Bill Cosby Wakes Up Black America
Others, like NPR's Juan Williams, follow, in this City Journal piece by editor Myron Magnet, author of The Dream and the Nightmare: The Sixties' Legacy to the Underclass. Here's the problem:
With a 50 percent high school dropout rate and a 70 percent illegitimacy rate, with African-Americans committing half the nation's murders though only 13 percent of the population, black America--especially the poorer part of it--is in trouble. "We cannot blame white people," Cosby asserted in his incendiary speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board school desegregation decision. "It's not what they're doing to us. It's what we're not doing." As Jesse Jackson used to say, Cosby recalls, "No one can save us from us but us."
As for Williams' thoughts on the sorry state of black America:
If black leaders really wanted to help the black poor, Williams argues, they'd combat the "cultural belief that being 'authentically black' does not allow for high quality intellectual engagement in school," as columnist Joseph H. Brown put it.
...If black leaders really wanted to help the black poor, they'd stop decrying "police brutality and the increasing number of black people in jail" and focus instead "on having black people take personal responsibility for the exorbitant amount of crime committed by black people against other black people" (which accounts for the exorbitant number of African-Americans in jail). But they don't. As Cosby pointed out to Williams, the NAACP has its headquarters in murder-ridden Baltimore, but "I've never once heard the NAACP say, 'Let's do something about this.' " Indeed, Williams notes, "they never marched or organized, or even criticized the criminals." Nor did they exhort poor black people to stop smoking crack.
But black crime devastates African-American communities. Residents live with "a sense of an enemy within. That enemy is a neighbor, a friend, possibly a child, any of whom is capable of robbing or assaulting them." In some cities, like Baltimore, drug dealers still terrorize entire neighborhoods, which resemble Sadr City. The thugs are as vicious as Sadr City militiamen, too. Williams tells of a Baltimore woman who testified against drug dealers operating outside her house in 2002. The next day, gangbangers firebombed her house, though she managed to put out the flames. Two weeks later, they firebombed her house again, this time kicking in the front door and dousing the staircase with gasoline, incinerating the woman, her husband, and their five kids. As she was dying, the woman fruitlessly screamed, "Help me get my children out!"
Even as old-style racism fades, Williams says, the black-crime epidemic is incubating a new racism. The crime "gives credence to the racist stereotype of black people, especially young black men, as a race of marauding, jobless thugs"--a stereotype that even Jesse Jackson shares. "There is nothing so painful to me at this stage of my life," Jackson said in 1993, "than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery and then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved." This grim development makes it all the more urgent for black leaders to say that "the black criminal is no friend of black progress."
Lack of fathers is a big part of it -- one of the gifts of the welfare movement, making it easy to be a single black mother, and, in turn, removing the stigma. We literally paid for the ruin of black society, and the Reverend Wrights of the black community were right in line for their pieces of silver for the maintenance of the black victim-industrial complex. Thanks, but I'll sing along with Cosby, if you don't mind.
And please don't swallow the idea that poverty creates thuggerhood. Just look at the Asian community -- like the Koreans who emigrate to this country and work night and day running small grocery stores in New York City. And on a related note, here's a piece from the LA Times on why Asians do better in school than Latinos.