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Barack Obama

The Mythology of Black Male Pathology

Paul Ryan
Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Although Paul Ryan was roundly criticized for his remarks about the inner-city, what he said isn’t much different than what many “progressives” have also said.

Cousin Pookie and Uncle Jethro voted at higher rates than any other ethnic group in the country. They voted for Barack Obama. Our politics have not changed. Neither has Barack Obama’s rhetoric.

Facts can only get in the way of a good story. It was sort of stunning to see the president give a speech on the fate of young Black boys, and not mention the word racism once. It was sort of stunning to see the president salute the father of Trayvon Martin and the father of Jordan Davis and then claim, “nothing keeps a young man out of trouble like a father who takes an active role in his son’s life.” From what I can tell, the major substantive difference between Ryan and Obama, is that Obama’s actual policy agenda regarding Black America is serious, and Ryan’s isn’t.

But Ryan’s point–that the a pathological culture has taken root among an alarming sector of Black people–is basically accepted by many progressives today. And it’s been accepted for a long time.

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