I knew an alleged philosopher once who held some variation of the soul-making theodicy (suffering makes us group up morally, etc.). I say, “alleged,” because, although he taught in a philosophy department, he didn’t know what a theodicy was, and that his stunningly original thesis was a 14-year-old’s variation of it.
Now comes this genius in the Wall Street Journal, to “just say” that blacks did better under Jim Crow (with all of its lynching and racial violence). Talking Points Memo reports (sorry about the indirectness, but I don’t have a subscription to the WSJ):
“History shows that faster black progress was occurring at a time when whites were still lynching blacks, not merely singing about it,” Riley wrote, referring to a recent incident in which several white University of Oklahoma fraternity students were recorded on video singing a racist chant about lynching.
“Liberals want blacks to ignore the lessons of this pre-Civil Rights era, which threaten the current relevance of groups like the NAACP and call into question the Democratic Party’s belief that there is a federal solution to every black problem,” Riley wrote
He went on to blame the problems of “black America” on “post-Civil Rights era social pathology and misguided government interventions.”
“The problem isn’t the attitudes and behaviors of the boys on the bus so much as those of the boys in the ’hood,” he wrote.
I’m pretty sure, by the way, that the “federal solution” claim does not represent the view of the NAACP and the Democratic Party.
The more important claim is that a campaign of racial terror is an inspiration toward racial progress. Some would define the “progress” in question as “eliminating the racial terror.” So, yes, I guess it is an inspiration for that.