Yesterday my post highlighted a Thomas Sowell article on the race-hustling industry in America and today he presented the second part, “Race-Hustling Results: Part II”, at Townhall.com and it’s also on National Review Online with a different title, “The Business of Being Offended”. He offers one of the most honest takes on the results of decades of grievance politics, determined initiation of programs to keep minorities enslaved to state programs and aligned to the political hand that feeds them, and a culture that gravitates toward the lowest rather than aspiring toward the highest. This paragraph sums up where we are at:
“Young blacks are especially susceptible to the message that all their problems are caused by white people — and that white society is never going to give them a chance. In short, they are primed to resent and hate individuals they have never seen before and who have never done a thing to them.”
All sorts of studies abound about the racial divide and from decades of this area being a political tinderbox, for every statistic purporting one fact, you’ll find some determined politically motivated folks conjure up statistics stating the exact opposite. The one thing, numbers aside on black women compared to black men in college, that is irrefutable is the large number of black men in prison. Beside that trend is the irrefutable fact that more than 72% of black children are born to single mothers and this leads to a large number of women and children trapped in a cycle of poverty and government dependency.
It’s very easy for white middle class and above people to cast judgments and get behind all sorts of broad-stroke welfare reform programs, like drug-testing before benefits or making welfare dependent on seeking employment, but few people want to look at this national problem close-up and personal and actually see that these are individual Americans, whose potential seems destined to be unrealized from birth. We should commit that every American child should be able to reach for the stars.
For some reason in America, we always look to government solutions for problems that require committed social action (being good neighbors), that finds expression in community action and used to be most commonly found in our churches. Unless and until we get enough people to stop dividing America into raging factions, where the only ones who benefit are the race-hustlers and politicians, we will never be able to bridge this gaping cultural divide and have one America, where every child really does count. This type of commitment starts at the most basic level – one on one communication and building trust. It starts with one person daring to offer a helping hand.
Gladius is a committed conservative, but what he emailed me a couple days ago goes beyond politics, it cuts to the what is ailing America – a lack of moral courage:
“Bottom line is that nothing occurs in a vacuum. It is a cliché but it is true: If we have strong individuals, we can have strong families; with strong families we can have strong churches; with strong churches we can have strong communities; strong communities beget strong states; strong states a strong nation. We are at a loss for strong individuals. Moral courage has been trained out of too many through a corrupt and liberal education system. Principles are deemed narrow-minded bigotry rather than honorable. Greed is rampant. And, through it all, the rot of individual integrity is sapping our strength.”
Dr. Sowell and Gladius expressed the problem a little differently, but they both traced it back to the roots – a breakdown of our communities, because our families have fallen into disarray. While it would be nice to believe that money can solve this problem and that with a few more determined social-engineering programs and millions more in tax dollars tossed at the problems, we would have our solution. Decades of widening income and social gaps, decimation of largely black urban inner-cities, sky-high incarceration rates of young black males, so many single black moms trying to go it alone clearly show that governmental band-aids can’t stop this hemorrhaging. It’s going to take lots of committed helping hands to pull people up in communities all across America, resuscitating an American spirit that seems to be almost on it’s last breath.
We need to focus on helping individuals in our own communities, mentoring, truly being good neighbors and investing the time to make sure we don’t forget to rescue those who keep falling through the cracks. To even begin the process takes finding a way to talk to each other as neighbors first, not as political opponents. Our out-of-control politicization of every issue in America, which often seems deliberately motivated by various factions, will end up destroying our Republic, unless we commit to a drastic course correction. I’ll harken back to President George Washington’s Farewell Address to our young nation on the dangers of letting political factions burn out of control;
“It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection”
For more on George Washington’s timeless advice to keep our Republic strong and united and how he helped me form my American character, here is my “The duty of a wise people” blog post from back in May. I’m searching for the Livy (that old Roman historian) quote on how the virtues of a Republic can be restored by the example of one man and will add it to the bottom once I locate it, because it speaks to where we are at with our own Republic.