Whose Side Are Black Leaders On?

The Political Congruence Of David Duke And The NAACP

Tell me, is there any functional difference between the average black leader and David Duke? Any difference, I mean, besides candor? Do they not produce the same practical results--i.e., precisely nothing?

Duke says straightforwardly that he thinks blacks are stupid and shiftless. The black leaders act exactly as if they thought the same thing, though they don't say it. Why is one better than the other?

Think about it. What blacks need if they are going to have the slightest chance in this country is education. We're a high--tech society and getting more so by the week. Either you get the right schooling or you wait tables. Period.

Blacks are badly uneducated. This is obvious as a wart on a prom queen. Blacks don't fumble the SATs because the tests are rigged, but because they don't know the answers. Lockheed doesn't lack black laser physicists because it dislikes blacks, but because there aren't any black laser physicists.

It follows then that if Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and the strangely named Kweisi Mfume actually wanted to help, they would be beating the education drum vigorously. Schooling is the only chance blacks have to avoid permanent residence at the bottom of the social heap--or reliance on affirmative action, a shaky prop which fools no one.

Do we in fact hear calls for better schools?

Ever see Al Sharpton holding a mass meeting to demand Algebra II? Jesse Jackson thumping the tub for Standard English? How many racial do-gooders of any color, for that matter, have you seen working the ghettos, trying to sell grammar and advanced-placement history? Ever see a March for Calculus? A public meeting trying to get parents to make sure their kids do their homework?

No. Instead, professional blacks tell their people that everything is the white man's fault. Don't turn a gear, they teach implicitly, don't bother to try, because life is rigged against you. Just sit back, feel aggrieved, and passively hold your hand out.

Is this something you say to people you believe to be capable of succeeding? It sounds like David Duke to me.

Now, why do professional blacks play this dismal symphony? Three reasons offer themselves. First, it gets them prominence, an easy living, and probably just a whole lot of women. Second, actually doing anything constructive would be laborious, generate criticism, and take up a lot of Saturday nights. Third, they don't think that blacks can be educated.

That is, the choices are selfishness, cowardice, and racism. Which?

I'm generous. I'll say all three.

Trying to improve schooling for blacks would be a bloody struggle. You would really have to care about black kids to undertake it. The first step would be to get rid of lousy teachers. Many are black. The teachers unions, always protective of their rice bowls, would scream like scalded dogs.

It would take guts to say, "Our kids are more important than your jobs." (Note, by the way, that Catholic schools do a documentably far superior job of schooling urban blacks: Improvement is possible, the professional blacks know it, and still they do nothing.)

You would also have to tell black parents to raise their kids, maybe even to get married. You would have to be willing to expel unruly students who kept everyone else from learning. All hell would break loose at the suggestion.

You would have to do a lot of incorrect things, hard things, even cruel things, that might cut into party invitations. The fancy honoraria might dry up. It looks to me as if the career blacks just don't care enough. In fact, one might conclude that the whole black-leadership thing is a scam.

Am I being unfair? Tell me how.

If it's not selfishness or cowardice, then it has to be racism. By all appearances, the professional blacks figure that their people just aren't smart enough to compete.

The evidence for this is strong if not conclusive. Notice that the pros demand much from whites, but little from blacks. They want reparations, affirmative action, special privilege, money from lawsuits, removal of the Confederate flag, renaming of bridges, and so on. The underlying premise appears to be that blacks must be protected from competition, not prepared for it.

Now, where is this going to take us? In fifty years, are blacks still going to be at the bottom of every measure of academic achievement? Apparently so. Who will profit from this? Whites? No. Ordinary blacks? No.

But will professional blacks profit?

You bet.

(Incidentally, I might ask Jesse and the gang, why am I, a white guy with nothing to gain, sticking my neck out to suggest what you ought to be suggesting? Odd, isn't it? Can I be a black leader?)

The Sharptons and Jacksons perpetuate the current racial stasis, which is likely to prove dangerous. Racial relations are not improving. The eerie censorship we call political correctness holds the lid on, yes. Nobody can complain very much, except blacks. The economy is good. All seems quiet. But.

Resentment, hostility one might almost call it, grows among whites. Blacks are already angry. Nobody any longer seems to expect real improvement. Whites mutter about unqualified blacks at work, speculate on the proportion of blacks who can work at a federal agency before it ceases to function.

Meanwhile, it seems to me that despite (or even because of) the symbolic victories of blacks, their political position imperceptibly worsens. Hispanics are about to become more numerous than blacks, and they know it. Hispanics view blacks as competition. They are winning the contest for unskilled jobs.

Further, the economic position of blacks is heavily dependent on affirmative action, which is under attack across the United States. The anger of whites is a carefully overlooked, deliberately unmeasured force of unknown portent. Whites never respond to political attack, haven't yet anyway, but some rubber bands are better not stretched.

If an economic downturn comes along, if Hispanics rise too quickly, if racial preferences go away, if the veneer cracks--I want to be somewhere else.