I Didn’t Do It. As a kid we always said that when we were caught in the act, but in the case of racism in America, I didn’t do it, I am not doing it, and do not accept any guilt for it. Yes, the United States has a long history of racism against blacks and also a long history of struggle to change it. Including hundreds of thousands who died in a war to abolish slavery (I have in my possession discharge papers of my ancestors who served the cause in that war) and many years of struggle against Jim Crow, de jure discrimination in the South and de facto discrimination in the north.
Does this mean racism is abolished in America? No. There are still pockets of it – let’s find them prevent their power to do harm. I think, more importantly, many of the results of that racism are still with us. Lack of quality education and jobs for black Americans would be my top two. Now, as I have said before, I am on the right which means I want less government spending and interference in our daily lives. But I make exceptions where key elements of public welfare and security are concerned. Do we need to spend more on schooling? If so, my answer is show me that the spending will be effective and show me what spending we should cut instead. Since the Great Society programs started in the 60s trillions have been spent and the poverty rate has stayed about the same. Surely there is something there that isn’t working that we can replace.
Let’s take spending on education. Schools in primarily black neighborhoods are inferior to those in largely white neighborhoods. What do we do about that? Equalize spending? Desegregate neighborhoods (yes there are still many segregated neighborhoods)? Set up special tutoring services? More school choice? I don’t know the answer, but let’s have the dialog. Burning down grocery stores and pharmacies obviously is not the answer.
If someone wants a one-way shouting match where I get accused of racism, I have better things to do with my time. But if we want to have rational discussions of real practical solutions, I am ready.