It’s Getting Hard to be White in America

OK, the video I’m including below is not new. One of the disadvantages of using a TiVo is stuff you think is current, is not. Still, it’s funny as all get-out just the same. As a black man, I must confess to more than one instance of hearing about some criminal on the nightly news and saying “oh please, don’t let it be a brotha”. Sure enough, the star of the perp walk would be an African-American. To watch the nightly news (especially the local news) you’d think all crime was committed by black folk (unless you were in Iowa where there are no black folk).

So, I was greatly amused by “The Daily Show” “senior black correspondent”, Larry Wilmore pointing out something that I’ve observed myself lately. Namely that some of the most hated criminals in the world right now happen to be white.  Now, when the news promo names the latest criminal about to make the perp walk, are white folk saying “please don’t let them be white”?

As Wilmore points out, the symbolism sure has changed in the past few months. The airwaves are suddenly full of articulate black men opining on the news of the day (Harold Ford, Jr., Clarence Page, and Jonathan Capehart to name a few). A black man in a suit suddenly reminds us of the President of the United States. In the meantime, a white guy in a suit may very well be the dude who trashed your 401K.

As usual, “The Daily Show” hits another one out of the park with the knowledge that much truth is said in jest.

Rutherford Political Blogger Alliance


17 thoughts on “It’s Getting Hard to be White in America

  1. Just to show how much more fixated I think blacks continue to be than whites about nothing but race, your thought of whitey (that would be me) thinking “oh, please don’t let him be white” never even occurred to me. A crook is a crook, a creep a creep in my book.

    But now that you mention it at least where I live, virtually ever murderer who they happen to frogmarch from the court house to the pen I witness on local TV still happens to be black on black, black on brown, or black on white. 😛

    Maybe when I see that changing to white on white, white on black, or white on brown I’ll begin to take note of more what color the perpetrator is.

  2. Maybe when I see that changing to white on white, white on black, or white on brown I’ll begin to take note of more what color the perpetrator is.

    LOL so you basically just said what Larry Wilmore accused Jon Stewart of saying, namely that you assume the face of crime is black. Since you can take it for granted that the crook is black, you don’t need to give it any thought. We won’t even get into the issue of whether local news represents the reality of the situation.

    Nevertheless, I do believe that you know crooks come in all colors. Not everyone is as enlightened and the point of my post is that many people’s assumptions have been upended. About damn time!

  3. I think I mentioned this before at Chen’s place, but the majority of violent crime is overwhelmingly black. I assumed nothing as those are the undisputed facts. The face of violent crime such as murder and armed robbery is black.

    Now if you want to talk about white-collar crime, though I’ve never seen any stats, I think it could be safe to assume that it is overwhelmingly accompanied with a lilly white ass.

    Me? I’m an equal opportunity hater of both.

    Doesn’t matter if they’re ripping off my new car which some of the “Brothas” did about 25 years ago, or ripping off my 401K as some of these Ivy league “Crackers” have been doing recently. Given the chance and knowing I could get away with it, I could just as easily shoot a white thief as a black one.

    I try not to discriminate. 😛

  4. The difference I see is with a Black President, that Black Americans are becoming confident enough to begin to have empathy.

    Rutherford, you suggested in the comments of your post Jesse Jackson and How to be Black in America that there must be something special about the Black heritage of slavery that has handicapped y’all uniquely. If there is any truth to that, it must be that when Whitey said y’all were inferior that y’all believed it.

    Whitey also said “that all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    “Nevertheless, I do believe that you know crooks come in all colors. Not everyone is as enlightened and the point of my post is that many people’s assumptions have been upended. About damn time!”

    “About damn time”? What can I do but agree?

  5. Dead Rabbit is hereby making a bet with Rutherford. The game we will be wagering on shall be called Racial Neighborhood Roulette. I will host this event in Wayne County although I assume New York would work as well.

    I will let Rutherford go first. Basically, he will pick any WHITE neighborhood he wants in the entire metro-Detroit area for the Rabbit to take a 5 block stroll in at midnight. If I survive, it’s “R”‘s turn.

    As an incentive for R to play my game, I will allow R to pick the BLACK neighborhood that he, himself, will take his 5 block stroll in at midnight. R gets to do all the picking!

    Even sweetening the deal more, Rutherford will not have to pay Rabbit any cash. I, on the other hand, will pay Rutherford 500 bucks for playing. The game continues until one of us is a victim of violent crime. R, you in????????

    By the way, it should be noted that blacks in America, despite the genocide they endured, traditionally contributed to a low crime demographic while typically living in solid two parent households up until around the 1960s. Neither slavery nor poverty accurately explains the current state of black culture. Perhaps urbanization or the welfare system layered on top of poverty. But not poverty alone.

  6. That pisses me off.

    So much so that I joined the American Legion. In fact, I joined up in the neighborhood i grew up in. Why? I ‘m proud to say it is right in my humble hood that the American Legion Rider’s were born. They now number in the thousands. They are the bikers that block families attending slain soldier’s funerals from that wacko church that claims God killed the soldiers due to homosexuality in America, amongst other things and insults the grieving parents.

  7. Rigorist, surely you acknowledge that the problems of race in this country go beyond mere words. I never said that the black history in this country was handicapping because “whitey said” anything. I claimed it was handicapping because white folks held blacks in bondage and servitude, and right through the early 1960’s subjected them to the most heinous of abuses.

    Now, thanks to John McWhorter, I have had a slight change of view on this subject. I don’t deny our history as you do, but I no longer think it is productive to use it as an excuse for current failure.

  8. DR, you know I’d never enter into such a wager. Unless it was a buppie neighborhood in Atlanta, I would not be caught dead walking at midnight in most black neighborhoods in this country. NOR would I be caught dead walking in any lower middle class, poor white neighborhood. Poverty does breed crime in a color blind fashion. (And I’m sure if I did wander around midnight in an upper class black neighborhood in Atlanta, they’d call the police on my ass just as fast as a member of a hoity-toidy white enclave would. Rich folk don’t like to be disturbed.)

    This trend you cite in black violent crime ignores the fact that the American family, both white and black, has gone through a terrible disintegration over the past 30 to 40 years. Half of all marriages end in divorce. We have an unprecedented number of screwed up kids (both white and black) coming out of broken families.

    To single out any one group of people as ENJOYING pimping, robbing and killing is simply racist. People behave dysfunctionally because they either don’t have better choices or they don’t perceive that they have better choices. This tendency runs across racial lines and ethnic lines.

  9. Admittedly, the article you posted confuses me a bit. It seems to paint an overall positive picture of Obama’s approach in this matter. I’m not really sure why you’re upset. Unless I really missed something in the article, the VA groups are still relatively pleased with Obama. If I’m not mistaken, they thought Obama got “bum advice” on the insurance issue.

  10. Who can argue with defending grieving parents? Good for you, although I’m still not sure what your joining the American Legion has to do with being pissed off.

  11. Lower middle class white neighborhoods are safe. In fact straight up lower class white neighborhoods have been historically safe. It brings to mind the meticulously kept front lawns of the old Polish neighborhood of Detroit.

  12. Re-reading my comment, if I didn’t know what I was trying to say, my point would never occur to me.

    It is my suggestion that if there is a uniquely crippling aspect in the Black racism experience that it is the subconscious embracing of Black inferiority.

    “it must be that when Whitey said y’all were inferior that y’all believed it.”

    Every other persecuted group has, in their community, believed themselves to be superior to their malefactors. Orientals look down on Whites, Native Americans, too. Jews consider themselves the chosen of God, as do the Catholics. Certainly women look down on men.

    Empathy only comes from a position of strength. It seems only now that the truth of Black equality has a national face do y’all have the confidence and security in your place in America to give empathy to others. Wilmore’s joke is fresh because Blacks have never, and I mean never, allowed that any other group was worse off than them. Blacks have jealously protected their oppression as though they had no other way to acquire the means to succeed.

    I feel like I’m channeling Malcolm X, without the hate.

    The point of your post was that “many people’s assumptions have been upended.” I agree and say that most of those people are Black Americans. Now, I hope, you can believe in yourselves as I believe in you, that you can believe in the other thing Whitey said.

    Further, I agree that it’s about damn time.


    Rutherford, those facts say it all, man. Go to that site while repeating to yourself the true fact that more white people are on welfare then black people in total population. Thus, your poverty theory for violent crime is silly. How am I being racist by pointing this out? You are dead wrong. Dead wrong. This tendency DOES NOT run across racial lines and ethnic lines. Poverty DOES NOT breed crime in a color blind fashion. This is irrefutable. And until you have the courage to acknowledge this fact, the body count of young black men and teenagers will grow. This puts blood on your hands, my friend. On your hands.

  14. So let me get this straight …. blacks are in denial about the Holocaust? I think the average black would readily agree that Jews have had a pretty tough time of it. In fact, and I hate to get into generalizations here, but if any group seems to want to corner the market on being the victims of atrocities it is those of Jewish heritage.

    Your comparison of various levels of racial condescension again ignores a key point. Native Americans were here first and to some degree looked critically at the white interlopers. Unfortunately for them, whites had guns and guns beat a bow-and-arrow every time.

    Asians for the most part came here voluntarily so again were in a position to judge the whites they encountered.

    Blacks were friggin abducted from their homeland and immediately subjugated. So how you can compare the attitudes of various minorities without taking into account how they got here shows a superficiality of analysis on your part.

    I will agree with you on one point. Obama’s election has lit a fire under some in the black community to stop bitching and start working in a positive direction for change. When any person is told “no you can’t” enough times, they start to believe it. Obama and his entire movement has shown folks “yes we can”.

  15. Dead Rabbit, I challenge you to tell me what it is unique in the black experience that makes him criminal. If you don’t point to social and economic factors, then you have no choice but to propose that blacks are genetically predisposed to criminal behavior.

    Do you really want to go there?

    By the way, the stats also show something like a 7% difference in total homicides committed by blacks vs whites. So the impression, promoted by the media, that the vast majority of violent crime is carried out by blacks is not supported by the very numbers you cite. Roughly 45% white, 52% black.

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