I stumbled across a blog today called Traditional Catholic Femininity. Obviously, I’m not exactly in the target audience, but it’s hard sometimes not to read Rab Trads either to snigger or to wince at some of the silly things they say (and then harass your friends about how they dated for three years but the Rab Trads say they should have broken up after two). But one post caught my eye not because of it’s over the top traditionalism but because it’s about a BBC article entitled Why are black poor Americans more optimistic than white ones?
The writer at TradCatFem confuses optimism with happiness and proclaims Blacks Are Happier Than Whites:
In a way, I am not too surprised. It makes complete sense and I shared this article, along with why it made sense, on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages. Below is the response I wrote:
Because a lot of the black Americans tend to have strong family connections and they also tend to have more children.
Increased number of children leads to increased sense of purpose and community spirit.
Meanwhile, a lot of white Americans tend to have fewer children, ship them off to daycare while they build their careers in an endless pursuit of money, resulting in distancing between them and their offspring
When their children reach adulthood, many leave home and contact with the parents is very limited as they hardly spent adequate time with them in their early years.
Money and a career do not buy happiness. Long-term happiness and fulfilment is gained from family and building a legacy.
A couple important things come out about the writer in this post. She’s black and she’s British.
Unfortunately, America has a worldwide reputation for being brash, hostile and arrogant, and I saw evidence of this in the response I received to the above article that I posted on my social media.
I wonder if Americans being hostile has anything to do with people unfairly stereotyping and attacking them… Well, my impression of Europeans is that they’re snobs who think they’re better than everybody else. So I guess we’ll call it even.
In response to someone who called the BBC report “fake news” she says things like:
3) your attempt to discredit it or me, by demanding to know if I live in America, even though it is very clearly a report from the worldwide respected BBC news tells of your ignorance
4) your insistence that you THINK you know better than the US scientists who conducted the research and BBC world news who reported it simply exposes your deep racism.
5) I suspect that you are white, which makes sense at your outrage that you are indeed NOT a superior race because here is scientific evidence that you are miserable.
The fake news comment may be a little silly (it’s hard to tell without context) but the speed at which she jumps to “racism!” is amazing. It’s sad too that someone parading around how “traditional” they are accepts anything they read in the main stream news without a second thought.
She has another exchange:
PERSON: Interesting. Because in the US about 78% of Black children are born out of wedlock and almost 50% of their families are on public assistance. Only 19% of blacks have college degrees.
ME: Exactly. Education and money does not guarantee happiness
PERSON: No, money doesn’t make one happy. But neither does sin and irresponsibility.
ME: The overall take-home message was not whether or not their lifestyle choices are acceptable or not.
The take-home message is that family and community is what brings happiness.
And given America’s racial history, it kinda makes sense that the existing racial prejudice resulted in disillusioned black communities with little to no opportunities or motivation.
Example, here is the UK, black people do not have the problem that blacks and Hispanics have in the US.
Why not? After all, the UK and the British Empire had colonies in black countries.
The difference between us and the US is that we do not have racial prejudice to level that the US has. As a result, we don’t have the same rates of crime, violence, broken homes etc that exist in the US.
You honestly can’t blame the black community for the violence, broken homes, poor education etc
In addition, with all that the US blacks have had to endure through the decades, it is still commendable, that they remain optimistic and happy.
We all, black or not, US or not, could learn from this…..to retain an attitude of hope, joy, optimism and to focus on important things, even if our circumstances are dire.
As you can see, the two people who commented were both Americans, both white and both triggered by the Black angle to the story.
The focus of my comment was that family, not materialism, is important than materialism.
But they did not see that at all. They immediately honed in on the race angle, ignoring the most important part.
She ignores the comment on black illegitimacy rates and continues to repeat the same non sequitur. What would be much better is if this woman had actually read the article she’s commenting on. If, as she claims, whites’ unhappiness is caused by lack of family values and materialism, then why is this the case:
On this scale, black people are, on average, 1.1 points higher on the optimism scale than white people are. Black people on average score above 8, while the average for white people is 7.
The gap across poor black people and poor white people is even larger, at 1.4 points.
Emphasis mine. Poor people don’t have as much money. They aren’t the ones going to college. Education and money is not causing them to be more pessimistic than blacks.
I don’t have any problem whatsoever with the claim that blacks are more optimistic than whites. The problem is why. Is there a reason for blacks to be more optimistic… or is that whites have a reason to be more pessimistic? Oh, the BBC article answers that too:
While disadvantage and discrimination still exist, minorities have been making gradual progress in narrowing gaps with white people in terms of their education, wages, and life expectancy.
Some of this is because of concrete gains made by those communities.
But much of the improvement is due to the relative decline in the incomes and status of poor white people – a trend associated with the hollowing-out of blue-collar jobs, which are decreasing in both number and stability at the same time as the market for high-skilled labour continues to prosper and grow.
Again emphasis mine.
TradCatFem can sit over there on the other side of the ocean and squawk about Americans being hostile and racist, but she knows nothing about this country. Blacks and other minorities are enjoying perks and benefits denied poor white people. Poor whites are being told that they’re evil, racist, and useless people who should die and get out of the way.
Meanwhile, those black American communities and their value on families? Black mothers are unwed more than 70% of the time. How is this having “strong family connections”? They don’t stay with the same man either. In what way is it good for black children to have a dozen half-siblings and never know their fathers? Black girls talk about getting a new baby-daddy just so they can get bigger welfare checks. Isn’t that materialistic? They don’t have kids because kids are a blessing from God, they have kids because Uncle Sam is forking over the dough.
As a traditionalist Catholic, TradCatFem ought to be ashamed of herself. What she says about white Americans is uncharitable at best and calumny at worst. She holds up black Americans as an example of things that they don’t do and expects the rest of us to learn from that. What the majority of black Americans have is not family, it’s not community. It’s immorality and degradation. And it has absolutely nothing to do with how “happy” they are.