Slavery and de facto Jim Crow

7 posts

Bob Dylan Roof

From Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow :

There are more African Americans under correctional control today — in prison or jail, on probation or parole — than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began. As of 2004, more African American men were disenfranchised (due to felon disenfranchisement laws) than in 1870, the year the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified, prohibiting laws that explicitly deny the right to vote on the basis of race.​

A black child born today is less likely to be raised by both parents than a black child born during slavery. The recent disintegration of the African American family is due in large part to the mass imprisonment of black fathers. If you take into account prisoners, a large majority of African American men in some urban areas have been labeled felons for life. (In the Chicago area, the figure is nearly 80%.) These men are part of a growing undercaste — not class, caste — permanently relegated, by law, to a second-class status.​
Niccolo and Donkey

Questions that beg to be asked:

Why are so many black men incarcerated?

Is it economic, cultural, or both?

Is the Drug War a way to keep these men in prison for social reasons?

Does the American ethos of individual rights and wide liberty not lend itself to easy adaption to black culture?

Bob Dylan Roof

I haven't studied the topic in-depth, but my guess is that this strange state of affairs is the result of a combination of effects, including urban criminal culture, race, and the economic interests of the prisons, state employees and foreign drug lords.

Romantics who revered the stoic brutality of Indians (and there were many in the 19th century) criticized the US government and the Liberal perspective by suggesting that it was a fools' errand to try to transform warrior nomads into ''wage earners''. Indians aren't really comparable to Blacks, but its probably just as foolish for a government to try to transform men who were valued for their brute physicality and obedient malleability into ''wage earners''.
Both. Black culture in America is dysfunctional for historical reasons and Blacks have racial idiosyncracies that seem to preclude their assimilation (even if assimilating them were indeed a laudable goal, and that's highly debatable). Blacks also lack economic opportunities because their communities (and many White communities as well) were dismantled by acts of state. I believe its two different questions. Why don't Blacks succeed, and why are Blacks prone to criminality aren't related to an identical nexus of facts and circumstances. Liberal thought conflates 'poverty' w/criminality, but this is misplaced for many reasons.

The Drug War is a way of managing a national security problem that has as a secondary benefit a pretext for incarcerating unmanageable lumpenproles. Its where people like the ''Freakonomics'' guy have a blind spot. When Nixon and Reagan said we're ''at war'' with the narcotics trade, they meant what they said. Narcotics profits fund NSA activity in theatres the USA considers to be essential. Its not merely a way of dealing w/unruly Blacks in American cities.
This deserves its own thread. The claim that America is an 'individualist' society is dubious. America has been highly, and I mean highly, conformist since the conclusion of the War Between the States.
President Camacho

In the SB Thomas777 mentioned a couple weeks ago that "Slavery is a form of patronage, sometimes benevolent, sometimes cruel", and I think this is essential to understanding the current plight of blacks today. The negro was once the client of slaveowning Southerners, and after the Civil War simply switched masters; Uncle Sam took up the reigns and became patronus to the negro community.

The flip side of the OP article-- as we are constantly reminded--is that "blacks are closing the gap in all aspects of life" and becoming powerful leaders of government and industry. And so how the American negro performs in the lottery of life--then and now-- depends largely on how willingly he accepts the will of his master.

An obedient 'field nigger' was rewarded with social comforts like women, booze, rations, and the chance of moving on into master's house or even being set free. On the other hand an unruly slave would be whipped, shackled, mutilated or killed.

Today the negro who swims with the current can get government to build him a house and buy him meals if he cannot afford them, get a no-work pork-funded job with full benefits, and is required only to be presentable and mildly competent to win a highly valued spot at a Fortune 500 company, even in troubling financial times.

On the other hand, if he tries to gamble with Master's laws in the big city (equivalent to running off the plantation in slaveholding days), he will find himself with a career of prison time or wind up getting shot by a rival or by the police.

The reason for the racial disparity in prison is that most criminal activity happens in cities, most large and aggressive police departments are in cities, and negroes tend to inhabit the most concentrated areas of cities and specialize in the open-air drug trade. It's easy to ambush guys like that, and inflated city police departments have nothing better to do. Like shooting fish in a barrel really.


Camacho 100%

If I remember correctly, Whites were once a much larger percentage of the prison population when they were more urban and poor. Cook County, for example, held far more Whites back in the days the city was home to more impoverished, uneducated, underemployed young White males.

It's the same in other countries, urban poor fill the prisons. I believe if Black Americans were to get out of the cities and/or make an income, you'll see prison demographics shift Latino.

Then again, someone might reply that conviction rates for White urban poor versus Black urban poor are uneven, or that urban Blacks and rural Blacks show similar stats. But I don't know if that's the case.

In a comparative sense, Blacks aren't ''poor''. I'd guess that the poorest people in America are in places like Appalachia or wallowing on Indian reservations.

Blacks gangbang and carry on in violent ways for psychological reasons. They do it for glory or for power or for reasons of instinct that can't be rationally explained.

I've read that Blacks in Rhodesia and other places did well under the tutelage of White officers when they were organized into colonial military corps. Institutions of that sort is what makes White rule possible and productive, as precedent seems to demonstrate. America's ''Negro problem'' has more to do with the fact that govt. has decided that Blacks will either become middle class wage earners or they will be punished for their sloth and recklessness.

Most races of humans aren't suited to working as insurance salesmen or IT managers. This is something that social planners in the Western world refuse to account for in their calculations. Most of the world's people need ordinary labor, military regimentation/combat, and clear and concrete rules and systems of order if they are going to be productive and not deteriorate into various pathological ways of living. Most people are not low-key, overcivilized, Anglo-Protestant suburbanites.