Mainstream media portrays the November election as a struggle between President Trump and former VP Biden. Given the events of the past week with the death of George Floyd, Daniel Henninger writes in the WSJ that the election is much more than the emptiness of moral authority.
After 55 years of urban policy failures, our political system is now engaged in a systemic act of forgetting:
- Forget that policy failures have happened or why they happened.
- Forget that the people living in New York’s public housing, for example, are overrun with rats, unlit hallways and no heat in the winter.
- Forget that many blacks have indeed been left behind—by a well-documented migration since 1990 of black Americans out of northern cities and Los Angeles into the South, where they have gone in search of economic opportunity.
- Forget that black Americans, despite a massive per annum outlay on Medicaid (some $593 billion in 2018), still have a higher incidence of chronic disease.
Nihilism vs Hope
The new nihilism says no matter how many reform police commissioners are appointed or black mayors elected, “nothing has changed.” That is the definition of hopelessness.
But it is not hopeless, maintains Mr. Henninger.
HUD vs Public Housing
- For example, give people a better chance at home ownership and home equity, as HUD Secretary Ben Carson has proposed, through reforming the mortgage-lending market and reducing regulatory hurdles to urban housing construction. Get rid of those godawful public-housing prisons.But no, the public housing authorities are patronage mills, so it can’t happen.
Charter vs Public Schools
- Black parents love charter schools and voucher-supported private schools because they teach values, self-respect and hope.But no, this option for poor and lower-income parents has more Democratic Party opposition than ever. When will we see white college students marching in the streets over this moral abomination? Never.
Job Creation, Rising Incomes
- One could argue that the job creation and rising incomes of recent years for young black Americans are more in step with the U.S.’s 244-year history of opportunity.
Absolving Past Policy Failures
When the nihilism of permanent guilt makes it easier to substitute sentiment for substance, continues Mr. Henninger, why bother?
It absolves anyone of responsibility for past public-policy errors.
Liberals the Most Dangerous Threat to Blacks
The African-American community is not a monolith, but rather is diverse, dynamic, like so many other segments of the American population, notes Andrew McCarthy in NRO.
The policies pushed by progressives damage the parts of it that need the most help. And the false narrative of racist police, which pressures law enforcement to back off from the communities most victimized by crime, is now destroying entire cities.
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