Sunday, October 18, 2020

What stopped American social progress

David Brooks writes in the NY Times:
“The Upswing,” a remarkable new book by Robert D. Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett, puts this situation in stark relief. A careful work of social science, the book looks at American life from about 1870 to today across a range of sectors that are usually analyzed in separate academic silos.

The first important finding is that between the 1870s and the late 1960s a broad range of American social trends improved: Community activism surged, cross party collaboration increased, income inequality fell, social mobility rose, church attendance rose, union membership rose, federal income taxes became more progressive and social spending on the poor rose.

Many of us think that the gains for African-Americans only happened after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but Putnam and Garrett show that the fastest improvements actually happened in the decades before. Black school attendance, income gains, homeownership rates, voter registration rates started rapidly improving in the 1940s and then started slowing in the 1970s and 1980s.

The American century was built during these decades of social progress. And then, around the late 1960s, it all turned south.

Over the past 50 years, the positive trends have reversed: membership in civic organizations has collapsed, political polarization has worsened, income inequality has widened, social trust has cratered, religious attendance is down, social mobility has decreased, deaths of despair have skyrocketed and on and on.

So what happened in the 1960s? The authors are unable or unwilling to say.

Until the 1960s, the USA was predominantly a White Christian nation, with a fairly homogeneous population. Most were descended from northwest Europeans. Then we had a series of anti-White-Christian political movements, and started a program of flooding the country with non-whites and non-Christians from other countries. These trends explain most of the bad trends that the book describes.

Another NY Times article describes how "white supemacist" has become the preferred anti-White racial slur:

Ten years ago, white supremacy frequently described the likes of the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke, the neo-Nazi politician from Louisiana. Now it cuts a swath through the culture, describing an array of subjects: the mortgage lending policies of banks; a university’s reliance on SAT scores as a factor for admissions decisions; programs that teach poor people better nutrition; and a police department’s enforcement policies. ...

“It is not hyperbole to say that white supremacy is resting at the heart of American politics,” Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor of Princeton, a socialist activist and professor of African-American studies, said in a speech in 2017.

Even tho Whites are supposedly supreme, the NY Times insists that White do not have sufficient culture to merit a capital W, even thocultural signposts are found outside the Black-white divide. it capitalizes Black:
cultural signposts are found outside the Black-white divide.
According to the best-selling book on this subject, white supremacy refers to non-whites seeing whites as superior, and all whites are inherently white supremacist. It is just a way of saying non-whites envy white skin, and there is nothing whites can do about it.


Anonymous said...


Roger said...

1965 was the year that the Democrats gained maximum power, and used it for a number of dubious LBJ programs. The most consequential one was the 1965 Immigration Law.