Stupid, Stupider, Stupidest

Reflections on Social Policy

August 24, 2011

This is long and readers who can produce proof of narcolepsy can be excused from reading the whole thing. But I thought it worthwile.

I'm supposed to write this column, and generally do. Today I'll let a reader dosome of it. First, a prolog:

I recently wrote a column saying that the black underclass is out of control, becoming more confrontational, attacking whites and robbing stores in flash mobs, and that whites are more openly getting sick of it, that the media are hiding the identity of the malefactors less, and that a lot of white guys are thinking, ”Bring it on.” I got mail from white supremacists saying, yeah, Fred, but you lack the testosterone to state the solution, which (I've known some of these guys) approximates “Kill all the niggers.” Actually, the damage this would do to tAmerican music makes it unworkable, apart from the fact that my genocidal inclinations are limited to the cntents od Capitol Hill. Anyhow, I've got a better idea. Bear with me.

The black underclass is not the natural state of blacks. E.g.: I grew up in rural King George Country, Virginia in the early Sixties. Segregation reigned. We went to King George High, the black kids to Ralph Bunche. We seldom saw each other, and didn't associate. Yet if there had been crime by blacks, certainly against whites, we would have heard of it. Or a high rate of illegitimacy, or drugs. Weren't none. The thought that the black kids couldn't read didn't occur for the simple reason that they could. Ralph Bunche was not a hotbed of violence or beatings of teachers. We would have known. The black kids were as heavily armed as we were, which was very, for reasons involving deer. No shootings, of anyone by anyone. No thought of shooting. It wasn't how we were, us or them. No flash mobs. No fist-fights (between races, anyway).

That was in the countryside. In the cities? In came the following long email which I have edited only to conceal the writer's identity.

"Your article had a number of very salient observations about the state of American culture today.

"Please allow me to make a couple of observations that come from experience. I believe your description of the inner city black is accurate to a point. I also believe that your observations can and should also be applied to the Muslim and Hispanic populations in our country today. None of those cultures are capable of or willing to assimilate themselves into “the great melting pot” that has always been America.

I am [in my late sixties] and grew up in the inner city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Some of your observations so troubled me that I called my [much older] sister and read parts of your article to her and asked her if she had observed this simmering hatred while we were growing up. She thought a long time and finally said no, not when we were growing up but she does see it now in the young blacks and muslims.

"When we were growing up we were the definite minority in our schools and because of this we played in the homes of our black friends and they came to our house to play. There was no “racial tension” in the classroom or in the school. We were ALL there to learn, we knew what the rules were and if we were disciplined at school for breaking any of those rules we were double disciplined when we got home. There was NONE of the “my child wouldn’t do that” or “you can’t discipline my child”. We were all in the same boat. We were all there to learn and our job was to work hard, get an education and work our way out of those neighborhoods.

"Each black family had two parents. (I only knew one child of divorce while I was going to school and she was the daughter of a white female liberal that flaunted the rules of that society.) The black fathers in each of those families would never have sat still in the face of an impending Category 4 or 5 hurricane, as was the case in New Orleans before the arrival of Katrina waiting for help from the government. Those black fathers would have packed up their families, in a heartbeat, and gotten them to safety without any help from the government, churches or charities. In those black families it was as much of a shame for a girl to be “in a family way” outside of marriage as it was for a white family. Those girls were whisked off to Atlanta or Chicago or Miami for a year of school and they would return a year later childless with a little thicker waistline and a whole new attitude.

"It wasn’t until “The Great Society” and the “War on Poverty” and Lyndon Johnson that the black family began to fall apart. The old adage is “The road to hell is paved in good intentions” and I believe that the liberals that designed the welfare programs were well intentioned but WRONG. Rules are meant to be broken and programs are designed for people to capitalize on the weak points and misapply them to their advantage. This is what I saw happen with the black families when the father moved out, stayed down the street and only came by for conjugal visits which increased the family’s income. The black father and young men were no longer hard working heads of the their families but part of disjointed groups that were intent on personal gratification and working the system and they developed a “plantation mentality” with the government being the great provider and not the men of the family.

"When “Motor Voter” came in I was [involved] in our county and I immediately saw that we had succeeded in breaking down the black family and that now the government was intent on breaking down the white family. We had as many voter applications coming in from “social service” agencies for unmarried single parent, young white women as we got from minority applicants in the same boat. These fatherless families cannot teach a young boy how to be a man – just as a single father cannot teach his daughter the niceties of being a cultured young lady.

"Like you I have been able to walk the streets, not of Japan, but of Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Georgia, Pittsburgh, and many other American cities late at night either alone or with a companion without concern for my safety. Jesse Jackson said some fifteen years ago that he was relieved to find that the footsteps behind him in a major American city were those of a white man."

This problem wasn't born. It was made.