walter russell mead peter berger lilia shevtsova adam garfinkle andrew a. michta
Feed
Features
Reviews
Podcast
Published on: June 22, 2011
Racial Sunset
show comments
  • ksdhyg9ptfgvw

    “the twenty-first century is on course to witness the death of race as a significant political and cultural concept.”

    I disagree with this statement.
    Racism is disappearing, except against whites and Jews.

    For example, anyone who opposes Obama is called a racist:

    http://www.orlytaitzesq.com/?p=23088

    “She saw me in an elevator in the Superior court and started making comments, that my cases against Obama make me look racist. I told her, that it had nothing to do with his race, it had everything to do with the fact, that he is a complete fraud and that he is using a forged BC and invalid SSN ID. She kept calling me names, she kept calling me crazy, and she was really inciting people in the elevator to say something pro Obama and against me. There were 10 people cramped in the elevator. One guy started yelling at me and telling me, that I need to get the hell out of the country. I thought, that this guy might hit me.”

    There’s also this:

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=314309

    Delta adopts Saudi
    ‘no-Jew’ fly policy

    “Delta Air Lines’ plan to add Saudi Arabian Airlines to its SkyTeam Alliance of partnering companies would require the American carrier to ban Jews and holders of Israeli passports from boarding flights from New York or Washington bound for Jeddah, prompting outraged accusations of illegal religious discrimination.”

  • Nobody

    I must say, it is the articulate insight of posts like this that make me a devoted reader (even in spite of missteps like the “Atheism kills” post that even still disgusts me to no end).

  • Anthony

    “America has always been a nation of shifting boundaries and definitions….” Unique outlier vis-a-vis American caste structure contexually within racial parameters ends. The Unites States has turned an important corner vis-a-vis its historical black problem. The aforementioned is correct and factual. Equally, “the color line is now just one of many questions we face” as we grapple honestly with incorporating black Americans into our American vision going forward rings true. Yet, America has many parts and many of these parts are mutually and irrationally antagonistic on grounds irrelevant to the welfare of each. Indulging these predilections (cultural, religious, regional, ethnic, etc.) have often been used to rationalize black exclusion from American identity. WRM suggest we continue liquidating the bitter legacy and move on; move on we must as we honestly acknowledge the role color plays and we determine that American life will no longer be diminished because of it.

  • bob sykes

    This might be the most ignorant and delusional blog I have ever read. The tide is running strongly in the opposite direction. You do realize that there is a low-level Hispanic/Black race war, complete with violent ethnic cleansing, underway in Los Angeles and other cities in the US, don’t you? You do realize that Black gangs hunt Whites in many cities?

    Race relations in the US today are the worst I have ever seen. While affirmative action has benefited middle class and upper class Blacks (what few there are), the Black underclass is in the most desperate condition in its history. Crime, drugs, illiteracy, illegitimacy are far worse today that in 1960.

  • Anthony

    “There is not a country in world history in which racism has been more important, for so long a time, as the United States.” How does it start? How does it end? Cui Bono! bob sykes @4 illustrates difficult terrain to cross as U.S. social order transforms. The intelligent person is prone to make significant distinctions, to analyze, compare, reflect and seek out ‘difficulties’ in proffered propositions, whether flattering or promising to himself or not. However, if insecurities pervade critical/skeptical U.S. analysis vis-a-vis racial conditions/propositions is avoided and trite cliches, sterotypes, predilections, etc. are immediately psychologically reassuring thus avoidance of cognitive dissonance.

    WRM, I have always asked CUI BONO regarding maintaining societal division/competion/distaste/combat/enmity between black Americans and others who have entered these welcoming shores; how psychologically ingenious as well as socially controlling using blacks to mis-focus discontent.

  • Otis McWrong

    This blog is very good news indeed. However, before we declare race irrelevant, somebody should alert La Raza (literally, “The Race), the NAACP, Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, etc. Unfortunately, I have to agree with Bob Sykes – white intellectuals wanting race to be unimportant doesn’t make it so.

    Regarding violence: It is open season on whites in many cities – google “Polar Bear Hunting” if you’re curious. Black (err, race neutral) flash mobs destroying businesses and violently assaulting white men and women are increasingly frequent. WRM citing now non-existent lynchings as proof of declining racial violence is silly – blacks murder more people every single year in the US than were lynched in the history of the United States.

    The “black middle class” is almost exclusively government employees. The almost exclusively black underclass is further from earning a middle class standard of living than they’ve ever been. Racial violence – primarily against whites or if you’d refer, Americans Descended from Europeans is at an all time high. Institutionalized racism in the form of quotas, affirmative action, “hate crimes” being something only whites can commit, and our Attorney General openly talking about “my people” is as present as its ever been.

    I suppose wanting race to be irrelevant is easier than contemplating the alternative: it is relevant and there is very little that can be done about it. For me, having recently had a large rock thrown at my car (fortunately it missed) accompanied by a “f**k you white mother f**&*er” shouted by a member of the African-American non-race – for the crime of driving down a Miami street at 3pm – I’ve found applying for and receiving a concealed firearm permit and carrying a loaded handgun anywhere I’m likely to encounter my fellow citizens to be the more prudent choice.

    That said, I have zero doubt than as instances of whites defending themselves become more frequent, we’ll have the usual suspects whining about racism and black victimology.

  • Anthony

    Some clarification, I don’t sense white intellectuals (whatever is inferred by that) want “race” to be unimportant nor do I think they condone violent/urban disorder caused in some U.S. cities via so-called flash mobs!

    Regrettably in a country of over 300 million people and a long history of real and imagined antagonisms, anecdotal examples supporting tendentious conculsions can be cited to justify inclinations mollifying growing alienation.

    Otis McWrong’s sentiment @6 reveals how living in a system that turns one citizen against another and facilitates group resentments as a result of economic distribution arrangements can allow for the justification/rationalization of defense by which he speaks; all the while blaming blaming white intellectuals, black ‘victimology’ panderers, government policy, etc. for his free choices in a system that offers wide though not unlimited free choice.

    Otis McWrong is correct, the most common and most publicized crimes have been the violent crimes of the young, the poor – a virtual terrorization in big cities. A society so stratified by wealth and education lends itself to envy and class anger (please don’t read into last sentence criminal coddling). Perhaps properly understanding thrust of WRM’s exposition would force critical question: How has discontent and disillusionment with system among Americans in 2011 created such estrangement and hostility among its citizenry?

    I dare say our own inability to successfully guage our institutional arrangements has allowed for distorting influences to despoil the adequacy bemoaned by Otis McWrong.

  • Otis McWrong

    While wading through the above in search of a point, one thing stood out.

    Asserting that African-Americans commit the majority of violent crime is not “anecdotal” nor “tendentious”. Facts are stubborn things – about 65% of violent crime is committed by 13% of the population, and is even more concentrated when isolated to African-American males (approximately 6.5% of the population.

    Race exists, whether we like it or not. Whether it remains relevant in the future is an open question, but it is certainly relevant today and likely to become more so as we worship at the altar of multiculturalism. Further, the US complaining industry needs race – it is too hard to segment people into neat little piles of victims without it.

    I fully agree with WRM that those thinking about how to help the underclass should think beyond race – specifically focus on a destructive culture.

    Blaming “institutional arrangements”, “stratified” society, “discontent and disillusionment” and “group resentments” is unproductive. Such terms are infinitely malleable and can (and will) be constantly redefined to ensure they always exist and are in need of govt funding.

  • bob sykes

    I want to apologize to WRM for the intemperate and insulting opening to my comment. It was not only inappropriate, I also failed to properly recognize Prof. Mead’s distinguished academic career.

    I believe Prof Mead is thinking of his own professorial colleagues. But, this genteel and elite group does not represent the attitudes and practices of the rest of society.

  • Derick Schilling

    It’s W.E.B. Du Bois, not Dubois.

    • Walter Russell Mead

      Thanks. The intern responsible is being keelhauled to impress the importance of accuracy. The senior staff have been issued stock options to incentivize them to be more vigilant in future.

  • Bruce B

    Can you separate race from culture? The problems in the inner city are not problems of race, but problems created by the culture of fatherless families. As we know, this was perpetuated by “compassionate” liberals bestowing welfare money on “disadvantaged” people.

    Mainstream America has moved past race, other than when they have it shoved down their throats by race pimps, who still exist and still prosper.

    It is disappointing that Dr. Mead feels that discrimination against whites in hiring and school admissions is still acceptable. Who is to decide when we are a society that has atoned for past racial sins to the point where this is form of preference is no longer necessary? If minorities want equality, don’t they need to compete on an equal basis? They would be able to compete if elites didn’t feel they were apparently inferior and couldn’t do it on their own. W did a lot of things wrong, but his speechwriter’s phrase, “The soft bigotry of low expectations” was profound. Liberals are still OK with that kind of bigotry. Bigotry is only acceptable if a liberal deems it so because it is disguised by their good intentions.

  • Andrea D. Merciless

    “The death of race would be good news for the United States. Race has always (and appropriately) been the skunk at the American picnic. The long reign of slavery followed by 80 years of Jim Crow is a horror and a shame in American history that undermines some of our favorite ideas about ourselves. The existence of a largely Black urban underclass is one of America’s most serious problems and the roots of so much urban and rural poverty and human suffering in that painful history poses policy problems the American mind has trouble addressing.”

    I don’t buy this. Even if blacks had arrived in huge numbers as free people than as slaves and even if there had been no racial discrimination against them, much of our racial problems would exist just the same. Indeed, things might be even worse–if what happened to Zimbabwe and what is happening to South Africa are any indication.
    And take a look at Western Europe where blacks have been arriving only recently and as free people(and bestowed with full equal rights). Despite European generosity, entire areas of London and Paris suburbs are turning into Euro-Detroits or Eurotroits.
    Race will not and cannot go away because races exist, racial differences are real, and racial issues will dog us for those reasons.

    Blacks will continue to underperform academically and professionally due to lower IQ. Blacks will continue to be a social menace because they are, by nature, more aggressive and physically stronger. Lower intelligence, tougher physique, and greater aggression make many blacks difficult to get along with, which is why even white and Jewish liberals push blacks out of certain haute-areas through gentric cleansing.

    The kind of black nationalism as espoused by Malcolm X is less relevant, but this isn’t because race is no longer an issue, but because many blacks figured they could gain more power and advantages via afro-motive action(aka discrimination against white middle class and poor class), collaborate with liberal Jews to undermine white power and interests. Also, Mexican-Americans support illegal immigration because most illegals are Mexicans. It’s all about Greater Mexican Nationalism. SW territories are undergoing profound and shocking cultural changes. Also, Jews–2% of US population but owners of 40% of all the wealth, controllers of most of the media, owners of Wall Street, etc–are very ethnocentric and have been using America for Jewish interests and Zionism. Jews seek to diversify US demographics so they can play divide-and-rule among the various goyim. When Jews say ‘diversity is our strength’, they really mean ‘diviing and ruling over a diverse/divided goy population is OUR Jewish strength.’ A small number of British were able to rule India for so long because of the diversity. Brits played Hindu vs Muslim, regiion against region. Had India been homogeneous, no way could the Brits have ruled for over 2 centuries.

    Also, growing interracism is bad for white race, especially white male pride. As increasing numbers of white women go with black males(because black males are seen as racially-sexually-physically superior to dweeby, soft, and flabby ‘white boys’), whites males will be reduced to ‘white uncle tom’ status ho-de-doing before the black man and the Supremacist Jew. Also, if the pathological genes of blacks prone to crime, aggression, funky behavior, and uninhibited lunacy spread far and wide throughout the population, it will be bad for America as a whole. Race will continue to matter, and Mead’s pontifications are just wishful thinking.

    Though slavery was wrong and Jim Crow was unpleasant, US remained ahead of nations such as Brazil because American whites were more mindful of preserving their racial heritage, talents, identity, pride, and greatness. But as the American white race becomes mulatto-ized and mestizo-ized, US will just become a big version of Brazil-Mexico with ever bigger slums, growing dependency, crime, and degeneracy.

  • Anthony

    Permit me to be perfectly clear, I am not pettifogging statistical data nor seeking an argument. Facts are relevant and timely when appropriate (liars figure and figures lie). Further, extrapolating black concerns from America’s concerns require disaggregation of theme and thus creating new topic and in my opinion skewing exposition’s purpose. Moreover, concise usage of terms to minimize response to premise is done not for malleability but for precision of idea. Concepts like victim, multiculturalism, government funding, etc. are extraneous to WRM’s original premise and come into discussion by way of commentary. Otis McWrong may disagree with premise of Racial Sunset and he may dislike blacks but because a syllogism does not fit your construct, attacking its terms does not invalidate its soundness; and the fallacy of appealing to data sans context to undergird special pleading only reinforces tendentiousness.

    “How skillful to tax the middle class to pay for the relief of the poor, building resentment on top of humilation! How adroit to bus poor black youngster into poor white neifhborhoods, in a violent exchange of impoverished schools, while the schools of the rich remain untouched and the wealth of the nation, doled out carefully where children need free milk, is drained for billion-dollar aircraft carriers. How ingenious to meet demands of blacks and women for equality by giving them small benefits, and setting them in competition with everyone else for jobs made scarce by an irrational, wasteful system. How wise to turn the fear and anger of the majority toward a class of criminals bred – by economic inequity – faster than they can be put away, deflecting attention from the huge thefts of national resources carried out within the law by men in excutive offices.” Institutional arrangements are what they are. I have made no assessments only observations… Otis McWrong. Terms have meaning; humans make them malleable thus unproductive.

    Finally, blacks have serious problems but isolating black problems from America’s problems maintains factious not national interest.

  • Luke Lea

    It is my opinion that racial animosities will continue as long as the half of the population that ends up in the bottom half of the income distribution find it hard to lead materially productive, meaningful, and fulfilling lives. But if we could somehow solve that problem of class the problem of race would take care of itself.

  • Anthony

    @12, this happened in America: “During World War II the goverment administered what was known as the General Education Test to nearly ten million men. A score of 100 represented the average. Approximately 50 percent of all who took the test scored from 86 to 114; 25 percent were below 86; and 25 percent above 114. The method of grading was based on earlier inquiries of psychologists into national distribution of intelligence…. An IQ of 110 is the minimum required for admission to standard colleges and universities today, excluding at a stroke 75 percent. It is this utterly pathetic low state of IQness in much of the population that points up the observation made some years ago by an acute American observer that actually the great bulk of citizens are….” This @12 was written about Americans and their living descendants by psychological specialists testing for uniformity in intelligence as well as children in same family. So, who is to say.

  • Otis McWrong

    Anthony – nice try with “Otis may dislike blacks”. I predicted in my first comment that eventually the racist card would get played and it did. To be precise, I dislike violent criminals. To the extent you equate that with blacks, that is your issue. That said, the fact that violent crime correlates quite highly with race means that race is not irrelevant and is unlikely to become so.

    The rest of your post in 14 seems to be of the “blame the system” variety. We buy aircraft carriers which causes blacks to misbehave, blah blah. Blaming vast impersonal forces or a failure to properly implement government policies while simultaneously implying that if we just tweaked a bit here and did a better job of telling people what to do over there, our problems would solved is just standard leftist nonsense and not worth addressing.

    One of the bigger threats facing African-Americans today is what happens if whites simply tire of making vast transfer payments to people that seem to make no progress, while also violently attacking those paying for their daily existence. I’m not sure what would happen then but am afraid to find out.

  • Mike D’Virgilio

    “Black poverty remains an important social problem in the United States — in many ways the most serious and tragic social problem we have. It is one of the Obama administration’s greatest failings that the President has not yet found a way to address the needs of the inner city and, as I’ve written in earlier posts, all Americans should be concerned by the many ways in which the ongoing disintegration of the blue social model will affect African Americans and especially the poor.”

    This is WRM’s inner post liberal speaking, not quite able to admit or realize that a president of the United States can do absolutely nothing about such intractable cultural problems as black inner city disfuntion. For well over 100 years the secular elitist left claimed that the traditional, two parent family was repressive, that traditional sexual morality based on Judeo-Christian values was not conducive to true human flourishing. This of course come to flower in the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 70s. Add to this the growth of the welfare state that destroyed incentives to build middle class values, and we have inner city problems that may never change. If they do, certainly government will have nothing to do with it, except to make it worse.

  • J. Ram Ray

    Dr. Mead is an enormously informed scholar but his perspective is limited simply because he a privileged White man working in a field dominated by the privileged class.

    The boards and top managements of the Wall Street firms that caused the coollapse were and are indeed dominated by persons who are of European (and Jewish) origin, often with ivy leage social connections, with token representation for non-Whites.

    Two, Pakistanis may be preoccupied with religion but Indians are not, as Hinduism is not a religion, but a culture a way of life -Hinduism has no founder, no official priests and no formal rulebooks.
    Lastly, true America today is less racist but race remains the primary driver in economic, social and health disparities.

  • Anthony

    Otis McWrong, I play no mass cultural card (too much indoctrination). I think culturally you obviate (misinterpret reply) response to avoid cognitive dissonance (its not all white and black and its not defending or excusing any group). Labeling, name calling, and ad hominem usage shifts the emphasis from the question to emotional signals. Fortunately, we in America and on WRM’s blog can seek the American interest with differing views!

    As an addendum Otis McWrong to a previous comment, I modify that human life, in truth, is less an affair of institutions and systems than of people and an interplay of “motivations” and “abilities” in which life is wrapped up.

  • Treshall

    I share Dr. Mead’s opinion that Mr. Obama has been woefully ineffective on the issue of race. His is the politics of envy, division, resentment and payback. Eric Holder’s so-called Dept. of “Justice” is but another of this administration’s sham fronts, a failure on every level. It seems to me that the black population who supported and elected Obama, based on what they thought he would do for them, must now be bitterly disappointed to see him at best, use and demagogue their issues, when he deigns to address them at all, and, at worst, ignore both people and their specific concerns until such time as they can be useful to him, once again, as a convenient political tool. Such usury of individuals adds insult to the their already considerable injury.

  • kjnwifgfiqlgffvfj

    You should get out of your ivory tower and look at the real world.

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2011/06/black-youths-march-in-peoria-screaming-we-need-to-kill-all-white-people/

    Black Youths March in Peoria Screaming, “We Need to Kill All White People!”

  • Atrebatus

    Big problem here in Australia are islamists who ignore the main polity and insist on marrying their 1st cousins and producing what would have been non-viable babies. Today they survive and become a burden on the state fore 25 years or so. Needless to say, ordinary islamist children are signal under-perforners.

  • Anonymous Illegitimate

    Although I am white, I know firsthand what my black countrypeople have gone through to some extent, because I have experienced a very cruel and exploitative set of misfortunes caused by what they call my illegitimacy. Hidden discrimination against illegitimates, even murder, is still common. It goes back far longer than racial discrimination. Many state laws prevent illegitimates from inheriting, as well as from receiving Social Security survivors benefits. Illegitimacy – maps more closely than race does to poverty. The more discrimination against illegitimates in areas like inheritance is practiced, the more illegitimacy there is, because education costs money that illegitimates have no hope of getting, and jobs are vanishing for the unschooled. Intermediate scrutiny in law requires that laws that discriminate serve some purpose, but in this cse, its all backwards. Discrimination via law causes more, not less illegitimacy. As the proportion of wealth that is inherited increases – as good jobs vanish for good the gap grows. Someday, soon, almost everyone in America will be illegitimate. And poor.
    We are all in this together.

  • Anonymous Illegitimate

    The poster who said that Obama has been destructive to the real life hopes of black Americans neglects the very important mental health aspect of seeing a black person, finally, in the White House. Unfortunately, that huge benefit also comes with a price, Americans desperately needed action on healthcare and jobs and we gave those two up for this important, but still, unfortunately, too cosmetic a benefit. And we probably wont see change for a long time because even if Obama wins in 2012, he has put off dealing with the health insurers and drug companies and instead, let them write the bill. That means that each and every American will spend from a quarter to half a million dollars unnecessesarily, compared to a Canadian. That represents the difference between having children, or buying a house, and not. Thats the cost of Obama, the cool looking candidate. And that cost weighs especially hard on black people. They will be forced to pay for [bad] health insurance that only pays 65% of their bills. So they will forgo care and die unnesessarily.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2015 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service