I'm generally a Jonah Goldberg fan, but his column today really adds to my respect for the man. In it, he takes on black leaders in Congress, who pursue far Left policies that are often inconsistent with beliefs held by many black Americans, and that advance social and economic policies that consistently fail black Americans:
There's a lot of Marxist-infused nonsense about how economics are at the root of black America's problems. But this doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Of course poverty makes social pathologies worse, but it's the pathologies that cause poverty in the first place.
Family breakdown in the black community has occurred despite a steady rise in the wages of blacks since World War II, when 80 percent were born to married parents. Racism alone cannot be blamed anymore for causing all black problems. By every measure, racism, particularly official racism, has declined even as these problems have worsened.
Racism is surely still a problem, but it pales in comparison to family breakdown. Nothing perpetuates the cycle of moral and financial poverty more so. If you are raised by two married parents today, black or white, it is unlikely that you will be poor, or, at the very least, poor for long. Blaming slavery and historic white racism for family erosion may be satisfying — and sometimes accurate — but it promises few solutions.
Pat Moynihan predicted all of this chaos more than 40 years ago in his report, "The Negro Family: the Case for National Action," which urged the government to help stop black family breakdown before young men raised without fathers sowed chaos in their own community and the nation. Moynihan was greeted with denial and outrage by black and feminist ideologues, who insisted he was trying to impose white middle-class norms on the benign, even "superior," female-headed black family. The PC mob won, and U.S. social policy was pushed in exactly the wrong direction until the welfare reform of the 1990s.
I'd love to add something witty or thoughtful here, but I can't. I don't have much factual information at my fingertips on the subject, but Goldberg's column really seems to sum up the problem I seem to see constantly as an outsider looking at the travails of the African-American community in post-Jim Crow America. You can read the rest of Goldberg's thoughts on the subject here.