I cannot speak to the issue of Caribbean Hispanics versus central and South Americans and the root cause(s) of the differences we see, not like you can. But i can definitely see how the culture as you suggest is or can affect the societies and how they show up. I believe it’s like that for every demographic, tribe or genotype. The cultural trends are both influenced by the present society and how it’s manifest AND circle back to create an influence on that society.
I do think that’s what has continued to crush the black community since the mid-90s. In the 60s and 70s they used music to UPLIFT the whole black community. And the whites frankly. So many good powerful uplifting black power / black pride songs and inspiring artists from this 20 – 25 year era. And along with it a ton of progress for that community at large. The 80s became even more empowering for a while with the sudden success of rap as a viably popular mainstream form of entertainment with cultural leaders and heroes who transcended race and appealed to broad swaths of the American public.
Then in the 90s the entire narrative seemed to change overnight. Black people at least as reflected through the music and culture decided that being gangsters drug dealers killers misogynists pimps hos bitches and showboating excessive label-consumers was cooler than becoming more stable healthy respected or successful. They voluntarily wore and still today wear these labels proudly. Not even letting on if they realize themselves that these are all very bad stereotypes to lay claim to.
If there is one glaring thing about the black community that confuses well-meaning whites who sincerely want to help the cause the most, it’s this strange anomaly of trying to figure out just who black people are in modern society. Are they the murderers and thieves they claim to be in the last 30 years of Top 40 popular music? Or are they the nice working class folks who dress up on Sundays to attend service at that big Baptist church on the corner welcoming you in with open arms because you love good gospel music even though you’re white…?
Is the rampant vulgarity in Beyoncé or Missy Elliot lyrics an authentic expression of how she and others like her see themselves or who they are? Or is it a mere put on? Satire or self mockery even? It sounds sincere, sung and spoken resolutely with power and pride. Or is it a flat up strategic exploitation of what’s perceived as controversy to get more eyes and ears and thus make more money, ala the way Madonna exploited her sexuality, and nothing more? That’s something we all do. In every arena of commerce. Though in art it is still frowned upon as the easy way out, a cheap tactic hiding a lack of true artistic brilliance when one feels obliged to go that route.
Nobody wants to be nailed down by a stereotype to begin with. But inevitably we all are from time to time. Knowing that, one would do everything in their power when given the opportunity to typecast themselves to do so in the most respectable manner possible and not the other way around. That again is a very confusing aspect of the modern black community.
A community or group of people cannot rise up in society to aspire and then achieve to being better educated, have better higher paying jobs, be more actively involved in community, have a lower rate of arrests and convictions than other groups, be on more corporate boards, have more well known and influential local and national leaders, be healthier, have more stable families, have lower death rates and crime in their communities, increase life extension and life expectancy, decrease infant mortality and inherent diseases within that group, and all the other things we associate with a group of people rising up out of poverty and anonymity to achieve equality or even surpass other groups in measures of health and success IF at the same time they’re laying claim to being pimps whores drug dealers criminals killers gangsters bitches et al.
There’s a stark and overt contradiction there. In how the culture publicly defines itself through its self expression and what others in the same community claim they want, i.e. Black Lives Matter.
Speaking of BLM, it would also help in our understanding of the bigger issues at large, if when we are in a Black Lives Matter March — can only speak of Brooklyn, Washington DC and Manhattan — that 80-90% of the participants weren’t white with a handful of blacks marching with us. One would automatically assume it would be the other way around. And maybe it is in other cities that are primarily black. I would have to look up actual statistics from 2020 to now… Or even 2018… if there are any, about the demographic makeup of the various demonstrations that transpired around the country in support of this cause.
There’s obviously a lot more to it to explore and contemplate. And my guess is that the black community itself has probably written excessively about this issue. So step one on the quest to understanding these seemingly contradictory dynamics would be to simply ask some black friends to recommend a few books or papers on the matter. Which I’ll do. And then come back and list those resources here.
In the meantime at least we’ve had the insight and the courage to talk about it, though in private admittedly, acknowledge it, give voice to it and try to understand it… I have a feeling it is going to be a multifaceted cornucopia of different social dynamics that affect each of the various subgroups within the community just as it is with whites, Asians, Indians, Latinos or anybody else. There won’t be one answer. But a variety of theories about potential answers based on who’s speaking and who they’re specifically speaking about. But is there anything deeper there that can offer us solutions to the multitude of problems the black community still faces? That’s the question.
More forthcoming. A lot more I’m guessing.