The Common Black Perspective

Barack Obama has told us and now the amen chorus of white liberals is telling us that we need yet another “dialogue about race.”

Nicholas Kristof, writing in today’s New York Times says:

Many white Americans seem concerned that Mr. Obama, who seems so reasonable, should enjoy the company of Mr. Wright, who seems so militant, angry and threatening. To whites, for example, it has been shocking to hear Mr. Wright suggest that the AIDS virus was released as a deliberate government plot to kill black people.

That may be an absurd view in white circles, but a 1990 survey found that 30 percent of African-Americans believed this was at least plausible.

“That’s a real standard belief,” noted Melissa Harris-Lacewell, a political scientist at Princeton (and former member of Trinity church, when she lived in Chicago). “One of the things fascinating to me watching these responses to Jeremiah Wright is that white Americans find his beliefs so fringe or so extreme. When if you’ve spent time in black communities, they are not shared by everyone, but they are pretty common beliefs.”

Occasionally, we’ve had glimpses of this gulf between white and black America. Right after the O.J. Simpson murder trial, a CBS News poll found that 6 out of 10 whites thought that the jury had reached the wrong verdict, while 9 out of 10 blacks believed it had decided correctly. Many African-Americans even believe that the crack cocaine epidemic was a deliberate conspiracy by the United States government to destroy black neighborhoods.

Much of the time, blacks have a pretty good sense of what whites think, but whites are oblivious to common black perspectives.

What’s happening, I think, is that the Obama campaign has led many white Americans to listen in for the first time to some of the black conversation — and they are thunderstruck.

All of this demonstrates that a national dialogue on race is painful, awkward and essential.

How many times do we have to be patronizingly told how blacks truly understand whites while whites are utterly clueless about blacks? And how many times are we going to be urged to listen respectfully to the delusional paranoia of way too many black people as merely a “common black perspective,” no less valid than any other “perspective.”

What I find disgusting about Kristof’s words and those of the Princeton academic he quotes is their implication that the black view of how AIDS came to be, of the U.S. government’s supposed responsibility for the “crack cocaine epidemic”, and of the guilt or innocence of O. J. Simpson in the murder of two people is at least equal to and maybe even wiser than the views of the rest of us. After all, if blacks are all-knowing and whites so utterly naive, how could the “black perspective” be anything but valid?

The more liberals pander to such fatuous nonsense, the more we are going to get of it.

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