good intentions, like all liberal policies. But the end result was harmful, because it alleviated the need that has motivated every ethnic group in this country to strive for generation after generation to continue the struggle to get up and out and ahead. (I’m not implying that only blacks are caught in the web of the welfare culture. However, a higher percentage of blacks than of other ethnic groups are, and I believe this is one reason why.)

    But, IMHO, it is the black “leaders” who propagate the culture of victimhood and resentment who are doing the most harm today, in terms of keeping people in the ghetto rather than motivating them to get out.

    I disagree with you that those who can identify themselves as knowledgeable “street” members can have a more profound impact on helping their community. Sure, it sounds like a plausible hypothesis, but I don’t see the evidence to support it. It seems to me that successful African Americans who want street creds often either get manipulated and taken advantage of by those have “real” street creds or, worse, they lend their own credibility to the street culture, making it seem OK, when it’s really destructive to those who are caught up in it for real.

    IMHO, the best way to help the community is to live your life, as an individual, having the courage to reject what’s negative and destructive, and prove that success is possible, and that success is better than accepting the ghetto as one’s fate. And, if you want to do more, pick out an individual to help, a kid with real potential, and mentor him, or sponsor him to get into a private school, or do what you can to help him get the best education possible.

    After all, it’s individuals who really matter. A person’s race is just one characteristic of an individual. Making race the focus has, historically, always done more harm than good.

  9. Nice thoughts. I agree with a lot of what the Rev Wright says. All of America suffers because of legislation propogated by rich white people. But the key word isn’t ‘white’ it’s ‘rich’ – it doesn’t matter what country you go to – including the ones which are over 90% black. the rich pass laws designed to move wealth in their direction. Consequently in the U.S. the whites achieved power before another race. But like O’reilly said “Wright is selling a product. And that product is the White Man is purposely keeping the Black Man down.” And to an extent this is very true. But in recent history it’s the Democratic Part (of which 90% of blacks vote) that is in the business of keeping the Black Man down. Anyone with a brain could see this. And like someone commented above. I blame the media with a this racist hype. I am 33 years old, born and raised in Mississippi, and I have never seen the black community have more disdain for whites. And I have never seen so many white hiding in fear, apologizing, and basically being scared to death of even speaking to a black for fear that something they say will be taken in an offensive manner by the blacks. That being said – whites are adding to the problem by playing this game. When you tell the truth don’t apologize. And whites should also stop the silliness of the racial double standard. That is, that only whites can be racists. This is just more insanity and whites play into it by not standing their ground and just simply say “go to hell.” So if things don’t change I soon expect whites to live in a total state of fear of blacks. We aren’t too far from that place now.

  10. “So if things don’t change I soon expect whites to live in a total state of fear of blacks. We aren’t too far from that place now.”

    Barack Obama said his grandmother felt a “fear of black men who passed by her on the street.” But I’ll bet she didn’t fear every black man who passed her on the street. There are certainly some black whom I would fear if they passed me on the street. There are also certain teenagers whom I would fear if they passed me on the street. Does that make me afraid of teenagers? I also feel a hightened sense of vigilance when I pass by certain groups of motorcyclists, but not all groups of motorcyclists. — Only the ones whose attitude and behavior indicates they might be a threat.

    What is it that causes one to feel fear of a stranger on the street? I do not believe, in most cases, it’s the color of their skin. I think it has to do with their behavior, their attitude, the way they carry themselves, and sometimes the way they dress, if the way they dress expresses an association with a group of people that has a reputation for violence.

    Most black people I pass on the street are not frightening. Some are. But thugs come in all colors. Again, it’s not about race. It’s about individual choices that people make and the culture with which they choose to associate themselves.

  11. NYD – what I was trying to point out, is that within media circles, all whites have become scared to death that they may say something that offends blacks – as a group. And as a group, blacks are (more than ever) trying to find a reason to be ‘offended’. You can go on about this individual stuff all you want, and that’s real nice. But in America there is a double standard being applied to groups. Whites are not allowed to criticize or point out obvious truths pertaining to other races/cultures. And yet whites are expected to take criticism at every turn. For example, I’m sure you are aware that just before Paula Zahn left CNN she did a special that went on for weeks. It was called “Race in America”. The few times I caught it on – I left within a few minutes. The show “Race in America” was little more than a constant bombardment of white evils agains other races and blacks in particular. That is what I’m talking about. Here’s another example, if Barack Obama was a white GOP candidate who’s preacher had condemned the ‘primitive’ lifestyles of the black community, and who was ‘friends’ with a man whom had blown up abortion clinics – well he would have long been kicked off the canidate list and called a David Duke of sorts. That is what I am talking about. Whites are afraid of speaking up and telling the truth because they may offend somebody. It doesn’t help that 95% of media and news commentators are very liberal.

    I don’t fear blacks as individuals or as a group. Nor do I expect them to fear me. But what I do expect is the same treatment that they claim that they want. And that is equal treatment, where the same rules apply to both groups. But this is not what we have in the media today. And I don’t make my living pandering to brain washed Americans sitting in front of their television sets. I just wished media was more balanced instead of presenting the race issue as a one way street.

  12. I agree with you about the media being largely responsible for perpetuating the problem, on many levels. On the other hand, the media sells what people are buying. If people didn’t watch, they’d switch to selling something else.

    Personally, I don’t watch television, and haven’t owned one in over 20 years (ever since I took my TV up in the hills and summarily executed it with a .308). If you’re sick of having your brain scrubbed clean of every original thought, I highly recommend that course of action. It’s very cathartic. ;)

  13. Great advice – I’ve been considering it!!!

  14. […] presents It’s Not About Race, Rev. Wright posted at Government is not your Daddy., saying, “African Americans today are split between […]

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