In that light, let’s imagine what it would entail for black communities to truly condemn black thugs, beyond just having marches and using words like “troubling.” Mothers would have to forsake their own boys, for real. Women would refuse to go near any man with thuggish associations, for real—barely a thug could expect to get any action. In communities that already feel as if the mainstream world is an alien realm, ordinary people would have to sneeringly dismiss, for real and for good, every third one of their own male teens and twenty-somethings in the neighborhood, and get out in front of cameras and start howling against them. Thugs, to feel remotely at home, would have to move to different cities and start over—leaving their families (including kids) behind.
Okay, right wingers – is this a scenario any of you can seriously entertain? This would require a contravention of fundamental human bonds of affection and group membership that no human group in the history of humanity has ever been required, or even asked, to pull off. For a black community to seriously hate on black thugs would be to hate on part of itself.
Sad, yes. But the right is perhaps more comfortable than the left with the simple fact that what’s sad is often true. And right or left, anyone who has ever been a parent—or even been a child, which I presume we all have—knows that the solution to the problem is not simply that black mothers need to tell their boys not to be thugs. Who thinks they don’t do that already?