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COBB: The Politics of Rage Are Always the Same

COBB: A broken spirit cannot lead. It’s a new kind of street. Your spirit ain’t right. You better get right.

“And Aziz in an awful rage danced this way and that, not knowing what to do, and cried: ‘Down with the English anyhow. That’s certain. Clear out, you fellows, double quick, I say. We may hate one another, but we hate you most. If I don’t make you go, Ahmed will, Karim will, if it’s fifty five-hundred years we shall get rid of you, yes, we shall drive every blasted Englishman into the sea, and then’—he rode against him furiously—’and then,’ he concluded, half kissing him, ‘you and I shall be friends.’

“’Why can’t we be friends now?’ said the other, holding him affectionately. ‘It’s what I want. It’s what you want.’

“But the horses didn’t want it—they swerved apart; the earth didn’t want it, sending up rocks through which riders must pass single file; the temples, the tank, the jail, the palace, the birds, the carrion, the Guest House, that came into view as they issued from the gap and saw Mau beneath: they didn’t want it, they said in their hundred voices, “No, not yet,” and the sky said, “No, not there.”

Passage to India by E. M. Forster. Weybridge, 1924.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jack June 8, 2020, 12:33 PM

    Well, that was 30 minutes of my life that I won’t get back and all I got from it was that whites are the problem, black people need to be healed and cured and that reparations would help.

    Typical, not one word of accepting responsibility for who and what they are and how they might heal themselves. It’s someone else’s job to pat me on my head and tell me I’m worth something.


  • Vanderleun June 8, 2020, 1:39 PM

    Actually, if you clicked on play you only heard less than 10 minutes. That’s how the embed was set and it still works that way. I don’t think you did listen to the clip. Cobb is big on responsibility. Always has been. There’s nothing in this presentation, Jack, that says “whites are the problem.”

    You gotta stop thinking that the mote in your eye is not there.

  • Vanderleun June 8, 2020, 1:45 PM

    From Matthew:

    3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

    4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

    5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

  • TrangBang68 June 8, 2020, 6:31 PM

    A lot of broken spirits out there as Brother Cobb pointed out and there is One who has the Balm of Gilead. He is the Great Physician. His name is Jesus Christ. As they say in the recovery rooms, “May you find Him now”

  • Jack June 8, 2020, 9:23 PM

    GVL, actually I did listen to the entire vid, his analogy of the bus driver who was white and how people (black people) who step in front of the bus and get hit need to be helped and healed. Then I tried to make some kind of sense of his comments about being banged about in sports and how people need to be helped and healed when they get hurt in that analogous world and I also listened as he spoke briefly of reparations to sooth the hearts and cure and heal the hurts but he never insinuated that a big cash payoff would really make things right for everyone and wash away all of the horrible things that have been done to them.

    I took the whole thing, and maybe I was wrong to do so, as an assessment of how whites harm blacks and how it is the responsibility of whites to cure and heal blacks when they are harmed by white society because as we all know, it ain’t the green or the polk dotted people on the planet that are responsible for harming the black race.

    I’ve never understood the black idea of “harm”. They go to the same schools as whites, their educations are paid for in many, many cases, universities pass them in their courses or the university can lose State and Federal funding as well as end up on charges for civil rights violations. Job applications from blacks are nearly always given preference over equally qualified whites and on and on because them’s the rules these days.

    I sometimes think the real issue is that they are very aware white people don’t think about them much and if that’s the case then they’re right. Most of us aren’t interested in their problems because we have so many of our own and we have our own issues and problems to heal which we generally do without remotely suggesting that we need help with it.

    I’ve never heard any black, any where, suggest that whites have it any way other than ‘great’ and that we are blessed with “white privilege”. Maybe that is true but I came up in a very troubled family setting with practically nothing in the way of financial resources in the Deep South during the 50’s and 60s. I joined the service after high school, did my 4 years, put myself through school and paid all of my loans, got married and took care of a wife, got into a career field I wanted by sheer determination and then I worked my rear end off to obtain the success I enjoyed during my life. Hell, I knew most of the time in the early years of my career that I was out of my league financially and socially but I never bothered to ask myself if it was “hard”.

    Did I get hit by the bus? Damn right I did and far more than once. Did I ask for help…hell no, I didn’t. I figured out my problems, set about to solve them and took what life threw at me like a little man and the only person I considered responsible for my failures was my own self.

  • ghostsniper June 9, 2020, 4:36 AM

    How much privilege does $4tril spent over 50 years buy?
    Apparently none because the urban ghetto’s keep growing and no one that lives in them believes they are responsible for their own behavior. Act like an animal get treated like an animal. Me? I just try to stay out of the fray as I don’t believe there will ever be a fix. Because there will always be people of every race that do not earn the right to breath. That’s just the way it is.

    The occasion of the state funeral for the late George Floyd — rivaling the solemn progress of Abraham Lincoln’s casket across this land at lilac time so long ago — may be a good moment for Americans to take stock of what condition our condition is in. Going on a fortnight of protests, riots, and looting, what exactly does black America seek in its cry for an end to systemic racism? Forgive me for saying the petition is vague. To explain, I’ll have to tread into realms of discourse that are taboo these days, so gird your loins if you care to follow.

    Is there a campaign of police genocide against black people? The facts and numbers say emphatically no. (They’re discussed in detail in many articles by Heather MacDonald at City Journal.) Is it true that “black people aren’t heard”? If you follow The New York Times, America’s “newspaper of record,” that’s all you will hear. Has justice been denied in the killing of Mr. Floyd? Four cops have been swiftly arraigned on grave charges. Are black people denied the privilege of governing their own affairs? Many cities are run by black mayors, police chiefs, and district attorneys where, year by year, social dysfunction has only gotten worse.

    Is a substantial portion of the black population not thriving in comparison to whites and other racial or ethic groups? Apparently so. The only truly systemic dynamic in their plight is the campaign by government, ongoing for more than fifty years, to uplift them with social programs, cash assistance, and affirmative action, plus monuments, prizes, and holidays, and very vocal public encouragement from “allies” in media, entertainment and sports. All this “help” only seems to make the problems worse.

    It’s beyond obvious after a half a century and trillions of dollars spent that well-intentioned government support destroyed black family formation. Seventy-five percent of black children are raised these days in households without fathers because cash assistance is forbidden where there is “a man in the house.” Everybody knows the problem is generational and severe. Paying unmarried women (often just girls) to have babies can easily be seen as leading to many social disadvantages. Who is militating to change that — say, to allow cash assistance to married couples? Nobody, most particularly black America. Why? Because it’s an established racket, a hustle, a pattern of living, complete with customs and rituals, such as giving over young black men to prison as an initiation to manhood. Why are they sent to prison? Because they commit crimes.

    The bamboozlement over this was especially vivid last week in the contrast between the sanctimony of the daytime protest marches and the nighttime looting, vandalism, and arson, of which there are hundreds of videos on the web showing young black Americans acting like savages. The police all over America didn’t dare try to stop it lest they produce a new martyr to aggravate the insurrection. No plea arose from leaders in black communities across the land to stop the disgraceful behavior. It was not even recognized as disgraceful, rather regarded as a necessary ceremony for purging the bad feelings over George Floyd’s gruesome death at the knee of officer Derek Chauvin.

    Why not try succeeding at school rather than prison? School has different requirements. I will venture an idea which is not just taboo, but taboo to an extreme: many black children cannot succeed in school because they do not speak English correctly at home and the schools have, as a definite policy, done nothing to correct that because it would be labeled as “racist.” If your language dispenses with grammatical form — such as the difference between the expression of past, present, and future — you’re liable to suffer cognitive disadvantages which result in doing poorly at school. You may even be incapable of showing up on time for anything.

    The number one job in elementary school should be teaching children first to speak English, because without it, they’ll struggle to learn anything else. But we’re not interested. It might hurt someone’s feelings to learn that his or her speech is deficient. It might anger a parent to hear that. So, we choose to let the children fail. It’s a choice we make by consensus. Here’s some news for you: multiculturalism is itself a form of racism that ghettoizes language. Do you want that to continue? Are you really interested in change? Change that. Start there.

    This points to a deeper and more fundamental question: Does black America really want to fully participate in our national life, or do they want to remain an oppositional faction within it, dependent, resentful, and violent? The George Floyd fiasco has distracted the country from the most severe economic crisis of the century, so far. Do you understand how much thought and effort it will take to reorganize America’s economic life? We are not going back to the way things were before the year 2020. A lot of familiar arrangements will not continue. Comforts and conveniences are phasing out. We don’t have time for histrionics. Can we please just respectfully bury this troubled man and get on with the tasks at hand?

  • Christopher Hunt June 9, 2020, 6:57 AM

    Ghost, I don’t always agree with you, but well said.

  • james wilson June 9, 2020, 10:37 AM

    It’s been a few years since I read Cobb. Good guy. I don’t think he understands black people as well as Malcolm X did. Cobb’s IQ is 136. He can’t, or won’t, grasp the reality of 85. He’s not unique in that. They refuse to consider looking for solutions in the only places that they actually exist.