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Monday, May 4, 2015

Should I be more sympathetic?

A young man who reads my blog recently told me that I should be more sympathetic to blacks as a group.

He said, "Imagine if a group of space aliens came down and kidnapped us sot use as slaves on their planet, but they all had an average IQ of 200 and it took an IQ that high to operate their technology, so we ended up being pretty much useless. Would that be our fault?"


Anonymous said...

In a way he is right for those that came here as slaves. But there are also millions now that came to the US (or Europe) for the welfare.

The really bad thing is no welfare in the world can give you a sense of fulfillment. It is like inheriting great wealth there will always be the feeling that you achieved nothing (and in fact many that inherit great wealth achieve nothing).

- Sebastian

John Craig said...

Sebastian --
You're right, of course, but there are different attitudes towards welfare. It used to be that people would regard it as a temporary help while they tried to get on their feet. Now it seems to be regarded as a lifestyle, an entitlement, and a reason not to get a job.

Steven said...

Its not a great analogy. There is a much smaller average gap between whites and blacks. The average black person can do a lot of jobs in white society, of course. They could almost all do some job.

This is from pew: "

In 1954, the earliest year for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics has consistent unemployment data by race, the white rate averaged 5% and the black rate averaged 9.9%. Last month, the jobless rate among whites was 6.6%; among blacks, 12.6%."

So according to this almost 9 in 10 do work.

Of course, unemployment will be higher in poor black areas where the rioters come from. The average IQ is always below the racial average in low socioeconomic classes too. The rioters/looters are a subset of a subset of blacks.

Of course, the general point still stands. Low IQ people can't help it. They should be provided with jobs, with a dignified and legitimate route to a share of the material wealth of society. Its also practical: society would probably have less crime and disorder if everyone had a secure job that gave them some pride, some stake in society, and a decent standard of living.

By the way, while its true that for some people benefits have become a lifestyle, there are still a large amount of benefits claimants who see it the old way. I think conservatives with an anti-big state and lower tax agenda tend to overly focus on the former group. I really don't know what the proportions are but I do know there are a lot of unemployed people looking for work. As such, I would compromise with you and introduce workfare for those who have been on benefits for a certain amount of time: 6 months or a year.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Everything you say is true, but I think you're taking it a little too literally. I don't think it was meant to be a precisely analogous comparison.

As long as there are some people who regard welfare as a lifestyle -- and whatever the proportion, this is a significant percentage of welfare recipients -- that's too many.

Anonymous said...

I don't have sympathy for criminals, especially repeat offenders. In all groups of people, there are "good apples" and "bad apples". You want to associate with the good people, not the bad people.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
I don't think anyone can argue with that.

Steven said...

Me take something too literally? Never!

I did at least acknowledge that the general point is good about low IQ people not being at fault for that.

I agree with you that a significant percentage see it as a lifestyle and some are too many. Which is exactly why I proposed workfare for people who are on benefits for x amount of time. I just think there should be a grace period for those who really want to work. To my mind that is a balanced approach that solves the problem.

The problem is what do you get them all to do...and the danger might be that the government just sack the street cleaners etc and employ benefits claimants to do it for below minimum wage.

John Craig said...

Steven --
I like your solution: a grace period, then workfare. And yes, the risk you cite is real, but there have to be other jobs to do…..

Shaun F said...

John - I work at a Community Thrift Store on Saturdays, and I've learned plenty about the welfare lifestyle. In Canada, 900$ per month for a single guy. However, if you're on a medical disability (say for mental health related issues) you receive 1200$ for a single male. A person can work part time and earn up to a certain amount of dollars without it affecting your government subsidy. Your pharmaceuticals, monthly bus pass and dental are paid for by the Government. There are many 55+ living accommodations some of which are subsidized by say Rotary or Kiwanas Clubs. Most of these welfare recipients (read: customers at the Thrift Store) guys are hustlers/cons (involved in small time illicit activities) to further subsidize their income while panhandling on the side. One guy I worked with actually used the cigarette butts I’d save for him as currency to barter for other goods when he lived at the Salvation Army. It’s a fascinating subculture – however, once one is exposed to it – one is much less sympathetic. Sympathy to con artists somehow seems misplaced.

John Craig said...

Shaun --
Yes, familiarity breeds….a lack of sympathy, if not contempt.

Couldn't agree with you more about con artists.

Between your two jobs, you've had a real exposure to the grittier side of life. There are a lot of people who would benefit from such exposure.

Mark Caplan said...

Replying to Steven, the unemployment rate measures only people who have jobs or are actively seeking jobs. It ignores people who are unemployed and not seeking work, such as students, prisoners, the disabled, the elderly, or those who live off their bitches or their grannies or the taxpayer. It also ignores workers in the shadow economy, such as sex workers and drug dealers.

Anonymous said...

In response to Mark Caplan:

The unemployment rate also doesn't track whose jobs are real jobs that contribute to the economy as a whole, and who's "working" in do-nothing Affirmative Action featherbed jobs that contribute nothing and accomplish nothing.

To be clear, I mean Shaneequa and Keywanda at the DMV. I mean Laqueesha in HR. I mean Michelle Obama's almost $300K/year taxpayer-funded Vice President for Community and External Affairs position at the University of Chicago, semiliterate "Wise Latinas" who aren't qualified to work as legal secretaries but get ramrodded into the Supreme Court because they can be trusted to vote the party line, legions upon legions of IQ-55 nonentities getting paid GS13+ salaries to fill a TO&E slot as Regional Director for Diversity and Inclusion Policy position. These positions that create absolutely nothing but a sense of entitlement.

These phony jobs, by creating nothing and diverting resources from the productive to the unproductive, subtract from GDP rather than add to it. They are, of course, created out of whole cloth by the EEOC bureaucracy and are the sole reason there exists a so-called "black middle class" in the US today--they're riding the welfare gravy train. Gibs me dat!

It can be proven that the Negro in America is and has been since the Emancipation Proclamation, in the aggregate, a liability rather than an asset.

Remnant said...

Being sympathetic to blacks (or to any group or to any entity) does not imply denying reality or hiding / omitting the truth. We are getting ever closer to the “Minority Report” day when we will be able to identify genes that predispose individuals (and, by the laws of Darwinism 101, groups on an average or statistical basis) to – name your pathological behavior – rape, violent crime, etc. Will your young correspondent then argue that to be “sympathetic” we must not put these individuals into prison if and when such a person commits a violent crime? Should his* genetic predisposition be a mitigating factor or, as I would argue, an aggravating factor when it comes time to determine the punishment? Incarceration is just as much about protecting society from antisocial behavior as it is about punishing offenders (or at least there are certainly colorable criminological arguments that favor that approach).

We know there are genetic factors that make lions more dangerous and more aggressive than housecats. Has this scientific knowledge in any way altered our interactions and treatment of these animals? Obviously not. People have been avoiding lions and taking housecats as pets long before genetic science was able to tell us the “reasons” why our disparate treatments were “right”. Man has had this intuitive knowledge for a long time about all kinds of things – nettles versus dandelions, lions versus housecats, women versus men, one race versus another, and it is to our (mankind’s) credit – and particularly to modern Western man’s credit – that he (man) is uncomfortable and sensitive in this regard when it comes to the racial question. But “sympathy” can lead to extremely bad policy outcomes and social phenomenon, such as avoiding the topic (Just Not Saying), denying reality, etc. Your young reader should meditate on the name of your blog to understand why you do what you do, and why you do it the way you do it. There is nothing unsympathetic about it.

My animal analogy above also leads me to another way of analyzing “our Negro problem” (allusion to Norman Podhoretz). I do this to take advantage of the relatively objective view we have of animals and for the exaggerated behaviors they offer which highlight disparate treatments; not to compare them or equate them to blacks.

(cont' below)

Remnant said...

(cont' from previous comment)

To treat an animal sympathetically requires acknowledging its true nature: is it aggressive, is it docile? Is it intelligent, is it dumb? We seldom condition our treatment of them on whether they are “responsible” (which is what your young reader is primarily getting at). For truly wild animals, the sympathetic way to treat them is to leave them in their natural habitats, and even to protect and foster those habitats. We do this with lions, wolves, elephants. For domesticated animals, the sympathetic way to treat them is to dominate them. Kindly and humanely to dominate them, but to dominate them nonetheless. (Cf. Genesis 1:26 “let [man] have dominion over … the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”) Aficionados of the show The Dog Whisperer will note that 9/10ths of the problems Cesar Millan fixes have to do with owners not being sufficiently dominant over their dogs, abdicating their authority. Dogs in effect “rebel” against weak leadership; rebellion is their cry for discipline. One crack of Cesar’s metaphorical whip and the dog becomes tame … and, the key point, HAPPY! It is the result of being treated in accordance with their nature.

To treat wild and domesticated animals unsympathetically is the mirror opposite of the above: When we put wild animals into cages and zoos, or take them as “pets” (i.e. keep them in cages near us), or use them as circus or water park attractions, these is something deeply unsettling and wrong about it that most of us feel in our guts even if we accept it and even support it. And to treat domesticated animals unsympathetically is to let them run feral. Is there anything more pathetic and heart-wrenching than to see small groups of feral dogs skulking around furtively, simultaneously avoiding people while sending signals indicating a desire for contact, being alternately and almost schizophrenically aggressive and then obsequious? Domestic animals have in a way been tainted by us, they have – through us – eaten of some zoological forbidden fruit that prevents them from going back to a truly wild state yet they can never be unsupervised “members” of human society.

Now, while I did not really intend to take the metaphor this far and I will certainly offend people in doing so, one can analogize our situation with blacks to the feral dog situation: Total separation – as one would do with wolves or highly dangerous feral dogs that have no hope of rehabilitation – might be the preferred solution: i.e. blacks should have their own African societies as they did for untold thousands of years. But in the new world, they have become “attached” to Western society in a way that both prevents them from returning to a truly organic, natural society (i.e. I’d rather live in Cote d’Ivoire than in Detroit) but also prevents them from truly integrating and functioning in Western society unless they are treated paternalistically and condescendingly. (Also note that it is stereotypical black behavior to be both aggressive and antagonistic towards white society while simultaneously cleaving to its teat.) The Southern, Reconstruction era and Jim Crow era treatment of blacks, while highly demonized today, was in some sense a “sympathetic” treatment of blacks and arguably (note: arguably!) much more successful and humane than what we have today.

Let me end this increasingly controversial comment by saying that I hope and believe there is a third way between separation and servitude, namely a society built on truth that accepts average racial differences dispassionately and accordingly neither blames everything on whitey nor, conversely, fails to accord dignity to all of its constituent members. In any event, this was a long-winded investigation around the topic of whether John himself is “sympathetic” to blacks. In his pursuit of truth and rational analysis, I would say he is, even when delivered with some wit and sarcasm.

* Here I go being “unsympathetic” to men.

Anonymous said...

Fell for a black women. Really changes how you think about race. Although she chose me.

I would say her IQ is around 120.


John Craig said...

Remnant --
You defended me far better than I could have defended myself. I'm not sure I would have dared use the domesticated vs. feral animal analogy, though you explain yourself perfectly.

Coincidentally, someone just told me (via email) yesterday that my previous post went too far because it "equated" blacks with fish and birds. (That wasn't what I was trying to do at all,I was merely making the pint that people do what comes naturally to them.)

Anyway, thank you.

John Craig said...

Andrew --
Stay with her for a couple of years. That would be the path towards true enlightenment.

Anonymous said...

I may and thank you


Anonymous said...

That's a good point that you made - "people do what comes naturally to them." Con artists act according to how they're programmed.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
Yes, we all do. (It's why I'm obnoxious.)

Anonymous said...

You don't come across as obnoxious. Opinionated, yes (but I am as well). Not a bad quality to have.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Thank you Susan, but I'm sure there are lot of people -- like most liberals -- who would consider this blog incredibly obnoxious. (Not that I care.)