It's impossible to talk about specific challenges facing ethnic groups without a small group of angry people shouting "Racist," like modern-day inquisitors who shrieked "Heretic!" to drown out the arguments of unfortunate people accused of blasphemy in 15th century Spain. Ironically, by desperately trying to prevent the sensitive subject from being publicly discussed, the inquisitors also prohibit any improvements in the lives of the people who are affected by the problem. As a courtesy, here is your opportunity to get the shouts out of your system.
OK, ready to begin solving the problem?
First, let's state the issue.
Tuesday's Los Angeles Times reported on a College Board Advocacy & Policy Center study regarding education, crime, and employment statistics, broken down by ethnic group.
It found, in part:
· 70% of Asian men had an associate's degree or higher, compared to 28% of black men
· Young black men were 3 times more likely to be incarcerated than young Asian men
The question, that hopefully will lead us to a solution, is why is there a disparity between two minority groups in these areas? If we compared white people versus black people, the obvious response would be that white people are predominantly in the ruling power structure. But that answer frays when we introduce Asians to the equation, who are no better represented in institutionalized systems than blacks.
In this comparison, we immediately have to address the history of slavery in America. Asians were not enslaved, subject to Jim Crow laws, or lynched, like blacks were.
Their experience was more similar to blacks than most people know. The first Chinese immigrants were singled out for special taxes and sometimes physically attacked and murdered. They were prohibited from testifying against whites in court. Their wages were suppressed--they only made 60% of what European immigrants made, even though they performed some of the hardest work, such as building the transcontinental railroad. They were subjected to the Chinese Exclusion Act, which prohibited them from becoming citizens.
And yes, they too were lynched.
Let's not forget that Asians were rounded up by the FDR administration and thrown into internment camps in World War II.
The institutional racism experienced by blacks and Asians is also similar in that it's largely evaporated in the last four decades. It's taboo to even mention race--an off-color joke or an insensitive remark is all it takes to remove a powerful public official from office, if he offends the wrong group. The path is clear for anyone from any background to achieve success in this country regardless of their racial background, a change in attitude that is personified by President Barack Obama (while we still wait for the first Asian president).
We must now return to the problem, because the explanation that "blacks had it tough" doesn't hold muster now that we've demonstrated that Asians also had it tough.
So what's the correct answer?
It has nothing to do with genetics, or color, or oppression. In fact, quite the opposite of oppression--it has to do with whichever group the government is trying to "help" most. We could pick any ethnic group and have the government try to help it, and within one generation the group will be hugely and negatively impacted.
It seems paradoxical, but consider this.
Take a person who is perfectly capable of walking and running. Now, stick him in a wheelchair and tell him he really needs it, the world is unfair, he can't compete out there on his own. Wheel him around wherever he goes. Do everything for him. Don't let him walk or run anymore. Offer to wheel him wherever he wants to go.
After some years, his perfectly good muscles will atrophy and he'll be taught to be reliant on the wheelchair.
Now, congratulate yourself--you've just done what the government did to its preferred minority groups over the last several decades, thanks to the "soft bigotry of low expectations," that George W. Bush identified.
To prove my point, the minority groups that the government did not interfere with are spectacular examples of success. The ones that the government decided to "help" are suffering with 70% out-of-wedlock birth rates--after all, who needs a head of household when Uncle Sam will mail you a check. That means single parents and that means low income households, both of which are correlated to higher crime rates.
I believe that people of any race are created equal. The left seems to think that some groups are unable to compete because of their race, and when the government destroys incentives to form a healthy family structure, the left creates the problematic conditions they say they are trying to solve.
The healthy man, unnecessarily confined to a wheelchair for years, ultimately becomes dependent on it. If the left would just let all groups stand on their own two feet, we'd see an explosion in income, education, and societal equality among all groups.