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Black boys don’t need more discipline, they need mentors (2018) (educationpost.org)
247 points by rmason 19 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 342 comments

I can't read the article seems have suffered HN effect. Speaking as a black man in Africa which is somewhat different to the US I do agree with the title. Africa is different because the first educated generation is my parents generation who are 70+. Off course they are exceptions. My parents who were teachers coming from pure village setup didn't have any mentors. No one explained mortgage to them, they learnt that in school but no uncle, grandparent, cousin or anyone in their circle had ever had a mortgage. It was a new world to them. That generation did well. They lived the village principles, spent a lot of money educating whole villages and taking care of everyone because they the ones who worked. My parents couldn't teach me about money, they don't understand that debt is okay as long as you have a plan to pay it back. In their mind it is a bad idea. I have thus grown up risk averse and it took a long long time to understand how the business world works. Its fine though because you cannot learn these things in one generation. I am generalising but most of my peers don't understand VC funding and startups. My daughter will definitely have a much better understanding of the world as I can pass onto her. These things take generations. Extremely few businesses have been run by African's from one generation to the next. The world is changing, our grandparents were subsistence farmers, our parents were born in villages and still had cows and we were born in cities and towns. A fair number of my generation don't know what to do with a cow and my child's generation are born in town to parents who are professionals as in IT developers, lawyers, accountants and so on.

Your grandparents may not have been able to teach your parents about mortgages, taxes etc. but they were able to teach them about discipline, conscientiousness, hardwork, thrift etc. These count for something. This situation is not unique to Africa, there are (white) Americans (especially from poorer places like Appalachia or even just outside of the big coastal cities) who don't grow up familiar with credit cards, venture capital or the notion of going to college etc. and have to figure these out for themselves as adults (see for e.g 'Hillbilly Elegy or 'Educated' by Tara Westover). Of course they're not quite in the same bucket but my point is there are age old 'qualities' that can go a long way to help make up for lack of specific knowledge.

Absolutely agree that grandparents were able to successfully impart useful life lessons. This is why I allude to the fact that our parents generation educated whole villages because they were hardworking (implied), generous and selfless.

This is true, coming from a middle class family employed by government, i can attest most things like this are passed down from family. I have been lucky to have come to Us at the beginning of my career, though, so it has been mostly easy to figure out.

Debt is part of wealth building.

Thanks for sharing this. I'm inclined to agree with your observations/reflections. Moreover, I suspect this might be common to the post-colonial experience [fn0] , if we account for: (a) what life was like under colonial rule; (b) how stratified such societies were before/after independence; (c) the forms of government (statist or plutocratic/military regimes) that replaced the colonial structures. These points and your overall observations ring particularly true when I consider the case of people (usually older generations) I've met from India (and South Asia generally) with the risk averse, at times counterproductive frugal, mindset that the Nehruvian state encouraged. [fn1]

[fn0]: Here, I may be incorrectly inferring your origins to be in a former colony.

[fn1]: For Indian readers, I hope this comment doesn't initiate a partisan discussion. :-)

Yes from former colony and still reside in another former colony on the African continent. I am staying away from commenting on government influence just commenting as a person and my observations. Government is a whole other conversation.

FWIW, I strongly believe debt is never ok. It can be ok in the same way a hospital surgery is ok (you have no choice). Mortgages are not sustainable either. Just because the practice has been popularized in the west for centuries,it does not make it a sound practice.

It is possible to buy a house with money you saved. This also makes a lot of sense when the house will be passed on to the next generation (like it is done in africa).

Debt is spending your future cashflow for short term gains. Cash flow/liquidity is much more important than equity and net wealth(short term). I'm sure you know the old principle of "being poor is expensive" and "you need money to make money". Debt takes away your liquidity, the small things/"broken windows" you will always need to care for become neglected. Unplanned emergencies ruin your plans,etc...

At a national level, you should know how many african nations have borrowed endlessly and still gotten nowhere. Even after debts are forgiven and stable peacful times last decades.

Accepting debt is accepting a parasite. Havig a plan to pay it off is essentially saying you have a plan to kill the parasite before it kills you. Similar to how people think "it's ok, I can quit" before getting hooked on drugs.


>Debt is spending your future cashflow for short term gains.

No, debt is spending your future cashflow to increase your future cash flow.

>"you need money to make money"

Yes. This is where debt comes in.

>Debt takes away your liquidity

No it increases it. Debt lets you turn an illiquid asset like a building or accounts receivable in to immediate cash.

> No, debt is spending your future cashflow to increase your future cash flow.

No, with debt you gain capital now. Future cashflow is not guaranteed oe even expected in most cases (e.g.:how will a mortgage generate future cashflow? Rent your house,hope future rent value is higher?). You might get more cashflow in the future if your debt was for a good investment. But even then, until you pay off the debt, your future cashflow will have your debt payments subtracted from it, even if you have positive cashflow after that, your argument only makes sense if the that cash flow is more than your existing cashflow (possible but rare).

There is a big difference between calculated debt made for a business investment and debt (however calculated) made to aquire equity or to afford goods and services.

> Yes. This is where debt comes in.

No, this is where revenue stream comes in. For a salary man, this means getting promotions and saving up. For a business person, this means making profits and increasing profit margins. In both cases what you can "afford" is liquid cash , not loans.

> No it increases it. Debt lets you turn an illiquid asset like a building or accounts receivable in to immediate cash

It does turn it into cash, but you're getting into debt to spend that liquidity right away. Who gets into debt for long term liquidity? If your business is modeled to grow then you should see increasing profit margins over time, this profit is what should sustainably provide liquidity. Your future decisions are not made in fear of missing bank payments. You will always need more cash, so whatever revenue you will make in the future will always go to banks since you're always getting into debt (unless you have remarkable discipline). If you get into debt because an unexpected event requires you to have more immediate liquidity than what you have, I think that's fine. But my position is that you shouldn't plan on getting into debt from the begining.

Not interested in discussing consumer debt. Poster made it clear he was talking about learning how the business world works.

No leveraging with debt is not rare. Every small business owner I know uses debt. Some quick googling tells me the average for small businesses is $200k in the US.

You don't need remarkable discipline to manage it. It's pretty simple math. Fear doesn't need to come in to it. I'm not recommending everyone go out and redline their company with a ridiculous gearing ratio.

I get what you are saying. I agree with most of it. There is a time and place for debt. When you need to expand an existing growing business. A business one has started with their own money, validated it to work and would like an extra piece of equipment to scale up. Debt for the sake of debt is indeed a problem. As for government debt I think that is off topic for this particular thread. That's a whole other story.

VC investment is not debt, I have no problem with trading equity for investment.

It is slightly different for business than people since a business loan is more on a case by case basis than consumer loans. With consumer debt, entire markets are restructures with consumer's ability to get loans in order to afford goods and services.

> Mortgages are not sustainable either. Just because the practice has been popularized in the west for centuries,it does not make it a sound practice.

> It is possible to buy a house with money you saved.

...with decades of savings. Until you have those savings, how is paying rent to a landlord preferable to paying mortgage interest to a bank?

It wouldn't be that expensive if the practice of mortgage wasn't so rampant. It's worth what people are willing to pay for it. And like i said, if people lived with their family longer,even after marriage and houses were passed along generations more, there would even less demand driving down the cost. Not too many decades ago, all you had to do is save up a few years (US) to buy a house, am I wrong? It costs an arm and a leg now because the default way is debt and people will take on a million dollars of debt with $30k/yr income if someone gives them the loan. So the driver of housing prices is not people's income but bank's willingness to loan -- that's why it costs decades ,one spectacular example of why debt is not "ok".

Pierce the abstraction.

A builder spends 2000 hrs this year making your home. You pay him back 420 hrs annually over 5 years.

Some debts are just fine.

3 things that are noticeable about black people in America.

* They weren't really allowed viable property access until the last 50 years or so. 100's of years of catch up to make up for.

* Accumulating disadvantage of fatherless and motherless households.

* The blast radius of municipal violations disproportionately afflicts black people in the USA.

Not saying I like these things, but they're core problems.

I'm unsure what you mean by "viable property access," but blacks owned some 14% of farms in the US and around 15M acres of land (not all agricultural) around the turn of the 20th century. Sadly that has shrunk to around 8M acres today.

There is no doubt that the accumulating disadvantages of single parent households (or worse) have had a terrible and disproportionate impact on blacks in the US. Unfortunately that is a much more recent phenomenon give that prior to 1960 the percentage of black children born to unwed mothers was sub-20% but now exceeds 70%. Current rates for white children are around 30% and only Asian children still enjoy a sub-20% unwed mother birthrate.

I'm not clear what "municipal violations" are in this context but certainly would appreciate further clarification especially as they pertain to the black community.

> blacks owned some 14% of farms in the US and around 15M acres of land (not all agricultural) around the turn of the 20th century. Sadly that has shrunk to around 8M acres today.

This was not an accident.



If you’d like to learn more about the racism black farmers endure today, the 1619 podcast had a good story called the land of our fathers. Farmers live and die by credit and bankers and banks can be racist.


> They weren't really allowed viable property access until the last 50 years or so. 100's of years of catch up to make up for.

You don’t need property ownership to have a decent upbringing. It does mean there isn’t a lot of generational wealth to go around, but that’s no longer specific to being black because it applies to huge swaths of the population.

Yes, but if you're comparing black performance to the performance of other races - you can't leave wealth accumulation out of the picture.

Sure, there are plenty of poor people who are white, but when you are looking at aggregate statistics, the gap is extremely clear.

In my city, Boston, the average household wealth of a white family (excluding the value of the home) is $200,000. The average household wealth of a black family is $5. (and no, I didn't forget to put a thousand after the 5)

The study doesn't exclude the value of the home. In fact, most of the net worth disparity is attributable to home ownership.

Total Assets: White: $256,500 | U.S. Black: $700

Liquid Assets: White: $25,000 | U.S. Black: $670

Net Worth: White: $247,500 | U.S. Black: $8

Some definitions:

>Liquid assets, which can quickly be converted into cash, include money 18 in savings and checking accounts, stocks, money market, and government bonds.

>We totaled the value of all assets held by each racial group, including the value of all liquid assets, financial assets, retirement, home and vehicle equity, and the values of all other assets (these include life insurance policies and valuables such as jewelry)

>Net worth (or wealth), the sum of the value of total assets minus the value of debts, provides a snapshot of household financial well-being.

From this PDF: https://www.bostonfed.org/-/media/Documents/color-of-wealth/...

>In my city, Boston, the average household wealth of a white family (excluding the value of the home) is $200,000. The average household wealth of a black family is $5. (and no, I didn't forget to put a thousand after the 5)

Do you have a source for that?

Seems like you may be referring to this study[1] which only had a sample size of 78 white households and 71 black households. In that sample, the median net worth disparity was $247,500 to $8. I was not able to find how they picked their sample set.


You're correct - I misremembered the exact numbers. Median is an average. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston was my source for this.

Despite your usage of the qualifier "only" to describe the sample sizes, that is more than sufficient to draw statistically significant conclusions about the racial gap in wealth in Boston.

Finally, here's the description of how the samples were selected:

> Various sampling techniques were used to locate and identify an ethnically plural sample consisting of the specifically defined ethnic groups. The techniques included the following: directory-listed landline samples targeted to census tracts where groups were known to reside; cell phone random digit dialing samples drawn from rate centers that covered the targeted ethnic group ZIP codes; samples drawn from targeted ZIP codes on the basis of billing address; and the use of surname-based lists targeting specific national origin groups.

Obviously there is a considerable wealth gap among different demographics. But if you compare a poor black neighborhood with a poor white trailer park, there won't be much of a difference. If you compare that poor neighborhood or trailer park with a rich white gated community, you're not really saying much that isn't already known. How do we know the people who conducted the study didn't purposefully do the latter?

Because the Fed is a reputable organization and described their methodology above?

Not really going to keep replying to this thread, but I think it's much more likely that the Fed is accurately reporting the reality of an extreme racial wealth gap, as opposed to the Federal Reserve Bank doctoring results to fake those wealth gaps.

Economic studies are often rife with bias and political motives, as you know. It's foolish to trust such things on faith-based appeals to authority.

I wonder how much of that is the legacy of redlining given that home ownership is the major vehicle for long term middle class wealth accumulation. (House as financial instrument is itself a problem, but that's another matter.)

Yes, except this study explicitly excluded the value of the house as an asset. I think the legacy of jim crow, continued racism, and slavery have just as much to do with it.

Redlining is also not over - a recent study found that when undercover black and white people went to the same realtor, 50% of the time the black buyers were given worse options or refused service.

> Although they may have a different set of circumstances, the overall experience for Black boys in public schools is similar across the country, so it’s not just the color of my skin that allows me to relate, it’s also a shared perspective and a mutual respect.

This is both unsurprising and depressing. I am not sure if I have anything to say except that I feel incredibly sad that other human beings living today have to face such incredibly challenging circumstances.

About me: I'm asian, 32 years old.

Throughout my childhood, I always thought Black people seemed so cool and funny. They exude confidence and it intimidated my to make friends with them.

Now I teach people coding before and after my work as a full time software engineer. A few of my students are black. I had a hard time working with them.

Later, as I became friends with them, I realized they are very self conscious about their intelligence. (I know I'm generalizing here, but 100% of the black students I mentored felt this way). I realized my asian background and hyper-competitiveness and high expectations made the situation worse. This realization completely changed me as a person.

This eventually let to me starting a coding bootcamp at our public library and I try to create an environment to make students feel safe and not judged. I don't have this down to a process yet, if anyone knows please let me know. How does one create a safe environment so students showing up will feel emotionally safe enough to start asking questions without fear of being judged?

Say we measure the time from when a student walks in to the time when he/she starts asking questions whenever they have a question. Are there any activities to do that can reduce the comfort time to the minimum?

I like that your focus is on people being comfortable enough to ask their own questions. That's a clear, concrete goal that gets right to the heart of the issue you describe, in the library setting.

One simple strategy is to close any bit of teaching you do with the phrase, "What questions do you have?" This is a subtle but important change from "Does anyone have any questions?" The first phrasing assumes people will have questions, and implies that you are looking for and welcoming questions.

When people do ask questions, you can ask how many other people had the same question. If you have more than just a handful of students, it's quite likely that if one person asks a question then others will have the same question. This normalizes the mindset of having questions, and not understanding everything as soon as it's presented.

It sounds like you are probably modeling a good atmosphere for asking questions. I think it's important to understand that you can't make everyone immediately comfortable asking questions. If people have been ignored or made to feel stupid when they've asked questions, it will take a while for them to trust you and the overall environment enough to start asking their own questions.

I taught high school math and science for 25 years, and always heavily emphasized that all questions are welcome. It took new students a while to understand that this was sincere; many of them had been told long ago to stop asking so many questions, or been publicly embarrassed for asking questions. Same goes for making mistakes; it's beyond infuriating that some teachers still intentionally embarrass students for not knowing things, or not getting things right on the teacher's schedule. Those practices are intellectually traumatizing to many people.

> "What questions do you have?"

Wow. Asking that instead of “do you have any questions” is so powerful.

You sound like a teacher who genuinely cares, thank you.

"The first phrasing assumes people will have questions, and implies that you are looking for and welcoming questions."

I wish I could hug you.

There must be a zillion useful "language hacks", if we only knew.

I learned "All negatives can be stated a positive" in the early 90s. Been trying to use it ever since.

For example, instead of "Don't run!", maybe say "Please walk." Completely changed my relationship to my kid.

One helpful bit in that particular "life skills" seminar was the practice and role playing.

I would never know to use your "Does anyone have any questions?" technique unless someone showed me.

And I still struggle to imagine how to apply these kind of life lessons in my every day.

It'd be fun, helpful to having a recording of all my interactions, and have professionals review the tape with me. I took some public speaking training where we actually did this. Illuminating.

FWIW, one of the best programmers I know strongly advocates acting lessons.

>Completely changed my relationship to my kid.

Had the same experience when I figured out to make offerings as A/B choices (and non-choices).

Instead of "Do you want broccoli?" It's: "Would you rather broccoli or cauliflower?"

Or the non-choice: "Do you want to eat your broccoli at the kitchen table or on the porch?"

How did you start the coding bootcamp at public library? Can you give more details, structure etc

Step 1: Pick a few libraries, find the want you want to plant roots in. Make sure they let you talk and they have wifi. Talk to the librarian about your plans.

Step 2: Pick a curriculum to follow. Many other bootcamps have their curriculum online. I have my own that I built over the past 10 years of teaching and making sure every single student I taught got a job. You can use it too if you want: c0d3.com/book

Step 3: Pick a time. I picked 8am - 12pm to make it hard on students. Students who are willing to get up and show up at 8am are the students who is really committed. Around 10am I go off to my full time job, my students take over.

Step 4: (Best Practice) DO NOT put your students into cohorts. I made that mistake before and I had to spend months fixing it. Students have a tendency to compare themselves with others so they will start memorizing and pretend to understand to keep up. From day one, tell them that everybody will learn at a different pace and take as much time as they need to understand the material. Take time to be creative with what they learned and explore. You award their creativity (when they twist your teaching to do something strange) with your complete attention and they will keep pushing the limits of what they learn.

After students learn, you get free engineers to make your ideas come true! For my students, I simply have them build apps (open-sourced) that I wished existed and have them work together to build them.

I help them write their resume as they build features so the features count as work experience. My students list me as professional reference.

This is what I do, before work and after work.

If you need an example, here's our meetup group: https://www.meetup.com/San-Jose-C0D3/

Here's the core product our students built: https://c0d3.com/

Here's an example of a recent product launch: https://www.notion.so/garagescript/Learnings-from-our-open-s...

The greatest gift I get back from doing this, is while I'm sleeping or busy at my full time job, I have 3-5 student engineers thinking about my side projects and building them.

How young are your students? Or rather, how young are your youngest students?

20. Oldest just turned 75 (sadly, he is homeless)

I think you are trying to reply to the person I was replying to.

Yeah he was. Sorry I wasn’t paying attention when I responded, should have put into a separate thread

I don't have an answer, and I'm curious to hear ideas. I wonder if a "stupidest question" contest could be a good ice breaker? First question of the day earns some privilege for the rest of the class?

What japhyr said above is a small change but very profound. Asking “what question do you have” instead of “do you have any questions” is a big deal.

“Stupidest” or “first question” gamification haven’t given me much success, I suspect is because it comes off a little insincere.

I think the previous commenter is on to something re icebreakers. Also, please check out Carol Dweck’s work on Growth Mindset. Her book shares examples of how researchers and teachers successfully primed underprivileged students to stop thinking of intelligence as a fixed trait. Some interesting mindset “hacks” that eventually helped them outperform students w/better resources.

With a pre-registered, much larger sample size, Growth mindset replicated but the effect size was tiny:


On a 4-point grade metric (“A” = 4.0, “B” = 3.0, etc.), the average treatment effect was 0.03 grade points

How do I read this? It looks like it has been pulled down for further review/work.

Thank you! I added it to my reading list.

I would recommend cultivating ignorance as something of an asset. the fun problems don't have clean answers, and it's common that we have to explore areas about which we are not knowledgeable. that process is incredible once you embrace your ignorance as an indication that you can learn something new.

> Throughout my childhood, I always thought Black people seemed so cool and funny. They exude confidence and it intimidated my to make friends with them.

> Now I teach people coding before and after my work as a full time software engineer. A few of my students are black. I had a hard time working with them.

Speaking as black person this is an astute observation which I have observed. In Africa sometimes this is due to English not being someone's first language. In a meeting with people from different races I have noticed my black colleagues are way less vocal than when we are talking in Zulu on our own. They have a different demeanor and come out as more forceful and confident in Zulu. In English meeting they are less forceful.

> Are there any activities to do that can reduce the comfort time to the minimum?

I'm not an educator, but I think the goal is to normalize asking questions. This can be achieved by initially forcing everyone to ask a question (no matter how silly/not related to the topic of the day). You could give them time to write down the questions first, then everyone gets their turn to read it. Later, you can relax it so that questions become voluntary.

I like this, a little hard to enforce, but I don’t see any issues. Only way to find out is to try.

I wonder why a lot of asians have this racial inferiority complex. I (being asian myself) grew up in an affluent asian dominated neighborhood of Cupertino. I had black, white and asian friends growing up and I never thought too much of racial issues. Maybe because in my schools asian americans were largely the majority. Again, I had the same experience going to school at UCLA which was largely populated mostly by asians.

However coming back to the bay area a decade later and making a lot of friends with local asians who grew up in San Francisco I am seeing huge racial inferiority complexes among asian males and females.

It's disgustingly huge. Among asian males racism manifests itself as hatred against white people for their white privilege and they talk openly about being scared of black people because they're all criminals. It's nuts. Note that this attitude mostly manifests itself among the native asian SF crowd who grew up here, not the tech migrants from outside of the city.

The other thing is racism manifests itself differently among asian females in the most pathetic display of inferiority I have ever seen in my life. The majority of single asian females in SF prefer dating white people over their own race. It's not even a superficial taste fetish either, literally a huge amount of asian females view their own race as too inferior and too weak to date. I don't know whether to blame the asian males or asian females for this level of patheticism.

I read posts from asians above and I'm astonished... I'm literally thinking what planet is this guy from? Then I realize that I'm from cupertino, I'm the guy who grew up on a different planet.

You got downvoted, but I upvoted you. Thanks for bringing this up. My mom abused me when I was growing up and I was traumatized. So I grew up thinking I was inferior and then superior because I became successful. Both are bad traits that I had to delete.

Many asian kids are abused, it is disgusting what happens behind closed doors. If you had a better childhood or if you overcame your hardships, it would be really nice of you to show them some love and help them recover!

I think this is important, as a black man. Reclamation is a mechanism for ego defense for marginalized people, sort of the flip side of stereotype threat: recognizing a negative aspect of your racialization, and then flipping it into a positive even as you exemplify it. Nigger becomes nigga; a word used to denigrate becomes something no one else can use in polite company. Nerdiness becomes a point of pride; "I studied and beat you out for the job."

At the heart of it is the hierarchical and competitive nature of race in America, which does not have to be a zero-sum game but is cast as one anyway. As in learning to fight and be aggressive when threatened with violence, reclamation is reasonable, given the circumstances, but altogether unfortunate. We would be better off without the ego-protective behavior AND the racist circumstances that necessitate it.

I found this to be a very American phenomenon, as I see it less from Asians that grew up in most European or South American countries.

I also definitely see a difference in self esteem between Asian Americans that grew up in California compared to the rest of the US.

Strangely, or maybe it makes sense, the Asian Americans that I saw with the highest self esteem were Mormons!

This is one of the reasons my wife and I moved back to Asia after we had kids. Despite other issues here, we felt it would be better for them.

Yeah, I noticed it too. It does pervade the entire US but I've also noticed it's mostly concentrated in California.

Asians dating white people may come less from seeing other Asians as inferior, but from a desire to escape their own cultural trappings. Depending on how conservative (traditional) the family is, many Asian women I know prefer dating non-Asian men because it doesn't come with the same expectations from their family. They can escape the make babies, make money, deal with a mother-in-law pressures, which may be much higher in an Asian household. The micromanaging of any potential children by both sets of parents would be significantly less as well.

In general there may be less pressure to conform and perform, from their partner, and more importantly from the family, when dating a white person.

That comes with some trade-offs.

1. Having a spouse who does not have the cultural knowledge, similar interests, empathy or language skills to communicate with your family is an issue. Her choice to date a white man is in a sense a rejection of her own family.

2. She herself may not have the same experiences, mindsets and interests to be able to really connect with her spouse if the relationship is driven by her attempt to run away from the expectations of her family.

3. A white man and his family/friends have a higher chance of being racist and insensitive to race issues. Weirdly enough, it does not seem like racist beliefs and white supremacy preclude white men from dating Asian women or Asian women from reciprocating interest: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/06/opinion/sunday/alt-right-...

This is not true. First of all if this were true you'd see tons of asian men dating white women to escape the cultural pressure. You don't see this at all, the phenomenon is largely among women.

Second of all, the pressures you describe are a bit exaggerated. The whole mother-in-law, make money and make baby deal is not very common at all. It exists and is more common among asians than westerners but it is still very very rare.

The stereotype on asians that does have credibility in modern times is the academic pressure. The pressures on a kid academically are enormous but after college the parents are just as human as the kid and it largely dies down later in life.

Third. No asian woman will ever admit this stuff to your face. Especially, if you're white. It's such a pathetic trait that they'd have trouble admitting it to themselves. Likely they'd make up some garbage excuse like "culture."

> First of all if this were true you'd see tons of asian men dating white women to escape the cultural pressure.

Before jumping to conclusions, there’s another question to ask: do Asian men not want white women, do white women not want Asian men, or is there another reason entirely?

Australia here. About 20 years ago I asked my Japanese[0] girlfriend why I saw a lot of (i.e. white) Australian guys with Japanese girlfriends, but hardly any Japanese guys with Australian girlfriends. She said with a huge laugh that Japanese guys are really afraid of Australian girls! hehe.

I thought I understood that's because Aussie girls generally would seem loud, opinionated, immodest, over-assertive, disrespectful, compared with the Japanese feminine ideal, or even the masculine ideal. And Japanese males are often..more sensitive, artistic, considerate, reflective etc - not traditional Australian male virtues!

[0] i.e. Born in Japan, here since fairly young.

It's a bit of both. But mostly white women do not want Asian men.

Look you grew up in america, I grew up in america. We're not that different in what we want, and it's the same with asian women and white women.

If the difference is mostly white women not wanting Asian men, then your whole

> First of all if this were true you'd see tons of asian men dating white women to escape the cultural pressure. You don't see this at all, the phenomenon is largely among women.

argument is invalid. What's more there's no reason for you to be distinguishing between wants of asian men and women.

Your conclusion imo should just be that women of all races find asian men too weak to date. Men either don't find asian women weak, don't care, or care but in a positive way.

>Your conclusion imo should just be that women of all races find asian men too weak to date.

Who says this wasn't my conclusion? All women want to date up in terms of class. They also don't want to date black people. Black men and Asian men currently occupy the bottom of the dating ladder.

Guess who sits on top? White people. The problem is none of this is real. White people aren't the best, it's only this pathetic view point of racial inferiority that causes women to see the world like this.

Also I'm only emphasizing on asians because it's disproportionally pathetic. The inferiority complex is off the charts, I can't think of any other race that literally avoids dating their own race to the scale of asian women.

>If the difference is mostly white women not wanting Asian men, then your whole argument is invalid. What's more there's no reason for you to be distinguishing between wants of asian men and women.

Wrong. Not invalid at all. And I never ever made your claim above.

My claim in this context is that asian women dating white men is not the result of asian women trying to run away from strict asian culture. The whole point was to counter an argument made by another poster.

Asian Men wanting to date white women does not mean they don't want to date asian women. They do want to date white women but the ratio isn't as disproportionate as asian women women worshiping white males.

Also why can't I distinguish something? It's not me distinguishing anything. It's reality that is making a distinction.

It's an urban myth problem i.e "All Asian men have small dicks". For 50% this will be the truth and hence escalates to a self esteem issue. Watching porn reinforces this inferiority complex. White women don't want to date a small dick guy and avoid guys that are known to have a micropenis. African-Americans and white guys don't have this problem.

Women have far more pressures than men, especially Asian cultures in comparison to modern western cultures.

This has largely been eliminated in modern Asian cultures. Even among women.

Again I would say there's more of this type of stuff still happening among asians but it's a very small minority.

I've never understood this argument regarding dating outside of one's ethnic group. The effects of actual racism is one ethnic group benefits at the expense of one or more other groups. What you're describing is something else entirely.

Who's getting harmed when Asian women have a preference for white men when dating? Who cares? To each their own, no? Are you implying there's some maximum percentage of women that can prefer another ethnic group when dating, and anything above that is problematic?

Edit: I should've specified that I'm talking explicitly about their commentary on asian women's dating patterns, not anything else in their comment.

I'm not Asian or Asian-American (I'm an African-American male), but there have been studies that shown that in the United States men and women of certain ethnic groups have different levels of success when it comes to dating. Many studies have shown that black women have it the hardest among women of various ethnicities in American online dating sites, and these studies have also shown that men of Asian descent have it the hardest among men. When black women are unfairly stereotyped as having unfeminine characteristics, and when Asian men are unfairly stereotyped as being nerdy, then it hurts them when competing in a dating marketplace where many people across racial and ethnic groups unfortunately hold stereotypical views, sometimes even about their own ethnicities. I deal with this myself as an African-American male who doesn't conform to the stereotypes; unfortunately I find myself "between a rock and a hard place," where I feel ignored by women within my ethnic group because I'm a "cornball brother," yet I also feel ignored by women outside my ethnic group because I'm black. Now, not all women are guided by stereotypes (and not all men are, either), but we have to work harder to find partners who are not guided by stereotypes and are genuinely interested in wanting to know each other more as individuals and not as representatives of our gender and our ethnicity.

It depends on the reason for the preference. If it's status or racial inferiority based (with the potential, unpleasant addition of fetishism and white superiority complex from her partner's side), Asian women and their partners suffer. All that weirdness would make a healthy relationship difficult.

Asian women suffer from 3 main problems.

1. If other Asian women are desperate to white men because of racial inferiority, many white men will develop the idea that Asian women are desperate, think that they are superior for being white and treat Asian women poorly. Asian women would also have lower boundaries and would tolerate more misbehavior from white men that other women would not due to the inferiority.

2. People in general seek commonality in relationships. Some Asian women who are severely affected by an inferiority complex may sub-optimally choose unwoke partners that they have little in common with. The lower commonality and inferiority also bias Asian women's partners and the partners' friends and family toward being less accepting of diversity than the average interacial relationship. e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAJAVHzBsAg

3. If she does have an racial inferiority complex, then chasing white men would confirm and strengthen her racial inferiority complex and cause additional suffering.

Having established that some forms of that type of relationship can be harmful, the question to answer then is: how prevalent are racial inferiority and status/acceptance seeking from the Asian women and fetishism and white superiority complex from the white men in these relationships?

>they talk openly about being scared of black people because they're all criminals.

You don't think there isn't anything racist about that? You have a strange definition of racism.

I was specifically replying to their commentary on Asian women's dating preferences. I should've been more clear.

It is problematic to asians as a whole. It's pretty obvious when asians discriminate their own race and view white people as superior. There's really no argument for you here.

Definitely not problematic to white males who are dating asian females though.

Honestly, among white guys it manifests itself as Asian women being "easier" and there's nothing wrong or racist for taking advantage of it, but it definitely won't appear to be a problem from your perspective even though something deeply wrong is happening.

huh? assuming that this preference is true, clearly the argument would be that Asians are harmed. most couples are intra-racial.


Really? I think even many white people, and folks of other races besides, would feel quite awkward and embarassed at being considered "the only people worth dating", over and above the very ethnic background that these women know best! It's something that should strike everyone as strange and awkward, not just Asian males.

Didn't even know that channel existed. Man, shakes head.

We don't need any complicated social or cultural explanations for the dating issue.

Women generally prefer taller men. Asian men tend to be short.

The explanation works the other way too, with men typically preferring shorter women. There are other attributes as well, such as muscle mass and the amount of body hair.

Counter example: Latino men tend to be short and date out at a similar rate to Latina women.

The problem here is that you're wrong. Tons of of tall asian males have this issue.

Also the explanation does not work the other way. Men do not typically prefer shorter women. It is the women making a selection preference here.

m0zg 19 days ago [flagged]

>> females view their own race as too inferior and too weak to date

Facepalm. Even a moderately good looking Asian female (and there are lots of them) would not have any problems finding good dates IMO, especially among well-to-do tech types.

Though this is typical: people are afraid of things and they absolve themselves of the potential failure by not even trying, because it's very easy to convince yourself that you're "disadvantaged", even if in reality the opposite is true.

You misread the OP: they're saying that lots of Asian women (in the US) view Asian men as undesirable.

Though I imagine the prevalence is much higher in black youth, this is a general issue that goes beyond race.

A stable upbringing with a family that you can use as role models. If you don't have that, you're in for an uphill struggle.

If everyone around you is unemployed, or works in part time unskilled labour - if you're moving from home to home all of the time - if you have no bedroom - if your family argues, or you don't have proper food so your blood sugar is all over the place - these are tremendous things to overcome in isolation never mind all at the same time.

People talk about 'privilege' in upbringing because it's actually kind of rare to have a functional family.

This is what the class system really is. Some people can jump the gap after their formative years, but most people are going to be stuck in those patterns if they've spent 20 years in the trenches.

I grew up in a poor family; my father left when I was young. The one thing we had (aside from the absolute warrior-woman of my mother), provided by the government back in the day, was a council house. A low rent secure tenancy. So whilst everything else was a struggle, my mother was able to provide a relatively stable housing situation for us.

Without that I'm sure I would be a complete fuck-up now.

>Though I imagine the prevalence is much higher in black youth, this is a general issue that goes beyond race.

It certainly does. I'm having trouble digging up primary sources I've read on this before (there's a ton of secondary by searching "Consequences of fatherless childhoods", "consequences of single-parent households" and similar on DuckDuckGo), but studies are showing that children being brought up in single-parent or "fragile" households fare worse than their counterparts brought up in two-parent, comparatively stable households.

The issue is likely significantly compounding generation after generation. It's not really a surprise that children need a stable household with good role models at the helm though, and the absence of which being damaging.

It’s better to have no role models than negative role models that stick around and make things worse, in a lot of cases.

FWIW, historically most researchers have not adequately dealt with genetic confounding. That is, people who grow up in single parent households experience the environment that their parents create for them (which is what everyone focuses on), but they also share their parents genes. And, if there is a significant genetic component that leads parents to create dysfunctional environments for their children, their children are likely to possess the same genes.

> People talk about 'privilege' in upbringing because it's actually kind of rare to have a functional family.

I’m not sure how rare it is overall, but it definitely varies by region. Where I grew up (and where I live now, I moved back a couple of years ago) the traditional/stereotypically American “atomic family” seems to be the norm. Sure, I knew lots of peers as a child whose parents had divorced, but by and large they still had a functional family. The rate of so-called “broken homes” seems to have increased dramatically in the past few decades, but around me most people have an extended family to rely on. It doesn’t seem uncommon for a child to be raised by their mother (or grandmother), but even if the father is a failed person, drug addict, or criminal the kids generally have several male role models to turn to who aren’t self-destructive: uncles, grandfathers, cousins, etc.

> This is what the class system really is. Some people can jump the gap after their formative years, but most people are going to be stuck in those patterns if they've spent 20 years in the trenches.

I think you’ve absolutely nailed something here. I don’t necessarily see myself as a “mentor” - at least not formally - but I do what I can for people around me. The fact that I’m able to sit down and speak openly about my experiences and provide my perspective on their situations without coming from a place of “I’m right, you’re wrong, and this is what you should be doing” has lead to my hearing the stories of many seemingly random people who don’t have anyone else to turn to. Sometimes that has lead to their making significant improvements in their own life; sometimes it hasn’t. In every case though, I try to make sure they know that they have someone to talk to that is going to take them seriously and isn’t trying to get something from them.

I’m looking for ways to make a bigger impact in my community like this, but haven’t really found my place yet.

> I grew up in a poor family; my father left when I was young. The one thing we had (aside from the absolute warrior-woman of my mother), provided by the government back in the day, was a council house. A low rent secure tenancy. So whilst everything else was a struggle, my mother was able to provide a relatively stable housing situation for us.

My situation seems similar at least at first glance. My mother was 17, and my biological father was basically a burnout and petty criminal. I never knew him, but perhaps paradoxically respect him for that - he corresponded enough with my mother to know that I was safe and was being raised in a stable environment, so he explicitly made the decision to stay out of my life. Because of that my impression of him is of someone who was intelligent and empathetic, but flawed and misguided.

Where it sounds the state was a force of stability in your life, extended family took that role in mine. I lived with my grandparents until I was six years old because my mother was single and couldn’t afford to provide a healthy environment for me at the time. She was always there for me, and present as often as she could be, but she prioritized getting herself into an economic and social position to care for me over herself and what she wanted. I’m sure it was very difficult and painful for her to only see me on the weekends when I was young, but in that time she met my dad (my “real” dad, not my biological father), built a career, and got to a place where she could care for me. Eventually, she was able to care for my grandparents as well. I look at her life story so far as an inspiration; there are many parts that I wouldn’t want to experience and things she’s striven for that I don’t want for myself, but her sheer force of will and persistence is something I try to live up to.

This. There are many children being brought up in single parent or grandparent headed households across Ohio due to the opioid epidemic. See




The kids who were raised under the shadow of the opioid epidemic are now reaching their child-bearing years. Hopefully the cycle of drug dependance can be broken once firmer opioid prescribing regulations take effect.

EDIT: Not trying to generalize your situation but to illuminate the problematic environments some children are born into.

> if your family argues

You do know that arguing is normal and that suppressing it or hiding it from children fucks them up even more right? Part of being a functioning member of society requires being able to argue.

Different people have different definitions of arguing, especially when it comes to family. There is healthy debate and there is dishes flying through the air, name calling, screaming, and slammed doors. Leaning towards the former can be healthy. The latter? I don't think so.

You wouldn't be a fuck-up. No one should be regarded as a fuck up. You'd be the result of a fucked up society. In a healthy society, people should end up nominally productive, cooperative and happy or content. We've taken the dog eat dog mentality and sell-something modus operandi too far, powered by unnecessary and unhealthy levels of greed, even for the winners.

Most of our time over the last million years of evolution was spent completely in contrast to this. It's nurture influencing nature and I think we're about to turn the page and start using all of our information and abilities to bring the best out of people instead of the worst.

Those ancient people without stable homes also didn't get education or jobs beyond basic skills and tribal fighting. A hostile childhood environment is probably useful for making hostile tough men who can survive in a hostile world. But not for a happy life in civilization.

Do you need to be from an unstable to be tough? I don't think so. I was neglected and ignored, and I do think it helped make me persistent, resilient and self-sufficient but that's a lot of genetic nature coming through, simply influenced by environment.

Ancient people didn't have massive food supply industries making sure things were relatively plentiful. If you didn't have a stable home or tribe in east Africa in 100,000BC, you were probably dead. I don't think our industrial society and pre-industrial times can be compared 1:1. You can be sent a welfare card with some fiat currency put on it, and get everything you need to survive. That's a new concept, charity usually came from the church, and before the church, the tribe. But the tribe (100,000BC) might have chosen to simply let you die instead, depending on their culture.

Every child deserves a good mentor, but I believe that black kids (not just boys but girls too) urgently need an idol to emulate. Most kids I interact with (a very small subset) seem to idolize pop stars, who are talented but mostly are bad role models. Black community must produce likes of MLK, who prove the point through their life and not just by words. Obama, despite divided opinion among Americans, I feel is a good contemporary role model for black kids.

This guy sounds great, and I hope that he is allowed to continue doing his great work. The fact that he has the position that he has, speaks volumes for the school district. I don't think my (affluent, painfully white suburban) school district has the same.

I feel that mentorship isn't just restricted to someone officially appointed to the position. It's pretty much anyone that has a weighted relationship to anyone (not just kids). That includes spouses, parents, relatives, older siblings, peers, teachers, cops, insurance adjustors, union shop stewards, DMV clerks, and, of course, bosses.

For example, corporate culture comes from the top. It almost doesn't matter what the corporate values statement says. I believe that the behavior of the C-suite is the single biggest driver of corporate culture.

I've learned that I need to model the values I'd like others to exhibit. It's not a guarantee that they will, but it improves the odds.

I was also thinking "I hope this guy continues his good work, and lots of others join him."

I'll just leave this here: https://socialequity.duke.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/wha...

The wealth disparity between African Americans and the rest of America is growing. Mentorship is fine, but what most African Americans need is access to resources and stable community (which was destroyed through many years of Social Engineering).

In particular, Nixon started the war on drugs to take down black people.

Movement is stirring: wikipedia.org/wiki/Reparations_for_slavery

Boys generally need more mentors. I honestly believe that boys educational results would be much improved if taught under a mentor-ship hierarchy, rather than flat classroom organizations.

Lest anyone be confused by what this is arguing, it seems to say that the kind of discipline offered by mentors is not the same as just "punishing" bad behavior - perhaps colloquially known as "discipline". Having greater discipline to express your feelings, especially negative ones, to a positive direction is good advice. And that is what the benefit of having good male role models for young men is all about.

Or, you know, fathers.

Half of success in fatherhood comes from simply showing up. Absentee fathers contribute to the generational erosion of the family fabric that is almost impossible to undo.

There's a legitimate point here but if you introduce it with snarky one-liners like "Or, you know, fathers", you damage both the conversation and the community. Please don't do that. Instead, please follow the site guidelines, which include:

"Don't be snarky."

"Comments should get more thoughtful and substantive, not less, as a topic gets more divisive."


gjs278 19 days ago [flagged]

there’s legitimate ways to moderate and copy pasting your condescending bullshit isn’t one of them. please don’t do that.

If you'd like to make some suggestions about how to improve, I'd be interested to hear them.

I want to give this comment some kind of award! Staggeringly impressive. Did you have to have a cool-off break before writing that, or are you such a zen/ninja master by now that you could write that immediately?! Thanks again for the very inspiring modding.

Agreed, but as a black man who grew up fatherless be mindful why black fathers are absent. Many times it's not by choice. There were and still are intentional systems in place to make it difficult for fathers to get jobs, stay within the prison system, and have access to quality education. I urge people commenting to ask their black friends for their insights. I came from an inner city and graduated from CMU. The two worlds are stark and mind blowing. But in the end, more mentors at an early age can help break the cycle. That's how you can play your part.

Specifically, I understand a 1968 law put into effect the Man in the House rule. Black families had to decide if welfare would pay better than the father's job. Many left the house so the mother and child(ren) could receive the welfare payment. The Moe Factz podcast has been helpful to me in understanding these structural problems in society.



According to your first link, the rule had been in place in some jurisdictions prior to 1968, but was struck down by the US Supreme Court at that time.

Such systems exist today, at least in Alaska. The GRA is only available to single parents. https://singlemothersgrants.org/single-mothers-assistance-in...

To clarify: the Supreme Court did not say that assistance could not be restricted to single parents. The "Man in the House" rule said that a woman was not single if she even had a boyfriend who was not her children's father, if her boyfriend ever visited her house. That's the part that was struck down.

As for the restriction to single parents, I can certainly see the potential for unintended consequences. Paying people not to get married means fewer people will get married — just as paying people not to work, as the "welfare cliff" effectively does, means fewer people will work. I broadly support the idea of helping people who need help, but it needs to be done in such a way that it doesn't tend to trap them in their situations.

I'm at the end of my knowledge on the issue. Someone else will need to weigh in.

What was the justification for this rule? It almost seems intentionally malicious.

The authors of this regulation probably assumed that married couples would not be induced to split just to collect money, and that single moms would stay chaste in order to collect, and thus not have more out-of-wedlock children. So they set up a law that incentivized behavior they were trying to avoid. It's like the Marriage Penalty ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_penalty ) except worse.

So it probably wasn't a result of maliciousness but rather a lack of imagination and empathy (aka stupidity).

It sounds progressive at the time.

Men worked, if one wasn't part of the home then women needed more support.

poor women worked for decades prior to 1968

I'm guessing the justification was intentional maliciousness.

I struggle to buy this line of thinking that, somehow, the epidemic of single-parent (and no parent) households among blacks (or any ethnic or economic group) is the consequence of discriminatory systems or conspiracy or racism. Such systems of discrimination surely aren't more powerful now than when the government was enforcing Jim Crow, when schools were segregated by force, when the Ku Klux Klan was not only active but had active members sitting in Congress, and when academics openly claimed that non-whites were inferior to whites and proposed eugenic 'solutions'. Those horrible blights on American (and Western) society have mostly been buried yet the numbers of black children growing up without a father has exploded. Whatever contribution systemic racism, institutional racism, conscious bias, unconscious bias, etc. (which I concede are real things) have on health of the family unit within black American culture, something else is clearly doing the lion's share of destruction.

Additionally, I'm suspicious when I hear the 'system' being blamed because it's a convenient scapegoat. Stuff like our code didn't work not because our programmers wrote bad software, but because our process is broken. Those FISA warrants that were granted because FBI agents and lawyers lied need to be fixed with 'better safeguards'. Or those banks get taxpayer bailouts and nobody goes to jail because there wasn't sufficient regulation to prevent systematic fraud and excessive risk-taking. Nobody has to be embarrassed for their own behavior or held responsible for their own actions when the nameless, faceless system gets the arrows.

If you want to talk about real privilege, it's the privilege of growing up in a healthy family unit. The greatest advantage I've ever received was a loving father and mother who were there to provide support, instruction, and discipline. All children - everywhere - deserve and desperately need good, loving, present parents. It breaks my heart that's become the exception and not the rule.

There was that crack epidemic started by the CIA.

As the wikipedia article says, "The subject remains controversial."


> From August 18–20, 1996, the San Jose Mercury News published the Dark Alliance series by Gary Webb,[10][11] which claimed:

> > For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. [This drug ring] opened the first pipeline between Colombia's cocaine cartels and the black neighborhoods of Los Angeles [and, as a result,] the cocaine that flooded in helped spark a crack explosion in urban America.

> Additionally, I'm suspicious when I hear the 'system' being blamed because it's a convenient scapegoat.

People should be equally suspicious when someone argues the system is in inherently fair, because it is often used to insulate ourselves from injustice.

It suggests we don't have to worry about inequality or the messy interventions that would be required to eliminate it.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-world_hypothesis

>Such systems of discrimination surely aren't more powerful now

How do you figure? Is it easier or harder to fight discrimination in, say, employment when, "We don't hire negroes," is stated upfront, compared to when black applicants are denied for "cultural fit" reasons?

>something else is clearly doing the lion's share of destruction.

Again, how do you figure?

>How do you figure? Is it easier or harder to fight discrimination in, say, employment when, "We don't hire negroes," is stated upfront, compared to when black applicants are denied for "cultural fit" reasons?

Everywhere I've worked professionally I've had black coworkers. Everywhere I've hired considered and hired black applicants. I've had black supervisors. I've had black colleagues. I've had black reports. And this is true of virtually every professional environment I've interacted with, at least here in the South.

This most certainly wouldn't have been the case in 1950. And that confirms that such discriminatory systems aren't more powerful now than they were in generations past.

Really, I think claims to the contrary are absurd on their face.

I don't think you fully answered either of my questions. I appreciate that your limited personal experience is closer to what we would like to see, at least in your telling of it.

I still await your further thoughts.

It appears I can't answer your questions to your satisfaction. I live in the deep South. I provided my (not limited) experience and exposure to professional environments as evidence. And that experience, and the application of Occam's razor, tells me your claims that bias and racism is more effective now that it is comparatively invisible is absurd.

You could answer this question:

>Is it easier or harder to fight discrimination in, say, employment when, "We don't hire negroes," is stated upfront, compared to when black applicants are denied for "cultural fit" reasons?

And expound upon this assertion:

>something else is clearly doing the lion's share of destruction.

>You could answer this question:

>>Is it easier or harder to fight discrimination in, say, employment when, "We don't hire negroes," is stated upfront, compared to when black applicants are denied for "cultural fit" reasons? You are begging the question. Of course it's easier to fight enemies who are out in the open, distinct, and widespread. And it's harder to fight enemies that are well-camouflaged. But it's also harder to fight enemies that are partially imagined, distorted, and sometimes nonexistent.

I take issue with your insinuation, as I tried to illustrate in my anecdote, that discrimination where black applicants are denied for "cultural fit" reasons, is widespread.

>And expound upon this assertion:

>>something else is clearly doing the lion's share of destruction.

It's pretty simple, really. If one concludes that discrimination isn't as prevalent as it was decades ago and has diminished as time has passed while also noticing that its attributed consequences are more prevalent, then it's reasonable to assume something else is to blame.

>Of course it's easier to fight enemies who are out in the open, distinct, and widespread. And it's harder to fight enemies that are well-camouflaged.

Thank you for answering the question.

>I take issue with your insinuation, as I tried to illustrate in my anecdote, that discrimination where black applicants are denied for "cultural fit" reasons, is widespread.

On what basis? I recognize your anecdote, and its anecdotal nature. I'd like you to look beyond your personal experience and justify your opinion with something verifiable.

>If one concludes that discrimination isn't as prevalent as it was decades ago and has diminished as time has passed while also noticing that its attributed consequences are more prevalent, then it's reasonable to assume something else is to blame

As this conclusion seems premature, it would be helpful to suggest what else there is to blame.

The infamous Lee Atwater (advisor to Reagan, Bush 1 and chairman of RNC) quote comes to mind:

> Y'all don't quote me on this. You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."

I'm not saying the people within the government are more racist than before. But the systems that the government put into place in the 60's through the 80's were specifically designed to be racist in effect without appearing racist in intention.

If you reduce funding in segregated schools, then when desegregation happens, you protest "forced busing", you're effectively keeping black kids in worse schools.

Turns out if you criminalize marijuana and declare a "War on Drugs", you can arrest a whole bunch of young black men, lock them away and give them criminal records. Then you can go on bemoaning the lack of black role models.

Or you can simply neglect to fight redlining, ensuring that it's impossible to get a house in the white neighborhoods.

Or you can institute a policy that schools whose students fail to get good test scores are penalized. I wonder what that'll do.

I could go on, but I think James Baldwin says it best: https://youtu.be/_fZQQ7o16yQ?t=150

To preemptively respond to the argument that these policies were long ago, I like that analogy Obama gave of an ocean liner:

> Sometimes the task of government is to make incremental improvements or try to steer the ocean liner two degrees north or south so that, ten years from now, suddenly we’re in a very different place than we were

Policy is about the next 50-100 years, not the next 10. If you put racist policies in to effect, people will see the effects for generations upon generations.

Greater percentage of black men in prison today than in the jim crow era. If you're in prison, you can't be there for your children.

In my hometown, DC, one out of every three black men will be imprisoned in their lifetime.

> I struggle to buy this line of thinking that, somehow, the epidemic [...] is the consequence of discriminatory systems or conspiracy or racism.

I agree, but I do think it's largely the unintended consequences of well-intentioned policy. Policies that were designed in part as a safety net for single mothers seem to have perversely incentivized family breakdown.

> Such systems of discrimination surely aren't more powerful now than when the government was enforcing Jim Crow, when schools were segregated by force, when the Ku Klux Klan was not only active but had active members sitting in Congress, and when academics openly claimed that non-whites were inferior to whites and proposed eugenic 'solutions'.

Unfortunately, they are. Those clumsy relics of explicit bias were too reliant on individual antipathy, which is dissipating in a connected world, where others' experiences area available through books, movies, and the Internet.

What we have, instead, is a much more sophisticated, and less error-prone system. It's not a "convenient scapegoat," it's actually very, very inconvenient. Institutional biases are hard to change, especially when they're baked into the ends, and not incidental means.

That’s certainly true, but I’m not sure it’s a complete explanation. Jobs and education are less available in say Bangladesh than in US inner cities, and even among impoverished people families remain intact. Strong cultural and religious taboos on divorce and single parenthood play a big role in that. It’s worth noting that the percentage of white children raised without fathers has tripled since the 1960-1970s: https://images.app.goo.gl/SkTaWF9nyoZwXUbBA. That’s not a change that’s caused by institutional factors.

Of course, systematic racism impacts culture too. People in Bangladesh may be materially poorer and less educated than those in inner cities in the US. But they have standing within a social framework that institutional racism denies to African Americans.

Surely you must have met lower caste people in Bangladesh? You mean standing with respect to what?

I have a friend who switched worlds in adulthood simply because someone convinced him it was possible to do it. When he describes it, it isn't like it was a pep talk, it was more like someone telling you that you can change your own oil in your car and sends you steps. Part of that is that he was ready to hear it, and was quite smart, but if no one had said anything.

I like the phrase 'switched worlds'.

It's quite apt. I chose to switch worlds when I left school. It really is a complete bifurcation - you can go back, but it's a foreign land now.

>you can go back, but it's a foreign land now.

It is and it isn't. Every society has some sort of proverb like "you can leave the X but the X will never leave you" because on some level people can't undo their upbringing.

I just happened to read a story where an Asian was killed while two blacks trying to steal laptop from him https://abc7news.com/5811847

The story mentioned one suspect's sister saying " I have 4 kids and no daddy in their lives ". I simply can't understand this. One kid , I can understand. But four? ... Four (Add: non has daddy present)? I just have too many questions.

Add: I interpreted "no daddy in their lives" as they never had a daddy present ever. This could be my mistake.

Woman and man get four kids together. Man dies or dissappears for some other reason. How is that hard to understand? Or did some racial bias make you assume that all the four kids had different fathers?

I don't know. "no daddy in their lives" makes me interpret differently. I guess.

OK. I just figured out. I interpret "no daddy in their lives" as they never had a daddy present ever. This could be my mistake.

Humans, like all surviving animals, have a strong reproductive instinct, as required by evolution. Thus, many women have children.

Ignoring the other possibilities, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_birth

I wonder if you would feel the same way if it was a good Middle American Catholic Family....

"and no daddy in their lives". I thought the context was obvious.

You can't understand someone having four kids?

No. Non of them has father present. I thought the context was obvious.

Currently, no. We don't know what the situation was like when they were having kids.

The dad (or dads) might not be around for a lot of reasons. Maybe they divorced five years after the last kid was born, maybe he got arrested, maybe he died.

Four kids as a baby mama, I'm guessing. A couple with an extended family can handle four kids, but an individual who may not be all that tight with anyone who can keep an eye on the kids... Well, chances are they'll fail at a lot of important things.

"Two blacks"

You're seriously just going to identity people by their color of their skin?

Interesting how you skipped past "an Asian" just a few words earlier in the sentence.

>I urge people commenting to ask their black friends for their insights.

I avoid talking matters of race as much as I can, because I don't want that person to feel that they're a "black" person in my mind or view. Because if I were a black man, I wouldn't want to define me. So I don't let that define those I contact. I strive to treat everyone the same. Most of the time, it works, you CAN train yourself to treat everyone the same. If you think "black" when you see a black person, then you need to keep working at it, like everything in life. After you're done, you'll still have some level of innate subconscious racism that comes with human nature, but the key is to not actively embrace or act on it.

That said, I work with a black guy (we're both developers). His dad was never around, he is a wanderer today and he called him a deadbeat. He said something about his dad being resentful that he turned out so well, and had nothing to do with it. My colleague attributes his success to his mom.

In his case, it sounded like his dad was absent by choice. My coworker is not a deadbeat dad, has children, an expensive home and a wife. Hard worker, as you have to be to be a successful developer. I think being born with a good mind helps, as well as a stable home even if it's just a mother. A little luck (circumstances) helps all of us.

There are many, many reasons why this is the case; but they were almost all a product of racist social engineering in the 20th century. And when I say racist, I mean people whose main argument was the genetic inferiority of black people. Progressives consistently caved to their demands under threat of violence.

Showing up is hard to do when housing policy explicitly forbids black people from living within a 2 hour commute of the few places that would hire them. It's hard to do when you have to work 2 jobs because the few neighborhoods you are allowed to live in are expensive. It's hard to do when under constant police harassment.

The erosion of the family fabric of black communities in America was malicious, intentional, and far more recent than many are willing to believe (which is why this comment will probably be downvoted to hell). And there's no great conspiracy about it because it was done in the open.

> Showing up is hard to do when housing policy explicitly forbids black people from living within a 2 hour commute of the few places that would hire them.

And yes, the “progressive” Bay Area, too. For anyone who wonders why the Bay has so few black people - the house I live in on the Peninsula was built in 1948. And its original deed forbade “colored people” from living in it. This was eventually overturned, I believe in the 60s. Given the housing values nowadays, how much generational wealth have blacks missed out on due to this? It’s not as though they weren’t here. After all, they’ve been in this country since its inception. Just like whites, blacks came westward. In the Bay they specifically also helped fill the demand for US shipbuilders during WWII. But systematically denied from one of the biggest wealth generating sources America had to offer in the 20th century (Bay real estate). And this also means their descendants are not in the position to benefit from the Bay’s 21st century wealth generation source (tech).

Many people do not know this racist history of the “progressive” Bay Area.

This is exactly correct. There's a wonderful late-1990s documentary on the history of East Palo Alto called "Dreams of a City: Creating East Palo Alto" that describes how the community was formed and ultimately became an incorporated city. Here is a clip that describes the discriminatory housing policies in the Peninsula that led to East Palo Alto becoming predominately black:


The sad thing is that had the original African-American inhabitants of East Palo Alto been able to buy in Palo Alto instead, they or their descendants would be multi-millionaires today given the tremendous boom in Silicon Valley's housing prices starting in the 1970s. There was only a decade-or-so window between when racial covenants became unenforceable and when Palo Alto's housing prices started booming in the 1970s due to the growth of Silicon Valley where African-Americans could buy in Palo Alto at affordable prices.

Also sad is the story of San Francisco's Western Addition, just south of the Japantown mall. Many African-Americans from the South migrated to San Francisco during WWII for the war effort and also for the war-related job opportunities that were abound in the area. Due to racial covenants, the Western Addition was one of the few places where African-Americans could rent and buy; that area had a lot of vacancies due to the unfortunate internment of Japanese-Americans who populated the area before and after the war. When WWII ended, Japanese-Americans and African-Americans lived side-by-side in the Western Addition. However, in the late 1950s, San Francisco started a massive redevelopment project where many of the old Victorian homes in the area were torn down and were replaced with public housing projects. This is also the time that Geary was widened. Many Japanese-Americans and African-Americans lost their homes during this redevelopment project. These homes would be worth a minimum of a million dollars each today, potentially more, due to their proximity to Downtown and Market Street.

Many Asians and other immigrants often come to the United States without any generational wealth and build from scratch.

An example of someone everyone knows is Sundar Pitchai. The only way out of middle class and to go upwards is education. Not by speculative real estate activities.

Yes, when you are a recent immigrant who comes with nothing, the way to go upwards is by education.

The point is that black Americans are not recent immigrants. They have been in this country just as long (if not longer) than white Americans. Therefore, it’s probably better to compare black Americans’ socioeconomic status to white Americans.

“Speculative real estate”? Not in the slightest. Simply the ability to buy a roof over your head and pass it on to your children.

FWIW, Asian immigrants, statistically speaking, basically all came well after the civil rights movement, and mostly came here without any wealth, which means they were also unable to participate in generational wealth accumulation. They also had a pretty fundamental disadvantage: they didn’t speak English.

Any hypothesis that attempts to explain the plight of black Americans needs to also adequately provide for the incredible success of Asian Americans. And, if you think it’s merely skin color, then you have to account for Indian Americans, who are often darker skinned than many black Americans, yet who out-earn white American households nearly 2 to 1.

I don’t believe any reasonable person thinks that centuries of racial violence and discrimination evaporated overnight and all barriers disappeared for black people. Personally I don’t think it’s reasonable to think experiences or impacts would be the same across different groups of minorities given that many policies and actions were specifically targeted at and impacted black Americans.

That destruction had and continues to have a lasting impact.

There are many theories on why recent immigrants, including African’s, perform better than Black Americans. The psychological impact has been well documented and might help explain some differences in achievement compared to white Americans.

I don’t disagree, but I was responding to the narrow hypothesis that generational wealth is a significant causal factor. And then trying to get people to think more like investigators, instead of just rolling with whichever story sounds good (since that is determined to a large extent by the skill of the storyteller).

San Francisco is repeatedly called out as the prime example in The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein -- an absolutely fascinating (and depressing) look at statutory racism in the 2nd half of the 20th century -- specifically because it has a reputation for being "progressive". It was pervasive across the country until well into the 80s.

I assume you've read it since he focuses on the narrative of a black man working in the shipyards; but for anyone interested in reading further on the subject, I highly recommend it.

There were over twice as many black people in the Bay Area during the 1970's as there are now.

It's not "Bay Area in the 1948" that has a reputation for being progressive. It's "Bay Area in the present" that has this reputation. And the later would generally be quick to agree that the former was not very progressive.


Were they?

Red lining was government intervention.

Or maybe you think before slavery was made illegal more people had jobs? Because yes. They were slaves.

My point exactly, it was a governmental tool that allowed these things to exist.

* the laws on the books calling for discrimination and what’s known in the south as “Jim Crowe” laws (spelling). Set forth by Democrats.

* the increase of government payments to lower income groups causing distortions in the nuclear family.

Also black youth unemployment say pre WWII was lower than that of whites. This is post civil war, where you attempt to say some slavery reference.

Lastly, would you openly say that racism is higher today than say 50 years ago? Of course not, and yet by looking at the metrics of unemployment or family stability, things are worse.

> Lastly, would you openly say that racism is higher today than say 50 years ago? Of course not, and yet by looking at the metrics of unemployment or family stability, things are worse.

I would openly say that on the things that really matter, racism today is no better than 50 years ago. It's just had 50 years in between for the negative effects to continue compounding.


School segregation is as bad as before Brown vs BoE. Among other things.

Have fun: https://www.propublica.org/series/segregation-now


He's using sarcasm to dismiss off the bat anyone who may seriously claim that Murdoch et al are responsible (yes, there are people who honestly believe this).

This is a very common literary structure in internet comments.

To claim we can't satirize or mock racists and bigots because the satirical content itself is racist seems misguided. Intent matters.

Its called "sarcasm".

Sarcastic racism is still racism. It perpetuates the hateful stereotypes without claiming them, which almost seems worse.

I stopped being sarcastic in general when a friend pointed out that it's usually based in some form of hatred -- whether of yourself or someone else.

And so we now go down the rabbit hole of political correctness, ending free speech and hope of enlightenment from this discussion.

Oh dear...


Pretending the big-P Progressives of the 1890s-1920s are the same as today's progressives is as silly as claiming black people should love modern Republicans because of Lincoln.

I once read, kids need fathers to learn interaction with people who are not their mother.

I think, this is where the "atomic family" breaks down. Only having one person for this job, is simply too high of a risk. We should go back to a bigger type of family, so kids can have more people in their early lifes that fill this role, so when one leaves, there are still many left.

The nuclear family became American dogma after WW2, and it most benefits corporations and a growth economy. Prior to this modern age most people didn't have the resources to move willy-nilly. Even during the Great Migration, people moved in large groups from the Old World to the New, landing in ethnic neighborhoods. Whole villages uprooted. While there are benefits, having no support net (in the USA), has huge downsides. If anything happens to either parent, it's extremely difficult to continue. Having abruptly become a parent last April has been eye-opening. Like bomb blast so.

'Years ago, I interviewed Kweisi Mfume, then the president of the NAACP. "As between the presence of white racism and the absence of black fathers," I asked, "Which poses the bigger threat to the black community?" Without missing a beat, he said, "The absence of black fathers."' - Larry Elder

A big reason for the absence of black fathers is institutional white racism.

The higher crime rates leading to higher incarceration rates is probably a bigger factor than "white racism".

Edit: Making this edit to clarify what I'm trying to say, since several responses has tipped me off to how it could be read. Being black doesn't have anything to do with committing more crimes. Higher crime rates is much more a factor of economic and family status. Both of which are negatively impacted by higher crime rates, which reinforces the cycle to everyone's dismay. Those statuses are on average worse in the black community than others, which causes a large part of the statistical difference. The causes of the difference stem from the legacy of racism and choices that were made in designing welfare programs, at least in large part. Which sucks.

A couple of notes: (1) even when adjusting for the 'crime rates' the sentencing lengths and the conviction rates for white vs black are way off and (2) the whole war-on-drugs things should be read as a 'war on people of color in all but name'.

If it's a war on people of color I guess it was an inside job:


The War on Drugs is the cycle of incarceration and racism

We can argue all we want about how ineffective and/or misguided the War on Drugs has been, but that doesn't change that fact that crimes are crimes. Were some of the sentencing guidelines structured in a racist way? Maybe, I've heard people say that and don't have any evidence showing the opposite, but that is a side issue.

Check out https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/the-shocking-and-sickening-st... if you're curious.

The money quote: > "You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or blacks, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

The origins of that quote are dubious. Author Dan Baum claims that Nixon lawyer John Ehrlichman made this confession to him back in 1994, but Dan waited until 2016 to publish it-- long enough that most people in Nixon's inner circle (including Ehrlichman himself) have died and couldn't set the record straight.

However, Pat Buchanan (long time adviser to Nixon) said in an interview that the quote is nonsense.

Pat Buchanan is certainly a reputable source.

Didn't that quote only show up after the guy that allegedly said it died?

Bleh, yeah. Hadn't seen that before.

Not a fan on the War on Drugs, especially not after reading that. On the other hand, I'm strongly in favor of enforcing the laws on the books, and if there is a bad law it should be changed, not ignored.

Crimes are indeed crimes. The problem is, whites and blacks use drugs at similar rates, but blacks are significantly more likely to be arrested.

Based on your comment, it seems like you haven't done much independent reading on this topic...

Here's a place to start: https://www.vox.com/2014/7/1/5850830/war-on-drugs-racist-min...

> whites and blacks use drugs at similar rates

Not really though. From the primary source for marijuana:

MORE THAN 100 DAYS OF USE IN PAST 12 MONTHS white: 4.5% black: 6.1%

Now for coke:

MORE THAN 100 DAYS OF USE IN PAST 12 MONTHS white: 0.1 black: 0.3

Now for crack:

MORE THAN 100 DAYS OF USE IN PAST 12 MONTHS white: 0.0 black: 0.3

Ok, ok, how about heroin? We know those white boys just can't get enough smack right?

MORE THAN 100 DAYS OF USE IN PAST 12 MONTHS white: 0.1 black: 0.2

Nope. Not sure how people can interpret these numbers to be "equal rates" when habitual daily use numbers are multiples higher for blacks.


That Vox article is being misleading when they frame it based on "reported using the drug in the last year" because doing coke once on New Years is a lot different that doing coke daily. Looking at the daily use stats their statement that "In 2007, black people were 3.6 times more likely to be arrested for drugs than white people." doesn't seem so extremely disproportionate considering the daily usage is in some cases 3x as much. Very dishonest article.

Sorry for double post, it wouldn't let me edit the other one for more clarity.

Edit: Downvoters care to counter?

In which case is it 3.6x higher?

The most common drug people get arrested for is marijuana, and the difference in use (even by your chosen metric) is nowhere near 3.6x.

The only drug where you can make an argument even approaching 3.6x is crack, which is a relatively small percentage of arrests.

I also note you omitted the "stimulant" category (which in the 2011 dataset covered methamphetamine).

Thanks for the link, will take a look.

> whites and blacks use drugs at similar rates

Not really though.

From the primary source:

MORE THAN 100 DAYS OF USE IN PAST 12 MONTHS white: 4.5% black: 6.1%

> higher crime rates

Source? Everything I've read suggests that crime rates are pretty much the same across race and ethnicity when controlling for economic status. The primary variable is contact with the justice system, i.e. getting caught.

Everything I've read also indicates that it is mostly or entirely driven by economic status. White people who grow up poor and/or with single mothers are also highly likely to end up in prison compared to the normal population.

This isn't about ethnicity, it is about economics and culture. It only disproportionately affects black people because of historical trends and welfare programs decades back that encouraged single parent homes, as was said in other comments.

>White people who grow up poor and/or with single mothers are also highly likely to end up in prison compared to the normal population.

They are, however, much less likely to be arrested, convicted, and sentenced to lengthy terms than similarly-situated black people. To be treated like a black person in the justice system, a white person must be some combination of much poorer, much less educated, and with a much longer criminal history. It is about race and ethnicity.


>Average white US citizen has $1,000,000 in wealth, the average black person $500.

Knowing what we know about wealth distribution that just means there's less "crazy rich" black people.

Are you implying that a human with black skin is predetermined to commit crime at a higher rate? Or might there be some confounding variables, such as poverty, caused by hundreds/thousands of years of institutional racism?

Already responded to a few other similar question. Absolutely not what I'm saying. There are lots of factors driving the different rates, and black people are just on the wrong end of a lot of the trends. My original post was probably more snarky and should have had more background to what I was thinking, given how many people have asked questions like this.

You're saying that black people have a higher propensity for crime. Is it not more plausible that humans are more or less alike, and the difference is outside their control?

Black people aren't predisposed to commit crimes more often than anyone else. It is just that a higher percentage of them grow up poor and/or with just a single parent, which are factors in likelihood to commit crimes, which leads to higher incarceration rates, which just feeds the beginning factors. When you control for economic status and parents, white people have similar rates. The factors that make it more likely for an individual to commit a crime are outside of their control yes, but committing a crime or not is always an individual's decision that can't be blamed on anyone else.

When you saids "It is just that .." , did you really mean those are the only causes of the higher black crime rate? If not, what do you think the other major causes are?

I heard someone say a long time ago something along the lines that the frontal lobe develops differently between ethnic groups and that it controls your empathy and impulse reactions. I haven’t seen any research that supports this though (and did nit search for that). It would be interesting to see if this claim is supported by science.

Interesting but heretical for both scientists and laymen.

The very concept of heresy is antithetical to science.

Where in the logic loop are we?

Mostly the place where everything sucks. It is a nasty self reinforcing problem. See some of my other responses for more context.

Wasn't trying to imply that black people are natural disposed to committing more crimes, just that currently they do, from a combination of economic and social reasons.

I was making an admittedly content-free "wry comment." I agree with you completely!

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21957325 places the result of that racist + non-racist incarceration at 11% of the total male black population (20-34).

Are there any numbers on how many black fathers are absent?

The percentage of African-American children in single-parent homes went from 20% in 1960 to 65% in 2017. Is institutional white racism worse now than it was sixty years ago?


You know what else happened in that time? The War on Drugs.

I also question the methodology behind those statistics. Many of them only count married parents as not being "single." My father would have counted for my sister, post-divorce, despite being a highly-ranked officer in the military who paid for her college with his GI Bill funds. So would my cousin, who is not married to the mother of his child but who is very much living a traditional domestic life with his partner and daughter.

The demonization and denigration of functional but unorthodox living arrangements is nothing new to American discourse.

I am European - does Canada have War on drugs? How many black children in Canada are raised in single-parent families?

Canadian, but I'm not really informed enough to answer your questions - just to point out that Canada and the USA have different racial demographics. They've got nearly the same % of white people, but Canada has a 3.4% black population vs 12.7% in the USA. (Canada mostly makes up the difference with Asian population, 14.7% vs 5.4%.)

racism can be "better" now overall, yet also be present in forms that make the absence of black fathers more prevalent than in the 60s.

So how come there are less black fathers now than when racism was much more prominent? Also how come we see the same problem in lower class white communities? I don't know if "institutional" racism (whatever that is) contributes to it or not but there are certainly other more prominent factors.

On Larry Elder: https://www.gocomics.com/boondocks/2003/11/19

And if you deem it beneath HN's standards to quote a comic strip as a response to another post, well, I would say the same about quoting Larry Elder.

It is, quite seriously, heartening, as a father, to know that just 1) being there at all, and 2) trying with some amount of thoughtfulness not to screw up your kids, puts you well into the top half of fathers, by quality. You can still mess up constantly, and pretty badly, but remain better than average.

It's not a competition. It's a responsibility.

It's more about perspective, to avoid beating oneself up too much on the bad days. "This sucked, but we're still basically OK, just gotta learn and move on".

It can be both. The competition can help you figure out how you're doing.

It's a responsibility to prepare your children as best you can to stand on their own in a competitive world.

It's basically just one degree separated from the competition.

Agreed. I'm teaching my kids the things they need to be competitive - by out-thinking or out-doing the people around them. Addition: What you'll find is most of life, is people acting on unsound strategies, poor fortitude, or poor self control, or having personality preferences that are easy to predict, or thinking in group think.

Let school handle the mundane, I'm teaching them strategy, leadership, multiple scenario event planning & prediction, personality types and the strengths and weaknesses of each, multiple types of investments & investment patterns, asset strategies, the agility that creating options give you - rather than having it given to you.

I'm teaching them how to avoid the types of people and thinking that takes down people and everyone around them. The types of events that downfall a person, and how to get out of the way when people display them. How to read the market, and get ahead of it for prosperity.

These things were not taught to me by my smart firefighter father, or great mother (teacher/nurse) - but I was keen to pick up by observing the world and reading, taking stupid risks, and growing. I'm jealous of my future kids - I wish someone had handed these to me.

Might wanna throw in how to be empathetic, how to listen, not judge too harshly, generosity, environmentalism, volunteering, etc. You risk turning your kid into a one dimensional corporate ladder climber while you project your fears onto her/him.

I don't disagree. I'm currently showing them how a little effort early in life allows them significant freedoms later in life by doing literally what 'hackers' do best, take advantage of existing systems no matter if they are economic, personal, etc - and using the existing boundaries, system glitches, and exponential leverage multipliers to form the desired life they like. But I do like some of your additions...

edit: by "hackers" i mean the term for people who created their own solutions to existing systems of anytype. Not the cybercriminal definition.

A thoughtful response. Early wins will compound towards less anxiety and limitations in the future, it's clear you want what's best for your kid.

That's a simple analysis to an incredibly complex issue. There are many reasons some black fathers aren't around to raise their kids. Some reasons under their control, many not. The cycle continues until underlying circumstances (societal, penal, etc) are addressed.

I guess if the government stopped putting a higher rate of black fathers in jail (they may show up).

Yeah right it’s the government taking black men at random in the street and putting them in jail for the single reason they’re black, just to destroy the black community. It has absolutely nothing to do with the said individuals breaking laws (sometimes with the side effect of creating another father-less family in the process), which are the same for everyone. Also doing criminal acts is a choice, not something that happens by accident.

I know you think you are being sarcastic, but this very thing does happen, see stop and friskbl for example - white men on 5th avenue were not being "randomly" stopped.

Black men have been and continue to be systamaticly oppressed in the US. Black men serve more prison time than white men for the same crime. Black men are more likely to be charged for a crime vs dropped by the prosecutor when compared to a similar situation for whites.

This has been going on since litterly before the US existed when blacks were sold like animals for two centuries in america. Black people face institutional barriers to voting, jobs, loans, education and more.

This is a matter of fact not opinion.

> Yeah right it’s the government taking black men at random in the street and putting them in jail

Well not as cut and dry as that, but cops harassing black kids walking the streets is an old tradition of law enforcement. Mix in some stop and frisk and you have an unfair system. I remember I made friends with some black kids in high school. I went down to their neighborhood. It didn't take long for a cop to pull up and start asking questions. I never had a cop approach me before that. It was eye opening. I lived only a mile away.

> laws...which are the same for everyone.

Oh really? Are you sure about that? There are many studies showing that black people have higher incarceration rates for the same crimes as their cohorts.

Well yes, that's structural racism for you. And before you judge people for committing crimes, ask yourself: would you have abstained if you had the same life story? Do you think they would fall into crime less if they had a more privileged upbringing?

Yes, I would have abstained. Mind you, my grand parents are from the very most "underprivileged" part of France, the kind of place were half of men are dead before 50. Still, what people do there was working hard, not theft, drug and robbing the few rich around.

The problem is in large part cultural. You can see it easily with East-Asian immigrants that arrived dirt poor, yet saved and send their kids in college. After one generation they are not poor anymore. In Europe, the division are the same (White+Asian vs Black+Arab) despite difference in history (no descendants of slave). Also, education and healthcare are free and there is the welfare money. So why the results are similar? Because some value education and other don’t.

Ignoring the fact that all other things being equal, Between Blacks and Whites committing the same crime, a Black person will receive a harsher sentence....

Your perspective is 100% valid in a society that did not have several intentional attempts to punish a group of people because of their skin color.

The USA is a society with a long documented history of actions to undermine a population because of their skin color so unfortunately, your perspective is a little too simplistic for this situation.

Very insightful. It becomes a vicious cycle when fathers aren’t even able to show up because they’re behind bars.

It's a system built on discrimination, the idea that people of different color are going through the exact same thing is ridiculous. People love telling other people how to fix problems they have no idea about.

I am not sure that numbers add up to support this claim. In Oklahoma, which has the highest percentage of black people incarcerated, there is approx 2.5% of the total black population imprisoned, while over 60% of black children are raised without fathers.

Need more information. E.g. 2.5% of the total black population, but what fraction of the black father population? How many kids, on average, does each black father have?

So what's the incarceration rate for black men (or black fathers) in the typical age where they have children? (I guess ~18-35?) Seems like this stat should be publicly available.

Perhaps I'm naive, but I can't imagine it to be more than 15% of this population [and that would be pretty extreme]. If that's the case, how can incarceration be considered a major cause of these fathers "failing from showing up?" (I guess we'd need a number for that, too..)

Roughly 1 in 9 black men between 20-34 are currently incarcerated (11%). It's probably a much higher percentage that have been incarcerated in the last 3 years.


1. That's an insanely large part of that population.

2. 11% still doesn't go a long way in explaining the "fatherless issue", although we probably need firm numbers on that too.

"For boys born in 2001, the lifetime probability of incarceration is estimated to be 32 percent for young black men."

That's absolutely enough to tilt the data significantly.


Yikes. Still, it doesn't change the father-away issue fundamentally, I think?

11% may even seem like a small number until you consider that not all the black men who have been incarcerated at least once in their life are currently incarcerated. 25% of black and hispanic men will face incarceration at least once in their life[0]. The incarceration is also skewed towards younger men who are one supposes potentially more likely to miss out on the formative years of their children's lives. It's also difficult for a strong family to develop in this situation imo. Life is about getting a good start and keeping that momentum going as steadily and predictably as possible.


11% is a huge and totally unacceptable number. We need to get our shit together.

I can’t say why users are tying to hide you post.

The incarceration rate for blacks is lower than the rate of fathers not being around for their offspring. That’s a fact.

Anyone arguing that the entire problem is “we’re just locking up all these otherwise-would-be-there fathers because it’s a fun game to lock blacks up” is ignoring the reality.

I don’t have a strong opinion on it either way, but I’ve seen much better arguments that the welfare system has allowed for the higher rate of non-nuclear families. That it doesn’t take two parents to provide so the rate of single parents increased. Seems logical enough.

Except - there is almost no cash welfare system in the US. Pretty much just healthcare and food stamps for the poorest.

> Except - there is almost no cash welfare system in the US

Now; there is LESS cash welfare in the US than there was. TANIF was reformed in 1996. There is still SSI/Disability, SNAP, child support as cash or cash equivalency. I support those programs, but also recognize that it is possible government handouts have contributed to the decline of the nuclear family.

While there are injustices, what percentage of the jail time is due to actually breaking the law?

Isn't it valid to put people who break the law behind bars?

A) The laws have been specifically designed to allow targeting of certain populations (the "War on Drugs" has had a hugely disproportionate impact on non-white Americans).


B) Non-whites are way, way more likely to be arrested (despite similar rates of drug use), and receive harsher penalties.


The list goes on and on... "Broken windows" policing results in targeting of minority communities. Blacks and Hispanics are significantly more likely to be targeted under "stop and frisk" laws, despite equal (or lower) hit rates for contraband discovery when compares to whites.

War on drugs. Is there a particular reason why weed is a necessity? Why isn't it fair to have banned it?

That argument is nonsensical... Just because something is "not a necessity" it's reasonable to criminalize its possession?

Eggs aren't a necessity, there are plenty of alternatives available. Should we ban them too?

If the law is just and fairly applied.

If you make a whole bunch of laws that huge swaths of the population violate, and then use them to put subgroups you don't like in prison... it's not so "valid".

I'd argue that depends on 1. laws being put I to place for strictly rational reasons, 2. arrest decisions do not depend on race and 3. punishment magnitude is equal for equal crimes.

I agree with that. At some primitive level, I think we see our fathers as protector and provider. When he's not around, the pressure is really on boys to assume that role. And so it without the maturity and tools that adults have.

My father moved out when I was 14 and, although he was never far away and visited all the time, I was pretty angry about. For years. It really wasn't even his fault.

It is not just an issue for black boys, of course. Rates of fatherless homes have been rising in the US for whites and hispanics too.

The article does not mention whether or not the subject's father was present in his life. Why did you leap straight to that?

Probably because GP is making a general point about the subject of the article.


It's not easy to link to on this page (unless someone can help me out), but there's interesting data about fathers being present in the lives of their children and its impact.

The beige/tan chart about 35% of the way down is what I'm referring to.

And many Black fathers are “absent” because they are incarcerated because of the “War on Drugs”. Study after study shows that minorities are given longer sentences and even stopped more than non minorities.

When drugs were affecting the “inner city” it was all about “being tough on crime”. When it started affecting “middle America” it became about “treating drug abuse as a disease” and “increasing social services.”

I'm not disputing this, at all, but have a weird observation about it that doesn't make sense.

I've been to Ft Worth a few times the last few years, and there have been protests about how police "protect and serve white folks only" each time near the area I stayed.

But what I can't get my head around is that nearly every cop I saw (near the protest or otherwise) was themselves a minority. So do we have a system where minorities arrest minorities at an unfair rate? Are the (apparent minority) white cops just arresting so many minorities that the arrest rate skews to minorities?

I have no theory on it, but couldn't help but wonder if better understanding what the people doing the arresting at (allegedly) unfair rates themselves look like would help find a path forward.

There is a legacy from centuries of white supremacy as a legal and cultural mainstay that isn’t fully understood, but certainly has a lasting impact.

One of those is internalized racism and the societal norms that often cause even black people to apply common harmful stereotypes to other black people.



I didn’t read the report so I don’t have any opinion, but Texas passed a law concerning racial profiling.


Absentee fathers are more often than not absent because they got jailed in the war-on-drugs or died as collateral damage in that war. You can't show up when you're dead or in jail.


If a huge subset of a society is afflicted with problems, it is by definition not a matter of individual blame. If there's an outbreak of measles, the problem isn't individual.

There is a compulsion along the political Right in the West for shifting blame to individuals rather than the institutions and forces in society, where it usually belongs. Shifting blame to the individual might make you feel good, but it distracts from real solutions that can bring about real change.

Culture and shared values are not "individual" matters; they tend to affect society as a whole, or at least non-trivial fractions of it. But they are 'institutions' only in the broadest possible sense, and ones that seldom get acknowledged as such.

There’s a number of studies over the years that show lesbian parents have had raised more emotionally stable, socially successful adults than men.

“Fathers” full stop is an argument that agrees with what can be true in our reality.

It’s almost as if things we know to be true are often just noises our motor functions generate, and may in fact, upon reflection, be belief not rooted in truth.

I vouched your comment which was dead, but I think it's deliberately obtuse.

I think what people are speaking to is a second involved parent from shortly after birth-- which will most likely be a father/man. A second parental figure makes a world of difference, especially when confronting poverty and an educational environment that does not provide additional support.

> It’s almost as if things we know to be true are often just noises our motor functions generate, and may in fact, upon reflection, be belief not rooted in truth.

There's a whole lot of evidence that children of single parents have significantly worse educational and psychosocial outcomes, even when controlling for household income and other confounds; even when considering whether that parent remarries/a step parent shows up. The degree of involvement of the other parent is strongly predictive of the amount of harm; that is, there's a dose-response relationship.

> "I vouched your comment which was dead, but I think it's deliberately obtuse."

If a comment is dead and you think it's unhelpful ("deliberately obtuse"), don't reward it by vouching for it. It's likely going to generate even more noise. (Note a sibling comment which is is only argumentative, not moving the discussion forward.)

If you have a point to make, make it in a separate comment.

I think they deserve a chance to speak rather than be buried, even if I think the argument is dubious and poorly made.

> Number of studies.

Source your claims (at least one.)

I very much doubt this because only recently has it been possible for parents of the same sex to adopt, let alone evaluate their performance as parents and generalise it. I would very much love to be proven wrong, however.

That being said, the issue here is not the gender of the parent, but rather single parenthood. A working single parent interacts very much little with their kid(s) in comparison with an atomic family.

Then why did you not bother citing a single one?

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