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Black Culture, aka the mindset of Anti-intellectualism (2nd thing holding blacks back)

As any scientist should do to run a scientific experiment, one needs a very limited amount of participation/controlled environment. Whether the experiment involves people, animals, or materials, in order to get a trustworthy result, one needs to narrow down what one studies. Jason chooses to narrow in on one such man’s study of a community’s “achievement gap” between Black and white students (this quote is very long but needs to be quoted in its entirety in order to get the full story).

“In the late 1990s, the Black residents of Shaker Heights, Ohio, an affluent Cleveland suburb, invited John Ogbu, Professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, to examine the Black-white academic achievement gap in their community. Roughly a third of the town’s residents were Black, and the school district was divided equally along racial lines. Yet the Black kids trailed far behind whites in test scores, grade-point averages, placement in high-level classes, and college attendance. Black students were receiving 80 percent of the Ds and Fs.

Nationwide, the racial gap in education is well-documented. Black kids are overrepresented among high school dropouts and students who are not performing at grade level. Black scores on the SAT and other standardized tests are far lower on average than those of whites. The achievement gap begins in elementary school and widens in higher grades. By the end of high school, the typical Black student is several years behind his white peers in reading and math. The usual explanation of this is class inequality. Blacks don't perform on the level of whites because they come from a lower socioeconomic background, and their schools have fewer resources, goes the argument. But what Obu (anthropologist doing the study) found is that this problem transcends class and persists even among the children of affluent, educated Black professionals.

‘None of the versions of the class-inequality [argument] can explain why Black students from similar social class backgrounds, residing in the same neighborhood, and attending the same school, don’t do as well as white students,’ writes Ogbu. ‘ Within the Black population, of course, middle-class children do better, on the average, than lower-class children, just as in the White population. However, when Blacks and Whites from similar socioeconomic backgrounds are compared, one sees that Black students at every class level perform less in school than their White counterparts.’

Ogbu and his team of researchers were given access to parents, teachers, principals, administrators, and students in the Shaker Heights school district, which was one of the country’s best. And he concluded that Black culture, more than anything else, explained the academic achievement gap. The Black kids readily admitted that they didn’t work as hard as whites, took easier classes, watched more TV, and read fewer books. ‘A kind of norm of minimum effort appeared to exist among Black students,’ wrote Ogbu, ‘The students themselves recognized this and used it to explain both their academic behaviors and their low academic achievement performance.’ Due to peer pressure, some Black students ‘didn’t work as hard as they should and could.’ Among their Black friends, ‘it was not cool to be successful’ or ‘to work hard or to show you’re smart.’ One female student said that some Black students believed ‘it was cute to be dumb.’ Asked why, ‘she said it was because they couldn’t do well and that they didn’t want anyone else to do well.’

Ogbu found that Black high-school students ‘avoided certain attitudes, standard English, and some behaviors because they considered them White. They feared that adopting White ways would be detrimental to their collective racial identity and solidarity. Unfortunately, some of the attitudes labeled ‘White’ and avoided by the students were those that enhanced success.’ The behaviors and attitudes to be avoided included, for example, enrolling in honors and advanced placement classes, striving for high grades, talking properly, hanging around too many white students, and participating in extracurricular activities that were populated by whites.

‘What amazed me is that these kids coming from homes of doctors and lawyers are not thinking like their parents; they don’t know how their parents made it,’ Ogbu told the New York Times in 2002. ‘They are looking at rappers in ghettos as their role models, they are looking at entertainers. The parents work two jobs, three jobs, to give their children everything, but they are not guiding their children.’

Indeed, Ogbu found that it wasn’t just the Black kids who were academically disengaged. Few Black parents were members of the PTO. Participation in early-elementary-school programs designed primarily for Black children were spurned by Black families. And white parents tended to have higher academic expectations for their kids. ‘From school personnel reports of school authorities, interviews with students, discussions with parents themselves, and our observations, we can confidently conclude that Black parents in Shaker Heights did not participate actively in school organizations and in school events and programs designed to enhance their children’s academic engagement,’ he wrote.”

Solomon, when speaking to his son in the book of Proverbs (book in the Bible) tells him that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away (Proverbs 22:15). Children left to their ignorant foolish wicked sleeves will naturally be lazy and foolish. Without any sort of guiding and disciplining academically, the dumb big kids will naturally dominate the other kids because just like that girl said to Ogbu, “it was cute to be dumb.” You do not want to be seen as an outcast in a parentless/adults less (functionally) world. It explains why these kids look to the rappers and entertainers (as Ogbu puts it) as alternative guides instead of how they ought to be viewing them, as silly entertainers (which is what me, a white suburban male and my wife, also a white suburban person, see them as, not as role models).

On a personal anecdotal level, my best man at my wedding and one of my best friends is Black, and he was and still is very intelligent person (like the author of the book, Jason L Riley is). He was seen as a “white sell out” since he was smarter than most of his peers. In the same way that Jason Riley and conservative commentator Candance Owens were (see her recent book Blackout, where she talks about this very fact), he was funneled into hanging out with white kids since the Black kids saw him as too smart and the white kids were like-minded. The ring leaders of the Black kids are dumb and do not want to feel dumb, so they push out smart Black kids so that they will not appear to be stupid. This is their own foolishness, and instead of Black parents telling their kids to be better and focus on school, the Black parents “were academically disengaged.”

Jason explains his own experience of anti-intellectualism that he has experienced throughout his whole life, not only from his sisters but from his sisters' kids.

I wound up in honors classes where the vast majority of kids were white. My two sisters, to my father’s chagrin, opted for the neighborhood public schools. Nor did they take me to the church, which distressed my mom. Both of them fell in with the wrong crowd, willingly. Indeed, they largely rejected the middle-class values that our parents labored to instill in us. And notwithstanding the geographic distance, soon they were sliding into Trevor’s world. We lived under the same roof, but I spoke, dressed, and generally behaved in ways that were not only different from my siblings but associated in their minds with “acting white.” The teasing was good-natured for the most part, and I didn’t let it get to me, but it was constant throughout my adolescence. It came from friends and family, from children and adults, from fellow congregants in the church, and on one occasion from a Black public-high-school teacher who mocked my standard English in front of the entire class after I’d answered a question.”

My buddy Ques and Candace Owens could probably tell stories just like Jason’s. I am going to end this second reason with a good but sad summary of how Black culture has poisoned itself with its own toxic brew. The brew was made by its own people and was not taught to them or imposed on them by any one individual (that includes you and me) outside of their race, nor exemplified by any other people group in America.

“Education is not the only area where an oppositional Black mindset has been detrimental to social and economic progress. Black cultural attitudes toward work, authority, dress, sex, and violence have also proven counterproductive, inhibiting the development of the kind of human capital that has led to socioeconomic advancement for other groups. But it’s hard to see how Blacks will improve their lot without changing their attitudes toward school. A culture that takes pride in ignorance and mocks learnedness has a dim future.”

Tim Bankes II

Tim is a Christian author. His worldview that informs his writing is Calvinist, Baptist, and Libertarian. His main series is his Christian picture book series, "About God for Kids", where he discusses the attributes of God in a way kids can digest. He also wrote a Christian Romance novel, libertarian book for beginners, and Christian coloring books. He graduated with a Bachelor's in Biblical Studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He has written a book on freedom called “Are You Free” (If you are into listening to books I have it in audio also, Are You Free Audiobook )and he has written multiple children’s books about God. Be Sure to check out the podcast version of the blog, Labor for Truth Podcast. And check out “The Truth About” YouTube Channel. You can find his works at his amazon author page, He even has a free digital ebook on how God is the creator. Get your free copy today at, Greater Creator .Also If you are into Christian Fiction, he has made his first book in his Futuristic Christian Fiction series free, Her Dying Wish

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