Apr

2

 All are welcome at the Junto tonight

Date: Thursday, April 2, 2015

Time: 7:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Free admission, no RSVP required

Location: 20 West 44th St., ground floor New York City

Jason Riley will speak on the topic of "PLEASE STOP HELPING US: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed"

Here is a Barron's Review of his book:

Reviewed by Gene Epstein

In this courageous and clearheaded polemic, Jason Riley recalls the racial profiling he suffered as a young black man attending college. Living off campus, he was stopped so often by police while driving to his classes in the morning, that he "started taking a different route to campus, even though it added 10 to 15 minutes to the trip."

Moving to New York after college, Riley kept encountering indignities, like being avoided by cab drivers or being asked to prepay for a meal after ordering in a restaurant. But while he recalls these experiences as frustrating — "I was getting hassled for the past behavior of other blacks" — he recounts them without anger.

Riley also recalls that he himself practiced racial profiling as an undergraduate working the night shift at a gas station with a mini-mart. Since "the people I caught stealing were almost always black," he writes, "when people who looked like me entered the store my antenna went up." He points out that, given "the reality of high black crime rates," most ordinary people, black or white, practice racial profiling because they are "acting on probability." He admits to crossing to the other side of the street at night when young black men approach, not because he is "judging them as individuals," but because he does not want to "take the risk."

As part of the author's plea that liberals "stop helping us," he argues that it is no help for liberals to blame racial profiling on racism, or to deny that society must be tough on crime. Since "90% of black murder victims are killed by other blacks," liberals' general indifference to effective crime prevention comes down to caring "more about black criminals than their black victims."

A member of the editorial board at The Wall Street Journal (published by Dow Jones, which also publishes Barron's), Riley would surely call himself a conservative. But he pays homage to liberalism's achievements on behalf of blacks. "The civil rights struggles of the mid-20th century," he declares, "were liberalism at its best." He hails the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and includes in his honor roll "Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., the Freedom Riders, the NAACP, and others who helped to destroy significant barriers to black progress and make America more just."

But Riley believes that liberalism has long since become a part of the problem rather than part of the solution — and especially the liberalism of today's black leaders. "The civil rights movement of King has become an industry that does little more than monetize white guilt," he observes. By contrast, "King and his contemporaries demanded black self-improvement despite the abundant and overt racism of his day. King's successors . . . nevertheless insist that blacks cannot be held responsible for their plight so long as someone somewhere in white America is still using the n-word."

Liberals portray young black students as victims of school systems run according to "European American" values, a judgment that exempts the students from responsibility for poor performance. One reason this view is dubious, the author points out, is that black students from African countries generally perform better in school than their American counterparts, even though English is not their first language.

Another reason: Black American students show much-improved performance in charter schools — public schools run by independent organizations according to the same European-American values. The success of charter schools, he notes, is "one reason why they are so popular with black people." These are black people — as distinct from black civil rights leaders — who refuse to succumb to liberalism's destructive delusions about the proper schooling of their children.

"*Please Stop Helping Us*" is written in a clear but understated style that gains power from understatement. Not once, for example, does the author use emphatic words like "hypocrite" or "hypocrisy." But he does expose liberal hypocrisy in some of its blatant forms.

Speaking of the achievements of the school-choice movement via charter schools and vouchers, he points out that, while liberals "urge poor people to sit tight until . . . bad schools are fixed, they themselves typically show no such patience." Among liberal champions of public schools who nonetheless rejected these schools for their own children, he includes in the hypocrisy hall of shame Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Ted Kennedy.

The author quotes the bracing tough-talk of entertainer Bill Cosby, which he much prefers to the liberal rhetoric of President Obama. "We, as black folks, have to do a better job," Cosby declared in a speech for which he was vilified by the black intelligentsia. "No longer is a person embarrassed because [she is] pregnant without a husband. No longer is a boy considered an embarrassment if he tries to run away from being the father."

Or as Riley puts it, "Having a black man in the Oval Office is less important than having one in the home."


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2 Comments so far

  1. Ed on April 2, 2015 1:57 pm

    A long term plan, via incentives, to raise mean IQ. that is the only thing that will work - and it is not exclusive to the black community.

  2. Hernan on April 18, 2015 11:18 am

    I listened the podcast. The author’s argument and statistcs on the relationship of the war on drugs an the demise of poor black America are really flawed, very disappointed.

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