Skip to comments.Crouch: Some very poor excuses - So-called 'authentic' street culture is just plain destructive
Posted on 09/29/2005 6:48:32 PM PDT by Lando Lincoln
When we look at the ongoing crisis in the depths of black America, it is sometimes hard to understand why there was such an explosion of outrage at Bill Cosby. One would have thought that he did the very worst thing possible when he called on the carpet the self-destructive behavior that separates prosperity from poverty. What Cosby showed was how dangerous defensiveness in face of the facts can be to any serious discussion of poverty. Poverty and ignorance have always been well-acquainted. Part of the problem at the bottom is ignorance. Part of the problem of those who suffer from it is those in the black middle class who pretend to be engaged intellectuals but come up with nothing more than long-winded dismissals of accurate observations as some variation of "blaming the victim."
I began thinking more about this when I read in The New York Times about the health problems in Nigeria that are being addressed with the hard science of medicine rather than a "respect" for indigenous culture that allows backward ways to maintain themselves. Young women who are suffering from fistulas, a problem largely gone from Western life, are being treated by European doctors who take the catastrophe seriously. These young women find themselves with babies lodged in their birth canals, which result in the tearing of their bowels or their urethras. In the backward way of people who live at least part of their lives in the world of incapacitating superstition, these girls are usually rejected in exactly the same way as the rape victims of marauding African "revolutionary" troops who turn available women into sex slaves.
None of these problems are determined by genetics or are explained by the superstitions of racism. The human being is a learning animal. Any barbaric tradition can be rejected in the face of education.
What we need in America is the same kind of hard science that has no sentimental investment in authenticity or diversity when it amounts to ways of living that are self-destructive.
An ignorant person never represents an ethnic group or a religion. An ignorant person represents, most of all, every other ignorant person - regardless of color, sex, ethnicity, class, religion or any other particulars.
Once those facts are faced, we can get to work on changing the popularization of backward ideas and barbaric behavior that the popular media promotes as "pushing the envelope," which can result in middle class black parents finding their well-reared children aspiring to be the knuckleheads and street hussies.
A belief in education, the development of skills and the refinement of character are the best weapons against backwardness of the self-destructive sort. People like Cosby and Oprah Winfrey understand this well, and we would do ourselves a favor by getting up on the level of perception from which they are making clear observation in the most important terms, the human ones that are always stronger than tired rhetoric and predictable ideology.
Ignorance is the enemy of mankind.
"Part of the problem at the bottom is ignorance."
Too bad it's not "cool" to be smart.
In most of the black urban culture....to be "smart" is too white.
"An ignorant person never represents an ethnic group or a religion. An ignorant person represents, most of all, every other ignorant person - regardless of color, sex, ethnicity, class, religion or any other particulars."
Can this guy write or what? This is one for the all-time quote book.
There are cultures and civilizations and there are also anti-cultures and anti-civilizations. Time to choose sides.
We are seeing the early signs of PC rebellion. We have GOT to talk about this stuff, no matter who gets their knickers in a twist.
I don't know. To me, it appears too many young blacks of today have dropped to the lowest common denominator. I look at it as a lack of pride.
Except Crouch has been ringing this bell for at least 15 years.
It is right on, but try telling that to a democrap.
Much of this "authentic" street culture is a fantasy anyway. The real rage against Cosby, et al, is that they are destroying an illusion with cold, hard fact. That is unforgivable to someone with a vested interest in the illusion.
'Except Crouch has been ringing this bell for at least 15 years.'
First I've read by him. I will add him to my list.
He's extremely good. He was the first to call Spike Lee on his nonsense and the first to take on the Nation of Islam. His essays are very good, though I'm not into his long dissertations of jazz.
"It is right on, but try telling that to a democrap."
True, but Crouch is black, forcing the Democrats to again resort to the "he's not really black" defense.
His observation about the essential nature of humanity, the ultimate consideration, is part of his integrity. He thinks in terms of principle.
Contemporary black American culture is very much a function of slavery, although maybe not in ways thought to be so, by those affected by it. Yet, it is a function of slavery, and that alone means it has to be regarded with some degree of humility.
Small-mindedness harms the small-minded, whoever they may be.
"... don't know. To me, it appears too many young blacks of today have dropped to the lowest common denominator. I look at it as a lack of pride."
Give me a break! That is a bunch of PC crap that belongs in the trashbin of the "self-esteem" BS. Like the post above said, it's time to choose sides. There reaches a point that talking is over, it is past that point. It is not doing any good. We already have a DAILY drive-by murder or two, or three (in San Antonio, TX) and it's amazing how OK we are with that sort of thing! NO! It needs to be eradicated. We continually speak of a "War on This, and that, and the other" but nothing happens. No, it's time to take action folks for our own survival. Gangs must be identified and eliminated. Tell me a better solution, I want to hear it. Tell me something I haven't heard in my 63 years of listening to psychobabble. You are witnessing the rise of the new barbarians right before our eyes and somehow you plan to what, give them MORE PRIDE? What's that nonsense?
Friends tell me that no one dares walking in downtown areas of middle American (Dearborn, MI for example)and of course, other places like San Antonio. What an outrage. We can't walk around in our own cities? Why not? Because we have relinquished control, law and order is NOT enforced, it's all touchy-feely crap. Nope, it's time to act, take back our streets, then our neighborhoods then our cities. We demand it, see that it is done and remove those that hesitate. Tough times call for tough folks.
Times ain't tough yet.
Cosby is like someone's old maid aunt. Nobody likes a nudge. Crouch writes with intelligence and reason.
Well, I sure agree with you on that (Condi Rice). Headson, no, the times really aren't that tough, that what amazes me about the trepidation of people that are supposed to be in charge, to uphold the law, to do right.
When it does get tough, that will be the winnowing process, we'll see. However, roaming bands of thugs shooting and killing people sounds pretty tough to me, important to be prepared to take action.
Stanley Crouch rules!!! Been reading his stuff for years
Bravo! I enjoyed your common sense and plain speaking. With regards to the use of the word "pride" it's my contention that as with so much else which has become degraded, so too has our lexicon.
Americans, for the most part, don't realize that 'pride' really means 'self-love" (narcissism).
What the people who are
the subject of this article lack is 'self-respect," something which can only be earned the hard way.
Good point! Words have meanings. Think of Self Esteem as
a man's reputation with himself. . .
There was a very good opinion piece by Charles Abrams in yesterday's WSJ that analyzed the underclass and its dysfunctional behavior.
The problem is that many black "leaders," instead of recognizing underclass behavior for what it is, define it as authentically "black" behavior, which it is not. But if your self-definition as a group is one based on a model of thuggishness, irresponsibility, laziness and resentment - all underclass characteristics not related to color - then you are condemned to remain trapped in this definition.
For a long time, blacks who study, do well in school, speak well, etc. have been considered "not really black," simply because they are not reflecting underclass behavior and characteristics. Black "leaders" - such as the inflammatory Jesse and Louie - have to stop defending underclass behavior and particularly have to stop defending it as something authentically black.
As I wipe the coffee spatters off my computer screen I have to say that right there is where he shot himself in the foot.
Oprah could be used as the poster child of those incapable of separating fact from fantasy
She is easily recognizable as a pink person
She politicizes science with the best of the race-baiters and environmentalist whackos.
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