After one of his many campaign rallies across the country, candidate Donald Trump was resoundingly criticized for asking what black Americans have to lose by voting Republican. But his question makes sense. Democrats have controlled most of our major cities for decades, and what do we have to show for it? Violence, homelessness, rampant drug use, failing schools, and gutted buildings. Throw in a complete disintegration of the black family, and we’ve got a powerful prescription for hopelessness.
Of course, merely voting Republican won’t suddenly turn black neighborhoods around. These communities are plagued by factors too complex and deep-rooted for any politician to solve overnight. After all, many of the problems were caused by decades of Democrat leadership and the paralysis caused be ever-increasing government dependency.
The cycle is self-sustaining. But don’t dare discuss the culture. When liberal law professors Amy Wax of the University of Pennsylvania and Larry Alexander of the University of San Diego wrote an opinion piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer lamenting the rejection of concepts such as two-parent homes and obedience to the law, they were denounced as white supremacists for suggesting that black Americans embrace a social and cultural structure created by whites.
One of the primary consequences of the social breakdown in the black community, or any community for that matter, is violence. A young black man growing up without the influence of good parents, without a basic education, and without an opportunity for viable employment is likelier to turn to crime and drugs — and likelier to help perpetuate the awful cycle of black-on-black violence.
In a UPI story entitled, “Study: Black males twice as likely to die, mainly from gun violence,” the news agency focuses on a report from the Centers for Disease Control. “Gun violence-related deaths were the biggest firearm-related reason for declining life expectancy for black males, with 16 out of 100,000 deaths attributed to it,” UPI says. “Black males face a total life expectancy loss of 4.14 years for any type of firearm-related death, according to the data. Life expectancy for black males begins to pick up again after age 20.”
That framing is far too passive, as if guns are targeting black men. But despite race-hustlers like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Marc Lamont Hill blaming racism for the plight of black communities, the facts show that young black men have little to fear … except from other young black men. In 2016, the FBI reported that 90% of murdered blacks were killed by other blacks.
Bindu Kalesan, a clinical epidemiologist at Boston University, believes we need more social programs to combat violence in inner cities.
Really? As recently as 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that we’ve already spent more than $22 trillion to fight poverty since the implementation of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” programs. That is, according to The Heritage Foundation, “three times the cost of all military wars in U.S. history since the American Revolution.”
Kalesan adds, “Victims of gun violence are victims not criminals. So increasing policing alone may not be the answer. Building social capital, education, reducing housing instability, etc. may also be answers. As of now, the focus on ameliorating firearm violence has been solely rooted in policies.”
Actually, black victims of other black victims — not “gun violence” — often are criminals. Violence among drug-dealing gang-bangers accounts for a lot of urban murders. And Kalesan isn’t going to see more capital, better education, improved housing, or any other positive change in Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, or Baltimore as long as the same Democrat politicians support the same failed leftist policies.
Simply pouring more money into black communities isn’t the answer, and neither is gun control. Prof. Jeremy Levitt writes in the Orlando Sentinel, “Further restrictions on black ownership of guns and racial conflict in the late 19th and early 20th centuries set the stage for the massacre and destruction of entire black communities.” That’s right — gun control started out as a racist proposition, and now Democrats are using violence among blacks to justify more gun control.
It’s no wonder that gun ownership among black Americans is rising, with the National African American Gun Association boasting more than 20,000 members. They, too, realize that self defense is an essential right.
The cycle of violence within these same communities will most certainly continue until black civic leaders reject the worn and tired approaches of the Democrat Party. Unfortunately, what took decades to create is going to take decades to fix.
Real solutions are on the table, including a president whose leadership has already resulted in greater economic opportunities for blacks. But until black Americans themselves realize that Democrats are using them as political pawns, their communities will, sadly, continue to suffer.