I knew an alleged philosopher once who held some variation of the soul-making theodicy (suffering makes us group up morally, etc.). Â 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). Â 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 chantÂ 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 Partyâ€™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 isnâ€™t the attitudes and behaviors of the boys on the bus so much as those of the boys in the â€™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. Â Some would define the “progress” in question as “eliminating the racial terror.” Â So, yes, I guess it is an inspiration for that.