Black support of politicians who have done little or nothing for their ordinary constituents is by no means unusual. Blacks are chief executives of major cities, such as Philadelphia, Detroit, Washington, Memphis, Atlanta, Baltimore, New Orleans, Oakland, Newark, Cleveland and Cincinnati. In most of these cities, the chief of police, the superintendent of schools and other high executives are black. But in these cities, black people, like no other sector of our population, suffer from the highest rates of homicides, assaults, robberies and shootings. Black high-school dropout rates in these cities are the highest in the nation. Even if a black youngster manages to graduate from high school, his reading, writing and computational proficiency is likely to be equivalent to that of a white seventh- or eighth-grader. That's even with school budgets per student being among the highest in the nation.
Last year, in reference to President Obama's failed employment policies and high unemployment among blacks, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., who is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said, "If Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House." That's a vision that seems to explain black tolerance for failed politicians -- namely, if it's a black politician whose policies are ineffectual and possibly harmful to the masses of the black community, it's tolerable, but it's entirely unacceptable if the politician is white.
Black people would not accept excuses upon excuses and vote to re-elect decade after decade any white politician, especially a Republican politician, to office who had the failed records of our big-city mayors. What that suggests about black people is not very flattering.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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