Urban culture and the tilted playing field

In a recent monologue, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich calls the persisting tilted playing field for blacks "our national sin."  I respect Gregg Popovich's opinions and appreciate his perspective.  But is he contributing to the solution when he blames Trump and the flawed "American dream"?

Did Trump and the Republicans create this problem?  Both parties and the Supreme Court have strived for half a century to level the playing field through a wide range of corrective measures.  Why is it still so tilted?  Could it be because this is what black kids are learning to sing growing up in our inner cities (from the movie Hustle and Flow)?

Hard Out Here for A Pimp (by Cedric Coleman, Jordan Houston, Paul D. Beauregard)

You know it's hard out here for a pimp
When he tryin' to get this money for the rent
For the Cadillacs and gas money spent
Because a whole lot of b----- talkin' s---

North Memphis where I'm from, I'm 7th street bound
Where people all the time end up lost and never found
Man, these girls think we prove thangs, leave a big head
They come hopin' every night, they don't end up bein' dead

Wait I got a snow bunny, and a black girl too
You pay the right price and they'll both do you
That's the way the game goes, gotta keep it strictly pimpin'
Gotta keep my hustle tight, makin' change off these women, yeah

You know it's hard out here for a pimp
When he tryin' to get this money for the rent
For the Cadillacs and gas money spent
Will have a whole lot of b----- jumpin' ship

The prevailing modus operandi of the political left is to deny that culture has anything to do with social or economic outcomes.  Only bad politics and discrimination can be blamed.  So the problem can be fixed only by battling the bad politicians and passing more anti-discrimination or affirmative action legislation.

But the "original sin" of overt, systematic discrimination has been addressed – not perfectly, but perhaps as well as is possible.  It's time to admit that and look at the persisting core problem: the culture of our inner cities.  We can blame politicians and pass more anti-discrimination laws until the cows come home.  But how can young black people prepare to compete in a free society when the following applies?

· Two thirds are born to single moms with no husband and no financial resources to raise them.

· Black fathers in the inner city aren't socially compelled to nurture and provide for their children.

· Young black boys too often have a choice: join a gang and act tribal, or get beaten up and robbed on their way to school every day.

· Guns are regarded as an essential accessory – like a pocket comb.

· Drug-dealing, pimping, and thievery are regarded as honorable occupations.

· There is no respect for education and academic accomplishment – only for sports acumen and street smarts.

· Lyrics like those above are the "hymns" children grow up hearing and singing.

Am I being racist to point this out?  Or are our opinion leaders on the left being naked emperors?

The self-perpetuating inner-city culture that so disadvantages blacks was not created by present-day whites, blacks, or politicians.  This culture was a natural adaptive response to these facts:

1) For the first 240 years of their history in America, black men were absolutely prevented from providing for their children or families.  In many or most cases, they were prevented from even knowing what children they fathered.

2) For the entire period of their slavery, and another 100 years beyond, blacks were effectively denied land ownership; capital; entrepreneurship; economic opportunity; and, in general, any sense of self-sufficiency or ability to confidently provide for their families.

That was a great sin.  But it was not our sin, nor is it the sin of any living politicians.  Today our great sin is blaming and fighting each other, instead of admitting and addressing the core problem: the maladaptive, self-perpetuating culture of our inner cities.

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