The All of Me

By Thomas Kochman - 11.16.2010

The present on-going ethics investigation of Rep. Charles Rangel, apart from questions surrounding the panel’s political motivation, illustrates a number of social and cultural differences between African Americans and U.S. Mainstream Whites.

The social part has a racial feel to it: the view of many blacks that they are being targeted (“singled out”) for violations of one sort or another that whites regularly get away with.

But there are also cultural reasons behind the African American view –expressed by Rangel—that what is going on is “unfair.”

That has to do with proportionality—the weight given to one or another violation when measured against all the good things the person has also done.

It’s a judgment call, so to speak, and happens every day, not just at the final (pass/fail) stage when individuals confront their God head on.

White Mainstream Protestants within the U.S., for example, insist on moral perfection to a much greater degree than other groups do. Read more »