Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
There are two ways to look at the problems of the black community. Either there’s something wrong within the community. Or America is racist.
The sensible liberals who used to be able to split the difference are dead or purged. The Moynihan Report is inconceivable in a Democratic Party which has gone all in on freeing drug dealers and bulking up the welfare state. Obama mentioned fatherlessness briefly in his Brother’s Keeper speech before pivoting to a call to dismantle the criminal justice system and school discipline policies.
Obama admitted that, “We won’t be living up to our ideals when their parents are struggling with substance abuse, or are in prison, or unemployed, and when fathers are absent.” But his solution is freeing drug dealers “who could be good fathers and good neighbors and good fellow citizens” if only they weren’t “languishing in prison over minor, nonviolent drug offenses.”
Some recent examples of such potential “good fathers” whom he freed include Vander Keith Gore, the son of a Democratic councilman who ran a drug ring which threatened to murder a cooperating witness’ baby. He freed Isadore Gennings, whose “minor nonviolent drug offenses” involved helping move $2.5 million in cocaine, Carmel Bretous, who helped smuggle in 110 pounds of cocaine, and Tommie Sand Tyree, who was described as having “a lot of blood on his hands.”
Freeing drug dealers also means that that there will be more parents “struggling with substance abuse” and that “drugs are plentiful.” But making matters in the black community worse was always the plan.
Last year, Obama called for going easy on violent criminals just like in Europe where 10 years for murder is considered a severe sentence. The length of prison sentences for rape would also have to be cut by at least 20 percent to comply with European standards. And when these “good fellow citizens” get out, they have a right to be your “good murderer neighbor” or “good rapist neighbor.”
Obama’s HUD has warned landlords that criminals are protected under the Fair Housing Act since due to “widespread racial and ethnic disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system, criminal history-based restrictions on access to housing are likely disproportionately to burden African-Americans and Hispanics”. Freeing black drug dealers also disproportionately burdens the African-American communities where they do business and shoot each other, and denying safe homes to black families living in the areas where criminals are most likely to set up shop is equally terrible.
But there is no moral logic at work here. Only the remorseless political logic of progressive power.
Disparate impact is the monster lurking in the cellar of civil rights. Once you reject the idea that black communities and individuals bear any responsibility for their actions, any disparate impact can only be due to racism. Poverty, broken families, higher crime rates and school discipline rates are purely the products of racial bias. And their existence justifies unlimited government intervention.
Inflicting misery on black people empowers government. This is the twisted liberal version of slavery.
Many black reformers understood that civil rights was less about helping them than about endowing white liberals with unlimited power in a world where the nationwide economic disaster that allowed FDR to impose the New Deal’s drastic economic authority no longer seemed likely to recur. Sensible reformers like Senator Moynihan who actually wanted to holistically tackle the problems of the black community would always be outnumbered by fake outraged reformers who wanted to worsen them.
If everything is racist, then everything must be controlled. We can see that on campuses where political correctness has outlawed everything from Halloween costumes to raising your hand in safe spaces. But disparate impact is the perfect weapon for imposing unlimited control over everything nationwide.
Disparate impact is the perfect Swiss Army Knife of the totalitarian left because it can be applied to anything. Disparate effect can be used to argue that crime rates are the product of racism and that the entire criminal justice system must be overhauled until arrest, trial and conviction rates are equal across racial lines. And until this impossible outcome can be achieved, it also means that anything that disproportionately impacts criminals is also racist.
That means background checks for jobs and apartment rentals. And of course it doesn’t stop there.
School graduation rates must also be made equivalent. And until that somehow happens, hiring only high school or college graduates is a policy that also has a disproportionate racial impact. If you think this is farfetched, the Supreme Court in 1971 ruled that a high school diploma requirement is racist. A few years ago the EEOC claimed that requiring a high school diploma might also violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. A year earlier, the EEOC insisted that a trucking company was in violation of the ADA for suspending an alcoholic truck driver and referring him to substance abuse counseling.
Define a persecuted class, whether it’s drug dealers or alcoholics, then reverse cause and effect, and even the most common sense courses of action become forms of discrimination to be controlled.
And then we end up with a right for rapists to rent your ground floor and drivers with a drinking problem to drive eighteen-wheelers next to your compact car.
As long as a problem exists, it will have a disparate impact. And the worse the disparate impact, the more power can be amassed in addressing it. But the disparate impact is the effect, not the cause. Reversing cause and effect allows the government to go into business fighting the various outcomes of problems, whether it’s alcoholism or fatherlessness, without ever addressing the actual causes.
And to worsen those causes to increase misery and inflate their own power whenever they can.
An Urban Institute report a few years ago found that, “The percentage of black children born to unmarried mothers… tripled between the early 1960s and 2009.” The findings in the Moynihan Report have only grown worse and the fundamental causes have not changed. Without healthy families, there can be no healthy communities. And without healthy families and communities, there will be far fewer healthy individuals. Crime and unemployment rates will continue to be “disproportionately” high.
And that’s a free gift to a political movement built on destroying the black community for fun and profit, expanding the scope of its own power and organizations by creating and feeding off human misery.
The road ahead is simple. Worsen the problems in the black community. Promise to treat them by expanding the scope of disparate impact to address any interaction between the negative social outcomes and the rest of the country until everything is racist and everything is controlled.
That’s the way to deprive everyone of their rights and their futures under the guise of civil rights.