This conclusion became clear to me in a rather roundabout manner. In 2004, I traveled to Portland, Oregon. It was my first visit to this lovely city, and I spent three wonderful weeks there. But coming from Los Angeles, I was surprised by the relative absence of minorities: you see very few Asians and hardly any Blacks or Hispanics. If you go to the ‘Burbs, forget it – they’re as white as white can be. Here I was in hyper-liberal Portland, the city that almost single-handedly elects Democrats in statewide elections, and it did not appear to be particularly minority-friendly. I thought: How easy it is for these liberals to pass judgment on other Americans when they don’t have to face the issues that the rest of us deal with every day.
This notion hibernated in the back of my mind until I read Thomas Sowell’s recent column, “Blacks and Republicans.” Dr. Sowell described how Blacks had been driven out of San Francisco because of housing prices, and how Blacks are nowhere to be found in the 40 miles of suburbs that stretch from San Francisco down to Silicon Valley. These are some of the richest and most liberal areas in the country.
Portland and San Francisco, two hyper-liberal areas, elect politicians who preach about equality and regularly vote for programs that are aimed at “helping” the poor, but it appears as though they just want to keep the problems and pathologies of poverty away from themselves and their constituents. People are far more likely to responsibly address and resolve challenges when they are actually confronted by them.
Then there is the Congressional Black Caucus, a group which views every tax as needing to be raised and every government program as one worth expanding – except, of course, that which empowers parents by letting them choose where to educate their children. They were in lockstep with the union-owned Democrats who shut down the highly successful school-choice program serving the Black community in Washington, D.C. A white Republican (John Boehner) had to negotiate to resurrect the program – which liberated Black parents from the dreadful public school system that continues to destroy the future of thousands of poor children who live inside the District.
These leaders and “friends” of the Black community continue to insist that African-Americans need to be beneficiaries of government largesse instead of creating their own economic opportunities and support systems. Government money functions as an opiate meant to pacify generations of Blacks unable – principally because of third-rate education – to create their own livings. The vultures who are more interested in perpetuating their own positions than actually improving the community then prey on the carcasses of the beaten souls, offering them more government money instead of actual freedom.
There are signs of hope. The last election had 14 Black Americans running for Congress as Republicans. Two of them, Tim Scott and Allen West, were the first Black Republicans elected to Congress since the retirement of J. C. Watts a decade ago. The census showed a major migration of Black Americans from the cities in the North, where they were treated as wards of the government, to places where there is greater opportunity. And spurred by films such as “Waiting for Superman,” more Black parents are standing up against the Democrat/Education establishment that produces thousands of barely-literate children with a bleak future – if they graduate at all.
We can help in small ways, such as spurring new voices in the Black Community and contributing to their campaigns. Black people need their own role models and success stories. They need more people fighting the forces that pretend to help while actually limiting their future. America will never achieve its full mission until the Black Community has reached an equal economic footing. The only thing that is clear is that the status quo – the result of 50 years of poor decisions and blind devotion to liberal dogma – is not the path to that success.