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What White Do-Gooders Did for Black America

John McWhorter

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White culpability for black poverty.

Black poverty is the result of 30 years of misguided welfare rather than racism, says John McWhorter

As it quickly became clear that there was a certain demographic skew among the people stranded in New Orleans, journalists began intoning that Hurricane Katrina had stripped bare the continuing racial inequity in America.

The extent to which this was hidden is unclear, actually. An awareness that a tragic disproportion of black Americans are poor has been a hallmark of civic awareness among educated Americans for 40 years now.

The problem is less a lack of awareness than a lack of understanding. The publicly sanctioned take is that "white supremacy" is why 80% of New Orleans's poor people are black. The civics lesson, we are to think, is that the civil rights revolution left a job undone in an America still hostile to black advancement.

In fact, white America does remain morally culpable -- but because white leftists in the late 1960s, in the name of enlightenment and benevolence, encouraged the worst in human nature among blacks and even fostered it in legislation. The hordes of poor blacks stuck in the Superdome last week wound up there not because the White Man barred them from doing better, but because certain tragically influential White Men destroyed the fragile but lasting survival skills poor black communities had maintained since the end of slavery.

Read the entire article on The Times (UK) website (new window will open).

Posted: 17-Sep-05



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