Racism as an all-purpose explanation for black dysfunction is a two-edged sword for non-dysfunctional blacks. It justifies all sorts of affirmative action and social service jobs that middle class blacks benefit from more than underclass blacks. On the other hand, it also disarms middle class blacks in trying to shame underclass blacks into acting better. Ghetto blacks have assimilated the message of American society that the highest moral priority is the War on Racism. And underclass blacks believe that by Keepin’ It Real (i.e., acting in a selfish, anti-social manner), they are fighting the good fight against Racism. Of course, this also makes them extremely obnoxious to middle class blacks who can’t get away from them. (…)
One thing I’m struck by is the lack of social science research into how to get lower class minorities to stop being such bad neighbors. Generally, research is organized either from the perspective of lower class minorities as victims of society, or, in a few cases, around preventing major crimes (J.Q. Wilson’s famous “broken windows” theory). But how best to combat simple ghetto obnoxiousness, such as people strolling down the middle of the street blocking traffic, is not a popular academic topic.