Black Lives Don’t Matter
By Peter O’Brien

Now that I have your attention…

When I was a young man in the Navy we knew that when the really big kids (admirals) said something over and over and over again, then in all likelihood the precise opposite was true. Our favorite was ‘people are our most important asset,’ which we knew meant ‘people are important because you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip, (but we can send sailors to sea for 9 months deployments and they keep coming back for more).’

But there are few examples of how government, and those in power, exploits that power, than how large institutions of power, the departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture (they manage food stamps), Education, Housing and Urban Development, etc., have used black Americans over the last 45 years.

You’ve seen the statistics:
  • After four plus decades of government programs, black unemployment has been consistently twice the white unemployment rate; even in heavily massaged current unemployment rates, more than 10% of blacks are unemployed.
  • 47% of black men graduate from highschool; the national average is 75%.
  • One in three black men will spend time in prison during his lifetime.
  • At any given time roughly 6% of the black male population is in prison.
  • 72% of black men grow up in a single parent home.
  • Black teenagers growing up in our inner cities are living in conditions that, on average, are representative of teenagers growing up in the third world.
All of this after the US government has poured trillions of dollars into the black community over the same 4+ decades. During the Obama administration the US government spent $1.8 billion on Baltimore alone.

45 years of spending and at best no improvement in the lives of these Americans, in some sense it has gotten worse. How can this be? If black lives mattered, then the people in positions of real power, at the Department of Health and Human Services, or Education, or most especially, the White House, would do something to actually improve their lives.

But they don’t. They have had chances again and again over the years and they have time and again made choices that left more blacks in poverty, more blacks unemployed, more blacks in broken homes, more blacks with lousy and incomplete educations, more blacks sucked into crime. They have acted in the interests of protecting their voting base, their power base, to defend a low and criminal sub-culture that they created, but which has twisted the lives of young black Americans into a sad caricature of what a young man’s life should be. All so they can maintain their political position. That’s how black lives matter to them.

If the bureaucrats keep doing the same thing over and over – and keep getting the same results, do they really want to improve lives of black Americans? If so, 40 plus years of bad results should clue them in that what they are doing doesn’t work. If they don’t understand that, then they are not the brightest bulbs in the box.

But, maybe it isn’t about improving the lives of black Americans. Maybe, it is about keeping black Americans ‘on a string,’ a string tightly within the hands of the bureaucracy. What can you do when you can control every aspect of the lives of some 30 million people? What is that worth in political pressure, in charging the atmosphere in our inner cities, in twisting the political discussion into one focused on expanding government control of our communities.

Since this began the federal government has justified expanded control of nearly every aspect of our communities by claiming various actions were necessary in order to better the lives of our poor. But the poor, particularly poor blacks, remain poor, miserable and marginalized from the rest of society, as the statistics show. Yet, the money keeps flowing put into these programs, and the power to alter lives keeps accruing to the federal bureaucracies. Now, the White House wants to adjust where we all live, again justified by horrible standard of living statistics from our black community.

History shows that it won’t improve their lives. But, in the end, their lives don’t really matter to the bureaucrats who dream up these programs. All that really matters is that the programs keep growing, and that government power keeps growing. Power matters to these people, but black lives? Not so much.


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In brief 18aug16

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