According to Paul Ryan, it’s those lazy
niggers negros blacks thugs inner city men who are to blame for America’s poverty problems:
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) previewed his upcoming legislative proposals for reforming America’s poverty programs during an appearance on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America Wednesday, hinting that he would focus on creating work requirements for men “in our inner cities” and dealing with the “real culture problem” in these communities. “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with,” he said. Ryan also cited Charles Murray, a conservative social scientist who believes African-Americans are, as a population, less intelligent than whites due to genetic differences and that poverty remains a national problem because “a lot of poor people are born lazy.”
That’s it. Nothing about the lack of a decent living wage, lack of decent jobs or how young black Americans are being fed into the Prison-Industrial Complex like coal to a furnace. Just the ages-old trick of riling up the unreconstructed over “those lazy good-fer-nuthins” for a few votes.
Speaking of pipelines, here’s something to toss in the “Shit Black America Already Knew” pile:
The social category “children” defines a group of individuals who are perceived to be distinct, with essential characteristics including innocence and the need for protection (Haslam, Rothschild, & Ernst, 2000). The present research examined whether Black boys are given the protections of childhood equally to their peers. We tested 3 hypotheses: (a) that Black boys are seen as less “childlike” than their White peers, (b) that the characteristics associated with childhood will be applied less when thinking specifically about Black boys relative to White boys, and (c) that these trends would be exacerbated in contexts where Black males are dehumanized by associating them (implicitly) with apes (Goff, Eberhardt, Williams, & Jackson, 2008). We expected, derivative of these 3 principal hypotheses, that individuals would perceive Black boys as being more responsible for their actions and as being more appropriate targets for police violence. We find support for these hypotheses across 4 studies using laboratory, field, and translational (mixed laboratory/field) methods. We find converging evidence that Black boys are seen as older and less innocent and that they prompt a less essential conception of childhood than do their White same-age peers. Further, our findings demonstrate that the Black/ape association predicted actual racial disparities in police violence toward children. These data represent the first attitude/behavior matching of its kind in a policing context. Taken together, this research suggests that dehumanization is a uniquely dangerous intergroup attitude, that intergroup perception of children is underexplored, and that both topics should be research priorities.
No surprise here. We all know how hard it is for mainstream America to see young blacks in the same cherubic light as their own:
When comparing felony acts by whites, blacks, and Latinos, respondents overestimated black boys’ ages by 4.53 years. Police officers, who were also included in the pool of participants, overestimated their ages by 4.59 years. To put this in more concrete terms, when participants saw a 14 year-old African American boy, they perceived him as an 18 to 19-year-old adult. And the effect of this was to deny the presumption of innocence—after all, adults are seen as fully responsible for their actions. As Bump notes, this goes a long way toward explaining the disciplinary disparity between blacks and whites in public schools. It also helps us understand the generalized fear of black teenagers (see: “the knockout game”) as well as the regular stories of police confrontation and brutality, from the 14-year-old who was choked and beaten for his “dehumanizing stare” to the other 14-year-old who was stopped, frisked, and sexually assaulted. During the George Zimmerman trial, right-wing bloggers circulated a photo of the “real Trayvon Martin” who, in their telling, was a muscled, heavily-tattooed thug, not an innocent 17-year-old. In reality, it was a picture of The Game, a 34-year-old rapper. If you want a clearer illustration of what bias and racism can do to people, there it is.
In a country that’s 160 years or so removed from seeing blacks as livestock and farming tools (and with a significant portion of it that still see them as such, to varying degrees), this comes as no shock. On a side note, yes, yours truly is aware that CPAC happened. Whenever I get around to surveying the trainwreck that is the Republican Party and its rogues gallery, I’ll do that.