The protests following the George Zimmerman trial in Florida last month were directed at what many in the black community perceived to be an unjust verdict. The prevailing legal pundits, on the other hand, appeared to all agree, that under the existing state laws as well as the prosecutor’s charges, the jury had no real choice.
The protestors were probably reacting more to the pre-trial publicity as well as the fact that a substantial part of the black community feels the frustration there is still racial discrimination and inequality in our society.
Any logical overview of history clearly indicates a substantial amount of progress has been made over the past few decades in our racial disparities. That doesn’t mean there is no longer a problem and in some ways the plight in the racial community is worse today. The degree of this disparity is, I believe, far more economic than discriminatory, and a good part of this economic plight is self inflicted.
Let’s look at some facts:
- High school graduation rates:
- Asians 93%
- Whites 85%
- Hispanics 71.4%
- Blacks 66.1%
- 75% of high school dropouts commit crimes
- We have spent almost $16 trillion on anti-poverty programs in seven separate agencies. The poverty rates dropped significantly until the end of the Johnson presidency (1970). Since then, the rate has remained pretty steady (increasing slightly). To give this some perspective, the cost of every war, including the Revolution, has cost $6.4 trillion. That is 40% less than the so-called war on poverty. The money for poverty has not proven effective.
- Out-of-wedlock births for women under 30 (overall 53%):
- Blacks 73%
- Hispanics 53%
- Whites 29%
Steps need to be implemented to limit support for women who have multiple births out of wedlock.
- In 2000, black unemployment was 8%. Today it’s 12%. White unemployment then and now has been half or less.
You have to conclude that all five of these categories have had a significant effect on the economic discrimination in the black community. Certainly, there are other factors as well. They do appear to work together to contribute to the inability to get a job, stifle job growth, increase poverty, as well as create a decline in the moral fiber and the unity of the black family.
These facts are frightening because they continue to increase. Where are the so-called civic leaders in the black community? Where are congress, state governors and, of course, our President? From all these “leaders,” I hear more playing of the victim role than pursuing meaningful solutions.
When Obama says, “Travon Martin could have been my son,” that hardly counts as an attempt to address the fundamental problems.
Here’s my proposal to address this escalating problem of black economic discrimination:
The President should convene a Community Advancement Summit (CAS) whose purpose will be to produce an outline of suggestions to address these problems and become spokesman for their agenda. The President should be included as well as civic and thought leaders like Colin Powell, Arne Duncan, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton, Bill Bennett, Laura Bush, Dr. Howard Fuller and Michelle Rhee. Leave out the rabble rousers. Include on their agenda:
- A massive Department of Education campaign to discourage girls and young women from becoming pregnant outside of marriage. The program would need to include comprehensive sex education and readily available contraception.
- Promote the use of school vouchers so that better schools can be identified by parents and children can get better educational opportunities.
Whether vouchers or not, much can be learned from the numerous individual schools who have had great success in motivating and achieving academic performance with minority students. Many of these schools are chronicled in a book called “No Excuses” published by the Heritage Foundation.
- Mandate school uniforms for elementary through high school, including no hats or insignias. The average cost of school uniforms appears to be $240 per child (appears high and could be reduced). Results of school uniforms in Long Beach, CA:
- a. Overall crime rate dropped by 91%
- b. School suspensions dropped by 90%
- c. Sex offenses were reduced by 96%
- d. Incidents of violence went down by 69%
- A massive PR campaign by the CAS joined by cooperating entertainers to address the need for personal responsibility and the consequences of personal action. At the same time discouraging corrosive entertainment like gangster rap which exploits disrespect for authority and aids the collapse of the family value structure. Part of this should also be the discouragement of all-over body tattoos.
If you can’t read, speak English fluently, keep tattoos to a tasteful minimum, stay in high school until graduation and discourage sex without a commitment, how do you think you’ll get a job and stay out of the poverty merry-go-round?
This proposal might not solve all the problems of our disaffected youth, but unless we get out of the escalating rut of ineffective programs and take some new steps to control the disintegration of the traditional black family, we all face a very bleak, inflammatory future.
I’m going to send this to my congress people and the people I’ve suggested for the summit.
(Much of these proposals were expanded from suggestions first made by Bill O’Reilly on Fox News.)