by Patricia L. Dickson 3/26/15
The recent events in Ferguson have ignited racial flames to the point that everywhere we look someone is talking about the need for a conversation about race. Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz launched a cheesy initiative (that has now been dropped) to harass their customers into a discussion about race by writing “race together” on the side of coffee cups. What specifically are Americans supposed to discuss about race? If liberals want to use the disparity between the rich and the poor (the haves and the have-nots) to start the conversation about race, I would suggest we begin with how their policies have affected black Americans.
If Americans want to see racism on display, walk through our inner cities. Many of our inner cities are and have been run by compassionate Democrats (many who are black) for decades. Writer Jim Quinn outlined in his article “30 Blocks of Racism, Incompetence & Collapse” published on the blog The Burning Platform, the horrible living conditions that poor blacks endure in West Philadelphia where the majority of the leaders are black:
Philadelphia’s mayor is black. Its previous mayor was black. Its City Council is overwhelmingly black, with a few Hispanics and liberal union loving whites sprinkled in. Its police chief is black. Its fire commissioner is black. Its school district is run by blacks. The population of West Philly is 76% black. And you know who is racist? The black leadership of Philadelphia is racist.
Mr. Quinn has been writing about what he has observed in the poor black area of West Philadelphia for the past eight years. For this, he has been called a racist by liberals. He describes West Philadelphia as the 30 Blocks of Squalor, a microcosm of Philadelphia in general which in turn is a microcosm of America. He delineates the line of demarcation between the poor black neighborhoods and the rich white section of town that was visibly evident with the recent ice/snow storm that hit Philadelphia:
Last week we had two ice/snowstorms that struck the Philadelphia area. By the morning all of the roads in my northern suburban area were plowed and easily drivable. When I got off the Schuylkill Expressway at Girard Avenue and entered West Philly, the land where snowplows and salt evidently don’t exist, it was like I had arrived in a third world country where government services were nothing but a dream.
The City snow emergency plan for the black neighborhoods of West Philly is to wait until warm weather melts the snow. No effort whatsoever is made to clear the streets or even put salt down to make them safer for vehicle traffic. The racism is evident as you progress down 36th street towards University City. The demarcation line between the poor black neighborhoods and the rich white sections around the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University is Lancaster Avenue. Miraculously, as soon as you cross Lancaster Avenue the streets are clear of snow and easy to navigate. It seems money talks to the hypocrites at City Hall who pretend to care about those living in squalor, but leave them to fend for themselves during snowstorms, while clearing the streets for the lily white inhabitants of University City. This fits the definition of discrimination: the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people. The poor black people of West Philly are treated worse than the rich institutions of West Philly by the black government leaders of Philadelphia.
Where is all the so-called compassion for these poor blacks in these rundown rat-infested neighborhoods? Why don’t we have a conversation about this? With all the city and local tax revenues collected from the taxpayers, there is no excuse for any city in America to look like a third-world country (I know exactly what a third-world country looks like because I served in Iraq). Mr. Quinn noted that the problem stems from cronyism, incompetent leaders, and government bureaucracy:
When you spend your tax revenues on mural painting programs, gold plated union teacher and government worker pension plans, and a bloated inefficient union controlled governmental bureaucracy, you don’t have anything left over to address the only real need for government – keeping streets drivable, stop lights working, and water pipes from exploding.
Every city, state, and Federal government has an annual budget that is supposed to address capital expenditure needs, along with all budgetary choices. The politicians we have elected chose to ignore the infrastructure in favor of welfare distributions, union handouts, worthless education initiatives, and payouts to the crony constituents who elect them. Now every level of government is bankrupt and there is nothing left in the pot to address the basic requirements needed to keep a city functioning on a day to day basis.
West Philadelphia is just one of many bankrupt inner cities run by Democrats. Not only do these compassionate champions of the poor neglect to use tax revenues for the upkeep and repair of the infrastructure in these neighborhoods, Democrats condemn the inhabitants to a life of poverty by plying them with government handouts (not a hand up) and dumbing down the school system in order to keep them voting Democrat. Yet, it is these same liberals who want to have a conversation about race. I have always said that I would never support a politician that purports to be for the poor. I interpret being for the poor to mean the politician will implement policies that will sustain an individual in a state of poverty rather than lift him or her out of it. Liberal Policies are not meant to help (as they claim), but to sustain.
Patricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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