|CHALLENGES FOR BLACK PEOPLE A BRIEF COMMENTARY ON A BRIEF COMMENTARY 15 July 2016||| Print ||
CHALLENGES FOR BLACK PEOPLE
A BRIEF COMMENTARY ON A BRIEF COMMENTARY
15 July 2016
Dear Friends and Patriots,
Embedded below in this missive is the article which provoked it. The article is by Dr. Walter E. Williams, whom many of you may follow and virtually all are aware of. Dr. Williams has been a very vocal social conscience in more recent years and one of a few nationally known black spokesmen for the causes of conservatism.
A friend at work, Mike Holliday, forwarded the article for my comment. He made none in his forwarding note; he just sent a web link. I popped open the article, read it, and realized I wanted to add a different context to Dr. Williams’ thoughts. It’s not that I think I know more than Dr. Williams, but because he cites many facts about the “what” of things, but not of the “why.” The “what” is vitally important for all to know and acknowledge. The “what” helps to define problems in need of solutions. But, I tend to be more about the “why.” I do understand that knowing history doesn’t fix anything, but the context of historical truth often indicates whether a particular solution has a chance of succeeding or not.
This is the article, posted on-line on 13 July 2016, in its entirety:
Challenges For Black People
Walter Williams | Wednesday Jul 13, 2016 11:00 AM
President Barack Obama and his first attorney general Eric Holder called for an honest conversation about race. Holder even called us “a nation of cowards” because we were unwilling to have a “national conversation” about race. The truth of the matter is there’s been more than a half-century of conversations about race. We do not need more. Instead, black people need to have frank conversations among ourselves, no matter how uncomfortable and embarrassing the topics may be.
Among the nation’s most dangerous cities are
Each year, more than 7,000 blacks are murdered. That’s a number greater than white and Hispanic murder victims combined. Blacks of all ages are killed at six times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined. According to the FBI, the police kill about 400 people a year; blacks are roughly one-third of that number. In
Heather Mac Donald’s most recent book, “The War on Cops,” points out some devastating and sobering statistics: “Blacks were charged with 62 percent of all robberies, 57 percent of all murders, and 45 percent of all assaults in the 75 largest
The primary victims of lawlessness are black people. To address this problem and most others, black people should ignore the liberal agenda. If civil authorities will not do their job of creating a safe environment, then black people should take the initiative. One example comes to mind. In 1988, at the request of residents, black Muslims began to patrol Mayfair Mansions, a drug-infested, gang-ridden, unsafe
Without self-initiative, there is not much that can be done about the high crime rate in black neighborhoods. Black and white liberals and their allies in the ACLU, as well as many libertarians, will not countenance the kind of tools needed to bring about civility. For example, the Chicago Police Department recently entered an agreement with the ACLU to record contact cards for all street stops. The ACLU claimed that police were disproportionately targeting minorities for questioning and searches. The practical result will be fewer investigative stops by policemen and more crime, and it will be black residents who suffer.
Black people have the capacity to run the criminals out of their neighborhoods. Let me put the issue another way. Suppose it were the Ku Klux Klan riding through black neighborhoods murdering 7,000 blacks year after year. How many black people would be willing to wait for the Klansmen to behave themselves or accept political promises and wait for a government program?
Dr. Williams is a nationally syndicated columnist, former chairman of the economics department at George Mason University, and author of More
After reading the article I knew I had to say . . . something. It’s too provocative to just let lie. This was my E-mailed response:
My comment regarding a differentiation between the poor and the impoverished references a discussion in my first book, The Battle For America’s Soul. I’m convinced there are differences between the two and the lack of understanding of those differences plays a part in the failure of virtually all our government’s social programs. If not the failure, certainly their costs.
One historical truth shouldn’t be ignored. That truth regards the social degeneration of urban black communities. Before professional agitators came into those communities and before the massive social legislation of the ‘60s there was a thriving, vibrant, and increasingly successful culture. Before Black America was looked upon as a means to a political end the heaviest anchors to black social progress as a racial segment of society was the burden of all the racist laws and regulations intended to segregate white from black. If, instead of creating an entirely new system of bureaucracies intended to impose federal paternalism upon blacks in our land our government, our court systems had revoked all laws that had blatant or even unintentional negative racial consequences, what would have happened? Would our entire nation have been better off? I suspect it is so.
When you look at statistics alone there is a sorry tale being told. It’s a tale of trillions of dollars wasted. It’s a tale of struggle, faith, and hope for a better day that just never seems to materialize. What went wrong? I won’t say, “I know!” but I will say the data and the history of what happened in politics during the ‘50s and ‘60s gives inference to the truth.
That truth may just be the so-called Great Society was designed more to create a new plantation society than to cure any of
Control mechanisms were funded by the government. Planned Parenthood operated in and near all urban plantation enclaves to help control black population growth. Regulations were invoked within Great Society social programs that had the effect of breaking up intact families and creating disincentives for new ones.
Being poor became something of a career field. It’s not that anyone purposefully aspired to poverty, but “the system” was rigged to create lifestyles designed around entitlement programs. An entire underground network was formed for the purpose of sharing information on gaming “the system” to maximize the money taken from it. There’s nothing aspirational about any of it. There’s nothing that feeds the spirit or the intellect. The Great Society social system is a giant, sterile desert. Those dwell within it don’t thrive, they exist. And, because that system includes financial disincentives to aspiration, there are unseen, but real, barriers to individual success. To escape the New Plantation takes a lot of guts, determination, and personal sacrifice. Those who make their living running the New Plantation are rarely much help. They require clients to ensure they stay employed. Individual success from within the client base only puts a government employee’s livelihood at risk. Who would want that?
I’m describing an unholy, symbiotic relationship between an ever-expanding group of people and their masters. It’s the poor and their bureaucratic overlords. The poor don’t think of their governmental “helpers” as overlords, and I’m pretty certain those government officials don’t use that term for themselves, but what else is it?
Here’s a possible solution to all this mess. It’s called Equal Opportunity. While I know that term has been around for decades, I contend it’s only been a buzz-word, not the actual intent of any government effort. We now have all the laws necessary to preclude institutional racism and discrimination. In fact, we may have too many. What we need is to stimulate the desire for achievement. What we need is to go back and recapture the original spirit of
Black Americans who live within the New Plantation are hardly freer than their ancestors who worked the fields as slaves. Their current chains are figurative in some ways, yet real in others. They are chained by lowered expectations, by excuses built into “the system” and their community experience, and by the very presence of that “free” money they are paid just because they don’t earn to a certain level. When government stops “helping” perhaps people will re-learn an old American tradition and go forth to help themselves. The solution is already halfway there. The Equal Opportunity part has been accomplished. That was done by the removal of all legal barriers to individual success. Now what’s needed is that aspirational part, the part where each and every poor person who has the physical, mental and emotional means goes forward as truly liberated individuals and strives to stand on their own two feet and claim their share of the American pie for themselves.
While that last paragraph hints at how
It is all shameful.