Friday, May 23, 2008

Jonn McWhorter's book

Link below is to a part of John McWhorter’s book
I found his insights into human nature pretty well insightful. All I ever have to judge the truth of things is to compare something I have in common with that thing something from my experience I know to be true to me. What could I have in common with the black experience? Mr. McWhorter’s book brought up one fringe aspect. Being a nearly professional hippie back in the day, I could relate to how he talked of idle protest and theatrical rage. I was part of that theatre though not based on race but rather on age. With my new found age I can look back and agree with Mr. McWhorter that I found it easier and more fun to as we say now, being part of the problem than part of the solution. Well John McWhorter says it better. I quote him.
“ Here is where legendary Civil Rights activist Bayard Rustin became dismayed as a new generation of black activists began embracing the "heroics" of idle protest and theatrical rage, uninterested in rolling their sleeves up and working out concrete plans for change”
Were the abuses of society on me as bad as those abuses upon black people, I’m sure they were not. But how can I know that anyway. No offence but to me on a personal level it doesn’t matter. If I get slapped in the face, it doesn’t matter at the time whether someone else had been slapped harder. Things are relative. I was better off by almost any standard of measurement during my youth than my parents were during theirs, yet I was complaining about all the abuse they laid upon me. I remember sitting around with other hippies as we came up with new and better abuses for us to rant about. Even then, I would get upset at “my people” for not being willing to do more than talk. But then under the “haze” of communal type of atmosphere I would quickly mellow out. “Be cool man go with the flow”.

The excerpt I read of Mr. McWhorter’s book I liked. I gained some insight from his into my own makeup. What makes me what I am. What makes it easier for me not to roll up my sleeves. It’s nice to think perhaps I share these things with others.

One part of the article that I can relate full well to and will draw conclusions from is the following.
Two new conditions were necessary for alienation among blacks to so often drift from its moorings in the concrete and become the abstract, hazy "race thing" that whites just "don't get."
One condition was that blacks had to be prepared to embrace therapeutic alienation, and ironically, this could only have been when conditions improved for blacks. When racism was omnipresent and overt, it would have been psychological suicide for blacks to go around exaggerating what was an all-too-real problem.
Second, whites had to be prepared to listen to the complaints and assume (or pretend) that they were valid. This only began during the countercultural revolution, within which a new openness to blacks and an awareness of racism were key elements. Certainly this frame of mind was not true of all or even most whites. But it became a common wisdom especially among educated and influential ones, such that it quickly infused university curricula and grounded governmental policies intended as progressive.
I conclude from this that as the concrete legal barriers were brought down through the passage of the civil rights laws ect., The battle became more abstract. Not that there was no longer bigotry or other wrongs, but they were not as concrete. They were more of a mental kind of thing. It was harder to change a persons attitudes than to change a law. That logic I relate to. It was the path of least resistance that I would fall back into. For all the talk of how people need to change the way they think. The real roll up the sleeve work is usually shunned. I think this is human nature to do this. I know I’m good at shunning work. Lol.

While I understand the need to stoke the home fires to get people fired up enough to actually do the real roll up the sleeves work. I think we will be better off if somehow we can get more into the actual work part and less into the stoking the home fires part.

Thanks for listening.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

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