Roger Clegg: Some Blunt Talk On Race

Some will regard the following guest post by Roger Clegg, president and general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity, as politically incorrect. I do not. I suspect, however, that I would have posted it even if I did, based on a belief that the best way to fight political correctness is by being willing to say, write, and publish arguments that some denounce as politically incorrect. This willingness, of course, has its limits. There are, after all, some arguments I would not be willing to post here even though the proctors of political correctness would applaud my refusal. And I am reminded — indeed, I remind myself — of some critics of McCarthyism who eagerly signed any statement or petition put in front of them, whether they agreed or not, as their way of resisting the fear that prevented others from speaking out. But enough about me; here is some much needed blunt talk from Roger on race (and other matters):

Many African Americans have blown it. By no means all, but many. By no means only African Americans, as I’ll discuss below, but a disproportionate number of them.

African Americans finally and rightly achieved great equality of law, and along with it much greater equality of opportunity than they had ever had, as a result of the Civil Rights Movement that culminated in the 1960s. But they have failed to take advantage of it.

It’s a sad irony that, at the same time something good was happening for them, sometime bad was happening, too. This is not to say that great progress hasn’t been made in shrinking various socioeconomic gaps between African Americans and other groups, but the progress could have been much greater.

To be blunt:  The reason I say that African Americans have blown it is because, at the same time that they were achieving so much, they abandoned marital childbearing in large numbers. At the same time the civil-rights advances were occurring, the black family started to implode, so that now 71 percent of African Americans are born out of wedlock.

And now those in organizations on the left like Black Lives Matter are blaming others for this failure by too many African Americans. Yet it is this failure that accounts for the persistence of racial disparities, not racial discrimination. For raising children without fathers results in more crime, more poverty, more unemployment, more substance abuse, more high-school dropouts — you name the social problem, and it goes along with illegitimacy, and that includes the problem of illegitimacy itself, which has become intergenerational and culturally ingrained.

And, what’s more, the persistence of racial discrimination is itself caused by the racial disparities as much as it is a cause of them. Racial stereotypes often lead to discrimination, but racial stereotypes, alas, are not completely divorced from reality.

Recall the confession years ago of Jesse Jackson — yes, Jesse Jackson of all people — that if he hears footsteps behind him on a dark street he is relieved when a nervous glance back over his shoulder reveals that the two youths behind him are white, not black.

Why did this happen — why, that is, did the African American family implode at the same time as the Civil Rights Movement was triumphing?

I don’t know. John McWhorter, a decade ago in his book Winning the Race, blamed it on the hippies — or, more precisely, on the cavalier liberal attitude in the 1960s toward sexual promiscuity.  It’s as good a theory as any I’ve heard. The same forces that gave us the Civil Rights Movement also gave us the Great Society, and with the latter came a decidedly anti-bourgeois mentality. But, as Irving Kristol warned, it’s a mistake to look down on the bourgeoisie, and we ignore its values at our peril.

Upper class whites were able to recover from the sixties nonsense.  Lower-income blacks, not so much.

Whatever the cause of that 71 percent number, in any event, what is to be done now?

Here again, I’m afraid that it’s hard to say.  You can’t pass laws against illegitimacy and promiscuity. These are fundamentally moral problems.  My own view is that we need another Great Awakening. And of course that’s something else that can’t be legislated.

But the good news is that the black out-of-wedlock birthrate can go from 71 percent to 0 percent in exactly 9 months without it costing anyone a dime.  All that’s necessary if for African Americans — and, in particular, African American women — to will it.

I stress women not because they are more culpable. To the contrary, biology being what it is, I think it is more likely that they can be persuaded to behave responsibly than men, especially young men. And women, after all, are the ones more likely to bear the brunt of the problems of single parenthood.

I’m under no illusions, though: This message has to be carried by someone like Oprah Winfrey, or better yet whoever the younger version of her is these days, rather than an old white guy like yours truly.

And, while I’m focusing on African Americans here, let me also hasten to add that all of this is true for members of other racial and ethnic minority groups — and for whites, too.

Indeed, much is being made now of the collapse of strong families and the concurrent rise of social pathologies in large swaths of white America. That seems to be the theme of J.D. Vance’s new book Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. That was also the point of Charles Murray’s earlier book, Coming Apart.

That’s all true.  This is really not about race. Bad behavior leads to bad results for any demographic group, and bad behavior for any demographic group is strongly correlated with raising children in a home without a father.


Hillary Now Lying About … Her Lying

At this late date anyone shocked by Hillary Clinton lying is like Captain Renault in Casablanca, who pronounced himself “shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here [a croupier hands Renault a pile of money].” Anyone who believes any of the various and inconsistent explanations and justifications of her claiming private ownership of the public record of her service in the State Department probably also believes that her 30,000 or so destroyed “private” emails — half of everything she claims to have written — really were private.

And in fact Hillary Clinton’s lying — any Clinton’s lying — is indeed, as the Clintons would say, old news. What is new is that she has lied so much in so many different venues that she has now been reduced to lying about her lying.

Thus on “Fox News Sunday” she replied to Chris Wallace’s request for  her to comment on FBI Director James Comey’s comment that “none of those things you told the American public [about classified information being sent and received on her private server] were true.”

CLINTON: Chris, that’s not what I heard Director Comey say, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity, in my view, clarify.

Director Comey said my answers were truthful, and what I’ve said is consistent with what I have told the American people, that there were decisions discussed and made to classify retroactively certain of the emails.

Comey, of course, said exactly the opposite. His July 5 prepared statement on the FBI investigation confirmed that

Seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters…. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails).

In short, everyone, even the Associated Press and the Washington Post (Four Pinocchios), recognized Clinton’s claim that Directory Comey said her statements were truthful was  a gaffe “short-circuited” reply a lie. But now, ignoring universal advice about what people standing in a hole should, she has doubled down, digging even deeper below the surface of truth. Yesterday, speaking to combined conventions of black and Hispanic journalists, Hillary declared that “what we have here is pretty much what I have been saying throughout this whole year and — and that is that I never sent or received anything that was marked ‘classified.’”

Well, that too, of course, is a lie. The only thing consistent about Hillary’s serial explanations of her server fiasco is their mendacity. When she first went public with her defense in a disastrous press conference in March 2015, she declared without any “marked” or other qualification that “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material. So I’m certainly well-aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”

When that claim was easily proven, er,  short-circuited, she took to saying “marked classified,” in hopes that would fool enough people who might not know that classified information does not have to be “marked” classified to be classified. As Director Comey said in his prepared statement, “even if information is not marked ‘classified’ in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.”

But perhaps she wasn’t lying about knowing that she sent and received classified information. Perhaps it is a mistake to assume that Hillary Clinton actually knows what she “should know.”

So, what we have now is the nominee of one party who bombastically disregards and disrespects truth and the nominee of the other who is a calculated, lawyered-up, serial liar.

And to think we used to be a great nation….

Two Three Short (But Good) Pieces

My “THUMBS ON THE RACIAL SCALE AT UCLA, BERKELEY,” recently posted on Minding The Campus, will surprise no readers who are familiar with the way the University of California has complied (or not) with the non-discriminatory mandate of Prop. 209, but it may be interesting anyway. And you may also get a kick out of […]

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NCAA Throws Rocks From Inside Glass House

I neglected to note here that a few days ago I posted “NCAA Throws Rocks From Inside Glass House” on National Review Online’s Phi Beta Cons. And a few minutes ago I added the following Addendum to it: I’ve just noticed that Ed Whelan, over on Bench Memos, posted similar thoughts about the NCAA’s political correctness […]

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COMPARE: Press Release, House Democratic Caucus Newsroom: CHAIRMAN BECERRA: SECRET MONEY HIJACKS OUR DEMOCRACY JUDGE DENIES KAMALA HARRIS KOCH BROTHERS’ DONOR LIST: A conservative advocacy group backed by the Koch brothers won a First Amendment victory this week denying California Attorney General Kamala Harris access to the names of conservative nonprofit members and contributors. Harris, […]

Why Do So Many People Guffaw At The Pontifications Of Liberal Journalists?

If you want to know why so many people guffaw at the pontifications of liberal journalists, take at look at Todd Purdum’s fumbling attempt on Politico to explain “Why Can’t Hillary Stop Fudging The Truth?” Purdum’s answer: “Plainly put, Clinton herself has kept the issue alive over 25 years of public life, with long-winded, defensive, […]

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