The 'Scam' Against African Americans
Radio talk show host, author and syndicated columnist Larry Elder says critics of economists Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell owe them an apology and will someday offer it. That includes, presumably, black critics as well.
All three men, who are prominent African-American thinkers, as well as talented political and economic analysts, believe that, in many ways, the black leadership in America has failed fellow blacks in a number of ways.
"For over 30 years, Thomas Sowell, currently with the Hoover Institution, and Walter Williams, chairman of the economics department at George Mason University, led the charge against the 'victicrat' mindset," Elder writes. "Through decades of weekly columns, books, speeches and lectures before often-hostile crowds, they long argued that racism cannot be blamed for poverty, crime, illegitimacy and under-performing schools."
He adds, "Over 20 years ago, Sowell appeared on William F. Buckley Jr.'s PBS show, 'Firing Line,' and calmly dismantled the basis for affirmative action, arguing it immoral, divisive, and unconstitutional."
He goes on to note that both men, using facts and substantiated data, have proven the black middle class did not spring from racial set-asides or preferences or quotas, urban renewal programs, enterprise zones or welfare benefits. Racism, they point out persuasively, is bad for capitalism.
Yet black political, cultural and social leaders, virtually all of them lockstep Democrats, have used each of these "reasons" as excuses for continued black poverty, low education scores, high drop-out rates, illegitimacy and crime.
As prominent African-American leader, the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, says it's all a "scam" — an apt depiction and, not coincidentally, the title of a new book he's written laying out his case.
In "Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America," Peterson argues against today's self-styled "civil rights" establishment in America, which has little to do with the heroes of the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
He says the black community's leadership is corrupt, and has called on all African-Americans to rid themselves of the current crop of black leaders and regain control of their own destinies.
Among those Peterson skewers are the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.
'Throw off the Oppression'
"It's time to throw off the oppression of the established black leadership and stand for the American ideals of freedom, personal responsibility, free enterprise and moral principles," writes Peterson, who is also the head of BOND, the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, whose stated goal is "rebuilding the family by rebuilding the man."
Among his observations:
1). Government and corporate race programs are "a substitute for character."
2). Immorality is "totally out of control in our communities."
3). Black music, such as gangsta rap, "elevates the most degrading vices into virtues."
4). The call for slavery reparations is "absolutely shameful" because American blacks already "live in the most opportunity-rich country in human history."
"Black Americans do not need the kind of self-appointed 'leaders' they currently have," he says. "By preaching race hatred and the cleverly packaged ideology of socialism, these leaders have convinced millions of blacks that 'white' America owes them special treatment. These leaders need to be unseated, removed, boycotted, bounced, dismissed, junked and jettisoned."
Peterson has, for years, lead an annual event against Jackson, in which he urges blacks to abandon the “leader.”
Some White Blame
Peterson, in his book, also complains of "white cowardice," which he says hurts blacks as well.
As an example, he used an incident with former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., which cost him his leadership role.
In December 2002, Lott praised the late Sen. Strom Thurmond's 1948 Dixiecrat presidential bid, which Thurmond lost but in which he did capture Lott's home state. The Dixiecrat had, like other Southern Democrats, adopted a segregationist platform.
Peterson predicted early in the controversy "that even if Trent Lott killed himself to make amends for his misstatement, this wouldn't be enough for the black racists and liberal crowd."
In a press release issued shortly after Lott's comments, Peterson said he accepted the Senate Republican's apology and said that it ended the matter, as far as he was concerned.
"We should judge people based on their hearts and actions, and unlike many of his detractors, Trent Lott has no history of being a racist," Peterson said in his statement.
But in his book, he points out that "whites have been so terrorized by the politically correct crowd that even when no racism is intended, a white person can find himself crucified by the professional racists."
In another example included in his book, Peterson recalled an incident in which a white aide to the newly elected black mayor of Washington, D.C., used the word "niggardly" instead of a synonym such as "stingy" to describe the city's tight budget spending.
"Instead of simply telling his critics to get a dictionary to learn the real definition of the word he had used, the man apologizes for his comment and resigned," Peterson writes.
In his trilogy, "Race and Culture," "Migrations and Cultures" and "Conquests and Cultures," Sowell traveled the world asking why some groups survive and thrive under the most adverse conditions while others disappear.
"His answer," Elder pointed out, was this: "People who possess cultural capital – a reverence for education, strength in family, and self-reliance – endure."
"Their reward?" Elder continued. "Former NAACP President Benjamin Hooks called people like Sowell and Williams 'a new breed of Uncle Tom ... some of the biggest liars the world ever saw.' Liars? For saying that the welfare state has done more to destabilize the black family than Jim Crow laws ever did?"
Still, today's Democrat-leaning black leaders continue to "promise solutions to the grievances and complaints of black Americans, but they fail to produce real answers or resolution," Peterson explained.
"If some blacks wonder why things don't improve despite this 'leadership,' they need to wake up to the fact that these leaders profit by creating and perpetrating hatred and animosity between the races," Peterson writes. "In fact, it is imperative for these leaders to continue creating problems even where none exist. If they don't, they're out of business."
Elder says after writing his own book, "The 10 Things You Can't Say in America," in which he tried to point out some of the same things regarding black problems today, he was avalanched with angry letters from blacks all around the country, most implying he was simply acting as a pawn of whites.
Elder and others point out that many of the nation's top newspapers have "obligatory" and "angry" black writers who harp on similar themes—"the country screws blacks; banks refuse to lend them money; cops routinely brutalize blacks; the SAT is culturally biased; racist insurance companies practice red-lining," writes Elder.
Congressional Black Caucus
Perhaps nowhere is the fundamental Democrat position of exploiting African-American sentiments more powerful and embedded than in the House Congressional Black Caucus.
The very language used by the caucus, as well as its individual leaders and members, suggests exactly what Sowell, Williams, Elder and Peterson say exists: An implied national racism towards blacks, continued inequality, and constant downward economic and cultural pressure and opportunity.
The Caucus is headed by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. On its Web site bears a statement by Cummings: "We choose to stand up and speak out when others choose to sit down and remain silent. We are the voice for the voiceless. . ."
Who is choosing to remain silent? And about what? Who are the voiceless? Cummings doesn't answer these questions, but since he heads a "black" caucus in Congress, one is left to assume he means African-Americans.
There are more examples. In statements carried on the same site, the caucus:
Makes a point to mention it has been called the "conscience of the Congress," but goes on to call itself the "conscience of the country," as if the nation as a whole was still guilty of mistreating blacks.
Claims its members "work every day on behalf of the American people to achieve equality and justice," insinuating that "the American people" believe there is no equality or justice for blacks.
Says its "agenda is deliberately focused on what we believe are the most pressing issues facing our country," which it says includes — but is not limited to — "building wealth by creating new jobs and businesses; universal health care for every American; ensuring equity in the education of our children; strengthening and enforcing our civil rights laws; and providing both homeland and hometown security. Many of these "pressing issues" again imply — when you measure them against the backdrop of a congressional "black" caucus — they are inherently skewered against blacks, which is false.
Points out the White House and both Houses of Congress are controlled by Republicans, but promises that, "in light of these obstacles, the Congressional Black Caucus will pursue a pro-active legislative, economic and social policy agenda that seeks to address the difficult policy challenges facing America." So the message is, the Republican Party is anathema to providing economic, cultural and social justice for African-Americans.
Concludes Peterson, "Blacks with racist attitudes or chips on their shoulders are doomed to failure in the work world. Blacks who think all whites are their enemies are signing their own warrants of arrested development . . . We must reject the defeatist socialist policies that are routinely advocated by the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, and other socialist radicals."
In short, a new breed of black leaders is advocating a rejection of the Democratic Party because it has not only preyed upon African-Americans, but has abused their trust and loyalty for pure political gain.