There Was a Time When…

 

shutterstock_242295037There was a time when the rate of crimes committed by blacks was within two percentage points as those committed by whites. And both were below 15 percent. There was a time when the murder rate among blacks was almost identical to that of whites and they were both below 14 percent. Likewise, there was a time when the percentage of children born out of wedlock among blacks was almost identical to that of whites. And they were both under 16 percent.

During this entire time (roughly 90 years), blacks really did have to be aware of targeting by some law enforcement. It was standard police procedure in towns large and small in every corner of the nation to have “dragnets” where several likely suspects were just rounded up and questioned with the hope of pinning it on one of them regardless of color. Real lynching of blacks took place all over the United States. Jim Crow and segregation laws were in place in every state.

But during the entire period the black family stayed just as intact as the white family and most were led by men who followed moral codes, worked with energy and honesty and believed in independence. Those Doubting Thomases among you need only to read Fredrick Douglass’s “Self-Made Men” speech (hopefully again and again) and the commencement address delivered this year by Justice Clarence Thomas at Hillsdale College in which he describes his raising in the rural, Jim Crow south by a principled, strong grandfather.

From 1940 to 1960, poverty among blacks dropped by almost 40 percent. It did not drop again until the Reagan years when it dropped by over 20 percent.

In 1950, the out-of-wedlock percentage among blacks stood at 14 percent. In 1963, it was 23 percent after only about five years of the increasing “welfare state” targeting minorities. But despite the warning by even some liberal voices, the welfare state received a giant boost in the mid-60s with Johnson’s War on Poverty and Great Society programs. Today, the out of wedlock rate among blacks stands between 72 and 74 percent, depending on the numbers you chose to believe.

The numbers prove over and over again that crime and violence rates are tied to families and values, not poverty or race.

Thomas Sowell, who is to be read deeply by anyone seriously interested race relations either here and any other part of world, shows the almost exact numbers in crime rates among those poverty groups targeted by British welfare programs since WWII. Except those groups are white.

Crime and violence are not a by-product of race or poverty. They are not a part of “black culture” or “inter-city” culture. There are not a part of leftover heritage of a slavery a century and half in the past. None of this was true for the pre-1950s generations who stood far closer to not just the past but the sting of genuine racism. No claim could be more insulting, racist or self-serving. They are the by-product of eroding social and individual values.

The black family survived 200 years of American slavery and a century of Jim Crow. It could not survive a decade of modern liberalism. Today, only 17 percent of black teens reach the age of 17 with biological parents married to each other. No state in the nation can reach a 30 percent rate.

Since the beginning of the so-called War on Poverty, the United States has spent $22 trillion on poverty and redistribution programs and the poverty rate is identical to what it was when we started. The drops in poverty have come during periods of economic growth fueled by tax cuts, less regulation, and individual incentive.

Liberalism might promote division but all segments of society are affected. The out of wedlock birth rate among whites has more than tripled during the same period. “White crime” is just as common as “black crime”, just not as news worthy to an agenda driven administration or media. Police actually kill more whites than blacks in raw numbers, and in relation to their percentage of violent crimes.

Abortion has taken more lives of all shades than centuries of crime or law enforcement. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 55 million American babies of all colors have been “disposed” of since Roe v. Wade. For those who value black lives, consider that in New York City, more black babies are aborted than born since 2012. I would remind all that the title of Justice Thomas’ commencement address was Freedom and Obligation. Fulfillment of obligation and responsibility is an absolute necessity in a free society, for a truly free man.

The drumbeat of police targeting has increased to a roar during the last seven years as the social state here has grown to almost irreversible heights. This is during a time when 30 of the 50 major city police forces are headed by black chiefs and the chief law enforcement officer (supposedly) of the nation (Attorney General) has been black. It is a time when the number of officers killed has jumped while number of suspects has actually declined.

Those who want solid, verified numbers relating to crime of all colors can easily access the work of exacting professionals like Heather MacDonald, Larry Elder, John Lott, Thomas Sowell, and Walter E. Williams. It is a sad commentary on the atmosphere fostered by the power seeking left that I should even mention that most of that list are black, as if they gives more credit to real, provable numbers.

The Left’s agenda is opposed to the very fiber of the American ideal. That is why division and the erosion of traditional social mores are critical to its expansion. The concept of national health care has been a goal for over a 100 years but it was rejected repeatedly by the people from Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton. But it will always be a leftist goal because it involves control of one of the most fundamental factors in a human’s life. Read Karl Marx.

For leftist programs to be embraced, social values have to be torn down. Once again, read Karl Marx. Read Saul Alinsky.

The enemy of the left’s agenda is “middle class” values. Peel them away layer by layer, focus on grievances instead of principles, demand change without explaining results and you can install the left’s “utopia.”

The truth is that black lives are under-valued… by the left. So are white lives, brown lives, red lives, yellow lives and polka-dotted lives. When their usefulness is over to the Left and they are safely dependent, they will be discarded for another. In fact, if they pay attention they will know they already have been.

The social ills, real and imagined, that are protested so loudly are the direct result of leftist policies of dependence, period. Independent individuals with real choices, subject to the rewards and results of their own decisions, are the curse of the Left. They are also the long-range and certain hope for people of all hues. They are the divine intention for all men.

Human lives are always devalued by centralized control and dependency; always have been. Those same lives reach toward a fuller and more purposeful existence through the practiced liberty that the Creator intended for them. Lasting unity between all men results from liberty. Division and resentment always result from dependency, a major step in tyranny.

The answer does not just lay in the words of the Founders but also in those who have shown us all how. The words of Douglass and Thomas have to resound more to us than those of the dividers who race to the spotlight and microphone today. And then we will have to live them.

From the Enlightenment to now, wise men (and women) have known, understood, that the life of a people’s liberty is not determined by the strength of any central government but by their love of that liberty and the moral strength of their civil society.

There are 34 comments.

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  1. I Walton Member

    Really great article. There was a period when some might have called the effects of welfare an unintended consequence, or collateral damage, but that time passed many decades ago. The conclusion is that it was either done on purpose to begin with or kept on purpose because it bought nearly 100% support for Democrats in spite of Democrat history. Beyond deteriorating race relations, class warfare and family breakdown which are a direct consequence of progressive policies, all of them, everywhere, the total failure of materialist interpretation of history, life, culture was predicted by those who interpreted the human condition in non materialist terms. And yet we allow fear of being called racist to silence all but a handful of black intellectuals like Sowell, Jason Riley, Walter Williams.

    • #1
    • July 17, 2016, at 6:37 AM PDT
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  2. Bruce Caward Thatcher

    Wow. Thanks.

    • #2
    • July 17, 2016, at 6:38 AM PDT
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  3. David Foster Member

    “There was a time when the murder rate among blacks was almost identical to that of whites and they were both below 14%.”

    I don’t think that anywhere near 14% of either blacks, whites, or anyone else ever have or currently do commit murder. What metric does this ‘14%’ number actually refer to?

    • #3
    • July 17, 2016, at 6:43 AM PDT
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  4. Columbo Member

    “What shall we do with the Negro?” I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are wormeaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature’s plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! … Frederick Douglass, 1865

    • #4
    • July 17, 2016, at 6:55 AM PDT
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  5. Profile Photo Member

    Thank you for writing this. In order to reduce the tyranny of government the work of individual citizens needs to be more effective, their thinking needs to be sharpened on these problems.

    We are in competition with the welfare state. We should act like it.

    • #5
    • July 17, 2016, at 7:14 AM PDT
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  6. BrentB67 Inactive

    Another outstanding work that should be on the front page. Well done.

    • #6
    • July 17, 2016, at 7:21 AM PDT
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  7. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Columbo:“What shall we do with the Negro?” I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are wormeaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature’s plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! … Frederick Douglass, 1865

    And today, Jason Riley says precisely the same thing: please stop helping us!

    • #7
    • July 17, 2016, at 7:30 AM PDT
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  8. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Excellent post, Ole. Discouraging, overwhelming, and true. Thank you.

    • #8
    • July 17, 2016, at 7:31 AM PDT
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  9. DocJay Inactive

    Very worthy essay. I don’t ever remember a time in my life when I felt so much tension. I’m curious about how those who were around in the late 60’s felt compared to our racist president’s years.

    • #9
    • July 17, 2016, at 7:45 AM PDT
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  10. Acook Member

    “The black family survived 200 years of American slavery and a century of Jim Crow. It could not survive a decade of modern liberalism.”

    I’ve seen this expressed before as, ” the welfare state accomplished what even decades of slavery and Jim Crow could not, destroy the black family.” I think this is something that needs to be spoken of loudly and often. Maybe it would help break through to some of those minorities who keep blindly voting Democrat.

    Great essay. Main feed.

    • #10
    • July 17, 2016, at 8:15 AM PDT
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  11. Ontheleftcoast Inactive

    DocJay: I’m curious about how those who were around in the late 60’s felt compared to our racist president’s years.

    Deja vu all over again. Except that this time the White House and DOJ are allied with the people behind the street thugs.

    It’s interesting to note that California’s restrictions on firearms began with reactions to the Black Panther Party’s open carry demonstrations. It worked so well that I wonder if the NBPP and related groups are wittingly or unwittingly serving a similar purpose today.

    • #11
    • July 17, 2016, at 8:31 AM PDT
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  12. Blondie Thatcher

    Excellent post. It is sad these things have to be said. Glad to see it on the main feed.

    • #12
    • July 17, 2016, at 8:37 AM PDT
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  13. I Walton Member

    DocJay:Very worthy essay. I don’t ever remember a time in my life when I felt so much tension. I’m curious about how those who were around in the late 60’s felt compared to our racist president’s years.

    No comparison. It was about the war and even we cold warriors thought it fought stupidly or unnecessarily. The vast majority of the country supported the civil rights marches. The country was very optimistic about race relations. It was clear SDS were fascist thugs, at least to anyone paying attention who could distinguish real fascism from the leftist narrative about it and that they were the minority. It was also clear that the majority of the activist 60s generation were just spoiled kids having more fun than we 50s generation ever dared to hope for. Too bad the media, and university administrators couldn’t tell the difference and caved in to them leaving these spoiled self absorb peer dominated children to start taking themselves seriously.

    • #13
    • July 17, 2016, at 8:44 AM PDT
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  14. rebark Inactive

    @davidfoster I can’t be sure, but I think that the 14% numbers may have meant what percentage of murders were committed by each group, not what percentage of each group committed murders.

    • #14
    • July 17, 2016, at 9:03 AM PDT
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  15. Aaron Miller Member

    Ole Summers: Crime and violence are not a by-product of race or poverty. They are not a part of “black culture” or “inter-city” culture. There are not a part of leftover heritage of a slavery a century and half in the past. None of this was true for the pre-1950s generations who stood far closer to not just the past but the sting of genuine racism. No claim could be more insulting, racist or self-serving. They are the by-product of eroding social and individual values.

    Great essay. I have one quibble. What are these values if not culture?

    If welfare programs are to blame for the disintegration of family bonds and self-sufficiency, does that not present a catch-22? Is a change of culture not necessary for black/urban voters to want disassembly of the welfare state?

    • #15
    • July 17, 2016, at 9:07 AM PDT
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  16. Bob Thompson Member

    DocJay:Very worthy essay. I don’t ever remember a time in my life when I felt so much tension. I’m curious about how those who were around in the late 60’s felt compared to our racist president’s years.

    That was Bill Ayers and the Weathermen types and the anti-war groups, not the racists conflict being stoked today by the President and the leftist democrats. This today is more disturbing because it is very evil, well beyond misguided.

    • #16
    • July 17, 2016, at 9:24 AM PDT
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  17. Ontheleftcoast Inactive

    Bob Thompson: , not the racists conflict

    Really? Watts. Detroit. Chicago. And on. And on.

    Virginia Postrel:

    Consider the wave of race riots that swept the nation’s cities. From 1964 to 1971, there were more than 750 riots, killing 228 people and injuring 12,741 others. After more than 15,000 separate incidents of arson, many black urban neighborhoods were in ruins.

    The riots began before Martin Luther King’s assassination, but really took off afterwards. They led not just to property damage but to long term decline in property values. The riots in turn led to the failed policies of the Great Society and its spinoffs. Which in turn led to further economic decline in the affected cities, and destroyed the black family nationwide… and here we are.

    • #17
    • July 17, 2016, at 9:42 AM PDT
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  18. Bob Thompson Member

    Ontheleftcoast:

    Bob Thompson: , not the racists conflict

    Really? Watts. Detroit. Chicago. And on. And on.

    Virginia Postrel:

    Consider the wave of race riots that swept the nation’s cities. From 1964 to 1971, there were more than 750 riots, killing 228 people and injuring 12,741 others. After more than 15,000 separate incidents of arson, many black urban neighborhoods were in ruins.

    The riots began before Martin Luther King’s assassination, but really took off afterwards. They led not just to property damage but to long term decline in property values. The riots in turn led to the failed policies of the Great Society and its spinoffs. Which in turn led to further economic decline in the affected cities, and destroyed the black family nationwide… and here we are.

    What is racist about blacks destroying black urban neighborhoods?

    • #18
    • July 17, 2016, at 9:52 AM PDT
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  19. Ontheleftcoast Inactive

    Bob Thompson: What is racist about blacks destroying black urban neighborhoods?

    You wrote “not the racists conflict” which I, in my pedantic but apparently mistaken way, construed as a typo for “racial conflict” rather than “racists conflict.”

    Would you please expand on what you actually meant?

    The BPP and other black racists were planning violence and were part of the revolutionary cadres behind the scenes in most if not all of the violence in the ’60s and ’70s, but how consequential they were in each instance I have no idea. They weren’t completely wrong in believing that there were FBI spies and provocateurs among them.

    We know of at least one pivotal unintended consequence of FBI intelligence gathering: the gunshots that probably led the National Guard troops at Kent State to open fire thinking that they were being targeted by a sniper almost certainly were fired by a man hired by the FBI to infiltrate the demonstration planning and take photos. He was suspected of being undercover, felt threatened, and started shooting. He fled into the guard ranks, but they didn’t know he had been the one shooting. Moments later four students were dead.

    I doubt that was the only such screwup. But sometimes mobs are spontaneous. In any case, the political response to the riots spread the delusion that “minorities,” or at any rate those useful to the Left, can’t be racist.

    • #19
    • July 17, 2016, at 10:35 AM PDT
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  20. Bob Thompson Member

    Ontheleftcoast:You wrote “not the racists conflict” which I, in my pedantic but apparently mistaken way, construed as a typo for “racial conflict” rather than “racists conflict.”

    Would you please expand on what you actually meant?

    Most of the ‘race riots’ referenced in the Virginia Postrel piece were, to my recollection, frequently related to local failures to manifest visible action related to the civil rights gains from earlier in the decade. Then, of course, King’s death. But most of this was blacks doing destruction in their own communities out of frustration, is my guess, with instigators, of course. I don’t think of these events as provocatively ‘racist’ in the sense of the language today of the BLM movement and the statements coming from this administration. Sooner or later, those being fooled by Democrats will figure it out.

    • #20
    • July 17, 2016, at 10:58 AM PDT
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  21. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    This was an excellent post, but — especially with the 3.0 changes — we’d also like to ask members to provide some citations, particularly regarding statistics and similar fact claims. We’re hardly looking for an exhaustively footnoted piece, but a handful of hyperlinks to sources would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, check out the editors’ style guide if you haven’t before (or if it’s been while); it’ll explain a lot of the changes we make, and will give you more control over your piece and saving us a lot of time so we can focus on other content.

    • #21
    • July 17, 2016, at 11:11 AM PDT
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  22. cirby Member

    1960s Democrats: “You need to follow our policies so we can have more equality and a better world.”

    1970s Democrats: “Yeah, things kinda suck, but we need to keep with it so things get better.”

    1980s Democrats: “The only reason things aren’t wonderful is that you elected a lot of Republicans, who undid all of our progress. Ignore the economy, it just looks better.”

    1990s Democrats: “See! Things are wonderful! There’s no such thing as a bubble economy!”

    2000s Democrats: “The bubble only popped because of the GOP and Bush. Just wait until the Pelosi/Reid/Obama policies kick in!”

    2010s Democrats: “You need to follow our new policies so we can start to fix the massive problems caused by following our policies over the last fifty years, which are all your fault.”

    • #22
    • July 17, 2016, at 1:35 PM PDT
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  23. Henry Castaigne Member

    Acook: I’ve seen this expressed before as, ” the welfare state accomplished what even decades of slavery and Jim Crow could not, destroy the black family.” I think this is something that needs to be spoken of loudly and often. Maybe it would help break through to some of those minorities who keep blindly voting Democrat.

    Hear hear.

    • #23
    • July 17, 2016, at 5:46 PM PDT
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  24. Mole-eye Member

    Excellent article – well done!

    • #24
    • July 17, 2016, at 9:07 PM PDT
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  25. Ontheleftcoast Inactive

    Bob Thompson: I don’t think of these events as provocatively ‘racist’ in the sense of the language today of the BLM movement

    Many Korean merchants in Watts would have disagreed with you. The window signs in the urban riots proclaiming businesses to be “black owned” to protect them from looting testify against your statement. So does the blood of the eight people who died at the hands of a racist, antisemitic lynch mob led by Al Sharpton in, I think, 1995. True, some of the race riots of the ’60s and ’70s were probably spontaneous, or at any rate were less skillfully nurtured than the ones we have today. But there was dangerous black racism. BLM didn’t come out of nowhere.

    • #25
    • July 17, 2016, at 10:03 PM PDT
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  26. Al Kennedy Member

    @olesummers Great post. Thanks very much.

    • #26
    • July 18, 2016, at 1:04 AM PDT
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  27. Al Kennedy Member

    DocJay:I’m curious about how those who were around in the late 60’s felt compared to our racist president’s years.

    @docjay I feel it is much worse today. I participated in several Civil Rights marches in the 60’s. President Obama and Eric Holder have set back race relations in America by several decades.

    • #27
    • July 18, 2016, at 1:11 AM PDT
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  28. TeamAmerica Member

    DocJay:Very worthy essay. I don’t ever remember a time in my life when I felt so much tension. I’m curious about how those who were around in the late 60’s felt compared to our racist president’s years.

    I was around then, and I attended Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s March on Washington in 1968, when I was 16, and I joined a civil rights group. It seemed then that while many resisted racial integration, the only demagogic talk was from George Wallace. And not even he excused violence, nor did LBJ.

    • #28
    • July 18, 2016, at 1:47 AM PDT
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  29. BrentB67 Inactive

    Great seeing this on the front page. Well Done.

    • #29
    • July 18, 2016, at 5:57 AM PDT
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  30. Front Seat Cat Member

    You describe the enemy well – the breakdown of social and moral values – that’s why nothing is truly going in the right direction – until we as a country decide to get back to our original moral foundation, things will not get better – it shows unless you conduct your life by standards bigger than just your emotions, mood, or life circumstances, people will just act on feelings. The African American family long ago had it much worse and yet they kept their faith and family strong – this change is also present as you pointed out, in all society, irregardless of skin color. Outstanding article and thank you for writing it – it should be read in schools, and a history lesson with homework should follow.

    • #30
    • July 18, 2016, at 6:58 AM PDT
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