John Gorman, JNS, March 11, 2016
Many people think that the biggest difference between the races is intelligence. But differences between the races go beyond that; whites with IQ’s of 85 simply don’t act like blacks.
The biggest difference between the races seems to be, in many ways, their levels of inhibition. Inhibitions have many roots: worry about how one will be perceived, one’s performance, one’s social standing, and the future. But the net effect of all those worries is to make us hesitant, install a sort of inner censor, which keeps us from acting on our initial urges.
Alcohol can dull those worries, while also inducing a mild euphoria. I’ve always thought that whites tend to act a little like Asians who’ve had a couple drinks, and blacks tend to act a little like whites who’ve had a couple drinks. This is a tendency, obviously, not a blanket rule. But, on average, when it comes to how uninhibitedly people act, it tends to be true.
Think of some of the traits and behaviors you associate more with blacks than with whites: spontaneously breaking out into a dance, end zone celebrations, making lascivious comments on the street, high rates of violence, an emphatic manner of speaking, performing well on stage, and being warmer and friendlier when so inclined. Put it all together and you’ll see a pattern: the common thread seems to be a lack of inhibition.
If you’ve ever watched one of those Sunday morning cable shows which show services at various churches, it’s hard not to be struck by how differently the parishioners at a black church behave. They’ll cry out, “Amen!” and “Praise the Lord!” with complete abandon, and no self-consciousness whatsoever. Some parishioners spontaneously break out into dance. There are white churches where people handle rattlesnakes and speak in tongues; but those are rarities. And there are certainly black churchgoers who act with more decorum. But, on average, there is a striking racial difference.
The way the black pastors themselves speak is also telling. Their manner of delivery is generally far more forceful, far more emphatic, and far less inhibited. They are far likelier to work up a sweat during a sermon than a white pastor is.
What goes on in church is, in microcosm, what happens in society at large.
Manner of speaking
To accurately transcribe black speech you’d often have to italicize every third or fourth word. Think of the way Al Sharpton speaks, investing all sorts of words with extra, portentous meaning (which they may or may not be able to sustain). There is no sense of shyness, or feeling abashed.
White people-type concerns — like worrying that their voices will crack, or fretting too much about how they’re coming across— rarely seem to enter their minds.
This may be why there are proportionately more good black comedians. There are plenty of whites who are funny, but very few of them are uninhibited enough to get up on a stage and be relaxed to deliver their riffs in front of a large audience without being crippled by self-doubt. Call it shyness, or stage fright, or worry about the reception they going to get. All of those things have an inhibiting effect, which hampers performance.
Richard Pryor, (the young) Eddy Murphy, Chris Rock, and Dave Chappelle were all comedic geniuses, with great material. But what made them great performers wasn’t just their material, it was their ability to be relaxed enough on stage to allow for perfect delivery of that material. Humor does seem to be correlated with intelligence, but blacks have always been able to punch above their weight in that regard. Part of the answer to that has to do with lack of inhibition.
The lack of inhibition may also be partly why blacks are also better singers, on average. Part of singing ability is obviously voice, and also pitch. But getting up on a stage and passionately singing your heart out also takes a certain lack of inhibition.
Blacks also tend to have more expressive body language. While speaking, they will often punctuate or emphasize their statements with a craning of the neck or exaggerated expressions. And laughter often involves their entire body, jumping around and waving their arms with glee. White laughter may involve convulsing, but it is rarely accompanied by much limb movement.
This lack of self-doubt and neurosis also translates to better performance on the athletic field. There are significant physical differences between the races that account for blacks outperforming in sports requiring speed and jumping ability. But the subject here is not racial differences in physique, but clutch performance — how an athlete does when the pressure is on. There simply seem to be fewer blacks who choke. Again, this is not a blanket rule; there are plenty of exceptions on both sides. But it seems to be less a part of black nature to worry and obsess as much. Thus, fewer nerves to deal with when the big moment arrives.
One of the more obvious examples of this is Usain Bolt. He clowns around in the starting blocks, even at the World Championships and Olympics, up until right before the race. Then he’s all business for tenor twenty seconds. Then, after his race is over, it’s time to joke and dance again. There simply are no white athletes who give off those sorts of vibes.
Blacks and whites tend to have different styles of victory celebration. The most obvious example of this are the end zone dances by blacks, who are uninhibited in their ebullience. There are whites who imitate such celebrations; but that’s definitely the whites adopting black culture, and not the other way around. A certain style of physical preening seems to come more naturally to blacks.
Blacks also tend to be more uninhibited in their egotism. Muhammad Ali was the originator of the line “I am the greatest of all-time!” Since him, a host of black athletes have made similar statements. Think of how black and white athletes act when interviewed after a win. Blacks are more likely to talk about how great they are, whereas whites are far more likely to thank their coaches, or praise their teammates or competitors. This, by the way, doesn’t mean whites are more genuinely humble; they’re just more likely to say what they think they’re supposed to say, rather than exult.
Wherever there is a crowd of blacks, the noise level is usually higher. I’ve heard that both white and Hispanic inmates will tell you that any prison area where blacks predominate is always noisier, with more shrieking, chattering, raucous laughter, and loud music. In movie theaters, blacks will talk while the movie is playing, sometimes even directing their comments to the characters onscreen.
Blacks are more uninhibited with money. You may have heard the expression “black rich,” the definition of which is: to have come into a windfall which is shortly to be spent. Blacks who come into money are far more likely to go out and buy flashy cars, a flashy house, flashy clothes, and flashy bling. This has something to do with why over half of NFL players are bankrupt within two years of leaving the league.
(In all fairness, that also has something to do with young black professional athletes being more likely to have a lot of poor relatives to whom they will be generous — in a spontaneous sort of way.)
In keeping with their more celebratory nature, blacks are also more likely to see anytime as good for a party. We even saw it with President Obama throwing all those celebrity-filled parties in the White House during his first term. Or, look at all of the lavish vacations the Obamas take.
Whites tend to live in the future; as Voltaire said, “We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.” Horace said, “Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero,” which translates as, “Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow.” (The expression is usually shortened to just “Carpe Diem.”) Blacks are more likely to actually live by that philosophy.
Ethnic groups which evolved in colder climates had to think in terms of making it through a long, cold winter. Putting little trust in tomorrow would have had fatal consequences for Stone Age northern Europeans, or northern Asians.
Blacks tend more towards promiscuity, which is in keeping with their general lack of inhibition. They generally lose their virginity at an earlier age, and have a much higher illegitimacy rate. Again, the reasons for these things are complex, and include, among other things, higher testosterone levels. But both statistics are what you’d expect given the difference in inhibition.
I remember watching Dennis Rodman once on the Howard Stern Show, back when it was televised in the late 90’s. Stern told Rodman to go over and feel up Robin Quivers, his assistant. When Rodman did so, the camera focused on his crotch and it was apparent that he was getting an erection. The lack of inhibition necessary to start getting turned on while on national TV is stunning.
Another outgrowth of both higher testosterone levels and lower inhibitions is more violence. The rates for blacks in all four major categories of violent crime — murder, assault and battery, rape, and armed robbery — are all roughly eight to ten times higher than the comparable rates for whites. The case can be made that armed robbery is a crime driven by poverty, and there is some truth to that. But committing rape is not a function of poverty, it’s an indication of lack of impulse control.
There’s also a difference in the types of murders the races commit. A black is more likely to commit an impulsive, unplanned killing involving a firearm. A white is more likely, say, to slowly poison his or her spouse to death. (One type of murder is a function of lack of impulse control, the other of evil.)
This is why blacks account for fewer than half of all death penalty convictions even though they commit over half the homicides in this country: premeditated murder carries a stiffer penalty.
Criminals, but not necessarily sociopaths
I’m often asked, is such and such a black criminal a sociopath? I sometimes shrug and say, well, no, not really — he’s just black. His crime may be bad, but at the same time it’s not as if he has all the other sociopathic traits that go along with the impulsiveness — the false emotionality, pathological lying, manipulativeness, destructiveness, disloyalty, bitterness, envy, and hatred. He’s just . . . uninhibited.
People have asked me if Mike Tyson is a sociopath. On the surface, he would seem a likely candidate: he’s violent, has gotten into frequent trouble, and has seemed at times to be out of control. But Tyson is more noble savage than scheming conniver. He has few brakes on his personality, which is basically just one big primal scream. But he has none of the other characteristics of a sociopath, in fact these days is painfully honest about himself, which is basically the opposite of sociopathy.
This, of course, is not to say there aren’t black sociopaths. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are two prominent examples. But, in general, the kind of wanton lack of inhibition which typically indicates sociopathy in a white person often does not indicate the same characteristics for a black.
Being uninhibited can also mean less artifice. I’ve always had the impression that on those occasions when blacks act warmly toward me, their friendliness is more genuine. With whites, you never know what they’re really thinking: most whites will generally just say whatever it is they think they’re supposed to say at the moment. And I often end up with the impression that what they were really thinking was entirely different.
This may surprise some given what I’ve said elsewhere in this post, but for that reason, I’ve often found blacks — once it’s established that they’re friendly — at some levels to be better company than whites. Whites are far more likely to put on false (socially acceptable) faces; their friendliness is often a matter of social convention rather than goodwill. It’s not real warmth, it’s just good manners. With blacks, it’s actually goodwill. They are uninhibited in the way they like people, too.
Of course, if people don’t fulfill their expected social roles, a society will fall apart. But the price for that is, most people you meet will simply be playing a role: friendly coworker, wise elder, vivacious housewife, polite student. And you often have no idea what’s lurking behind the facade. With blacks, I’ve found there’s usually less of a facade.
One area where lack of inhibition is downright endearing is when it comes to giving compliments. Blacks tend to give far more effusive — and meaningful — compliments than whites do. White guys are always afraid of appearing gay, so will rarely compliment another guy on his looks, or build, or voice, or attractiveness to women. Instead, they will restrict themselves to compliments about one’s performance on an exam, or one’s team spirit, or other innocuous things that most of us couldn’t care less about. Black guys feel no such qualms, and so will deliver the type of compliment you’ll remember.
If you’re receiving a compliment, uninhibitedly is definitely how you want it delivered.
How blacks feel about whites
It’s hard to blame blacks for thinking of whites as phony. Especially since few whites feel comfortable enough around blacks to say what’s really on their minds anyway. (Not that you can blame whites for that, given the current climate.)
It’s also hard to blame blacks for thinking of whites as being stiff and boring. The best analogy there is how you (whites) feel about Asians: you know they’re smart, and hard-working, and generally won’t cause trouble. But, let’s face it, they’re not a lot of fun to hang out with, and sometimes it almost seems as if they all have the same personality. Well, blacks generally think of whites the same way.
Of course, blacks’ feelings are more complicated than that. Imagine that Asian-Americans used to own your ancestors, and even after they freed them they had two separate sets of laws regarding them and you, with whites as second class citizens. Now, imagine that you’re constantly reminded of this by the media, and constantly told that whatever failings whites show vis-à-vis Asians is due to Asian racism toward you. Now, combine all that with the paragraph above and you get a more complete picture of how blacks feel about whites.
Most people — black and white alike — hold wiggers in contempt; trying to appear what one is not usually evokes that response. But exactly what it is about blacks that the wiggers find so appealing? It seems to be in large part that blacks represent a freer, more spontaneous, less inhibited way of being. This is instinctively appealing for young people who’ve been brought up in a more restrictive, regimented environment. (At some level or other, don’t we all want to let our passions flow more freely?)
Anyway, the point of this post is that many of the behaviors that whites associate with blacks — both good and bad — are all of a piece. And what connects all of those behaviors is lack of inhibition.
You may occasionally wonder why we’re called a multicultural society. Every American has access to the same television shows, the same movies, the same newspapers, and are governed by the same laws and politicians. We speak the same language and go to the same schools and play the same sports. We’re multiracial, yes, but multicultural? Only to the extent this post has just described: the gap between black and white “culture,” really, is mostly just the difference between black and white personality — which is just another way of saying, nature.