Rebirth of Reason

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Friday, June 26 - 4:16amSanction this postReply

It's great to see Rebirth of Reason working again. About four years ago I began writing my own blog. I will use this new thread to give links to new posts.


(Edited by Merlin Jetton on 6/26, 4:19am)

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Friday, June 26 - 4:18amSanction this postReply

True Plight of Black Americans


Meaning of 'Black Lives Matter'

Post 2

Friday, June 26 - 6:30amSanction this postReply

Merlin, when you point out that most African-Americans are killed by other African-Americans, are you implying that they are naturally violent? That would be one inference, and it is commonly found along the spectrum of poltical conservativism, both traditionalist and libertarian. 


A stronger theory can be established from the empirical fact that most people are killed by other people whom they already know. Homicide-by-stranger is rare. In support of that rather obvious fact is supporting evidence that within transient communities, interpersonal violence is not common. People tend not to victimize others whom they do not already know.


Another fact, also established by statistical studies is that Southerners are more violent than Northerners. Because African-American culture is so heavily derived from the social psychology of their Southern heritage, they share many of the same values, such as deep feelings of honor. They don't like being disrespected. On the other hand, you can go to Manhattan and disrespect people all day long. They'll just ignore you.


It is not the study that I am thinking of, but I will add that the City versus the Farm also has a lot to do with it. Urban culture requires tolerance for differences. In rural communities, conformity is more highly valued. 


We focus on race all too easily. (Gender and age come next.) Even as we proclaim the unfairness of discrimination against this group or that, we continue to place people into the very categories whose validities we deny. “There is no gene for race,” said a poster pinned up in near the sociology department of my alma mater, Eastern Michigan University. Yet, we measure income and education – and arrests – by race. We no longer tally Swedes and Irish (or Scots-Irish), lumping them all together as “White.” However, that oversight may create a peculiar difficulty.

Marvin Wolfgang and Franco Ferracuti theorized a “subculture of violence” among young African-American men in Philadelphia of the 1950s and 1960s. Their cohort study became a classic. Oddly enough, the obvious facts of this continuing culture of violence were successfully falsified by two acceptable studies.

In 1997, Liqun Cao, et al, took on the theory and in 2004, Lance Hannon followed. According to Cao:
We use data from the General Social Survey (1983 to 1991) to test Wolfgang and Ferracuti's hypothesis that violent values are widespread among African-Americans. Contrary to the expectations of the black subculture of violence thesis, our analyses indicate that white males are significantly more likely than blacks to express violent tendencies in defensive situations and that there is no significant difference between white and black males in offensive situations, ceteris paribus. Thus, we have rejected, within the limitations of our data, the hypothesis that a unique subculture of violence exists among the general population of African-Americans in the United States.


(Cao, Liqun, Anthony Adams, and Vickie J.Jenson, “A Test Of The Black Subculture Of Violence Thesis: A Research Note,” Criminology 35:2 (May 1007), 367–379.
Hannon, Lance, “Race, victim precipitated homicide, and the subculture of violence thesis,” The Social Science Journal, Volume 41, Issue 1, 2004, Pages 115-121. )

The key is the phrases are “unique subculture” and “among the general population of …” It is also true that “among general population of African Americans in the United States” there exists no “unique subculture” of wealth that disdains to admit mere social workers and postal carriers. Yet, such a subculture exists as a subculture. Lawrence Graham’s social portrait Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class (New York: HarperCollins, 1999) describes them.


(Edited by Michael Marotta on 6/26, 6:31am)

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Friday, June 26 - 6:53amSanction this postReply

Merlin, when you point out that most African-Americans are killed by other African-Americans, are you implying that they are naturally violent?


No, my intent was only to state a fact without trying to say why. Some of the why is attributable to laws against drugs, poor schools, one-parent (usually female) homes, and peer pressure. It was also a lead-in to my next sentence about BLM's ignoring black-against-black homicides.


Thanks for the rest of your comments. 


(Edited by Merlin Jetton on 6/26, 7:43am)

Post 4

Saturday, June 27 - 10:31amSanction this postReply

I would have been surprised (dismayed, actually) if you had answered in the affirmative. You never gave any indications before of malevolent racism. That is the reason why I offered facts in support of a broader theory. I agree that the left wing engages in its own racism. A few weeks ago, on NPR's Morning Edition, they were interviewing workers at a protective wear factory. One man said that as an African-American, he is aware of his responsibiity to the community. I know that played well on NPR. If he had said that as an Aryan, he is aware of his responsibility to the community, that would not have made the broadcast. So, I get your point about BLM missing the wider narrative. Any conspiracy theorist left or right will tell you that the Insiders manipulate both sides of every conflict to keep us at each other's throats lest we identify our common enemy.  Maybe that's true; maybe it is not.


The important aspect is how you respond to your situation. The inverse-square law says that you have ever less control over environments farther from you. But you can control what is directly in your life.


That speaks to the benefits and values in what you deride as "female" single parent households. (I prefer the word woman. See "Females and Women" here: https://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/2020/05/females-and-women.html ) It is a traditionalist assumption that the ideal family consists of a man and woman legally married with 2.1 children, living in a mortgaged house surrounded by a lawn. When we returned to school to finish our degrees, we could have gone to the University of Michigan, but we chose Eastern Michigan University. As a criminology major, I had to engage with U of M pre-law students and I found them insufferable. On the other hand among my EMU classmates were single mothers, working part-time, their households supported with help from their mothers or grandmothers or aunts. Those kids had a better grip on reality. 


The other problems you cite (drugs, poor schools, peer pressure) apply to all poor people. In many ways, the choices that make them poor and keep them poor bring about those other problems as consequences. Judging our regional science fairs, I assure you that the disadvantaged teens are the white kids in Nowheresville, Texas, towns of 10,000 to 30,000 where no one knows more science and math than they do. I had one of my fair winners turn to UT for help -- a professor gave the kid over to some graduate students -- because no one in their high school was willing or able to be a mentor. There's a recent National Geographic film about science fairs. It speaks to much about who makes choices and what choices they make. ( See https://films.nationalgeographic.com/science-fair/ )

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Tuesday, July 21 - 8:42amSanction this postReply

Coronavirus - sloppy, biased NY Times

Coronavirus - Trump on testing

Coronavirus - good news, bad news


The Myth of Systemic Police Racism


Coronavirus -- drugs​​​​​​​

Post 6

Monday, August 3 - 12:38pmSanction this postReply

Coronavirus - how deadly?

Coronavirus -- about the numbers

Coronavirus – a safety analogy

Coronavirus - drug news

Post 7

Wednesday, August 5 - 6:34amSanction this postReply

Coronavirus – clinical trials #1

Coronavirus – clinical trials #2

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