Where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tried to instill in young people the importance of personal responsibility and self-determination notwithstanding racial barriers, his counterparts today spend more time making excuses for counterproductive behavior and dismissing criticism of it as racist. Activists who long ago abandoned King’s colorblind standard, which was the basis for the landmark civil-rights laws enacted in the 1960s, tell black youths today that they are victims, first and foremost.
A generation of blacks who have more opportunity than any previous generation are being taught that America offers them little more than trigger-happy cops, bigoted teachers and biased employers. It’s not only incorrect, but as King and a previous generation of black leaders understood, it’s also unhelpful.
Black activists and liberal politicians stress racism because it serves their own interests, not because it serves the interests of the black underclass. But neglecting or playing down the role that blacks must play in addressing racial disparities can only exacerbate them. Fifty years after King’s death, plenty of people are paying him lip service. Far too few are following his example.
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Citizen Buddy Replied
Many of the problems blacks face result from broken homes (especially for boys) and where they live. Get out of Detroit!! I have heard blacks say they “don’t feel comfortable” in the suburbs, but the atmosphere in S side Chicago is 100% a disaster for them. It is long past the time when anyone will actually bother a black person in a suburb, and if they do the risk is much lower than getting mugged in their preferred neighborhood.
Second, let us presume that there is residual racism. The focus on victimhood ignores what the individual can do to overcome this racism. I remember an article by a young black man who put on a coat and tie and went about his daily life. He was stunned to find that people held doors for him, smiled at him. All people, whites too. Putting on a suit signals that you are a civilized and serious person. Baggy pants and tats signals that you are unreliable and possibly dangerous. What I am suggesting is to overcompensate, work on your weaknesses, look nice, work hard. Even white people have to do these things to get ahead. You can’t be a banker if you look like you are going fishing. The idea that there is no point in trying so why not deal drugs and rob stores is simply a wrong idea that is a self-fulfilling prophecy.