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Deplorable Behavior or Deplorable Institutions?

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Candidates recently brandished "racist" and "bigot" at one another, words for deplorable individual behavior. "Sticks and Stones" speech may lead to broken bones, but it's much less damaging than institutional forms like religious war, or slavery, followed by forced segregation, and then discriminatory criminalization. The broad outlines of history are indelible! Such wide extent of harmful ideology as "They're lazy," "violent," "criminal," etc. is generated in very often occurring cases of unfair economic actions. Thousands of killings, kidnappings, enslavement, import of prisoners, overseers forcing field hands, and forcible enclosure of the best lands for noble English colonists all contributed. The oppressor whites were not stupid. Racial supremacist propaganda excuses the oppressors and was spread by "pillars of society" to other whites for reinforcement.

Drug addiction, criminalized, made prison another partial institution of racial oppression. The poorer, the more some people will do whatever they need; take welfare, steal, or deal drugs for income. Criminalization, impoverished homes, and local property tax financed education leave many blacks without employable resources. But drug policies, from Opium Wars, through exaggerated "Crack Baby" epidemics, with harsher penalties for blacks, are choices of white society, choices of institutional racism over medicalized equal treatment for all addicts! Two wrongs, institutional racism and street crime, do not make a right. The grinding wheels of institutional racism created a centrifugal force, white family flight, understandable, but leaving blacks hyper concentration in urban sacrifice zones. Almost all are doing the best they can! Class, not race -- based, affirmative action can help. But resentment against resource-less people for taking welfare, drugs, etc., is deplorable. It's like taking poison and hoping the other guy dies.


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I could be Bernie Sanders older brother by similarity. I was born in Manhattan, 1940, he, about a year later, in Brooklyn. I too am a white male American. A retired college professor of philosophy. We both were born of Jewish parents. I was (more...)

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