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Jewish World Review / Oct. 1, 1998 /11 Tishrei, 5759

Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas The race panel: lies in black and white

AS PRESIDENT CLINTON'S "RACE PANEL'' concluded its work with the predictable lament that blacks have trouble getting anywhere solely because of "white privilege,'' Washington Mayor Marion Barry said the November election could produce a majority-white D.C. City Council, which he thinks would be bad for the city's 63 percent black majority. Why? According to Barry, when it comes to legislating, whites and blacks are different in terms of culture, in terms of philosophy.''

A Klansman couldn't have said it better. Perhaps the mayor might explain why the mostly white 4th district of Oklahoma believes that Rep. J.C. Watts, a black man, can represent its interests quite well in Congress.

The president's race panel reached conclusions familiar to those who have been listening to the liberals' siren song for four decades. Though more blacks than ever are in the middle and upper class, how they got there is not to be our concern. Neither is the reason why other blacks have been left behind. The panel said the president should take the lead in educating people about "the country's history of white privilege'' and how an inferior status was assigned to people of color. Better we should focus on how those who refused to accept that status overcame and how they might show others the way.

The race panel also said that whites and Asians enjoy greater advantages economically and have better access to health care and education. It found social and economic progress for blacks slowed between the mid-1970s and early 1990s. And it urged an end to sentence disparity for crimes involving powdered cocaine and crack cocaine. Crack is more often used by minority drug abusers than whites, and the panel thinks longer sentences for crack use than for the powdered variety is "morally and intellectually indefensible.'' Certain "leaders'' in the black community have promoted the myth that crack cocaine and AIDS are part of the white man's "plan'' to rid them of their "black problem.''

The impediment to greater black progress is not racial discrimination. It is family breakdown. In every category -- from out-of-wedlock births and fatherless homes, to the percentage of young males in prison and victims or perpetrators of violent crimes --- blacks are disproportionately affected because it is their racial group that suffers most from broken or never-formed two-parent homes.

Since the 1965 "War on Poverty'' began, more than $5 trillion have been spent on various programs to help the poor overcome poverty. They have not ended poverty because money was never the sole answer. Every study known to government has shown that families formed by a man and woman marrying and staying together to rear their children produces a more economically and socially stable outcome than single motherhood and absent fathers.

While the race panel points to a drop in government programs in the '70s and '80s, the Population Issues Research Institute at Pennsylvania State University found that "51 percent of the 4.5 percentage-point increase in child poverty between 1980 and 1988 can be accounted for by changes in family structure during the 1980s.'' Furthermore, the study said, "Changing family structure also accounted for 48 percent of the increase during the 1980s in deep poverty, and 59 percent of the rise in relative poverty among U.S. children.''

Sure, racism exists. But the best way to reduce its impact is not to pass more laws or fund more failed government programs. It is to help rebuild the black family and liberate blacks not only from poverty but also from the white paternalism that is little different from the plantation -- when slave masters said that blacks couldn't make it on their own.

Liberal Democrats are today's slave masters. They should let these people go, instead of holding them in indentured political servitude, trading their votes for a few government crumbs.

The race panel should have committed itself to putting the black family back together again. But that might solve the problem and unemploy certain black "leaders'' who seem to have made a lucrative career for themselves by ensuring that the misery of others never ends.


9/18/98: The Clinton strategy and the Clinton legacy
9/18/98: Stopping him before he sins again
9/15/98: Repenting when the end is near
9/11/98: Faithfully executing: Congress vs. the President
9/10/98: The degrees of separation between Dan Burton and Bill Clinton
9/08/98: Joe Lieberman and the Democrats' conscience
9/04/98: Clinton vs. Reagan and the struggle for power
9/02/98: If only Bubba had been a Boy Scout
8/31/98: Liberal clergy and the Lewinsky affair
8/27/98: Combating the terrorists among us
8/25/98: The president as 'Chicken Little'
8/20/98: That was no apology
8/18/98: Big government's crab grab
8/14/98:Untruths, half-truths and anything but the truth
8/12/98: Lying under oath: past and present impeachable offenses
8/10/98: Endangered species
8/04/98: In search of an unstained president
7/31/98: The UK is ahead of US in one area...
7/28/98: Murder near and far
7/21/98: Telling the truth about
homosexual behavior
7/17/98: One Nation? Indivisible?
7/14/98: Who cares about killing when the 'good times' are rolling?
7/10/98: George W. Bush: a different 'boomer'
7/08/98: My lunch with Roy Rogers
7/06/98: News unfit to print (or broadcast)
6/30/98: Smoke gets in their eyes
6/25/98: Sugar and Spice Girls
6/19/98: William Perry opposed
technology transfers to China
6/19/98: The Clinton hare vs.the Starr tortoise
6/17/98: The President's rocky road to China
6/15/98: Let the children go
6/9/98: Oregon: the new killing fields
6/5/98: Speaking plainly: the cover-up continues
6/2/98: Barry Goldwater: in our hearts
5/28/98:The Speaker's insightful remarks
5/26/98: As bad as it gets
5/25/98:Union dues and don'ts
5/21/98: Connecting those Chinese campaign contribution dots
5/19/98: Clinton on the couch
5/13/98: John Ashcroft: another Jimmy Carter?
5/8/98: Terms of dismemberment
5/5/98: Clinton's tangled Webb
4/30/98: Return of the Jedi
4/28/98: Desparately seeking Susan
4/23/98: RICO's threat to free-speech and expression
4/21/98: Educating children v. preserving an institution
4/19/98: Analyzing the birth of a possible new nation
4/14/98: What's fair about our tax system?
4/10/98: CBS: 'Touched by a perv'
4/8/98: Judge Wright's wrong reasoning on sexual harassment
4/2/98: How about helping American cities before African?
3/31/98:Revenge of the children
3/29/98: The Clinton strategy: delay, deceive, deny, and destroy
3/26/98: Moralist Gary Hart
3/23/98: CNN's century of (liberal) women
3/17/98: Dandy Dan
3/15/98: An imposed 'settlement' settles nothing
3/13/98: David Brock's Turnabout

©1998, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Inc.