January 30, 2015

The Black Community

It's sort of fascinating to me how communal the African-American community is. I mean but wow, just the voting record alone (i.e. 90-95% for Democrats) puts Catholics to shame given that we can't even agree to refrain from voting for a pro-abort politician.  

What's the secret? Black community seems to thrive in part due to shaming ("Uncle Tom" and "Aunt Jemina" for those accused of going outside the fold), skin color over materialism, efficiency or safety, and a shared history of persecution (and a lively sense of current persecution).  There's even a substitute national anthem! Sometimes you have to wonder at how much our melting pot has melted, and whether e pluribus unum is a convenient fiction.

Some selections from the book  Devil's Night: And Other True Tales of Detroit: 
Most black Detroiters do not measure their lives, or their city, by the yardsticks of the American middle class. [Mayor] Young may not have provided them with the safest streets or most efficient services; nor has he been able to raise their standard of living. But he has given his constituents something even more valuable: a feeling of empowerment and personal worth. Detroit is one of the few places in the country where blacks can live in a sympathetic, black-oriented milieu.
Kim Weston sang black America’s national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” This, too, is standard Detroit practice. On occasions when the presence of white dignitaries makes “The Star-Spangled Banner” necessary, the master of ceremonies invariably follows it by saying, “Now we will sing our anthem,” and “Lift Every Voice” is performed.
Unfortunately for [candidate] Barrow, these same qualities were interpreted by blacks as a lack of ethnic authenticity. In a city where blackness is equated with street-smart militance, he didn’t seem like the real thing...Unexpectedly, he veered off into a defense of his own racial authenticity. He mentioned the fact that he had been born in Black Bottom and raised on the east side, in a black neighborhood, and he recalled boyhood trips to the segregated South. “I remember having to drink out of the colored water fountain,” he said, his flat Michigan inflection taking on a southern tone.
This was Detroit, not America, and in the black polis, all politics are ultimately about race. The mayor did not object to competence (a good case could be made that he is a far better manager than Barrow), but it was beside the point. To him, the issue was, as always, protecting Detroit’s black integrity and independence from the suburbs.
A television reporter picked up a red-and-gray booklet from a coffee table and began to thumb through it. Entitled Hit the Road, in honor of Young’s famous challenge to the city’s hoodlums, it was written by someone called “King George” Cunningham, Jr., and published in 1974. Several of the journalists gathered around and guffawed at Cunningham’s overblown prose. “Look at this,” one said, turning to page 19, and read aloud: “Thank you, Jesus. We’ve got a new god, Coleman.”

1 comment:

Thomas D said...

Prudence dictates that I should refrain from commenting. But yes, formidable cohesion. And a sense that even if a leader is incompetent or dangerous, "he's our son-of-a-gun ..."