Black Progress – Coleman Hughes

Featuring #colemanhughes on Black Progress
It is true that the social narrative about Black people is most often negative, doom and gloom, crime, etc. Particularly during times like these, the focus is on grievances and whether or not those grievances have been met over the years, the focus is always on the magnification of problems.
Granted, the goal of finding solutions would be the entire point of airing out grievances, But in doing so, many are oriented towards comparisons with other groups and are oriented away from celebrating the gains made thus far. A noteworthy point of his argument is that if one habituates themselves to only looking at gaps from the perspective of comparison to outside factors versus comparison to one’s own group – over a given period of time – one tends to 1) ignore the gains made within the group and 2) one may come to the erroneous conclusion of burning down everything rather than tweaking and improving on the gains already made.

In these first 3 clips, he begins the discussion on progress with the listing of stats.

From approximately 2000- 2001 until recently:

Incarceration of black males has decreased by 59-72%, depending on the age group

Teen pregnancy has called 63%

Deaths from illnesses such as heart disease and cancer has fallen 40%

On to the next clips as he builds his case.

Coleman goes on to list more progress statistics and then he gets to the crux of his argument. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
1) These gains are rarely given the same attention as Black deficits and ‘failures’ including crime rates.
2) The reason these gains aren’t promoted is because there is no incentive by either the Democratic or the Republican party to do so. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Here is where it gets really interesting for more. After the next post with the

Despite the progress mentioned in the previous clips just posted, Mr. Hughes believes that neither political party has an incentive to promote the good news.

In his opinion both Democrats and Republicans rely on the idea of Black stagnation and perpetually being in dire straits.

For Democrats, the root causes for the reported dismal conditions of Blacks (white racism, systemic racism, bigotry etc) should never be eradicated because that would obliterate their platform centered around pointing out the root causes and promising to fix them with their upcoming political campaign.

If progress is reported, it pokes wholes into their stumping points.

For Republicans, while the root causes may not be highlighted, the promises to alleviate Black conditions based on sound fiscal policies is a great campaign selling point.

Despite the politics incentives to hide Black Progress, individuals can inform themselves and be open to analyze progress from a different angle.
‘The way Black Progress is obscured is a consequence of the habit of comparing Black outcomes to White outcomes rather than comparing Black outcomes to Black outcomes from an earlier time’ – Mr. Hughes
The upcoming excerpts describes this idea in further detail.
The reason this 12 minute video (in total) was of interest to me is because of the opposing arguments that I imagined would be put forth.
Because BLM and social warriors sole purpose is to focus on adverse Black outcomes, the idea that one focuses on positive outcomes is one that assumes that the later group of folks would rather put their heads in the sand and ignore or deny that problems exist.
In my opinion, herein lies the basis of disagreements between liberal and conservative Black people. Just about most of the ideas and arguments that I introduce on this page could or would be thought of as ‘sellout’ism, ignoring Black suffering or simply not knowing my ‘history’. This seems to be the go-to deflection for most and it is the wall impulsively erected without a second thought because surely anyone who doesn’t identity and base the meaning of their entire life around oppression is a defective Black person.
The argument presented by Coleman is interesting in that it brings the focus away from emotional virtue signaling to rational, tangible gains based on actions, thinking and behaviors that, if acknowledged and repeated by the Black community that is lagging behind, can bring great relief to larger and larger swaths of black folks.
This is the crux of my beliefs about the State of Black America as well.

Despite the politics incentives to hide Black Progress, individuals can inform themselves and be open to analyze progress from a different angle.
‘The way Black Progress is obscured is a consequence of the habit of comparing Black outcomes to White outcomes rather than comparing Black outcomes to Black outcomes from an earlier time’ – Mr. Hughes

So here we have an example of looking at the 72% decline in incarceration from the point of view of regression.

It’s interesting to note that the media often used the same angle for sensationalization.

Perspective is everything and having one perspective doesn’t negate that the other perspective exists. The question is to what degree the other perspective exists and whether or not the other perspective is powerful enough to nullify everything else.
In regards to Black progress, focusing on the progress does not negate that there were impediments to that progress. It seems the differences in opinion, for most folks, is 1) whether or not the impediments still exist today 2) and if they do exist today, do they exist to the degree in which they existed in the past and 3) whether or not the impediments in the past prohibited all progress from occurring and 4) if impediments did or do exist, should Black people ONLY focus on the dissecting it, inspecting it, rehashing it, flipping it over and discussing it from all angles?
All of these questions still haven’t touched the fact that there is a perspective that is wholly separate which focuses on the progress and how to increase and expand it into all areas of life.
Perhaps there can be a double pronged approach wherein individuals gravitate towards either end of the spectrum with a focus on the problems or the progress.
For me, personally such questions elevate the conversation and moves me several steps further in the direction of solutions.

Here he brings us to the point of his argument that in the face of such progress, rather than comparing that progress to white statistics and coming to the conclusion that the entire system should be burned to the ground, wouldn’t it make sense to tweak the system that already exists?

Well, if you believe that the system is so flawed as to have created no progress at all, the question would never be answered.

The gap based view of the world avoids the existence of progress. What the gap based view essentially does is to only give relevance to that which can FIRST be compared to white people’s experience. What Mr. Hughes argues for is to ALSO measure black outcomes against black outcomes of the past; which will provide a more well rounded point of view. With an enlarged perspective, one may come to the conclusion that burning the entire house down, in order to achieve meaningful or symbolic progress isn’t necessary.

Massive progress has been made but media will definitely not prioritize sharing that information.

If we are to discuss Black America, it is best not to focus solely on what goes wrong but also what goes right. By looking more closely at what is going right, we can repeat it.

This concludes the multi post discussion. I hope it gave you lots of food for thought as it did for me.

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