“Racism in America is not the exception – it’s the norm,” read a headline from the British Guardian the other day. “2 viruses — COVID and racism — devastate the black community and threaten America’s stability, declares an ABC News piece. “Not just George Floyd: Police departments have 400-year history of racism,” headlines an USA Today article. “We need to tackle racism, and we’ve never really dealt with it,” asserted a protester at one of the many rallies that have taken place in recent weeks. A great deal, indeed, has been recently said from many quarters about the alleged oppressiveness and racism of American society. Even though these denunciations have been delivered in impassioned voices and accompanied by much violence,
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“Racism in America is not the exception – it’s the norm,” read a headline from the British Guardian the other day.
“2 viruses — COVID and racism — devastate the black community and threaten America’s stability, declares an ABC News piece.
“Not just George Floyd: Police departments have 400-year history of racism,” headlines an USA Today article.
“We need to tackle racism, and we’ve never really dealt with it,” asserted a protester at one of the many rallies that have taken place in recent weeks.
A great deal, indeed, has been recently said from many quarters about the alleged oppressiveness and racism of American society. Even though these denunciations have been delivered in impassioned voices and accompanied by much violence, there is one problem with such claims: They are not true. The opposite is actually the case.
The fact is that there is no institutional or systemic discrimination against black people in American society. Contrary to the assertions we hear today, in the last half a century America has gone into untold lengths to support and assist its black community. During this time, American society has launched countless programs and initiatives and spent hundreds of billions of dollars aimed specifically at uplifting the African American demographic. The support that the black community receives from American society comes in every form conceivable: legislative, financial, educational, commercial, human, material.
To ensure that there is no systemic or institutional discrimination, America went so far as to implement affirmative action and racial quotas in education, employment, government contracts, housing and other areas of life. This means that our laws and codes of conduct grant more protection, privileges and guarantees to colored people than they do to their white counterparts. So eager and willing has America been to elevate its black minority that it actually subjected the majority to reverse discrimination. To redeem itself and correct a legacy of past discrimination, the United Sates has bent backwards to advance its black population. The amount of resources, protection and goodwill that America’s black minority receives from our society is completely unprecedented in the annals of world history.
Nowhere in the world do black people enjoy more freedom and greater financial, employment and educational opportunities than they do in the United States. This is the reason why so many black people from all over the globe seek to come and live in this country. Such great are their numbers that we can only accept a tiny fraction of those who wish to live here. If America was such a racist and oppressive nation, why would they want to come so badly?
The reason they want to come is because they know that America treats black people well and that nowhere else in the world black people have it as good as they have it here. When black people whose vision has not been distorted by the demagoguery of the so-called civil rights leaders look at America they see freedom and opportunity. They look at America and they see a society that displays immense generosity and good will toward its black population. They look at America and see a country that has recently awarded the most coveted, powerful and prestigious job in the world – the presidency of the United States – to a black man. And this not once, but two times. Would a racist nation ever do something like that?
Conversely, we do not hear stories of African Americans leaving this “racist” “oppressive” country and then returning with tales of lands where black people lead better lives of more freedom, affluence and dignity. Have you ever heard such a testimony? Let us see one country in the world that is more generous and caring towards black people than this one. Let us find one nation where black people receive more freedom and protection than in the United States of America. Tellingly, we cannot find a single predominantly black country where its citizens enjoy more rights and affluence than the black people in the United States. Isn’t it paradoxical that the United States treats its black people better than black nations treat their own? The immense lengths – involving both effort and treasure – into which this society has gone to help and accommodate black Americans are surely worth pondering. In a healthy society, this would draw at least sporadic expressions of gratitude and appreciation.
If truth be told, African Americans are the most favored and legally privileged demographic in American society. Enjoying the benefits of a host of protective measures and mechanisms incorporated into the fabric of our societal existence, African Americans are neither systemically oppressed nor are they institutionally discriminated against. An eye-opening expression of this took place last week during the “anti-racism” protests in Washington, DC. There a local black woman by the named Nestride Yumga confronted a group of protesters promulgating their stock racist slogans against this country (watch here). In the course of the exchange, the woman chastizes a white protestor:
“You say blacks are oppressed. I am black and I am not oppressed. I am free!… Stop forcing on people to accept that they are oppressed… You are forcing a rhetoric into their minds which is not true… Shame on you, I am free!”
Standing in front of them with outstretched arms, Nestride’s words have a stunning effect that leaves the startled demonstrators groping for a reply. The impact of her utterance is so powerful, because what she says is so obviously and undeniably true. Unlike rioters and protestors we see shouting untruths from our screens, this young black woman truly speaks truth to power. And what a power hers is. Turning toward the black members of the crowd, she excoriates them, “You guys are not oppressed. You are lazy, that’s all it is. Go get jobs, work!”
Blindsided by this unexpected petard of stark truth, the dazed demonstrators weakly attempt a couple of hollow clichés and some heckling by way of response. Hit with such a healthy dose of reality, they are unable to mount any kind of coherent answer. The black woman’s reproof rips off the cloak of righteous falsehood from their faux cause and they stand there exposed, clutching pitiably to the shreds of their specious lies. Befuddled and confused, they pack up their protest paraphernalia and decamp. As they retreat, the intrepid lady sends them on their way with her last salvo “you guys have been cowards.”
But what about the issue of the systemic police brutality against black Americans, the latest example of which we just witnessed in the lamentable death of George Floyd? It has been repeatedly demonstrated, however, that such incidents are actually very rare and not a manifestation of pervasive racism in our law enforcement. As Tucker Carlson notes, in 2019 ten unarmed African Americans were shot dead by police officers in the United States. Nine of them had serious criminal records. On the other hand, less than two weeks ago on May 31, 18 black people were murdered in the city of Chicago by mostly black criminals. More black people are thus shot and killed by black people in one day in one city than they are killed by the police across the United States in one whole year. The talk that we sometimes hear of the police committing “black genocide” is absurd beyond belief. As Theodore Dalrymple points out a “policeman is about fifteen times more likely to be killed by a black man than to kill a black man.” And most of the small number of black men killed annually by the police are dangerous felons who are killed in the process of committing a crime.
Moreover, more white people are shot by the police than black people, and likewise more white people die in arrest-related incidents than black people. The narrative that the police routinely rounds up innocent peaceful black men in the streets is a complete myth that no one in their right mind can believe, not least black people themselves. According to Pew research, more than half of black Americans have “a lot” or at least “some” confidence in the police. As a point of comparison, less than one third of the American population approve of the way Congress is handling its job. In other words, far more black people have confidence in their local cops that we have in our elected representatives in Washington, DC. Most upright black Americans want our law enforcement and government officials take a strong stance against lawlessness no matter by whom it is perpetrated. The latest evidence of this is Donald Trump’s record approval rating among likely black voters in the wake of the riots. Tellingly, Donald Trump has been one of the few government figures who has not pandered to the looting mobs.
The question, then, is: Given all the financial, legislative, educational and human resources that have been poured into the black community over the decades, why is the black community not thriving? Why, after all these years of immense effort and investment, is the black community still plagued with so many troubles and difficulties?
The answer is not racism, police brutality or discrimination. The reason why the black community is so troubled is the moral breakdown that has corroded its large portions, especially those of the inner cities.
Data shows that more than seventy five percent of black babies are born to single mothers. And from those 25 percent who are born to parents who are married fewer still grow up to adulthood with both of their biological parents present. This means that the majority of young black people grow up in broken or dysfunctional homes. In any racial demographic that by itself would be a problem with catastrophic consequences. And the statistics are, indeed, devastating. Consider some of the following facts. Children from fatherless families are five times more likely to grow up in poverty and commit crime. Children from father-absent homes are nearly three times more likely to carry guns and deal drugs than those living with their fathers. They are also nine times more likely to drop out of school. Worse yet, young people from broken families are 20 times more likely to go to prison.
As far back as 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned that the destruction of the black nuclear family would have ruinous economic and social consequences for the black community. When Moynihan was writing his famous report the black illegitimacy rate was 25 percent. Today it is three times higher.
Sadly, the destruction of the black nuclear family has been to a great degree effected and facilitated by government which creates incentives for this by providing cash payments and an array of benefits to single mothers. “The steady expansion of welfare programs can be taken as a measure of the steady disintegration of the Negro family structure over the past generation in the United States,” wrote Moynihan in the conclusion to his paper.
The black writer and thinker Larry Elder recalls a story of some years ago when he interviewed Kweisi Mfume who was at the time president of the National Association for the Advancement of the Colored People (NAACP). In the course of the interview, Elder posed this question: “Between the presence of white racism and the absence of black fathers which poses the bigger threat to the black community?” Without any hesitation, Mfume replied, “the absence of black fathers.”
Bad as it is, for so many black children growing up in broken, dysfunctional families – a situation which greatly diminishes their prospects in life – is not the end of it. Most of them also live immersed in a culture and mindset that makes it virtually impossible to pursue happy and meaningful existence. It is truly regrettable that black street culture promotes and celebrates the grosses of human traits and forms of conduct. Sexual promiscuity, illegitimacy, violence, instant gratification, drug abuse, indolence and crime are celebrated and held up as if they were some virtues. On other hand, those who by studiousness, uprightness and work ethic try to escape the bleak and hopeless existence that such a view of life inevitably engenders are accused of “acting white” and derided as Uncle Toms and Aunt Annas. How absurd. Those who make such derisory statements seem to imply that living an upright, diligent and conscientious life is a racial trait that should only be displayed by white people.
What hope can there be for young people growing up in broken homes – which are often negligent and abusive – while being submerged in such a toxic culture? We see the tragic result of it in the looting mobs that are vandalizing and burning American cities today. The pandemonium they have unleashed is not the consequence of white racism or police brutality. It is the inevitable outcome of the illegitimacy, broken culture and moral decline that has unraveled the moral fiber of large swathes of the black demographic.
What the black community needs at this time is not more protests, money or government programs. What it needs is a moral rebirth and a return to the values of personal responsibility, conscientiousness, studiousness, discipline and honest work. This is where the real problem lies and unless it is addressed and faced squarely, the black community will never escape the pathologies and difficulties it is presently struggling with.