When Lavish “Diamond” Reynolds live broadcast the death of Philando Castile some whites were puzzled by her calm demeanor in the circumstances, narrating events in a stereotypical ghetto monotone normally associated with passive aggressive customer service agents of a certain demographic. When I saw it on Twitter I thought at first it was a hoax; Reynolds comes across as a bad amateur actor. Her behavior is not normal. Anyone can see it’s calculated. But no person of consequence dare say that, obviously. It looks suspiciously like Reynolds’ calm is callousness and that she was quickly taking advantage of the situation. In the ‘hood she would be described as One Cold Bitch. You have to admire the steely nerve it takes. I know: how dare I. Yet still.
The average white American still projects onto blacks as a group and individually his own innate sense of normalcy, produced over centuries of culture and evolution and reflected, for the time being, in the laws and customs of, for instance, the United States.
The average black American projects onto whites a cruder innate sense of value and normalcy, produced by the same processes. That’s why blacks presume the worst intentions of whites regardless of good faith efforts. Much political agitation is subsuming the humiliation and frustration of living under restrictive and unnatural white norms, hence black America’s continuing obsession with individual authenticity.
Anti-racism, armed with disparate impact theory, hasn’t a chance. In the post civil rights environment of moral license, it can only chase black misbehavior downward and drag us to some extent along with it.
The consequences of this are now proving disastrous. Black behavior gets worse the longer it’s un-moored from white norms, and one result is the daily urban body count. For those few, such as the president, capable of seeing and making the calculation, the carnage of an unrestrained black America must be an acceptable price of autonomy–perhaps they even understand its value, as a bludgeon by which whites are shamed into granting more autonomy, more accommodation of the black norms it represents.
I appears few black leaders make this nuanced a calculation; they are either true believers or indifferent hustlers. White leaders like, well most of them, operate at a higher level of moral corruption. For the individual black American, authenticity and group autonomy are justly sources of pride, as they should be for anyone. But something’s always got to give. In Obama’s and Hillary’s America it’s–but of course–whites and all their decency, that is, White Privilege.
To accommodate black norms to achieve equality white America has been gradually conditioned to accept that which it once found revolting, collectively and individually. And it’s killing us.
The problem is clearly that black America places a much lower value on life and property than white America, combined with a much higher value on group loyalty and honor.
Black Lives Matter is black America, with much help, trying establish a precedent: we can kill as many of ourselves as we want, as many of you as we want, but you can’t kill one of us.