Is Sharpton Equating Black Decency With Government Handouts?

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On Sunday, Al Sharpton appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press to fulfill his weekend race-baiting quota, discussing the grand jury results in the cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. After Chuck Todd asked Sharpton about addressing the problem of “economic hopelessness” in the black community – Garner was arrested for selling “loosies,” cigarettes outside the pack, illegally – Sharpton explained that he supported a “jobs bill…infrastructure development.”

Then he continued by explaining that if Congress didn’t pass such bills, black men could not be held responsible for taking care of their children:

You can’t kill a jobs bill and infrastructure and then tell men to take care of their families. You can’t have it both ways.

Actually, you can. It turns out that taking care of your family is a basic facet of being a decent human being. But this sort of moral blackmail – the notion that black men cannot be expected to obey the dictates of fundamental morality without government support — has become commonplace among members of the left. Darlena Cunha, author of “Ferguson: In Defense of Rioting,” appeared on my show, The Ben Shapiro Show on KTTH 770 in Seattle, where she explained:

We’re talking about decades and generations worth of people who have been downtrodden. Mom and dad don’t have the opportunities to stay together, to work….They are burdened in different ways because people are leaving them behind because we think we’ve solved racism. At least when they were segregated they had a community….We need to start teaching them how to work every day, how to get along in a work environment, and how to act in a business society…

When I asked Cunha why we couldn’t encourage people to simply not have children before marriage, graduate high school, and get a job, she answered:

I don’t think you can encourage people not to have children before they get married and to get a job and to graduate high school when they’re dealing with issues that we don’t have to deal with….We need to help them have personal responsibility. They can’t do it when they’re busy trying to eat.

In other words, give people money, or they will abandon their children, drop out of school, and refuse to get a job – even, as Cunha defends, burn down the property of their fellow citizens and attack police officers.

That’s racial blackmail.

It’s also nothing new. In his book, The Future Once Happened Here, Fred Siegel of the Manhattan Institute writes of the 1960s “riot ideology,” the belief on the left that in the aftermath of race riots, “more money for the cities was essential – if not to halt riots, then to contain the still rising racial anger, which expressed itself in rising rates of often violent crime.” That is why, for example, President Lyndon Johnson’s attorney general, Nicholas Katzenbach, “warned of riots in ‘thirty or forty’ more cities if the Model Cities legislation providing funds for community renewal projects wasn’t passed quickly.”

The threat of riots became the hallmark of black governance in major cities like Washington, D.C., where the now-sainted recently-deceased Marion Barry held sway. “I know for a fact that white people get scared of the [Black] Panthers,” he once said, “and they might give money to somebody a little more moderate.” Barry helped take advantage of 1968 riots in D.C.; following those riots, Siegel reports, “Barry received at least $3.8 million in additional federal, largely Labor Department, grants to expand PRIDE.” Barry would go on to pledge “war on the police department and the city,” which he would then enact after becoming mayor.

In New York, Mayor John Lindsay, a titular Republican, gave way to the same sort of race-baiting. Lindsay attempted actively to enroll people in welfare and hire them to useless government jobs, all in the name of avoiding violence. One of Lindsay’s aides explained, “Our experience is that some good can come of confrontation politics.” The good, of course, was expanded government services. In one incident, a mother shouted at Lindsay, “I’ve got six kids, and each one of them has a different daddy. It’s my job to have kids, and your job, Mr. Mayor, to take care of them.”

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SOURCE: Breitbart – Ben Shapiro

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