Doctor Carson’s Cultural Clamp

ProvidentLabTech42Delano (2)

Jack Delano photo. Provident Hospital, Chicago, IL. Lab Technician. 1942  FSA/LOC.

Be honest, raise your hands if you think Negroes are lazy freeloaders, supported by society. The first step to help is to admit the problem! So openly admit the belief that that people of color drain the economy and are worst than Pentagon overruns, product warranties, govt shutdowns or Bush’s wasted millions? May we have an open dialogue without violence?

Targets of mob violence* (*punching, kicking, cursing, name calling) include a single man roughed up (AL), 30+ silent students on their own campus marched out (GA), a smiling Muslim woman (SC) who came to meet and greet. In Chicago, the home of excessive force, gangs, and political combat (murdered aldermen, bummers, repeaters) , chanting “troublemakers” fought back the mob surge.

Let’s have a kumbaya moment! Confessing, we can see beyond simple bias and blame to look at a resilient system of racism and how it works. On property values: low in the ghetto until gentrification arises, they increase as taxes displace the elderly and poor. On police, mutual mistrust. On education: decrepit schools. On jobs, frozen wages. On Flint: denial!—blaming regulation (Bush), offering excuses (Rubio) and met with silence–as children’s intellectual functioning, attention, thinking and behavior, speech and learning, memory and fine motor skills, problem solving and self-control are put at life long risk.

Raise your hands if you are biased! Strom Thurmond not withstanding, I, for one, am willing to listen to your pain! We can overcome!

On Dr. Ben: Sadly, deep in his psyche, Dr. Ben never believed in the competence of those from the black community; he suffered a profound inner fear of Obama’s rise to power in part because it shook a core belief, one used to explain the failure he saw around him. His is one of the oldest forms of racialism; society is composed of single organisms, individual people differentiated by racial prototype, which determines a host of character qualities and flaws. He could not view racism as a system of oppression, it was a natural political order; he was an exception who escaped. His anger turned inward, toward the family and the group: those most like him reminded him of what in his soul he felt he lacked, what doomed him, except for God’s grace. He could find virtually no heroes, no success stories, no people he admired of color. In the most ancient of racial views, success was formed from contact outside the “plantation,” and even then, it was not enough for him to overcome. In the end, he succumbed.

With his endorsement of Trump, he returned to his roots, accepted his unspoken notion of his own inferiority, an embedded view that transcends most world class craft. He couldn’t shake it: not by fits of anger, dreams of opportunity, not by incredible professional success, or by a search for power and national endorsements.

In the end, it drug him down, back to that dark place of comfort without hope. His character once common, is rare and remarkable today.

~~I’m not sure that this opaque statement communicated what you hoped to convey. Did you intend to insult African Americans or to show that you’re insightful in an analysis of some of the most recent events. Either way, I think it failed in both respects. The article was about Trump and Carson’s endorsement of him. That was the main idea.

“Opaque” means not transparent: did you miss the meaning? It’s an invitation to address racism directly! That begins with an honest admission! It also requires a definition: hence, the list of examples that include property values, schools, policing, and wages.

Apart from playing thought police–no where do comments have to be a subset of the column–I am honestly surprised you have decided African-Americans are “insulted.” (The many I forwarded it to laughed and identified with the open call, and also understood the second comment, having witnessed persons framed by these ideas. In drama, Sgt. Waters in the powerful Charles Fuller play, “A Soldier’s Story” is such a character who resembles and exhibits the attitudes Dr. Carson expresses.

Sometimes those outside of the culture and community will miss the point–just as they miss the point of their racism, and miss their paternalism. A telling point is they never confess: not to bias, not to not having the cultural experience to assess cultural descriptions, not to not having thought about racism as a system or being able to provide systemic examples beyond bias.

It is impossible to see Carson’s endorsement of Trump in an important African-American context (not the political context of race Charles examines), without searching for inner truth–as within that context, Carson is expressing a known inner truth. “A Soldier’s Story,” by the way, was nominated for 3 Oscars, one as best picture in 1984.



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