“Lest Observation Become Racism”

When I was younger, my parents lived in an apartment in one of the more unfortunate parts of New York City. The place was a decrepit fifth floor walk up in a heavily minority (read, black) area with the usual pitfalls: limited space, shifty stoop dwelling characters who never seemed to be at work, constant noise, etc. However, the one impression seared into my memory was the filth. Not in our apartment, mind you, but everywhere in and around the buildings. The common areas were always overflowing with discarded trash and flyers, bags of trash were strewn everywhere but in designated trash cans, and the aroma of urine hung perpetually in the lobby area. Rodents and assorted vermin were the natural consequence of the disarray, and very early in my life I developed a very strong aversion to apartments and specifically, to the roaches that I associated with them.

After being accosted by one too many stoop goons and tripping over one too many discarded needles, my parents decided that enough was enough and decamped to the suburbs. To my great relief, there was nary a roach or rat to be found there. Incidentally, there were also far fewer poor minorities there. Nevertheless, for any dual income suburban family with children, summers require childcare arrangements. So, summers were spent with my grandfather. My grandfather lived in another equally unfortunate part of New York City, in an equally decrepit fourth floor walk up in a similarly heavily minority (black) area. There was one key difference though: the filth level was so extreme that it made my parents’ old apartment building look like paradise by comparison. Thus, my vermin free suburban existence was punctuated by summers of terror, and I spent two and a half months every year watching roaches scamper freely about. My hatred of multi family dwellings calcified.

In my adult life, necessity softened my position on apartments, and I lived in several. I overcame my distaste and found my first real world pad, a massive downscale apartment complex in an upscale Midwestern college town. I lived there for two years: not once did I have a vermin problem, not once did the common areas reek of piss. My next place was in a mid sized apartment building inhabited mostly by Asian graduate students. This building was even more delightful and clean than the last. I began to forget that roaches were even a thing.

Fast forward to this month. I found a spacious apartment in a building located in a more…vibrant (black)…part of town that had more in common with Grandpap’s place than it did with the Asian grad student collective that I’d last lived in. Given the demographics, I initially contemplated walking away and finding a space in a tonier locale. However, it was affordable & reasonably clean, and I’m cheap, so I decided to rent. My noisy superego even made the suggestion that it would be racist to do otherwise.

I’m sure you see where this is going. When I moved in, I realized that the property managers managed to clean up quite a bit before my showing. I also realized that I must have viewed the premises on a relatively quiet day. As soon as I walked up the stairs to my new place, I realized that a fraud had been perpetrated. Trash everywhere, noise to high heavens, filthy stairwells, people lying about at all odd hours. Once I flicked on the light switch, I realized that I’d been truly fucked.

I had friends. Of the cockroach variety.


View from a porch. Vibrancy in action.

Observation is, and will always be, the enemy of equality for good reason. Observation is liable to make a racist out of the most vigilant, tolerant anti-racist, which is precisely why anti-racists insist upon interpreting even the most casual of racially tinged observations as racism. It’s why they hate HBD. The anti-racists don’t dare say that discrimination is bad because the conclusions that one arrives at are wrong. They could never seriously make that contention. Rather, we are warned about being wacis’ because our conclusions are very often right; the decisions we make based upon these observations more often than not have a basis in hard fact and are completely logical. Admit this, and the social justice tapestry quickly unravels. Enough frank talk and clear eyed observation will imperil the whole Western equality project. Have enough realtalkers swapping anecdotes with strikingly similar features, and you have a problem. Sooner or later, the critical mass of anecdotes will run up against some hard racial truths. Give it long enough, and the realtalk cancer will metastasize, and your faux, house of cards equality is done for. This is precisely why the leftists are committed to doing aggressive battle against racial crimethink and vigorously squelching speech.

Knowing what I knew, had I passed on that apartment after seeing the demographics, would that have been racist? Would that have been the wrong decision? Absolutely not. Every time that I’ve lived in a lower income, majority-minority location, there have always been vermin. I ignored my experience and observations to make the tolerant yet completely illogical decision to live in my current apartment and I did so to my detriment. I’ve lived around poor people of every stripe but I’ve come to realize that black poverty is qualitatively distinct from poverty as it manifests itself amongst other groups. Black poverty has a certain quality that makes itself felt. It seems and feels more intractable and desperate than other groups’ poverty. It is infinitely more dysfunctional, noisier, filthier, disorganized, and annoying. It is intrusive. Why is this? One can speculate. Whatever the case, it’s clear that not every group is capable of everything. Observe enough “coincidental” patterns, and it’ll quickly become apparent that there’s no such thing as tabula rasa and that everyone is not the same.

What is decried as prejudice is very often postjudice. It’s clunky, but it fits. Postjudice isn’t irrational hate. Rather, it’s the act of coming to judgment after having experiences with a person or persons. Postjudice is using one’s faculties to observe, analyze, and catalog trends then making decisions in the present that have been informed by prior experiences.

It’s not racism; it’s realism.


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