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Terrence. . .

"What's up bro. You going to the Girl Talk concert Friday?"

You’ve seen this lovely young fellow before. He works in your office. If you’re in grad school or law school, like myself, you’ve seen him when you briefly visit the undergraduate main campus. His name is Terrence. Let’s take some time to get to know this unfortunate soul.

Terrence was lucky enough to be brought into this world as the only son of black parents who rose from humble beginnings. His mother, Felicia, grew up in the South. She hustled her way to the top and went to college and then grad school. His dad, Malcolm, was from inner city Detroit and escaped the oppressive poverty to also earn a degree and then went off to law school. Because of his successful parents, Terrence here was brought up in the suburbs. . .with white people. Alas, this was the fatal flaw. You see, unlike his parents, Terrence has never felt struggle. He didn’t have to eat mayonaise sandwiches and never saw an eviction notice on the apartment door.

Thanks to his pedigree, Terrence here was lucky enough to go to a great school. He got into all his top 5 choices. None of which, incidentally, were Historically Black Colleges or Universities. Though his parents went to HBCUs, Terrence never considered one. He couldn’t ever imagine being around only black people. ALL DAY. FOR FOUR YEARS. That would just be too much. He and his high school sweetheart Becca just knew they were going to an Ivy. Besides, those black schools are all in the South. They don’t have much funding and they are not that well-respected in Corporate America.

Thus we find young Terrence enjoying his life at a majority institution. He doesn’t hang out in the “multicultural center.” He’s not a part of the black student union. He doesn’t understand why they all sit together and go to the same parties. Why they try to “dap” him up when they meet him. “Haven’t they ever heard of a handshake?” Terrence couldn’t tell you the latest Wayne mixtape and he has never seen an episode of “The Boondocks” He prefers Chromeo to Drake and thinks Obama’s fiscal policy is Socialist in the truest sense of the word.

The next time you see Terrence across the yard, and your black soul reaches out to him as he is walking with his group of white friends on the way to the ultimate frisbee field, stop for a moment. Save your breath.

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Comments
46 Responses to “Terrence. . .”
  1. Unamused says:

    Thank God some blacks, like Terrence, are able to assimilate into American culture, instead of fetishizing their “black souls” and the self-segregation of all-black parties and “historically black colleges.”

    • fivefifths says:

      assimilation is only a good thing when the referent culture embraces the assimilating culture and looks out for its best interests. Why be in a hurry to fully embrace a society that routinely still marginalizes blacks and turns a blind eye to the injustices that happen everyday? Black institutions are support structures that allow us to exist within the dominant American culture without going crazy in a world where it is unacceptable to behave in manners that are “too black.”
      The “Black Soul” is a necessary totem that allows us to maintain. You may not understand.

      • Unamused says:

        re: Obsidian’s comment below, to which I cannot directly reply.

        That all sounds . . . pretty reasonable. I was taking issue with the attitude that blacks who assimilate are somehow traitors, which was the tone of the post.

    • Obsidian says:

      Unamused,
      Question: Would you say that Thurgood Marshall, or Thomas Sowell, or Martin Luther King, all “fetishized” their Blackness? Would you consider them case in point examples of Black refusal to assimilate? And if so, how? Please explain? Thanks.

      O.

      • Unamused says:

        I really don’t know if Marshall or Sowell insisted/insists on going to all-black parties or only attending historically black institutions or looking down on any black American who wanted to assimilate.

        As for King: “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. . . . I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.” Sounds like he would have been OK with Terrence’s lifestyle choices.

      • Obsidian says:

        U,
        Alright then, let me come at it this way: I don’t have any problem with Terrence’s lifestyle choices either – nor do I have a problem with those like Four Fifths’ choices either. I am a supporter of Freedom of Association, fullstop. What I ultimately think of another’s lifestyle choices are ultimately irrelevant.

        What’s your take?

        O.

  2. Unamused says:

    Disclaimer: I don’t understand and probably never will.

    That said, I think we can agree blacks in America have come a long way since the 1960s. I’m sure everything you say about routine marginalizing and injustice was valid then. We probably disagree on its prevalence today (e.g., how many members of the black student union have actually been evicted, and how many can really blame that on discrimination?).

    But racism against blacks by mainstream American society continues to decline, and at some point the benefits of self-segregating which you mentioned are going to be outweighed by the cost to blacks, which is the same as the cost of “separate but equal” has always been.

    My opinion: we’re there. Now if you don’t think we’ve reached that point yet, you can, should, and will continue to hang out with people just like you to “maintain.” But “Terrence” thinks we’ve moved past it. How good can it be for anyone, but especially blacks, for the author of this post to act as though blacks who do not blindly support black music, black TV, black student unions, and President Obama, are some kind of traitors?

    By the way, is Becca supposed to be a stereotypically white name? I would hope Terrence’s (fictional) love life would be out-of-bounds for race politics

    • fivefifths says:

      I could point to a bevy of statistics and incidents to indicate that we are clearly NOT “there.” To think so is folly and short-sighted. We are only a single generation removed from the era when segregation was legal and lethally enforced. Ask a person born in the 50s or 60s if we’ve come very far and they will undoubtedly agree, but to assume that we are at the point of racial equality? Please. If you believe that I have some oceanfront property in Utah I want to sell you.
      That’s the point of this blog. To humorously point out the subtleties around more “benign” aspects of racial tension and imbalance that still weigh heavily on the psyche of Blacks. Many whites claim that we are “post-race” simply because they yell this falsehood louder than the Blacks who struggle to succeed but are taught to keep quiet because we have been given so much already. This is a country really only 4 generations removed from slavery. Those scars and effects don’t heal that easily, my friend.

      “Self-segregation” as you call it, is personally the only way I can deal with often being the only Black person in any given professional or academic forum and having to silently suffer through numerous stereotypes and unintentional acts of racism from who I believe are mostly well-meaning whites who don’t understand what it is they even do. And I do disagree with painting Terrance as a “traitor” but at the end of the day a Black man who doesn’t see that the deck is still stacked against him is worse; he is a fool.

      I’ll let the author of the post respond further.

  3. Jungle says:

    Terrance will soon see just how far we are from “there” and you will you.

  4. djonesmhc says:

    Let me begin by saying that, obviously, “Terrence” is a pastiche of traits that I, and many other blacks, have recognized in individuals of our race whom we encounter in the world at large. He is the amalgamation most assuredly, but the traits and ideas he espouses are very much genuinely shared by real African Americans like him. In the same breath that he decries the other blacks who, “only hang out with each other”, his tacit rejection of this is to deny a culture which would embrace him, that is, if he wanted to be embraced.

    That’s the problem with Terrence in a nutshell. His response is reactionary. He is not necessarily going for assimilation. He is responding, in some ways, to the idea that all black people must act in X, Y, or Z way. That is, to respond to a dominant culture by seeking to resegregate themselves. But I however, would not call this resegregation. As fivefifths put so eloquently, it is a response on our part to find a friendly milieu amidst a society that still subordinates our unique contributions to American culture. Terrence certainly should not feel compelled to “be black” whatever that means. “Blackness” is not reducible to a certain socieconomic status, music taste, political viewpoint, or clothing style. The unfortunate thing is though, that’s exactly what “Terrence” thinks. He never considered an HBCU because he thought that the lack of ethnic diversity equated to a lack of diversity in other respects. He daily commits the sin of homogenizing a wondrously diverse culture and just assumes he won’t “fit in.”

    As Malcolm X said, “You can’t hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree.” By eschewing socializing with others of his race, by consciously or subconsciously subordinating what he believes is the “typically” black thing to do, he is rejecting in many ways the reified social norms that have developed in response to the alienation our subculture still feels in America.

  5. Unamused says:

    fivefifths: You say you have “a bevy of statistics and incidents to indicate that we are clearly NOT ‘there.’ ”

    I’d like to see those statistics. Just note that I won’t accept disparate impact as evidence of discrimination, unless you can show disparate treatment. In other words: pointing out that there aren’t many black physicists doesn’t show discrimination, just like pointing out there aren’t many Asian NFL players doesn’t show discrimination.

    “This is a country really only 4 generations removed from slavery. Those scars and effects don’t heal that easily, my friend.” You were never a slave. Your parents were never slaves. Your grandparents weren’t slaves either. How many scars from slavery do you have? How long will it take before you stop blaming slavery? 8 generations? 80 generations? You don’t need to sell me a beach house in Utah; you’ve already sold the rest of America on the idea that the ghost of slavery is still keeping you down today.

    Take the Japanese. They were interned during WW2. That’s pretty recent. Lots of them are still alive today. They didn’t ask for reparations. They just got on with their lives. And they’ve flourished everywhere in America.

    djonesmhc: “. . . it is a response on our part to find a friendly milieu amidst a society that still subordinates our unique contributions to American culture.”

    What black contributions are being subordinated? Specifically. I don’t see much subordinating going in popular culture, music, movies, sports, or politics—actually, I see the opposite. And working in a university, I’ve only ever seen black academic accomplishments celebrated, never put aside or put down.

    • fivefifths says:

      Alright, I’ve done this several times before. This is an argument I’m well versed in countering.
      You want evidence of disparate treatment? Look at our schools, which I believe is the most undeniable evidence. In the state where I live, NC, almost every school district has essentially re-legalized segregation by limiting allowable busing distances. Thus, kids from impoverished areas have no choice but to attend schools near them, which tend to be second-rate and understaffed and underfunded. This is especially serious in cities like Charlotte, where poor Blacks and Latinos are almost totally separated geographically from other races; even poor whites and are zoned into the worst schools by both level of funding and teacher experience. Now that busing across zones is essentially illegal, even the best Black students are only allowed to access quality schools contingent upon independent transportation, which is hard to come by in an already poor area with parents who are working perhaps 50-60 hrs a week.

      Add to this the number of cities and states where it is actually fraudulent and a felony to register children at different districts, then you have a situation like that of Kelley Williams-Bolar, an Akron woman who was recently convicted with a felony offense and was stripped of her teaching license simply for reporting that her kids lived with her father-in-law so they could be educated in a superior district. If the above situations don’t describe disparate access to one of the most vital RIGHTS of our country and one of the biggest responsibilities it carries to its citizens, I don’t know what else is.

      But on a more personal note, of course I am neither the son, the grandson, nor the great-grandson of slaves. My family has fared relatively well post emancipation, better than most families of any race in Eastern NC and I am a 4th-Generation college graduate. You would think I have been given it “all” and have had nothing to worry about. But I know personally from growing up in a poor education system where as a dyslexic kid I was put into educationally challenged classes so my family had to move to an entirely new district just so I could receive the proper education and training to overcome dyslexia.

      I know what it’s like to be told I could not do things BY TEACHERS simply because of my race. I know what it’s like to be called a “nigger” maliciously. I know what it’s like to be made fun of every day because I was black in an environment where nobody had ever seen black people. I’ve seen when I was a boy a man threaten my father’s life and call him a boy and a “backwards nigger” simply because he denied him a loan. I may have turned out fine and well, but I had the best support structure anyone could ask for. This is simply not the case for most people. For you to willfully not see the “scars” of slavery and the fact that this country was founded upon a pillar of racism which still stands is to be blind on purpose.

      Look at it this way. Most of the variations of the argument against Affirmative Action go as such: “Racism is not a factor, if you worked hard you could succeed just as white people have.” But the implicit argument there is that Blacks should live by a moral code and an ethic system that is more rigid than that of Whites. Whites can succeed easily in this country without hard work, and it is often people who are born into decent money whose parents can actually afford to save up for college, etc, who are the ones saying that Blacks should “work harder” to succeed. Right. Your example about Japanese concentration camps is so inapplicable here because it was for a few years. It formed a minor part of the timeline of a generational memory. For about 9/10 of the entire history of this country, Blacks existed as a lower race upon who it was legal and encouraged to prey upon, exploit, rape at whim, buy, sell, and murder. And your assumption that it all ended with slavery is simply untrue. In most states south of Maryland Black people could not vote freely until the sixties. My father remembers when his illiterate grandfather could vote for the first time.

    • djonesmhc says:

      The subordination of which I speak occurs at movie and music awards ceremonies and in the relating of the great inventors of American history. It occurs whenever some calls Elvis the King of rock and roll, when in fact, the genre has its roots in Black America. It occurs bit by bit. I am not talking about anecdotal observations of each person’s experience, I am talking about a systematic marginalization of the contributions of a diverse people to a diverse nation. The reason why the founding fathers had so much time to construct our Republican form of government was because many of them didn’t have to work because they had a race of human beings who they barely fed cultivating their land. The roots of the marginalization MUST begin with slavery and the leaves and blooms of this poisonous tree are seen in the general ignorance of black contributions to America by the majority.

  6. Unamused says:

    Your only example of contemporary subordination of black contributions to culture is: people saying Elvis is the “King” of rock and roll. First of all, that’s not the same as saying he invented it. Second, ever seen an MTV or VH1 documentary on early rock and roll? They give blacks their due. Anyway, this “systematic marginalization” is not very well documented, so far.

    No one’s disputing that slavery was devastating to the slaves. What I’m disputing is the prevalence of present-day marginalization.

  7. Unamused says:

    Hi fivefifths,

    Ever hear of the Kansas City Desegregation Experiment? It’s a long story but well worth reading. I’ll sum it up: in 1985, “[a] sympathetic federal judge invited district educators literally to ‘dream’—forget about cost, let their imaginations soar, put together a list of everything they might possibly need to increase the achievement of inner-city blacks—and he, using the extraordinarily broad powers granted judges in school desegregation cases, would find a way to pay for it.” Results? Utter failure—the black-white achievement gap no smaller. To pick one example, “[t]he average black student’s reading skills increased by only 1.1 grade equivalents in four years of high school. At Central High, complained Clark, black males were actually scoring no higher on standardized tests when they graduated as seniors than they had when they enrolled as freshmen four years before.”

    Why does giving primarily black schools unlimited money not help? Warning: you’re not going to like this.

    The reason why blacks go to bad schools is that having lots of black students makes schools bad. My evidence: (1) Blacks have lower test scores (the so-called achievement gap), so these schools are losing funding. (2) Black students are more violent: see here and here and here and here, for instance. “18 percent of the nation’s schools accounted for 75 percent of the reported incidents of violence . . . The preponderance of school violence occurs in big-city schools attended by black students” (first link). One consequence is that these schools can’t attract good teachers. (3) The same links suggest black students are more likely to be badly behaved, so even the good students can’t learn in the same classroom.

    I’m aware of the Kelley Williams-Bolar story. I have a different opinion.

    You say “[f]or about 9/10 of the entire history of this country, Blacks existed as a lower race upon who it was legal and encouraged to prey upon, exploit, rape at whim, buy, sell, and murder [emphasis mine].” This is ludicrous and needs no rebuttal, but here is one anyway: 9/10 of this country’s history is about 212 years. So . . . up until 1988?

    • fivefifths says:

      Aww come on, the Kansas City Desegregation Experiment is a softball. I know it very well, both my parents are educators. The experiment was rife with so many flaws from the start that using this one case study as grounds for why adding money won’t help it’s laughable. The school board mishandled the funds from the start and was ill-organized. And I’m one of the first to say that throwing money at a problem won’t fix it, because in this case you added money to schools that were already run poorly with poor personnel on the school board and in the school. The difference between inner-city schools and magnets is best expressed by money because it is the easiest to measure. Forgive my reliance on it in the previous comment, because it is only one resource of many, ALL of which poorly-performing schools are lacking. And I also don’t say the parents and family are blameless, but to also say they were to be solely at fault for the failings of said experiment is fallacy. It simply isn’t an argument.

      Your articles about the achievement gap and violence really only fuel a circular argument. Violence, the achievement gap, and school quality are functions of each other Are black children inherently more violent and dumb which makes the schools they frequent worse? Or are they more violent and poorly-behaved because they attend poor schools? What’s your answer there? Reliance on one “experiment” with seriously flawed methodology and implementation is a weak argument and I’m sure you can do better.

      Your argument in your post about the Kelley Williams-Bolar about performance being linked to genetics? Silly. There exists no peer-reviewed methodologically sound exploration of genetics, race, and any type of social behavior or performance. I know, my last job was at the National Human Genome Research Institute. Even conflating the sociocultural construct of “race” with DNA or genetics implies a serious lack of understanding of what race is.

      And let’s do the math. Perhaps my wording was incorrect in the previous comment. I’ll say rather, “for about 9/10 of the history of African-Americans” then. Using conservative estimates (1619 as the beginning of slave importation into the British Colonies as opposed to much earlier figures for Central America and the Caribbean) that’s a 392 year history. 9/10 of that is 353 years. Puts us right at 1972. Seven years after the only legislation was passed in this country that undeniably allowed Blacks the right to vote in every state when and how they wished. Now, granted that time period after slavery was certainly not slavery, but Blacks for an entire century post-slavery lived where under severe violations of civil and Constitutional Rights, much harsher than the abuses that caused the very forefathers of this country to rebel against the crown.

      And using your numbers and stricter criteria, Blacks were “only” slaves for 62% of our history as the United States. Sixty-two percent? That’s nothing right?

  8. djonesmhc says:

    The presence of the marginalization of not only black, but other racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, is evidenced in the very achievement gaps to which you point sir. If the argument is that these children have some inherent propensity or disposition to violence and lack of intellect then that harkens back to the blacks-as-subhuman argument that typified the worst period in our nation’s history: when slavery was legal. Even after it was abolished, the marginalization of blacks and other minorities continued through Reconstruction. Blacks still worked largely agricultural jobs, remained largely illiterate, and had very little means to amass generational wealth. The HISTORY of marginalization of blacks and ethnic minorities, in all four corners of this nation, reverberates today.

    Let us not dare to think that VH1 and MTV documentaries come close to illustrating the contributions that minority communities have given to America. One wonders were there Einsteins and Bells and Brothers Wright born to slave mothers, or poor farm working mothers during Reconstruction, who never could use their talents for the benefits of mankind because they operated in a society that only valued them for their menial labor. The legacy of this: underperformance, resort to violence as a means to overcome oppressive poverty and segregation in housing and education, and the “Gap” we see in lifetime earning, literacy, and health.

    Marginalization is less overt today than it was in generations past. No one may argue the contrary. However, the marginalization today is in the form of a majority culture that, whether consciously or not, perceive the minority as the “other.” By no means are we to construe every person of European descent as racist or bigoted, yet we are the sum of our experiences are we not? We are the cumulative product of our own upbringing, but also of the opportunities that our forefathers could lay before us. Less opportunities equate to a limited framework in which an formerly oppressed populace can operate. This, in turn, manifests in these statistics you have so adroitly proffered. When viewed by a culture in many ways ignorant of the daily lives of blacks, these stats nearly imperceptibly distort the image of a people in the eyes of the majority. This distortion manifests as conclusions about the “other” that color interactions. They guide preferences. Studies have shown that a white man with a criminal record with EQUAL qualifications as a black man with no record, is still MORE likely to be offered a job opening. Indeed, marginalization is real, pervasive, and invidious.

  9. Unamused says:

    “There exists no peer-reviewed methodologically sound exploration of genetics, race, and any type of social behavior or performance. I know, my last job was at the National Human Genome Research Institute. Even conflating the sociocultural construct of “race” with DNA or genetics implies a serious lack of understanding of what race is.”

    Of course the literature exists. It just reaches politically unacceptable conclusions. The idea that race is “sociocultural” is (1) ludicrous on the face of it. Black parents have black children, white parents have white children. Did they cover inheritance at the National Human Genome Research Institute? And (2) it is a very new, very post-modern, completely unscientific political doctrine, based on no evidence whatsoever. You see, biologically/genetically/evolutionarily speaking, race exists.
    It really exists.
    Seriously.
    I’m not making this up.
    Knowing about race helps us fight disease.
    Some people have written whole books on it.
    Some of those books were controversial because they make people uncomfortable. From the linked review: Richard Lynn’s “Race Differences in Intelligence” collected data from “620 different IQ studies from around the world and 813,778 tested individuals.” I’m looking at the bibliography right now. It’s got hundreds of peer-reviewed articles on race, intelligence, and genetics.

    PS So it was “legal and encouraged to prey upon, exploit, rape at whim, buy, sell, and murder” black people until 1972? Wow. I’d better throw out my history books.

    • fivefifths says:

      First of all, you still misunderstand “race” and confuse it with ethnographic genetic traits such as skin color and hair texture, etc. Two adults with dark skin will have a child with dark skin, but also two adults with joined earlobes will with certainty have a child with joined earlobes. What does it really tell you?

      What the NHGRI taught me is that “racial” profiles determined by skin color and point of origin are simply inconclusive, ESPECIALLY given a group with the admixture of African-Americas. Genetically, there are ethnic groups in South Africa that are farther apart than any two other ethnic groups on the planet, but we would consider them all “Black Africans” and they have similar facial phenotypes, at least to outsiders. On the same coin, many African-Americans share more in common genetically with some White people than with other African-Americans, and if your ancestors are predominantly from Serbia and Russia, you may share as much genetic info with Asian peoples as you do with other White people. Also, if your ancestors came from the Mediterranean, as a White person you probably have MORE in common with colored North African peoples than you do with people of Scandinavian descent.

      In America, everyone has so much admixture that looking at a genetic link even to place of origin or skin color, things that seem definite to us, is just dumb and not pursued because of this.

      As to your articles, most of them were written in the time before this genetic issue was understood. Many of them, ESPECIALLY Lynn, have serious methodology issues, the key being that they do not control for income or education level, when it has been made clear in subsequent reviews of their work that their “correlations” lie more heavily along the lines of income than race. And a study on “intelligence” that doesn’t control for education? How does that even get published? Which raises my next point. Intelligence is such a poorly understood concept that we still have no established definition for it in scientific tests. IQ is based on a purely Western test based on spatial and verbal reasoning within the context of paper. Now a Brazilian tribesman may seem very stupid to us based on IQ, but we would also appear very stupid to the Brazilian while we die in the Amazon from not knowing how to build a proper shelter or what to eat. When intelligence is measured by a tool based in culture, you get results that only measure cultural intelligence, and not some end-all-be-all measure of brain and problem-solving capacity. Which is why the Bell Curve (which cited a few of your articles) was such a soundly thrashed book and why neo-phrenology which you seem to champion is a fruitless and worthless pursuit. Many current peer-reviewed articles denounce, correct, and retract the very ones you mention.

      PS Take that and apply it only to slavery since you seem so intent upon not giving me the principle of charity for my stylistic flourishes in writing. Still, for 62% of our history it was legal to do all the above to Blacks. No small amount.

  10. Unamused says:

    Hi djonesmhc.

    “If the argument is that these children have some inherent propensity or disposition to violence and lack of intellect then that harkens back to the blacks-as-subhuman argument that typified the worst period in our nation’s history: when slavery was legal.”

    I appreciate that this theory makes nearly everyone feel very uncomfortable. But I am not making the argument you’re referring too. My theory is based on data. A lot of data. See my previous comment, re: Lynn’s “Race Differences in Intelligence.” I’m not saying blacks are subhuman. I’m not saying they should not have equal rights, and be treated fairly. However, the data is saying that their average intelligence is lower than whites’, which by the way is lower than East Asians’. You don’t think I’m saying whites are subhuman because the Japanese are slightly smarter, do you?

    “The HISTORY of marginalization of blacks and ethnic minorities, in all four corners of this nation, reverberates today.” That’s sort of what I’ve been asking about. If you can’t point to real discrimination today (and again, disparate impact does not imply disparate treatment), then how exactly is history “reverberating” and making blacks score lower on IQ tests than whites and Asians? And commit more violent crime per capita? And have about twice the unemployment as whites? And something like a 70% illegitimacy rate? Connect the dots for me.

    “Let us not dare to think that VH1 and MTV documentaries come close to illustrating the contributions that minority communities have given to America.” I was simply disputing your claim about American culture not giving early black rock and roll artists their due. If you want to pick more examples of minorities not getting acknowledged, well, I’ll take them as they come.

    “The legacy of this: underperformance, resort to violence as a means to overcome oppressive poverty and segregation in housing and education, and the ‘Gap’ we see in lifetime earning, literacy, and health.”
    Again: how exactly does a “legacy” make blacks commit about 8 times as much murder, per capita, as whites? It just sounds like you’re blaming everything bad that blacks do today on some long-dead white folk who treated some long-dead black folk badly. Actually, that’s explicitly what you’re doing.

    I give blacks more credit than to say they’re unable to overcome their history. The world is full of people who did just that. Just to pick one obvious example, European Jews suffered millenia of discrimination, culminating in the Holocaust—today, how are the Jews doing? Unbelievably well.

    Of course, they also have an average IQ of about 110. So that helps.

    • Obsidian says:

      U,
      Interesting that you would use the Jews as a point of comparison to Blacks in America, who according to Lynn and others, have a considerably lower average IQ. Given that IQ is about 80% heritable, by your argument African Americans on average simply cannot raise themselves to any standard of living that the Western world would regard as civilized. For example you cited higher rates of violence among Black students and youht; if the primary cause and reason for said violence and lower school performace is in fact due to genetic inferiority, and if said genetic heritage is immutable, what then do you propose be done with such peoples?

      O.

      • Unamused says:

        Yes, European Jews have an average IQ of about 110; American blacks, about 87. By my argument, black Americans on average will not achieve the same academic performance as European Jews. Anything else is your idea, not mine.

        Aggression is heritable; “inferiority” is a value judgment, which I did not make. Anyway, the correct conclusion is: blacks will tend to higher aggressiveness and lower intelligence than whites . . . who will tend be more aggressive and less intelligent than East Asians, for what it’s worth. What do I propose we do about this? Well, for starters: convince everyone else.

      • Obsidian says:

        Hi Unamused,
        Alright then; let’s say we were indeed able to convince everyone else of what you have laidout above; then what? Surely, as you have indicated on your blog, you would like to see public policy reflect these truths, yes? Can you give us a few specifics as to what these public policy adjustments would look like? For example, given that Blacks are more given to violence, what public policy proposals would you like to see to address this? Thanks.

        O.

  11. Unamused says:

    Yes, I’m sure I’m still misunderstanding race. It must take an advanced degree to understand “black” and “white.” I mean, it’s not like everybody I’ve ever met has had no trouble at all spotting the difference between whites and blacks and Asians and Hispanics and—oh, wait.

    Now, you’re free to define “race” however you like. You can define it to have nothing to do with “ethnographic genetic traits” like skin color, hair texture, and . . . you know, all the things that make up “race.” But unfortunately every genetic study turns up the same clusters. See, for example, Cavalli-Sforza, Menozzi, and Piazza (1994), who analyzed 120 alleles in 42 populations and found that they clustered into these 10 groups: sub-Saharan Africans, Europeans, East Asians, Arctic Peoples, Native Americans, Southeast Asians, Pacific Islanders, Australian Aborigines, South Asians/North Africans, and Bushmen/Pygmies. Look like races to me. (By the way, if there was something to learn from splitting humanity into “joined earlobes” and “unjoined earlobes” clusters, I’d do that too. But it’s not like wars are fought over earlobes.)

    Did you even look at this 2010 article? Where did those big clusters come from?

    Anyway, those are some pretty controversial claims about black African genetic diversity. Sources? Any sources? I can’t help but notice that in our great America admixture, black people still have black babies, white people still have white babies, and mixed race couples still have mixed race babies. I see this literally every time I leave the house. I must be so dumb to think race is heritable.

    My articles are outdated? You must be joking. The dates of my sources are as follows: August 2010, July 2002, January 2005, December 2004, December 2001, 1994, and 2006. The dates of your sources are . . . oh, no sources.

    An IQ test measures your intelligence. It does not test your knowledge of Amazonian survival. Yes, the hypothetical Brazilian has low intelligence. There’s a difference between “intelligent” and “knows how to survive in one particular environment because he’s lived his whole life there, and if he didn’t know how, he’d be dead, so it’s also a sample bias.”

    An IQ test also does not test things that take a post-secondary education or a five-figure income to learn. It does indeed test your spatial and verbal reasoning, i.e. intelligence. Of course, your intelligence correlates with income and education level. If you’d read Lynn’s book, you’d know he deals with all of that. Education, for instance, on page 187; e.g., 3- and 4-year-old infants give the same scores as adults. You see, I’ve actually read these studies. And I don’t just declare that research has “methodology issues” because I hate the findings, so go find me the study that proves me wrong. I’d love to see it.

    Average white American IQ: 102. Average black American IQ: 87. Average black African IQ: 67, but estimated genotypic IQ, accounting for environment: 80. You don’t like those statistics. I know that. That doesn’t mean you get to make spurious allegations of cultural bias in tasks like finding a synonym or mentally rotating an object. Maybe some cultures don’t value intelligence, but that doesn’t change the fact that “problem solving” is about as objective a criterion as you can find (see postscript). And IQ correlates with achievement test scores, like the SATs; with learning in schools; with job performance; with income; with health; with not committing violent crime; with GNP; with government effectiveness . . . (Thanks, Wikipedia).

    This isn’t phrenology, but for the record, brain size has a correlation of 0.40 with intelligence (Vernon, Wickett, Bazana, and Stelmack, 2000).

    PS: Intelligence, as defined by Gottfredson, endorsed by 52 experts, and published in the Wall Street Journal in 1994: “Intelligence is a very general mental capacity which, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think, abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings—”catching on,” “making sense” of things, or “figuring out” what to do.” (Gottfredson, 1997, p.13; source: Lynn’s “Race Differences in Intelligence.)

    PPS: Normally I would let stylistic flourishes slide. However, this is a very special case. Since we were talking about the legacy of historical discrimination, I can’t very well let you get away with an outrageous exaggeration about the severity and duration of that discrimination.

    That said, go ask European Jews about recent discrimination. I seem to recall that about 70 years ago, two thirds of them were murdered—and enslaved too, for what it’s worth. Your stylistic flourishes were literally true of the Jews. And how are they doing today, with their meaningless, culturally-biased average IQ of 110?

    • fivefifths says:

      Still a very limited understanding of race. I direct you to page64 of this book as per the flaws surrounding “intelligence” and IQ testing and the ignored subtleties concerning intelligence.
      Clearly, IQ testing cannot measure problem-solving objectively, because as such it would be able to account for the deficiencies in testing legitimate problem solving in different cultural contexts. I’ve taken IQ tests, I’m in Mensa, and I can tell you that nothing I’ve done with them will help anyone in Brazil solve their problems.
      And you also aren’t taking into account nutritional deficiencies which also have a great effect on IQ. Simple iodine and vitamin C deficiencies can decrease IQ scores by double digits.

      You want to talk recent studies? A study released a week or two ago by Tucker-Drobb, et al, says that genetics only explain 50% of IQ variation in young children of high SES and almost none of the variation in children in low SES, meaning that **gasp** children of low SES have a determined IQ regardless of genetics. Whoa. Also, the article goes on to state that there is a difference in cranial volume, but (get this) it too is moderated not only by genetics but by SES! AND genetic contributions to IQ decrease as the children age!

      And please stop with the Jewish references. Unique situation. Many Jews had chances to amass much multi-generational wealth throughout Europe. Guess it’s our IQ’s fault we didn’t establish any multinational banking families while enslaved. And the many families who did establish such empires generally retained their wealth pre-and post Holocaust. And I would wager that African-Americans would be doing just peachy if the entire world felt guilty about how we were treated and just gave us a nice state like California with a nuclear arsenal, billions and billions of dollars in defense, surveillance, and humanitarian contracts, and a general mandate from the UN that they will blast to smithereens anyone who seriously threatens our security. Instead we got Affirmative Action! Joy. If it weren’t for us European Jews would have no cultural center or homeland aside from the handful of families tied in money already. Absolutely nothing to do with IQ.

      And as for the severity of slavery and even the period beyond it, in many places in the South up until the 40s it was essentially legal to lynch Black people. Trust me, my father is a published expert in lynching in the state. And exploitation? The Tuskegee Study that our government conducted and officially acknowledged was racist. Ended in 1972. Also read up on Emmitt Till

  12. Unamused says:

    I repeat: “Average black African IQ: 67, but estimated genotypic IQ, accounting for environment: 80.” There’s your compensation for nutritional deficiencies. (By the way, how do nutritional deficiencies explain the black-white IQ gap in America?) Read the research; it’s not conducted by a bunch of drooling idiots. You’re not going to destroy all previous research on the heritability of intelligence and the validity of IQ tests by telling me that you don’t understand how the thinking skills underlying IQ could help a Brazilian solve problems.

    I assume your source is the same as the one referred to here? As for methodological problems: the child’s IQ correlates with the parents’ IQs, which correlates with the parents’ socioeconomic status (SES), which completely determines the child’s SES.

    Let’s look at the best research: twin studies. Steven Pinker sums up the findings in “The Blank Slate”: intelligence has a heritability between .25 and .75. And when I get the chance to see Drob’s study in full, I’ll add that data point to the rest of the research. Somehow I don’t think it’ll shatter the 15-point IQ gap between American blacks and whites . . .

  13. Obsidian says:

    Just so everyone knows, I presented my own take on the matter here:

    “The Mayonnaise Sandwich Debate”
    http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com/entry/61679

    Comment and reply, invited.

    O.

  14. TERRY says:

    Too bad Terrence has Becca otherwise he sounds perfect to me!
    Nothing sexier than a mocha man who doesn’t act ghetto.
    See boys, there’s a whole demographic of women out here who love the aesthetic of the black male physique but can’t stand the underclass behaviour that often comes with it.
    I hope African Americans start breeding more Terrences.

    • djonesmhc says:

      As the author, I reject the premise that somehow the other black people that Terrence encounters “act ghetto” in any sense of the nonsensical phrase. What do you mean when you say “acting ghetto?” Do you mean lacking social graces? Do you mean acting in a manner that is not in lock-step with Anglo-American ideals of tone, tact, demeanor, and volume? That’s the problem, you see, ambiguous language.

      Any “underclass behavior” that the other black people Terrence encounters is a product of their environment I’m sure. But here, again, is vague language connoting derision of someone else who is not in line with the dominant culture’s social norms.

      The point of “Terrence” was to illustrate a black male whom most blacks, I think, have encountered in their workplace, undergraduate, or postgraduate environment. Notice I described Terrence’s reaction to the other blacks when THEY reach out to HIM. Terrence shuns THEM for what he assumes are the differences between himself and them. Terrence never takes the time to get to know them or see if he could fit in their social circle. Maybe he has the same presumption of “ghetto-acting-underclass-behavior” as do you. These preconceived notions of the other must cease lest we reinforce negative stereotypes.

      • TERRY says:

        By acting ghetto I mean having social graces when in public but when in the privacy of one’s own home acting, well, ghetto!

        Using words like “yo” and “nig” and “yo nig wassup?” when talking to his friends.
        Listening to music that contains expletives and words like yo, nig, nigga, etc.

        You know exactly what I’m talking about when I say “ghetto”, come on, you haven’t drunk that much poltically correct kool aid now, have you?

      • fivefifths says:

        Damn “my nig” though? If by that you mean “nigga” or “nigger” I must act ghetto. I listen to it in my music at home. And if listening to music with expletives is ghetto then I must be ghetto too because I love to listen to AC/DC. It’s all fine though, I’ll be “ghetto” with my PhD and well-paying job.

        And kool-aid? Low blow Terry. Low blow.

  15. Terry says:

    Re: Kool Aid – LOL!
    I didn’t even catch that til now.
    You know what “drinking the kool aid” means though in other terms.
    Yes, I’m looking for a hot black guy that doesn’t listen to hip hop or AC/DC or western pop music.

  16. blackdude says:

    my question to the author of this article- what do u WANT from guys like Terrence? HMM? Seriously, what should he DO that would make him, in your eyes, “black” enough? You know most guys like that GROW UP mostly around whites, its not like he just woke up one day and was like, “I SAY OLD BOY, TIS A BEAUTIFUL DAY FOR ULTIMATE FRISBEE” Honestly, i guess u could consider me somewhat of a Terrence (but I LOVE the boondocks, and I dont go to an Ivy League school, but still…). Funny thing is, I AGREE with what u said at the end- SAVE UR BREATH, but unfortunately, most mofos WONT do that, theyll get on his case and give him shit NONSTOP about how “white” he acts,or how much of a nerd he is. See, its a two way street and guys like that feel more accepted by whites than by other blacks, bc we as black folks have a certain way of being/acting/thinking/joking that is something u either grow up with or dont. U cant just wake up one day and, “be black” it doesnt work that way and if Terrence tried that he’d get called out on it for acting phony AND YOU KNOW IT… LEAVE TERRENCE ALONE lol….

    • Terry 4 Terrence says:

      blackdude: “Funny thing is, I AGREE with what u said at the end- SAVE UR BREATH, but unfortunately, most mofos WONT do that, theyll get on his case and give him shit NONSTOP about how “white” he acts,or how much of a nerd he is. See, its a two way street and guys like that feel more accepted by whites than by other blacks, bc we as black folks have a certain way of being/acting/thinking/joking that is something u either grow up with or dont. ”
      ——
      I’m hearing this more and more lately. I’m also hearing that black women, even the professional ones, won’t give the time of day to a black man without “swag”.

      Well, other women WILL.

      And then we’ll get the “side eye” from y’all when we’re out and about as a couple.

      What gives?

      • Obsidian says:

        Hi Bag Lady,
        Lemme answer the question for you, since you want to know so bad.

        It’s called Freedom of Speech. It is something that is deeply cherished by the vast majority of Americnans.

        Here in America, we have the right to criticize, ruthlessly at times, the sayings, actions, comings and goings, of others. It’s really as simple as that. Those who are being criticized, have two options open to them – they can either ignore it; or they can respond.

        But they can’t stop it. And rightly so.

        Black nerds have to deal with criticism just like White nerds. Black Women as a rule, aren’t interested in Black nerds, just like White Women as a rule, aren’t interested in White nerds. Nothing new there.

        If Black nerds can find love with White Women and success in certain White circles, good on him. But that doesn’t mean that he won’t be criticized.

        Why? Because this is America. Here, we can do that.

        Hopefully your brain can handle what I just said.

        Next question?

        O.

      • Obsidian says:

        By the way, Terry and Blackdude should hookup; sounds like a love match made i heaven…

        O.

      • blackdude says:

        Im not really sure what u mean- I used to be really angry about BW (lol I guess u listen to SWP, but…hes a gotdamn broken record honestly. He needs to move on or get laid lol) and all that, but honestly, I really can’t blame them for getting with thugs and what not because, its a free country. I dont think they necessarily like thugs, BUT thug dudes tend to be- In better shape; Know how to, “speak to the pussy” if u know what I mean, and they are seen as masculine. I used to hate those dudes wit a passion lol, but honestly, how can I? It makes sense so….happy 4 them, (my only problem with them is they always gotta prove somethin and “one up” somebody but we as black folk tend to be like that in general. That shit URKS me but wateva) BUT like I said, it gets annoying as hell to be sitting in a chair , silently watchin tv and MINDIN MY BUSINESS and constantly reminded of how much of a nerd I am, that shit gets old FAST. Thats why I think so many black dudes who make money get extra arrogant and look down on other black people bc its like…. revenge for them or something (thats also why they prolly give u the stink eye- its jealousy, spite, and a bunch of feelings of pent up frustration and failure that all come rushing out at once. But me personally I think thats WACK. They need to let bygones be bygones and just get over it. U mite say the same about me, but again, as a “Terrence” I just dont wanna hear how white and lame u think I am 24-motha-fuckin-7. THATS my only problem, and in the hood, if u dont act the part, u get PICKED APART. But its all good bc unlike the “Terrence” in this pick, Im a husky mofo and really dont give a fuck anymore, so IF ITS A BOUT OF FISTICUFFS ONE IS LOOKING FOR, I SAY OLD BEAN LETS JOUST lol….)

        And I really DO NOT like white women at all so the whole “Becky” love story thing aint happenin (except for redheads….thats about it lol).

        Obsidian thinks we should hook up lol- well Im 22, 6 foot, 240lbs football player body type, so lemme know LOL…..

  17. Obsidian says:

    U: I really don’t know if Marshall or Sowell insisted/insists on going to all-black parties or only attending historically black institutions or looking down on any black American who wanted to assimilate.

    O: I don’t know either, but what we do know is their attending HBCUs didn’t prevent them from interacting at the highest levels of White socety. That, my friend, is the point.

    U: As for King: “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. . . . I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.” Sounds like he would have been OK with Terrence’s lifestyle choices.

    O: Indeed; and given MLK’s tremendous and overwhelming popularity in the Black community for four decades running at least, we can comfortably say that said majority of African Americans would also be OK with Terrence’s lifestyle choices.

    Holla abck

    O.

    • blackdude says:

      “O: Indeed; and given MLK’s tremendous and overwhelming popularity in the Black community for four decades running at least, we can comfortably say that said majority of African Americans would also be OK with Terrence’s lifestyle choices”

      Im not so sure about that last part…. that would be ideal, but…. I dont think this is the case. A lot has changed since then- there was an episode of “the boondocks” where MLK came back and he was in some church gathering and got pissed at how rowdy everyone was and said, “WILL YOU IGNORANT NIGGAS PLEEEAASE SHUT THE HELL UP!!” lol thats obviously not real, but i think its pretty close to how hed feel in the present day….

  18. Lindy says:

    lool…. this is a cool idea! 😉

  19. blackdude says:

    “Redheads???
    Why?
    They tend to a have a pasty coloring and freckles.
    What’s attractive about that?”

    bc they stand out i guess….. most other white chicks (esp blondes) all look the SAME to me, but 4 some reason redhead just look better to me- like that chick on all those Progressive insurance commercials lol… plus my favorite color is red anyway, but ill take a black chick, indian, spanish (or asian ohh yeahh) over white ANY day,,,,

  20. Terry 4 Terrence says:

    Well, when I henna my hair red people tell me it looks like my natural color.
    Now, I must ask – what is so special about Asians?
    Some are cute but contrary to popular belief, they do not age well.
    They age ok up until a certain point, and then it really catches up with them.
    Black people age the best.

  21. blackdude says:

    Asians- i like their eyes…. thats pretty much it.

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  1. […] 8, 2011 by Unamused Poor Terrence: . . . Let’s take some time to get to know this unfortunate soul. . . . Because of his successful […]

  2. […] black guys would like you to meet Terrence. Poor Terrence: […] Let’s take some time to get to know this unfortunate soul. […] Because of […]



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