Juan Williams was right yesterday when he said Dr. King would weep at the state of the black family--70% of black babies born out of wedlock; the disaster of our urban schools; dramatic dropout rates; and hip hop and rap culture that denigrates education and women while glorifying violence.
With these very real issues in desperate need of courageous attention, it’s painful to watch the so-called modern civil rights movement focus on vilifying those who are on the right philosophically—even when they are successful blacks (Allen West, Clarence Thomas, Mia Love, Ben Carson)—in order to further a political agenda. The effort to promote suspicion and contempt of anyone who disagrees philosophically with a president who happen to be black has nothing to do with bettering the condition of black Americans. It's insidious, and promoting division and discord is the exact opposite of Dr. King's objective.
Just this week, Rep. Charlie Rangel D-NY said, “I saw the people who scream and shout about ObamaCare. I saw the hatred that was in people’s eyes. People are not being honest with themselves if they don’t realize that the roots of racism go deep…”
If you disagree with a sweeping initiative that will federalize one-sixth of the private sector and create a massive new entitlement that you believe will bankrupt our nation and diminish our medical expertise, than you must feel that way because you don’t like the fact that our president is black. There is "hatred in your eyes." That’s just wrong, folks. But this sort of division has been happening for the past five years in particular; it's intentional, and President Obama not only does nothing to stop it, he encourages it. Through his own statements and those of his chief lieutenants, such as Eric Holder.
This is the strategy: Facts are to be avoided at all costs. Attacks on character are what shuts down the other side, it's what divides and infuriates so much so that facts do not matter.
I’m fully aware that there are racists in our country. Just as there are sexists. There will always be evil, and evil needs to be combated where it does exist—that’s why we have laws to do just that. But why must we create or fuel racism where it doesn’t exist? Rather, let's focus on the real civil rights issues of our day: the utter failure of our inner city schools that have become drop-out factories; the breakdown of the black family; and the perilous impact of popular culture, including hip hop and rap on the rising generation of black men and women.
Tea Partiers are racist? Republicans don’t like Obama because he’s black? Please. Let’s grow up and get serious, and focus on the real problems instead of vilifying good Americans. Let’s talk about why the black family has experienced such devastation or why our schools cannot provide a safe place for children to learn and pursue excellence and opportunities. We don’t pursue that route because it is not politically advantageous to what Sowell calls the “race hawkers,” nor to the political left.
Such a conversation would lead to a candid evaluation of our welfare policies, such as President Clinton was willing to undertake in the 90’s, thanks to the groundbreaking welfare reform efforts in states like Virginia. We would have to examine the role of teachers unions on our failing schools—for example the inability to fire dreadful teachers; the move to “mediation” as a substitute for disciplinary consequences; and the lowering of academic standards rather than requiring teachers to meet the existing ones. And yes, we would have to talk about vouchers and school choice as the only current viable option for children in our inner cities to have a prayer for a future—a viable option only IF the unions and their Democrat allies get out of the way. If they don’t, oh well. The cycle of despair and disintegration continues.
All of that requires political fortitude and —politically painful as it will be. Let’s get back to Dr. King’s vision for an American where freedom truly reigns. No black or white, Latino or Hispanic youngster is going to be free unless they can get an education and escape from the cycle of poverty. We are ignoring the true crisis. And it is a crisis.