The War on Blacks
During the last presidential campaign voters were barraged with the claim that Mitt Romney and Republicans were waging a War on Women. Empirical evidence of such war reached critical mass with Romney’s “binders full of women” declaration, which apparently presented unassailable evidence of the Right’s decades-long assault on women.
The media ignored, however, the Left’s far more successful War on Blacks, the evidence for which has been accumulating for decades. Consider just a random sampling of the battles Democrats have won — or are in the process of winning — against blacks:
THE EDUCATION BATTLE
Millions of black kids are trapped in medieval public schools that are insulated from competition and consequently have insufficient incentive to deliver a quality education. Yet the president and his allies, pledging allegiance to public-sector unions, resist providing meaningful alternatives, insisting instead on that infallible remedy, more “investments.” They’re encouraged, apparently, by how well this solution has worked in places like Newark, N. J., which has been spending upwards of $18,000 per student but where only a third of eighth-graders can pass a math proficiency test. Or perhaps they’re brightened by the example of Washington, D.C., which has among the highest per-pupil expenditures in the country yet perennially returns among the lowest test scores. These results have proven impervious to increased spending. In fact, in some cases the gap between white students and black students has widened as public-school spending has gone up. Unsurprisingly, the average black high-school graduate has the academic skills of the average white eighth grader. But President Obama and Democrats continue to oppose choice, consigning another generation of black kids to educational purgatory.
THE BATTLE OF MINIMUM WAGE
The late Milton Friedman once stated that “we regard the minimum wage as one of the most, if not the most, anti-black laws on the statute books.” (A good argument could be made that the minimum wage vies for this title with the Davis-Bacon Act — supported uniformly by Democrats — mandating that prevailing wages be paid on government construction projects and passed for the expressed purpose of preventing blacks from competing with whites on public-works jobs.)
Sharp increases in the minimum wage price unskilled workers out of the labor market, a dislocation that falls most heavily on young black males. Such increases impair the ability of unskilled workers to get the entry-level jobs that are the first rungs on the ladder of economic upward mobility. The president’s latest minimum-wage proposal would drive the current black male labor-participation rate of 58 percent even lower. As someone once said, a wage, minimum or otherwise, presumes a job.
THE BATTLE OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
Racial preferences result in many black students being admitted at schools in which they’re poorly qualified to compete. Consequently, black students are more likely to perform poorly or flunk out entirely. As Professor Richard Sander found, 50 percent of black law students admitted pursuant to preferences are in the bottom 10 percent of their respective classes. Black law students are two and a half times more likely than whites not to graduate and four times less likely to pass the bar exam.
THE ILLEGAL-IMMIGRATION BATTLE
As I noted earlier this week, the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights examined the impact of illegal immigration on black employment and found that illegal immigration has an adverse effect on the employment and wage levels of black workers.That’s because illegal immigrants compete for jobs against low-skilled workers, a disproportionate number of whom are black. To be fair, it appears that some Republicans have now joined Democrats in waging this fight.
THE BATTLE OF THE EEOC CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK RULE
The EEOC recently issued a guidance that deters employers from conducting criminal background checks on applicants for employment. The U.S.Commission on Civil Rights adduced evidence that this rule may have a significant adverse impact on the employment of blacks. The reason is that when some employers are restricted from doing criminal background checks, they may resort to impermissible criteria to weed out applicants for employment. There’s even some preliminary data indicating that employers not barred from conducting criminal background checks are four times more likely to hire blacks than employers who are restricted from conducting such checks.
THE BATTLE OF GOVERNMENT DEPENDENCY
Nearly $15 trillion has been spent on 122 separate welfare programs over the last 50 years with barely a dent in the poverty rate. A sizeable chunk of that money went, directly or indirectly, to blacks, helping to promote a toxic culture of grievance and dependency that has seeped, in some families, into the fourth generation. The perverse incentives contained in these welfare programs contribute, in part, to what is inarguably the greatest impediment to black success — an out-of-wedlock birth rate of 73 percent, with 80 percent of first black children being born to unwed mothers. The wildest plans of the Klan couldn’t hope to approach the scale of wreckage caused by the welfare state. Yet President Obama and Democrats continue to press for its expansion.
The list goes on.
How long will the war continue? With Democrats getting 90 percent of the black vote, there’s no end in sight. Indeed, Democrats long ago won the propaganda war.
After all, it wasn’t Republicans who opposed the Emancipation Proclamation or the Thirteenth Amendment prohibiting slavery, the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteeing equal protection or the Fifteenth Amendment protecting voting rights. And it wasn’t Republicans who filibustered or otherwise opposed more than a dozen anti-lynching bills over the last century. Nor did Republicans institutionalize Jim Crow, implement school segregation, institute poll taxes, or mandate literacy tests. It was, however, Republicans who voted for the 1957 Civil Rights Act, 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act in greater percentages than did Democrats. But ask most Americans –especially black Americans – about the foregoing, and they’re likely to attribute all the bad acts to Republicans.
However absurd the notion of “wars” on this or that group may be, if as Andrew Stilespredicts, Democrats insist on reprising the War on Women, at least the media could pay a bit of attention to the far more damaging War on Blacks.