Mona Charen

This is not to suggest that racism has been expunged from the heart of every American. But while the RGI bravely fights the battles of 1954, African-Americans, and all Americans, face new challenges that require serious attention, free of the cant and destructive incitement that characterize the grievance mongers.

The RGI propounds the myth that the criminal justice system is indelibly racist. Young black males, we are told, are far more likely than whites to be arrested and to serve time in prison. When it is observed that a disproportionate share of offenders are black; that significant numbers of most city police forces are black; and that most victims are also black, we are invited to consider the ultimate proof -- the glaring disparity in the penalties for powder and crack cocaine.

The federal criminal penalties for crack, passed in the 1980s, were a response to the devastation crack was causing in black neighborhoods. The huge spike in crime during the 1980s -- and the vast victimization of inner city blacks -- was primarily attributable to crack addiction. If it was racist to impose these penalties, why were members of the Congressional Black Caucus the first to champion the legislation? Heather MacDonald noted in City Journal that the laws on crystal meth have a similarly "disparate impact" on whites. "In 2006, the 5,391 sentenced federal meth defendants (nearly as many as the crack defendants) were 54 percent white, 39 percent Hispanic, and 2 percent black."

From 1976 to 2004, 65 percent of executions involved whites, but whites committed only 47 percent of murders. Evidence of anti-white bias in the system? You could make such a case, and it would have as much validity as the manufactured panic about anti-black bias in America.

America continues to muddle along. Black/white unions comprised 11 percent of marriages in 2008. Black married couple families had an average income of $63,566 in 2010. Barack Obama was re-elected in 2012 -- which is evidence of poor judgment, but clearly not of the kind of racist cauldron the grievance industry eternally conjures.


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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