Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Vol-in-Law writes

Following from the links in the Vol's post below, I came to:

Leighton Levy, a black man, writes about the looting in New Orleans:

"No white looters?
And it has nothing to do with poverty. Where are the white people in all this? I am sure there are poor white people living in New Orleans, Biloxi and the other towns affected by what has been going on. Is it that the media are not showing pictures of them looting and robbing? Or is it that they are too busy trying to stay alive, waiting to be rescued, and hiding from the blacks."

Actually Fox News did repeatedly - and I mean repeatedly - show a clip of a big police officer with a shotgun, who appeared to be black (AFAIK - IME it's hard to be sure of American racial classifications if you're not from the USA), who was chasing off looters who appeared to me to be white, though I guess one might have been Hispanic in US terms. In fact, Fox looped this clip so frequently it became a kind of signature to "America's Challenge". There was a clip of two black women police officers looting a convenience store, but I don't think that was even on Fox at all - might have been CNN, and I only saw it once.
Personally I was far more horrified by the general American reaction to the scenes of looting, than to the looting itself, which seemed good-natured and mostly for survival necessities. The extreme reaction in the US helped create a moral panic that delayed relief efforts for fear of the 'armed thugs', and undoubtedly caused more deaths, mostly of elderly and frail people dying in front of TV cameras for lack of basic needs like water. That was what horrified me (only watching Fox, remember!) and the rest of the world.

Leighton Levy also said the 'racist' thing that got the blog that quoted it condemned:

"Desperation? Yeah, right. I am beginning to believe that black people, no matter where in the world they are, are cursed with a genetic predisposition to steal, murder, and create mayhem."

Now, the fact is, we pretty much all have a "genetic predisposition to steal, murder, and create mayhem", to greater or lesser extent, given the right circumstances. That's basic genetics. From what evidence there is, whites have a significantly greater genetic predisposition to steal, murder, and create mayhem than do east-Asians like the Chinese and Japanese. That doesn't mean a white country can't be relatively civilised, peaceful and pleasant, though maybe we have to work at it harder than the Japanese. OTOH a population being more genetically (or just culturally) predisposed to create peaceful, orderly conformist societies can lead to communist China or Imperial Japan - or Nazi Germany. People vary - even groups vary, on average - but most traits of the individual or group can be negative or beneficial, depending on circumstance. Often the same societes that achieve the greatest heights can sink to the lowest depths.

1 comment:

Vol-in-Law said...

Further to above, on I came across a list of things not to do:

"And, while we're at it: never get involved in a land war in Asia; do not read My Pet Goat when death is on the line; never play poker with a man named 'Doc'; never accept a battle of wits where iocane powder is a factor; never blithely download and install a file from Microsoft without carefully, carefully researching what it will do beforehand; never get involved in an argument over Noam Chomsky; and never post about human genetics on you weblog."

Maybe I'm lucky no one commented...