If you’re wondering why race relations in America haven’t improved at all, look no farther than the recent comments of state Senator Anthony Williams’ concerning the current field of Democratic gubernatorial candidates.
Fueling speculation that Williams, who is black, might throw his hat into the race, the senator ranted that none of the four Democrats was giving any attention to the black community and the issues faced by that constituency.
In other words, since they are all white, they were just catering to Whitey and ignoring everyone else.
Gee, and I thought campaigns were supposed to be color-blind.
Williams is correct that none of the Democrats has workable solutions to the monumental problems we face —black or otherwise. Ironically, it is the Republican platform that holds the key to success for Williams’ people.
But here’s the bigger irony: so-called black leaders like Sen. Williams’ do more to harm their "own people" than any white politician ever could. Despite the majority of black Americans holding Republican, and in many cases conservative, values, their black "leadership" sells them out time and time again by perpetuating policies destined to fail.
A look at Williams’ hometown of Philadelphia gives a startling example.
The city has been under Democratic leadership for sixty years — one-Party rule with no competition. And how has that bastion of leadership fared?
Philadelphia has the nation’s highest rates of murder, violence and poverty. Its educational system is abysmal, with many of the public schools being deathtraps, totally devoid of all learning and where survival is the first—and only— order of the day.
But that’s just the beginning.
The city’s pensions are insolvent. The business climate continues to decline due to the brain drain of our best and brightest. The tax system is so onerous that it ranks as worst in the nation. Its court system has completely imploded. People and businesses continue to flee to more fertile areas.
And the city’s reputation for corruption and pay-to-play is legendary.
So what do people like Sen. Williams do to address these problems? And, by the way, since the city’s population is majority black, these would be the problems facing "his" people.
Here’s the cruel joke. Williams’ actions, not those of The White Man, keep his constituents down and out, ripping hope away from the very people who most need help.
Williams’ solution to the terrible business climate? Raise the city portion of the sales tax by 100 percent and make no payments to the pension plan for two years. Brilliant Anthony! Penalize those who can least afford it (it is undisputed that a sales tax is the most regressive tax) and renege on the promises made to retired workers.
And what about education? Throw huge money at the schools, appease the powerful teachers’ unions, look the other way, and pretend that the results will somehow change. It hasn’t worked in decades, and it never will.
Until we get serious about providing a quality education in a safe learning environment, our students —our future— will continue to be thrown into the world as functional illiterates. And after the last flame of hope is extinguished for these children, they resort to violent crime because they have nothing left to lose.
The cycle simply perpetuates itself. Over and over again.
It is clear that the Democratic Party doesn’t have the answers, because nothing it has tried has worked. The GOP, on the other hand, has the solutions. It just needs a powerful and courageous leader to articulate the message. But leaders in the Republican Party are in short supply.
Up until the 1930’s, the vast majority of blacks were Republican, members of the Party of Lincoln. Why the Party and one of its natural constituencies parted ways is for another column, but there’s no reason that separation has to continue.
Who wants and needs school choice more than the black community — people who, more than anyone else, have no choice in their children’s education?
Who advocates tough-on-crime legislation and gun ownership so that neighborhoods can start to thrive again, where children don’t have to sleep on the floor to avoid bullets?
Who is hurt the most by ever-increasing taxes, fees and regulations, and who needs a healthy business climate to attract and keep the good jobs necessary to provide opportunities and sustain families?
What ethnic group more than any other opposes gay marriage?
The answer to these questions is that all Pennsylvanians benefit from these common-sense, free-market answers to our toughest problems. But for those among us who are suffering the most, these Republican-oriented ideas are more than just workable and proven solutions. They are the difference between hope and despair— life and death.
So let me shout it to those in the cheap seats one more time (that’s you, Sen. Williams): quit the race-baiting game and stop being part of the problem. If you truly want to do something for your "people," then embrace the solutions that will get the job done.
Anything less is just….racism.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist and investigative reporter whose news site, The Artorius News Bureau, is slated to launch in mid-February. Readers of "Freindly Fire" hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. Freind also serves as a weekly guest commentator on a Philadelphia-area talk radio show, and makes numerous other television and radio appearances. He can be reached at [email protected]