White Privilege or Black Fathers - Part 2

By Patrick Hall

In Part 1, I employed the term heresy, not in the way most lay people interpret the word.  That is to say, heresy can be defined as something categorically false. Heresy in the traditional religious catechesis is a partial truth. A truth that is exploited in such a manner that it bears little or no relationship to the belief, situation, or socio-cultural circumstance.  To infer that far too many blacks don’t seem to be progressing in Post-Civil Rights America and that the reason is “white privilege”, ignores more important factors that cripple the black underclass.

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in the late 1960s conducted an exhaustive study of the black underclass. He concluded that you don’t need the excuse of malignant racism to explain the ongoing problems that persist in a large segment of the black community.  It can be traced to the breakdown of the black family since the late 1960s and earlier 1970s. Thomas Sowell, an economist, who has studied this issue, observed that black families were more intact in the decades before President Johnson’s Great Society Programs and the accompanied growth of the Welfare state.

Two-parent households were more prevalent in Pre-Civil Rights America.  Less than ¼ of black households were suffering dislocation. Compare this to today where nearly ¾ of black households are headed by a single parent. The exponential rise of families in the black underclass headed by young single mothers would hinder, if not altogether truncate the progress of black toward economic and social “opportunity.”

 Much of today’s social pathology seen among the black underclass is an outgrowth of the welfare state, that has made self-destructive behaviors less costly for individuals who destroy their neighborhoods' cultural-economic ecology.  “Outcome inequality” will continue to hamper far too many in the black underclass.

Sadly, during the late 1960 and early 1970s, Moynihan’s findings were shouted down, ignored, and made politically anathema by far too many arbiters of Blackness, (i.e., Black Studies academics, social science professors, as well as many influential public policy wonks.) The black underclass is still paying price for this particular form of hubris on the part of Progressive Liberal Democrats as well as many Republicans.

 Directly linked to the cultural stasis within the black community are issues of education. The Democrat Black Political class has been muted on critical issues such as school choice or some kind of voucher program. The NAACP and the more modern victim-entrepreneurs such as BLM and National Action Network tend to be less helpful in promoting the idea of letting public tax dollars follow the student to the school of their choice, as I and many other Black Conservatives pointed out decades ago.1  This would provide a needed avenue for black parents to escape the credentialed and unionized incompetence of inner-city government schools. As it stands, pouring billions of additional dollars into the current administrative structure of inner-city public schools, only served to make failure and/or mediocrity more expensive.

It is easy for politicians like Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) or “the savant of bad historical analogies,” Jim Clyburn (D-SC) to pontificate about the fashionable bromide of white privilege. In former East Germany and throughout the Soviet Block, the privilege of the bourgeois capitalists was the axillar served up to the average citizen, blaming the bourgeois for socio-economic inequalities.

As alluded to earlier, many Marxist ideas have been co-opted by Democrat Liberal Progressives and then repackaged. Both white and black Progressives employ the white privilege mantra for political gain and race manipulation. The very term white privilege was derived from the more cumbersome phrase (white skin privilege.) A white privilege that Democrat Progressives and the greater cultural left now embrace, was introduced into the racial/political lexicon by “The Weather Underground”, or Weathermen.” The Weathermen were a radical Marxist group, that many baby-boom leftists of the 1960s indirectly pledged their hosannas.

 At the same time, little has ever been done to effectively address the main barriers, that keep the black underclass socio-economically impotent and cuddled victims in particular.  

In the arsenal of liberal Democrat paternalism, white privilege is just another form of class envy. In today’s body politics, class envy or warfare has become a major tool for pitting the so-called rich and/or productive individuals against the poor. This is even though most people whom we would consider well off, provide the very jobs and tax base that all of us depend on.  In a calculated and perverse manner, the current Democratic Party, and unfortunately too many “controlled opposition Republicans and Independents,” find it necessary and very effective to appeal to these lesser angels in all of us.

The truth is this! The only privilege that many whites, Asians, and other groups have, that is not present in 70% of the black community, is a stable family structure.  This was largely undermined, if not destroyed by the rise of the welfare state of the late 1960s.  Blacks survived the horrors of slavery. Blacks overcame the indignities and murderous acts of Jim Crow and racial segregation. What the black underclass, along with a growing constituency of whites and Latinos didn’t survive, was the leviathan of the welfare state.  
_________
1. Patrick Hall, “A Note on School Vouchers,” Conservative Review 8(6) (November/December 1997): 2-3.
Patrick is a retired University Library Director. He is graduate of Canisius College and the University of Washington where he earned Masters Degrees in Religious Studies Education, Urban Anthropology and Library and Information Science.  Mr. Hall has also completed additional course work at the University of Buffalo, Seattle University and St. John Fishers College of Rochester New York. He has published in several national publications such as Commonweal, America, Conservative Review, Headway, National Catholic Reporter, Freedom's Journal Magazine and American Libraries. He has published in the peer reviewed publications, Journal of Academic Librarianship and the Internet Reference Services Quarterly. From 1997 until his retirement in January 2014 he served on the Advisory Board of Urban Library Journal, a CUNY Publication.

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