Although often painted as a united movement, the black struggle for civil rights and equality has almost always been contentious and acrimonious among those ‘on the same side.’ For decades, this fight was primarily over tactics and rhetoric.
There are differing opinions to how to make lives for black Americans better, and those to the economic right of center—probably due in part to its ties to the South and the small government rhetoric once used to support Jim Crow segregation—get the short end of it, despite their valid critiques of the status quo.
The unintended consequences of social programs still create perverse incentives for the poor. Many public schools trap students in low achieving tiers that stunt their academic growth and lower their chances at becoming successful members of a global economy. Stressing the importance of self-reliance, personal responsibility, and entrepreneurship is not as sexy as “social justice” and communal outrage.
The vastly outnumbered black conservatives are sometimes called “[Uncle] Toms” and “sellouts” for pointing these facts out, as if they do not care about black people. Indeed, such treatment led me to title one piece for my school newspaper, “Angry, Black, and Conservative.”
I don’t self-identify as a conservative anymore, but that’s more about the (d)evolution of the Republican Party since the end of the Cold War than a great shift in my own politics, though there has been some.
Indeed, when I first started learning about politics as a young adult, and to an extent, race, I probably would have enjoyed Jason L. Riley’s Please Stop Helping Us because it completely fit my worldview.
But then I grew up and learned a few things.
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