The Thought Vigilantes Strike Again

“If you believe that your thoughts originate inside your brain, do you also believe that television shows are made inside your television set?” (Warren Ellis)

Well, now you’ve done it! This is Sean Bergin. For reasons that no one will ever know he decided at the end of his report to opine that the reason for crime is overlooked and ignored. To wit: “The underlying cause for all of this, of course: Young black men growing up without fathers,” he argued. “Unfortunately, no one in the news media has the courage to touch that subject.”

Causation. This is a critical issue for me. I’m a stickler when it comes to causation versus correlation. You can’t blend, merge and confuse the two. They’re absolutely different concepts. Marihuana doesn’t cause heroin addition but most addicts started out twisting a fatty. Italian-Americans comprise the LCN but most are not in the Mafia. You know the drill.

A swing and a miss. To be sure, the general subject of crime encompasses a host of contributory factors, but causal? That’s a tough one to prove so let’s get this out of the way. Fatherlessness doesn’t cause crime. Marriage doesn’t cause divorce.

The thoughts are anything but extreme. But you’ve invariably lived under a rock if you’ve never heard a number of African-American notables opine anent the destruction of many the urban family. Bill Cosby has railed against it as well as Alvin Poussaint, Thomas Sowell, Cornel West or Oprah (who discusses the very subject here), just to name a noble few. Now, ask yourself what would happened in the same point was advanced by Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell or Dr. Ben Carson, what would be the result? And whether the rule is that one must be a member of a particular demographic to weigh in on said demo, whether he must be credentialed and degreed or, in the case of news outlets, opinions other than what a beautiful day it is are eschewed — who knows? The point is that most probably out of the Pavlovian and patellar response to anyone suggesting a racial component to a societal concern, some corporate type said no way and decided to reel in Bergin whilst they assessed the problem, damage and exposure. That’s the corporate M.O. The drill, the game plan.

Correct or explain. Don’t apologize. Don’t expect a rational approach such as a correction versus an apology. That ain’t gonna happen because that today would take elephantine huevos, guts and a backbone. Why just just announce that the reporter misspoke if he in fact did or cite a study or acknowledged opinion indicating that you didn’t pull this hypothesis or theory out of your arse on the fly. And can you honestly tell me that suggesting that there are paternity permanency issues in the Black Community is far-fetched? Why must it be construed as racist? When population demos show higher rates of hypertension and diabetes, we nod respectfully. You can’t wear your epidemiology badge without singling out populations by region and demo. So, please, assuming arguendo that Bergin’s statements were true or based on some data, why is its mention a suspending or firing offense?

Thought vigilantes. Note that I don’t refer to the thought police. Police are somewhat more organized. Theoretically. No, the thought vigilante is the problem. The self-appointed neighborhood watch crowd who polices on their own. And please don’t tell me that corporations have the right to fire an employee. For Chrissakes, Sparky, we know. But we get off on it. It somehow at times makes some of use feel better. Superior. More sentient and with it and aware. Instead of the thought vigilante. Which they are.

  1. TrenchPress » The Thought Vigilantes Strike Again - pingback on July 15, 2014 at 9:16 PM

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