Race, justice, and America’s founding mistake

How can both statements be true? A cryptic line in Book 5 of Aristotle’s Politics explains it. Discussing the problem of factional clashes that can lead to political unrest and even revolution, Aristotle remarks that the source of such conflicts can often be found in an “error” that takes place “at the beginning” of a political community’s history — at a time when “even a small error” takes on outsized importance for everything that follows.Aristotle’s insight has major implications for America’s fraught history of race.

Source: Damon Linker, Race, justice, and America’s founding mistake


Centerville Students Debate Coddle U | HeterodoxAcademy.org

This is the bright line that identity politics teaches students to cross: Some people’s views are less valid because of their race and gender. This is the rhetorical move that encourages students to begin their arguments by emphasizing their prior victimization and suffering, just as Campbell and Manning said about victimhood culture. This is a key feature of intellectual life at Coddle U: you judge and attack the person, not the argument.

Jonathan Haidt, Centerville Students Debate Coddle U | HeterodoxAcademy.org

Black Culture Is Not the Problem – NYTimes.com

On the heels of any ghetto economy based on extraction comes the excessive policing necessary to keep everyone in place. Cities that are starved for income have found ways to raise revenues by way of fines and fees exacted from poor, underemployed African-Americans and migrants of color. These include property taxes and court costs. In Maryland, in particular, these come in lieu of property taxes that many of the state’s largest employers are not required to pay. The dangers of tax burdens and other unseen costs are as deadly to urban households as police brutality or fires set by “thugs.”

N. D. B. Connolly in Black Culture Is Not the Problem – NYTimes.com.

The Long Shadow | Russell Sage Foundation

For 25 years, the authors of The Long Shadow tracked the life progress of a group of almost 800 predominantly low-income Baltimore school children through the Beginning School Study Youth Panel (BSSYP). The study monitored the children’s transitions to young adulthood with special attention to how opportunities available to them as early as first grade shaped their socioeconomic status as adults. The authors’ fine-grained analysis confirms that the children who lived in more cohesive neighborhoods, had stronger families, and attended better schools tended to maintain a higher economic status later in life. As young adults, they held higher-income jobs and had achieved more personal milestones (such as marriage) than their lower-status counterparts. Differences in race and gender further stratified life opportunities for the Baltimore children. As one of the first studies to closely examine the outcomes of inner-city whites in addition to African Americans, data from the BSSYP shows that by adulthood, white men of lower status family background, despite attaining less education on average, were more likely to be employed than any other group in part due to family connections and long-standing racial biases in Baltimore’s industrial economy. Gender imbalances were also evident: the women, who were more likely to be working in low-wage service and clerical jobs, earned less than men. African American women were doubly disadvantaged insofar as they were less likely to be in a stable relationship than white women, and therefore less likely to benefit from a second income.

via The Long Shadow | Russell Sage Foundation.

NYPD Shooting: Blue Lives Matter – The Atlantic

We are the ones who designed the criminogenic ghettos. We are the ones who barred black people from leaving those ghettos. We are the ones who treat black men without criminal records as though they are white men with criminal records. We are the ones who send black girls to juvenile detention homes for fighting in school. We are the masters of the American gulag, a penal system “so vast,” writes sociologist Bruce Western, “as to draw entire demographic groups into the web.” And we are the ones who send in police to make sure it all goes according to plan.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, NYPD Shooting: Blue Lives Matter – The Atlantic.

The George Zimmerman Verdict – Philosophy Blog

What does the decision of six jurors in a courtroom in Florida tell me about race relations on a national scale? Not very much. I’m serious. It tells me about as much as the opinion of six other people that might live in Wisconsin or New Mexico. Don’t get me wrong, there are things in this case that should cause us all to reflect. It is a good opportunity for each of us to look at our own lives and see how we can each work harder to eliminate discrimination and to treat every person with dignity and respect. But what does the verdict mean for us as a nation? Only what we let it mean. The media has told us it means something about the health of our nation. The media wanted something we would watch; we wanted something we thought was important. There are two tragedy’s here. The first is a young man’s death. The second is a nation focused on one trial and not focused on our own lives. Laws cannot and do not change hearts. It is only when each of us becomes personally concerned with equality and justice that race relations will improve.

via The George Zimmerman Verdict – Philosophy Blog.

You Know Nothing of My Work – Ta-Nehisi Coates – The Atlantic

Humanism in theory isnt enough. You need to be confronted with actual humans to really feel it. It has become increasingly clear to me that I am not a member of any “black race.” That there is no such thing. I am, very much, a black person. This describes my history, my culture, my dialect, my community, my family, my collective experience with America. But there is nothing in my bones that makes me more like other “black persons” than like anyone else.

via You Know Nothing of My Work – Ta-Nehisi Coates – The Atlantic.