…yesterday we had audio from Michael Berry on Tuesday talking about the cottage industry spawned by Black Lives Matter and the protests/riots every time a black guy gets shot by police, and how it’s great for talk radio and cable news but not so great for the people those protests and riots actually affect.
But Berry had said something else on Tuesday which also needs an outlet – namely, that he went through what those shootings and riots are merely a symptom of. Which is a dysfunctional, destructive culture in too many of our urban centers, a culture which affects predominantly, but certainly not exclusively, black people.
The most important thing in the segment is the first part – namely, that culture is paramount. The Left has become fully invested in the idea that race and demographics, or some other definition of identity, are paramount, and it’s not a surprise that the Left did so. The governing philosophy of the Left currently disparages individual agency at every turn, and they need a mechanism to sell it to a country still made up chiefly of people who believe we can make of life what we wish. The only way to combat that is to define people by whatever identity groups can be cooked up and then pander to those groups – most easily through victimology.
But if you believe in your own power of individual agency, if you believe your behavior is what’s important and not race, sex, gender, age or whatever else, then you will find your success in life is dependent not on who you are but what you do.
And what is culture but a pattern of behaviors common to people who share similar interests? You can choose your culture. You can live in Malibu or Santa Barbara and not be a surfer. You can live in Brookhaven, Mississippi and not be a redneck. And you can grow up in Watts or South Chicago and not be a thug.
Some cultures do not lead to success. That’s true regardless of race. If you don’t agree, go to rural eastern Kentucky and you’ll see people living lifestyles just as moribund and ignoble as what you’ll see in the ghetto – or, you can go to an Indian reservation and you’ll see something similar. But nobody is forced at gunpoint to live within those cultures – and people get out all the time.
We just need more of them to, and we need our government to perform a lot better in opening opportunities for it, mostly by getting out of the way and stopping the practice of incentivizing people to associate with dysfunctional cultures rather than functional ones.