If the Dems are in power they’ll appoint the same type of people who run Democrat-controlled cities with the same result. Even if the Republicans are elected, the federal bureaucracy is now solidly left-wing and if they’re in any way involved in the supervision of DC municipal government they will frustrate a Republican Congress’s efforts at every turn.
Face the uncomfortable truth: the federal bureaucracy is fully captured by the left and will, overtly or covertly, impose a leftist agenda on everything they touch. It’s a generational challenge to eradicate the politicization of the supposedly impartial federal government.
Mission accomplished on the Supreme Court. That is, a near-eradication of politicization that you wouldn’t agree with,
I think people might be reading you wrong. Flesh out what you mean.
I am not permitted to comment at length right now, under the editorial and/or algorithmic structure.
All true. I’m still left wondering why the residents of the poor, mostly black, neighborhoods keep electing the crazy supervisors who make it impossible to control the criminals and who side with teachers over their children. Is it just ignorance? Or do too many have criminal/teacher relatives?
Insanity is supposedly doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I understand wealthy white NW DC liberals who are full of guilt voting for extreme leftist supervisors (like SF), but I simply can’t understand why DC blacks who experience the results of bad policy don’t reject the status quo on schools and crime. Is there mass insanity in urban black communities?
I suspect they don’t vote, Michael.
Michael, I’m totally amazed you can seriously ask this. Do you actually imagine that poor DC residents have insights into the information in this article? Where do they get their information? The media. Schools. Who owns the media and schools? Leftist elites. You don’t actually think that inner city residents are informed, do you? They are enslaved by lies. Who will speak to them? I’ll tell you. Very few. Star Parker and CURE, for one. Candice Owens. That’s about it.
funny as if rightness are informed? Guns deter gun crime? False. Vaccines dont work? There is rampant election fraud? Yes , by Republicans. D states are better than R states. Flat out lie. You guys are hilarious.
Did you mean biased like SCOTUS?
The author does not even live in DC but at his young age is an expert and preposterously proposes Federal take over of the city .
Plus no mention of the riots at the capitol ?
Then why is it D states fair so much better than R states? 9 out 10 poorest states are R states. 8 out 10 highest violent crime states are R states. Same pattern with Healthcare, education.
Well DC isn’t a state.
And Illinois? New York? Maryland? Sources please
There are others on GDP, etc.
Also after searching through a number of sites with varying stats on red-blue murder rates. None felt quite representative, which years they chose, which cities etc. Some favored blue. Some red but marginally. Most were a muddle.
Then I found this. It focuses on per state and follows for a longer period of time. More importantly, it also hampers blue states in one methodology by taking out cities for red only.
And still red states have more murder. Blue cities spend more on the police as a rule but also on social services, (and I presume education) so that might be the answer.
Congress totally screwed over DC’s education system and then came in and in order to fix it insisted on charter schools which is another way of defunding them for everyone else.
You right. But it should be. R states suck compared to D states. Furthermore, cities budget, priorities etc are set at the state level.
D states do not fare better, necessarily. The way the data are collected does not allow the comparison you wish to make. Red states are often providers of natural resources. Extracting those resources is economic activity that is mostly booked as revenue in a blue state, because that’s where corporate headquarters are. That is one example.
Social program spending goes overwhelmingly to blue states. Emergency services are ridiculously expensive to provide in red states, but they are mandated by Federal regulations based on city scenarios.
Teasing-out some comparable numbers would require a pretty complicated analysis. Using things like GSP and average spending or income per person does not do it.
The problem with DC is congress actually. Congress not DC controls the pursestrings and congress controls the budgets. DC can submit the budget but it must be approved by congress and they must set the budget up to 4 years out. They are completely stymied by congress–so if they want to, let’s say legalize cannabis, they can’t unless it gets through congress (which now requires a supermajority). They are also responsible for some of what states are required to do, and unlike states are again hampered by Congress approval.
Their schools were traditionally underfunded because DC lawmakers did not send their kids to public schools. It goes on. The worst thing that could happen to DC is a federal takeover.
Make their pay linked to their performance.
I was intrigued at the author’s assertion that saying that the people get what they voted for was ‘smug dismissal’, but it never came.
DC has been run by Democrats since the passing of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act in 1973. Every mayor has been a Democrat, the 8 wards have always voted in a Democrat. The elected mayors have ranged from of out and out crooks (Marion Barry) to general incompetents.
DC’s problems, like those of other Democrat run cities, are the result of the voters repeatedly voting in Democat governance despite its record of abject failure. When voters in Chicago finally booted out the useless,”progressive’ and ridiculous mayor, Lori Lightfoot, they instead voted in Brandon Johnson who, astoundigly, is even worse than Lightfoot.
DC’s voters are predominantly black and Leftist ‘progressives, many of whom are bureacrats and other government workers. These people repeatedly vote Democrat because they are either too stupid, too politically tribal or gain financially The only way these people are going to stop voting Democrat is by making them face the consequences of their choices.
The same pattern exists in UK cities where for generations the populations have voted Labour and wonder why things don’t change. it is third world politics with every new administration focusing as a priority on getting their nose in the trough and seeking out opportunities for corruption
Isn’t it almost all Tory run councils which have sunk into astonishing levels of literal bankruptcy?
Bit of a mix really; Croydon? Slough?
Aren’t most politians self-serving regardless of affiliation?
It is a rather ridiculous comparison, as usual made by people who can see almost no differences between the US and the UK; both extreme Right and Left insisting there are not.
For one thing, here we can often rely on the supposedly right of centre Conservatives to be cutting police budgets. There is simply no meaningful comparison between Washington DC and any British city, one of which, London, I live in.
That was rather a ridiculous comment. Look at the history of places such as Glasgow, Liverpool, Sunderland, Stoke-on-Trent that have elected Labour councils for generations
Clare- You can’t run a functioning government with a primarily socialist perspective. You might need 5% socialists to check the rest but you get past that threshold it’s just weaponized government failure.
Sure put the blacks in DC under Federal control.
Sounds like a nice white solution.
Would it be terribly far-right of me to draw attention to the briefly mentioned fact (13th paragraph) that the population of Washington DC is 45% black? Odd that John Masko mentions this fact merely to draw attention to the number of victims of gun crime. Perpetrators? Read between the lines.
Would it be ever so off-topic of me to mention that San Francisco is 5% black, less than half the nationwide average of 12.5%?
Most crime comes to SF from across the bay on BART.
That is untrue and I think you know it. While you’ve identified a subset of the problem, more of the crime is committed by very white, if sun-damaged men and often enough women who “happen to be” homeless drug addicts.
Your reply to my second comment seems to have disappeared. When I attempted to reply to your reply I was blocked by reCaptcha!
All this IT disruption gets in the way of sensible discussion.
Many of mine are currently quarantined/disappeared…and only some of them are confrontational or hastily worded!
What’s IT? I thought you might say AI.
How do you know that?
It’s happened to me several times. Often when they are heavily downvoted, perhaps flagged by other users. Or with use of certain infamous names or loaded terms from history. Once you’ve had a comment “quarantined”, additional comments on the same board are unlikely to get published right away, during the probationary period. They typically reappear after a 12-hour timeout, but not always.
The editorial policy is opaque, so none of this is certain, but I have seen and been in discussions with many other commenters whose combined input helps flesh out the “unwritten UnHerd charter”. Overall, I think the site runs a good middle path between heavy suppression and abuse-filled free-for-all, but the rules are not made public.
How do you know that? Please name your source of information.
You really think that settles the argument AJ Mac?
Oh well, try this troublesome fact from recent history: back in 2010 The Daily Telegraph used the Freedom of Information act to press the London Metropolitan Police to release crime data it had been withholding. That data showed that for the period 2009-2010, with London’s black population at just over 10% of the total, over 50% of males who committed street crimes, robberies and gun crimes in that period were black. Note: it required an FOI request to have that data made public – presumably because the figures didn’t sit well with the cheery pro-multicultural stance of our establishment. Violent crime in London’s black communities continues to grow.
For some good dissident number crunching on this issue as it applies in the US you might try reading Steve Sailer’s column and blog – or would that jar with your Left-liberal sensibilities?
How much of that disproportionate criminality is removed by adjusting for income? That is: Don’t poor whites commit far more crime than rich ones, and do prosperous blacks commit a ton of serious crime? I’m not saying that excuses anyone’s crimes, nor that income or background related adjustments would remove ALL disparity.
And of course the argument isn’t settled. I’m just trying to assess how far your racial emphasis extends when it comes to criminality.
I’ll accept your label of Left-liberal as close enough for comment board purposes though I like to think I’m a bit more nuanced and complex than that–many of us are, or insist on believing so. Right now I’d “self-identify as” a centre-left extreme moderate, with too much of a radical contrarian streak. A bit long and self-important, I recognize.
I think your observations are defeated by looking to the extremely poor immigrants to New York from 1875-1927. They lived in housing not much better than the favelas outside Rio, their schools were mediocre, discrimination against them was nearly identical to that against blacks and even worse in some fields — and no air conditioning! Yet their crime rates were dramatically below that of any selected black neighborhood in the modern US.
One other thing — oddly, before the Civil Rights laws in the 60s and the literally hundreds of billions invested in blacks, their crime rates were much lower.
The countries with the highest murder rates in the world are not black, but in fact Hispanic. We might have a lot more crime now than a hundred years ago for all sorts of reasons, the increased availability of stuff to covet and drugs being among them. But I don’t see much attempt to justify some of the sweeping statements on here.
The discrimination against white populations in the US has never been anything like as intense as against the black population, obviously including Jim Crow laws.
What discrimination against white poulations?
This is simply not true and you are comparing apples and oranges. Black is a racial category, Hispanic is not. Hispanic people may be of any race or a mixture of multiple races. If you look at crime rates in ‘Hispanic’ countries, your comments are easily disproven. Compare predominately white Uruguay to the Dominican Republic, for instance. Or compare the Dominican Republic to neighbouring and more predominately black Haiti. Non-Hispanic but predominately black Guyana and Belize both have higher rates of violent crime than many Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America. The same is true for non-Hispanic countries outside the Americas (like South Africa and PNG) and the mostly English-speaking countries of the Caribbean. It is an uncomfortable truth that crime rates in the Americas tend to be higher in areas with larger populations of African descent. Brazil and the countries surrounding the Caribbean basin, where African populations are most concentrated, tend to have much higher rates of violent crime. There are, of course, many reasons and many factors at play. But it is simply dishonest to deny the racial correlation.
QED then. For a “scientific” racist, that is. Let’s say we were to fully accept your hardline racializations. What then? Putting a million black men in prison didn’t solve things in the States. Will 10 million be enough?
That’s quite a leap! As I said, there are many factors at play. Analysis based on one single data point (such as race) isn’t especially illuminating. For instance, Blacks also have higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and end stage renal failure. Those are also complex problems to address with many causes, not all rooted in race. But denying the existence of racial differences and tossing about accusations of racism won’t help anyone. Quite the opposite, it impedes the pursuit of concrete solutions. As for putting people of any colour or sex in prison, that strikes me as entirely appropriate if they have committed the relevant crime.
It’s not tossed out. It is well-earned. You reveal a deeply racialized worldview. And you propose no solutions, but soul-deep generalities based on skin or phenotype. How is that anything other than racist? You may think your carefully gathered and selected evidence and totalizing, reductive conclusions merely make you a soothsayer, but I don’t. Now I don’t say this is all you are, but I stand by it: You are some version of a hardcore racist. I’d like you to persuade me that I’m wrong if you can.
Reading comprehension failure. Hope you feel better now after your outburst.
Ok. I’ll give you the benefit of the remaining doubt. I note that you did not deny the label.
You can’t compare communities separated by more than 100 years in time.
Aye. Consistently good contributions.
So do you draw any conclusions from that?
It’s quite ludicrous to claim that lower-class whites or darker southern European groups faced “nearly identical” discrimination to just-emancipated blacks. As a mostly Irish-descended North American, I know my ancestors faced exclusion and bigotry, but not of an equivalent sort.
Your comparison between 100-150 years ago and now–devoid of all context except race–is also an embarrassment. You ought to be embarrassed.
“a centre-left extreme moderate”
My kind of guy. But I put it to you brother that it’s time to end the age of Political Correctness. No matter how one slices and dices and spins and massages and trims the data, the fact is that Black criminality is something like 4X that of Whites — taking the broadest view. We hate to say it, don’t we? We want to explain it away. It is outside the Overton Window to mention it. It must be Whitey’s fault! We both wish it was our fault, don’t we? Alas, reality intrudes — it isn’t. Time for frankness, I think. Wishful thinking is nice, but it doesn’t solve problems. The Emperor is naked.
Ok. Let’s say your estimate is accurate (and I think it’s high, look at Appalachia and other very poor and under-schooled white communities). What now? I agree that we should be able to say the numbers and even draw our own conclusions, which should not then be dismissed nor preemptively discredited as bigoted.
But shouldn’t we still avoid racialized generalities, since they are a blunt, messy instrument that misses and wrongly group associates millions of people? I don’t accept a racial, ethnic, or national hierarchy of morality or conduct, though some countries in Europe produce more serious criminals per-thousand than others. Large groups have differing average traits, and while it’s valid to point that out, such averages are not a reliable guide, let alone some window into individual hearts and minds.
I also dislike the hyperbolic claim, for example, that all the Founding Fathers were slave owners or that America is founded only on racist practices or hypocritical principles. Far from it. I also reject “Whitey made me do it” excuses for bad behavior or personal failures. I endorse most of the views I hear Professor Glenn Loury espouse about black America: Yes there is some disadvantage and reduced-but-remaining bigotry, but that is not some insurmountable obstacle, and certainly not any proper excuse to fail or follow a wicked path, especially in today’s America.
However, I plead with those of good or even pretty good heart not to assign a special pathology or lesser humanity to any whole population by their perceived group association or outward characteristics.
There have been attempts in recent days to try to push out of debates those capable of a more nuanced viewpoint. Naturally, that’s not going to happen.
A nice argument in favor of ignoring reality or ‘splain’ it a-way.
The countries with the highest murder rates in the world are not black, but in fact Hispanic. We probably have a lot more crime now than a hundred years ago, for many reasons, but I doubt the genetic deficiency of black people is one of them.
Which probably suggests that African culture is different – and arguably far worse – in American cities compared to say West Africa.
When I was living in the US, a Nigerian colleague moved from a very posh (central and multiracial neighbourhood) to a more distant, predominately Asian-American suburb. When I questioned her choice (a puzzling downgrade in my view), her reply used language that made me blush. A certain word beginning with ‘n’ was spat out with venom. She simply didn’t want her children growing up around African Americans. In this case, I think class was a major factor. As a wealthy Oxford-educated African, she looked down on Americans and American culture
You got some splainin’ to do Jerry, not me.
“However, I plead with those of good or even pretty good heart not to assign a special pathology or lesser humanity to any whole population by their perceived group association or outward characteristics.”
You’re obviously making a good faith effort here, but this is ridiculous and if you genuinely believe it, you completely misunderstand what you’re arguing against. I seriously doubt any Unherd readers actually believe that there’s something in the melanin that makes one race more or less criminal than another – and even less likely that any such demographic correlations give us any reliable evidence about any specific person in any particular race.
What’s being argued is something else altogether – namely, (a) some cultures are better than others at creating flourishing, healthy societies and (b) there are racial correlations with different cultures. Is it permissible to say “this way of living is better than that way”? And if that is permissible, then which ways we should be promoting? And should we bite our tongues because the ways we should promote are more likely to be found among one racial community than another? Or should we endeavor to make sure they are well represented in all races?
I strongly disagree with your assessment. The argument you sketch is one I don’t object to in and of itself. Many are taking it much further and I know from previous, detailed exchanges that some here are racial supremacists or ethnic-hierarchy proponents. A matter-of-fact comment that began “white supremacist here” once received dozens of upvotes. Read all of the posts on this board and tell me no one here is arguing for the innate, heightened criminality of black people.
I’m not sure how long you’ve been around these boards, but a sizable minority of the race-related views expressed are less benign or well-meant than your characterization. Which is fine to a degree, people are entitled to those views too, repugnant as they are to most. But sometimes I make an effort to push against the more reasonable or borderline versions of such views, usually to a measure of outrage and sometimes to insults.
I made no argument about numerical demographic hiring by color or other demographic traits nor about attempts to engineer equality of outcome (rather than opportunity) among diverse populations and individuals. I don’t support those things. Please don’t connect me with every view you might think “someone like me” also has when I haven’t expressed that view. And I’ll will continue to try and return the favor.
Sometimes I haven’t honored good conversational ethics, becoming unduly contentious, sarcastic, or presenting a strawman parody of an interlocutor’s perspective. (I did some of that in my first post early this morning, which is now quite deservedly quarantined). But when that happens I make an effort to fess up and do better next time.
Here’s one thing I think nearly all of us here can agree on: The no-forgiveness, no-redemption policy typical of hardline Wokeness is wrongheaded and hardhearted, whether it emerges from the hard left or from elsewhere along the so-called political spectrum, which it sometimes does.
Fair enough – you think more people here are genuine old-fashioned KKK-type racists than I do. I guess we’ll have to keep reading to find out.
That said… it is pretty easy to conflate ‘old fashioned’ racists with people ‘brave enough to call a spade a spade.’ We’d have to look at some specific examples to really figure out who was who.
While I’m not amused by it, I’m intrigued by the insinuation that “new-fashioned racism” is somehow clever or correct.
Wokeness is by definition left-wing.
But ruthless judgment and punitive hardheartedness are not inherently left wing at all.
Amazed you have no likes yet. Yes, some problematic cultures are associated with race/ethnicity, however race in and of itself is not predictive of bad culture. Culture comes first.
It’s baffling that lesser cultures–an objective measurement?–don’t all want to imitate the West. We have so much to teach them. Too bad we haven’t learned our own professed lessons yet. Let’s judge ourselves on our ideals, while judging Them on their shortcomings.
Nice post. IMO people are confusing class issues with racial issues. I’m pretty sure immigrant Nigerians are some of the highest income earners in America. I don’t think there’s a bunch of crime committed by middle class black people. It’s poor people living in crappy neighborhoods committing crimes, whether it’s the south side of Chicago or Appalachia.
Exactly my point, Thanks, Jim.
More than 7O% of the violent crime committed in the US is by that 4% of the black male population younger than 45 years.
And I bet that vast majority of that 4% life in awful neighbourhoods.
But at the same time the Right often at the same time cite Muslims as perpetrating most crime in Europe eg Sweden. Racial ‘explanations’ are poor explanations.
Well a son of Indian or Pakistani muslim aristocrat whose family has been educated in British public schools, Sandhurst and universities for generations is unlikely to be a criminal or support Islamic Terrorists.
My Father played cricket in Pakistan in the 1960s, the captain was a general who had fought in WW2. He considered the British Army had become sloppy and he said he maintained standards of the pre 1947 Indian Army.
The upper class Arabs whose society produced Omar Sharif; spoke English and French fluently and were educated at the Sorbonne, Oxford and Cambridge.
However, those from North Africa and especially those hardened in the Algerian civil war of 1991 to 2002 are very different.
homicide rate is 10x in US; 7 x in UK
The common denominator everywhere is men.
This is true. But also the common denominator in “people who rush into burning buildings to save strangers’ lives” and “people who win Nobel prizes” and “people who write the world’s best operas.” Isn’t it common knowledge that the bell curve for men is flatter than the bell curve for women, so we get more geniuses and heroes, but also more dunces and villains?
Indeed. That has been fully demonstrated to anyone willing to look.
no the common denominator is single mothers.
The way to murder rates is the international method of murders per 100,000 of the population.
List of cities by homicide rate – Wikipedia
The next questions are where do wealthy members of the Democrat Party live, how secure are their homes and where do they send their children to school?
Even in inner city areas there can be pockets of affluent very secure homes, a few hundred metres away from violence stricken housing. The Georgian Terraces of Islington are very pleasant and Labour MPs manage to get their children into DAO which used to be in the borough and is now in affluent Potters Bar.
Dame Alice Owen’s School – Founded 1613 (damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk)
The reality is that one can obtain a high salary and pension, paid for by the taxpayer in a city working for the state, yet crime soars and educational standards collapse
I would have more time for Democrat/labour members if they lived in the most violent areas and sent their children to the worse schools.
The murder rate can hide much. Often crime is found within a few blocks. An example is Chicago; there are few murders within the university yet other areas have 7 times more than other areas.
Crime in Chicago – Wikipedia
At Independence, Ceylon was poor, they could not afford to fund health and education. They chose education. The teacher carried a blackboard and cycled between villages. The school was under the large tree, the children were barefoot yet some obtained 7 O Levels including Latin. A similar story for South India( Kerala), Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea. The slums created because of rapid industrialisation during the Napoleonic Wars meant that conditions were horrendous. Bradford went from 6,000 in 1800 to120,000 in 1850s yet through the hard work of many conditions were improved.
The issue for the West is that we have turned away from self improvement as supported by Keir Hardie, Booker T Washington, Churchill, J Kennedy and Dr M L King. In the 1960s the Democrat and Labour Party gave up on The Bible, especially Proverbs, as preached by Non Conformist, Methodist and Baptists and took up Cultural Marxism as promoted by the Frankfurt School, Gramsci, Saul Alinsky, Herbert Marcuse and post Modernist Marxists.
If one reads Proverbs, words used frequently are : wisdom, instruction,well- instructed intelligence, righteousness, justice, probity, shrewdness, knowledge, aquire skill, fools scorn wisdom and discipline, avoid criminals, etc.
In the 1960s Motown had a teacher of etiquette now much rap glorifies gang violence and contempt for women. The murders of J Kennedy, Dr M L king and R Kennedy enabled the cultural marxists to take over the Democratic Party and the results are there to be seen.
I usually like your posts, and this one no exception, but you have a consistent blind spot. Nostalgia is not as good as it used to be, The ever-so-better past age you celebrate never quite existed in the way you frame it
Thank you . I never say the past is good: I say lets learn from it. Humans are much the same as they were when Sumer created the first civilisation 5500 years ago and their subsequent rise and fall show similarities which has been noted by Ibn Khaldun, Arnold Toynbee, C Northcote Parkinson and John Glubb.
TOP 24 QUOTES BY IBN KHALDUN | A-Z Quotes (azquotes.com)
The USA shows much similarities to Rome post 350 AD.
There is a phrase in boxing ” Train hard, fight easy”. Since the 1960s the middle and upper class have wanted success by training easy and we can see the results.
Alexander the Great had his mind tempered by Aristotle and his bod tempered in the gymnasium which would have included pankration. What of those who attend the wealthiest universites in the West ?
I respect that. You always have something of substance to offer-wish I could claim that for myself–and some recommendations of interest too. I strongly agree that at some fundamental level we are largely unchanged since Whenever.
I don’t have total faith in your rugby and rough-play approach to social, physical, and mental health, but it certainly could only help. And at least you are proposing a remedy instead of indulging in catastrophe-talk or lamentations about the kids, politicians, etc. these days.
Thank you. Reading Orwell was a revelation; he showed character influenced politics. Birds of a feather flock together. or as the feminists say ” The personal is the political “.The Devil provides mischief for idle hands.
When adult politicians are desperate to show their fitness it is absurd; they should be able to point to their ohysical achievements pre thirties.
If young people are pushed physically, mentally and artistically so they are exhausted by the evenings they will not cause mischief. Fit, skilled people who can find interesting and well paid work tend be cheerful and are of benefit to society. I think many of the problems which are written about on Unherd are because people are unfilled on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level.
I mostly agree with that. (Am I through the looking glass now?). Material conditions are often dwarfed in importance by health, purpose, and a sense of belonging. If wholesome belonging is not available, people will find malignant versions of community.
As to physical hardihood–now or then–in a politician? A plus, not a need. Henry VIII was an impressive athlete as a young man, as was Gerald Ford. James Madison was something of a tiny weakling (5″ 3′), but an impressive statesman.
What benefits society is not always apparent to at first glance, or in the short run. I think the writings of Orwell and William Blake provide net social (and other) benefits, but few of their contemporaries would have called them “useful”. Nor is value, as you know, reducible to mere use.
It is not size, it is spirit which manifests through a person being innovative and displaying fortitude by which a person becomes resileint, robust and resolute in body and mind. Nelson being a good example of innovation and fortitude though being small.
Orwell , as did Kipling, respected practical people, who undertook constructive work.
I think there is something which enriches the soul when one can point to constructive work one has achieved and the lack of constructive activity is soul destroying.
Proversb 1.5 the man of understanding will aquire skill.
The ability to undertake hard contact sports so one can thrive on the rough and tumble of life; train one’s mind to aquire knowledge, reason aquire skill; produces a person secure in their knowledge they can support themselves and defend themselves intellectually and physically. This produces a physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually refined, resilient,robust, balanced and grounded person who finds any extremism as rather absurd.
Nazism, Communism, Islamicism and Wokism are attractive to the insecure, inadequate and those with inferiority complexes.
In short the Renaissance Gentleman and Lady can securely smile with amusement on the antics of extremists, who know not to push their luck with them because they can defend themselves.
Since 1945, how much noise and activity is due to people being “Empty vessels?” Name one figure since 1945 who could be said to manifest the Renaissance person ?
Again, I largely agree but you’re overselling it by quite a bit. Some rugby players, boxers, American football players, etc. are quite brutal and dull-witted, I think rather more so for their undue emphasis on “hard contact” and physical dominance. Literal brain injury frequently occurs. And some men of diminutive stature have a so-called Napoleon complex.
Probably unfair of me to call James Madison “a weakling” as he was generally in good health and lived to be 85 (1751-1836). It’s fair to point out that he had about 100 slaves to do his much of the rough and dirty work for him though.
I’m glad to have worked in the family construction business and to have played competitive sports, though not the roughest kind. I was pretty good though I peaked as a competitive athlete around age 12-14, in baseball and what we Americans call “soccer”. I’ve been in several fist fights, both as a child and adult, largely occasioned by running my mouth (imagine that) or getting so enraged that those who aren’t intimidated are sometimes provoked themselves. (As an adult, drinking was often a factor too). I guess those experiences were “character building”, but pointless and regrettable too. I do know that I can take, and sometimes throw, a good punch.
I don’t think Renaissance men were common in any era, but I’d nominate the American songwriter and actor Kris Kristofferson (born 1936). He played college rugby and (US) football at a standout level and was an elite pilot in the Army. He also published short stories in the Atlantic as a teen, was a Rhodes Scholar (winning a “Blue” for boxing while at Oxford). All this in addition to his more famous calling as a successful songwriter (“Me and Bobby McGhee, “Sunday Morning Coming Down”, “Help Me Make it Through the Night”, etc.), one highly admired by fellow musicians. And, I’ll admit, he’s just an ok film actor. To see him, especially as a younger man, you’d think he was a rugged and plainspoken guy, which for the most part he is.
I certainly think adolescent boys or young men should know how to swing a hammer, kick a ball, and throw a punch (if it comes to that), but there’s no arm wrestling Pulitzer or track-and-field portion of the Nobel Prize.
And where do girls and women fit into this, if at all? I mean this as a real question. I admit it seems wrong for most of them to box, but a more robust physical health wouldn’t hurt, especially among these ever-more-indoor younger generations.
I agree that the worst “isms” attract unfit and neurotic people, but not only. Their ranks are filled out by strong and highly conditioned young people who carry out the commands of the sickly weirdos in charge, with their inferiority complexes that have mutated into megalomania.
There are some kind, courageous, and well-adjusted people who were never well-conditioned or strong in body. And not every physical weakling becomes a basket case or vengeful neurotic. (Please excuse this extra long post. I always appreciate these exchanges).
I appreciate your posts. What is important is to be secure in the knowledge with one’s abilities and resist the siren calls of extremism.
I never said contact sports on their own, I said the mind and the body has to be tempered. This way one can defend one’s position intellectually and physically and ridicule the calls of the extremists.
The girls public schools were physically tough, especially the boarding ones, ; cold dorms, ballet, gymnastics, hockey, lacrosse, tennis and swimming.
If one looks at the French Revolution, Russian, Nazis and Iranian , intellectuals persuaded thugs to use their liking for violence for a politcal cause, hence the murders.
The sports field is great leveller. It is difficult to look down on others when one is covered in freezing cold mud and one has been tackled by two others and wondering if there are any broken bones. Then shaking hands with those one has played against and drinking with them to show there are no hard feelings means one does not hold a grudge.
British public and grammar used to train the mind and the body. Often each sport would have three to four teams which would play other schools and then there were the house teams. Consequently, everyone played sport whether they liked it it not. Universities would take take people who played sport preferentially over those who did not. The ultimate accolade was to earn a colours and first or even a double colours , say rugby and cricket.
Someone who is cheerful, has a sense of humour, is resilient and robust both physically and mentally, is emotionally stable and can enjoy the rough and tumble of life is unlikely to have an inferiority complex, be resentful, spiteful and sly. Consequently it is very difficult to be manipulated by extremists but can also defeat them intellectually and physically. In short, an immune system which defeats extremism.
I would suggest extremism is a pathogen which can only take over the body politic when the immune system is weak.
I like all of that, Charles. I would only suggest that you might be making too general an extrapolation based on your own moderate and robust makeup (according to my estimate). Some elite athletes are extremists, either in on-field meanness that extends to off-hours or political activism.
But not many. You know I like to find exceptions, most of which don’t undermine the general validity of your claims, including:
mens sana in corpore sano
I think you have hit on the problem. People playing sports who are amateurs and who train the mind, develop a sense of proportion, balance and stability.
A person who is a professional athlete and of average or below average intelligence, earns vast amounts of money will be unbalanced.
The USA has given up on the amateur athlete who enjoys the game for the games sake and devlops character their practice.
Sports can be used to build up peoples constitution. a Grandfather born in the slums pre WW1 took up boxing and running to counter the effect of TB and Polio. After he was gassed in the trenches he was able to pass the fitness to enter the Royal Flying Corp because of his fitness from his physical training. Young men taking part in boxing /martial arts and salsa dancing rather than playing computer games would be fit, cheerful, courageous and well mannered and would have a far more enjoyable life.
Universities should be for academic excellence and entrance should be based only upon academic ability. By all means play sport to a high level but do not offer sports scholarships.
J P R Williams read medicine and was very good rugby player .
J. P. R. Williams – Wikipedia
St Mary’s had a high academic and sporting reputation.
St Mary’s Hospital Medical School – Wikipedia
What appeared to have occurred is that the attitude to sport between the USA and Britain has differed since the late 1930s. The British attitude has been far dominated by the idea of taking part, character building, the existance of many teams so more people can represent their school at sports. Also Britain has kept the amateur tradition. Britain has many amateur rugby, cricket, football, hockey, ec clubs which people take part in for the enjoyment.
The USA is far more about winning and making money. The result is a very small group of elite athletes with a smaller group of amateurs .
Fair distinction on amateur vs. pro and too true about the USA.
However, aren’t some of your footballers raging jerks?
*And I couldn’t agree more about universities. While I was not the most focused or diligent student, I was academically capable and fundamentally serious about learning, and dismayed at the number of students who were not. As an undergraduate, I used to be relieved if 5-7 out of 35 students cared much and were of well-above-average intelligence.
Why are we endeavoring, especially in the States, to send people who 1) aren’t capable of academic excellence 2) don’t like to read 3) aren’t self-motivated, on to Higher Education? The notion that twelve years at a desk are just some warm-up for one’s “real education” is absurd. More pathways to decent jobs are needed; not everyone needs to be an intellectual or “knowledge worker”, not even today.
The football hooligans and some of our professional football players ( soccer in the USA ) were worse than jerks; they were violent thugs.
The violence of the football hooligans was a disgrace. There was no hooliganism from those who supported rugby league which was the professional version of rugby. Women could attend rugby league matches and if any man so much as swore he was given one warning by other men.
Having lived near a football stadium whose supporters were known for their violence, the utter cowardice by owners and government in not stopping hooliganism was a disgrace.
The one nation where there is still high quality vocational training where people can enter university if they prove themselves, is Switzerland. It takes three years to becomea lorry driver but they they are practically a diesel mechanic. Also National Service adds to competence and many middle managers and above are officers in elite units.
The massive expansion in higher education has produced an intellectual proletariat as predicted( in 1940s) by G M Trevelyan, perhaps Britain’s greatest social historian.
G. M. Trevelyan – Wikipedia
Also the expansion has produced a pleasant sinecure for the mediocre middle class, very similar to the monasteries in Britain post 1380s. The monasteries of 1380 to 1539 in Britain and today’s higher education are very similar. Precise hard pruning of the humanities would benefit them- return to classical, European, Asiatic Languages for a start. The tree of knowledge to bear fruit must be pruned and watered. We have ignored the pruning and over watered.
As the federal capital, Washington DC is home to the supposedly best and brightest political thinkers in the land – 92% of whom vote Democrat. With such an intellectual powerhouse behind it, it should be the shining beacon of good governance.
That it is not, points to large empirical proof of the failure of modern political thought and education of those intellectual classes. The proof is in the eating, and the eating says it doesn’t work.
So then task the schools of politics to discard what they think they know, and to find stuff that actually works – and then teach politics as a practical subject of good governance, not a theory of some idealised future state.
What is your favorite era of political thought and what societies did such thought reflect or produce? I don’t even disagree with most of your opinions here, but nothing you’ve claimed is empirical. let alone dispositively established. You must know that.
One of the most astonishing things about the collapse of American civilization – especially but not exclusively in the cities – is that it is happening in real time in full view of everyone, almost no one denies it, and yet the people directly responsible – the Democratic Party – go blithely along leaving destruction their wake and insisting what is needed is even MORE of their chaotic policies. It is shocking.
The Democrats go blithely along leaving destruction in their wake seemingly with the will of the people, as expressed through the ballot box. They can’t confer legitimacy on themselves by dictat, but as a concerned observer from the other side of the Atlantic, i’d ask: is this due to the incompetence (or other factors) of the Republicans, much in the same way as the incompetence of the Tory administration in the UK will give way to Labour?
“is this due to the incompetence (or other factors) of the Republicans”
Thank you. As with the Federal Government, where Biden is POTUS for one reason: decent people will refuse to vote for Trump point-blank. One hates to chose between senility and a wanabe dictator, but it sorta has to be the senile old fool — at least there will be another election. If either party offered the electorate moderation and competence they’d win a landslide.
‘Wannabe dictator’? Biden just tried to unilaterally cancel trillions of dollars in debt owed to the taxpayer by (disproportionately) Biden voters.
Trump’s a blowhard egomaniac but as far as which of these two buffoons has done more to violate Constitutional norms, it’s not even close.
Trump did a lot more damage.
Tried to overturn the will of the electorate. Has a fake-ass charitable foundation that makes the Clinton Foundation seem squeaky clean. Worsened our nation’s standing around the world. Is too terrible a person to even pay tradespeople, let alone lead a nation. Is a greedy, silver-spoon dirt-bag–and I would not use such a term lightly–that somehow P.T. Barnum-ed the credulous public into believing he’s on the side of regular people. I could certainly go on, but that should be enough
No, it isn’t close. It’s the guy who tried to “find” thousands of votes in Georgia and riled up a crowd that had a violent faction in his attempt to overturn an election because he lost it. Have a look at this if you’re willing:
Absolutely!! In the US we’re craving a viable alternative to Biden or Trump. It’s truly heartbreaking to not have some one with vision and integrity to vote for, rather than the old white farts.
Amen. Well said, Claire. I appreciate your principled outspokenness, though it is sometimes pointed at me.
The only dictatorship has been the power behind the dementia patient puppet. We don’t need moderates at this point because they are not strong enough. Seriously, the country won’t survive another 4 years of open borders and codified DEI.
No we need more extremism and hardheartedness. Not to worry though, we’ve got you and others of your ilk.
Yes. Like the Tories, the Republicans are not race realists, so they just passively go along with the Democrats’ anti-white policies and coddling of blacks.
The typical conservative Republican knows all about the disasters that are our black-run Democratic voting cities, but has nothing to offer as solutions other than preaching about absent-fathers, promoting “Opportunity Zones” and quoting Martin Luther King.
Like the Tories they are TERRIFIED to talk about race. They’d rather their constituents’ daughters be assaulted on the streets than mention the word.
And the conditions described by the race-oblivious author of this article are nothing new. They have been the status quo in America’s urban government schools for decades. Ignore the violence, ignore the lack of learning, just pass them through and blame racism.
While the GOP sings “Ebony and Ivory” in unison.
Everything you post is straight up terrible. You are a simplistic racist in the worst American tradition.
*Who’s your favorite Confederate hero: Robert E. Lee or Jefferson Davis?
So no answer? To mix it up let me throw notorious antebellum racist John C. Calhoun into the mix. Maybe he’s your favorite.
It’s less about GOP incompetence than their willing submission to the Progressive control of popular culture in order to keep the press from canceling them. There is no fight in them. But the idea that Trump is a wannabe dictator is just playing the Left’s slander game. If he was, he had four years to try and he made not one move in that direction. Trying to pause the (obviously flawed if not outright manipulated) election was foolish, but no coup.
Giuliani did a brilliant job cleaning up NYC. I lived there, when I was a student, and the difference once he was in charge was astounding. Even my most liberal left wing acquaintances had to admit that all of a sudden you could leave Columbia campus without being attacked. Bloomberg continued the good work, especially reforming the schools. It just takes a couple of lefty Democrats to make the place into a hell hole again.
It is unfair, of course, to blame crime and disorder solely on city government.
Why is it unfair? The article explains the measures the city government has taken to enable criminals so obviously they are largely to blame.
This sort of thing doesn’t happen in Seoul, for example.
Funny that you mention Sepul — you might have added Tokyo, anywhere in China, etc. — “diversity” and crime go hand in hand. For complex reasons, people from conflicting cultures do badly together. Those cities (and countries) without “diversity” do much better.
I’ve always known that “diversity our strength” was an outright lie.
Don’t you think it has a lot to do with lack of education?
Of course. Too bad 1930s Germany couldn’t seem to find enough ethnic unity in an nearly all-white country, Jews and Gentiles alike. People should segregate by ethnicity across the globe, a national scale apartheid. Maybe Native Americans can be tolerated though, since they were here first.
The politicians and their enablers in DC have zero interest in or capability to protect any citizen of this nation anywhere. The Democrats who run cities here have ruined them because of ideological stupidity, cowardice, and personal incompetence.
We had to drive through DC on I95 (the major interstate highway down the East Coast), and, because of an accident, got detoured through what I could scarcely believe was an American city. It looked like an active war zone. It was terrifying because traffic was moving at a crawl and we felt like sitting ducks. And I’m no country mouse; I lived in Manhattan during the Koch administration.
Good luck doing anything about it. As long as Democrats run the cities – DC or elsewhere – filth, disfunction, and violence will be the result.
And then, if you’re headed north, you get the pleasure of Baltimore.
And then Philadelphia, then NYC.
It is remarkable how this long articles dodges the central facts — DC is a black-controlled city, as are all of the other dysfunctional cities mentioned. As a result, the Democratic party, which is heavily influenced by its black constiuency, will not permit anything that creates a risk of “racism” that attends nearly every other national effort to address the dysfunction of blacks.
The only mention of blacks here is that 95% of the victims of crime are black. But it fails to mention the black composition of the city council or that 98% of perpetrators are black.
Terror of being accused of racism blinds policymakers from touching that third wire. So the prospects are futile.
Time to make ‘racism’ something that can be discussed honestly. The races are not identical. Evolution does not stop at the neck. Variation and selection happen. Yes, it is politically incorrect to say it, but as we’ve seen over the last 60 years, PC and wishful thinking isn’t working. You can’t solve a problem until you admit what the problem really is. Whitey can’t stand to admit it, but the problem isn’t his.
Remember when Eric Holder said it was time for an honest discussion on race? To paraphrase Jack Nicholson, Eric, you can’t handle an honest discussion.
I don’t agree with this. If the past 200 years since abolition began has shown anything, it’s that blacks as a race have just as much social development potential as any other racial group. We have black entrepreneurs, artists, writers, politicians, academics, soldiers, billionaires, you name it. Any category of human accomplishment and virtue is well stocked with admirable black successes. In fact, in many respects blacks as a whole have advanced further faster than whites did. To describe this problem in evolutionary terms is, in my opinion, plainly ridiculous and unscientific. It’s a problem of social history, not of biology.
Yes “His” is the violence problem. It’s men of all races, and It’s even too pc to say that.
Certainly there is much more aggression among men than women overall. But you’re overdoing it by skipping the not-so-rare fact of violent crime by women. And you unfairly make the actively violent subset of men out to be the problem of all men. I don’t accept contamination (nor valorization) by association, whether the lens is sex or race based.
“Interestingly, these self-sabotaging crime policies have been enacted by a City Council that pledges its utmost dedication to the cause of racial equity.”
I just LOVE that “interestingly.”
It’s even better than the word “baffled” used elsewhere in the article.
You put the word racism in ‘scare quotes’. Is that because you think your racialized preferences and aversions are based on ‘settled race science’? Since blacks are lesser people to you–above the neck at least–you should admit what you think should be done to solve the problem America and America’s longsuffering, victimized white folks have with blacks. Come out and say it, please.
Washington DC is just a warning of what’s to come everywhere. Government cannot be both regulator and provider because the wealth needed to provide so many services becomes a honeypot for vested interests that then use the regulatory function to divert that wealth to themselves. As municipal and central governments acquire more and more power and, consequently, more and more wealth, so they become more and more subject to the parasitism of corporate and bureaucratic vested interests and therefore less and less able – and less and less inclined – to fulfil their basic functions such as maintaining order.
So what’s to be done?
20,000 low-income city residents on a waiting list for low-rent or zero-rent public housing
Wherever you give away those kinds of freebies, you are going to have trouble bringing down the waiting lists.
I have lived here for over 50 years, and worked downtown, both on K Street and Capitol Hill for 15 of them, and back when north of Union Station was no-man’s land. Someone was stabbed to death in front of my office building in broad daylight. I was the only person in my office who had not been mugged.
It’s far worse now, my wife and I rarely go into town for any reason other than the occasional Nats game. We drive in, park, go to the game and to home. That’s it.
What’s the problem with acknowledging that at least two of the major reasons for social and administrative failure in Washington DC are the very same reasons for the many failed countries, states and crime ridden neighbourhoods in cities around the world? Without fearlessly and honestly facing some inconvenient facts, these issues cannot be resolved in any effective manner. Wokeness represents neither honour nor justice!
So… Washington DC mostly peaceful then? You cannot tackle crime if you cannot ‘see’ it.
Nothing has changed about the city since I lived there in the early 80’s. It’s always been crime-ridden. I was fortunate never to have been harmed, but a good friend was home-invaded and brutally raped by a gang of 3 black men while her husband was forced to watch. She’s really never recovered. Her husband who was an older Dutchman has since died. It traumatized them both. This couple spent years in the Solomon Islands where they met, volunteering for the Peace Corps.
Democrats are destroying every city they run, we just moved out of Manhattan. What’s scarier is the totalitarian leftist machine taking over news and media (propaganda), universities (a racket, and a rip-off) and now the agenda in schools (gender ‘affirming’?), tech (they rant about book bans, but what about the bias in tech that limits information and steers you to leftist ideological answers?), and the majority of people in the sinecure called government bureaucracy? Right wing totalitarianism is scary, but people forget it equally comes from the left.
Many of the people running the US are financed by criminals and serve criminal interests be it drug trafficking, people trafficking, arms smuggling. The consequences can be seen at home and abroad.
The situation as described is preposterous. It should be within the capacity of even an understaffed police force and complacent criminal justice system to target 500 known individuals and get them off the streets; and if this simple measure eliminates 70 percent of the city’s gun violence, why would any sane person oppose it? The restraint people require who present a danger to their fellow citizens, and who’ve demonstrated beyond doubt that they can’t be reformed, is jail. This is the way the system is supposed to work–the only way the law-abiding can protect themselves–so what is D.C. waiting for?
Not if they won’t be prosecuted, or released on no-cash bail, even if arrested.
“swell DC brunchers scurried out the doors of the fashionable French restaurant Le Diplomate near DuPont Circle as gunshots rang out in the streets”
That seems foolish. Wouldn’t staying indoors, when people are shooting in the street, be the prudent choice?
What, and miss uploading some really edgy footage to your favoured social media platform?
Wokes think that The Purge is a blueprint for government.
What are “wokes”?
Is this really a city government problem? Or is the city government merely a reflection of a larger problem?
Excellent question. I don’t have the answer.
I’ve wondered the same as I’ve read the article and commentaries. Although it’s both, surely cultural overreach has nurtured the dysfunction of city government. One cannot resolve the second without honest evaluation of the first.
I grew up in the Maryland part of the capital area in the 90s – 00s, and some of my best memories are of visits to DC, whether it was family, school, or scouting trips as a kid, or clubs, bars and concerts with friends as a teen and early adult. It was always like this to an extent, but it’s definitely gotten worse over the years in a pattern that’s familiar to anyone living in a major American city over the past 15-20 years.
Anyway, a few things that stuck out to me in this article by their absence. First and foremost is that there is already a peaceful precedent in the form of Arlington, VA for the return of land that was previously of the capital back to its original state. I don’t see why 99% of the District of Columbia couldn’t be returned to Maryland. Keep federal jurisdiction over the National Mall, Capital building, and other major organs of the federal government. It could return more localized and representative governance to the residential areas of the capital, and possibly allow Congress to focus on other more pressing things (not that I’d hold my breath). Also as a previous Maryland resident who would never move back, I wouldn’t be envious of the DC residents who found themselves suddenly under Maryland’s jurisdiction, but that’s another story.
The Feds take over ! Take back control from a failing liberal city government! The conspiracy readers with have a head twisting time with this one…
Long hours in daycare as little children may be the reason increasing numbers of youth from low-income neighbourhoods in US cities are criminally anti-social. Neo-lib/con ‘welfare reform’ starting in the mid1990s under Democrat Clinton and continued by ‘pro-family’ Republicans transferred billions of dollars away from poor single mothers into paying for full-time daycare for their little ones and low-wage subsidies for full-time McJobs for mums. (Out-of-wedlock birthrates did not go down as predicted but have soared since welfare was effectively eliminated for single mothers.)The solid research from the $25 million NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development shows that “Adolescents who experienced more hours of nonrelative child care across their first 4½ years reported significantly more risk taking and greater impulsivity at age 15”. That more daycare meant more teen violence, drugs, alcohol, sex, self-harm. (“Do Effects of Early Child Care Extend to Age 15 Years? Results From the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2938040/).
Similarly, top Canadian economists found of the system of cheap daycare in the province of Quebec that children with “increased child care access had worse health, lower life satisfaction, and higher crime rates later in life.” “The Long-Run Impacts of a Universal Child Care Program” https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/pol.20170603).
Given that governments still ignore these findings preferring to subsidize daycare and McJob-employers rather than parents, criminality can be predicted to continue to increase.
Why not fund families? Maybe we would not need so many well-paid jobs policing, treating and reporting on the problems resulting from the massive failure to honour children’s irreducible needs.
Cultural Marxism. There was a Bolshevik who wished to destroy the family and have The Party bring up children but was stopped by Lenin.
The popular assumption of an association between race and crime is false. The key factor is the failure to maintain intact families. This explains the incidence of crime among both whites and blacks. Unfortunately, these criminals still need to be isolated from the broader community.
Democrats refuse to accept root causes. Instead, most of their policies treat symptoms. And if the amount of money allocated for addressing these symptoms ever actually worked, the U.S. should now be the safest place in the world. They don’t and it’s not.
“The popular assumption of an association between race and crime is false.” Oh? Prove it.
The burden of proof is on the bigots. Disprove that.
*There is an association and a correlation. What is not established is causation.
*Irish and Italian and Jewish and Polish US-immigrant populations once had much higher crime rates than so-called Anglo-Saxons. That was mostly erased once socioeconomic conditions improved for those groups.
We have to live together, full stop. It is no longer for the affluent white males to rule and decide what’s best in any prevailing or unchallenged way. There is no going back to that, nor should there be.
Huh? I’m happy to admit that ‘failure to maintain intact families’ is strongly correlated with crime. But you elide the face there is an association between race and ‘failure to maintain intact families.’
Polygamy disappeared from Christendom many centuries ago (notwithstanding a few decades of Mormonism). But it still exists in many parts of Africa. There are racial correlations to cultural affinities that play a huge role in whether societies thrive or not. It ain’t complicated, it’s just uncomfortable.
What does what happens in Africa have to do with DC?
What happens in Africa today has (I guess) little impact on the cultural norms of African-Americans. But the cultural norms of Africa in 1750 were the cultural norms of slaves in the US – and strains of those norms persist today. (Hence the term ‘African-American’ is relevant.)
For example, when Africans were enslaved (whether by judicial process, military action, kidnapping, etc.), then sold to whites bringing them to the US, they came from societies where there was no Biblical emphasis to motivate literacy in pre-industrial economies that otherwise had no need of it. Very few slaves would have come from families, communities, societies, states where literacy and ‘higher education’ were considered important.
So is it any surprise it would take generations to reshape that culture to prioritize education? But doing so requires decades of intentionality, of ‘culture building’ – and of acknowledging that one culture must re-shape itself to look (in this way, at least) more like the culture of the slavers. That’s been a hard pill to swallow.
So the common practice of (Christian) slavers selling children or fathers independently from family, thus breaking up the family; banning slaves from being able to marry; and making it illegal for them to receive an education was not at fault…..just their non-Christian background?
I’m arguing that cultural norms among slaves had origins and roots long predating their arrival in the antebellum South. None of the issues you identify began in the South, but all reflect or exemplified cultural norms in Africa – i.e., slave owners in Africa broke up families too, you know.
Moreover, many of these issues are much more nuanced in American slavery than most people realize. For example, while slave children were sometimes sold off from their families, we’re not talking toddlers but adolescents – because that’s the age at which children could do productive work, learn skills, in a word, become economically useful. (Do you really think a slave buyer wants to buy a toddler?) As a result, not only were slave children sold off, but it was also common for free children to leave their families at this age (typically to become apprentices – ever read any Dickens?).
Another example – while you’re right that slaves could not enter into formal marriages, as one legal scholar said, “Although denied governmental sanction or recognition, slave relationships had the indicia of marriages between freed blacks and whites.” In other words, these had the kind of social presence, weight and validity like old ‘common law marriage’ in the US.
All that said, I’m sure you’re right that there are many factors responsible for racial differences among cultural norms. That’s really beside the point. My point is that we have to accept that some cultural norms are better than others. And cultural norms expecting and encouraging and working toward a husband and wife raising their children together, are much better for everyone (man, woman, child, society, you name it), than any others.
So you accept that this process of them changing will take generations, even if it is undertaken in earnest? And does white society have any growth of its own to accomplish or is that somehow “beside the point’ until blacks are self-transformed into something closer to our white image?
I respect the complexity and thoughtfulness of many of the views you’ve expressed, but as a whole they really favor your own station as a white male, and in a convenient way.
I don’t really know what that means. Feel free to identify whatever social problems are disproportionately concentrated among white men and we can discuss the best social policies to address them. But in this comments thread we’re talking about the problems of Washington DC.
PS. As I noted in another comment, the history of black self-improvement proves it can be accomplished in much less than many generations *provided* that the right cultural norms are emphasized, taught and expected. The successes of post-emancipation educators like Booker T. Washington are mind-boggling – but he and his peers didn’t adopt the attitude that all cultures are equal. Quite the contrary, they were explicit that blacks had to adopt the norms of (essentially) the Victorian bourgeois if they wanted to achieve similar levels of material and social success.
What I mean is that while I agree black Americans need to clean their own collective house and must eventually face that, there are already many blacks that don’t belong to the underclass you reference in general terms. And the society has problems that are not related to race, like corporate overreach, grotesque consumption/materialism. drug-addiction and a lack of purpose. While us white men can group-associate ourselves with a color-coded sense of superiority, perhaps not without tempting or even defensible cause: Can we also see why, for example, many blacks and indigenous Americans aren’t too eager to adopt our lighter-skinned, softer-landing brand of widespread emptiness and suffering? What will we do to improve ourselves and set a more attractive example for all people? What is so admirable about white American culture?
Since you mentioned Washington, have you read The Souls of Black Folk by WEB DuBois, which an indirect response to Up from Slavery?
*Last thought from me on this board: We all need to maintain our own figurative (and real) houses and gardens–on an individual and collective scale–while re-investing in the idea of a common Americanness. (Rather easy to say, I know). I’m not saying your remarks don’t allow for that, but this is my point of primary underlying emphasis in response to yours.
Thanks for a lively exchange.
The deterioration of black families began to pick up steam with the Clinton administration’s removal of the requirement for dads to live with the families in order to receive benefits. The Dems have created the new plantation….just enough money to keep them in line.
Without a doubt single moms were receiving welfare benefits long before the Clinton administration. The ‘welfare queen’ trope was a key political football during the welfare reform debates.
Presumably needs a package including both carrots and sticks. Which US cities are doing the best?
Assuming you need a social model that generates buy-in from inhabitants. Where they feel invested in it. Something the US has always struggled with.
Name one big city in a blue state and with black leadership that isn’t in critical condition.
I assume the city council is Democrat and voted in year after year. Are there no law and order candidates? Why don’t people vote for them?
I’m pretty sure if you run on a law and order plank you will be called a racist.
I’m really getting frustrated by the random censorship here.
Me too! I often find that my attempts to post a comment are blocked with this message appearing in a red alert box:
reCaptcha validation fails. Error code: score-threshold-not-met
I have complained to UnHerd admin several times about this. They tell me that “their tech team is working hard on the issue” – yet it keeps happening.
As I understand it, reCaptcha is intended to block WebBots. Strange that I managed to post 2 comments below this article yesterday yet the third was blocked. Argumentative but not inflamatory content as far as I was aware.
I get the exact same message. I’ve never called anyone a name. The two comments that wouldn’t post were pretty banal. Maybe the subject was controversial, but my comments were meh.
The Senate have given away the farm here. I suspect because at the time (1971) it was the vibe to do so. It didn’t go very well for Joe Public there.
what can I say get the hell out of Dodge if you can. If your a cop start looking for work in some other city that has a proactive approach to policing.
If you are a Bureaucrat arrange your work to be largely done from some were safe elsewhere.
if your stuck pay a lot of attention to your safety and personal security.
Let them at each other and any lefties caught in the crossfire are only getting back what they give out
More than 20 years ago I lived in DC for some time. I was assigned a lady from the Berlitz company to help me with obtaining a social security number, opening a bank account etc. She told me: ‘You live in NW, you work in NW, you stay in NW!’.
Ultimately the voters of Washington DC elect the city government that runs the place. I guess they are willing to pay the price of crime to have these people in power.
Intrigued at the modest designation of DC as the capital of “a” world superpower. Would describing it as the capital of “the” world superpower feel too uncomfortable?
I grew up in DC in the 1960’s and 1970’s. There really is nothing new here. Same as it ever was….
“A federal government seeking to project power and moral authority worldwide cannot headquarter itself in a failed city.” I beg to differ. Germany’s capital, Berlin – a failed city if ever there was one – is a near-perfect illustration of the contrary thesis, at least when it comes to “seeking to project moral authority worldwide”. Perhaps with the emphasis placed on “seeking“, though.
“In February, a man shot several random passengers on a city bus and slaughtered a Metro transit worker”
He was a man not an animal – he was murdered not slaughtered.
Beware. Here follows racism in America raising it’s ugly head in the guise of intellectualism.
When Congressional Marshall Law is imposed, first in DC only, then in city after city for their own good, will only those with notably high black populations need to lose their citizens’ rights, or will places like San Francisco and Portland (74% white, 5.5% black) be subject to protective occupation too?.
And when Congress returns to Democrat control in 2024, will the occupation automatically end or should a small core of trusted Republicans remain in charge of the Capitol? Or if the GOP remains in charge of the House but loses the White House again, can they lead a cancellation of a democratically-elected Democrat president that is too dangerous for the nation, perhaps by orchestrating a more glorious repeat of January 6th, 2021? So many attractive authoritarian possibilities.
*This was more of rant than a proper response to the article or comment board discussion in progress. I can see the relevance and validity in some of what I wrote, but I wouldn’t expect others to, because it isn’t well expressed or proportionate. Have a good weekend everyone.
I don’t understand your comment, AJ. Who said anything about “martial law”? It seemed to me that the proposed solution was to enforce laws already on the books, re-fund the police after irrationally de-funding them, insist that district attorneys actually do their jobs as prosecutors and so on.
And what does any of that have to do with the riot of 6 January, which no one in either party has endorsed?
And why not mention the hundreds of BLM riots, which caused far more damage, actually killed people and led to the institutionalization of woke bigotry?
You’ve mentioned them for me, Paul. But they are far less pertinent to DC than the Capitol Riot. Many current Republican Congress members endorsed the attempt to overturn the election results; they stood up and advocated it while a mob grew wilder just outside their chambers. Many later minimized the violence, in a manner comparable to the minimizations of BLM supporters.
So the Party whose leaders (Trump and McCarthy) advocated election cancellation should control the Capitol City? Their administration of criminal justice there will be 100% benevolent or at least constitutional?
I’d be glad to see more people across our entrenched political divides admit the follies of their own favorite canp too. Fair enough concerning my exaggeration with “martial law”, but I think It would be more accurate to say you disagree with rather than don’t understand my comment.
Maybe the author’s suggestion has more merit than I’ve allowed thus far. But “correcting” partisan Democrat mismagement with partisan Republican super-constitutional supervision sounds like a recipe for even greater local and national discord.
We need to attempt bi-partisan solutions, and since that is usually a nonstarter in these contentious days we need to celebrate sane, independent minded elected officials of both parties and help to mobilize a nationally viable third party in the Unites States. Well, of course we don’t NEED to, but I hope more of us will.
No, I didn’t only disagree with your comment. I didn’t understand it, because it had no obvious relation to what the author actually said or was trying to say.
By the way, some Republicans did call for disregarding the ballot count and did indeed lack any constitutional rationale for doing so, that’s true, but they did not advocate an “insurrection” or even support a riot.
No one “minimized” the damage of that riot or any riot. It looked that way, however, for two reasons. First, the Democrats were already maximizing it beyond recognition (and still do) for overtly political purposes. Second, the Democrats not only minimized the BLM riots but failed to acknowledge them and even took steps to suppress public awareness of them. The rioters on 6 January didn’t kill anyone or even destroy property. The BLM rioters did both. Harris actually contributed her own funds, nonetheless, to help Antifa rioters get out of jail (ignoring their actual victims).
Of course they didn’t openly endorse it, but they did support it. And many absolutely have minimized the violence. I’ll just name the craziest two that come to mind: Marjorie Taylor Green and Matt Gaetz.
Your whataboutism is a little off the charts on this one. How is BLM relevant to the Capitol riot, except in some “look! they did worse somewhere else” sort of way? I’m dismayed at this tendency to not just flat out admit one’s camp is in the wrong, except with a hey-the-other-guys-did-worse. Maybe so, in some cases. But why make it a partisan wrongness contest?
How do you know that anyone secretly wanted violence?I’m not a mind reader, so you could be correct, but you’ve presented no evidence for your suspicion.
I hear a lot about “whataboutism” these days, which didn’t even exist as a word until very recently. It’s true that an argument on one side is not right or wrong just because the same argument occurs on the opposing side–which would be a non sequitur and therefore prove nothing. Nonetheless, pointing out parallels can be useful and even necessary for a different reason: to reveal the hypocrisy of double standards. I found it necessary to do that over and over again in the series on misandry. The existence of misandry doesn’t make the existence of misogyny right, but it does suggest that we need to take both forms of hatred seriously and look for the underlying causes of hatred in any form.
For the record, AJ, I see no justification at all for Republican denials of the election’s legitimacy and attempts to make Pence overturn it. (Never mind that Democrats denied the previous election’s legitimacy and took steps of their own to overturn it). I do think that the results were severely distorted by four years of Democratic fear-mongering and chicanery but not by manipulating the ballots or subverting the polling stations.
Fair enough for the most part, Paul. But I am not attempting to read thoughts, but holding them to the consequences of their audacious anti-Americanism. How could any attempt to overturn a democratic election not result in violence at some point? There was looting and vandalism, to your earlier perhaps evasively-true claim of “no property damage”. Several died, many were hurt and if the mob had reached the congressional chambers Pence and Pelosi would likely both have been murdered, at a minimum. Not a certainty, but far from a wild guess.
So I see Jan 6th as a massively worse, more historically infamous threat than the post-George Floyd rioting. We’re lucky it wasn’t far, far worse. You seem to disagree.
And for the Republican-led Congress, including key members–(Hawley, Gaetz, McCarthy, etc.) who countenanced the attempted steal attempt and the rowdy protest (at least until their own lives were endangered) to take over the Capitol City?
My initial, free-wheeling ironic rant on this board notwithstanding–intemperate, off-the-cuff, and not a good look–I see this as incomparably more relevant to the thesis of this article than BLM et al. on the Left. Congress can’t even handle the Congress, so why would anyone even entertain the notion of super-constitutional special powers for them? Is it completely implausible that an ousted Republican majority would use this hypothetical control of DC to leverage a return to power or cheat their candidate into the White House after another loss in ’24?
To conclude: I do not excuse, let alone celebrate the rioting or violence on the Left or Right, but this article was about DC.
We agree about the election but not about the riots.
Those Republicans who demanded that Pence override the electoral college demanded something that no vice-president has the constitutional authority to do. Their behavior was therefore unconstitutional and inexcusable.
As for the rioters on 6 January, that’s another matter. One person was killed–and she was shot by the police, not by the rioters. Most of them were unarmed in any case and committed crimes that amounted to nothing more than trespassing–even though they were held in jail for many months without trial.
The BLM rioters, on the other hand, killed 27 people in countless cities and towns over approximately 500 nights. They not only burned government buildings but also destroyed and looted countless stores (mainly in the poorest neighborhoods). Their hijacking of peaceful demonstrations was a coordinated effort, moreover, not a series of spontaneous eruptions.
But here’s the connection with 6 January. The Democrats pretended that nothing was happening and got their journalistic collaborators to minimize coverage of the riots night after night. It seems to me that state-sponsored censorship (for clearly political reasons) undermines the constitutional guarantee of a free press and is therefore an undemocratic threat to any modern democracy. Some Democratic leaders publicly trivialized or even condoned the riots, moreover, and therefore supported an explicitly anti-American ideology. These events, on both sides, were not only ugly but also symbolically interconnected. Both were exploited by politicians for ideological purposes. Neither party emerged as more virtuous than the other.
The federal government may have the power to reassert control over the District of Columbia, but it cannot simply govern American cities at will. Even Detroit, when its financial mismanagement couldn’t be ignored, was not put under federal management. Instead, the governor of the state declared a financial emergency put in an emergency manager to handle matters until the city went through bankruptcy. Even under a loose approach to the U.S. Constitution, the direct governance of cities is beyond the scope of the federal government.
Ok, I see your point. Some of my language and rhetoric were off-target. My main point is that Congress is inherently partisan and the two-year election cycle of the House makes it a near-certainty that many deep-red- state GOP House Members (and perhaps a few red-state Democrats) would badly overreach for political ends unrelated to DC itself and make things worse–implausible as that may seem– even raising the likelihood of an actual Civil War II when the partisan temperature gets raised on both sides.
An interesting view, AJ. I suspect we are seeing partisan government in DC; it’s just that it’s “the party of DC,” a party that reflects most of the electorate living there. As I asked in a comment above: “Is this really a city government problem? Or is the city government merely a reflection of a larger problem?”
I’ll take the second option in your rhetorical framing: “larger problem”. But others here have outlined the way(s) that the District of Columbia is distinct from other U.S. cities.
It’s distinct all right, AJ. A cynic (who? Me?) might say that it’s made up of two criminal classes, the local and the federal.