“The talented tenth, elitist thinking Negroes, have nothing to offer the masses of Black people. Their minds have never functioned in the all-important sphere of economic independence.” – Booker T. Washington
The state of Black America only goes as far as the state of Blacks’ politics. Blacks’ status and politics have remained static for 40 years. Records show that the vast majority of Black Americans are stuck in and satisfied with “the status quo.” Blacks continue to vote for the same people that they have time and time again over the past four decades. According to a recent University of Chicago study, African- American males haven’t advanced one bit since 1971. Overall, the economic status and state of Black America lacks movement.
Blacks have been sold a bill of goods by Democrats and engage in political actions that are just plain nonsensical. For instance: Across the country, Blacks treat elected officials more akin to “celebrities” than “public servants.” Blacks and Whites are at opposite spectrums when it comes to economics and elected politicians. Polls show half of Whites saying: “If Blacks tried harder, they would be as well-off as Whites.” Just 18 percent of African Americans agree. Instead of attributing our state of rigor mortis to racism, Blacks need to take note that if they: “Keep doing what they’ve been doing, they will continue to get what they’ve been getting.” As their city crumbled around them, in lemming-like fashion, Detroit-area voters recently re-elected 85-year-old John Conyers to the congressional seat he has held since 1965. Likewise, Black New Yorkers sent censured 13th District Representative Charles Rangel back to Congress. A political kingmaker, Rangel has served continuously since 1971.
The state of the Black race remains inert because we don’t vote with strategic plans or purpose. Black Americans’ economic status is thin as our overall dependencies and mindsets toward entitlements escalate. It’s as if African Americans can’t see beyond “big government socialism” and reliance on the state. Because of our emphasis on the political franchise, too often Blacks view government as omnipotent never giving thought to what good governance represents. Politically unsophisticated Blacks’ agenda are led by Democratic Party operatives. With a $17 trillion deficit looming over their heads and the lives of their children, Blacks continue to defend President Barack Obama’s lame-duck tenure as if all Americans measure as we do.
Since the well-intentioned federal programs of the New Deal, Blacks have allowed government dependency to destroy essential elements necessary for success: marriage, family and work. In a misguided ideology, those Blacks put all their eggs in government baskets, while opposing the free- enterprise system and its constructs, in every way possible.
As Americans go forward someone has to be held accountable. The enemy is either ourselves or the officials we keep sending back to public office. Under decades of Democrats’ political rule in Black populations, one in four lives in poverty – three times the rate of Whites. African-American unemployment rates run twice the rate of Whites and Black households have the lowest median income ($30,134) among race groups. Employed Blacks earn 77 percent of Whites’ wages in comparable jobs.
More than half of Americans rely on some form of government assistance – 165 million. Of these, 107 million rely on welfare, 46 million seniors benefit from Medicare and 22 million are federal government employees. Eligibility for Medicaid, food stamps, earned income tax credit, work pay tax credit and unemployment benefits total more than 70 percent of federal spending.
Blacks have to become oriented toward and viable in American free enterprise. There are about 1,500 wealthy Blacks. Two million Black families have annual incomes of $75,000 or more, but as a whole Black Americans have virtually no stake in the nation’s free-market economy and own little of manufacturing, wholesale and retail entities.
Blacks need meaningful capitalistic and private-sector endeavors. Terms such as “job creation” must become more commonplace in Blacks’ vernacular. To fully acquire American capitalistic success, Blacks must expand social and political views beyond liberalism and socialism.
William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the BaileyGroup.org
William Reed Columnist