Steven Nikitas: Here's the solution for black America
PITTSFIELD — After the burning and looting in Baltimore and Ferguson we are seeing endless media hand-wringing that somehow "we" must all do something more to help black America. And "we" means white people, taxpayers, businesses, the criminal justice system, the universities and the government. But blacks must now pull themselves up. "We" have done far too much already with tens of trillions in handouts in the last 50 years, and it has backfired badly.
Conservatives and Republicans have offered sure-fire solutions for black America and they have been rejected repeatedly. Our advice has been for African-Americans to discard the leadership of the Democrat party and charlatans like Al Sharpton. After all, far-left liberalism has obviously failed. The proof is everywhere.
End blame game
Conservatives have recommended over and over that blacks reform their culture from top to bottom by respecting marriage and the family and the law, returning to their churches, embracing education and hard work, avoiding violence and debased rap music, speaking clearly, shunning drugs and profanity, and pulling up their pants. And to stop blaming all of their problems on everyone else. That is immature, cowardly and counterproductive.
What respectable business owner would hire a young black male from the "hood" who won't even show up for work? What successful enterprise is going to establish itself in crime-ridden inner cities? Isn't looting and burning self-defeating?
Now some media commentators are lamenting that there are too many rundown buildings in Baltimore and that they must be demolished and rebuilt new. That is code language meaning that taxpayers should fund more free housing while the rational response is that blacks must rebuild their Baltimore neighborhoods themselves because self-reliance is their only hope. And it always works. White people in Baltimore are doing it every day.
The violence there is part of a self-destructive pattern that is largely a result of blacks following the wrong leaders. Demagogues like Sharpton merely incite rather than instruct. Democrats have constructed a fortress welfare state that has extinguished black self-improvement while Republicans have warned that it is a dead end and have stressed economic opportunity and a work ethic instead.
The teacher unions and their political cronies control the frightening inner-city schools with an iron grip, while conservatives have sought charter schools, vouchers and educational choice. Liberals say that single motherhood is a valid way of life but Republicans vehemently disagree, with distressing poverty statistics about single mothers and their children to prove the case. And on and on. Yet every day conservatives are vilified as the bad guys of race relations.
Nonsense. The Republican Party was the staunch ally of blacks for 100 years. It was established in 1854 as the anti-slavery party. Evangelical Christians fought in the forefront to abolish slavery here, and in England in the person of the legendary William Wilberforce. Republican president Abraham Lincoln emancipated the slaves. Every black elected official after the Civil War was a Republican. Virtually all blacks were Republicans up until the 1950s including Martin Luther King and his father.
But in the 1960s white liberals told blacks that they would fight together for "civil rights" and sold them a destructive bill of social permissiveness along with it, buying them off with mountains of taxpayer cash. The black marriage rate in the 1950s was 82 percent while it is now 30%, and zero in many places. The black illegitimacy rate in 2015 is astronomical, along with economic dependency. Absent black fathers are the norm.
The black crime rate is sky-high, with black violence against each other and against whites at catastrophic levels. Academic failure abounds. Police are hated and defamed, while young blacks routinely malign one another for being "too white" and seeking to succeed. Meanwhile Obama has crippled the economy, significantly compounding black economic woes.
'We' can't do it
On the other hand elderly African-Americans often talk wistfully about their youths in those ostensibly horrible years before "civil rights" when they were vastly more conservative people and had their families, their churches, strong fathers and mothers, respect for hard work and education and the law, and their small businesses. These were priceless natural assets that required no taxpayer subsidy. They offered a solid social foundation to build on but have been obliterated instead, with predictable consequences.
"We" can't fix black America — it must fix itself, and can do so only with a profound change of heart and decades of hard work. Today is a great time to start.
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