Tommy Shelby Quotes

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Everyone's a whore, Grace. We just sell different parts of ourselves.
Tommy Shelby (Peaky Blinders)
That's funny, don't you think? A war about peace.
Tommy Shelby (Peaky Blinders)
Let me suggest another factor—a moral factor—in the explanation for why some among the ghetto poor choose not to work. Perhaps some do not accept the jobs available because they believe that the basic structure of U.S. society is deeply unfair and thus, on grounds of justice and self-respect, refuse to accommodate themselves to their low position in this stratified social order. This position is different from the one defended by Howard McGary, who argues that because the ghetto poor regard the basic structure of U.S. society as unjust, many, sensing that the deck is stacked against them, lack the motivation to overcome all the obstacles they face in order to succeed. But I want to go further to claim that some may consciously refuse to work because of this unfairness.
Tommie Shelby (Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform)
What exactly is going on?” Resignation clouded Mary Beth’s cute face. “You know men, always looking out for us.” Anger lit like a match inside Maddie as she turned narrowed eyes on Mitch through the windows. She didn’t know what was going on, but she was in the mood for a fight, and this was the perfect excuse to have one. He gave her a sheepish look, and Maddie wanted to throttle him. She turned away. Her veins practically raced with adrenaline. She’d been tamping down her temper so long she’d forgotten how intoxicating it was to let it rise to the surface. How much effort did she spend repressing her emotions? The better question was, why did she continue? She stiffened her spine. Not anymore. Through gritted teeth she said, “Yes, I know.” Mary Beth’s expression turned consoling and she made some motherly “tsk” noises, even though she couldn’t be much older than Maddie. “They can’t help themselves. It’s in their nature, but obviously execution is not their strong suit.” Maddie turned her attention to the woman. She’d deal with Mitch Riley later.     “What in the hell is going on in there?” Mitch cursed. This was the worst thought-out plan in the world. Why did he leave the details up to Tommy? He knew better. He scowled at the mechanic. “You can’t lie for shit.” Tommy shot him a droll look. “What about you? You could have jumped in any time, but no, you just stood there like an idiot.” “I hired you to lie to her so I wouldn’t have to, dumbass.” With his jaw clenched, the words came out like a growl. Tommy jabbed a finger in his direction. “Ha! I knew you were pussy-whipped.” “I’m not pussy-whipped.” One had to have sex to be pussy-whipped. Not that Mitch was about to volunteer that information. “I just don’t want to lie to her.” “Same difference, dickhead.” Irrational anger flared hot in his blood. God, he wanted to take someone out. He was so fucked. “If you’d thought of a halfway decent story, this wouldn’t be happening.” “How in the hell was I supposed to know she’d know anything about cars?” “She has brothers.” “Yeah, well, you could have mentioned that.” Through the glass window, Maddie shot him a death glare. Yep, totally fucked. He shouldn’t have told her about his past; it was another strike against him, one he knew from experience couldn’t be overlooked. Between tarnishing his knight-in-shining-armor image and the subterfuge, somehow he didn’t think he’d be granted a third strike. They watched the women. Mitch tried to decipher the expressions playing across Maddie’s features and finally gave up, resigned to his fate. Ten excruciating minutes later, the door opened, and Mitch steeled himself for the fight that was sure to come. He didn’t care how he managed it, but she wasn’t leaving. Maddie walked across the dark gray, grease-stained floor, and unable to stand it any longer, he said, “Now, Maddie, I can explain.” “There’s no need.” Her voice held no trace of emotion. Not good. “But—” he started, but before he could say any more, Maddie flung herself into his arms. Shocked, he caught her and held tight. He raised a questioning eyebrow at Mary Beth, and a satisfied smirk curled over her lips. “I told Maddie how her transmission blew,” Mary Beth said in a pleased tone. “And how it cost twenty-five hundred dollars, but Tommy knows this guy over in Shelby who can trade him for a sixty-five Corvette carburetor so it would only cost her around four hundred. Unfortunately, I had to explain how Tommy was doing you a huge, gigantic favor so you agreed to represent Luke in his legal troubles.” While
Jennifer Dawson (Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1))
Not all of the values allegedly suboptimal for the ghetto poor contrast sharply with the mainstream. For example, patriarchal conceptions of masculinity, anti-intellectualism, and materialism are widespread in American society, cutting across lines of race, class, and place. But some among the ghetto poor are believed to enact these values and norms in extreme ways, to give these values and norms much greater precedence in their lives than the average American, to interpret them in nonstandard ways, or to invoke them in inappropriate contexts. In such cases, the divergence from the mainstream is a matter not of the content of the values and norms but of the manner in which they are adopted and understood and their role in practical deliberation.
Tommie Shelby (Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform)
Self-esteem has two aspects: (1) a secure conviction that one’s fundamental purposes are worthwhile and (2) confidence in one’s ability to realize these purposes. So, self-esteem is a kind of self-confidence— confidence in the value of one’s basic ambitions and confidence in one’s ability to realize these aims. Self-esteem is a primary good because in its absence none of our practical aims will seem worthwhile or we won’t attempt to achieve those things we regard as valuable. Apathy, depression, and despair may take over. Rawls views self-esteem as a natural primary good (rather than a social one), because society, and in particular the state, has no mechanism for distributing self-esteem directly. There are, however, social bases of self-esteem that a basic structure can support (or undermine). One’s sense of self-worth is socially supported when those one admires appreciate and affirm one’s values and achievements. We will usually develop and maintain a sense of self-worth provided we belong to at least one association or community within which our activities are publicly affirmed. What should we expect in an unjust society? In an unjust society, there may also be a variety of communities and associations with their own ideals, and these forms of group affiliation may also develop among those who are severely disadvantaged. Moreover, the cultural traits that characterize some of these communities and associations may have been cultivated in response to, or otherwise shaped by, the unjust institutional arrangements.
Tommie Shelby (Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform)
Let’s distinguish self-respect from self-esteem. Self-respect can be an element of a person’s sense of self-worth. But unlike self-esteem, the role it plays in constituting self-worth is not contingent on a person’s particular ambitions or self-confidence. Self-respect is a matter of recognizing oneself as a rational agent and a moral equal and valuing oneself accordingly. Self-respect is embodied and expressed in the way one conducts oneself. Moreover, persons with self-respect do not believe that they must earn just treatment—through, say, some display of virtue or personal achievement. They know that their capacity for rational and moral agency alone is sufficient to justify their claim not to be treated unjustly. When a healthy sense of self-respect is widespread in a society, this helps to sustain just practices and to deter injustice. And where there is systemic injustice, the self-respect of society’s members often moves them to reform their institutions. To maintain a healthy sense of self-respect under conditions of injustice, the oppressed may therefore fight back against their oppressors, demanding the justice they know they deserve, even when the available evidence suggests that justice is not on the horizon. Agents who take action to affirm their moral standing often take pride in such actions, particularly when these acts entail some personal risks or costs. Though self-respect has intrinsic value and great moral importance, it should not be regarded as a trump in moral deliberation. Moral agents need not and should not defend their self-respect at all cost. It is sometimes justifiable (or at least excusable) to sacrifice a bit of self-respect to protect others from harm, to avoid grave harm to oneself, or to achieve some worthy goal. However, the agent with a healthy sense of self-respect experiences them as sacrifices—as the painful loss of an intrinsically valuable good. The duty of self-respect, like the duty of justice, is thus a central element in the political ethics of the oppressed.
Tommie Shelby (Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform)
One class of methods, moral outreach, relies on dialogue, lectures, sermons, education, training, and counseling. The idea is to effect a change in cultural patterns through, for example, moral exhortation, role models, counseling services, education programs, or faith-based efforts. Many of these interventions are no more than attempts to convince some among the ghetto poor that their cultural ways are obstacles to their escape from poverty. But what if there are many who have suboptimal ghetto identities and the basic structure is unfairly stacked against them? Here it seems that moral outreach would have limited success. After all, our conception of the good determines what we feel ashamed of and take pride in. That is to say, shame and pride are relative to our fundamental goals and to the communities with which we identify. If targets for moral reform reject mainstream values and embrace ghetto identities, as the strong version of the cultural divergence thesis asserts, they will not be readily shamed into conforming to mainstream norms; nor should we expect them to take pride in embodying mainstream virtues. They will have developed alternative sources of self-worth that do not depend on mainstream institutions for validation.
Tommie Shelby (Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform)
There is a second practical limitation to moral outreach, namely, the persistence of ideological racism. Some of the cultural traits attributed to or associated with the ghetto poor (for example, attitudes toward authority, work, violence, parenting, sex and reproduction, school, and crime) closely resemble well-known and long-standing racist stereotypes about blacks (their supposed tendencies toward lawlessness, laziness, dishonesty, irresponsibility, ignorance, stupidity, and sexual promiscuity). These stereotypes have long been invoked to justify the subordination, exploitation, and civic exclusion of blacks. An implication of the cultural divergence thesis is that ghetto conditions have produced a subgroup of blacks who, because of their cultural patterns, exhibit characteristics that racists have long maintained are “natural” to “the black race” and that these cultural traits are at least part of the explanation for why they are poor. To make matters worse, moral reform suggests that the ghetto poor are effectively incapable of altering these suboptimal traits on their own, as it calls for state intervention to change them. Moral reform programs, even voluntary ones, implicitly endorse the idea that poor blacks have personal deficiencies that they alone cannot remedy. In an era when biological racism has been largely discredited and claims that blacks are biologically inferior are not publicly acceptable, moral reform will inevitably strike many as the functional equivalent of classic racist doctrines.
Tommie Shelby (Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform)
Sometimes advancing the broader cause of justice means compromising with particular injustices. Sacrifices of self-respect are unpleasant, even painful, for those who must make them, but they are sometimes necessary in the short term to make progress in the long run. Threatening the self-respect of the current generation of the ghetto poor may simply be the price of the social reform needed to ensure that future generations do not grow up in ghetto conditions. What I’m opposing is the idea that others are permitted to decide when you should make such sacrifices. It is one thing to ask or even implore the ghetto poor to sacrifice some self-respect to achieve needed social reforms. It is quite another to demand that they make these sacrifices on pain of penalty or to take measures that effectively force them to accommodate themselves to injustice. Moral paternalism robs the ghetto poor of a choice that should be theirs alone—namely, whether the improved prospects for ending or ameliorating ghetto poverty are worth the loss of moral pride they would incur by conceding the offensive view that they have not shown themselves to be deserving of better treatment. Whether such sacrifices of self-respect are, all things considered, worth it should be left to those who bear the heaviest burdens of the unjust social system liberals seek to reform.
Tommie Shelby (Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform)
Many complain that the nonworking poor are failing to make useful contributions to society while simultaneously bene ting from the productive contributions of others. But many with this complaint regard as “work” only (legal) activities for which a person gets paid. This misleadingly conflates earning income through market-remunerated activity with making a positive contribution to society. It would leave out lots of socially beneficial activities for which people are often not paid. If the point of demanding work is that the ghetto poor should engage in activities that contribute to the public good, then care work—particularly raising children—should definitely count.
Tommie Shelby (Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform)
Another ambiguity in debates over work and welfare concerns time. Any duty to work must include a time dimension. Advocates of the new work regime often seem to assume that “workers” should always be working—occupying a full-time job (forty or more hours a week), forty-eight to fifty weeks a year (excluding leaves for illness, injury, or maternity), every year of their adult lives (excluding periods of full-time education), until retirement age. But why are these the only kind of “workers” who have fulfilled their moral or civic duties with respect to work? Arguably, we should consider someone a worker in good moral or civic standing even if he or she takes periods off from work—say, to do care work (if this is not considered “work”), to augment or develop new skills, to participate in activities that, though not considered “work,” promote social welfare, or to just take a break to do something more personally satisfying. Setting aside the details, the point is that even in a society that regards work as a duty, there can be a variety of work regimes and we should consider whether a less onerous regime, with more opportunity for leisure, would be both desirable and feasible.
Tommie Shelby (Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform)
An alternative conception of full citizenship that also doesn’t regard work as a civic requirement holds that citizens are entitled to a guaranteed, unconditional basic income or initial capital stake. On this view, each individual has a right to his or her fair share of society’s assets, which have been built up over many generations; and each should be free to use this fair share as he or she sees it. Those who want to work, either for greater income or intrinsic satisfaction, are free and perhaps encouraged to do so. But those who choose not to work and instead live off their basic income or capital stake (at least for a time) are not acting unfairly toward their fellow citizens who choose to work. The goods and services that we all take advantage of are the product of, not only contributions from contemporary workers, but also work from past generations and, just as important, technological advance and nature’s bounty. On this view, there should be an all-volunteer workforce, where no one is compelled to work under threat of penalty or out of economic need. Fiscal policy would focus on growing the economy and spurring technological advance, while tax policy would distribute the gains of increased productivity equitably to all citizens and not just to those who work or own capital.
Tommie Shelby (Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform)
Oamenii e ca sarpele.
Tommy Shelby Peaky Blinders
Some scholars and commentators who are sympathetic to the plight of the downtrodden do emphasize the agency of the oppressed, but only when the oppressed exhibit attitudes or take actions generally regarded as praiseworthy— for example, when they show resilience under hardship, defy their oppressors, or overcome tremendous obstacles. But not all responses to oppression are justifi ed or virtuous. We must admit that the oppressed sometimes respond in ways that are wrong or blameworthy. There can be no ethics of the oppressed (and thus no point in emphasizing the agency of the oppressed) if those who are unjustly disadvantaged can do no wrong. In explaining the content and contours of the relevant princi ples and values, I therefore seek to avoid not only the tendency to view the ghetto poor as inert but also the tendencies to rush to blame them and to romantically celebrate them.
Tommie Shelby (Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform)
Yet from the standpoint of justice, this approach has serious limitations and pitfalls. Just as physicians take basic human anatomy as given when treating patients, policymakers working within the medical model treat the background structure of society as given and focus only on alleviating the burdens of the disadvantaged. When it comes to the ghetto poor, this generally means attempting to integrate them into an existing social system rather than viewing their unwillingness to fully cooperate as a sign that the system itself needs fundamental reform. In short, features of society that could and should be altered often get little scrutiny. This is the prob lem of status quo bias. In addition, the technocratic reasoning of the medical model marginalizes the po liti cal agency of those it aims to help. The ghetto poor are regarded as passive victims in need of assistance rather than as potential allies in what should be a collective effort to secure justice for all.
Tommie Shelby (Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform)
To avoid these limits and pitfalls, I advocate thinking about ghettos through a systemic- injustice framework. When we take up the prob lem using this model, both government and ordinary citizens are viewed as having a duty to ensure that the social system of cooperation we all participate in is just. The presence of ghettos in American cities is a strong indication that just background conditions do not prevail. Ref l ection on ghettos, then, serves not only to focus our energies on relieving the im mense burdens the ghetto poor carry but also to make us think, as fellow citizens, about the fairness of the overall social structure we inhabit and maintain. Were the more affl uent in society to think about the matter this way, they would view the ghetto poor, not simply as disadvantaged people in need of their help or government intervention, but as fellow citizens with an equal claim on a just social structure. They might then come to recognize that achieving social justice will require not only eschewing their paternalistic (and sometimes punitive) attitudes toward the black poor but also relinquishing their unjust advantages.
Tommie Shelby (Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform)
Ideal theory provides evaluative standards for judging when a social order is seriously unjust and an objective to strive for in our re sis tance to oppression. Injustices are conceptualized as deviations from the ideal princi ples of justice, in much the same way that fallacious reasoning is conceived as a deviation from the rules of logical inference. An injustice is a failure on the part of individuals, institutions, or social arrangements to satisfy what the princi ples of justice demand.
Tommie Shelby (Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform)
Extrinsic institutional racism occurs when an institution employs a policy that is race-neutral in its content and public rationale but nevertheless has a signicant or disproportionate negative impact on an unfairly disadvantaged racial group. Those who make and apply the policies need not intend this result and may not themselves be racists. What is nonetheless wrong with the institution’s practices is that they perpetuate the negative effects of ongoing or past racist actions and thereby encourage racist attitudes and stereotypes. The underlying idea is that some groups in society are already disadvantaged by racism, and an institution that is not intrinsically racist may nevertheless play a role in keeping these groups in their disadvantaged condition, thus leading some to conclude that they occupy this low station because of the disadvantaged groups’ culpable failings or inherent inferiority.
Tommie Shelby (Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform)
Behind my smile is everything you'll never understand.
TOMMY SHELBY