America’s Black Dilemma #2


America’s Black Dilemma #2

If you have not read my previous post on America’s Black Dilemma, it is important that you do in order to understand what now follows in my second post on this topic.

https://culturalsurvivalskills.me/2015/09/02/americas-black-dilemma-the-falsely-attributed-truth/

When I first read this article, I immediately recalled the following Biblical quote.  This passage has always stuck with me since my youth. I am no Biblical scholar and there appear to be Biblical statements that are in conflict with the one I remember so clearly.

But, if there ever was a mega-example of the following quote about God’s consequences for bad behavior, it would appear to relate America’s Black Dilemma.

From the Bible: Exodus 34:7English Standard Version (ESV)

7″ keeping steadfast love for thousands,[a] forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

Yet, it is illogical to me that a forgiving and benevolent God would endlessly punish both those who have been sinned against (the American Black population) and also, endlessly, the children of the sinners (the American slave owners), who have worked for generations to atone-for and correct the original sin of enslaving the blacks.

In the article, The Black Dilemma, it is stated in the 9th paragraph that “nothing changes no matter how much money is spent,” etc., etc..

Well, if the science of psychology can teach America anything, it should be that it is not the amount of money spent that will ever change a population’s behavior problems, it is rather how the money is spent.

My following previous blog will explain exactly what I mean by this statement.

It will also set the record straight regarding The Black Dilemma article’s overly negative assessment of America’s lack-of-progress in race relations.

https://culturalsurvivalskills.me/2014/12/20/why-some-blacks-dislike-america-bill-oreilly/

Another matter is in need of clarification:

In paragraph 9, the author states: “Some argue its a problem of culture, as if culture creates people, in stead of the other way around”.

This is clearly a wrong and gross-oversimplification of an amazingly complex process with a simple name: Cultural Evolution.

Culture and its various evolution’s, or changes, is a fiendishly  complex matter. To say that culture creates people is correct, but to say that people create culture is correct.

In fact, culture and the people’s behavior it generates are part of an ever-changing cycle of mutually interacting and determining forces involving the changing environment, the changing behaviors of the people (including their technology, sociopolitical practices and various other traditions), and the effects that all of this has upon the changing behaviors, sociopolitical practices, technologies and various traditions of their future generations. Now, add the effects of various other external forces such as war and people from other cultures immigrating into the culture under study and the complexity of countless bi-directional determinants (causal positive and negative feedback loops) among the receiving culture’s infrastructure, structure and superstructure become  mind-boggling.

The explanation, prediction and control of these phenomena remain one of Behavioral Science’s greatest challenges.

Never-the less, the article America’s Black Dilemma (no matter the author) confronts us all with some truths about America and its lack of full recovery from its historical enslavement of black populations

Sadly, however, the main truth is missed: As discussed in my second blog citation above, if a culture rewards bad  behavior, it will experience increased rates of bad behavior within its population. This is a true non-technical statement derived from Psychology’s Law of Effect.

This statement will remain true, no matter the race or culture of the population under study.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

9/0/15

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3 Responses to “America’s Black Dilemma #2”

  1. Jana Mawhinney Martin Says:

    I don’t have anything to say on the Black Dilemma, but the Bible passage you quoted has always reminded me of your theory of “behavioral contagion.” People pass that stuff (sin) down through generations until someone interrupts it. (getting proper counseling, facing the problem, getting honest, changing behaviors and relationships, healing, and replacing it with healthy, loving, and supportive behavior.

    Like

    • vtmawhinney Says:

      Jana, Thanks for your comment. I too have noticed that preachers talk about how “contagious” sin is. How it can easily affect or influence those around the sinner in bad ways.

      However, I was not thinking of that or aware of the analogy when I adopted the idea of contagion in the term behavioral contagion. I write about good behavioral contagion and bad behavioral contagion. I have carefully defined each and noted that good behavioral contagion takes much energy and organization to maintain and increase in rate of occurrence within a population. Bad behavioral contagion requires very little energy and thrives on the absence of organization. However, when the spread of bad behavioral contagion is “organized” in nature, i.e., the Islamic terrorists and perhaps the Nazis, it will accelerate even more dramatically. I believe behavioral contagion is a key missing concept in cultural evolution. Tom

      Like

    • vtmawhinney Says:

      Thanks for the comment Jana. I think your comments are spot-on! God Bless, Tom

      Like

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