Thursday, May 29, 2003
Minimum Effort - no comments on my posts, please: I'm very happy there are smart people like Ogbu, McWhorter, and even Wood, the reviewer, out there who are not only smart, but brave enough to confront the roots of the problems/reasons of racial disparity and affirmative action. The group think that Ogbu attributes to blacks, regardless of their actual place in society (i.e. rich/poor, urban/rural) is fascinating, and one I've heard of before, but never so well explained, and empirically substantiated. There can be little doubt that McWhorter has felt the sting of his race as he succeeded on the "white path", and then "abandoned" his culture by "selling out." Instead of being a free-thinker, he is deemed to be a hostage of the Right, and one who isn't black anymore. Certainly any collective that would chide a member for succeeding has a real disconnect in its thinking. The real question is whether "success" can be culturally differentiated, or whether it's universal. Certainly "success" means something different to every person, regardless of race, but certainly a general definition can be attained where attributes such as wealth, influence, intelligence and achievement are all necessary parts. Funny, in Africa, I'm fairly certain that most everyone wants to be rich, influential and intelligent (at least that's what my brother tells me from his time living there). I think most Africans are black too. So, I don't think falling back on race as an explanation would work. Therefore, it has to boil down to the sub-set of "African Americans" and why they seemed geared for relative failure in their mindset, on the whole. Wow. Again, I'm happy for those out there smarter and braver than myself.