Looking at the antics of students at the University of Missouri and Yale University one cannot help but think that the inmates are now running the asylum.
How did it come to this?
It seems to have begun in Ferguson, Missouri. Then it moved on to Baltimore, Maryland. Dissent became dissension. Discontent became violence. Blacks had been killing other blacks at an alarming rate. Now we were being told that the fault lay with white people, in particular, with white policemen.
The Obama administration, from the top down, sold the narrative. The police were murdering black people, at random, for no reason. And they were getting away with it. The meaning of American life was what you could get away with.
The Obama administration had to find a narrative to explain its own failures. And to disclaim responsibility. It refused to be held accountable for the condition of black Americans, for the state of America and the world. The buck did not stop in the Obama oval office.
Remember the halcyon days when Barack Obama was first elected president? Remember when everyone was hoping for a bright new future? Remember when everyone bought the illusion that we could solve all of our problems by having a black president, because we would be showing in one grandiose gesture that we had overcome racism?
Where are those hopes now? Dashed, run aground, discarded. Anyone who thought that black Americans would gain self-esteem by feeding off the success of Barack Obama has been disabused of his illusions. Anyone who thought that an Obama presidency, with a Justice Department led by that great justice warrior, Eric Holder would raise the fortunes of America’s minorities by skewing the system in favor of blacks has been smoking funny cigarettes.
Obviously, electing someone who was unqualified and unprepared for the presidency was a bad idea. It had nothing to do with race. It was bad for America, bad for the world and bad for black America. It is even bad when Republicans join the party and support the candidacies of people who are unqualified and unprepared for the presidency.
Recently, basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote this in Time Magazine:
And it would definitely not be good for African Americans to have a president who flounders helplessly in office because it would perpetuate the stereotype that blacks can’t be effective CEOs, quarterbacks and leaders.
Abdul-Jabbar was making the case against a Ben Carson presidency. But, tell me, don’t those words apply perfectly to the presidency of a helpless and hapless flounderer like Barack Obama? And does that not explain why black Americans, having been misled into believing that the Obama presidency would be a magic potion that would lead them to success, have felt betrayed?
And yet, no one of his supporters will say that Obama is responsible for his failed administration. Instead, they have followed Obama’s lead and have blamed the Bush administration, Congressional Republicans, white police officers, white people and Israeli Jews.
Let’s not forget the latter, the Jewish state, scapegoat extraordinaire, the only nation that Barack Obama and his administration consistently treats with contempt and disrespect. Everyone is aiming at white privilege and white policemen, but never forget that Barack Hussein Obama spent twenty years at the feet of a rabid anti-Semite named Jeremiah Wright. The hidden message in the Obama administration willingness to shift blame is that, for it and its supporters, white people have become the new Jews.
The narrative is about justice, but most especially about guilt. Why burn down your neighborhood and loot all of the local stores? Easy… to make white people feel guilty for having forced you to such an extreme action. What’s the answer? Reparations, says Ta-Nehisi Coates the former Baltimore resident, son of a Black Panther, who has received adulation that has no real relationship with his abilities as a writer or a thinker.
At the same time, the picture of a black president failing, of a black president being humiliated by world leaders, of a black president who has done nothing for minority communities cannot, following Abdul-Jabbar, enhance the self-esteem of blacks. Thanks to Obama American blacks are more demoralized and in greater despair. They had pinned their hopes on a god and the god failed. Time to take to the streets.
Why did Obama fail? Try this: by pursuing the ideal of justice and assuming that it would solve everyone’s problems, it diverted attention and effort from what really mattered: hard work, achievement and earned success.
Let’s imagine that Darrin Wilson had been indicted. What would that have done for the job situation in Ferguson, MO? Did the rioting over Michael Brown help out the local economy? You might want to say that the people were so enraged that they could not control themselves, but isn’t that demeaning and insulting? Doesn’t it absolve them of responsibility for their actions?
You cannot adjudicate success. You cannot legislate achievement. Opportunity means nothing if you not put in the time and the effort to succeed.
Surely, the problems on college campuses have something to do with affirmative action programs. Is it possible or even thinkable that some of those who are protesting the loudest were admitted through these programs? If they were not, if they are as capable as anyone else, they are unfortunately being stigmatized by the assumption that minority group members cannot earn their way without getting special consideration. Isn’t this the meaning and the implication of affirmative action? Didn’t Shelby Steele point this out decades ago? It was true then and it’s true now. Naturally everyone ignores it.
Another theory has it that affirmative action programs produce a mismatch. Students who could have been academic stars at one institution are granted acceptance to another where they cannot compete. The latter institution will find a way to pass them through, but they know that they cannot compete. They might think that they should work harder, but it seems that they prefer to find someone to blame. They target microaggressions; they recall horrors committed against their ancestors eight generations ago; they denounce white privilege. Rather richly since the students who are most successful are non-white Asians.
If they are studying in humanities courses, they will likely be allowed to believe that whatever they do is excellent. Thereby, they are being taught that life is not about what you can earn with hard work but about what you can get away with.
If they are studying STEM subjects, they will find that the illusion is far more difficult to sustain. Nowadays, in fact, white students are being outcompeted in these courses by Asian students. One brilliant white student at a major computer science program threw up his hands one day and said that he could not compete with the kids from Singapore. Was it because of Asian privilege? Not at all. It was because the kids from Singapore worked all the time and he did not want to do the same thing.
It was, dare I say, a choice. If you choose more leisure you will probably not do as well.
Besides, many Asian students on American campuses did not grow up with wealthy white parents. But, they did grow up in stable two-parent families where their Tiger Moms placed an inordinate emphasis on schoolwork.
When you make a fetish out of social justice you are saying that it is not worth the trouble to work hard and to stay in the library or the lab. You will believe that the deck is so completely stacked against you that you cannot possibly succeed. Of course, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you work less than others, if you fail to apply yourself to the task at hand, you will achieve less and have less success.