Black Americans at the Crossroads

Black Americans have arrived at a crossroads. It is one thing to take three steps forward, one step back, three steps forward, and one step back, as they have since Reconstruction, but to arrive at a point where they are sliding backward, losing two or three generations of progress in a few short years, represents a sociological catastrophe of major proportions.  But that is precisely what the paternalism of white liberals, Democrats, and self-appointed black leaders has accomplished.

It has been a long, hard 220-year struggle for blacks as they attempt to gain parity with whites in education, economic opportunity, and civil rights. It is a struggle in which the first 160 years were characterized by indescribable racial brutality, while the last 60 years can only be described as an era of smothering paternalism… the “soft bigotry of low expectations,” to use the words of George W, Bush speechwriter, Michael Gerson.  Unfortunately, most blacks are not yet ready to admit to themselves that much of the progress they’ve seen in the past 220 years has been stolen from them by people who pose as their benefactors: white liberals and Democrats.

The black relationship with the Democrat Party dates back to 1792. When the U.S. Constitution was drafted in Philadelphia five years earlier, Democrats won a major concession when, for the sole purpose of increasing the number of pro-slavery Democrats in Congress, the convention agreed to give slave states the legal authority to count each slave as three-fifths of a person.

In 1820, as the State of Missouri was entering the Union, congressional Democrats won passage of the Missouri Compromise, insuring that, as new states entered the Union, there would always be an equal number of slave-states and free-states. But then, in 1854, Democrats replaced the Missouri Compromise with the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which gave each state the right to decide whether they would be a free state or a slave state.  Later that year, in July 1854, anti-slavery Democrats decided they’d had enough.  They met in Jackson, Michigan, for the purpose of forming a new anti-slavery party: the Republican Party.

On May 1, 1856, pro-slavery Democrats from Missouri invaded the town of Lawrence, Kansas, an abolitionist community which supported efforts to bring Kansas into the Union as a free state.  Democrats attacked the town with cannon and small arms fire, killing a number of residents and burning several buildings to the ground.  Contrary to popular belief, the first shots of the Civil War were not fired at Fort Sumpter, South Carolina, in April 1861; the 1856 attack on Lawrence, Kansas, represented the first shots of the War Between the States.

Three weeks after the attack, Senator Charles Sumner (R-MA) delivered a fiery speech on the floor of the senate, condemning slavery and the Kansas invasion.  As he spoke, Congressman Preston Brooks (D-SC) crept up behind him and struck him over the head with a cane, knocking him unconscious and severely injuring him.  Following Brooks’ arrest on assault charges, pro-slavery Democrats were quoted as saying, “It would not take much to have the throats of every abolitionist cut. If the northern men had stood up, the city would now float with blood…”

Meanwhile, the Republican Party was gaining in popularity among abolitionists and quickly attracted large numbers of supporters… so many, in fact, that the party was able to elect its first president, Abraham Lincoln, just four years after it was founded.

Following the Civil War, and in the wake of the Emancipation Proclamation, Democrats were very creative in finding ways of oppressing blacks by enacting Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws. The Black Codes dictated where and for whom blacks could work, where they could live, where they could eat and sleep, which restrooms and drinking fountains they could use, where they were allowed to sit in movie theaters and on trains and busses, and what time they had to be off the streets or outside city limits each evening.

Then, in 1866, in order to enforce the Black Codes, Democrats established an auxiliary called the Ku Klux Klan.  Its purpose was to keep the freed slaves in line and to intimidate them into voting for Democratic candidates.  The history of the Klan is an ugly one, comparing well to Nazi atrocities during World War II.  Although no official records of Klan atrocities are available for the years 1866 to 1882, Tuskegee Institute records indicate that, between the years 1882 and 1951, some 3,437 blacks and 1,293 whites, nearly all Republicans, were lynched by the KKK.

Many Klan atrocities were of the most heinous kind imaginable.  For example, in May 1918 there were a series of lynchings in the State of Georgia.  When Mary Turner, a black woman who was nine months pregnant, announced that she would seek the prosecution of the white men who lynched her husband, Hayes Turner, a mob dragged her from her home, tortured her, and hanged her.  While she was still alive, hanging from the rope, they cut open her womb, the child spilled out onto the ground and they crushed the baby’s skull under the heel of a boot.

A year later, in Elaine Arkansas, some 200 black sharecroppers and tenant farmers were murdered after meeting to discuss how they could stop their white landlords from cheating them out of their share of the cotton crops.  Seventy-nine other blacks were arrested.  Twelve were later sentenced to death and the remainder was sentenced to prison terms of up to 21 years.

Such was the relationship between blacks and the Democrat Party between 1792, when the party was founded, and 1954 when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its Brown v. Board of Education decision, outlawing the concept of “separate but equal” in public education.  It was then that Democrats came to the cynical conclusion that, if they could no longer oppress blacks by force and violence, they would purchase their allegiance with funds from the public treasury.

The immediate result was the Kennedy-Johnson War on Poverty.  And while young blacks had access to the stories of giants such as George Washington Carver, Frederick Douglass, and Booker T. Washington, white Democrats found that it was not in the best interest of their party for young blacks to see such men as role models.  Instead, at the behest of self-appointed race hustlers such as Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, and Al Sharpton, blacks offered themselves as an all-but-unified voting bloc with their votes going to the highest bidder.

The relationship between blacks and liberals has not been a beneficial one for blacks.  And while white liberals and Democrats have benefitted immensely from the captive black vote, blacks have received only crumbs from the Democratic table.  One does not have to be a psychologist to understand that recent racial unrest in St. Louis and Ferguson, Missouri; the number of black-on-black murders and drive-by shootings in black neighborhoods; as well as the increasing number of young blacks playing the “knockout game” in major cities across the country, is evidence that the level of frustration and hopelessness among blacks is fast approaching critical mass… especially among young black males.

Yes, Democrats have regularly carved out congressional districts that were certain to elect black candidates, but white Democrats are not prone to nominate and elect blacks to the U.S. Senate except under extraordinary circumstances.  Forty-one black men and women were elected to the 113th Congress, all liberal Democrats and all heavily committed to the narcotic of the welfare state.  In recent years, only two black Democrats have been elected to the U.S. Senate: Carol Moseley Braun and Barack Obama, both products of the corrupt Chicago political machine.  Two others, Roland Burris (D-IL) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), were token blacks appointed by Democrat governors, leaders of corrupt political machines in Illinois and New Jersey.

In recent decades we’ve had the first black associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall, who never saw an unconstitutional constitutional right he couldn’t embrace.  Now we have the first black president Barack Obama, who is not only ineligible to serve, but is by far the most incompetent man ever to occupy the Oval Office.  We have a black attorney general, Eric Holder, the most corrupt and lawless man ever to serve as our top law enforcement official.  And we have a black national security advisor, Susan Rice, who is not only the most incompetent and inexperienced person ever to serve in that capacity, she is widely known as an accomplished liar.  To think that a woman of her caliber would be advising our acting president on questions of national security is enough to scare the pants off every American.

Yes, many corrupt and incompetent whites have achieved high public office, but because blacks are under the public microscope far more intensely than their white counterparts, the failures of Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Susan Rice, and many black members of Congress are magnified.  They cause a great many Americans, of all races, to question whether or not a black man is capable of running the country.  They have set race relations back several generations, bringing blacks to the point where only black conservatives such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and Dr. Ben Carson, former head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, can lead them back from the abyss… if only they will listen to reason.

Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett did not give blacks new cars or make their house payments, as many blacks expected; all they got was cheap cell phones.  As they leaves the White House, they will leave behind nothing but an angry and highly agitated black community, a large blank space in American history, and a record of failure that will make it even more difficult for an African-American to ever again be elected to lead the country.

As syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer has described Obama’s $870 billion economic stimulus package,”It left not a trace behind.  For God’s sake, at least FDR left the Hoover Dam.  Obama leaves behind the ruins of that Solyndra factory; that’s it.  That’s where the Obama library ought to be.”  Black Americans are at a crossroads and its time they took a long hard look at their political allegiances.

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The Minimum Wage Poison Pill

As we approach the 2014 General Election, with acting-president Barack Obama set to occupy the White House for two more years, the stakes are higher than ever.  As usual, Democrats across the country focus on phony issues, such as a Republican “War on Women,” the widening income gap between the rich and the non-rich, and bogus claims of being champions of the middle class.

In terms of domestic policy, they express support for the “middle class,” while doing everything in their power to turn America into a two-class society: the very rich… whose wealth they only wish to plunder… and the very poor, who, in return for an endless array of government handouts, will be expected to do nothing more than to pull the Democrat lever on Election Day.

In foreign affairs, they express outrage over the gruesome crimes of radical Islam… such as the recent beheading of an Oklahoma City woman by a radical Muslim co-worker… yet they oppose any and all effort at what they see as “racial profiling.”  They find moral equivalency between the anti-Christian genocide of radical Islam throughout the Middle East, and the bombing of a Birmingham, Alabama abortion clinic in years past.

They express support for high quality public education, but the teachers unions… who own a controlling interest in the Democrat Party… dictate that Democrats oppose any and all voucher proposals, causing the greatest damage to the hopes of minority parents who want to see their children receive a quality education.  They ignore the fact that throwing more money at public schools does nothing to increase the quality of a public school education.  Instead, at the behest of the teachers unions, they demand that class sizes be reduced, that new school buildings be constructed, and that teacher salaries be increased… all the while regaling their low-information voter base with the cynical lie that Republicans want to “cut benefits to kids.”

They express a desire for the budget discipline of the 1990s… a direct result of Ronald Reagan’s “trickle down” economic policies and the election of a Republican Congress… and they support the notion of cutting the deficit in half, while supporting every new spending scheme hatched by liberal social planners.  (In their 2000 platform, they announced that Democrats would entirely eliminate the public debt by the year 2012.  Clearly, they had not heard of Barack Obama.)

While expressing a desire to curb the influence of lobbyists, they attempt to convince low-information voters that Republican administrations are dominated by lobbyists for business interests.  Yet, no previous administration has been as heavily staffed and influenced by special interests as is the Obama administration.  And while they express strong support for an electoral system that is “accessible, auditable, and accurate,” they insist that every attempt to curb vote fraud is nothing more than a Republican scheme to oppress the black vote.  If I were a black voter I might take  a bit of umbrage at the implications of that charge.

On the healthcare front, they express a desire to provide healthcare insurance for 30-40 million uninsured, to improve the access to and quality of healthcare for all Americans, to substantially reduce the cost of healthcare for everyone, and to do it all without increasing the number of doctors, nurses, and hospitals.  Like acting-president Barack Obama, they see no contradictions in any of this.  These are obviously people who would promise, with a straight face, that they could stuff 10 lb. of (excrement) into a 5 lb. Bag.  All we need to do to make these magical things happen is to elect more Democrats to public office.

Democrats want to use the tax code to discourage the outflow of jobs overseas.  Yet they have no problem with the fact that the United States has the highest corporate tax rate of any developed nation.  They express a desire to cut taxes for every working family, including those who pay no federal or state income tax, but they exclude tax relief for the “millionaires” who are expected to provide good-paying jobs for the poor and the middle class.  .

And finally, while fast food workers go on strike demanding a $15.00 per hour minimum wage, a 107 percent increase, Democrats prescribe a poison pill for the U.S. economy with a proposed increase in the federal minimum wage standard from $7.25 cents per hour to $10.10 per hour a 39.3 percent increase.  In doing so, they scoff at studies which show that, for each 10 percent increase in the minimum wage, 1-2 percent of jobs in the nation simply go away.  For unskilled entry-lever workers, each 10 percent increase in the minimum wage results in a decrease of 4-5 percent in the number of entry-level jobs  available… the jobs most often held by teens, the poor, and the unskilled.

According to a recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a majority of those who worked at minimum wage jobs in 2013 were 24 years old, or younger, while only 0.8 percent, less than one in a hundred, of those 24 years old, or older, work for a minimum wage.

Minimum wage increases are major job-killers.  According to a 2014 report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, an increase in the minimum wage from the current $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour would reduce the total number of jobs available by approximately 500,000.  For the most part, these are the jobs currently held by all those fast food workers who fill the streets, demanding a $15 per hour minimum wage.  And if those who clamor for a $15 per hour minimum wage are anxious to learn what happens to a job market with a minimum wage of that magnitude, they won’t have to wait long.  In early June 2014, the Seattle city council voted to increase the minimum wage in that city to $15 per hour, the highest in the nation.

A report by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) tells us that, of every dollar of revenue coming into restaurant cash registers, approximately 33 percent goes to salaries and wages.  The remainder of that dollar of revenue goes to cover the cost of food and beverages, other costs of doing business, and a small net profit for the owner.   According to NRA statistics, the profit margin of restaurants varies, depending on the size of the average check per patron.  Those with average checks under $15 per person… e.g., McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc… produce average profit margins of 3 percent, while those with checks of $15 to $24.99… e.g., The Olive Garden, Red Lobster, The Cheesecake Factory, etc… produce profit margins of roughly 3.5 percent, the highest in the industry.  .

According to a recent report by Gingrich Productions, a good measure of the impact of minimum wage laws can be found in the European experience.  Among those countries with no minimum wage… Austria, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland… the median unemployment rate is just 5.2 percent, while the median jobless rate stands at 11.1 percent in countries with minimum wage laws… more than twice that of those without minimum wage laws.

But there is a much larger issue than the question of whether we should have a statutory minimum wage of $10.10 or $15 per hour… an issue that Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are not anxious to talk about.  I refer to the question that more and more minimum wage workers are asking themselves, which is, “Why should I work 40 hours a week at $10.10 per hour, when I can earn more by staying at home and living off the public dole?”

A 2013 Cato Institute study tells us that, in 33 states and the District of Columbia, welfare benefits pay more than the current $7.25 per hour, while in 13 states, welfare benefits pay more than $15 per hour.  In Hawaii, for example, the pre-tax “salary” of stay-at-home welfare recipients is $60,590 per year, or $29.13 per hour when compared to a 40-hour work week, while in Washington, DC, the hourly rate for just staying at home is $24.43 per hour.  At the lower end of the spectrum among states where sloth is more lucrative than honest toil, the hourly rate for stay-at-home welfare recipients in South Carolina is $10.53 per hour… 43 cents more than the $10.10 minimum wage proposed by Democrats.

So what do we do to fix the problem?  Instead of catering cynically to the poorest of the poor as a political constituency, as Democrats do, we should be asking exactly how an individual in this, the land of opportunity and economic freedom, can still be working at a minimum wage job when he/she is 24 years old, or older.  That circumstance can only be explained by pointing out that a great many people simply make very bad choices in their lives.

But Democrats are clearly more interested in purchasing a “nanny state” constituency than they are in doing what is necessary to really help people lift themselves out of poverty.  As one writer, Charles M. Blow, has said, “Much of what happens in Washington occurs at the intersection of political advantage and earnest intentions.”

What is clear is that we cannot perpetuate a system in which it is more lucrative to take a welfare check than it is to earn an honest living.  In order to throw off the bonds of that insanity our options are only two.  First, one might ask, why not raise the minimum wage to $25 or $30 per hour so that those who work can earn more than those who don’t, or won’t?  The answer is, a $25 or $30 minimum wage would literally wreck whatever is left of our fragile economy and price us completely out of world markets.

The one remaining option is to do what we did in the mid-90s when a Republican-controlled Congress forced a Democrat president, Bill Clinton, to sign what was called “welfare-to-work” legislation, requiring those on public assistance to also find honest employment.  The country experienced real economic growth, balanced budgets, and a pay-down in the national debt.

The choice is ours.  What was done in the 1990s can be done again.  But in order to do that we must first have a president who understands at least a “smidgen” about the intricacies of the U.S. economy.  That means that our first priority must be to rid ourselves of Barack Obama, sending him back to his Kenyan roots where he can actually learn a thing or two about micro-economics.

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Limited Choices in the War against Radical Islam

In December 2004 I published a column in which I attempted to outline the five greatest blunders America has ever made.  These were, in order of importance:

1. The introduction of human slavery in the rural South.  Short of a repetition of the genocide that occurred in the Soviet Union, in Nazi Germany, in Southeast Asia, and in Sub-Saharan Africa during the 20th century, the enslavement of human beings is the most despicable act that one human being could possibly commit against another.

2.  The decision by many American parents to heed the child-rearing advice of Dr. Benjamin Spock, leading to the creation of generations of spoiled, self-indulgent,      cry-babies.  As more and more parents read his books and adhered to his teachings, parenting became more and more a relationship in which young parents viewed their offspring, not as the single most solemn responsibility that God puts before us, but as “toys for adults.”

3.  The establishment of the mandatory retirement age at 65.  Since the mandatory retirement age was not adjusted upward as life expectancy increased from sixty-five to seventy-five, and beyond, we have created an entire subculture of capable, competent retirees who produce little, if anything, but who consume at the same rate as active workers.  It is the greatest waste of human energy, talent, and productivity in all of recorded history.

4.  The systematic elimination of sidewalks in our residential neighborhoods.  On a visit to relatives in a Houston suburb we were amazed to see the number of children playing in the streets, along with numbers of people strolling up and down the sidewalks after dinner, stopping to visit with friends and neighbors up and down the block, creating what we call a “community,” in the finest sense of the      word.

5.  The establishment of Toys ‘R Us stores across the country.  When archeologists probe the Earth thousands of years from now, what they will find just beneath the surface may be a great mystery to them.  What, they will wonder, was the purpose of all of those non-biodegradable red, yellow, and blue plastic objects that were buried in landfills in the 20th and 21st centuries?  Toys ‘R Us stores are the principal purveyors of this ugliness.

Needless to say, whatever is in second, third, fourth, and fifth place cannot be compared to the horror of human slavery.  But now, in the early years of the twentieth century, Toys ‘R Us will be forced out of the top five greatest blunders because those of us in western cultures are in the process of making a mistake that history will prove ranks well with our number one mistake.  I refer, of course, to the unthinking approach to the problem represented by Islamic jihad and the universal fixation on military force as a means of responding to its horrors.

In Washington, in London, in Paris, and around the world, all of officialdom, the self-professed “experts” on the terrorist threat, as well as nearly every media outlet, are totally ignoring the true nature of the worldwide confrontation with radical Islam.  We hear little else but discussions of whether it will be necessary to send American ground troops to root out and subdue ISIS and other murderous Islamic thugs, or if Obama will be successful in his attempt to convince other Muslim nations that they should do all the fighting and dying for us.

Unfortunately, the debate is centered on the wrong question.  To spend a lot of time debating the question of how we might defeat radical Islam with military forces is a complete waste of time.  All of the western cultures combined, engaged in a full scale fight-to-the-death struggle on the field of battle, can never defeat Islam.  Only a fool would believe that it is possible to do so.

Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder has let it be known that, as his last official act at the Department of Justice, he will implement a new policy adding to long-standing bans on racial and ethnic profiling, extending them, for the first time, to investigations involving national security.  According to a Fox News story, “The finishing touches are still being put on the policy change, but the final version is expected to scale back the authority federal agencies received in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, including the monitoring of some religious groups and surveillance on mosques without evidence of suspected criminal activity.”

This comes, unbelievably, in the same week that the Pentagon has warned members of the U.S. military that ISIS has used social media to call upon supporters to find the home addresses of family members in the U.S., go to their homes, and kill their wives, children, and parents.

Ishaq:587 of the Koran, tells Muslims, “Our onslaught will not be a weak faltering affair.  We shall fight as long as we live.  We will fight until you turn to Islam, humbly seeking refuge.  We will fight not caring whom we meet.  We will fight whether we destroy ancient holdings or newly gotten gains.  We have mutilated every opponent.  We have driven them violently before us at the command of Allah and Islam.  We will fight until our religion is established.  And we will plunder them, for they must suffer disgrace.”  Any questions Mr. Holder?  Mr. Obama?

Western apologists for Islam regularly tell us that only about five percent of the world’s Muslims are radicalized.  That may be true, but what they fail to explain is that five percent of the world’s Muslims amounts to roughly seventy million suicide bombers and beheading specialists, none of whom have an ounce of respect for human life… not even their own.  The way they see things, it is an honor to be martyred, to die in the service of Allah… to say nothing of the promised 72 virgins who await them in “paradise.”  For each radical Islamist we kill on the field of battle, we can expect at least two of the 1.33 billion un-radicalized “moderate” Muslims to take their place.  It is a war of attrition that western cultures can’t possibly win. To think otherwise is foolhardy.

What we do not hear in the debate over what to do about radical Islam is the only practical and potentially successful approach to the problem.  In other words, if we can never defeat them on foreign battlefields with military force, then, along with bombing them into the middle of the next century on their home soil, our only alternative is to take whatever steps are necessary to keep them from attacking and killing us here on our home soil.

To do that, we must first dispense with political correctness.  Instead, we should remain focused on what the Founders intended when they wrote the 1st Amendment.  In recent columns I have suggested that, as a statement of national policy, we should tailor President Dwight Eisenhower’s signing statement as he signed the Communist Control Act of 1954 into law.  The national policy statement would read:  The American people are determined to eliminate from their midst organizations which, purporting to be ‘religious,’ in the accepted sense of that term, are conspirators dedicated to the destruction of our form of government by force and violence…

This should be followed by an act of Congress patterned after Section 2 of the Communist Control Act.  It would read, “The Congress hereby finds and declares that Islam, although purportedly a religious sect, is in fact an instrumentality of a foreign conspiracy to overthrow the government of the United States.  It constitutes an authoritarian dictatorship within a republic, demanding for itself the rights and privileges accorded to individuals of other religious denominations, but denying to all others the freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution… 

“As a segment of the U.S. population, Islam is relatively small, numerically, and gives scant indication of its capacity ever to attain its ends by lawful means.  The peril inherent in the existence of Islam arises not from its numbers, but from its failure to acknowledge any limitation as to the nature of its activities, and its dedication to the proposition that the present system of government of the United States ultimately must be brought to ruin by any available means, including resort to force and violence.  Holding that doctrine, its role as the agency of a hostile foreign power renders its existence a clear and present danger to the security of the United States.  It is the means whereby individuals are seduced into the service of Islam, trained to do its bidding, and directed and controlled in the conspiratorial performance of their revolutionary services.  Therefore, the organization known as Islam shall be outlawed in the United States.”

Since radical Islam cannot be defeated on the field of battle, our only alternative is to find creative ways to live, rent-free, inside the heads of Muslims around the world… to find creative ways of baiting Muslims into killing each other, and not us.  For example, as I have suggested in previous columns, our government should not hesitate to engage in the elaborate hoax as an instrument of war.  We might begin by having the best special effects technicians in Hollywood utilize three-dimensional holograph imaging to stage a “second coming” of Mohammed, in which he would instruct Imams and other radical Islamists that jihad is an unforgivable sin that would prevent its participants from entering paradise.

In addition, and contrary to Attorney General Eric Holder’s edict condemning religious profiling, we should prohibit the construction of any new mosques within our borders, while developing a domestic intelligence capability with tentacles that reach deeply into every existing mosque and Islamic cultural organization in the country.  If we cannot defeat radical Islam on the field of battle we are left with only one alternative.  We must take whatever steps are necessary to protect ourselves and our culture on our home soil… political correctness be damned.

 

 

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