Racial Hypocrisy's Real Consequence: It Moves Us Away from Solutions
by Hughey Newsome (bio)
On August 16, 2013, an Australian college baseball player was shot in the back as he jogged along a road in Duncan, Oklahoma.
The deadly attack on Christopher Lane, which took place in broad daylight, shocked Australians to the point that their government warned citizens about travel to the United States. Upon their apprehension, the three teenagers involved in the crime (two of whom were blacks and allegedly did the actual shooting) claimed they did it because they were "bored."
Americans have recently been rocked by numerous racially-tinged news events including the George Zimmerman trial, a campaign against "stop and frisk" laws and the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the Voting Rights Act that reinvigorates voter ID laws. There was also limited coverage of three heinous crimes: a 13-year-old in Florida beaten by three black teens on a school bus, the beating death of World War II veteran Delbert Benton during a robbery in Washington and the Lane shooting in Oklahoma.
Hypocrisy is defined as "the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform." The political left undeniably abides by this definition when discussing race.
Loose accusations of racism against conservatives imply blacks need some crutch to survive, and that they cannot maintain a certain standard of living without that crutch. Racism is normally suggested to be at the root of any effort to take away that crutch.
Voter ID laws, for instance, are said to target blacks since blacks do not have the capability of obtaining IDs at the same rate as whites. Welfare reform, or the denial of social assistance, supposedly is racist since blacks cannot make it without such programs.
While pushing such messages, the left ignores its guilt of the "soft bigotry of low expectations" criticized by President George W. Bush. This bigotry is not inconsequential.
To be clear, the left seems to push programs or concepts to help blacks adapt to some suggested innate inferiority. But it doesn't seem interested in ensuring blacks achieve lasting equity status in terms of wealth, education and income with whites or other ethnic groups. The left provides no real alternative path to the poverty, violence and crime from which blacks disproportionately suffer without the government crutch.
And compare how often the Congressional Black Caucus creates a serious policy agenda to ensure racial parity in the aforementioned areas to the number of times members accuse the Tea Party movement of racism.
I would love to see a CBC member pledge that blacks in his or her district would be at par with whites within a set number of years or he or she would not run for reelection. This won't happen. Quite simply, the CBC's walk doesn't match its talk.
Conservatives highlight such hypocrisy, but they must now make it clear such hypocrisy has consequences.
When the media doctors 911 tapes and incites racial anger (as NBC News did to George Zimmerman) or ignores violence in black communities, it fails to promote an objective discussion on solutions. When politicians use their bully pulpits to accuse police officers of deadly-force racism with no evidence (as Illinois State Representative Monique Davis did on WCBM-Detroit) while not using bully pulpits to discuss their own accountability in transforming inner-city high schools to empower and educate black youth, it's a distraction from the bigger problems.
When we focus on rodeo clowns in remote Missouri and ignore the negative mentors and stereotypes perpetuated by the entertainment industry that have a horrible effect on black youth in particular and society as a whole (embedding negative images of blacks into our collective subconscious), we move away from solutions.
Conservatives must make clear arguments to help society connect these dots.
It is not enough to say there is hypocrisy. We must show that ignoring the roots of problems faced by blacks — problems that can only be addressed with conservative principles such as self-accountability and economic empowerment — will get worse if people don't get serious. And tragic events such as the killings of Chris Lane, Delbert Belton and countless black children in our inner cities will continue.
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Hughey Newsome, a business consultant in the D.C. area, is a member of the national advisory council of the black leadership network Project 21. Comments may be sent to [email protected].
Published by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints
permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21, other Project 21 members, or the National Center for Public Policy Research, its board or staff.
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