By Chaplain Ayesha Kreutz
Can we or shouldn’t we agree that, in the end, blacks must ultimately help themselves? I want to share three quotes, then discuss.
In 1865, whites asked what to do with freed blacks. Frederick Douglass, born into slavery, said: ” I have but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! …. If apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength…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!”
Booker T. Washington, also born into slavery, said: “It is important and right that all privileges of law be granted to blacks, but it is vastly more important that they be prepared for the exercise of these privileges.”
Walter Williams said that he is glad that he grew up in the late 40’s and 50’s, before it was fashionable for white people to like black people. He received a more honest assessment of his strengths and weaknesses- more than what black kids are likely to get today from white teachers and employers who are more interested in being politically correct.
WOW! What truth.
When thinking about the crime trends within mostly black neighborhoods, the graduation rate of blacks, the high unemployment rates, the low numbers of intact two-parent homes, the prison stats, the super high abortion rates and so on, we can see that we are number one in all the wrong areas. Blacks make up almost 14% of the population, but we have committed almost half of all murders and more than 37% of all abortions.
In many urban areas, almost 80% of black kids are performing below their grade level. A cop is almost 6 times more likely to be shot by a black perpetrator than to shoot someone who is black. We represent about 37.5% of the state prison populations. The black-white disparity in incarcerations are and the unemployment rate is larger than ever (double the rate of whites for five decades now). White kids are reading twice as many books than their black counterparts. I could go on.
It has been over fifty years since the government has stepped in when it comes to “helping blacks.” In my humble opinion they stepped over the line.
Aren’t there limits to what the government can and should do? If a policy is creating more problems and barriers to freedom and equal outcomes, shouldn’t we reject it’s good intentions and focus on the results?
Secondly, if the policy is bad to begin wouldn’t that be the major issue rather than, the fact that the black people being left behind by the policies are black?
Then we have to deal with the issue of questioning the policies and one getting labeled racist, even as the philosophy that forms the foundation of the policy is racist to begin with. How is it the people calling the policy racist from the start due to the nature and forseen effects of the policy then be the ones we turn on? How can a policy, which relies on the conceit that blacks so inferior that they need these policies to even stand up, not be racist? Can a person who never even gets to discover if he can stand on his own ever really reach his true potential. Isn’t this true regardless of the color of this man’s skin.
We have many cultural shortcomings, and, instead of shirking our responsibility on talking about them or being ashamed to air our dirty laundry, we should be ashamed that we have allowed things to go so far. We need to stop blaming black cultural problems- such as talking white- on white racism. Arrgggg- that one always breaks my heart. Why do so many blacks get rejected in the black community for speaking well? It’s backwards and self-defeating.
It is not like we have to participate in racism when we know it does exist. See Frederick Douglass, Thomas Sowell, Booker T. Washington, Walter Williams etc….
Until we address the destructive behaviors and mindsets within our own culture, we will keep getting the same results and having negative encounters with police.
In the end, can’t we say and agree that blacks (mostly in the ghettos and urban areas) must help themselves? We need to change some habits, the destructive behaviors, habits, attitudes and mindsets, and we need to replace them with more productive and helpful ones. That’s a much better plan than blaming everything on racism. In today’s America, with a black president, repeatedly crying racism, I cannot help but call him out for crying wolf.