Submitted by Norm Robins
Before anyone pulls out the racist gun and shoots, let me explain my bona fides.
When I graduated college having specialized in structural engineering I was offered a very, very lucrative job in New Orleans designing offshore drill rigs. That was 1963. As a youngster in the U.S. Air Force I was so appalled at the Jim Crow laws I saw in Texas in the 1950s I declined the offer. I told the recruiter I wouldn’t live in the South until they solved their race relations problems. He countered with an even bigger offer. I stuck to my guns. I left a lot of money on the table doing what I did. My race relations bona fides and my ethics are solid.
I do indeed believe Black lives matter. Blacks have a legitimate grievance that needs to be solved, and solved now.
When Black Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) walked into the Congress wearing his Member button, and white Trey Gowdy, then Congressman (R-SC), also wearing his Member button, walked in beside him, only Scott was viewed with suspicion and checked out before being allowed entry. Gowdy was given a pass. That is proof positive we have a problem in America. Black males are under suspicion solely because they are Black. This isn’t right. It must change.
But I dislike the Black Lives Matter movement because it is based on outrage, and outrage and logic never blend well. Outrage always prevails, never logic. When the Black Lives Matter movement causes Black-owned plate glass windows to be broken and Black-owned inventories to be looted there is no logic or wisdom there. It only drives Black men and women, already victims of discrimination, out of business and into bankruptcy.
Please let me offer something better.
In 1965 sociologist Daniel Patrick Moynihan, soon to be Senator Moynihan (D-NY), issued a study on poverty in Black America often referred to as “The Moynihan Report.” He attributed this poverty to fatherless families and to high unemployment. Moynihan still needs to be heeded. So far, over half a century later, he is not. We still give money incentives for poor fathers to leave the household and financially punish them if they stay. There is no evidence the Black Lives Matter Movement cares. So far, they have been AWOL.
Young men growing up need a father. I know. My father died when I was five and my brother was two. We were raised by a widowed mother on a secretary’s wages. When I was very young, I wished I had a father like the other boys. Too bad, I told my young self. That’s life. Get on with it.
As a budding teenager, I could have gone either way. Mercifully, I went the right way, not the wrong one. Too many boys go the wrong way for lack of the strong, steady hand of a father and for lack of anything resembling a decent education.
We spend prodigious amounts of money on K-12 education, but what do we get for it? Too often in inner cities we get precious little. The problem is that teachers’ unions and the Democrats they elect fight the freedom of Black mothers to choose. They insist on retaining control for themselves. And they have made a hash of it.
I have read, but not confirmed, that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis won his victory because many Black mothers voted for him because he ran on a platform of school vouchers. Good for them. It’s nice to see someone cares. I see no evidence that the Black Lives Matter movement does.
Here are some recent statistics from Florida: Their Family Empowerment Scholarship program gives private or public-school vouchers to households 87% of whom are below 185% of the poverty level. More than 130,000 students now receive them with another 28,000 more now becoming eligible. There is a program in Florida to increase vouchers in line with demand.
On the other hand, we have the Black resentment industry originally started by Jesse Jackson and his operation PUSH. It made Jackson rich. He did it by shaking down corporations that merely wanted to be left alone to ply their businesses. It was better to pay him off and go off everyone’s radar. Al Sharpton has gotten rich the same way. Demagogues like Louis Farrakhan aren’t doing too badly either. And the corporate shakedowns continue to this day.
Last year 8,000 or so Black men, women, and children were shot. Ten were shot by police officers; 7,990 were not. Does the Black Lives Matter movement seem interested in those 7,990 Black lives? I see no evidence of it. Too bad, because all Black lives really do matter.
Norm Robins is a retired entrepreneur and ex-engineer whose first love is economics and who has lived and worked all over the world. He has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and an MBA in International Business from the University of California, Berkeley. He and his wife and one of his three children live in Reno, Nevada.
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