Questions Unasked (Due To Self-Preservation)

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Our new Division Director is a Black woman whose first act was to order an all-day, all-staff training on racism.  The class starts with slavery, proceeds through Jim Crow, and ends with White Privilege.
I tried to weasel out of going to the class on the grounds that I’m too busy providing service to our actual customers to spent a day sitting in a conference room listening to the same spiel I’ve heard for the last decade, but no luck.  I would have loved to ask a few questions.  I didn’t, of course, because asking questions is asking for trouble; but if I could have done so safely, I’d have asked:
Americans historically were gung-ho on efficiency and innovation. Going all the way to Africa to capture and ship human cargo only to toss half of them overboard (thereby altering the migration habits of sharks) seems like a lot of work and wasteful besides.  Why did Americans invent slavery?
If American’s didn’t invent slavery, who did?  How long was it around before we adopted the practice?  When was the last slave in the world freed?
If slavery was part of the universal human condition since time immemorial until we stopped it a century ago, and if slavery only occurs today in places where America has not exercised its power to stamp it out, then why are we spending all day talking about it?
Formal slavery ended in America 150 years ago.  Jim Crow – when and where it existed – ended 50 years ago.  Minnesota never had either one. Why are we, as Minnesotans, spending all day talking about it?
White Privilege occurs because of White families working and sacrificing so their children would live in a better society. Granted, the children didn’t do anything to deserve that society – they didn’t build that – but why is it wrong for parents to work and sacrifice for their children?  What values should we – as employees of the local government – be encouraging local families to adopt instead?
If only I didn’t need my job . . . .
Joe Doakes

What’s the word for the thing that comes after education has turned into indoctrination, and then into browbeating, and then…

What’s that word?

21 thoughts on “Questions Unasked (Due To Self-Preservation)

  1. Walter Williams, who’s of Black himself, once wrote that The undeniable truth is that neither slavery nor Jim Crow nor the harshest racism has decimated the black family the way the welfare state has.
    .
    You might also find this map/chart to be of interest.

  2. Formal slavery ended in America 150 years ago. Jim Crow – when and where it existed – ended 50 years ago. Minnesota never had either one.

    Uh….. hmmmm….. I recall hearing about a rather famous slave at Fort Snelling named Dred Scott. I think he went on to make legal history. Of course, technically, in 1836 Fort Snelling was in the Wisconsin territory, so that argument could be made.

    As for Jim Crow, I lived a few blocks off Selby Avenue in Saint Paul during the 50’s and 60’s. If you were white, you walked, talked and lived on the south side of the street and if you were black, you did so on the north. A red line on the reality map ran down the middle of the street.

    Again, technically, real estate and hiring discrimination was not enforced by statute – but, believe me, it was enforced.

    But putting that aside…

    Our new Division Director is a Black woman whose first act was to order an all-day, all-staff training on racism.

    A black director focusing on her blackness only serves to tell the division that she is there for reasons other than leadership, competence and problem solving.

  3. Greg, very interesting and your last paragraph is so true. As SJWs infiltrate, they work against the prime directive of any corporation, that is, to make money. Clearly, JD’s company has declared that his division, if not the entire company, has made enough money doing whatever it is that they do, so now they can devote their efforts to wasting money instead.

  4. I quit a job after a company merged with ours, and our hourly staff was forced to join a union. I wouldn’t have been under that mandate, but life’s too short to deal with an environment that is 100% guaranteed to disturb my wah every day.

    I’m sure they’ve all been through every type of SJW training in the book by now. It gladdens me not to know for sure.

    That said, everyone has varying measures of what a job is worth, I guess.

  5. What do you think Minnesota’s pistol permit system is? Minnesota never HAD Jim Crow because it still HAS Jim Crow.

  6. Good points, Greg. When I was going to night school on Summit Avenue back in the 80’s, I lived a couple of blocks south of the People’s Choice (Selby and Milton). In those days, that was shoulder holster territory for white crackers. There was no formal Jim Crow but boy howdy, everybody knew who belonged in that neighborhood, and who didn’t.

    Informal self-segregation hasn’t ended. Human beings seem to want to live with people who look like them, talk like them, hold their values: Somali refugees in the Ghetto in the Sky, Orthodox Jews inside the wire in St. Louis Park, hipsters in Uptown and Alpaca-wearing ELCA-haircut sporting Volvo driving Liberals in Mac-Groveland.

    That’s different from government mandated White Drinking Fountains. We don’t have them, we never had them, we shouldn’t be punished for the sins of far away people who lived long ago. As the slogan says: I never owned any slaves, you never picked any cotton, let’s both get on with our lives.

  7. Really, if you want to point to a colossal evil that’s been done to black people living and working today, can we talk about the Great Society, especially AFDC? Or funding for Planned Parenthood?

    The whole deal reminds me of a diversity class I had to take where the class subtly goaded the instructor into spending half an hour ranting about how unfair it was that the reservation she’d grown up on wasn’t getting outside investment. We of course did not dare mention rampant substance abuse, the vagaries of tribal courts, and distance from transportation arteries and population centers. We had to be content with counting the veins popping out in her neck.

  8. Informal self-segregation hasn’t ended. Human beings seem to want to live with people who look like them, talk like them, hold their values: Somali refugees in the Ghetto in the Sky, Orthodox Jews inside the wire in St. Louis Park, hipsters in Uptown and Alpaca-wearing ELCA-haircut sporting Volvo driving Liberals in Mac-Groveland.

    While self-segregation is quite true, lets not discount the time when segregation in the Twin Cities was not modified by the word, self.

    Prior to the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the lines in Saint Paul were well-defined and brutally rigid. I had a paper route in the area and could tell you the race of my customers just by knowing the block, there were literally no exceptions.

    To describe how extreme it was, there is a row of apartment buildings along Lexington Avenue just north of I-94. Not one single black person lived in those apartment, yet over the fence to the east, not a single white person was to be found. On Central Avenue, everyone west of Lexington was white, everyone to the east was black. This was not, I repeat not, self-segregation. It was enforced by realtors.

    There was also a thing called block-busting, which I remember quite well.

    The secret in real estate is to buy low and sell high. Real estate agents would literally “break a block” by selling to a single black family then on the very evening the deal was closed, they would go up and down the block telling owners to “sell out now” at a fraction of the value. Once they had scooped up the property, they would sell it off to black folks or slum lords at full value.

    This happened to our family. My dad bought our house in 1957 for $10k and was forced out a decade later for $7.4K. Now it is worth north of $850K

    The consequences for not moving were quite literally violent. You would be forced to sell, one way or the other. It was not pretty and a lot of people, both white and black, still share those bitter memories.

    Much of what we see today is the ghost of those times.

  9. She is forcing you to take this training because you have more privilege than
    she does? Someone doesn’t understand the meaning of the word ‘privilege’.

  10. Greg, you’re right, there were injustices in the past. Now that the scales have fallen from my eyes, I’m going to set things right. And being employed by local government, I’m in the perfect position to do it.

    From now on, when a deed is filed transferring property to a White Person, I’m going to cross off that name and insert the name of a person who belongs to a historically underprivileged and presently under-represented minority group: 38.2% of them will be Asian, 25.4% Hispanic, 20.1% Black, and so on.

    What? I’m making a difference. I’m righting historical wrongs. Isn’t that the point of the all-day training? Sure, some people who didn’t pay for it will get a free house, while some people who did pay for it, won’t get one. So? How else can I be the change that I’ve been waiting for? Why bother with education if it doesn’t inspire action? Anything less would mean the class was simply a waste of time.

  11. Joe,

    There is a world of difference between denying the existence of Jim Crow in Minnesota and over-reacting to it.

    Often times when it best to simply say, ooops, when someone points out that you were wrong.

  12. Let’s put this all another way.

    I explained it to my kids like this:

    This is the way things were when I was a kid. It was rather nasty and explains a lot of lingering bitterness – but don’t let anyone lay that sh*t on you. None of it was your doing and none of it was your fault, and if you feel guilty because you think some of your peers might suffer from the afterglow of discrimination – just keep in mind that there are those who will give them a leg up before they give you a hand.

  13. True fact! “Historical disadvantage” and ” legacy racism
    m” refers to disadvantage and racism that does not exist!

  14. I suppose I should just keep my “mouth” shut, but I find this odd.

    To describe how extreme it was, there is a row of apartment buildings along Lexington Avenue just north of I-94. Not one single black person lived in those apartment, yet over the fence to the east, not a single white person was to be found. On Central Avenue, everyone west of Lexington was white, everyone to the east was black. This was not, I repeat not, self-segregation. It was enforced by realtors.

    There was also a thing called block-busting, which I remember quite well.

    When I think about it without the blinders that are intended to enforce certain thoughts, I’m not sure I understand why the segregation described above is a bad thing. I remember going out to eat once in a segregated neighborhood in St Louis (the one where Joe Garagiola grew up); people looked out for each other, little kids playing on the street were so trusting, they talked to us, strangers, who were waiting for a table (do you want to see my kitten?). That’s a bad thing?

    Moreover, the inclusion of “block-busting” seems to undercut the notion that segregation is all that strongly enforced anyway. And even more so, if violence was used against the “original” residents when busting a block so as to get them to move, this would seem to confirm that segregated “blocks” were preferred anyway.

  15. I had to look up block-busting, but I believe that a lot of my neighbors growing up had been the blue collar victims of it in Gary. It explains a lot of things I saw and heard growing up, really, and I would dare say it’s something that especially the left needs to come to grips with. There are victims of all races involved there.

  16. JDM,

    Let’s compare and contrast.

    First let’s take the voluntary self-segregation that Joe spoke of. The Hmong in Saint Paul, the Somalians in Minneapolis and the hipsters in Dinky-town all like to live with people who are like themselves, so they cluster together. It is a fine thing that encourages cohesive communities.

    On the other hand, let’s look at what happened in Saint Paul when the building of I-94 pretty much took out all the houses that the reality market mandated as a black neighborhood. There was nowhere to go. I remember families living two to a room with blankets dividing the space. They had money, There were apartments and houses available on the market – but the Jim Crow system prevented them from the taking part in a free-market economy. Only when the realtors agreed which blocks would be busted, who would be screwed and when the timing worked for them was the situation changed.

    The violence that ensured to chase people out of the neighborhood was a direct result of mandated reality policy that forced people to fight over what should be freely available.

    I agree with Joe that what happened in the past does not justify forced indoctrination today (and most of that indoctrination is a scam anyway) but let’s not forget why resentments linger.

  17. bikebubba,

    Damned straight on that. After years of getting my ass kicked by black kids, and getting in a few licks myself, it pissed me off to hear all my suburban friends get all kumbaya.

    Years later, I wound up working for one of the guys who kicked my ass. We remembered each other and could laugh about it. In many ways we became comrades of sorts.

  18. Greg, I’m old, but not old enough to remember the uproar over the construction of 94 through St Paul, so I honestly don’t know. Based on having driving down that stretch, it occurs to me to wonder what other route could’ve been taken? Also, regardless of whether alternate routes were taken, would there not have been resentments regardless?

    … hmm, now it occurs to me that I don’t recall anything about the same resentments on the Mpls side (for either 94 or 35) – or even 35 through St Paul? I have to think that they all involved the tear-down of perfectly fine houses in perfectly fine neighborhoods too.

    What is so special about the destruction of neighborhoods in the 94 corridor through St Paul? Is it because it was a historically black neighborhood that by unfortunate coincidence happened to be right on the most obvious route?

    But after re-reading, if I understand you correctly, the resentments you mention are not only from the destruction, but also the lack of reasonable living alternatives, yes? …and also the ensuing chaos engendered by those controlling the real estate market in St Paul. It seems to me that the biggest a-holes in this whole 94 fiasco were the realtors and local government.

  19. or even 35 through St Paul?

    OMG!

    I35 from downtown south to the river was a disaster. Notice that the speed limit is 45 mph? Ever wondered how that came to be?

    Look up the hill near the Grand Ave exit. The back streets of Crocus Hill are where the people live, who employ the people who live on Summit Ave.

    Compare and contrast, the political clout of Rondo neighborhood to that of Crocus Hill. I might be wrong but I do not think you can find another place in the country where an interstate slows down in homage to the wealthy.

    if I understand you correctly, the resentments you mention are not only from the destruction, but also the lack of reasonable living alternatives, yes? …and also the ensuing chaos engendered by those controlling the real estate market in St Paul. It seems to me that the biggest a-holes in this whole 94 fiasco were the realtors and local government.

    Precisely.

    The liberals will howl about the injustice of building a freeway through a black neighborhood – but as taxpayers and drivers, we all appreciate the quickest, cheapest route and should not concern ourselves with the hand-wringing of PBS and NPR crowd (whose executives and board live at the top of Crocus Hill). 🙂

    As conservatives we must honor the principles of “a willing seller and a willing buyer” and yes there are things like covenants and home association restrictions (ugh) BUT when realtors conspire to subvert transactions between willing parties on the basis of race, that is called Jim Crow.

    My intent was not to beat up on Joe, (sorry Joe, if it looks like I did) – but rather to point out that we should not forget where all this craziness comes from.

  20. I35 from downtown south to the river was a disaster.

    I always liked the name given to that stretch by Soucheray: the Practice Freeway.

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