Who Is Responsible for the Death of the Young Black Man in Ferguson?
A police officer killed Michael Brown, but the roots of violence run deeper.
In a black neighborhood of Los Angeles called Watts, a six-day riot erupted in August 1965, covering 46-square miles and causing 34 deaths. The spark that set off the riot was a simple traffic stop, but it quickly turned into a confrontation pitting angry mobs against police. Afterward black leaders met with the police, the mayor ordered a blue-ribbon study and three years later the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights held a hearing in Los Angeles. Sound familiar?
It’s easy to sympathize with the frustration of LA blacks in 1965 when racism and discrimination were genuine problems. But big change has occurred in the ensuing 50 years. On a per capita basis, blacks have been the majority beneficiaries of the trillions spent on entitlement programs ostensibly meant to ameliorate the causes of black-white inequality. Yet black racial animus is stronger than ever, which one might argue was the point – developing and maintaining an angry Democrat constituency. Author Larry Elder says that whites would be shocked to hear what’s said about them in black barbershops.
Last weekend in Ferguson, Missouri, another riot followed the shooting of a black teenager by a police officer. Local black outrage was followed by another commentary from the “Rev.” Al Sharpton and another promised federal probe by Attorney General Eric Holder.
CNN tells us that Ferguson was “wracked by violence,” but that’s actually nothing new for this St. Louis suburb. Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was just visiting Ferguson that day, and he might have been the victim of a wrongful police shooting – details are still in question so we’ll reserve judgment. Whatever the case, we’re saddened by his untimely death. The biggest problem isn’t this incident, however. It’s the people that created and perpetuate the conditions that killed him. In fact, it could be argued Al Sharpton killed Brown.
People like Sharpton, with no personal stake in the game except the big bucks they collect, play the role of black “leader,” legal advocate, sympathetic social scientist or aggrieved professor. From them comes the dogma that this “community” – this 12% of the American population living in diverse places, having diverse interests and diverse levels of education – is for some unfathomable reason obliged to follow.
As someone once said, “Sometimes [among] African-Americans … there’s the notion of acting white, the notion that there is some authentic way of being black, that if you’re going to be black you have to act a certain way, and wear a certain kind of clothes, that, you know, that has to go.”
Who said it? Barack Obama.
Kids are at once demotivated to do well in school or get a job and simultaneously afraid to do so. Apparently, the message isn’t understood by kids under eight because until about third grade black kids keep up with their peers.
As economist Thomas Sowell has frequently noted, in the post-World War II years, American blacks experienced the best conditions in their history. They still suffered harassment and harm from evil people, but things had improved significantly since the pre-war years. Most lived in well-maintained communities in which they took great pride. They had their own professional class and enjoyed both lower unemployment and divorce rates than whites. Then, in the space of a decade, all these things that took centuries to achieve against such great odds began to unravel. We all know why.
The last thing the Leftmedia wants to report is the effects of a child’s being raised by a single, barely literate mother in a dangerous environment. And it’s no surprise that so many black men become violent offenders when they’ve been raised by third generation 18-year-old welfare “baby mommas.”
Black gangs have been around for a century, but it took the Great Society to free them to become the vicious thugs represented by Crips and Bloods. Once, black fathers would have stood against gangs, but there are few black fathers now. Gangs have more freedom than the mafia did because the Leftmedia won’t honestly report on them, opting instead to blame “gun violence” and the like.
While we’ve focused on blacks, Latinos are also in moral free-fall, following the same path of self-segregation and wallowing in grievances that blacks have taken. They too have their advocates, lawyers and professors. And they even have their own media.
Change can only come from within the two groups, though unfortunately any genuine reformer has been slandered as being “too white” or an “Uncle Tom.” There’s a long way to go to repair the cultural rot of our inner cities, but it can be done. We close with the words of Ronald Reagan, who in the 1980 election campaign said, “I will not stand by and watch this great country destroy itself under mediocre leadership that drifts from one crisis to the next, eroding our national will and purpose. The time is now, my fellow Americans, to recapture our destiny, to take it into our own hands.”