As I look at two sets of statistics for the year 2020, I reflect on former Attorney General Eric Holder’s bold accusation in early 2009.
First the statistics: In 2020, Kansas City, Missouri, population 500,000, had 180 homicides. Johnson County, Kansas, our immediate neighbor to the west, population 600,000, had eight homicides, none since July.
Now to Eric Holder: “Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot,” said Holder to his subordinates at the Department of Justice on his first day in office, “in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.”
The “cowards” line got people’s attention. Writes Obama in his new memoir, “A Promised Land,” it was “a true enough observation but not necessarily the headline we were looking for at the end of my first few weeks in office.”
Although white Americans are reluctant to speak about race, Holder, like Obama, seemed clueless as to why. Let me give them a heads up from my own experience.
Shut out of higher ed for being a white male, I ended up taking a job in public housing in Kansas City out of grad school, my best credential being that my family still lived in public housing in Newark, the big leagues of urban disorder.
As director of management I was in a position to review the financial dynamics of how our residents lived. What became quickly obvious was that the various government entities, my agency included, were driving men out of the home and driving crime through the roof.
I wrote an article on black crime for the Kansas City Star detailing how each program – AFDC, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Public Housing – encouraged and subsidized fatherless households especially among African Americans.
City Hall erupted. So did our overlords at HUD. Were it not for the intervention of my supportive black boss I would have been fired.
“Jack,” he said sympathetically, “no more.” From then on I wrote under a pseudonym until I could write my way out of public housing.
In the 30 years after I wrote that article, progressive America grew even less tolerant of dissent. By the time Holder took office, Star editors would not have even contemplated publishing my article.
Holder and Obama were not oblivious to the chokehold their allies had on speech in public forums. Rather, they had come to believe that their opponents – we deplorables – were unworthy of being heard.
“If we are to make progress in this area,” Holder told the DOJ staffers, “we must feel comfortable enough with one another and tolerant enough of each other to have frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us.”
In the City Journal, attorney and scholar Heather Mac Donald broke down Holder’s “frank” into its component parts, all subsets of a half-century-long progressive disinformation campaign.
“Police stop and arrest blacks at disproportionate rates because of racism; blacks are disproportionately in prison because of racism; blacks are failing in school because of racist inequities in school funding; the black poverty rate is the highest in the country because of racism; blacks were given mortgages that they couldn’t afford because of racism.”
Mac Donald detailed how family breakdown has led almost inexorably to the host of pathologies that plague black America.
“The issue of race in the United States is more complex than polite company is usually allowed to express,” she concluded. “If Eric Holder wants to crank up our racial preoccupations even further, let him at least do so with a full airing of the facts.”
The tragedy is that Obama knew this and was too afraid to do anything about it. “If we are honest with ourselves,” he said on Father’s Day 2008, “we’ll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing – missing from too many lives and too many homes.”
“You and I know how true this is in the African-American community,” said Obama. “We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled – doubled – since we were children.”
He continued, “We know the statistics – that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.”
If we are honest with ourselves … had Obama continued to be as honest as he was that Father’s Day, this would be a different country today. But he wasn’t, and it isn’t.
So now with BLM in its ascendancy and homicide rates mounting, we will all pretend that the murder pandemic that uniquely plagues black America is because of guns or racism or something.
Then we’ll dutifully keep our mouths shut.
Jack Cashill’s new book, Unmasking Obama, is now available on audio as well as other formats at Amazon.
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