In recent weeks, the corrupt procedural process and the subsequent passing and signing of President Obama’s health care overhaul have left many Americans feeling deeply disenchanted and disappointed.
But many mainstream media outlets have been reporting that the Tea Party movement, in reaction to the federal government’s unprecedented intervention into the American health care system, is a movement of “old racist white people.”
It seems almost laughable, the utter hypocrisy of major broadcast networks and newspapers reporting on allegations of congressmen having racial slurs shouted at them by a misguided few. Paradoxically, you would be hard pressed to see those same media outlets make the case that the supposed race baiters who (allegedly) screamed N____ and other racist and insensitive statements at Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga), Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass), were saying the same racist and incendiary statements repeated constantly by rappers like Jay Z (who recently visited the Situation Room with President Obama) on bestselling rap albums for the last two decades.
Yes folks, we have seen this movie before.
Time and time again, those on the Left in the media and persons with a specific political agenda, associate any white person who has the ‘audacity’ to espouse any substantive disagreement to President Obama and his policies, with racist, hate speech hurling Klansmen.
Yes, the majority of Tea Party protesters are white men and women. But white men and women make up the majority of the American population. In fact, the U.S Census Bureau concludes that in 2008 white Americans made up 79.8 percent of the population, and black Americans were 12.8 percent.
What’s more, the 92 percent of blacks who voted for President Obama in 2008 are still “giving him a chance.”
But there is more to consider.
What two things do Angela McGlowan, former Fox News political analyst and Republican candidate for the 1st congressional district in Mississippi, Kenneth Blackwell, former Secretary of State of Ohio and current Vice Chairman of the Republican National Committee’s Platform Committee and Herman Cain, radio talk show host and former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza have in common? They are all proud proponents of the Tea Party movement and yes, you guessed it, they are all Black.
The old ‘dinosaur media’ would have you believe that like the author of this opinion piece, not only do black conservatives not exist; they are certainly not present at any Tea Party rallies.
But sadly, this is contrary to fact.
“We want our country back” (a widely used Tea Party chant) is not an attack on all things minority, it simply illustrates the increasing frustration that hardworking Americans have over the growing number in our society who are all but comfortable with being “wards of the State,” on our dime. “We want our country back” from those at the highest levels of federal government who admire and quote communists and socialists.
The Tea Party movement, rooted in individual volition, represents a contingent of concerned Americans of all races and ethnic backgrounds, who at the end of the day, don’t want their hard earned income to be “spread around” or “redistributed.”
Unlike most things liberal, the Tea Party movement does not have a “racial quota” to meet.
The Tea Party is not and never has been about race; but instead, exists only to argue why we are, and what we must do to remain, the greatest country in the history of the world.
Analysts and social commentators (God bless their hearts) with the best interests, the American interest, in mind, have always done their very best to keep the national conversation on racial disparities focused and centered on the best decisions that blacks can make to lift themselves from poverty to prosperity.
In terms of educational, economic and social success, there have always been at least two schools of thought within the black American community. The first of which:
What can we do for ourselves and what are we waiting for?
This perspective, I believe, is beautifully illustrated by the words of Frederick Douglass given in a speech in Boston in 1865:
“[I]n regard to the colored people, there is always more that is benevolent, I perceive, than just, manifested towards us. What I ask for the Negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us…I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall!…And if the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!…[Y]our interference is doing him positive injury.”
Douglass’ sentiment here cares not to be judged on the basis of his race but by his character, his intelligence, interests, physical attributes and abilities, skill levels and his motivation to succeed.
Thankfully, American history is mired in examples of enormous black achievement amid the most racially pernicious time periods. History, that is often—purposefully I think—dismissed, omitted and outright lied about.
As early as the 1850’s blacks had a win, win attitude towards the interests of public service and took full advantage of what was an inherent embrace from a welcoming Republican Party.
1867- John F. Cook, a black Washingtonian, is named Chair of the Republican Party.
1870- Of the 23 blacks elected to the United States Congress, 13 were former slaves and all were Republican. Please allow me: 1865, you are a slave, 1870, you are a sitting U.S Congressmen: http://www1.law.nyu.edu/davisp/neglectedvoices/index2.html
Education Public and Armed Service:
In the area of educational excellence, there exists—arguably—no greater American educational legacy than that of Dunbar High School and Thomas Sowell a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University has chronicled that story: “From 1870 to 1955, most of Dunbar High School, (Washington D.C.’s first public school for blacks) graduates went off to college, earning degrees from Harvard, Princeton, Williams, Wesleyan and others. As early as 1899, Dunbar students had higher scores on citywide tests, than students at any of the District’s white schools. Dunbar’s attendance records were generally better than those of white schools and its rate of tardiness was lower. Latin was taught throughout the period from 1870 to 1955 and in the early decades, Greek was taught as well. Large classes were the norm, 40 students per teacher. It was more than 40 years before Dunbar had a lunchroom, which was then so small that many children had to eat lunch on the street. Blackboards were old and cracked. It was 1950 before the school had a public address system. Most of the parents of Dunbar students worked in unskilled and semiskilled occupations. White-collar and professional parents totaled 17 percent. http://www.tsowell.com/speducat.html
“Yet the dogma marches on that a middle-class background is necessary for academic success,” Sowell opines.
These and many other “black success stories” aren’t isolated incidents of academic and political accomplishment, that led to upper-class living standards but to the contrary, these occurrences were the norm and more importantly the culturally expected standard for our grandparents and great grandparents.
The second school of thought did not take root until the onset and coupling of the “social engineering of the 1960’s.” and the eroding of personal responsibility within the black community. The message that blacks should “not work, don’t save and not get married,” was baked in and permeated black neighborhoods and soon enough, the aforementioned successes of blacks began to become over shadowed by what were alarming and distressing statistical rates within the black community.
The second school of thought is more an “article of faith” than anything else:
What can the government, “the man,” “whitie,” or the “system,” do for me and why is it taking so damn long?
All too often intellectuals and second-hand intellectuals, for that matter, make the case that the existential threat to black achievement and the overwhelming reason for black underachievement is the “system.” As I stated in “part one:” “because of America’s racist past the system is forever rigged, most blacks are poor, there is a racist at the heart of all whites, and that because of these things, regardless of class or opportunity, no black American should be held to mainstream, (white) standards of morality or ‘academic achievement.’”
This “I am forever a victim” way of thinking and its cultural acceptance has doomed us all.
Nonetheless, numbers don’t lie:
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of their clinics are in minority communities. According to the U.S. Centers for Dieses Control, blacks make up 12% of the population (36 million), but 35% of the abortions in America. The CDC reports that since 1973 there have been approximately more than 13 million aborted black fetuses in America. Blackgenocide.org
Black on Black Crime Rates
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 94 percent of all blacks killed nationally between 1976 and 1999 were killed by other blacks.
On October 17th 2007 Chicago tribune columnist Clarence Paige reported that “Today’s young black males kill more young black males in a year than the Ku Klux Klan killed in its entire history. Paige chronicles that between 1882 and 1968, historians have documented more than 4,700 lynching of African Americans, mostly in the South. In 2005, the latest full year of FBI statistics concludes, “almost 8,000 black Americans were murdered, mostly by other black Americans.”
Black Dropout Rates
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics shows that black students drop out of high school 11 percentage points fewer than they did in 1980, but still maintain a national average of 8.4 percent, 3 percentage points higher than their white counterparts.
Pregnant Unwed and Out of Control
The National Center for Health Statistics reports that in 2007 nearly 72 percent of the births to black women were out of wedlock. Mothers were unmarried in about 51 percent of Hispanic births and 28 percent of non-Hispanic white births.
A 70 percent illegitimacy rate among blacks (90 percent in some inner cities) easily makes the point that there is a serious lack of accountability and responsibility. And the notion of blacks killing each other, whether by gun or by abortion doctor appointed visit, at a higher rate than the Ku Klux Klan could have ever dreamed of accomplishing is beyond disgraceful. And to know these facts, as many “civil rights leaders” and intellectuals and blacks in general do or to pretend that it is not truth (as ugly as it is) “or that “systemic” forces are more responsible than blacks themselves is knowingly to lie to oneself.”
From the moment of emancipation our forefathers and mothers accomplished and secured for themselves the very best education, the highest positions in politics, armed services and the private sector, through hard work and an unflagging spirit of determination.
But their successes or shortfalls for that matter were not contingent upon some “black agenda.”
“Black America,” can we please stop wasting everyone’s time and end the loud debates and arguments based in denial and perpetual falseness?
Let us simply have an agenda, wherein we remove ourselves from the “table,” get up and go to work.
The African American experience is one of great tragedy and immense triumph. But, for more than half a century, far too many journalists, priests, preachers, television and radio personalities, public school teachers, columnists and many more, have focused more on the tragedy and have all too often ignored the triumph.
The Origins of the “Black Agenda”
“Losing the Race: Self-sabotage in Black America” author, Dr, John McWhoter writes, “when the process of bringing blacks to equality with whites began, the concept of blacks as a race of victims was logical and appropriate, for the simple reason that it corresponded with reality.” Contextually put, in fact, this was a time wherein many blacks were poor, undereducated, and underemployed and had to live with and often times accept brutal racism and segregation from most public services, in many parts of America almost exclusively because of the shade of their skin.
The harsh realities of that turbulent time period, reluctant societal transformations, all coupled with a legislatively mandated and culturally susceptible moral authority shift, created a uniquely human dichotomy during and after the civil rights era. As Dr. Shelby Steele, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, at Stanford University has written:
“Whites in America (during the 60’s and 70’s) were fearful of being considered racists in one hand and in the other hand, blacks were fearful of being considered inferior.”
These dueling de facto and de jure conflicts generated outgrowths that have helped shaped the political, economic and social paradigm of our generation.
Here are the two most visible catalysts.
We Whites Are Guilty, Equals the Welfare State
As public tensions over the civil rights movement began to dissipate and more blacks began to take full advantage of job and educational opportunities, while saving their money, raising their families and owning more and more homes and businesses, there was also a growing body of blacks accepting more and more government assistance.
Landon B. Johnson and the Great Society established Aid to Families with Dependent Children for “women unwilling to get jobs”, Medicaid, for doctors bills that “weighed too heavily”, Rent Supplement Programs for those “having trouble paying the landlord”, and the first permanent Food Stamps Programs for “people unwilling to buy their own groceries.” Eventually though, as “WWI ended Woodrow Wilson’s “New Freedom” and WWII brought FDR’s “New Deal” to a close, “the Vietnam War crushed the loftiest ambitions of the Great Society” but not before it successfully turned Aid to Families with Dependent Children recipients from 3 million in 1960 to 8.4 million in 1970; when Uncle Sam in effect, became the ‘babies’ daddy.’
These and other innumerable statistics are a direct affront to the many who marched, died, bled, and sacrificed for blacks to have the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty.
But the do-gooders who suffer from “White Guilt,” (which is also the title of Dr. Steels 2006 publication), and must “make things right” through the “power of government,” would soon receive some help from an emerging industry of “poverty pimps.”
Whitie Owes Me, Equals the Industry of the Victimhood Vendor
Decades after the ink had dried on the pieces of much needed civil rights acts; legislation which helped produce a culture where even the most subtle instances of racial discrimination ended in class action law suits, we still don’t have to go far to find a “civil rights activist” fighting tirelessly for the “little man.”
For years the good Rev. Jackson and Sharpton, Julian Bond, Maxine Waters and the ‘crew’ have all cashed in greatly from political usury and are all CEO’s of the Liberal Exploitation Political Action Group.”
Their mission: “To keep 90 percent of blacks voting Democratic, thereby rolling up huge wins for the liberal exploitation agenda.” What’s more, “if you vote for ‘us’ we will supply you with more cookies, cake and ice cream than you can handle.”
Simply put, many blacks fell for the lines pushed by theses race hustlers who constantly reminded America that “the white man owes us and we won’t stop reminding him of that until his debt is paid.”
The sad irony and the political paradox behind the unholy alliance between the race baiters and the Democratic Party—in which I can’t wait to chronicle in future posts—is that; why after more than four decades of voting 90 percent Democratic, do we still need a…well, “Black Agenda?"
Envision for a moment that Channel 5 was a multibillion dollar Media and Entertainment Corporation named “White Entertainment Television” (W.E.T.) – and that it ran advertisements championing the message of “White Star Power.”
Or, picture a Congressional White Caucus in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate whose political agenda centered solely on the advancement of “white America.”
Imagine “Historically White Colleges and Universities,” or the “National Association for the Advancement of White People” (both organizations receiving federal grants).
Or more pointedly, think about the political and cultural fallout that would ensue if prominent academic, religious and political leaders, business executives and entertainment moguls, etc. met at George Washington University to discuss the “White Agenda” and when the President was going to take said “agenda” more seriously?
Now of course these scenarios are all hypothetical but what if they were all-of-a-sudden the reality of today, in 2010? There would certainly be social conflicts and disorder everywhere.
Meanwhile – in totally unrelated news – Tavis Smiley’s “Black Agenda Summit” was held at Chicago State University recently. The conference featured a panel of distinguished guests such as Minister Louis Farrakhan, Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson, Jesse Jackson and Princeton University professor Cornel West, to name a few.
Although the controversial event was overshadowed by coverage of the healthcare reform debate, Smiley said he was still “motivated to host this panel because of the reluctance of Black leaders to hold President Obama accountable for problems that specifically or disproportionately affect Blacks.”
The reason why blacks continue to statistically produce unemployment numbers that are twice as high – and academic success rates that are almost twice as low – as our white counterparts is because for more than fifty years blacks in America have sold out and bought into the notion that because of America’s racist past the system is forever rigged. There are meritless perceptions amongst the black community that “most blacks are poor,” “there is a racist at the heart of all whites,” and that because of these things, regardless of class or opportunity, “no black American should be held to mainstream, (white) standards of morality or academic achievement.”
Farrakhan, West, Dyson, Jesse Jackson and Tavis Smiley are just a few of the members in an unnamable league of so-called “black leaders” that are not willing to hold any meaningful dialogue on what the real threats to achievement and excellence in the black community actually are.
And even with the best intentions in mind, and the most media coverage possible, the motivation needed to “uplift” and “advance” “Black America” has, and always will, begin with blacks in America – not self-serving politicians and emotive policies.
But unfortunately, America is constantly reminded by today’s “black leaders” (who are ironically a disproportionately influential and affluent contingent) that blacks cannot possibly be expected to succeed in the face of such obvious systemic inadequacies.
Excuse me, but I beg to differ!
There are numerous factors to take into account when considering the general and specific shortfalls in the “black community.” Among them are the following few:
It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see the elephant in the room – there is a clear lack of a real dialogue on the choices that blacks have made in regards to self improvement and empowerment in the last several decades.
- Since 1940, rates of divorce and non-marriage have soared among black adults, and, as a result, the percentage of black children born to unmarried mothers has risen from 17 percent to 70 percent.
- Father absence has risen greatly in the last four decades. Between 1960 and 2006, the number of children living in single-mother families went from 8 percent to 23.3 percent – and 34 percent of children currently live absent their biological father.
- Father absence clearly contributes to family poverty. In 2003, 39.3 percent of single-mother families lived in poverty, but only 8.8 percent of father-present families lived in poverty.
- The Pew Research Center has concluded that 7.32 million American adults were in prison, on parole or on probation in 2007, a tripling over the last 25 years. That makes, on average, 1 in every 31 American adults in prison, on parole or on probation. For Blacks, the numbers are a depressing 1 in 11.
- According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, blacks make up 12% of the population (36 million), but 35% of the abortions in America. (All statistics coming from www.fatherhood.org)
And until questions are asked, relevant to the real ailments in the “black community,” no President or panel will be able to lift the plight of an afflicted minority.