Progress and setbacks in race relations 1

In his book, “The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom: 1750-1925,” Herbert Gutman wrote:

“Five in six children under the age of 6 lived with both parents.”

In 1960 the illegitimacy rate in the black community was 22 percent. Today, it’s nearly 70 percent. The family clearly hasn’t broken down because of discrimination. Black families were much stronger when discrimination was rampant. More likely, the African American community has been a victim of welfare and Great Society programs that rewarded illegitimacy and penalized marriage … More…

Who do you like better: the white guy or the black guy? 4

John was a pretty average student in school. He worked hard to simply pass some of the math and science classes. He just wasn’t all that good at them, but pass them he did. He held down part time jobs while in school to save toward college. The savings helped him enroll in the local community college. Two years later, he advanced to a local university and earned a Bachelor’s Degree … More…

A national dialogue on race 1

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 … More…

I don’t blame African-Americans for voting for Obama 4

By Tom Quiner

Nine out of ten blacks are going to vote for Barack Obama. Maybe more.

Conservatives understandably bristle when they see these polls. Suppose 90% of whites voted for Romney, they grouse. Wouldn’t that be proof of racism?

Well then, goes the argument, why isn’t it racist for blacks to so overwhelmingly vote for Obama?

For the same reason it was understandable that Catholics voted so overwhelmingly for John Kennedy.

It’s the same reason that Mormons will vote overwhelmingly for Mitt Romney.

When you are a member of an oppressed group, as blacks, Catholics, and Mormons have been at times in our history, you’re going to vote for the candidate representing your group as a show of solidarity. You will continue to do so until your group’s representation in the polity becomes commonplace.

The president will most likely garner fewer votes from blacks than in 2008, but it will still be substantial.

Mr. Obama’s election was an important symbol that America is moving into a post-racial era. After all, he won the most white votes in any 2-way campaign since Carter in ’76. White voters confirmed that they are willing to judge a candidate by the content of his or her character, resume’, and potential rather than the color of their skin.

We didn’t know a lot about Barack Obama’s character four years ago. His resume was thin, and his past sketchy. But he sounded good. He inspired people regardless of their skin color. His potential was great in the eyes of many. In particular, we saw in him the opportunity to put an end to racial divisions.

He has squandered that opportunity in the eyes of many. A Gallup poll revealed Obama’s election has had little impact on racial politics.

Political commentator, Star Parker, who is African-American analyzed our racial state of affairs this way:

“The Obama presidency has not ushered in a new era of racial tranquility because, despite all the hype, it’s not what it has been about. The real tension in America today is not about black versus white but about liberalism versus conservatism.

Liberalism is about government as a political agent, not as a protector of individual freedom. By it’s very nature, liberalism creates political classes – whether based on race or gender or business interests. Those that get the goodies are happy. Those that pay for them are not. Tensions and animosities get worse, not better.”

Conservatives can make a compelling case to African Americans that a Mitt Romney presidency would create more opportunity for them. The reality is that there is very little that can be said to pry black voters away from Barack Obama.

I get it.

But I don’t like it.

Republican debate explores race issues 1

By Tom Quiner

It started with Juan Williams.

The likable and liberal Fox News contributor asked Newt Gingrich about his comment that black Americans should demand jobs, not food stamps. Williams wondered if the former Speaker of the House could be viewed …

“at a minimum, as insulting to all Americans, but particularly to black Americans.”

Gingrich responded quickly and concisely:

“No.” I don’t see that.”

He talked about how his daughter got her first job as a janitor. He made the case that there is dignity in work. He brought the house down when he stated that only elites despise giving people opportunities to earn money.

Williams pressed him further on the issue, and Gingrich responded that:

“the fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.”

Gingrich scored points with white, conservative voters. I’m not sure he helped his cause with African-American voters with that remark. I may be wrong.

Later, in post-debate comments, he expanded on his views by stating that a job, any job no matter how lowly, is fundamental training to get your next job, one that will be better than the first.

The first job, he says, teaches you how to be responsible, how to get to work on time, how to work with other people. It builds self-esteem, and more importantly, self-respect.

I think his post-debate comments WILL resonate with people of all races.

The African American community has been hit hard by the Obama economy. The last increase in the minimum wage sent already high black teenage unemployment rates even higher. When kids can’t find work, they’re more susceptible to the lures and pressures of gang membership.

I’ve suggested it before at this blog: we should suspend the minimum wage until the national unemployment rate falls below five percent. Let us free up workers and allow them to own their labor and sell it on the open market for what it’s worth. I agree with Mr. Gingrich on the dignity that we find in work. Let’s remove the government-imposed impediments that have hit the African American community the hardest.

Another racially-tinged subject came up from Ron Paul.

“I’m the only one up here . . . that understands true racism in this country is in the judicial system. They [blacks] get the death penalty way disproportionately.”

Mr. Paul’s remarks feeds into the liberal perception that our judicial system is woefully racist.

But is it really true? We’ve got to be careful at how we look at the numbers. Did you know that 99% of people who receive the death penalty are male?

Does this mean that the judicial system is sexist, or does it mean that men commit more capital offenses than women?

The latter.

I am anti-death penalty. An anti-death penalty group, Death Penalty Information Center, looked at the number of murders from 1976 to now. Fifty-two percent of the murders were committed by blacks.

This means that to avoid discrimination, 52% of the executions should be carried out on the convicted African-American murderers. Right?

That’s not what happened. Only 35% of the executions were carried out on blacks even though they committed a disproportionate percentage of America’s homicides in that time frame, while 55% of the executions were carried out on whites.

Ron Paul fans the flames of American hatred with his misstatement on this deeply sensitive subject.

The African-American community would be wise to look more closely at the attractiveness of the conservative economic model, as espoused by Newt Gingrich. Prosperity does not flow from government. But government can sure impede it.

And they should be wary of liberal politicians of both parties, including Ron Paul on this issue, who nurture a cult of victimhood with statements that just aren’t so.