Organization of man into tribe, race, and nation

By Ken Wear, commenced 9-28-07

Migration of peoples in far-pre-history undoubtedly led to racial differences, and tribe no doubt conferred an evolutionary advantage to early man as smaller nomadic groups followed their food sources. Race embraces myriad tribes and may have been an accidental evolutionary outcome of geographical separation. Tribes are a much more recent development with members usually having some genealogical or historical connection with each other. And in many geographical regions common origin or background has led to cohesion of peoples into ethnic groupings, much like a super-tribe. Race, ethnicity and tribe still today have a pervasive influence on the organization of societies and strongly influence our reactions to each other.

I hope to be forgiven for dealing with the topic of race as it touches and influences life in these United States as well as basing comment on personal observation. Tribe (or ethnicity) is still the dominant form of government in many geographical regions of the world, but the manner in which our population was initially assembled hindered tribal, ethnic or racial identifications (other than those resulting from the slave trade). In fact, the common bond of settlers, contrasted with the mutual confrontations and lack of a unified language among Indian tribes, made it difficult for Indians tribes to cooperate with each other, which obviously made it easier for the whites to prevail.

I assert, without specifically citing cause and effect, that our Federal government has been the guarantor of black/white racial -- we have little ethnic and no tribal identify -- conflict in this country. Sans Federal intrusion, race relations would have historically been much smoother: Slavery was, at the time of the Emancipation Proclamation, well on its way to being abandoned through a combination of ethics and economics, and the boll weevil would certainly have ended the practice. And, without preferences based on race, individuals would have risen in economic status, each in keeping with his own contribution to the larger society. But people rebel at being deprived of choice, and laws that produce advantages/disadvantages based on racial identification will predictably lead to strife.

Race

Our species, among primates, is quite distinct. Over thousands of generations geographical and climatic peculiarities undoubtedly led to bodily characteristics, such as skin color or eye structure, that we associate with race. But you would deny evolution if you insisted there are no characteristic differences between races. Of course we are genetically similar and can interbreed, so mixing of races has produced some levelling out of characteristic differences. But it is utterly out of keeping with reality to insist that race has no influence on individual characteristics or on characteristics by which we identify a person as belonging to a particular race.

Ethnicity

In this country we are little troubled by such ethnicities as Flemings, Walloons and francophones as in Belgium; Sunni, Shiite and Kurd as in Iraq; Scots, Catalans, Basques, Corsicans, Welsh, Lombards and Burgunians as in Europe; Slovaks, Albanians, Croats, Serbs, Bosnians and Macedonians as in the Balkans; Tutu(?) and Hutsi(?) in Central Africa; Hindus and Pakistanis in South Asia, and others. Apparently occupation of a region over the centuries -- which was more common before transportation and highway networks became so highly developed and societies thus became more mobile -- produces emotional ties that result in such self-identification. And a history of inter-relations has produced long-standing inability to cooperate between ethnicities.

Tribes

We should likely consider the pyramid of first family, second clan of several blood-related families, and tribe of clans related by history (as well as genealogy). It seems often the case that family or clan leaders, with the blessing of tribal leaders, arrange marriages, which discourages mixing of blood between tribes.

Barring such as pygmies, tribes developed recently enough that evolution has not contributed markedly to recognizable differences by which you could assign an individual to a particular tribe. Nevertheless, loyalty must be sworn to the tribal leader since he is the law in the tribe; without his forebearance your life may be forfeited with no hope for vengeance and therefore you would be without protection. In many areas, including Iraq and Afghanistan (and presumably most of the Muslim world), peace within the tribe (and between tribes) is based on the premise that a killing demands vengeance. Noting that the tribal leader determines the religious persuasion of individual members of the tribe, we recognize the basis for strife between tribes of the Shiite and Sunni sects, where a killing demands killing in return. Thus, we see deadly tribal conflict throughout the Third World as well as in the more advanced societies in the Middle East.

The lesson should not be lost that most of the Anbar Province in Iraq now (Sept. '07) cooperates with the American forces. Tribal leaders there became disenchanted with dissidents such as al Qaeda and saw the American forces as more friendly than the dissidents; tribal leaders threw in their lot with the American forces with the result that their young men now voluntneer for Iraqi armed forces assignments despite the central government being predominantly controlled by Shiites. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, so tribes in concert reached the conclusion their best interest lay in cooperation. Neither should it be forgotten that tribes in Anbar Province are largely Sunni Muslim -- there is no mixing since the tribal leader determines the religious affiliation of tribal members -- who historically regard Shiite Muslims as infidels (and vice versa, Shiites regard Sunnis as infidels). While Baghdad may have been mixed Sunni and Shiite under the Saddam government, my understanding is that it has been largely divided into Shiite and Sunni neighborhoods with physical barriers between. Tribes! The notion of a unified central government is unrealistic while tribal loyalties prevail.

Similarly, the invasion of Afghanistan would not have been possible without cooperation of tribal leaders in the north -- the Northern Alliance. Tribes! And word from Pakistan is that mountainous regions bordering Afghanistan are controlled by the various tribes living there since the central government has largely ceded control to tribal leaders. Tribes!

We are fortunate in this country that the manner of occupation foreclosed tribal identifications, and ethnicities are so mixed (other than black/white) that we scarcely recognize their existence, much less their impact.

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Education

The debate about IQ has little to do with innate worth. IQ tests were originally developed to forecast how well a student would perfrom in the academic environment; it has done that remarkably well, and a markedly lower IQ does indeed translate into slower classroom progress. But we mistake when we insist that this somehow relates to the person's worth or ability to contribute to society. In fact, our religions tell us that, before deity, all are equal. High IQ represents a potential only; there is no assurance its possession will produce noticeable or worthwhile results.

But, make no mistake; IQ does indeed have its place in our affairs. Where it predicts slow progress in academic pursuits, the academic program should be modified to accommodate the student. Whether or not there is a characteristic difference between races, it is a mistake to insist that all should learn with equal rapidity and therefore all should be exposed to the same learning environment. If we wish students to master the materials presented to them, we have no choice but accommodate their differences in learning speed; to do otherwise is to consign slow learners to lack of mastery or confront faster learners with deadly repetition and boredom. I have seen first hand the result of insisting that age alone should determine grade level in school. Let me elaborate:

Personal observation: I had two children in grade school when an ill-advised Federal program resulted in their school flipping from white to black in one school year. (At the time it was common for 'white flight' to deplete a neighborhood of whites once blacks gained a foothold in a neighborhood.) They were doing well and their teachers reported satisfactory progress at the beginning of the year. But as the year progressed and more children their own age, who were woefully unprepared for that grade level, were assigned to their classroom, they rapidly rose to become classroom prodigies. There was no thought given to creating a learning environment for them; their teacher did not have time; but they were expected to tutor their classmates. Had grade level been achieved by mastering their earlier grades, there would have been no performance gap; but assignment to grade by age precluded consideration of scholastic attainment. Ultimately it led to graduating from high school everyone who succeeded in staying in school those 12 years even though uniformly deficient in preparation for the world of work and certainly not prepared to advance to college-level courses.

Whatever median exists for any racial group, the shape of the bell curve for that group is the same as the shape for any other group, with some at abysmal levels of performance and some extremely high achievers. Every race has its slow learners; every race has its brilliant members. Supposing two racial groups with medians two standard deviations apart, the lower 1/4 of the higher-median group rank below the upper 1/4 of the lower-median group. Measured IQ, by whatever method, would help administrators disregard race and assign students where they are most likely to be successful.

It is the enforced mandate, by Federal government, that races shall be mixed with no regard for tradition or ability, that has destroyed our public schools and led to abysmal scholastic performances. Requiring that prepared and unprepared be mixed simply because they are of different races has led to deplorable standards of conduct and lack of incentive on the part of administrators, teachers and students alike, as well as the more capable young people shying away from education as a career.

Economics

It has always been about money. Even the War for Southern Separation was heavily influenced by money, with Wall Street retarding the Northern effort because of investments in cotton from the South. Of course, the boll weevil would have taken care of that without the war.

I recall well the Federal Trade Commission controlling railway and trucking rates, and rates were kept punitive to the South until Gov. Hermann Talmadge won his freight rate case for the State of Georgia (about 1945), after which there was a flurry of industrial expansion in the South. I have interpreted events as New England's vested old money (based initially on real estate holdings) interests, who for decades after the War for Southern Separation dominated our national politics, controlling the Federal government agencies for their own financial gain (and retarding southern development was certainly in their selfish interest since New England does not compete well weather-wise in desirable living conditions) until the courts were forced to recognize the discriminatory nature of freight rates based on region rather than cost of operation.

Again, New England liberals sought to use Federal legislation to impose a financial burden through control of welfare as late as the 1970s. There was at the time a generous housing program for the "under-privileged" -- Negroes -- in which the Feds paid their interest -- which comprise the greater portion of mortgage payments -- for two years, plus awarding $2000 per family for appliances and furnishings. I was personally affected, as described above under education. The economic impact of that program was to create a real estate boom in areas north of Atlanta and catapulting Atlanta into the position of a major financial center, I am sure much to the chagrin of proponents of the program.

We tried to remain in the community even after it was predominantly black and, in cooperation with the PTA, sponsored a candy sale. (I really got a lesson in collecting from blacks -- some of their own had to tell me what techniques to try.) We also tried to foster Boy Scout programs, but the blacks were little inclined to let their youngsters join a white-led troop. I could not conscientiously take part in a demonstration against a grocery store that chose to close because theft became so rampant they could not realize a profit. Beyond that I was discriminated against by my new neighbors, who were obviously unaccustomed to mixed neighborhoods and could not accommodate a white family in their midst. So we sold our house and moved. I did not set a sale price but told the realtor how much I wanted to put in the bank after the dust cleared; I never knew what commission she received. (Interestingly enough, the For Sale sign stayed in the yard only one day because a man who had travelled the road daily had envied the house and immediately signed a contract. I was amused that the FHA required a new roof; the roofers laughed when they told me the roof in place had more remaining life than the guaranteed life of the one they were installing. I was not amused to realize it was more Federal insanity intended to punish whites for their financial success in owning a house -- justified under the theory that blacks were unable to care for their own property.)

Housing

Let me repeat a suggestion I made years ago: We should undertake an experiment in public housing for blacks, based on tribal living. I have been in homes built for Western man but occupied by Negroes and noted what appears to me an adaptation to tribal life. Multiple occupancy of single-family units is the norm; distinct family lineages seem unimportant; individual privacy is not unnecessary but is not sought; few adults seem to have acquired the complete set of skills needed to maintain a single-family dwelling. Perhaps we do these people an injustice in trying to impose Western community organization on them. And it may well be that American Indians (Amerinds) would also benefit from such an arrangement.

After a neighborhood, through which I walked occasionally going to our church, became predominantly black, I noted that driveway after driveway had several cars. I marvelled at the financial success of the occupants to have a car for each family member. I later learned that each house had multiple families, and at most one car per family. A 3-bedroom house with 3, 4 or 5 families.

In most neighborhoods there became two means by which I knew (1980) if the neighborhood was predominantly black: 1) Where there was little breeze I could smell the scorched hair where blacks used petrolatum and a curling iron to straighten their naturally-curly hair; (2008) I guess petrolatum has been replaced with a milder-smelling concoction; and 2) Yards were neglected.

Welfare

The notion, fostered by farmers and companies wanting low-paid workers, that immigrants do jobs that Americans don't want, may be partly true, but it is based on fallacious thinking. The truth is that the marginal improvement in income when holding a job, compared with the bounty for indolence, makes working unattractive. Those with enough gumption take part in the shadow economy, where pay is not taxed, or in the drug economy, where they don't dare declare income. And those who prefer indolence still have 24 hours per day and no useful purpose to occupy their time, making a breeding ground for violence and crime.

We have created a culture of children birthing children. I have heard it many times that abuse within the family makes independence attractive, and becoming pregnant (which, incidentally, guarantees her an income from welfare) offers the easiest and fastest route for a young girl to seek independence.

I have wondered, and cannot visualize a means to learn, how many of the welfare recipients from New Orleans, who were displaced by the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, found it necessary to seek jobs and therefore left the welfare roles. Obviously it was never the case they could not work and therefore warranted welfare, but it was easier to go on the welfare roles than to gain employable skills. (Well over a year after Katrina there were large numbers of refugees from the storm who were quite content to live in government-furnished accommodations on government-provided stipends -- until the program was discontinued.) We do the able-bodied no favor in providing an income while allowing idleness.

Professional Racists

There are a number of people, notably blacks, who earn their livelihoods by continually fostering campaigns to encourage racial animosities based on perceived injustices. I need not name names; they are all too familiar.

That is not to say there are no injustices; there are, not only white against black but black against white, white against white and black against black; but whites also cringe and seek restoration of justice, especially when it is white against black. (White-against-white and black-against-black is usually reported as, simply, crime. Black-against-white rarely reaches public attention, and, when it does, the racial aspect is disguised as much as possible; I suppose this disparity is intended to avoid attention by the professional blacks, who quickly respond to other -- supposedly -- racially-inspired injustices.)

Public Safety

While it is politically incorrect to cite race as a factor in losses due to crime and fire, observation suggests otherwise. Let me cite examples:

1) My sistser lived in a predominantly white community but, as had become widespread, blacks began buying homes and with time my sister's family was one of three white families within many blocks. She reported to me -- and my occasional visits seemed to confirm -- that, when she first settled there, there were one or two fires or emergency sirens per week; after the community became predominantly black there were several each day. I simply report here a fact.

2) I have for years listened for the racial content of fires and crimes reported on TV. Apparently reporters are discouraged from including race in their reports so I have taken to watching for videos of victims and listening for race in the descriptions of perpetrators. Apartment fires: mostly black neighbors interviewed. Robbery, assault, murder -- mostly black perpetrators. I simply report here a fact.

3) Rapes and child abuse: pretty much equal with blacks and whites contributing about equally to news reports.

4) Vehicle accidents seem dependent on the community so both races are equally likely to be involved in a reportable accident.

5) In our county (Cobb - in Georgia) there has been a pronounced influx of hispanics. Reports of crime are heavily black or hspanic perpetrators, with hispanics apparently leading the parade in commission of crimes. I simply report here a fact.

End

I am out of time and inspiration.

October 20, 2008
No matter now you define or construct a graph of the distribution of any talent or attribute -- athleticism, intelligence, artistry -- of people -- regardless of tribe, race, sex or culture -- it will be some form of bell-shaped curve simply because the majority of people fit near the middle. Average is average: What else would you expect? And, if you overlay various curves, it becomes obvious that in the high performance tail of the curves are individuals of such outstanding performance that they out-shine the averages of every other curve. Really, what else would you expect? And it is people in the high performance tail that tend to rise to prominence. Again, what else would you expect?

Is racism dead in America? Ideally, in the selections we make, individual merit would be the primary criterion for selection. When that is truly the case, racism will be truly dead. We have made tremendous progress in the last decades but, from my vantage point, we still have a ways to go. Let me cite two examples taken from the political landscape; you can readily find many others.

1) While we have gifted people of all tribes, races, cultures and both sexes, it is a demonstrated reality that a black leader will, in the selection process of his staff and leaders of his various departments, prefer black. I am not saying that their choices are not worthy; I am saying that race is a strong factor. And, as long as that is the case, racism will not be dead.

2) Obama is brilliant, articulate, charismatic -- an outstanding example of human kind and deserving recognition for his abilities. But, in North Carolina in the primary season, it was that nearly unanimous vote by blacks that carried the state; extending that to other states it is obvious that it was primarily race that defeated Clinton. Not that the result should have been otherwise; what black voters perceived as one of their own had a strong influence on Obama's candidacy. Racism! I realize that it is not politically correct to accuse blacks of racism; that term is generally reserved for whites; but facts are facts.

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