Opinion | Morgan Liddick: Democrats don’t own black America
Republican politicians, including Donald Trump, should thank God for Joe Biden. He’s the gift that keeps on giving. Joe seems to suffer from an incurable case of foot-in-mouth disease. He seems occasionally to forget his venue or that cameras are ubiquitous in the age of smartphones. But Joe Biden’s true gift to Republicans is that occasionally he is unfocussed enough to let the mask drop momentarily, allowing us a glimpse of the reality behind the Democrats’ false front.
It’s not pretty.
Consider Biden’s remark last Friday on “The Breakfast Club” radio show. Told by the host that he “had more questions,” Joe got huffy. “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” he shouted. When the host responded that he was concerned with issues other than Trump, he was treated to a shrill Bidenesque riposte listing his NAACP endorsements and similar credentials.
After a decent interval for eye-rolling, the spin team arrived and began calling Biden’s “you ain’t black” comment a “joke.” It was not. It was an insight into how Democratic Party leaders see black Americans: as permanent residents on a new plantation whose sole product is votes designed to cement their overlords’ grip on power. They cannot be allowed to think for themselves, so any questions or doubts must be shouted down immediately. Above all, they must not be allowed to escape. Any of them. Ever.
Bill Clinton obviously thought this way when he made his now-infamous observation about Barack Obama to Ted Kennedy. Hillary embarrassingly channeled Al Jolson when addressing black audiences during the 2008 campaign. As did Biden with his 2012 campaign remark to a largely black crowd in Danville, Virginia, that Republicans “… gonna put y’all back in chains.” Evidently these folks think black Americans are impervious to language not redolent of magnolia blooms and paternalism.
Especially paternalism, the engine that drives this whole sordid process. Black Americans on the Democratic plantation are given subsistence-level support through myriad social programs that have metastasized fiercely since President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty began. From feeding programs at schools through subsidized housing, fuel subsidies, educational subsidies, medical subsidies, nonmonetary benefits and much more, this nation has sunk approximately $22 trillion into the fight to increase individual self-sufficiency since 1965.
It hasn’t worked. In the 15 years between 1950 and 1965, there was a steep drop in the number of poor Americans, blacks included. In the five years following the opening of the War on Poverty, the drop continued. Then it stopped at about 14% of the population, where it remained despite increasingly costly measures to lower it.
These measures had pernicious side effects, including the evaporation of black families on the lowest rung of the economic ladder as government became more and more the provider, making fathers superfluous. And all the while, Democratic political leaders insisted they were the saviors of the black community, which would perish without their provision of monies taken from more productive sectors of society.
Through that insidious lie, three generations of black Americans were stripped of hope, relying instead on the generosity of those keeping them content with their sorry lot — in exchange for their votes and support. Any who dared question the wisdom of this arrangement, daring to point out that black Americans were no less intelligent or hardworking or capable than other Americans — and therefore should be able to stand on their own — were ridiculed, ostracized and threatened, often by community leaders co-opted or suborned by the existing system. Thus the Democratic plantation remained secure.
Until Trump. According to the Brookings Institution, the median U.S. black household income was higher in October 2018 than at any time in history, save the 14 months when Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich collaborated to “end welfare as we know it.” Before COVID-19 shut down the economy, black American unemployment frequently bumped record lows. Self-sufficiency, stalled for decades, was rising.
Fearing this might cause the plantation’s residents to think about their situation, Democrats predictably started howling about “income inequality” and “white privilege” — anything to distract attention from the reality of who was improving their lot. They are right to be concerned. I’ll wager that black Americans are neither as dull nor as indoctrinated as Democrats hope — that there are many who, contrasting decades of Democrat-dominated doldrums with recent progress, might just decide to follow Donald Trump’s drinking gourd to freedom.
Whether Joe Biden thinks they “ain’t black” for escaping or not.
Morgan Liddick’s column “On Your Right” publishes Tuesdays in the Summit Daily News. Liddick spent 27 years working for the U.S. Foreign Service, primarily living abroad. He also spent 12 years teaching U.S. history and Western civilization at community colleges in Colorado and Texas. He lived in Summit County as recently as 2015. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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