By Dr. Marilyn Singleton
I grew up in a segregated neighborhood where within three months of our Doberman’s death, our house was burglarized four times. Thus, a new architectural feature: burglar bars. I can’t imagine my old neighborhood with no police to protect us. Our experience reflected the 2016 and 2019 studies showing no racial bias in police shootings — what Harvard’s Roland G. Fryer Jr. called “the most surprising result of my career.”
Year after year, this boomer black woman has seen the country change for the better. It was the ever-present burglar bars that made me appreciate integration all the more. Now I can live in any neighborhood I choose. As black people moved through an integrated society, negative attitudes changed. While the Great Society’s federal poverty programs helped around the edges, the rules for some programs encouraged mothers to jettison their children’s father from the home. Fatherless children are more likely to be high school drop-outs, thus limiting their opportunities for the future. There must be more to social policy than throwing federal dollars at “the underserved.” Reliance on government money is the road to a permanent low income. This saps the recipient of dignity and the spirit of achievement.
Welfare programs hurt more than they have helped by marrying the recipients to the government. Black Panther Minister of Information Eldredge Cleaver said it well: “What we have to do is organize people in free institutions that can put them to work, and then they can draw their living out of our economy, not out of the federal treasury. … If we [create projects] through the state like President Roosevelt did with the New Deal, you augment the power of the state. But if you do it through decentralized structures that are controlled by the people, then we maintain our freedom, within a free institution.”
Black activists complained that cities were run by white men. For years we’ve had black mayors, chiefs of police and school superintendents. Sadly, little has changed. As of 2013, only 59 percent of black males finished high school. High school dropouts have a 70 percent chance of going to prison. Black folks cannot partake of the opportunities in front of them without a good education. Many times, the worst teachers are shunted to poor neighborhoods with substandard schools.
Meanwhile, “progressives” bow down to the unions and oppose school choice, and paradoxically champion the free flow of illegal aliens for cheap labor, thus displacing black high school dropouts from these unskilled jobs.
Social Justice Warriors (SJW) and white teenagers from well-heeled neighborhoods seem to think there were no successful black folks until the SJWs decided to rescue us. My grandfather graduated from a white medical school in 1905. My mother’s big sister became a dentist in the 1940s. Repeat: black female dentist, 1940s.
Oh, yes, the SJWs lovingly suggest you read self-flagellating books about how every white person is a racist. Why don’t they ever suggest 1950s tennis trailblazer Althea Gibson’s I Always Wanted to Be Somebody. Or Why Should White Guys have All the Fun by Reginald Lewis, a poor black kid who attended college on a scholarship and Harvard Law School, worked his way up in the financial world of leverage buy-outs, and in 1987 bought Beatrice International for $985 million.
Predictably, the SJWs find an excuse for why some blacks are able to make something out of their lives and are eager to blame faceless white devils for the failures of black folks. Tell this to a regular guy from Twitter: “I’m a 33-year-old black male and I have NEVER been oppressed. I can buy a car, I can buy a home, I can obtain a passport, I can WORK. I love this great country and proud to be an American.” Of course, he was labelled with the obligatory Uncle Tom moniker.
Democrats had the presidency, the House and the Senate for two years during Barack Obama’s presidency. It’s curious that there were no mass nationwide protests under Obama’s watch, even with police-involved deaths. Did the civil rights advocates think he was actually doing something for black people? Was he given a pass because he is black? Of course, giving black people a pass is so racist; it implies that black people are not up to the task.
What is going on now is beyond protesting. It is sick, cult-like behavior. White people kneeling in front of black people professing their brokenness and begging forgiveness — for what? The immutable trait of their skin color? What about the descendants of black slave owners? If you can find them, they should probably be thrashed. I would have not a scintilla of respect for anyone who knelt before me and apologized for being alive.
Let’s stipulate that some people (both black and white) are actual racists. Tarring all people with the same brush is a dangerous road to travel and risks the loss of good will. While protesters say they want a conversation about race, why would anyone converse with a disdainful overlord wannabe who has determined that you are lower than a worm’s belly at the outset? This is a recipe for a race war, not peace.
As a physician, I cannot ignore the plain fact that the people who champion social distancing and mask shaming are silent about the current large gatherings of protesters standing shoulder-to-shoulder. This must be one smart virus that can tell the difference between anti-economic lockdown/let me feed my family protesters and Black Lives Matter protesters.
And why do only some black lives matter? Nineteen persons were killed in Chicago during the last weekend of May as the Black Lives Matter protests rolled on. With its black superintendent of police and black mayor, from Jan. 1 to June 1, Chicago had 236 homicides, 165 of whom were known to be black. None were killed by the police. Most were under 30 years old. Where are the national television stories and public vigils? Read these names and weep.
Dr. Marilyn Singleton is a board-certified anesthesiologist. She is the immediate past president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. She graduated from Stanford University and earned her MD at UCSF Medical School. She attended UC Berkeley Law School, focusing on constitutional law and administrative law.