Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Crime as Politics
The purpose would be to address the foundations of young black criminality — the break-up of the family, the pernicious role of federal subsidies, a value system that deprecates academic learning and idolizes sports and acts of supposed masculinity, the misogyny and racism of popular rap and other cultural expression, the neglect of the inner city by the rest of America, the legacy of racism on the individual psyche, and on and on. Yet to have such a discussion, not to mention their remedies, would put the Al Sharptons and others out of business. Moreover, the entire Obama electoral strategy was to galvanize the black community to register, turn out at the polls, and vote in monolithic fashion for Obama, as the emblematic black candidate. Because there was no margin of error in such calculus (given that racial chauvinism turns off one voter for every voter it attracts), if the cases of Skip Gates, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and the Eric Garner were not politicized, others would have to be invented to create the needed outrage and solidarity that translates into political clout.