In Black America - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
In Black America

At this moment, voices are raised in controversy about taking in immigrants from the chaos and violence in the Near East and Africa. Just for little me, it is a bit too complex to understand. Why would we, broke as a government, take in hundreds of thousands of new dependents whom the taxpayers will have to support at a cost of tens of billions? Why would we take in immigrants many of whom, by tradition, are imbued with extremely unfortunate attitudes towards women, violent hatred of Jews, and, as a culture, hatred of Western values? Why especially when we will have to be paying for them? The data is clear that about 90 percent of them will be on the government dole indefinitely. How many of them are ISIS and Al Qaeda plants? It is all complicated indeed.

But what really seems crystal clear to me is that we have our own problems here at home with people who are already Americans. Let’s tell an unpleasant truth: this country is two Americas, a white America, which is by and large doing well, with some large exceptions, and is fairly happy with their lives — and a black America, which is in crisis mode:

Just to take a few items:

Black Americans are roughly ten times as likely to die in gun violence, almost all in their own neighborhoods, than white Americans.

They are roughly six to seven times as likely as white Americans to be incarcerated.

The high school dropout rate for black youths is more than twice the rate of white Americans.

The likelihood of a black baby being born to a single mother is more than twice as high as for a white baby.

The youth unemployment rate for black youths is roughly 50 percent higher than for white youths.

This one is a killer: the average net financial worth of a white family is sixteen times higher than it is for a black family, and roughly half of black families have no savings at all.

The life expectancy of black men is much shorter than for white men. The likelihood of living in poverty is much higher than for white men.

It goes on and on. Proficiency in math for black elementary school students in Chicago is close to nil. It is not a lot better by high school.

This is two countries. The black one is in cardiac arrest, in many sectors of the nation. Why? Who knows? It has been sixty-one years since Brown v. Board of Education ordered integration of the schools. It has been fifty years since LBJ’s sweeping civil rights laws. Money has been poured into the most poorly performing urban school areas, with little to show for it. The single largest group in our prisons are black men, despite the fact that they are only about 7 percent of the population.

There has to be something that can be done about it. This is America. We know that Charter Schools work. We know that mentoring works. We know that 12-step programs for drugs and alcohol work. Training in the Marines works. People can be saved, even people who grew up in horrible situations. Attention must be paid. God must be brought back into the classroom and into daily life — although I know He is always there. 

This is our crisis. These fellow Americans. These are the critical mass we must somehow address. Yes, the Syrians are a sad case. So are the Eritreans and the Nigerians.

But our fellow Americans who are black are suffering terribly. Surely, as our fellow citizens, already here, they should come first. We are cutting benefits for the military, cutting military readiness. Is it really decent to spend that money — that we don’t have — on refugees?

Or, maybe we have the capacity to do it all at the same time. Ha. I thought I would end it on a funny note.

Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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