Dave Murray, I just watched a clip of Nick Pilgrim talking and although I think that culture is a part, there are too many other things that are in play to ascribe Black success or lack thereof to which he is ignoring. My example about James’ boss is one glaring example. His culture was of self-responsibility, hard work and success. He was an Assistant Attorney General of the United States! And still, he was profiled, stopped, and threatened by the police for being in his own neighborhood because it was a rich, White one and they assumed he didn’t belong there.

When you add in stuff like this, which has been studied and isn’t just a free-floating theory, and you’ve got a recipe for disadvantage and marginalization. “White job applicants were found to be 74% more likely to have success than applicants from ethnic minorities with identical CVs. University professors were found to be far more likely to respond to emails from students with white-sounding names.”

Culture matters too, but up until about the 1950s Black families did try to work hard and have a culture that would allow them to be accepted and assimilated and what they discovered is that this was never going to get them anywhere meaningful. Their effort mattered nothing at all, which is when you start getting the rise of Black power movements and eventually the Civil Rights movement instead. Nigerians and other Africans are often seen as being different from African Americans (because their culture is different — so culture does have an impact) and that’s something I’d like to read/learn more about, but Mr. Pilgrim’s theory feels too reductive to me.

Edit: This is an interesting article. Apparently, Nigerians are often not liked as a group by other Africans as well as African-Americans.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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