Friday, November 6, 2015

Democratic Party foments racial divide and wages hidden war on blacks

Democratic Party foments racial divide and wages hidden war on blacks

Why do we have record poverty under a black president? 6 generations of welfare dependency? Record unemployment among blacks under Democratic president? Who were the segregationists? Southern Democrats.

Obama’s Tragic Legacy for Black Americans

Adding to harmful policies on school vouchers and the minimum wage: a plan to free 6,000 federal inmates.

Outside the Oval Office, Sept. 25.ENLARGE
Outside the Oval Office, Sept. 25. PHOTO: ANDREW HARNIK/ASSOCIATED PRESS
As Kanye West might say, I’m starting to wonder if the president much cares about the well-being of poor blacks.
Mr. West was remarking on the George W. Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina, a natural disaster, but the current administration seems keen on facilitating man-made varieties. At the urging of labor unions, President Obama has pushed for higher minimum wages that price a disproportionate percentage of blacks out of the labor force. At the urging of teachers unions, he has fought voucher programs that give ghetto children access to better schools.
Both policies have a lengthy track record of keeping millions of blacks ill-educated and unemployed. Since the 1970s, when the federal government began tracking the racial achievement gap, black test scores in math, reading and science have on average trailed far behind those of their white classmates. And minimum-wage mandates have been so effective for so long at keeping blacks out of work that 1930, the last year in which there was no federal minimum-wage law, was also the last year that the black unemployment rate was lower than the white rate. For the past half-century, black joblessness on average has been double that of whites.

Opinion Journal Video

Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Jason Riley on the Obama Administration’s plan to release roughly 6,000 inmates from federal prisons. Photo credit: Getty Images.
Last week the Justice Department said it would release some 6,000 inmates from federal prison starting later this month. The goal, according to the White House, is to ease overcrowding and roll back tough sentencing rules implemented in the 1980s and ’90s.
But why are the administration’s sympathies with the lawbreakers instead of their usual victims—the mostly law-abiding residents in low-income communities where many of these inmates eventually are headed? In dozens of large U.S. cities, violent crime, including murder, has climbed over the past year, and it is hard to see how these changes are in the interest of public safety.
The administration assures skeptics that only “nonviolent” drug offenders will be released, but who pays the price if we guess wrong, as officials have so often done in the past? When Los Angeles asked the Rand Corp. in the 1990s to identify inmates suitable for early release, the researchers concluded that “almost no one housed in the Los Angeles jails could be considered non-serious or simply troublesome to their local communities” and that “jail capacity should be expanded so as to allow lengthier incarceration of the more dangerous.”
A 2002 federal report tracked the recidivism rate of some 91,000 supposedly nonviolent offenders in 15 states over a three-year period. More than 21% wound up rearrested for violent crimes, including more than 700 murders and more than 600 rapes. The report also noted the difficulty of identifying low-risk inmates. Auto thieves were rearrested for committing more than a third of the homicides and a disproportionate share of other violent offenses.
Liberal policy makers have long been soft on crime, though more recently they have been joined by libertarian Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who cites the considerable expense of maintaining prisons. Mr. Paul parrots Democrats such as New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who has noted that the cost of housing an inmate for a year averages almost three times more than the cost of educating an elementary-school student for a year.
But like the overly simplified international comparisons so often cited in the press, the analysis is off-base. Yes, the U.S. has a higher incarceration rate than Europe, but we also have much higher violent-crime rates, which our incarceration rate reflects. The relevant comparison isn’t between the cost of education and the cost of incarceration. Rather, it is between the cost of incarceration and the cost of crime—including the loss of innocent life.
The socioeconomic progress of black Americans in the Jim Crow era before the civil-rights movement is a neglected area of media interest. Yet the pace of black advancement during this period—in poverty reduction, educational attainment, entering skilled professions and other measures—has never come close to being duplicated, not even in the decades following the landmark political victories in the 1960s and the launch of the war on poverty.
Racial barriers to black progress in the first half of the 20th century obviously were much more forbidding than they are today, but black communities then were also much safer and thus more conducive to social and economic progress.
The ghetto violence so prevalent today dates to the policy interventions of the 1960s, when coddling criminals became fashionable among judges, politicians and academics, and the government mistakenly believed that a welfare check could replace a father in the home. Before 1960, homicide rates in the U.S., including among blacks, had been falling significantly. The murder rate in 1960 was less than half of what it had been 25 years earlier.
Dangerous neighborhoods can only hamper the black underclass, and sending thugs back home sooner rather than later risks making a neighborhood more dangerous.
Mr. Riley, a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and Journal contributor, is the author of “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed” (Encounter Books, 2014).

No comments:

Post a Comment