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Roland Martin Unloads on the CBC and Black Legislators

Those familiar with my blog have heard me say it a number of times. A lot of black legislators out there aren’t doing much but showing up at picture events and going o Cabarets. Roland Martin takes these folks to task. Why is it there is no serious opposition to the Chumph and Republicans. Why is it, any Democrat can vote for a massively unqualified Uncle Ben Carson’s confirmation to provide some racial cover for the most racist administration since Wilson, and not have all 43 Members of the Congressional Black Caucus standing on their desk the next morning?

As black voters, we are going to have to take the position that “either you are going to fight for us, or get the fuck out!” It is way past time to cull the useless, accomodationalist – garbage.

The New Jim Crow is allowed, an enabled by the failure of black legislators to stand up.

Media Host Roland Martin Challenges State’s Black Leaders in Passionate MLK Speech

TV One commentator and host Roland Martin challenged African American legislators and other officials to aspire to the goals, dreams, and ideals of civil rights icon Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during a speech last week in Sacramento.

Martin, a journalist, and the host of TV One’s NewsOne Now, asked attendees at the California Legislative Black Caucus’ (CLBC)’ annual breakfast “ Are We Satisfied?  He said he was not satisfied where we are but encouraged attendees to reflect and recognize King’s birthday as a way to renew their commitment to what King fought for during his lifetime.

“When it comes to equality. When it comes to freedom. What are you satisfied with?” Martin asked. “Are you advocating for the very policies he stood for? Are you advocating for the very people he stood for?”

King, a champion for racial, social and economic equality organized boycotts, protests and marches, won a Nobel Peace Prize, spoke out against racism in the United States and delivered some of the most influential speeches in American history.

King’s 88th birthday was Jan. 15, a day before the national holiday named after him and held each year in remembrance of his legacy. The Atlanta-based Baptist minister, was gunned down by an assassin on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenn.

The Golden State’s eleven-member CLBC’s breakfast took place on Jan. 12 at the Sacramento Convention Center. At the event, over 250 people honored King and celebrated individuals that have a commitment to work for the betterment of California’s African Americans and more.

Martin expounded with a self-proclaimed “spirit of discomfort” said he was not satisfied with the standing of African-Americans in America today.

“I’m not satisfied if you come asking for Black votes, but can’t hire Black companies,” said Martin alluding to the relationship between elected officials and African American businesses vying for state contracts. “I’m not satisfied when you come asking for Black votes, but can’t fund Black media.”

“I’m not satisfied when you say, ‘We’ll offer internships, but won’t hire full-time for critical positions,” the television personality continued. “In this particular state, where are your dollars being spent? Who are you actually supporting? I’m not interested in internships.”

Martin said King spoke about education, police brutality, voting rights, and economics; all issues that concern the African-American community today.
Martin said when it comes to educating Black youth he stands for success in the classroom.

“If it’s working for a child I’m with it 100 percent,” he said. “I would expect the Black Caucus in California – when you have constituents and children in some of the worst schools – to say, ‘I will provide an opportunity for you whatever it looks like.’ For some reason we are having a 1950s’ dialogue about education, but we are in 2017.

Martin said African-Americans should not be satisfied with the progress in the U.S. as of now. He said King focused on what racial and social and economic challenges lay on the horizon. The renowned media figure challenged Black caucus members to do the same.

 

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Make America Throw Up …Again

The Chumph – like most bigots, doesn’t quite “get it” as far as the black community in America. A case in point was his speech about the “inner-city”, Sanford, Florida…Where Trayvon Martin was murdered.

Looks like some college kids in the background waving Trump signs for money.

 

Trump Warns of Inner City ‘Hell’ for Blacks Where Trayvon Martin Was Shot

As Donald Trump campaigned in central Florida today, he made his usual appeal to African-Americans, painting a grim and partially inaccurate portrait of black communities.

“African-Americans are living in hell in the inner cities,” he said. “They are living — they are living in hell. You walk to the store for a loaf of bread you get shot.”

But his comment today struck a particularly tone-deaf chord. Trump was in Sanford, Fla., where teenager Trayvon Martin had been killed four years earlier by a neighborhood watchman while walking home after getting a pack of Skittles.

Trump has garnered criticism for how he’s reached out to African-Americans, with whom his support remains low according to all major polls. He often makes his appeals in front of almost all-white crowds, harping on conditions in inner cities, neglecting to appeal to other African-Americans who don’t live in inner cities.

Across the country, the data show that more African-Americans live in suburbs than anywhere else.

During the second presidential debate, James Carter, a black man asked Trump if he believed he could be a devoted president to all the people in the United States.

Trump responded: “I will be a president for all of our people. And I’ll be a president that will turn our inner cities around.”

Some have bristled at the imagery Trump has used to appeal to African-Americans, saying it is only representative of a slice of the African-American community and disregards the wealth, education, and status that Black Americans have achieved.

Census data from 2015 show that 52.9 percent of African-Americans 25 or older have a college degree of some sort. And a report from Pew in December showed that, compared with other racial or ethnic groups, African-American adults saw the largest improvement in income status from 1971 to 2015 and were the only racial or ethnic group that saw a decline in the percentage of low-income earners.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2016 in Chumph Butt Kicking

 

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Cleveland Grandmother on Trump – “That’s a Punk Move, Not a Man Move”

Grandma lays it out…

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2016 in The Clown Bus

 

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Black Feminists and the Primary

Any automatic supposition about support of Hillary Clinton by black feminists…

Would be wrong.

Black Feminism heavily influenced the Black Panther movement, and by the end, the majority of membership in the Panthers were black women. Some historians credit women in the Panthers as being the creators of the hugely successful breakfast and lunch programs for children.

Democratic Primary Finds Black Feminists Conflicted

Ask a black feminist whether she prefers Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, and you very well might hear “Neither.”

“I long for Shirley Chisholm to be running, to be really honest,” said Renee Bracey Sherman, a reproductive justice activist in Washington, D.C.

Alas for Bracey Sherman, the congresswoman who in 1972 was the first major-party black candidateto run for president, and who promised a “bloodless revolution,” isn’t running. (Chisholm died over a decade ago.) But two candidates who vow to make history in their own ways are, and Bracey Sherman, like many black feminists MSNBC interviewed, is ambivalent.

“I’m definitely weighing my options,” she said. “A lot of my beliefs on economic policies fall in line with Bernie Sanders. However, he is not able to connect the way that gender and race intersect with economic inequality the way Hillary does.”

For weeks, Sanders and Clinton and their allies have tussled over who is the genuine progressive, whose policies are more feminist and who can make the most meaningful difference in black Americans’ lives. So far, as the primary has shifted from majority white states to more diverse ones, the feminist mantle and the black vote have been talked about as if they are separate silos.

“An emphasis on not only black women, but black feminists, is long overdue,” said Lori Adelman, co-executive director of Feministing. “So often, black women’s support is taken for granted.”

The candidates are both concertedly seeking the votes of black women, long a crucial base of the Democratic Party. Both have hired prominent black women, including feminist activists, to represent their campaigns, though Clinton’s inner circle has long been more diverse. Over the weekend, entrance polls showed Clinton winning black voters in Nevada, and polls of South Carolina, which votes Saturday, show Clinton enjoys a broad advantage among African-American voters there too. But in interviews, black feminists with influential perches in activism, journalism and academia critiqued both Democrats.

“I’m glad for any feminist who feels confident that their needs will be met by Hillary or Bernie’s presidency,” Shanelle Matthews, lead communications strategist for Black Lives Matter, wrote in an email. “As a black feminist, I’m not there yet. And frankly, I’d like to stop being lectured by white feminists who would boorishly call themselves my ally while also paternalistically scolding me for not bending toward their political ideologies.”

Black feminist critics of Clinton cite in particular past support of her husband’s policies on criminal justice and welfare reform, which exacted a disproportionate toll on African-Americans. They recoil at how in 1996, Clinton referred to “super predators” who needed to be brought “to heel,” which many saw as dehumanizing language that targeted black children in particular. “If Hillary wants to court black women, she should start by apologizing for all the ways she has hurt our families and us,” said Matthews.

University of Pennsylvania professor Salamishah Tillet, who described herself as undecided but leaning Sanders, said, “It’s hard for me to champion a Clinton prosperity narrative as proof of electability of another candidate when I feel like it decimated the black community and criminalized black men.”

Still, Tillet said, she thinks Clinton has been far more adept than Sanders in using an approach pioneered by black feminists. “I’m increasingly becoming impressed with how Clinton is invoking an intersectional framework,” she said, referring to the term coined by law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw to invoke how overlapping identities shape marginalization.

Clinton even came out and used the word in her speech in Harlem last week, quite possibly a first. “We face a complex set of economic, social and political challenges,” Clinton said. “They are intersectional, they are reinforcing and we’ve got to take them all on.”

And the candidate’s recent refrain that she is not a single-issue candidate, implicitly an attack on Sanders’ relentless focus on economics, seems to evoke a much quoted line from the black lesbian poet Audre Lorde: “There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”…Read The Rest Here

 

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2016 in Black History, Democrat Primary

 

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Alzheimer Disease and Black People

Had up close and personal experience with this in my family, with more than one of my maternal side’s siblings coming down with it. With the dozens of doctors and researchers I talked to…None ever mentioned this.

African-Americans Need to Wake Up to the Danger of Alzheimer’s

The justified fear in the African-American community around medical trials is keeping us from beating a disease that affects us more than others.

Today we celebrate the civil rights movement, one of its beloved leaders, and our hard-won gains. Unfortunately, African-Americans are at risk of letting those gains slip through their fingers, along with their most basic civil right: to support their families, and themselves. Worse, they don’t even know about this threat. I’m talking about Alzheimer’s, and the dirty little secret that African-Americans are twice as likely to get it. Its consequences, as I have come to see first-hand, are simply catastrophic.

My beautiful wife, the food and lifestyle maven B. Smith is now well into the dreadful progression of stages from which, so far, no cure or effective treatment exists. I have become her round-the-clock caretaker, the hardest job I’ve ever known. And yet I’m luckier than most in my position: we live in a nice house, and we have money saved.

For the 5.3million Americans coping with it, and the roughly fifteen million more serving as full or part-time caretakers to those loved ones, Alzheimer’s is a curse that costs, on average, $100,000 a year. Make that $1 million over the disease’s average ten-year duration. Most African-American families struggling with Alzheimer’s simply can’t afford that. Having reached the middle class at last—thanks in large part to Dr. King and his movement—many are slipping back into destitution, the gains of a movement snuffed out, like so many candles in the dark, one by one by one.

The Obama administration has, at last, taken steps to address the gross inequity of funding for Alzheimer’s research versus other top killers. The budget for Alzheimer’s research will be boosted 60% in this year’s budget to $936 million. That’s still chump change compared to cancer ($5.1 billion) and HIV/AIDs ($25.3 billion), especially with 13.8 million Americans projected to get Alzheimer’s by 2050, at a cost to us all of $1.1 trillion. Yet, research is up, and promising drugs are out there.

The problem is that African-Americans may not benefit from that research. Why? In a word: Tuskagee. The infamous, decades-long, secret study of black men with syphilis that led to so many unnecessary deaths left subsequent generations deeply—and rightly—suspicious of medical trials. Result: hardly any African-Americans have signed up for new Alzheimer’s drug trials. If the disease affects African-Americans differently, who’s to say the new drugs will be suitable for them?

So on this day of civil rights celebration, I say to my fellow African-Americans: don’t be put off by a medical experiment long impugned and barred by law from reoccurring. Don’t squander the civil right to help cure a disease that disproportionately targets us. Sign up for Alzheimer’s trials, either by contacting the national Alzheimer’s Association or the Brain Health Registry. Join the fight.

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2016 in Black History, BlackLivesMatter

 

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Uncle Ben Carson… Rebuttal

Uncle Ben decided to launch a broadside at the Black Community again in a piece for USA Today entitled Ben Carson: #BlackLivesMatter misfire. In the piece, Carson offers a number of “solutions” to the problem he sees a relevant to the “misdirected” black community…

Let’s have some fun batting that around. Dr Carson in black….My response in blue.

Let’s head down to the board of education. Teaching is a tough job and thank God there was a teacher who convinced me that I was not dumb, but our schools are failing and we have no power to abandon them. The actions of rogue police officers take black lives one at a time. Our public school system has destroyed black lives not in the ones and twos, but in whole generations.

The schools don’t teach and our children don’t learn. Too many public schools are controlled by teachers unions focused more on the convenience and compensation of adults rather than the education of children who started out far behind. Their failures don’t kill as quickly, but they do kill as surely as a bullet.

To begin with, the U.S. public school system is hardly the abysmal failure portrayed in the conventional conservative wisdom (yes, I know that is an oxymoron). The international comparative data is skewed, by vocational tracking in Europe (all American high school students are sometimes compared to select Gymnasium and Lycee students in Germany and France) or geography (the entire U.S. is compared to the Shanghai metro area, rather than to all of China — the French educational system would look pretty bad, if it were compared in its entirety to Westchester County, New York). Further, most of the right wing analysis of “failure” of inner city schools misses 3 points –

  1. Comparing inner city poor schools to suburban middle class or wealthy districts is inherently going to result in those poor schools “failing”. A more apt comparison would be to compare those inner city schools to other equally poor rural areas such as Oswego County, Kentucky – which is 99% white, 95% Republican, and 95% of the residents are on Food Stamps.Indeed, the lowest “performing” schools in America aren’t in the inner city – they are in the very red, Republican South.
  2. The Republican solution has been (as usual) to privatize schools systems through Charter Schools. The ugly fact is that these Charter schools have not only been systemic failures in terms o survival, but when they are subjected to the same testing regimen and measuring stick as the Schools they supposedly are replacing – the perform worse. When exactly are Dr Carson, and his fellow white conservative backers going to take responsibility for the tens of thousands of young black lives their misguided racism has ruined?
  3. Those inner-city schools do not educate a majority of black kids. Indeed, they don’t even educate a significant minority. Only about 7% of the total black population in the US still lives in urbanized ghettos. Now – while we might dismiss the ignorance or racism of a white conservative in not really understanding what the black community is, or it’s dynamics…Dr Carson is supposed to be an educated man and the wherewithal to correct that racist stereotype is well within anyone’s capabilities who cares to look..

 

Let’s confront the entertainment industry that lines its pockets by glamorizing a life where black men are thugs and our women are trash. Let’s tell them we plan to start talking with our wallets.

It is time for them to pick on someone else because we have had enough. Demeaning women is not art, and it shouldn’t be profitable. Neither is glorifying violence and equating prison time with authenticity. Straight Outta Compton, #1 in movie theaters, is just the latest example. You only have to watch the trailers.

A day late and a dollar short. There already is a substantive movement to clean up some of the entertainment industry. There is a fairly strong kickback against members of that industry who have promoted the misogynistic, violent images. But you have to ask the question – why is it only black musicians or artists  who are guilty? No white musicians or artists promote the same imagery? Perhaps Dr Carson need listen to his fellow candidate Donald Trump’s comments about Megan Kelly. And I wasn’t aware Donald Trump was “passing”. We live in a society where white college fraternities believe it is OK to rape and objectify girls…But I don’t see anyone spouting that it is a “problem with the white community”. Lastly – who buys that Hip-Hop music? 80% is bought by white kids.

Let’s go down to city hall. Living behind a door with three deadbolts is not living in freedom. Being too scared to walk around your block at night is not the pursuit of happiness we were all promised.

I know Dr Carson doesn’t get out much beyond the bubble of white racist Republicans who fawn over his absolution… But BLM and other black organizations are taking on City Hall every day. Moral Mondays ring a bell? Moral Mondays Georgia? Ferguson, Mo?

Let’s go over to the crack house. We need to tear it down. Profiting from selling poison to our children and destroying lives must not be the ambition of our children. These monuments to our destruction deserve our active scorn not our silent acceptance.

“Crack House”?  How so very …90’s. Hate to be the first to tell you Dr – but the current “epidemics” are Meth…And Heroin. And the folks being affected are in large majority white and suburban or rural. This is the sort of racist stupidity that is just jaw-dropping.

We should go to Washington. For decades they have fought the “War . on Poverty.” Poverty won. We lost.

Over 19 trillion dollars has been wasted, but can anyone identify a single battle won as a result? We certainly have not helped the poor “lift themselves out of the ruts of poverty” as Lyndon Johnson promised — far from it. These programs have been a great American failure.

In 1960, the black poverty rate was 65%. Under Bill Clinton hat sunk to under 20%, and now hovers in the 20-25% range. Uncle Ben has been drinking that funny Kool-Aid again. And of the “purported” $19 Trillion number hawked by conservatives – 80% of that was poured into The Great White Ghetto – and that isn’t even talking about other majority poor white areas of the country. The idea that all this money was poured into the black community is the typical racist flim-flam of the racist right. Below is a simple map of the areas with the highest concentration of people on Food Stamps and “Welfare”.

The “Solid South”…Indeed.

We should have a talk with the Democratic Party.  Let’s tell them, we don’t want to be clothed, fed and housed. We want honor and dignity.

We don’t want a plan to give us public housing in nice neighborhoods. We want an end to excuses for schools that leave us without the means to buy our own houses where we choose to live. We want the skills needed to compete, not a consolation prize of Section 8, Food Stamps and a lifetime of government paperwork.

Finally, we need to go over to the Republican Party. We need to tell them they have ignored us for too long. They need to invite us in and listen to us. We need to communicate and find a different way.

There are many things to be angry about when you are consumed by hopelessness. Bernie Sanders isn’t one of them.

Two simple answers to that in graphic form.

This is a county by county map of percentage of poverty and welfare participation –

County by County Food Stamp Enrollment shows most Welfare recipients live in the “Red Zone”

SNAP Enrollment Rate (%)
  • 0-4
  • 5-9
  • 10-14
  • 15-19
  • 20-24
  • 25-29
  • 30+

Lastly…If conservatism worked – wouldn’t the Red States be richer?

I mean….Just sayin’…

Black Conservative Jock Strap Award

 

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2015 in Black Conservatives, The Clown Bus

 

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Black Self Help…Or the Blame Game

Go to any board where conservatives post on any topic tangential to race, and the “Moynihan Report” as justification for black-white inequality in almost any instance. The number popularized in conservative press by the usual Uncle Toms is that 70% of black children are born out of wedlock. And the result of those fatherless home is crime, and a continuation of pathologies which serve to keep the “black community” in the ghetto. Baggy Pants and Rap Music…

Never mind that the overwhelming majority of the black community doesn’t live there anymore, the 60 year old Moynihan report is the foundation and cornerstone of conservative racism.

Which leads us to the philosophical battle between lauded social commentator Ta Nehisi Coates and President Obama…

A passing of the Guard, President Obama greets Coates as Rev Sharpton looks on.

“Racial self-help” or “blaming the victim”?: 50 years after its publication, the Moynihan Report still provokes debate about the causes and cures of African-American in­equality

Excerpted from “Beyond Civil Rights: The Moynihan Report and Its Legacy”

In his 2006 bestseller The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama praised the Moynihan Report, which famously predicted that female-headed families would impede African American progress after the passage of civil rights legislation. Obama repeated a common account of the controversy sparked by the 1965 report: “Moynihan was accused of racism . . . ​when he raised alarms about the rise of out-of-wedlock births among the black poor.” Responding to the most famous criticism of the report—that it “blamed the victim”—Obama portrayed the uproar against Moynihan as a telling example of how “liberal policy-makers and civil rights leaders had erred” when “in their urgency to avoid blaming the victims of historical racism, they tended to downplay or ignore evidence that entrenched behavioral patterns among the black poor really ­were contributing to intergenerational poverty.”

By suggesting that African Americans take responsibility for their social advancement, Obama drew on a powerful interpretation of the Moynihan Report: urging racial self-­help. “[A] transformation of attitudes has to begin in the home, and in neighborhoods, and in places of worship,” he argued. As the first black president, Obama continued to echo the Moynihan Report. In 2014, he launched My Brother’s Keeper, a program that identified lack of father figures as a central problem facing young men of color. His comment in an interview that year strikingly recalled the report’s analysis of a “tangle of pathology,” interconnected social ills afflicting African Americans: “There’s no contradiction to say that there are issues of personal responsibility that have to be addressed, while still acknowledging that some of the specific pathologies in the African-­American community are a direct result of our history.”

Responding to Obama’s comment, prominent African American commentator Ta-Nehisi Coates was outraged that the president pointed his finger at African Americans rather than at institutional barriers to advancement. “I can’t think of a single credible historian of our 500-year tenure here,” he retorted, “who has concluded that our problem was a lack of ‘personal responsibility.’”  Six months earlier, however, Coates had appealed to an alternate interpretation of the Moynihan Report, one that advocated “national action” to address black male unemployment. To Coates, “Moynihan powerfully believed that government could actually fix ‘the race problem’” through jobs programs designed to make “more [black] men marriage-­material.” A half­-century after its publication, the Moynihan Report remains a contested reference point for debating the causes and cures of African American in­equality. The controversy endures because it elicits competing explanations for why African Americans, despite ostensibly having equal civil rights, experience a standard of living significantly lower than that of other Americans.

Officially titled The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, the report was colloquially named after its author, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then a member of President Lyndon Johnson’s administration. Moynihan wrote at the dawn of a new era in American race relations: landmark legislation in 1964 and 1965 ended Jim Crow segregation, granted formal equality to African Americans, and discredited overt arguments for white supremacy. Yet Moynihan’s opening sentence warned, “The United States is approaching a new crisis in race relations.” The crisis, he wrote, resulted from African American demands that went “beyond civil rights” to include economic “equality.”  Moynihan responded to civil rights leaders who had long ­advanced economic reforms designed to ensure a basic standard of living for all Americans. The 1963 March on Washington, after all, was for “jobs and freedom.” Yet Moynihan worried that achieving full racial equality would be hindered by what he viewed as the “crumbling” and “deteriorating” structure of many African American families reflected in high numbers of out-of-wedlock births and female-headed families. Family structure stood at the heart of what he notoriously labeled a “tangle of pathology” evident in high rates of juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, and poor educational achievement among African Americans. Moynihan’s thesis produced conflicting notions about how to combat racial inequality. For liberals, it suggested the need to provide jobs for black men to stabilize families. For conservatives, however, it suggested the need for racial self-­help: for African American leaders to morally uplift blacks by inculcating family values.

The Moynihan Report sparked an explosive debate at the intersection of competing conceptions of race, gender, and poverty. The political dispute over the document was actually a short-­lived affair. Moynihan finished the report in March 1965. In June, it served as the basis for a major speech by President Johnson. In August, it became public. By November, the Johnson administration had disowned it in the face of mounting criticism. From the left, critics charged Moynihan with “blaming the victim”: by shifting attention to African Americans’ alleged family problems, he overlooked the institutions that oppressed them. Though the report lost direct relevance for public policy after 1965, intellectuals and political activists hotly debated it well into the 1970s. In the mid-1980s, the report witnessed a political and media revival that never fully dissipated. Even today, as Obama’s and Coates’s remarks suggest, it remains a litmus test for revealing an individual’s political beliefs.

Beyond Civil Rights diverges from prevailing accounts of the Moynihan Report controversy that focus on establishing the document’s intended meaning. Some scholars claim the report was a conservative document that reinforced racist stereotypes. Others defend it as a quintessentially liberal document, arguing that critics simply misunderstood it. In contrast, I argue that the report had multiple and conflicting meanings. It produced disparate reactions because of internal contradictions that reflected those of 1960s liberalism and because of its contentious assumptions about race, family, poverty, and government. Instead of focusing solely on Moynihan’s intentions, this book explains why and how the report became such a powerful symbol for a surprising range of groups including liberal intellectuals, Southern segregationists, civil rights leaders, Black Power advocates, feminists, neoconservatives, and Reaganite conservatives.

One prominent interpretation finds that the Moynihan Report pioneered using images of “matriarchal” African American families to undermine the welfare state, an effort that accelerated during the 1980s and 1990s with Republican attacks on welfare recipients, usually pictured as African American single mothers. For example, scholar Roderick Ferguson writes that the report “facilitated a conservative blockade of social welfare policy” through its “pathologizing of black mothers.” Historian Alice O’Connor depicts the report as a prime example of how liberal social science generated conservative welfare reform. However, the report was not inherently conservative. Ferguson and O’Connor conflate the report, a product of 1960s liberalism, with the late twentieth-­century attack on welfare led by conservative Republicans. By contrast, in the 1960s, many interpreted Moynihan’s emphasis on “social pathologies” to indicate the need for unprecedented “national action.” Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., and socialist Michael Harrington both hailed the report; seeing it as inherently conservative makes it impossible to understand why.

Another common interpretation takes the Moynihan Report as an unequivocally liberal document. This view, first advanced by Lee Rainwater and William Yancey inThe Moynihan Report and the Politics of Controversy (1967) and stated most recently in James Patterson’s Freedom Is Not Enough (2010), correctly notes that Moynihan called attention to black family structure to push for jobs programs and other mea­sures to benefit African Americans. Interpreting the report as unambiguously liberal fails to explain its immediate attraction to 1960s conservatives such as William F. Buckley and long-­term appeal to neoconservatives and Reaganite conservatives. Moreover, even the report’s liberal call for job creation sprang from assumptions that struck 1960s liberals, radicals, and their present-day heirs as “conservative.” These included viewing African American culture as pathological, defending the patriarchal family, and relying on technocratic expertise rather than grassroots activism to generate reform…

Liberals nostalgic for a mid-1960s moment when government officials contemplated ambitious programs to redress African American in­equality have been especially drawn to the idea that the Moynihan Report was misunderstood. For them, the report marked a lost opportunity for reforms that might have been enacted but for the unfortunate response the report generated. Conservatives similarly explain the controversy as a misunderstanding by treating left-wing critics’ attacks as irrational. For them, the Moynihan Report controversy marked the onset of “political correctness.” Conservatives claim criticism of the report by civil rights leaders and liberals suppressed an honest discussion about race. In their view, Moynihan’s critics convinced African Americans to perceive themselves as victims without responsibility for moral failings and civil rights leaders wrongly focused on criticizing Moynihan instead of exhorting blacks to strengthen their families. There is no necessary contradiction between conservatives’ advocacy of racial self-help and liberals’ support for government efforts to redress inequalities. However, in national po­liti­cal debate, conservative appropriations of the Moynihan Report to call for racial self-help denied national responsibility for persistent anti-black racism and gross economic in­equality…

What lent the report its enduring salience was its maddening inconsistency on key issues. Was family instability primarily cause or consequence of racial inequality? Were the “social pathologies” of African Americans race-specific, rooted in the history of slavery and racial discrimination, or were they class-specific, based on the overconcentration of African Americans among the urban poor? Was patriarchal family structure naturally superior, or did racial minorities simply have to conform to mainstream nuclear family norms if they wished to advance? Moynihan also articulated two distinct notions of “equality.” On one hand, equality meant a guaranteed basic living standard for all Americans. On the other, equality meant “equal results”—a class distribution among African Americans that matched other American ethnoracial groups…

Read the entire article here.

My basic view of this is that a cherry-picked version of the Moynihan Report has basically become the handbook of conservative racism, and the principal defense against denunciation or even recognition of white privilege. My view is that the so called “breakdown of the black family”, is really focused on the poor black family, and utterly ignores the impact of the carceral state implement under the aegis of the “War on Drugs”. Which has been used both as a political tool to suppress black and minority enfranchisement relative to the vote, as well as to support white supremacy.

When you look at the incarceration numbers, whose victims are largely concentrated within 10 miles of a major urban center – and the fact that that urban population represents only about 7% of the black US community..It shouldn’t be very hard to recognize that in those urban communities, something like (and I estimate here) 40-50% of the men between 18 and 30 are incarcerated, largely on non-violent drug “crimes”, then the causality of the “single mother”, and “breakup of the black family” lies firmly in the hands of the racial justice system. A situation exacerbated by the major cocaine “epidemic” of the late 80’s and early 90’s facilitated in no small part by the Reagan/Bush administrations.

Ergo – if you break up the carceral state..You solve the “problem” of single motherhood.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2015 in Black History, The New Jim Crow

 

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