A national dialogue on race

By Tom Quiner

“Justice failed Trayvon Martin.”

This is the opinion of liberal columnist, Eugene Robinson, who writes for the Washington Post. He continues:

“Justice failed Trayvon Martin the night he was killed. We should be appalled and outraged, but perhaps not surprised, that it failed him again Saturday night with a verdict setting his killer free.

Our society considers young black men to be dangerous, interchangeable, expendable, guilty until proven innocent. This is the conversation about race that we desperately need to have — but probably, as in the past, will try our best to avoid.”

Are we capable of truly having an honest dialogue discussion on race?

I wish we could, but, I have my doubts. We don’t talk the same language. We can’t hear each other talk. We see the world through a different prism. When I say “we,” I’m talking in the context of liberal/conservative world views as much as black/white differences.

Nonetheless, let us try to begin a constructive conversation. The upside is worth it. The conversation should begin at the local level, in the churches and schools, in the coffee shops, in our associations and community events. Let’s keep the politicians out of it for now. They will do the bidding of the voters if we can build consensus.

In other words, I like the idea of a “bottom-up” conversation, instead of the top-down approach employed by former president Clinton in the 90s.

It seems to me that an honest dialogue on race would include some important talking points. A few immediately come to mind. Let us begin with a heartfelt acknowledgement of the dignity of the African-American community. Every single member of the race, from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Trayvon Martin is a human being of incomparable worth to God and his country.

Let us also acknowledge that African-American concerns about profiling and racial injustice in our legal system have credence. We need to talk about it honestly.

As we have this conversation, let us be careful to look at the data with a cool head and look for root causes for the social pathology that grips the African-American community. If we merely want to score debating points, we’re probably not having a real conversation.

The data reveals something about social pathology: it is less likely to breed in homes with a married mom and dad. The data doesn’t discriminate on the basis of race. In other words, white or black, children turn out better if they are raised in an intact family. By same the token, they are more likely to experience various forms of social pathology if they are raised by a single parent.

Social pathology is characterized by drug use, poor educational outcomes, gang membership, criminal activity, and violent death.

The African-American community experiences more social pathology because they have more children being raised by single parents than in the white and Asian-American communities.

It seems to me we have to talk about this. What has caused the disintegration of the black family? How much was caused by counter-productive social policy? If bad social policy has contributed to the breakdown to the family, shouldn’t we change the policies?

Or maybe the breakdown of the family has been caused by other factors.

Let’s talk about it.

In 1960, one out of four African-American children were born out-of-wedlock. Today, it is about seven out of ten. We’ve got to talk about this honestly and constructively. How did we come to this in such a relatively short period of time?

There is something else we need to talk about, and it’s a hard subject. We are aborting more than half of all black babies in this country. A lot of people don’t realize this. The African-American community now has a replacement birth rate which is below replacement level. The African American community is slowly dying one abortion at a time.

I think the conversation should start by finding some common ground. What would that be? I go back to my earlier comment. Let us together acknowledge the dignity of the black person, the white person, the Hispanic person, or whatever color someone’s skin happens to be.

Their dignity is God-given. God made each of us. That’s where I’d start.

1 Comment

  1. Shawn Pavlik on July 21, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Tom- Race will never cease to be an issue in America. The liberals have too much invested in it. If you look at conservative politics, such as abortion, gay marriage, keeping more of what we earn, blacks come down on our side of the issues more often than not. But the race hustlers, like Jesse and Al Sharpton, won’t let blacks realize that. They keep telling blacks that we want to keep them down. And they use offensive language, such as “return to the plantation”, etc., to emphasize their points. I’m not sure why blacks haven’t figured this out yet. Is it a family thing? My mom voted Democrat and so will I? Never mind the fact that it was a Republican president who freed the slaves. Never mind the fact that it was Democrats who instituted Jim Crow laws for the most part. Never mind the fact that it was Democrats who voted against the Civil Rights Act in the 1960’s, including Al Gore’s father. Never mind the fact that Obamacare will cost thousands of African American jobs. I don’t care WHAT race a person is. That is not the first thing I notice about a student in my class. What I notice is which students are paying attention, getting their work done, have a positive attitude, smile, are courteous to me and those around them…. I guess I judge people too much by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin?