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:
- 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.