I read on July 27 the devastating news that a 5-year-old Indiana boy who fatally shot his baby brother was high on cocaine at the time, and that his toddler brother was found to have marijuana in his system.
I wasn’t surprised when I learned the family was black. I have seen neglect, violence and drug use up close, having lived part of my life in Harlem in the late 1960s and ’70s, with frequent trips back for funerals. I was shocked and saddened by the recent news of this shooting and felt the black community had hit a new low.
Just a few weeks later, on Aug. 12, at the Nordstrom store in Topanga, Los Angeles, a flash mob of young black men and women ransacked and stole over $100,000 worth of merchandise. This type of behavior has become so routinely rampant throughout the country that retailers are reporting closures of their stores.
These frequent public displays reveal to the nation and the world another example of the complete moral collapse of the black community, and that includes the failure of black political and community leaders to condemn the behavior.
The unspoken questions ring loud enough to hear: Where are the parents? Why do we see this so often? Why isn’t the behavior condemned by the community and its leaders? Why do some leaders, like Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, make excuses for the behavior and blame others? The answer is raw and hurtful in its truthfulness. It is because frankly, my dear, they don’t give a damn about black Americans. And the “they” I refer to are the “progressive” leftists (black and white) who have facilitated the 50-year moral decline.
My appeal is to a sizeable population in the black community who know the best environment for children are homes where a mother and father love, nurture and discipline their children. It’s an appeal to parents who are fed up with a school system that expects very little from our children and allows them to graduate from high school reading at only a sixth-grade level, completely unprepared for college or the job market.
If you, too, are sickened by this moral collapse, join us in our movement to restore the community to its roots of the traditional Christian faith, two-parent families, and an education that truly serves our children well. Our nonprofit organization is one of the few national bodies that promotes these three important factors: Christian faith, two-parent families, and an education that teaches children the skills and character required to be successful and happy American citizens. You have not heard nor will you ever hear these important factors promoted by the NAACP, the Urban League, the Congressional Black Caucus, and Black Lives Matter.
For 50 years now, these leftist groups and their allies have ushered in policies that were heavily promoted in black urban areas and then spread throughout the nation. These policies weakened, and then later destroyed, two-parent families, public school education, social norms of behavior that were universally accepted, and the ability of young people to learn to be competitive in the workforce. This happened while many of these leaders, including blacks who considered themselves to be “progressive,” became wealthy at the expense of the people they were supposed to be serving.
Maxine Waters, a congresswoman who represents one of the poorest districts in California, for example, lives in a $6 million mansion outside the district she represents. Similar financial “miracles” have been replicated by other black “progressives,” most recently Patrisse Cullors, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, who resigned to one of her mansions amid controversy over her organization’s finances — an investigation into which showed Black Lives Matter had raised $90 million.
While black elected officials have increased steadily in numbers post-civil rights era, we have not seen that same level of success in the black community when it comes to academic performance, private sector expansion and quality of life.
Jason Riley, a Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, noted that, between 1970 and 2010, the number of black elected officials nationwide increased from fewer than 1,500 to more than 10,000. The vast majority of those elected officials have been on the political left. During the same time period, the black community had transformed from overwhelmingly two-parent families to 37% living in broken homes, without one initiative to reverse the trend.
Why is that the case? Because frankly, my dear, they don’t give a damn.
The left needs a dependent and ignorant population to perpetuate a false narrative of racial disparities, even though the disparities are generated by a culture of government dependency.
Black elected officials hold or have held seats of power in cities like Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, and, recently, the four largest cities in the U.S.: Houston, Los Angles, Chicago and New York City.
They have also held seats of power in police departments and public school systems. One would think these cities would be the safest cities for black Americans, with children thriving in schools and with robust local economies. The opposite is true, however. Black Americans who have the financial ability to leave these dangerous communities with failing schools do so because they are unsafe, corrupt and restrict parents from sending their children to better schools by blocking school choice options.
Some may suggest that the mismanagement of cities and schools is due to incompetence. I would agree that incompetence is part of the problem, but the real driver behind the 50-year deterioration of cities across the country is a deliberate progressive/socialist agenda of permanent political power and wealth. When it comes to the lack of economic progress in the black community, the violence we witness daily, and numerous failing schools, my reaction is: frankly, my dear, they just don’t give a damn.
Kendall Qualls is President of TakeCharge, a nonprofit organization that promotes the promise of America is available to everyone regardless of race or social station. Qualls is a husband and father of five with his wife of 37 years. He is an Army veteran who later spent 30 years as an executive in the healthcare industry before running for the Republican nomination for Governor of Minnesota.
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