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Black families are more stable and illegitimacy and welfare dependency are much lower than they were when whites dominated the political machinery of these cities. Also, since blacks have replaced white mayors and city councils, black citizens are murdered less and are far safer on the streets and in their homes. Even more noticeable is the fall in unemployment, particularly since the nation elected a black president. You say, “Williams, anyone making such statements suffers from a special kind of lunacy and ought to be put into an insane asylum!”
It doesn’t demean black political achievement to ask what black political power means for the lives of ordinary black people. Put another way, is political power a necessary condition for economic power? Let’s look around.
Japanese- and Chinese-Americans faced gross discrimination in our country, but when’s the last time you heard them worrying about how many mayors and congressmen they have? Are they in a tizzy over the tea party’s call for constitutional government, reduced spending and a balanced budget? By the way, Japanese- and Chinese-Americans have median family incomes higher than white Americans despite having no political power, even in areas where they are most numerous.
Let me be clear. I am not stating a causal link between the fact of black political power and the poor living conditions of so many blacks in our urban centers. I’m simply offering evidence that the expectation that black political power will translate into socio-economic well-being for the ordinary black citizen is apt to be disappointing. Political power empowers — and even enriches — the political elite; for them, getting out their constituent vote is the be-all and end-all. It’s the economic arena, featured by personal liberty, that best serves the ordinary person.
As long as black politicians can successfully run a rope-a-dope on their constituents by keeping them focused on allegations of white racism and telling them that salvation lies in voting for them, little good will come to their poorest constituency.
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