Throwing Good People Under the Bus

Carol Platt Liebau
Posted: Mar 10, 2012 2:27 PM
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Jason Riley rightly denounces the brouhaha over the statistics showing that black students are "suspended, expelled and arrested in school" more than white school children are.  As Riley points out, the immediate response of the liberal establishment is to signal that racial animus must somehow be at fault; that response -- which frequently leads to pressure for reduced rates of suspension, expulsion and arrest-- ultimately discounts the needs of the well-behaved students of all races who are at school to (gasp!) learn.

It's ironic that the black vote is so solidly Democrat, because although liberals frequently make loud and sympathetic noises about racism, their policies actually often end up hurting the millions and millions of good, law-abiding African Americans.  
Growing up, I knew a wonderful black lady.  She didn't have much, but she did have a red snow jacket that she loved.  She couldn't wear it, though, in her predominantly African American neighborhood -- because red was a "gang color," and she wouldn't have been safe in it on the streets of urban St. Louis near her home.  

When the left complains about the high incarceration rates of young black men -- or the higher rates of suspension, expulsion or arrest or black students -- with the effect of reducing the penalty for anti-social behavior, it doesn't make liberals morally superior.  Rather, it means that they are just throwing the good, law-abiding people -- of any race -- under the bus.  They can't learn in school; they can't wear a beloved red snow jacket on the street in their own home town.  

Don't tell me that any policy that obtains that result has anything to do with "racial sensitivity."  It's just cheap moral posturing.   And good people deserve better.