The 1960s represent the golden age of white liberal mascot-hood for African-Americans. They were always the victims, never the criminals. No wonder they want to go back there…
“The reason that the black incarceration rate is the highest in the country is that blacks have the highest crime rate — by a long shot. Don’t trust the police, prosecutors, or judges to give a fair picture of black crime? Then go where the bodies are. Los Angeles is representative. In the first seven months of 2007, blacks in Los Angeles were murdered at a rate ten times that of whites and Asians. Who’s killing them? It’s not whites and Asians. While a minor proportion of the assailants of blacks are Hispanic, the vast majority are black themselves. Nationally, blacks commit murder at about eight times the frequency of whites. In New York, any given violent crime is 13 times more likely to have been committed by a black person than by a white person, according to the reports of victims and witnesses. Though they are only 24 percent of the city’s population, blacks committed 68.5 percent of all murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults in New York last year. Whites, who make up 34.5 percent of New Yorkers, committed only 5.3 percent of violent crimes. These ratios are similar across the country. In Los Angeles, blacks committed 41 percent of all robberies in 2001, according to victims’ descriptions, though they constitute only 11 percent of the city’s population. Robbery victims identified whites, who make up 30 percent of the Los Angeles population, just 4 percent of the time.”
They were rarely the winners, either. In the 1960s, blacks were on the comfortable cusp of breaking into the Establishment, walking proudly into Little Rock schools, fighting to get into Ole’ Miss. But what happened after those stirring photo ops, when they stopped being heroes and reality set in?
“No one in the Jena stampede dares whisper a word about black crime, because it undercuts the portrait of a victimized race. You can listen to every protest across the country glorifying the ‘Jena Six’ and you will never hear an acknowledgement of the massive social breakdown that is the black crime rate: no mention of the violence in inner-city schools that black students commit overwhelmingly; no mention of the rising homicides in midsize cities that young black males commit when they feel ‘disrespected.’ It is not racism that is putting black men in jail; it’s their own behavior.
“In short, the opportunities for blacks to roar ahead in the economy if they stay out of trouble, study, and apply themselves are legion, but the numbers taking advantage of these opportunities are not. California’s state superintendent of public instruction broke a longstanding taboo this August by pointing out that middle-class black students in the state score worse on math and English than poor white and Asian students—a disparity that applies across the country. The usual poverty excuse for black underachievement does not hold up.”
“That could be what’s happening here, although whether this is ‘the first black man he encountered’ isn’t clear from the picture. Interesting side note: the man who was being attacked was named Ted Landsmark. He spent part of his youth in Harlem. He later went on to Yale, to get a BA in Political Science, then got a PhD at Boston U. He is presently the president and CEO of the Boston Architectural Center, and has received fellowships from the National Science Foundation. (The Bush administration requested a three percent increase in their funding in the last budget.) The man in the photo wielding the flag was Joseph Rakes, who when last heard from was a laborer on the Big Dig in Boston. Ted Landsmark is writing opinion pieces for the Globe about the nature of the art and landscaping that will go on top of the tunnel.
“What a horrible country, eh?”