Tuesday, September 06, 2005

One of the less-discussed points to the New Orleans fiasco is the reluctance of African-American residents to leave their city, due to their knowledge of the lawlessness in their own neighborhoods. Most people would like to return home as soon as the storm passes, if only to guard them. Looting is a problem in high-crime areas that have experienced some sort of an upheaval. It happened in the NYC blackout of 1977, when the crime rate was quite high, - but did not happen in the blackout of 2004, with a much lower crime rate.

Crime in NO had been rising, defying the general national trend of declining rates in recent years. A lot of analyses and studies have been made as to why, but the one single factor is the reluctance of African-Americans to accept jobs in law enforcement in their own communities, even when the city government is basically all black, and even when affirmative-action policies are in place. This ingrained cultural attitude, - that law enforcement is essentially an obsession of white people, and very few want to join the side that is habitually regarded as inimical to their concerns, - is all the more baffling when statistics show that African-Americans constitute a greater proportion of the criminal population in America, but at the same time the greatest number of crime victims are proportionally African-Americans, too.

In the end, it is freeriding at its worst: a community refuses to participate in the odious tasks of self-management, in order not to lose their status as a class always in opposition to management. It is, actually, a stance engendered by welfare. And welfare, as we all know, makes people less prone to take personal responsibility for their decisions.

I like to follow African-American politics, if only to get clues as to how an underclass that has suffered great historical wrongs can be co-opted into a position where it can thrive with the rest of society. If it could be done more successfully in America - where such an underclass was historically the most opressed in all the world - then lessons from such an experience could possibly be applied to other parts of the world.

The most significant recent development in my mind is the emergence of two factors: the African-American Republican, and the influx of recent African immigrants, mostly from West Africa. If you haven’t noticed, “native” African-Americans tend to resent the influx of these new immigrants, who tend to be - just like all immigrants - very hard working and very civic-minded, if given the chance. These two new forces might actually cause some major changes in the domestic political platforms of the African-American community, perhaps to the point where some of the damage done welfare-statist policies of previous decades can be undone.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post, Finnpundit. The African-American Republicans are usually the ones who have embraced the politics of personal responsibility. They accept that it is their responsibility to make their way in this world. It is not going to be given to them. They aren't relying on governmental social programs to prop them up. The days of handouts are largely gone. The sooner folks (both white and black) realize that, the sooner they can stop looking for excuses and start looking for opportunities.

11:29 PM  

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