Monday, June 30, 2014

Please Stop Helping

Jason Riley pleads with white liberals in a column at the New York Post to stop trying to help African Americans. In his view, liberal solutions seem rarely to work and almost always make matters worse. They've certainly made matters worse for American blacks as Riley points out. Here are some excerpts:
The civil-rights struggles of the mid-20th century were liberalism at its best. The efforts culminated in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlawed racial discrimination in employment and education and ensured the ability of blacks to register and vote.

But what about the social policy and thinking that arose from the ruins of Jim Crow? Good intentions aside, which efforts have facilitated black advancement, and which efforts have impeded it?

While gains have been made, significant racial disparities persist in some areas and black retrogression has occurred in others.

The black-white poverty gap has widened over the last decade and the poverty rate among blacks is no longer declining. The black-white disparity in incarceration rates today is larger than it was in 1960.

And the black unemployment rate has, on average, been twice as high as the white rate for five decades. In fact, black America has long been stuck in a severe recession. Between 1963 and 2012, annual black unemployment averaged 11.6%, while the average annual national unemployment rate during recessions over the same period was only 6.7%.

Confronted with these statistics, liberals continue to push for the same “solutions” that clearly haven’t worked before.

Earlier this year, President Obama announced yet another federal initiative aimed at helping blacks. He called for more preschool education, even though studies — like the one on Head Start released by his admin­istration in 2012 — have found “no significant impacts” in educa­tion from such programs.

Obama said that he wants to increase reading proficiency and graduation rates for minority students, yet he opposes school voucher programs that are doing both. And he called for more of the same job-training programs that liberal politicians have been pushing for decades despite scant evidence of their effectiveness.

Obama was doing exactly what liberals have been conditioning blacks to do since the 1960s, which is to blame black pathology on the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws. And the president is conditioning the next generation of blacks to do the same. This is a dodge. Those legacies are not holding down blacks half as much as the legacy of efforts to help them “overcome.” The left’s sentimental support has turned underprivileged blacks into playthings for liberal intellectuals and politicians who care more about clearing their conscience or winning votes than advo­cating behaviors and attitudes that have allowed other groups to get ahead.

[Martin Luther] King’s successors, living in an era when public policy bends over backward to accommodate blacks, nevertheless insist that blacks cannot be held responsible for their plight so long as someone somewhere in white America is still using the N-word.

Liberalism has also succeeded, tragically, in convincing blacks to see themselves first and foremost as victims. Today there is no greater impediment to black advancement than the self-pitying mindset that permeates black culture.

White liberals think they are helping blacks by romanticizing miscreants. And black liberals are all too happy to hustle guilty whites. The result, manifest in everything from black studies programs to black media to black politics, is an obsession with racial slights real or imagined.
There's more at the link. One of the deficiencies of liberalism is that it tends to minimize the role of faith in our cultural and social life, it also minimizes the importance of strong two-parent families, and it makes excuses for personal failure which create the mindset that one's failures are not one's own fault.

Consequently, the policies that liberals promote are often corrosive to faith, families, and personal responsibility. This erosion hurts everyone, but, as Charles Murray explains in his important book Coming Apart, they hurt the poor far more than they hurt the better off. Liberal policies and attitudes have the unintended consequence of keeping the poor in poverty and impoverishing many who weren't poor to start with.