Independence Day weekend turned into a bloodbath for Chicago residents. By the end of it, nine lay dead and over 40 wounded. One of the nine deaths was seven year old Amir Brown who was hit by a stray bullet while watching fireworks.
There were no riots or protests. No one wants to ban any flags. Other than a local news report, there were no big headlines and liberals didn't scream "racism" in every internet meme. In fact, I havenâ€™t really seen much about it except by chance.
But why? I thought #BlackLivesMatter.
It's simple, really. For the "progressive" left, black lives only matter when they're killed by white people and their deaths can be blamed on racism because it scores political points. Liberal pundits want to keep that narrative alive because it masks their own policy failure.
The loss of any life is tragic and I realize we cannot make a scene over every loss. "Black killed by white" is more of a phenomenon than a real trend, yet liberals refuse to bring up that 93% of black murder victims are killed by other blacks. In my opinion, that is more deserved of a call to action because it deeply affects the black community and represents a larger issue.
While liberals scream about "racism", real problems plaguing black communities around the nation go overlooked. They create a scapegoat (white people), drag them through the mud, and then pretend to have "helped" the black community.
Ironically, decades of failed government policy, mostly purported by the left, has caused far more racial disparity than "racism". The solution to this is, of course, more government. Apparently, violently enforced segregation, Draconian drug war, and numerous poverty traps just isn't enough proof that government has no interest in curing racial disparity.
What solutions have come from the left? President Obama recently announced solar panels for low income neighborhoods in Baltimore. Yes, between all the murders, unemployment, and drug gangs, I'm sure the residents are looking forward to solar panels and government programs.
Poor black neighborhoods need to be empowered as individuals. Top-down, state run education has left blistering holes in state budgets while forcing bright young minds into failing institutions. Occupational licensing prevents poor blacks from pursuing entrepreneurial ambition by creating protectionist barriers to entry.
Drug prohibition has turned a public health issue over to criminal justice zealots and inadvertently led to more harmful substances, policy brutality, and gang ridden neighborhoods. Minimum wages, originally a eugenics plot to protect whites from competitive black labor, have resulted in increased long term unemployment, priced young blacks out of their first job, and reduced lifetime incomes.
The Great Society and liberal "war on poverty" created poverty traps in the name of "helping people". As a result, single mothers have skyrocketed and economic disparity has widened. In economic terms, these welfare programs act as competition to labor wages because itâ€™s a form of compensation, but for doing nothing. Alongside a minimum wage and collapsing family unit, the result is a bloated welfare state of unproductive individuals.
Thomas Sowell has written about this issue many times. In his own words, â€œAnyone who is serious about evidence need only compare black communities as they evolved in the first 100 years after slavery with black communities as they evolved in the first 50 years after the explosive growth of the welfare state, beginning in the 1960s.â€
These policies have all been supported by liberal politicians as a way to "help" black people. They have caused a perfect storm of economics. As a result of their legislated environment, blacks are forced out of the labor market and on to the government check. If they want for more in life, the only viable and most lucrative option happens to be illegal. No wonder we incarcerate black men at such a high rate.
â€œRacismâ€ is not at fault, nor I am blaming black people. As a student of economics, I firmly believe that incentives shape peopleâ€™s behavior. Liberal policies in the last five decades have created the incentive to get paid for being unproductive while also priced out of the labor market with no access to useful education. In other words, blacks have been set up for failure by a self-righteous agenda.
Whatâ€™s left to do after it all? Go on welfare or join a drug gang. Thus, we see densely populated urban areas plagued with these problems. Politically created incentives result in disastrous real economic outcomes, which is exactly the cause of racial disparity.
Itâ€™s easy to see what these policies are doing in real terms, but I continue to see the narrative perverted by leftist politicians who refuse to accept blame for their attempts at social engineering. It was refreshing to see a black civil rights leader make this point with a billboard (pictured above).
By blaming â€œracismâ€ and flocking to selective outrage, populist liberals have driven the conversation away from real economic outcomes. As long as that narrative maintains and policies remain, I am skeptical that racial disparity will ever narrow. In honesty, itâ€™s one of the most heartbreaking and frustrating political narratives of our modern times.