Thursday, July 9, 2009

Response to Rinku Sen of Talking Points Memo

In Sen’s article, “The White Supremacist in Us”, she asserts that institutional racism is still present, and accounts for the rise in hate crimes.

She’s wrong.

Hate crimes rise when economic times are bad. It’s quite a simple relationship actually, something which Ms. Sen seems to have difficulty grasping. She also fails to grasp that African-Americans are no longer the prime target of such crimes. Hispanics, primarily recent immigrants are, just as Arab-Americans and Sikhs were the primary targets after 9/11 and Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor.

She states: “Even a cursory look around most high end restaurants makes it clear that to these employers, only white people look good enough, that the only people willing to put up with dangerous conditions for low pay are Latinos and Bangladeshis and that black Americans don't belong in there at all.”

When is this meme from blacks going to die? Why do African-Americans keep coming back to this over and over? It’s past the expiration date for this excuse. And non-blacks are getting tired of hearing it after four decades of black advancement. Maybe, just maybe it’s the fault of the black community itself that they haven't advanced as far as they should have by this point. Just maybe you should be looking in the mirror rather than looking at us.

It’s easy to cite one example of anything. But where are the others? Where are the other, specific examples of institutional racism she claims? This is the best she can come up with?

It’s also fairly easy to blame an institution as 'racist'. But I see something else. You know what? I see Mexicans and Puerto Ricans and Central Americans and Asians and Bangladeshis and Pakistanis and Sikhs willing to work their butts off in lousy jobs with long hours that pay little, in the hope their kids will have a better life than they do – that’s my father, uncle’s, and cousins’ story after they all came to America from Nicaragua.

You know what I see, living in one of the poorest cities in the US? I see African-Americans who don’t care about their kids’education, who have this sense of entitlement that they are somehow ‘owed’ something. If you want to call that a stereotype, well that’s what I see. I see hard-working African-Americans, a lot of them. But I see the former too, and what I don’t see is a lot of blacks talking about it or criticizing it – Bill Cosby excepted.

And no, I’m not a racist. I don’t believe whites are better than anyone else. I don’t believe in ‘reverse discrimination’. I’m just reporting what I see. Is there some degree of racism in all of us? Undoubtedly, yes. But African-Americans need to do a little self-examination here.

In my opinion, blacks are allowing themselves to become the permanent underclass of America. And if that happens it’s truly a shame, because it means all those brave sacrifices made in the civil rights movement will have been made in vain.

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