While the Rev Al Sharpton was in Ferguson last Sunday, whipping up continued frenzy over the refusal of the grand jury to indict white Officer Darren Wilson for killing a black man who had just committed a robbery and when apprehended, tried to grab the officer’s gun, 8 black people were shot - 3 fatally - in Newark and 4 more at a baby shower in Brooklyn. These were all young adults whose lives were snuffed out or brutally impacted by other blacks, though no arrests have been made so far. A month ago, a black man used his car to plow into a crowd of black people who had also attended a baby shower, killing one and injuring two. The racial violence of black on black is a nightmare for law-abiding urban black citizens, most of whom understand that the police are there to protect them, not act as executioners. But for the Reverend Al, playing the race card has always been and continues to be his only modus operandi. It’s the ticket to his overwhelming acceptance by American political leaders, too intimidated to excoriate a lying tax cheat who profits from his motor-mouthed characterization of black people as continually oppressed and victims of white racism.
Numbers tell a different story than the narrative that’s been super-imposed on Ferguson. According to the FBI data for 2011: out of 2,695 black murder victims - 2,447 were killed by blacks. Though only 13% of our national population, blacks account for more than 50% of homicide victims, 94% of whom are killed by other blacks. When we look for reasons for poverty and criminality, there are two overriding statistics that govern their predictability - education and being raised in a single parent family. According to the Schott Foundation, only 52% of black males graduate from high school within 4 years (compared with 58% Latinos and 78% whites) and perhaps most significantly, 73% of black children are being raised by a single mother (Fed Center for Disease Control). What we see is that black children are most victimized by the disintegration of black family life and the resultant difficulty they face in completing their education and becoming gainfully employed. Without those two pre-requisites, there is a tsunami of possibilities for drug and alcohol addiction, mental problems, poverty, criminality, homelessness, disease and death by violence.
There are enough real problems for black people to contend with in their own communities without exaggerating the small incidence of police brutality. Though this should not be overlooked or excused, it should also not be used as a pretense for the black man’s biggest problem in America. Al Sharpton belonged in Brooklyn or Newark this weekend, organizing community security patrols to form a noticeable presence in black neighborhoods. That presence should indicate zero tolerance for black street violence, for domestic abuse, for child abuse and for school dropouts. Al Sharpton should use his successful money raising platform to get contributions from successful black athletes, celebrities, political figures, media moguls and businessmen and should do for the black community what the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies has done for its constituents - it’s called Self-Help.
Blacks were betrayed by fellow blacks in the days of the slave trade and that tradition continues to this day. Only they can break their chain of unemployment, addiction and criminality. In the era of an Obama presidency, an Oprah empire, and an NFL and NBA that are mostly black, there is no doubt that black people have attained the highest peaks of accomplishment. Isn’t it time for them to turn their attention to their own communities and stop blaming the police and whites for their own deterioration? How many black children have Big Brothers sponsored by Al Sharpton’s National Action Network? How many students have Kanye West and Jay Z promised to support through college? Where is the Oprah School for High Achievers in Detroit? The Richard Parsons Day Care Center in Harlem? And why was it Mark Zuckerberg who pledged 100 million dollars for the public schools of Newark instead of Will Smith or Beyonce Knowles-Carter?
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here