Racism = Welfare + Minimum Wage + Gun Control + Public Schools + War on Drugs
Social justice and systemic racism are being used to stimulate divisive rhetoric. However, it has distracted us from discovering the root of the problem. Racism may be a branch growing from the invasive tree of big government but is not the cause. Racism grows as a result of state-supported policies that negatively impact the socio-economic condition of the poor and minorities. Changing these policies may not eliminate racism but will be a good start.
The Welfare State
After President Lyndon Johnson’s legislation passed into law he proclaimed, “I’ll have those “people” voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” The result of his civil rights legislation included a massive increase in the welfare state. This was his legacy also known as the “Great Society.”
Economist Thomas Sowell once wrote, “The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals’ expansion of the welfare state.”
LBJ’s Great Society increased government welfare programs in the mid-1960s. The Great Society brought about a growing dependency of the economically deprived, in particular the black community, on government programs. This has devastated the black family and in turn a deepening cycle of poverty.
The 2017 U.S. Census Bureau indicated that only 5.3% of families with a married couple live in poverty, compared to 28.8% of households with a “female householder, no husband present. Single mother households are five times as likely to be in poverty compared to households with both parents.
In post-Great Society, the black community rate of unmarried births has tripled to today’s level and 70 percent of all black children are born to an unmarried mother. Socio-economics is the reason why 20 percent of blacks live in poverty, more than twice the rate of whites (8%). Governmental design is the primary architect in the social landscape that surrounds us.
Economist Walter E. Williams has labeled the minimum wage “one of the most effective tools in the arsenal of racists everywhere in the world.” The minimum wage laws have succeeded in producing too many young black people coming from broken, low-income homes. These laws have guaranteed a community frustrated and pushed into a life of government dependency or crime. Far too many end up hopeless in prison or in the ghetto.
The socio-economical effect from artificially increasing the wage employers decreases the demand for low-skilled workers. Pricing low-skilled labor out of the workforce makes it harder to enter the workforce and without employment an escape from poverty becomes difficult.
Thomas Sowell underscores this point: “Unemployment among 16 and 17-year-old black males was no higher than among white males of the same age in 1948. It was only after a series of minimum wage escalations began that black male teenage unemployment rates not only skyrocketed but became more than double the unemployment rates among white male teenagers.”
A community caught in a cycle of government dependency and hopelessness finds itself packed in inner cities laden with high rates of violent crime with no legal way to defend oneself. This community becomes more dependent upon a force that preys on the vulnerable.
By imposing strict gun control laws the honest citizens living in the violent inner cities have no way to defend themselves against the criminals. Honest citizens have been rendered defenseless and are forced to let the criminals handle “justice.”
Maj Toure of Black Guns Matter says, “All gun control is racist.” Throughout American history, gun control has been used to keep blacks and Hispanics ‘in their place.’ One of the top priorities of the Ku Klux Klan after the Civil War was to enact laws barring gun ownership by the freedmen, making it easier to terrorize them and quiet the racial fears of whites.
Walter E. Williams has written, “the average black 12th-grader has the academic achievement level of the average white seventh- or eighth-grader. In some cities, there’s an even larger achievement gap.”
Public schools are systemically incapable of providing high-quality education for children and have especially failed minority kids. Educational choice has to be in the hands of parents and families, not politicians and bureaucrats.
Low-income, minority families recognize the government indoctrination centers are not working. In a 2018 national survey by Education, Next found that Hispanic (62%) and black (56%) expressed far higher support school choice initiatives.
Educational options are available but are inaccessible for minority families. Even though they crave access to other educational options they have been shut out. Due to the state monopolist control and protection, the cost of alternative schools is out of their reach.
War on Drugs
The war on drugs has put thousands of minorities in prison for crimes emerging from the government’s attempt to dictate to citizens what they can or cannot put in their own bodies.
“Nearly 80% of people in federal prison and almost 60% of people in state prison for drug offenses are black or Latino.” The drug war, like the war on poverty, is a major factor in the homes of the black community.
The war on drugs has devastated the minority communities, and its enforcement just increases the number of confrontations between police and minorities. Whether it is a no-knock drug raid or a stop and frisk confrontation, opportunities for police brutality incidences should be minimized not expanded.
Big government is the most violent and threatening enemy of minorities, not racism. State control and intervention is the purveyor. Maybe instead of picking sides in the white against the black divide, we should instead focus our energy on dismantling the state-supported programs that promote socio-economic injustice.