Sunday, September 18, 2005
The new voices in the African American community
Katrina was a natural disaster compounded by some very bad human planning and execution. We've spent much time looking back and analyzing what went wrong. Now, it's time to look forward. Let's fix the levees and the sorry state of inner city black Americans. Maybe Pres. Bush can actually finish what Pres. Johnson started 40 years ago!
Two weeks before Katrina, New Orleans was a very poor city run by a black mayor, a black city council and represented in Congress by a black legislator. In many ways, New Orleans was exhibit A of everything that is wrong with the inner city.
As Bill O'Reilly said in his Talking Points Memo this week:
"The aftermath of Katrina has produced a debate over poor Americans. There are about 37 million people living below the poverty line right now.
The issue was described this way by Newsweek (search) reporter Evan Thomas (search), a liberal guy but not alone, who writes, "Liberals will say [the authorities] were indifferent to the plight of poor African-Americans. It is true that Katrina laid bare society's massive neglect of its least fortunate."
Massive neglect? Let's take a look at that bit of overstatement.
Halfway through President Clinton's tenure in office in 1996, the poverty rate was 13.7 percent. Halfway through President Bush's tenure, the rate is 12.7 percent, a full point lower.
In 1996, the Clinton budget allotted $191 billion for poverty entitlements. That was 12.2 percent of the budget and a whopping amount of money. That's why Bill Clinton (search) was called the first black president by some.
However, the Bush 2006 budget allots a record shattering $368 billion for poverty entitlements, 14.6 percent of the entire budget, a huge increase over Clinton's spending on poverty entitlements.
Did the elite media mention that? Jesse Jackson (search) mention that? Of course they didn't, because it's much more convenient for Evan Thomas and others to imply America under President Bush has turned its back on the poor, but it's absolute nonsense."
I agree with O'Reilly that blaming Bush is what the liberals do first. Yet, money is not the problem. We have spent trillions in the so called war on poverty and we are losing.
What we need are new ideas and voices. There are ideas and fresh voices but the US news media always goes to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Maybe they should invite some new faces to our television. Maybe we should pay attention to what some black Americans are saying.
First, pick up a copy of John McWhorter's 2000 book Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America. It is more relevant today than in 2000!
McWhorter outlines three aspects of modern day black America. This is not going to be a fun book for those who want to blame Bush or Cheney for the current plight of black America. My guess is that this book is banned at NAACP or Democrat party functions.
Another voice is Dutch Martin. He holds a BA in international relations from Boston University and an MS in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a columnist for TheBlackConservative.com and TheRightReport.com, and a member of Project 21, an African American leadership network out of Washington, D.C.
Martin reviewed McWhorter's book a few years ago:
"First is the Cult of Victimology. In it, victimhood is not seen as a problem to be overcome but an identity to be nurtured.
In the Cult of Separatism, the uniqueness of our history is used as a justification to exempt us from the rules that govern the rest of American society.
Lastly, in the Cult of Anti-Intellectualism, an affinity toward education is seen as running counter to an "authentic" black identity.
I have witnessed first-hand the manifestation of each cult and the masterful job each does in preventing blacks from realizing their full potential."
He concludes by writing something that should be posted in every corner of New Orleans:
"My life has taught me that individual initiative, hard work and a love of learning are tried and true means to achieving professional success and economic independence.
Losing the Race opened my eyes to aspects of modern-day black American groupthink that keep so many blacks mentally crippled in a perpetual state of whining, complaining and missed opportunities."
Professor Walter Williams is a very strong voice. He is one of the nation's best economists. He wrote this about the book:
"McWhorter doesn't argue there is no longer any racial discrimination in the United States, but racial discrimination is not the major problem for blacks today.
Instead, it's self-sabotage -- and he's right.
Let's look at it.
A black illegitimacy rate hovering around 70 percent is devastating but it's not caused by whites.
Black people have the nation's highest victimization rates for murder, assault, rape and other violent crimes, but it's not whites who are culpable.
Black students have the nation's lowest academic achievement. That can't be blamed on racism because academic achievement is the lowest in cities where the mayor, superintendent of schools, and most principals and teachers are black, such as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Detroit.
Academic achievement is also the lowest where the most money is spent on education. Washington, D.C., ranks second in spending and ranks 49th in achievement."
Another voice is Star Parker, the president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education and author of 'Uncle Sam's Plantation.' She wrote this about those playing the race card:
"What we are witnessing is a well-honed black political public-relations operation geared to obfuscation, stoking hatred and fear, and nurturing helplessness and dependence among black citizens. Such efforts keep black politicians powerful, diversity businesses prosperous and blacks poor."
Larry Elder is a TV host and columnist. This is what he wrote about New Orleans:
"Since 1978, for example, black mayors controlled the city of New Orleans, with many of the city's top officials also black.
What about their responsibility? What about the damage done by the modern welfare state, helping to create poverty by financially rewarding irresponsible behavior? What about the damage to the black psyche by so-called civil rights leaders who demand not just equal rights, but equal results, helping to create a victicrat-entitlement mentality?
Maybe someday one of the news anchors will ask one of the so-called civil rights leaders the following question:
Doesn't the demand for race-based preferences, set-asides, private sector anti-discrimination laws, social welfare programs, and social "safety net" programs all conspire to say one thing -- "You are not responsible"?"
Another fresh voice is Deroy Murdock, a New York-based columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a senior fellow with the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in Arlington, Va. This is what he wrote:
"The wild-eyed theory that Bush hates blacks so deeply that he would engineer their wholesale starvation, dehydration, and asphyxiation pries the scabs off these still-healing wounds and grinds fresh pepper into them.
Either such explosive nonsense is a warm pile of lies, or Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, FEMA's departed Michael Brown, Democratic Governor Blanco, and Democratic Mayor Nagin (who is black) share Bush's anti-black animus and helped him harm and kill black Americans on live, international television.
This is best-described scatalogically. But to keep it polite, the race hustlers who are exploiting this tragedy are beyond contempt. They are polluting the public square with nitroglycerine. Their twisted view of a bigoted America is belied by the 18,000 mainly black New Orleanians rescued by the Coast Guard, the $762 million in Katrina-related donations Americans of all colors have offered so far to our disadvantaged countrymen, along with free housing, schooling, and more.
Thousands of volunteers, many with white faces, raced to comfort the tempest-tossed, many with blacks faces."
Another voice is Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, founder and president of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny. He said this about local politicians:
"The mayor failed in his duty to evacuate and protect the people of New Orleans. ... The truth is, black people died not because of President Bush or racism, they died because of their unhealthy dependence on the government and the incompetence of Mayor Ray Nagin and Governor Kathleen Blanco." (http://www.washtimes.com/functions/print.php?StoryID=20050909-113107-3180r)
How about more black voices? ABC News sent a reporter to the Astrodome to interview many of the black citizens of New Orleans who have settled there. According to the Media Research Center (http://www.mrc.org/cybersub.asp#webnews):
ABC News producers probably didn't hear what they expected when they sent Dean Reynolds to the Houston Astrodome's parking lot to get reaction to President Bush's speech from black evacuees from New Orleans.
Instead of denouncing Bush and blaming him for their plight, they praised Bush and blamed local officials.
Reynolds asked Connie London: "Did you harbor any anger toward the President because of the slow federal response?"
She rejected the premise: "No, none whatsoever, because I feel like our city and our state government should have been there before the federal government was called in."
She pointed out: "They had RTA buses, Greyhound buses, school buses, that was just sitting there going under water when they could have been evacuating people."
Not one of the six people interviewed on camera had a bad word for Bush -- despite Reynolds' best efforts.
Reynolds goaded: "Was there anything that you found hard to believe that he said, that you thought, well, that's nice rhetoric, but, you know, the proof is in the pudding?"
Brenda Marshall answered, "No, I didn't," prompting Reynolds to marvel to anchor Ted Koppel: "Very little skepticism here."
We have a great chance to rebuild a city and to give its citizens a fresh start. Let's do it by listening to Star Parker, Larry Elder and Walter Williams rather than the fraudulent voices of Jesse Jackson, Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean and Al Sharpton.
Posted by Silvio Canto, Jr. Post Link ---> 5:02 AM
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