‘Acting Black’: The Real Reason Black Men Get Shot by Police

gangstaFor over half a century now, the U.S. federal government has insisted that black people do not have to abide by the same rules and standards as everyone else.  Initially, the reasoning was that since they’d been deprived of equal education and opportunities by continuing racial animosity (e.g., Jim Crow legislation in some states), government programs would help level the playing field, giving blacks a jump start on developing the practical and social skills to compete equally in the job market.  Sounds great in theory, doesn’t it?

However, like all government programs, the practical effect didn’t live up to the rhetoric.  The fact that some black Americans continued to live in poverty was supposedly the proof of an ongoing racism, so from the sixties until this very day white guilt-ridden politicians continue throwing money and programs at the perceived racial inequality.  Nobody knows the true amount, but the trillions spent specifically for blacks since the sixties is a damn sight greater than the once-promised “40 acres and a mule”!  Yet the New Black Panther party, for one, is still calling for reparations and “what we’re owed,” one hundred and fifty years after slavery was abolished and after over half a century and trillions of dollars have been taken from the rest of the country to help black Americans escape poverty.

However, since most black Americans have succeeded to one degree or another and don’t live in poverty, the claims of “racism” ring hollow.  Why have they been able to succeed and prosper when some other black Americans haven’t?  The answer is a hard, even harsh, truth that many will not like, but it’s true nonetheless.

The black underclass today is living in poverty because of choices those individuals have made: e.g., not studying in school, and not adopting the mainstream culture’s norms of language, behavior, work ethic, etc., because all that is “acting white.”  A more idiotic and self-destructive attitude would be hard to conjure up, yet that has been a major theme in the so-called “black community.”

At some point the finger must be turned away from white America (and even from the feckless career politicians) and pointed at those who are really responsible: those black Americans who refuse to do what most people in every race (including most blacks) do in order to build lives for themselves and their families.  Instead of claiming that “white America” (evidence enough of the hatred and pure racism of blacks that use that term) has appropriated black culture, it’s way past time for that black underclass to appropriate the accepted societal standards that allow for normal, successful lives.

Thomas Sowell, renowned economist and author (who happens to be black), has repeatedly made the point that people living in poverty today are likely to not be living in poverty next year, or certainly not in three years.  That’s what happens when people like him (and me) grow up in low-income housing projects, yet study and work to lift themselves out of those conditions.  And that is what has happened for most Americans, black or otherwise, who were once mired in poverty.

Woodrow Wilcox


However, for those who remain in poverty generation after generation, it’s their choices that condemn them to that condition, not racism.  Not studying, not developing the social skills needed to succeed, not exercising restraint on their immediate wants and desires, rejecting society’s standards of behavior and laws…those are the “fatal shots” fired long before any policeman fires his gun.  No politician dares say that, at least in public; but it’s the simple truth.

That permanent underclass that doesn’t work has plenty of energy and spare time, time to use, buy and sell drugs, to crank out illegitimate babies to increase their government benefits, to steal from and murder each other, and to rob, rape and prey on others, which they rationalize as “just” because of past wrongs to black Americans.  And career politicians continue to claim it’s not the black people’s fault, so we continue to excuse and subsidize their bad choices and worse behavior.  It’s the most expensive extortion scam in history, for both poor blacks and the rest of the nation.



This refusal to hold black Americans accountable for their own behavior and choices extends to the courts and criminal justice system, from which they often get no more than a slap on the wrist because of crowded jails/prisons and overcrowded dockets.  They plea to lesser offenses and walk free when they should be in jail.  Instead of being grateful for a second (third or fourth) chance, the ultimate result of this is the development of a vitriolic contempt for the justice system and the law, which can be seen in so many interactions between black Americans and the police.  When cops call them to account for their bad or even criminal behavior, they run away or resist and fight the cops, leaving their families to cry “racism” when they get themselves shot, almost always deservedly so.  Millions of black Americans who show respect for other people and the laws and standards of this society never get shot during encounters with police.  It’s the behavior, stupid!  And all decent, law-abiding black people suffer from the suspicions and unease that black males have engendered in police, not from racism but from decades of experience.  Those are the people who should be protesting in the street, not that “black lives matter,” but that some blacks make all black lives more difficult…and dangerous.

We have created our own Frankenstein’s monster in the U.S., a permanent black underclass whose choices and behavior condemn them to lives of poverty, crime and continual conflict with the guardians of society, the police.  Unless/until the so-called black “leaders” and the poor black people themselves stop hiding behind the phony racism claims and acknowledge their own behavior is what’s getting them killed, and then change that behavior, there’s no end in sight to the body counts in black neighborhoods, and the inevitable shootings of black Americans by police.

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Formerly a liberal and an atheist, Paul E. Scates served as a Marine in Vietnam and is a lifelong student of American history, politics and culture. A former contributor to national website TooGoodReports.com, he writes his staunchly independent Conservative and informed Christian commentary for his fellow ordinary, working Americans, the “we, the people” who are ultimately responsible for preserving our Constitutional liberties.
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  • retiredday

    Understanding the perspective of this article is critical in dealing with the invidious charges of racism that are assumed to be at the root of today’s social unrest. Those whose thinking is steeped in political correctness will likely respond to this article by calling it racist, and so they won’t even begin to consider its content. Such is the habit of those closed to the truth.

    But countering that ignorance, Clarence Thomas gave a brilliant tutorial on freedom and obligation in his commencement address at Hillsdale College this year. You can read it at https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/freedom-obligation-2016-commencement-address/

    Men do not obtain liberty as a result of government. It is the obligation of free men to earn and preserve their own freedom and produce good government to that end.