From what I know of history, “unwelcome” minorities who arrive in a community to compete for jobs with native residents are, as one can easily imagine, quickly bonded into self-defensive structures. Whether Welsh coal miners or Italian stevedores or Irish bricklayers, the intruders respond to the hostility that greets their “invasion” of a local economy by forming their own enclaves, both on and off the job. The assimilation that eventually takes place should not be romanticized as a few evening classes in English and a happy afternoon at the public park hunting Easter eggs with the city mayor’s children.
Life gets hard at these times—both for the immigrants seeking a fresh start and for the residents seeking to hold on to what they have. The results of such conflict are seldom happy over the short term. Yet fusion does, historically, occur within a generation or two. In the meantime, the formation of mini-collectives among ethnic minorities can wreak great damage on a democratic republic, I believe. Groups emerge without any official political identity, yet which effectively constitute solid blocs of votes where independent thinking disappears. I will not mince words, either, in saying that an admission of too many immigrant groups too quickly leads to the appearance of too many such collectivist subsets. With Irish voting only for Irish, the corrupt Daly dynasty was able to rise and rule in Chicago, where it still enjoys immense influence. Poles traditionally voted for other Poles in the local elections of Pennsylvania steel country, just as a Spanish surname is of great help to any candidate in most of the desert Southwest. An Irishman severely menaced the re-election of a legitimately Latin senator in Texas last week by draping himself in a Spanish-sounding sobriquet and playing to the immigrant audience’s sense of obligation to preserve solidarity.
Now, the black experience is distinctly different from these generational tug-of-wars in the degree of paternalism mingled with it. “Beto” was trying to be both the boy from the barrio and the great white defender (after the fashion of Dan O’Connell in the old country); his would-be constituency of resettled Mexicans was perhaps suspicious of the latter. As freedmen entered the work force in the late nineteenth century, however, they were usually dependent upon the patronage of some benign white figure who would secure their basic rights in return for support at the polls. In the South, this grandee might be an ex-Confederate (the stereotypical Kentucky Colonel) who was simply trying to preserve peace in a small town; in the North, a population of freedmen would perhaps make common cause with more politically formidable—but still minority-bound—ethnic factions. Though such strictures as literacy tests would long limit black participation in elections farther south, a tradition of patronage seems to have evolved up north between the politics of labor-unionism, extensive urban services, welfare relief, etc., and the black vote. A vote for a Democrat in Boston or Philadelphia was a vote for more labor laws, higher taxes on the wealthy… and more money for black schools and housing.
(To this day, Republicans point to Lincoln’s party affiliation with false naïveté; they surely know full well that the Hubert Humphrey Democrat was not the George Wallace Democrat. For that matter, Mr. Lincoln did not free those slaves he might have released at a stroke of his mighty pen, and his Proclamation was at least partly a license for Northern commanders to recruit more warm bodies into their depleted ranks as they cut a “liberating” swath deep into the South… but no more of that here. Let rhetoric bury rhetoric.)
I would consider this scenario to be Stage Two of our nation’s eventually lethal race relations: the Paternalistic Stage. The Irish, the Poles, and the Italians didn’t need an external, somewhat artificial patron: they clipped out their own supermen from their own cloth. Before long, as well, their ethnic nurseries were producing leaders across the political spectrum as something like full assimilation was accomplished. The same Emerald Isle that gave us Joe Kennedy and his boys (along with their family friend, Joe McCarthy) was also forefather to William F. Buckley (and his brother James, the senator). Sam Alito and the late Antonin Scalia represent the Italian Catholic heritage at least as well as the Cuomo clan… and, of course, we have that enigmatic ideological mongrel, Rudy Giuliani: the big-government, pro-family patriot.
The “pro-family” card is the crucial trump that became tragically shuffled out of the deck in the case of America’s blacks—for Stage Two leads directly to Stage Three. White political patronage of blacks “who couldn’t look out for themselves” (as my grandmother, the Virginia aristocrat, would have insisted) left the door wide open to abuse. My sense as an amateur historian rather than a trained one (if that distinction exists any longer) is that Two shifted to Three quite decisively with LBJ’s Great Society initiatives. I have read that the percentage of black children being reared in traditional two-parent households was in fact slightly higher than the white figure before Lyndon Johnson’s surge of “charity”.
The welfare state changed all of that. Simply for having babies, women could be paid an annual income from the state’s largesse that catapulted them into middle-class consumerism (if not into the middle-class lifestyle). My own experience of volunteer-coaching in a black community about fifteen years ago placed me amid mothers of three and four children, all by a different father, who drove vehicles twice the cost of mine and harvested all of their meals from costly drive-thru’s. One is immediately branded a racist simply for making such observations as this—even when one’s accusers have never volunteered an hour to serve “the oppressed”; but the numbers speak for themselves. At present, with $1,500 of Medicaid per child per month (one source tells me that the correct figure is now $1,700), a mother of four would log an annual income of $72,000. My highest salary after thirty years of teaching didn’t reach two thirds of the way to this peak.
The Paternalistic State thus graduates to a successor that might be called the New Subjugation. Blacks develop almost total dependency upon state subsidies. The victims of this new servitude are numerous, and the degree of sabotage in their lives often diabolical. Adults do not learn job skills, having left high school early to tend to the growing nest of chicks or, at most, exiting an inferior high school without prospects of college. The schools themselves, located in communities where a single parent supervises the children’s homework—and she with minimal education—have little chance of producing scholars yet are allowed, by various devious means, to ratchet up testing scores so that everyone in the system may dodge the dreaded “racist” charge. The children, in turn, have too much time on their hands in an environment with too little to stimulate young minds healthily. One sees a girl over here carrying her first child while herself still possessing no more than a child’s understanding of life—not to mention a child’s physique. (Females who conceive too early are apt to have babies—dare I write it?—with lower IQ’s.) Over there, a boy tries to figure out how to be male in a world where men don’t support their families and are viewed with contempt by the matriarchy, which only wants their semen.
The black male’s plight in the New Subjugation may indeed be worst of all. Medicaid sends him no monthly payment, and society—both the ghetto’s and the broader community’s—views him as walking jail bait. Yet with no skills and hemmed in by distrust, what can he do to achieve any level of self-sufficiency other than peddle illegal drugs or hot cars? Once in a blue moon, he has sufficient athletic talent to earn big bucks in a professional league (almost always a basketball or football league; baseball requires too much instruction, and such instruction would have required the presence of a dad who never appeared on the scene). Even should he succeed here, his glory days may be very brief and chased by pure misery; for he has never learned how to handle money, and he likely has a good half-dozen women demanding child support of him. (I happened to hear lately of an unmarried college football star who has already fathered five bairns. A black student once told me that girls fling themselves at the boys as soon as they show any sign of athletic promise, hoping for a future payday.)
Now, I do not claim that all the white “protectors” who have created this nightmare were not holdovers from the more benign Paternalistic Stage. I have no way of placing a percentage on the level of cynical exploitation; neither does anyone else. Even the more innocent of the paternalists, though, are all too often guilty of “virtue-signaling”: i.e., of shielding the “oppressed and underprivileged” from hard realities not because they care directly about victims, but because they immensely enjoy the guise—the flattering pose—of caring.
Yet some significant percentage of the Subjugation’s architects embraces truly diabolical objectives. These enablers have seduced the black community into permanent dependency the way a pimp would like to lure a rich john into a sex addiction. On the one hand, the professional manipulators have an eternally dedicated voting bloc—a mass of lockstep supporters whose true welfare they can ignore year after year without consequence; and on the other, they have public coffers whose depth, as they tell their ignorant and subjugated constituency, has no limit, and whose treasures are being refused only because wealthy adversaries refuse to share and share alike. Needless to say, the adversaries are white.
It is at this evolutionary point in society’s journey, when race should really be a negligible factor in an individual’s success, that it suddenly becomes foregrounded and magnified to a battlecry. And a battle indeed seems inevitable, under present circumstances: I shall save the exploration of that sad state for a final ramble.