Joseph Kay, American Renaissance, July 26, 2021
If there were a grand prize for lack of gratitude, it would surely go to today’s African Americans who condemn everything about our nation, despite Herculean efforts to achieve racial equality. Pampered millionaire black athletes insist that they are treated no better than slaves, and fear for their lives when strolling outside their mansions. It seems that the greater the success, the harsher the anti-white vitriol. Dozens of TV commentators earn mega-salaries announcing the latest miseries inflicted on them personally by American society. The freedom they have to bite the hand that feeds them is irrelevant; America is irreversibly evil.
If everything were rational, today’s blacks could see that they have never had it better. Something odd is going on.
I think they hate America because it is generous. Recall British Prime Minister William Gladstone’s quip when informed that a man was saying horrible things about him. He supposedly replied, “I don’t understand it. I never once did this man a favor.” By bending over backwards to help African American, we have put them in situations that almost always create failure, and failure breeds resentment. Things will get worse as we do even more to assuage their anger.
Imagine a middling student put in an advanced math class as “a favor.” He will flounder. Suppose his floundering does not send him back to a basic class, but leads to exhortations to excel (“you can do it!”), daily tutoring, and raised expectations because anything less guarantees failure. After six months of misery, he fails and must withdraw. Failure brings shame and plummeting self-esteem. His benefactors add insult to injury by congratulating themselves for giving “opportunity” to the less fortunate. This is what millions of blacks now go through.
Charles Murray’s recent Facing Reality explains this “failure machine.” He shows that blacks, on average, cognitively lag behind whites (and Asians) but due to political pressure and the good intentions of whites, are put in positions where they must compete with smarter whites and Asians.
In college, blacks gravitate to easy-to-pass majors such as Black Studies rather than demanding STEM fields. This racial sorting is obvious to everyone. Black college graduates are heavily recruited by prestige firms, but are typically in less demanding jobs in marketing, for example, rather than finance.
Intellectually demanding colleges are especially good at humiliating blacks by a thousand cuts. These youngsters may have excelled in high school, been told how bright they are, and won awards. However, when they arrive on campus, they discover an immense remediation bureaucracy just for them. Shades of being required to attend summer school due to failing 4th grade.
Meanwhile, these black students notice scores of black functionaries whose job is to attract and retain more students like them. Why are they the only ones singled out for this “helpful” attention? Some may even be aware that admission officers must always devise new tricks to exclude better qualified Asians. Then, there is the patronizing attitude of white faculty, including woke allies. Few people object to undeserved praise for mediocre work or to gift grades, but it’s hard to believe that most blacks are unaware of this condescension.
These ego-bruising experiences explain why campus blacks increasingly self-segregate and lash out at the elite institutions that admit them — and why they increasingly gravitate to less stressful HBCUs. No wonder segregated housing and separate graduation ceremonies, and even black-only classes are the rage. Meanwhile, demonstrating against alleged racism, even hate crime hoaxes, are therapeutic escapes to mask feelings of inferiority. Imagine attending a graduation ceremony in which nearly all are people like yourself who barely scraped by in fields that are considered jokes on elite campuses? Better to avoid reality with raucous celebrations.
Charles Murray shows that even when black graduates manage to get into demanding professions, they fall toward the bottom, just as they did in college. Among accountants, the average IQ of whites is 111 but for blacks it is 100 (p. 76). There is a sizable intelligence gap in the most demanding professions, such as medicine, law, and higher education: an average white IQ or 118 vs. 105 for blacks. Black doctors are less competitive in advancing up the career ladder, and as on campus, psychic relief can come from filing discrimination lawsuits or crying “racism.”
Perhaps the best justification for this anger-generating machine is that it has created a new black middle class. These are the Deans of Inclusion, administrators of tutoring services, and professors in fields whose unstated purpose is to award degrees to students unable to pass demanding courses. Today’s overwhelmed and angry blacks are collateral damage in the social engineering required to manufacture good-paying jobs for African Americans.
But why do do-gooder whites believe that the cure for black resentment is admitting increasingly less capable youngsters to Harvard? Will this turn them into thankful patriots? Or does virtue signaling come first?
Almost no one dares suggest that race relations might improve if everybody sorted himself out by cognitive ability. Everybody knows that merit-based admission is racist, even though many struggling blacks would surely feel better if they weren’t in over their heads.
But the downside would be steep. At a minimum, a merit-based policy would put much of this newly created black middle class out of work. Where would these “experts” go? Governments would be pressured to add them to the deadwood in their ranks. Egalitarians would be even more alarmed at racial gaps, and who knows what evil they might require? Rigid quotas? College admissions (or diplomas) by lottery?
There may be a darker explanation: Fueling bitterness might be the hidden purpose of this misguided help. Behind the do-gooder rhetoric could be the goal of creating American Red Guards. Useful idiots are useful, but angry, violent, useful idiots could be even more useful. If this is the plan, it appears to be working.