The True Story—and Tragedy—of Race in America

The rhetoric of leftist politicians, commentators, and “civil rights spokesmen” after events of the last few years has created a picture of America as a deeply “racist” nation. The impression conveyed is that things are no better, possibly even worse, than they were in the Jim Crow era. This is after decades of civil rights laws, affirmative action, public policies supposedly geared to improving the conditions of minorities, and a stigmatization of racial prejudice almost beyond any other behavior. The lack of a sense of history is almost flabbergasting: the present-day, in effect, is equated or compared unfavorably to a time of lynchings, water fountains separated by race, restrooms and public libraries restricted to Caucasians, brutal responses to the least sign of interracial male-female affection, and what can only be described as visceral and irrational nastiness over the least sign of the Negroes of the old South appearing “uppity.”

To be sure, there is still racial prejudice today. The college fraternity incidents that were in the news indicate that. The racially charged rants of college freshmen, however, simply pale in comparison to Jim Crow. In fact, the widespread attention these episodes receive illustrates the tendency since the 1960s to make small things into big issues and to come to sweeping, unmerited conclusions when it comes to race. Even innocent perceived slights in an inter-racial context are often held to be “racism” and blown up vastly out of proportion. In much of the Black community and in the opinion of the left-tilting media there is the belief that police departments are deeply “racist,” even though many have minority officers in substantial numbers and the encounters, including police shootings, that have inflamed anti-police sentiment (such as in Ferguson, Missouri and elsewhere) hardly involved innocent or unthreatening individuals.

Nor do the claims of widespread, unwarranted targeting of minorities stand up. One thinks back to federal studies in 2002 and 2005 that debunked claims of “racial profiling” when police pulled drivers over. While arrests and searches of minorities were found to be more likely than with Caucasians, one has to keep in mind the high crime rates in so many of the urban neighborhoods involved. Similarly, the claim that minority students are unfairly singled out more for suspension and expulsion in public schools has to be weighed against the greater tendency of such youth, especially males, to get into trouble and their disproportionate juvenile crime rates.

That gets us to the crux of the real tragedy concerning race in America today—the one which the “civil rights industry” (some of whose leaders have gained prominence and wealth by jumping on alleged grievances) and leftist politicians (who mine minority communities for votes) ignore. The family breakdown that was first discussed by the Moynihan Report in the 1960s, “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action,” has continued and accelerated, with a national 70 percent illegitimacy rate (reaching 90 percent in some urban areas). Fatherlessness abounds. The devastating results are there for anyone to see: high crime rates and pervasive gang activity (with other Blacks the main target of the crimes), high incarceration rates (one in three boys born in that demographic group will go to prison), a disproportionate percentage of children living under the poverty line, a disproportionate percentage of people trapped in government dependency, and lagging educational attainment.

“Civil rights” leaders and opportunistic politicians, in effect, have told people in the Black underclass for a long time that they don’t have to be responsible. All of their woes are caused by “racism,” instead of their actions or inaction. They have bestowed upon it what I call an “angel complex.” The effect of this is just to encourage more anti-social, irresponsible, and destructive (including self-destructive) behavior. They have also led it to believe—contrary to the clear evidence—that they can only be victims of racial prejudice, never perpetrators of it. So, the Justice Department doesn’t make an issue of election-day harassment by members of the New Black Panther Party. The Obama administration hardly mentions interracial crime targeting Caucasians, even though the federal government’s own crime statistics indicate that it is much more frequent than the other way around.

Then there are ongoing racial preference policies in the workplace and education (even if the most egregious schemes in public higher education have been disallowed by the Supreme Court). If it were the other way around these would be considered blatant racial discrimination that would bring down the full force of federal and state law. School textbooks exaggerate the role and contributions of members of racial and other minority groups (even homosexuals) in American history, while dismissing or even denigrating towering figures like our Founding Fathers. They even treat as a given such spurious claims as that Africa was the cradle of the human race and civilization. It’s interesting that surveys are increasingly showing that Caucasians believe themselves to be victims of race prejudice, even while many “civil rights” apologists insist that such “reverse racism” isn’t possible. Curiously, while these same apologists are eager to accuse the Republican party, conservatives, Tea Partiers, etc. of “racism” they conveniently ignore the fact that the Democrats were the party of Jim Crow (let’s recall the one party “solid” Democratic South) and, before that, of slavery.

What has happened with race in America is what Pope St. John XXIII cautioned about in the encyclical Pacem in Terris (#97) regarding ethnic and other minorities in the developing world. As a reaction to their problems or past injustices, they “frequently tend to magnify unduly” their people’s characteristics, exalting them “even above those human values which are common to all mankind.” In effect, in the name of equality propagandists have made minorities (racial and in other categories) unequal—not just by officially favoring them, but also by viewing them as not subject to the same moral and other weaknesses and temptations as the rest of the human race and as not bound by the same moral law. Racial equality and minority advancement, to say nothing of brotherhood, cannot result from pretending that a situation is other than it is or routinely pointing accusing fingers without justification.

Good race relations must proceed from truth. Human dignity is not a one-way street. It cannot be achieved for minority groups by denigrating what’s called the “majority”; it has to prevail for both. As Blessed Pope Paul VI said in the encyclical Populorum Progressio (#44), a better world must be brought about “without one group making progress at the expense of the other.” There are some who think that it’s just for historically dispossessed minorities to thump the other side when they get the chance. In fact, not only is that not true justice but also shows an absence of the social charity crucial for good race relations and for a sound political community generally.

If their leaders really cared about the Black community they would stop using “racism” to excuse everything and sincerely dedicate themselves to what its people desperately needs (and what has been emphasized by thoughtful “conservative” commentators from within it and its soundest religious leaders): spiritual and moral renewal.

Editor’s note: In the image above, a man walks passed a burning police van in Baltimore following riots over the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, April 27, 2015. (Photo credit: AP photo / Patrick Semansky)

Stephen M. Krason


Stephen M. Krason's "Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic" column appears monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) in Crisis Magazine. He is Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. He is the author, most recently, of The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic (Transaction Publishers, 2012), and editor of three volumes: Child Abuse, Family Rights, and the Child Protective System (Scarecrow Press, 2013) and The Crisis of Religious Liberty (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014); and most recently, Challenging the Secular Culture: A Call to Christians (Franciscan University Press). His latest book is Catholicism and American Political Ideologies (Hamilton Books). He is also the author of a new novel, American Cincinnatus.

  • 1crappie2

    One element seldom mentioned is behind much of perceived racism is the honest revulsion (and thus, concern) for the entrenched “inner-city” (that content of character void) culture and the inarguable damage it continues to do to the very Black community that claims victimhood.
    The political sharks and parasites will do whatever is necessary to keep the black community in a (rape of dignity) victim mode.

    • Scott W.

      Excellent point, and forgetting the racial makeup of the city governance of Baltimore, Detroit, and other cities on the 100-most dangerous, would someone like to guess the typical political persuasion of these city leaders?

    • jcsmitty

      Evidence of your point is the ridiculous “walking back” by the mayor of Baltimore of her use of the word “thugs.” According to the victim mentality that word is suddenly likened to the “n” word! Political correctness and the desire to play “victim” couldn’t be more evident than in that. Those who looted and burned Baltimore are thugs because they looted and burned, not because of their skin color. Caucasians who did the same would also be “thugs.”

  • Vinny

    Like everything else…if they can’t put up a valid argument they cry, racist, homophobic, sexist etc. That ends the discourse and proves you’re wrong.

  • chrisinva

    Excellent article, Dr. Krasnodar – children from fatherless homes are several times more likely to be abused, to fail in school and at work, and to end up in jail.

    But America’s Catholic bishops disagree. In 1979, their pastoral on racism revealed the “subtle sin” of racism of which whites were guilty – and no one else.

    Even the poorest, most disabled, most poverty-stricken Caucasian – guilty!

    Why, our racism is so subtle that most of us don’t even know we’ve sinned!

    Yes, it’s true, that canard was the product of the worst generation of bishops in the country’s history – but it has not been repudiated, no apologies have been forthcoming. Instead, in 2004, the USCCB commemorated the pastorals’s 25th anniversary.

    • disqus_qkOcYNTXOW

      Have you ever hung around with the liberal crowd? You’re automatically convicted of being a racist because you’re white, you’re automatically convicted of being a racist and bigot just because you’re Christian, and if you’re a male, you’re an automatic misogynist.

      • St JD George

        The latest fad going around the university has a name for it, it’s called white privilege and it’s intended to make you feel guilty for the way you were born. I read where Frank Marshall Davis was the one who coined that, don’t if that is true or not. His brother Malik believes F.M.D. is the true father of … you know who.

        • Scott W.

          Yep. There is something similar with abortion. Abortionists like to be as vague as possible. They couch abortion in terms of abstract rights and choice. They bristle however when one describes the actual act of some bottom-of-his-class “doctor” reaching into a woman’s uterus with a pair or forceps and dismembering an innocent human being because they know sympathy for their cause plummets.

          Similarly, we would all be appalled at a genuine, willful and overt act of racism. But these are actually in short supply, so they milk incidents that can be spun into racist acts for all their worth and hope nobody enquirers too close to the details. Most of the time we catch on however, so the shrieking harpies of tolerance need something to fill the void; hence this white-privilege concept that has the convenience of being unfalsifiable. Really, it’s stealing a Christian narrative of Guilt and Redemption and using it for mischievous purposes. You’re guilty just for being born white, and apparently we should pay no mind to those rip-roaring success stories of Asians and black immigrants from Africa that completely destroy the Leftist narrative.

      • TERRY

        3 more reasons for me to stay away from those idiots.

        I didn’t need them, but thanks anyway.

        BTW – Us white folks lost the monopoly on racism long ago. (Whether or not we ever had it is a subject for another time.)

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      Does anyone with even a modicum of intelligence pay attention to anything that emanates from the USCCB ?

      • St JD George

        I’ll confess that I do listen to the daily reflections there, and go there to read the daily liturgy. I’m sorry, forgive me.

        • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

          You’re forgiven! 🙂

    • Jacqueleen

      Any white person who has at one time or another reported to a black person in a supervisory capacity will truthfully admit that blacks discriminate many times more so than white people. Tell the Bishops to switch roles with their black housekeepers for a month and let them find out first hand who promotes all this racism. I say this, if you don’t like it here….stop trying to change us…we are happy here…the boat leaves in an hour.Go search for Utopia!…bon voyage!

    • Jim in Pittsburgh

      It’s not just the USCCB, but their episcopal minions. About 30 years ago I was a school teacher in a small dying parish school. At the time a Federal Judge nullified the elections of FIVE neighboring independent school districts and forced the creation of a single district, and mandated forced busing to mix everyone up into one happy multiracial school district. The plaintiffs, representing two of the districts said that they were poor minority districts and it wasn’t “fair” that neighboring, integrated districts, were rich. So, the elections were nullified and parents from all five districts with children in grade school attempted to enroll their kids on parochial schools.

      Our diocese took the stance that if new applicants were from one of the three rich districts, they were suffering from “white flight”, hence racists! Parish schools were admonished to turn these filthy racists away.

      I’ll never forget my pastor (RIP) storming into the school office asking the secretary if it was true that she was refusing applicants fron the new district. She said yes, because the principle,
      “Sister Liberal” told her not to admit racists. The pastor pounded his fist on the desk and said, “I’m in charge here. I decide who is admitted to this school.” He told her to give him the name and phone number of every applicant she turned down, and ordered her to give him a daily list of all applicants. He called them.

      RESULT: The following year the parish school had 150 new students. The next year it had even more. Some nearby parishes that followed dioscean rules closed in a few years and it got the lion’s share of them. The parish school not only thrived, but was transformed from a 95% white neighborhood school into 25 – 30% African American school, where kids were given the opportunity to hear the message of Christ’s love.

      All thanks to a pastor who took a stand. God bless him.

      • St JD George

        That’s why the call it the “Race to the Bottom” program, why just settle for excellence when you can reach for mediocrity. Their motto is “Nobody Gets Behind, but Nobody Gets Ahead Either”. It also goes by the nickname “Mediocrity Loves Company”.

  • Kek

    So what do you have to say Mr. Krason about what’s happening in Israel (in the current news) : those dark-skinned Ethiopian Jews – air-lifted there a few years back — are suffering much in Israel because of their skin color. They have been relegated to ghettos, they endure much police brutality and are disadvantaged in every way. RACISM is just NOT an american problem, it is world-wide. There is a “haughtiness” in the Caucasian mentality at large that they somehow “hold” supremacy among all human races. Once I visited your so-called home of the free and the brave: As I was making my way over a pedestrian-crossing a driver in a pick-up truck yelled at me: “get your ‘nigger-ass’ asap out of my way, before I run you over”… in the south they did not want to serve me at a Burger place in a very white, “racist” area. Now I live In Germany. Even though Jewish-Genocide took place here, ant-jewish sentiment is barely perceivable. Germany has TRULY moved away from it’s sordid past. America has (apparently) not! Here in Germany, I, as a dark-skinned person, certainly feel much more safe and my civil rights are much better protected, than in the USA . I mean “come on”, my brother is a successful surgeon in the USA ; yet evenso he has been stopped by the police with weapons at the ready and harassed , just because of his Porsche.. they doubt the legitimacy of the MD on his license plate. I suggest, Mr. Krason, you do what a German “socially conscious” actor & book author did: put on an afro-wig, pigment your skin with appropriate make-up and spend 3 months as a “Negro” (at best a lower-middle class one) in a few cities spread across your country. Try renting a place in a hosh-posh white neighborhood, book a table in a 5-star restaurant, sit in a public-school, ride the public transport etc etc. Then go write a book on your experiences. Believe me: there’ll be MANY eye-openers for you! God bless. God help. Amen

    • GG

      Reminds us of the homosexual threads here. Invariably some poster will assert all the propaganda talking points in one post. Contrived and asserted as if we are all as credulous as you.

      • Seamrog

        For the life of me, I cannot understand where these people come from, and why they come – specifically – here.

        The internet is chock full of crazy.

        • Asmondius

          This person is apparently practicing their English language skills, and having probably been viewing American media for some time came to the conclusion that this type of rant is the norm in our society.

        • GG

          Perhaps it is a microcosm of society? The cranks I see here may be representative of Judges, Professors, maybe some Bishops. I do not know.

          I marvel that they continue to spew the talking points, but it may be working. Most people lap it up and view all of reality through the prism of false rights and entitlement.

    • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

      I like the initial dig at Israel, everybody’s whipping boy. Tiny Israel the size of New Jersey. You forgot to mention the astonishing crime rates of Ethiopians in Israel which may perhaps be a reason people avoid them? The same reason even the despicable race shakedown artist, Jesse Jackson admitted he would cross the street to avoid young black males on a lonely street late at night.

    • 1crappie2

      Yeah, with that wig and blackface on, you get a few faux foam Greek pillars, shout hope and change, and try, just try to run for office–like maybe president–you’ll see how much white prejudice is out there. You won’t get one of their racist votes…er…well….

    • mgolant

      Oh brother – what a lot of crap in one post! Yes, Germany is quite the model of egalitarianism. Tell that to the Turks living there – see what kind of response you get. And if I had a dollar for every time I heard the word “schwarzer” used derogatively, I’d be rich.

    • St JD George

      Stop wearing your disgust like a chip on your shoulder and you might be surprised. Not trivializing or condoning, but do you think you alone are the victim of verbal abuse? Catholics were once discriminated against on a large scale, and so did many other ethnic groups who immigrated here including people of color. After many generations they mostly pull themselves up, assimilated, integrated and worked to achieve their small piece of the dream. I know there are racist police, but I think it should be mandatory for everyone who is booked that they spend a month riding with a police officer and spend a day in the life in their shoes. When you drive into neighborhoods rife with violence, drugs and gangs to protect the innocent and helpless you no doubt get jaded. You don’t see that happening at church picnics, maybe more time inside church helping your pastor and your congregation would help.

    • St JD George

      Here is a story maybe you can draw some inspiration from, in addition to the other one I linked in another post.

      Wisconsin diocese’s programs help Latino families put faith into action

      By Sam Lucero
      Catholic News Service

      GREEN BAY, Wis. (CNS) — Juanita Fiscal and her husband, Julio Zuniga, enrolled in the “Discipulos de Cristo” (Disciples of Christ) lay formation program, sponsored by the Diocese of Green Bay, three years ago. As members of St. Willebrord Parish, they wanted to learn more about their faith.

      “We were lacking so much knowledge about our Catholic faith, especially about the Mass,” Fiscal told The Compass, newspaper of the Diocese of Green Bay. “We are here almost every Sunday, and not knowing exactly what was happening or the meaning of certain things. That was embarrassing.”

      As they prepared for graduation from the program in early May, along with 16 other Latino Catholics from around the diocese, Fiscal said the program not only taught them about the Mass, it inspired them to start a youth program with other parents at St. Willebrord. The “Amigos de Jesus” (Friends of Jesus) group helps children learn about the Mass and participate in liturgical roles.

      As part of the Discipulos de Cristo program, young participants are asked to return to their parishes and find a way to put their faith into practice.

      “We noticed that we needed some type of program that would bring those kids who made their first Communion” back to church by getting them involved in Sunday liturgies, Fiscal said.

      “Another person said, ‘What if we also teach those kids the sequence of the Mass, like everything that happens during the Mass?'” she noted. While the Mass is covered in religious education classes, the adults wanted to explore the liturgy in more depth, Fiscal said.

      “We decided to do both things: to teach them how to serve during Mass and then to teach them about the celebration of Mass.”

      Amigos de Jesus started in October. Eight adults (including five in the Discipulos program) and 38 students, from 4 to 13 years old, meet at the church for two hours every other Saturday. Fiscal said the group uses books about the Mass, written in Spanish and provided by the parish, as well as ones she has purchased. Instructors also use materials, revised for children, from the adult program.

      After studying, the children practice their ministry roles, which include altar serving, lectoring, ushering, singing in the choir and presenting the eucharistic gifts.

      Norbertine Father Andrew Cribben, pastor of St. Willebrord Parish, said he is delighted to have the parents take an active role in preparing their children for Mass and getting them involved in the liturgy.

      “Juanita and her collaborators from Discipulos de Cristo … wanted to use their growing knowledge of the sacraments, theology and their spirituality for the good of others,” he said. “They had heard my desire, as pastor, that the children might be more attentive and participative at the Eucharist. The group prepares the children first to know and appreciate the Eucharist, and then to know and fulfill the ministries of reader, usher, greeter, singer and member of the assembly.”

      Their first service at Mass took place in December. “Then Father Andy told us to participate in the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe,” said Fiscal. The Amigos de Jesus now participate at the Spanish Mass the fourth Sunday of each month.

      The group has plans for other events. They have been invited to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Newton, Wisconsin, to demonstrate their liturgical roles and encourage young people from those parishes to get involved.

      Fiscal sees the group doing community outreach, such as visiting nursing home residents and, during the holidays, visiting children at local hospitals and presenting them with gifts.

      Fiscal said handing down the faith to her five children — ages 5 months to 10 years — is one gift that she and her husband now know they can provide because of the two programs.

      “We are not rich people. We don’t have money, so what are we going to leave to our kids? What are they going to inherit? We decided that faith, teaching them, especially about the Mass,” will be the legacy they leave their children.

      When she and Julio started in the Discipulos program, she said, their children were not part of the experience. “So doing this as a family (with Amigos de Jesus) and the rest of the Discipulos members” makes the experience of church a family affair.

      It is also a way to get other parents who do not come to church back to attending Mass. “We are hearing comments from some of the parents of kids, ‘Now I have to come to Mass because my child is participating in this,'” she said.

      “We want (youth) to feel this program is dynamic, fun and social, a program where they are not only learning everything about the Eucharist, but also where they are reaching out to those in need from our community.”

    • St JD George

      Trust me, if you want to find evil in the world you will, and it will seek you out like a weed if your soul is not fertile. Through Christ alone all things are possible, including changing hardened hearts.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      “There is a “haughtiness” in the Caucasian mentality at large that they somehow “hold” supremacy among all human races.” Or really? In every land, and in every time, the race that is in the majority has always lorded it over the minority. It is a basic human instinct. If you think it somehow characterizes only “white” people, you have no knowledge of history or geography. As for why whites tend to be very nervous (especially in the inner-cities) around blacks, it could be because black-on-white crime is about 15 times more prevalent – despite the minority status of blacks – than white on black crime. (Government crime statistics back this up year after year.) A black person walking through a predominantly white neighborhood at night may well be questioned by the police, and I can imagine that to be quite frustrating. But he is quite unlikely to be the victim of violent crime. The same cannot be said for a white person strolling through a predominantly black, inner-city neighborhood. Such a person is taking a significant risk. If you doubt this, I would suggest you haven’t lived as a white person in a major urban setting.

  • St JD George

    What is the answer to “who is my neighbor”? Travelling the road from Annapolis to Georgetown, did not the priest cross to the other side of the road to avoid the man beaten and robbed, laying in the gutter? Where will a Samaritan be found on that busy road?

    Much rebuilding to be done, trust and brick and mortar. Seems to me without Christ leading the effort though the bricks will come crumbling down again.

  • Tim

    The Blessed Pope John XXIII in Pecam in Terras also noted the importance of having a say in political life including the working people. In China they have a college entrance test, the GaoKao. If one does well on this test they will most likely have a good future. But for the
    majority of those taking the test, it is a life of extreme poverty and powerless living in the working class. I think this happens in America as well, especially on the left side politically. What is missing is the sense of community; people freely giving themselves to one another.
    Can a minority group suffer from pride, put themselves above God, or desire worldly pleasures? Yes! They probably do not need more social justice “black” churches. They will need to freely give themselves to others outside their group. But what is happening is only going to grow the divide and the medicine being suggested isn’t going to fix the problem.

  • Seamrog

    “…Spiritual and moral renewal.”

    Well, that’s not going to get Creflo Dollar a new G6 now is it?

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    Fact. Intact black families here in St. Louis with one or both parents employed make as much money, have the same low levels of crime and dysfunction and are equal in every sense to white families in the same situation. What does this mean? As the 40’s song says, “You Can’t Go Wrong Doing Right”

  • Tim

    Blessed Pope John XXIII would like to see everyone having a say in the political
    process. Our faith would tell us it is about giving. Political life isn’t about what we can get; it is about what we are willing to “freely” give. Mark 12:41-44 The Widow’s Offering 41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” If communities can follow this prescription they will succeed.

  • As long as you identify the ‘disease’ with myth and superstition you give the disease power. Walk under a ladder. There is only one race, the human race, involved in all this. The issue is and always has been bigotry. Labeling the issue falsely maintains it’s power. Black cats are no different from any other color cat…. or have you been infected with a myth/superstition there too.

    • Jason Wills

      Your comment makes no discernible sense.

      • Only if you are concerned about the consequences of breaking a mirror.

        • Jason Wills

          Really, what in heaven’s name are you jabbering about?

          • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

            If you can make heads or tails of his remarks, please explain them to me!

            • St JD George

              Don’t throw stones at mirrors, what’s so hard to understand (ha).

    • Han Slder

      You obviously have a point to make, but it is shrouded in your inarticulateness.

  • James dougherty

    Try listening to rap music. A crash course in misogyny, depravity, drug culture, gang colors, hate whitey. Now the family breaks down in the white communities as well, as the gangsta culture seeps into the larger one. Nothing is measured against virtue anymore, as we are in a race to the bottom. As former Sen.Moynihan once noted we have been defining deviance downward since the 60s, and an army of “experts” & race hustlers, & public employee unions, insure that things don’t change and the money train keeps running.

    • Veritas

      Being a high school teacher, it is most clear that the white family is breaking down and so are their children’s grades. I cannot stop the flow of progressive education rhetoric that ignores this fact as it continues the drumbeat of “inequality”. It seems the plan, therefore, is “If you can’t bring the disadvantaged up, bring the advantaged down.”

      This is insidious.

      • Siwash

        Good points. It’s a real political bandwagon.

        • Veritas

          Teachers who hold the line to standards, excellence, and hard work–teachers who don’t accept the soft bigotry of low expectations–are in the gunsights of cowards who either don’t believe in excellence, or who don’t wish to rock the boat. Public education, in granting excuses to the “special needs” or to students of poverty, cannot stem the spread of mediocrity as it creeps into what was once the school’s mainstream.

          Very insidious. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

          • Seamrog

            I’m of the mindset that the road to Hell is paved by our government.

            For certain, there are some who work in / for the government that are people of good will, but if you take a serious look at the goals, the actions, and the results our government has engineered, it could not be clearer that – frankly – it is an evil.

            I think there is an excellent essay in the making here.

            • Veritas

              I would love to read it when you are finished, professor.

          • St JD George

            My heart goes out to you, truly you are on the front lines of the culture war in the school system and can see the collateral damage being done to our kids first hand. I once several years ago entertained the thought of retiring early and teaching when there was a critical need and the state was offering to help expedite the credentialing process. I had made the acquaintance of a math teacher who had done that after retiring as a Col from the Air Force. He pretty much told me “don’t be stupid”. I knew our kid’s teachers pretty well and as you well know there is a class system that exists in schools as well. The kids and the teachers who are in the AP programs are world’s apart. Still, I had teacher’s tell me that even there the standards for work ethic is not what it used to be. I’m not sure what it is, and I don’t think it’s any one thing. It seems like as we get more comfortable with affluence and things being provided for us the desire to work hard diminishes.

    • Scott W.

      I’ve always had a question about the song “Ridin’ Dirty” and someone with more knowledge of rap lingo would have to explain it to me. I get that it is about cops pulling him over and having to let him go because there is no illegal contraband in his car. But it seems to me from reading the lyrics, that he IS involved in serious criminal activity; he’s just boasting about not getting caught. If that’s the case, then the problem is plain: lack of respect for the rule of law. It doesn’t matter how corrupt police are because there is still such thing as laws for the common good that are morally binding on the conscience. To wit: you don’t get to cry racism when you are in favor of and even glorifying criminal activity that is vastly more destructive to black communities than bad police.

      • Gregory

        All seriousness aside, Scott, your post took me to YouTube. I hadn’t heard that song in a long time, but instead I ended up at Weird Al’s “White n’ Nerdy”- hilarious, of course. Btw, I used to ride dirty all the time, prior to conversion. I am white, in a predominately white area ( MT ) and I “felt” profiled ( long hair, beat up truck ), but the truth is that I was up to no good, illegal activity. So I agree with your post, and my experience is it’s not so much a color thing as it is a criminal thing. On the other hand, I’ve rode dirty in all black areas ( not MT ) and my “fellows” were like ” nigga, get down, if the man see you we getting stopped!”. Anyhow, just some true observations. Thanks for your post.

  • Keith Cameron

    The ‘War on Poverty’ has produced much collateral damage. Namely the nearly complete and utter destruction of the Black Family in America. It is time to take a serious look at all of the social ills that have been perpetrated in the name of helping people.

    The Father was driven from his home and somehow people expected that he would still behave in a responsible manner. Why should he? You’ve taken from him all that he worked for.

  • jcsmitty

    Right now the main “prejudice” we’re experiencing in the U.S. seems to be toward Christians. I don’t doubt that racism is still alive, but as the author indicates, the idea of comparing some perceived racial slight to Jim Crow is nuts! And we do see racism within the black community, blacks who look down on other blacks who are darker, for example! Regarding the reference to the origins of the human race, hasn’t it been speculated by experts that the Garden of Eden was probably near the Tigris and Euphrates rivers? Those are in Asia, not Africa. I’m just curious why the author throws in Africa as an apparently discredited claim for the origins of mankind. Who said it was?
    Lastly, in my own case I never was exposed to people of other races when I was growing up, but as any older Catholic can probably attest, today’s parishes are very diverse. My own parish is an example: Nigerians, Vietnamese, Filipinos, Hispanics are as many as European Americans. We know and share with each other, and familiarity does NOT breed contempt, but acceptance.

  • broimp

    Consider all of the government programs that subsidize and enable people
    enduring consequences from broken families. On the one hand a civil
    society has difficulty looking away from human tragedies. The urge is to
    do something. Human tragedy, however, is not a problem that government
    can fix. Broken people don’t mend very easily. But broken families may
    be prevented. Broken families have many causal influences. If
    politicians must spend money, a more sane set of spending targets would
    be to fund those behaviors in society that don’t cause broken families.
    The focus must shift to prevention. Remedies don’t work.

  • St JD George

    Anybody remember this quote below from 100 years ago (about problem profiteer’s). Seems to me there are still plenty of them around, who show up opportunistically for the cameras when there is a division to exploit but are nowhere to be found for the thousand fold worse problem of bodies piling up from acts of home grown senseless violence. Born from hopelessness? Maybe born from hope in the wrong things.

    “There is another class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

    Hint: Page 118, My Larger Education, 1911, B.T.W.

  • St JD George

    Through SVDP I can tell you from personal experience that there is a unique dimension to the problem that I can’t figure out. We serve immigrant communities who are poor, struggle to integrate, want to assimilate, fear police for deportation, build themselves up, and generally don’t want a hand out from the government to solve their problems, just security from predators like gangs. Many of them are people of faith and give praise to the Lord seeing every day as a gift, full of hope, not hopelessness.

    It exists too in some communities, though you won’t read about it in the MSM which has a different agenda to promote divisiveness. This story for example offers hope for moving in the right direction.

  • Siwash

    I rather feel defeatist here. The United States has spent about a trillion dollars, in various ways, programs, schemes, to level the playing field. But the tune goes on.

    I suspect we ARE more racially tolerant than, say, 1970. But it’s been expensive to get here, and black culture really works an axe on those values that help one achieve success.

  • David Simon make a powerful case based on his experience as a crime reporter in Baltimore that today’s crisis has manyroots in the cynical manipulation of the goals and methods assign to the Baltimore Police department by those in political office. See:

  • Daniel P

    If we care so much about the revival of the black family in America, then why do hardly any of us spend any time building relationships with poor young black people? Why do we teach in posh suburbs? Why do we worship where it’s comfortable, and work where it’s safe? Do we think that the black family will heal itself, without the aid of Christian brotherhood?

    Or don’t we care anymore? I’m afraid we write our poorer, blacker brothers and sisters off. If we dove in, lived with them, joined our lot with them, I suspect we would find the truth about these people far deeper and more inspiring than we can imagine.

    (Note: This comment does not necessarily apply to Mr. Crason. I do not know how involved he is in solving the problems he diagnoses here.)

    • Asmondius

      Oh, I see – without the White Man, blacks can not get anything accomplished for themselves. Wasn’t that the old theory that once prevailed over South Africa.

      • Daniel P

        (1) This isn’t a “white problem”, Asmondius. Middle class black people also have a tendency to ignore the plight of poor black families.

        (2) A child raised in squalor, educated in chaos, and surrounded by decadence does not get anything accomplished for themselves, no. “Are you your brother’s keeper?” Yes, you are.

        (3) None of us can accomplish anything on our own. If we succeed, there are a thousand helps we had along the way.

        (4) I am not talking of welfare or state aid. I’m talking about coming alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ, and helping them along their way. Surely you recognize that as a good thing, no?