Did minorities get screwed by the Baby Boomers?

Sorry for the lack of updates recently. It’s been ridiculously busy. Of course I’ve been busy with the kid stuff, but I’ve also been busy with other obligations. It’s been so busy that I’ve temporarily quit chess. Nor more chess for me…not for a long time. At the last scholastic tournament, another chess dad asked me, “Have you been following the Candidates?” I had forgotten that it had even started! Although it’s probably for the best since Naka is having the worst tournament of his entire life…

Anyway, during the last week, I’ve been thinking about something very interesting. It’s often noted that the Baby Boomer generation is one of the most influential generations of all-time. I think it’s true. Back in the day before Vietnam, almost everyone believed what the government told us. White people occupied one part of society, Black people another, and Asian people were in-between. Women didn’t speak up as loudly as men. The Baby Boomer generation was the generation that opened up America’s doubt. The Boomers stopped Vietnam and acted against nuclear proliferation. It’s also the generation that was the driving force behind the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s (although most of the architects of the movement were from the Greatest Generation, i.e. born before the mid 1940’s). They were the generation that drove and implemented civil rights, gender rights, animal rights, marriage rights, and they are the ones who drove our understanding of the importance of environmentalism.

But at the same time, I wonder if we minorities got screwed in the end. Sure, minorities have a much bigger voice now than before, but not everything looks good. Take, for example, the black rate of of out-of-wedlock births. It used to be 24% when Moynihan came out with his report in 1965; now it’s 72%. Black poverty is out of control, much worse than before. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X, both Greatest Generation leaders, were known for their honesty and commitment to their cause. These days, we’ve got Sharpton, Jackson, and countless Black Lives Matter activists who don’t think twice before lying or fabricating stories to push their all-important causes. Back in the day, there was honor. These days, Black Lives Matter activists lie, mislead, and call for dead cops, which predictably gives us dead innocent cops. There is a leadership vacuum in poor black communities.

The Boomer influence on Asians has been less obvious, but perhaps equally powerful. Back in my grandmother’s day, Asian women respected Asian men as equals of White men. Back in the day, the relationships between Asian men and women were similar to the relationships between Black men and women back then and today–there are and were problems, but there was never any kind of hatred between the two groups. After Kingston, Tan, and Hwang began their assault on Asian men, Asian men couldn’t breathe without getting blamed for one thing or another. Many prominent Asian women during that generation attacked Asian men, as if we were the creators of everything racist and sexist in the world. It was so bad that it left a legacy of anger, distrust, and confusion among Asian American Generation X, which probably has the lowest intra-racial dating experience of any generation in history. Many women of Generation X found themselves attacking Asian men without knowing why, as if it was perfectly normal to attack the men of your race while ignoring the faults of non-Asian men or even extolling their supposed virtues. Generation Y, the Millennial generation, has recovered somewhat but not completely.

My point in this blog post isn’t to say that what the Baby Boomers did was wrong. The Boomer Generation was the first to tackle racial and gender inequality to the extent that they did. The Boomer Generation fixed a lot of the prior generation’s problems. How else did we get a Black president in the last two elections and (hopefully) a woman president in the next election? The Boomers paved the way. But at the same time, I think we need to recognize that the stereotypical Boomer ethos of being “against” something is not always best. We saw what happened to the relationships between Asian men and women, and we saw how that ethos has hurt the black community. There is such thing as going too far in the other direction. It’s time for all of us, Boomers, X’ers, Millenials, and Z’s, to rein it all in, to step back, and to decide what’s best for our communities and country.

22 thoughts on “Did minorities get screwed by the Baby Boomers?

  1. There is such thing as going too far in the other direction. It’s time for all of us, Boomers, X’ers, Millenials, and Z’s, to rein it all in, to step back, and to decide what’s best for our communities and country.

    I don’t think we can step back. Those “fighting” mentality and progressive values have been ingrained into American people. There are also too many interests involved. Just as I said earlier : Those good values of democracy, human rights and political correctness which made this country great in the past will destroy it in the future – we call it in Chinese “成也萧何败也萧何” (success because of Xiao He, failure because of Xiao He too) “. What we are witness here is the slow erosion of the foundation for democracy and equality. I don’t see the way out.

  2. A couple of weeks ago, it dawned on me that the civil rights movement succeeded in mid-60 wasn’t accidental. It was the time when the US finished its transformation into middle class society and was highly homogeneous – about 90% of the populations were white. America could afford the changes. When South Africa’s whites finished their transformation into middle class, they resisted to let black people have the same rights – because they couldn’t afford it. The situation in South Africa today proves that they were probably right.

    Democracy only works well in economically and culturally homogeneous societies – which means middle class and single race (ethnicity) or single dominant culture society. We are losing middle class and becoming more culturally fragmented and diverse, so we can expect what is waiting for us down the road.

  3. ChineseMom,

    My hope is that Donald Trump is a wake-up call. The extremists on both ends created Trump (who’s also a Baby Boomer). By saying that truth doesn’t matter, the leftists created a pathway for Trump, who is an embodiment of the “truth doesn’t matter” movement. Now we’re stuck with a guy who can refuse to immediately disavow the KKK and can still not lose points. What does that tell us about the status quo?

    We shouldn’t just be angry at the Boomers. Gen-X allowed this nonsense to continue. It always shocked me how Asian American feminists of the Gen-X generation could smear Asian men without even an ounce of questioning–at least the Boomer women would do a second take before pinning that tail on the Asian male. In our generation, it became normalized. How could we allow that to continue?

    Now we’ve got Black Lives Matter and Donald Trump, two equally destructive forces that are threatening to tear the country apart. The world is a complete mess.

  4. By the way, if the Boomer Leftists stuck it to black people by disintegrating their families and increasing the poverty rate, the Black Lives Matter activists will do 100x worse by destroying the values and the dignity that make us all human. Mark my words–they will set black people back hundreds of years. They’ve already started.

    Also, part of me wonders if Kingston/Tan/Hwang have anything to do with Xiao He.I don’t know if they helped us rise.To me, it seems like it’s mostly failure because of Xiao Kingston.

  5. Byron,

    Ha-ha, Kingston/Tan/Hwang has nothing to do with “Xiao He”. They are not the reason that we progressed nor the reason for our downfall.

    In my view, the two-party democratic system is “Xiao He”, it made this country great. But now both parties only cater to their extremist base, nobody can do anything about this. I believe we will see the full negative side of this democratic system in about 30 years.

    The value of “tolerance” is “Xiao He”. That’s why we tolerate teen single motherhood and the “destroying the values and the dignity that make us all human”.

    The endless pursuit of equality and “rights” is “Xiao He”. We humans aren’t born equal. The cultures we grew up in aren’t equal. And not all the “rights” can be afforded by the society to all of its member.

    I do believe Trump will be a wake-up call for the establishments and the elites, but I doubt things will change much, especially if Hillary is elected as the president. Beside, the next president will have good chance to name two to three supreme court justices which will decide which direction this country will move and how fast. The future doesn’t look good to me no matter who is elected as the president.

  6. This is the first election I remember where all choices are bad. Last cycle, both choices were good. The cycle before that, everyone was good but Palin. This cycle, it feels like we’re jumping from the frying pan into something else.

    The saving grace here, really the only hope, is that as the Millennials and Z’s come of age, they can transform society to reflect their values. It’s very sad that Black Lives Matter, with their twisted and sick value system, has so many Millennial adherents. I hope they don’t poison the young people in this country. But Millennials do think differently. We don’t yet know exactly which direction they will go, but the hope has to rest on the fact that they present something different.

  7. I agree with ChineseMom in that you can take one idea to an extreme and it goes bad. There are more dynamics at play. One can say there is equality, but just to give one case we do put up with different income classes. Even those that might say CEOs make too much money, generally won’t deny CEOs should make more money than a person working in the mail room.

    Activist tend towards extremism, especially with the development of social media. The loudest voices tend to be the ones that want to remake everything according to their own ideas. Ultimately when they can traction there are unintended consequences. Conservatives and libertarians will likely not go overboard on equality, but they will do so with some of their own pet ideas.

    The US has been messy. Interest groups have been patchy in geography and time. New groups of immigrants have came in that have upset the equilibrium. New generations come in with new ideas, some will stick and others the next generation will reject. For that matter even new religious movements start up as soon as religion seems dead.

    I don’t like Trump, and even being on the right I think I’d rather vote for Clinton. I am getting the feeling that he will end up making reforms to the establishment. The typical tropes of the day seem to be getting a bit lame and out of touch. The old coalitions of the Republicans are dying, and I don’t think the Democrats are too far behind. The thing that happened at U of Missouri seems to be political correctness spinning out of control. Trump is even providing a way for the right to distance itself from Bush.

    Overall, I find myself hopeful. First I am disturbed by the myopia of activists who can only see things working out their way. Trump seems to be a parody of the whole process, which might make people tired of the activists who act as if the sky is falling. Trump will repulse a lot of people into being more responsive. He might even cause Congress to start to limit some of the power of the president. Second, this doesn’t seem out of character for the United States, as I said its a messy country. The set up of the government doesn’t lend itself to one faction taking over, which gives time for some movement to put it back together.

  8. Byron,

    In the past several election, all the choice were good but look at what they did to the country: Not to mention other things, seven years after the election of the black president, the race relations have gotten a lot worse, there is really no excuse for this. Bill Clinton probably was a bad candidate, scandal after scandal throughout his campaign and presidency, but he actually accomplished something good – reduced violent crime rate and reformed welfare system.

    I don’t worry about BLM and don’t believe it will have any real impact. I’m more concerned about things happened at elite colleges like forcing all freshmen to read Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s autobiography, (http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2016/3/4/town-hall-discusses-community-conversations/), this (http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/03/satisfying_smackdown_of_a_politically_correct_university_president.html), the Princeton President’s support to that professor arrested on outstanding tickets, and etc. It’s kind of like mini Cultural Revolution and will have long lasting effects a lot worse than the Cultural Revolution.

  9. ChineseMom — unless people are being beaten in the streets, calling anything happening on American college campuses today a “mini Cultural Revolution” is hyperbolic.

    BigWOWO — Some of your posts’ assertions are in error. Black lives Matter is not responsible for ‘dead innocent cops’, nor do they represent leadership in poor Black communities, since those communities are governed by all manner of local and state elected officials. During the 1960’s Martin King and Malcolm X were both considered radicals with varying respect for mainstream ideals like ‘honor’ and ‘honesty’ by journalists and pundits alike; this parallels conservative treatment of Black Lives Matter activists today.

    Further, Asian American feminism does not and has not attacked Asian men. It’s just not happening. Certainly, many Asian American men respond to Asian American feminism as if they are being attacked, and many do not. The point is that Asian American women owe no fealty to Asian American men, just as African American women owe no fealty to African American men. Anita Hill did not owe Clarence Thomas her silence.

    In the waning days of the Civil Rights Movement when Black nationalism was vogue, ugly sexism and misogyny ran rampant within activist circles. Panther leaders like Elaine Brown and Kathleen Clever endured abominable sexism, in public, and faced violent retribution when they challenged unequal treatment imposed by Panther men. It’s ahistorical to assert that in bygone eras, Black men and women supported each other, until Boomer feminism infiltrated minority communities.

    What actually happened was commonplace sexism was challenged in minority communities because racial justice did not promise women total liberation. At some point, the internal politics of race and ethnic communities would have to be examined, and this examination predates Boomer feminism, in the African American community especially. Kingston, Tan, and Hwang did not ‘assault’ Asian men; they examined gender structures within Asian American communities. The inability of some Asian American men to handle that critique, even today, illustrates the fervent need for such a critique at all.

  10. Snoopy,

    Not really. Actually, not at all.

    C’mon, let’s get serious. Did Malcolm or Martin ever lie about getting hit by someone’s car? Did either of them ever call for “dead cops?” Did they ever defend another black man for trying to murder a cop and then getting shot when the cop defended himself? No, no, and no. Why? Because they had honor. And what about Maxine Hong Kingston saying that the word for “slave” and “female” is the same word in Chinese? Why did she have to say something that is untrue to make a point?

    You gotta call a spade a spade. I think that needs to be a precondition for debate. If it’s not true, don’t say it is. If it’s not sexual assault, you don’t call it sexual assault.

    That “truth doesn’t matter” argument has created Trump. Yeah, his companies declared bankruptcy 4 times, but he can call it a success because truth doesn’t matter in his world. He can do the same by saying he was against Iraq when he wasn’t. He can say that his earpiece was faulty when he himself mentioned the name “David Duke” before refusing to disavow him. And yet people will vote for him because for so long we’ve been told that truth doesn’t matter, and now many people feel like it doesn’t matter.

    By the way, it’s funny that you mention Kathleen Cleaver. She married a man of the same race. That was common among Boomer black feminists, but it never happened among Boomer Asian American feminists. To say that these two communities developed the same way is to engage in historical revisionism.

    Do you see the problems y’all have created?

  11. Snoopy,

    Were you in China during the Cultural Revolution? If not, then you don’t know what are you talking about. Had you paid attention to comment sections of the news reports about student protests on college campuses, you would have seen some readers compare the students to the Red Guard or the Cultural Revolution too.

  12. lol I thought this thread was Snoopy Jenkins bait and as usual the same old Chinesemom condescending on blacks comments and James Lamb condescending on Asians and telling Asians what to do and how to feel same old, same old.

    But just thought this be “of interest” to the Piyush “Bobby” Jindal and Nimrata Nikki Haley (Randhawa) crowds. Self-hate via Oscars brainwashing and social hierarchy is obvious as obvious does.

    Meet the Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus supporting Trump
    By Brajesh Upadhyay
    BBC Urdu, Washington DC
    10 March 2016

    Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s barbs against Muslims and immigrants may have offended many, but there are a few people within the same communities now rooting for the billionaire.

    Right after his victory in the Nevada caucuses, Mr Trump was quick to flaunt the support he got from some Hispanic voters. Now he can add Hindus for Trump, American Sikhs for Trump and even American Muslims for Trump to his list. …

  13. I ran some numbers on Chinesemom from her previous posts and they don’t add up: Chinesemom what’s your age? You can write Byron in private to confirm.

    Cuz my parents legitimately were in the Cultural Revolution and from the sounds of it you’re in your late 40s and early 50s and therefore also WAS NOT part of the Red Guards denouncing their teachers and friends…

  14. FYI, my parents were among the last of the “sent downs” during the height of the Cultural Revolution and their age and the timeline would imply Chinesemom had your kids in your late 40s if you’re legitimately part of that generation…

  15. yes, the boomers screwed over minorities and continue to do so. Worst generation this great nation has ever produced, when they finally die things are going to be so much better.

    They can take their bell-bottoms with them into hell.

  16. I’ve been following a discussion elsewhere that evolved into talk about generational differences. Someone linked to this wiki article on generational theory:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauss–Howe_generational_theory

    Seems rather interesting, though it strikes me as way too deterministic to really explain history, which seems much more chaotic than that. Anyone read their book called Generations (I just became aware of it)? I think I will try to find it.

  17. That looks fascinating. It probably is deterministic, but I think there is probably a lot of evidence that different generations are like their own separate cultures. I had always taken for granted that we had always thought of the generations as being similar to different cultures, but perhaps it really is a relatively new way of conceptualizing history. I might like to check that out too.

  18. They have an updated book called “The Fourth Turning”, but the original one is cheaper if you don’t mind a used copy.

    I was reading the wiki again, and this kind of made me raise my eyebrows:

    Steve Bannon, former Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to President Trump is a prominent proponent of the theory. As a documentary filmmaker Bannon discussed the details of Strauss-Howe generational theory in Generation Zero. According to historian David Kaiser, who was consulted for the film, Generation Zero “focused on the key aspect of their theory, the idea that every 80 years American history has been marked by a crisis, or ‘fourth turning’, that destroyed an old order and created a new one”. Kaiser said Bannon is “very familiar with Strauss and Howe’s theory of crisis, and has been thinking about how to use it to achieve particular goals for quite a while.”[17][18][19] A February 2017 article from Business Insider titled: “Steve Bannon’s obsession with a dark theory of history should be worrisome”, commented: “Bannon seems to be trying to bring about the ‘Fourth Turning’.”

    I guess his weapon is/was Trump, and well, now he’s creating fires in Asia and the Middle East.

  19. @King,

    It sure is! If you guys get the book, or read up more on the subject, I’d be interested in your take on it.

    @Byron,

    I’ll sure buy you guys a beer if you’re ever in Beantwon.

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