Black Leaders Not Leading

The Chicago Tribune reported a big drop in violence in Chicago last weekend. Forty people were shot.

This down from the weekend before, when 74 were shot.

The Tribune’s Steve Chapman rejects what he calls the “popular myth, cynically promoted by Trump and other outside critics” that Chicago is an “exceptionally dangerous city.”

Yes, 674 people were murdered last year in Chicago, more than in New York City and Los Angeles combined. But that is much better than 1991 when, says Chapman, 920 were murdered, and the 674 killed in 2017 was down 15 percent from 2016.

Whether or not we call this violence “exceptional,” it is certainly unacceptable. It should concern us all, particularly it’s racial characteristics.

As Chapman notes, “Chicago’s crime problem is concentrated in a small number of poor, blighted, mostly African-American neighborhoods.”

He continues, “Those areas owe their plight largely to a sordid history of systematic, deliberate racial discrimination and violence, endemic poverty, and official neglect over the years.”

For sure, misguided government policies have contributed to this sad state of affairs. But these policies were supposed to help these communities, not destroy them.

Policies, such as excessive taxation and government housing, that have fostered indifferent absentee landlords and crime-ridden neighborhoods.

If there is any “deliberate racial discrimination” that drives violence and crime in black urban areas, it is the racial discrimination of the left. It is the racial discrimination of identity politics, which promote the idea that different ethnicities should live under different rules and receive special treatment.

Let’s recall that the unfairness that blacks had to deal with in America’s history was unequal treatment under the law. This is what needed to be fixed, and this is what was fixed in the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

The problem was that liberals wanted to use their agenda not to fix the law but to change the country. And in the name of racial fairness, the era of big activist government, financed with oceans of taxpayer funds, was born.

But government can’t fix anybody’s life. It can only make sure that the law protecting life, liberty and property is applied fairly and equally.

The beginning of big activist government fostered the demise of personal responsibility. The perpetrators, and victims, of violence in Chicago and other urban areas are largely young black men. They mostly come from homes with no father and from communities where this reality is the rule.

According to recent data from the Pew Research Center, 36 percent of black children under 18, compared to 74 percent of white children under 18, live in a household with married parents.

And according to Pew, 30 percent of households headed by a single mother, 17 percent of households headed by a single father, 16 percent of households headed by an unmarried couple, and 8 percent of households headed by a married couple are poor.

Data from the Cook County Department of Health show that, in suburban Cook County and in Cook County under Department of Health jurisdiction, in 2016, 86 percent of babies born to black women between 18-29 were born out of wedlock.

Black leaders need to start doing their job and convey that marriage, work, education and personal responsibility are the only things that will fix black America.