While reading yesterday’s Post I saw a Juan Williams column titled Banish The Bling. He’s continuing what Bill Cosby stated a couple of years ago. I enjoyed this column.
Cosby said that the quarter of black Americans still living in poverty are failing to hold up their end of a deal with history when they don’t take advantage of the opportunities created by the Supreme Court’s Brown decision and the sacrifices of civil rights leaders from Martin Luther King Jr. to Thurgood Marshall and Malcolm X. Those leaders in the 1950s and ’60s opened doors by winning passage of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and fair housing laws. Their triumphs led to the nationwide rise in black political power on school boards and in city halls and Congress.
Taken as a whole, that era of stunning breakthroughs set the stage for black people, disproportionately poor and ill-educated because of a history of slavery and segregation, to reach new heights — freed from the weight of government-sanctioned segregation. It also created a national model of social activism to advance the rights of women, Hispanics, gays and others.
Cosby asked the chilling question: “What good is Brown ” and all the victories of the civil rights era if nobody wants them? A generation after those major civil rights victories, black America is experiencing alarming dropout rates, shocking numbers of children born to single mothers and a frightening acceptance of criminal behavior that has too many black people filling up the jails. Where is the focus on taking advantage of new opportunities to advance and to close the racial gap in educational and economic achievement?
One of the biggest problems I have is the acceptance of criminal behavior in the black community. It’s become downright acceptable to become a thug. Some young black males would rather lead a life of crime like the thugs who committed their recent crime in Georgetown (let’s hope someone recognizes them from the video camera shots). And sad to say some black women prefer thuggish men.
Incredibly, Cosby’s critics don’t see the desperate need to pull a generational fire alarm to warn people about a culture of failure that is sabotaging any chance for black people in poverty to move up and help their children reach the security of economic and educational achievement. Not one mainstream civil rights group picked up on his call for marches and protests against bad parenting, drug dealers, hate-filled rap music and failing schools.
Where is the civil rights groundswell on behalf of stronger marriages that will allow more children to grow up in two-parent families and have a better chance of staying out of poverty? Where are the marches demanding good schools for those children — and the strong cultural reinforcement for high academic achievement (instead of the charge that minority students who get good grades are “acting white”)? Where are the exhortations for children to reject the self-defeating stereotypes that reduce black people to violent, oversexed “gangstas,” minstrel show comedians and mindless athletes?
You won’t see any marching in the streets for any of this. However you will see marching in the streets when there’s a white on black crime committed. Somehow black on black crimes don’t create much anger and outrage in the black community. Apparently it’s okay for black thugs to rape, assault and murder other blacks.
You can check out Juan Williams new book Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America–and What We Can Do About It at Amazon.com.