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Wednesday, July 25. 2007
The rise of a black underclass in America since the 60s has been troubling, and puzzling, to me for years. Wasted lives, wasted opportunities, wasted talents. It's been around for so long that many seem to forget that it did not exist before or during the war - or even in the 50s.
From before the Civil War, and since then, many people of all colors worked and died to bring the full freedoms of citizenship to black Americans. The emergence of a self-destructive underclass in the wake of all of that work is heartbreaking. From In the Heart of Freedom, from Myron Magnet in City Journal, a quote:
Is a sub-culture of dependency the issue? I don't know. Read the whole thing.
Photo: The Clifton School on Merritt Island, Florida, 1890
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But even if that's the case, why did these programs disproportionately affect blacks? Saying that the war on poverty was the cause of black social dysfunction only begs that question.
It is sadly clear that perception of poverty and injustice is at least as powerful as actual poverty and injustice. The average African-American income in America is higher than the average person's income in Sweden, yet resentment continues to run high.
We all are less grateful for that which we are given than that which we get ourselves. That is not peculiar to blacks or the poor, but to human nature. The welfare state has promoted the idea that activism and complaint are one good method to get ahead. If you could call that "ahead."
like I said yesterday:
If you can keep it up long enough, any movement or trend will become THE reality to the participants.
I bet a lot of blacks would be surprised about the statistics from the earlier part of the century. Were those all "uncle toms"? Or did they sign on to their own demise and it's been so long the young ones (under 50) don't know the difference?
The whole thing sickens me. I know too many people, mostly whites, who don't even think about reaching their potential or even trying.
The "war on poverty" never needed to be a gov't program. The economy itself is a "war on poverty".
Gov't could've stimulated private enterprise via the tax code (remember the never-promoted "enterprise zones"?) to boost lagging areas. But the massive programmatic LBJ intervention has solved no problems, has created huge new ones (including a divisive and endlessly polarizing backlash), and has damaged--ruined--generations of citizens.
Truly a Faustian Bargain--deliberate evil in return for power--the programmatic war on poverty has made a huge block of voters gov't dependent and thus reliable supporters of the gov't party which perpetuates more of the same, regardless of what that party is actually doing to them. This is of course fundamentally and totally corrupting of human nature (which was the point of "Dr. Faust").
Analogy is drugs--the addict wants more and more of what's killing him, and the pusher supplies it for profit. Worse than drugs--drugs at least start out a physical attack, rather than being from the get-go a direct assault on the soul.
Since the days of slavery there have been two groups of black folks in America - the domestic servants (those who adopted the tenants of Western Civilization) and the field hands (who did not). Since that time, the domestics have been disparaged as Uncle Toms and the coarser field hands have been held up as "true blacks." That view is still true today - those African-Americans who function well in the general society are accused of being too white, and those less able to function in general society are held up as being black. Look at the youtube question asked of Obama - is he really black?
Dependency, followed by entitlement, devolving into resentment. The current black subculture is based on a foundation of bitterness, with a rejection of all things perceived or labelled "white", like academic effort, strong work ethic, dependability, honesty, respect for others, responsibility for consequences. People need to work themselves out of financial distress. A helping hand has become a stranglehold on hope for that segment of society that has lived within the grasp of "public assistance", be they black or rainbow. There are real cultural differences in how the black culture and the white culture view children in their world, as well. Expectations also are elemental in the differences in outcomes in the cultures, both black and white, as well as, independent versus dependent. I know I would like to expect something different.
Democratic Party = Dat ole Plantation
Yesiree, there's absolutely no doubt about it, the proof is as big as the sky. That's why the lefties went utterly berserk at GWB when Katrina brought the cameras into the Ninth Ward of New Orleans--one of the showcase results of unchallenged Democratic rule.
The left had to immediately fill all the media channels with hysterical Bush calumny, in order to leave no air for anyone wondering *why*, here in the 21st century, the Ninth Ward exists as it does.
"But even if that's the case, why did these programs disproportionately affect blacks?"
I dunno. Maybe because you don't know any poor whites? Maybe it's because trailer trash has never been glamorized the way that the black underclass has been. (Sorry, getting too damn old to keep up with what they call themselves these days.)
Oprah has never once had an article on Condoleezza Rice. I'm sure she's done lots on poor unwed black women. Anytime someone, like Bill Cosby, points out the problems in the black culture, they get creamed by the media. It's okay to tell white trash to clean up their act.