It is not surprising therefore that mainstream public debate about race sensitises minorities to discrimination, but does less to highlight minority self-reliance and resilience.
The CRED report on racial disparities, shorn of all the 'this is what the government needs to do next' hokum that you'd expect from a government-centred report, touches on the importance of minority self-reliance and resilience. Obviously, no government is in a position to give anybody 'self-reliance and resilience' packaged up in a nice bundle of equal opportunities carefully colour-coded for all the racial sub-categories. Each individual must figure this out for himself, and who says it is easy. Better get cracking. Worry less about what your government needs to do for you, and more about what you need to Do For Self.
In his autobiography My Grandfather's Son (great book, google it) Clarence Thomas writes about his personal trial-and-error relationship with the evocative slogan, Do for self. He evokes a delicate life balance - learning to have pride without being egotistical or vainglorious, to be self-reliant without being self-absorbed, to pursue your own self-interest without being self-regarding, to be individualist without lacking concern for others, to have courage without going on the attack trying to tear others down. Above all, to find a path to being happy and successful through resilience, fortitude and faith in principles and truths bigger than yourself.
Clarence Thomas was born in a little hamlet in the back of nowhere, a place in the depths of Ku-Klux-Klanland so obscure that when he was nominated to the Supreme Court the American equivalent of Guardianistas immediately set out to unmask him as a fraud. The aim being to prove that no way did he rise from abject and absolute poverty in Georgia. Surely, the Guardianistas thought, he must have race-faked his entire family background. Everybody knows that any real black person who grew up dirt poor in the real Deep South must end up languishing somewhere in a slum, weeping for historical grievances, begging for reparations and equal opportunities from the government, and generally exhibiting symptoms of Death by Racism. Not gaslighting other black folk by shamelessly rising to the Supreme Court.
So they sent out a reporter to expose the truth, and to their eternal disappointment it turned out that yes, he did come from a hovel in the depths of Savannah Georgia and yes, his tiny little hamlet was even more poor and deprived than he had depicted it.
Growing up in this environment was exactly what you'd expect. Being careful not to go certain places for fear of being strung up or set on fire by real racists not fake modern looked-at-me-the-wrong-way racists. Working with colleagues who were actual members of the actual KKK. For real, not fake Sewell-is-the-KKK that you get from labour politicians on twitter.
These experiences turned him into a classic 'angry black man' Avenger, going on marches dressed in combat fatigues, rioting, abandoning his Catholic faith together with his patriotism, and even quitting school to stick it to The Man and Speak Truth To Power.
Clarence Thomas came perilously close to disappearing down a rabbit hole, never to be seen or heard from again. He was lucky to have had a father who exhibited, through his own life, a different way to be. Families matter.
The fractured black families that leave so many black children at sea without moral guidance feature tentatively and hesitantly in the CRED report. It's a sensitive matter because, despite the pretensions of the CRED report, government is in no position to fix family breakdowns. That can only be done by individuals, families, friends, local communities. It cannot be done by 'social justice'.
Governments could in theory scale back from many of the harmful welfare-state policies that shield people from the consequences of their poor choices, but in reality they'll never scale back, will they, because governments never scale back from anything. Governments work through a unidirectional system - they never get rid of the old crap, they just pile up new crap on top of the old crap left behind by their predecessors. Their approach to fixing problems caused by poor legislation (the Equality Act) is to pass more poor legislation (let's make the Equality Act bigger and better! New racial sub-categories! New protected grounds!) which creates even worse problems. The optics of scaling back are never attractive, better just add a bunch of new stuff and hope for the best.
But the CRED report has, at least, the courage to mention families.
Governments can do nothing about that because they are hampered by the need to avoid victim-blaming. The CRED report reflects this by writing in bold typeface that they are not trying to victim-blame or diss single-mother families or say that any type of family is better than another of course not. The report advises the government that while single-mother families are of course brilliant and wonderful and anyway it's not the mother's fault if the father did a runner maybe it would also be an idea - just a suggestion, no victim blaming - to think about family stability.
Shining the spotlight on families will probably make Black Lives Matter very angry because we all know the nuclear family is a con designed by The Patriarchy as a strategy for toxic males to secure free housekeeping, free childcare and free personal services.
Clarence Thomas was saved by being his grandfather's son. He went woke before being woke was a thing, and predictably that led to epic battles and shouting matches with his grandfather, where Clarence Thomas would shout a bunch of woke rubbish and his grandfather would simply exit the room.
This book maps an incredible journey, from self-reliance to Racism and back again. In the end, only the seeds planted by his grandfather can be credited with his eventual salvation. He learns the long and hard way that his grandfather was no coward or fool - he was the bravest and wisest man he ever knew.
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