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Jewish World Review Aug. 30, 1999/18 Elul , 5759

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Econophone

The new "racists" are here

http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- FIFTY PERCENT of whites find segregation OK, as do 40 percent of blacks.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) commissioned a poll that uncovered these "shocking" results.

Predictably, the mainstream media led the parade. Of the top 50 newspapers in America, 31 ran stories about this "surprising" poll. One major newspaper breathlessly reported, "The affirmative action establishment is expressing shock at a study ... " And get a load of the headline -- "Uncle Sam Encourages Jim Crow, Jr."

Another major newspaper said, "Analysts who worked on the study said the findings signal that race relations could worsen," unless society does more to "push for integration and equal opportunity among all ethnic groups." Another paper quoted an "expert" who said, "This is a cause for concern, since many school districts are dismantling their integration efforts at a time when new data show rising levels of school segregation."

And, of course, the NAACP somberly instructed us on "how far this country has to travel" before we all hold hands and sing in three-part harmony. The struggle continues! A call to arms! Blah, blah, blah.

But remember who commissioned the poll. The NAACP, like NATO, searches desperately for a reason to exist. Unfortunately for the NAACP, the "black community" hemorrhages with good news. The black middle class continues to grow. Were "black America" a separate country, its gross domestic product, at nearly $500 billion, would place it among the top 15 nations in the world. And according to a recent Gallup poll, 93 percent of Americans say they would vote for a black president. And the majority approves of black/white marriages.

A recent survey by the U.S. Justice Department found that 82 percent of blacks surveyed in Los Angeles were satisfied with the police serving their neighborhoods. What? Los Angeles? The city of the Watts riot, the Rodney King beating and the post- Rodney King criminal trial riot?

Lloyd Ward, the new CEO of Maytag, a Fortune 500 company, is black. As is Franklin Raines, former member of the Clinton administration and the CEO of Fannie Mae, another Fortune 500 company. And the CEO-in-waiting at American Express is black. Radio One, a black-owned radio conglomerate, just went public.

Black Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson said, "The sociological truths are that America, while still flawed in its race relations ... is now the least racist white- majority society in the world; has a better record of legal protection of minorities than any other society, white or black; offers more opportunities to a greater number of black persons than any other society, including all those of Africa ... " Quick, somebody stop the good news!

Even more ominous for the NAACP is the most recent Horatio Alger Association survey of high school students' attitudes. Eighty-two percent of black students viewed their futures optimistically, a higher percentage than white teens, at 71 percent! How many of the top 50 newspapers carried this "good news" story? Eighteen. But of those 18, only four mentioned the storyís crux -- that black students felt more optimistic than whites. The rest focused on school violence and other issues only tangentially related to black vs. white optimism.

Now, letís examine what the NAACP poll really tells us. The poll asks whether "itís OK if races are basically separate." It offered no definition of "basically separate." And, the overwhelming majority of both black and white respondents coupled their answer with an insistence on a guarantee of equal rights and fairness in the workplace. Do the findings really suggest a "cause for concern"?

This country contains proud middle- and upper-middle-class black communities, whose residents could easily afford to live elsewhere. Mitchellville, Md; Baldwin Hills/Los Angeles, Calif.; Cascade, Ga. Got a problem with that?

Does our "cause for concern" about separatism apply to the Miss Black America beauty pageant; the National Association of Black Journalists; Black Enterprise magazine; the Congressional Black Caucus; the National Conference of Black Mayors; Black Entertainment Television; the Black Patrolmanís Association; "Soul Train"; Omega Psi Phi; the Harlem Globetrotters? Got a problem with that?

Give the NAACP credit for initiative and creativity. We live in an era where Americans support equal opportunity, while condemning racism, sexism, and exclusionary policies. Yet, the NAACP gamely soldiers on with the "victicrat" mantra, "The racist white man holds us back."

Never mind real problems facing the "black community" -- the declining quality of education, the standardized test gap between blacks and whites, crime, teen pregnancy, and welfare dependency. No, the NAACP commissions a poll whose results could be summarized this way: "People choose their friends." Well, duh.

When Julian Bond, the NAACP chairman, took over, he ominously declared his No. 1 goal -- to pursue the "new racists." Now we know whom he meant: 50 percent of the whites, and 40 percent of the blacks!


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©1999, Creators Syndicate