What left-wing ed­u­ca­tors don’t teach dur­ing Black His­tory Month

Ottawa Sun - - COMMENT - LARRY EL­DER www.lar­ryelder.com @Lar­ryElder

When will Black His­tory Month be ... his­tory?

Apart from the bizarre no­tion that ed­u­ca­tors should set aside one month to salute the his­tor­i­cal achieve­ments of one race apart from and above the his­tor­i­cal achieve­ments of other races, Black His­tory Month ap­pears to omit a lot of black his­tory.

About slav­ery, do our mostly left-wing ed­u­ca­tors teach that slav­ery was not unique to Amer­ica and is as old as hu­mankind? As econ­o­mist and au­thor Thomas Sow­ell says: “More whites were brought as slaves to North Africa than blacks brought as slaves to the United States or to the 13 colonies from which it was formed. White slaves were still be­ing bought and sold in the Ot­toman Em­pire, decades af­ter blacks were freed in the United States.”

Are stu­dents taught that “race-based pref­er­ences,” some­times called “af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion,” were op­posed by sev­eral civil rights lead­ers? While Na­tional Ur­ban League Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Whit­ney Young sup­ported a type of “Mar­shall Plan” for a pe­riod of 10 years to make up for his­tor­i­cal dis­crim­i­na­tion, his board of di­rec­tors re­fused to en­dorse the plan. In re­ject­ing it, the pres­i­dent of the Ur­ban League in Pitts­burgh said the pub­lic would ask, “What in blazes are these guys up to? They tell us for years that we must buy (nondis­crim­i­na­tion) and then they say, ’It isn’t what we want.’“

A mem­ber of the Ur­ban League in New York ob­jected to what he called “the heart of it — the busi­ness of em­ploy­ing Ne­groes (be­cause they are Ne­groes).“Ba­yard Rustin was one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s key lieu­tenants and helped to plan and or­ga­nize the civil rights march in D.C. that cul­mi­nated in King’s fa­mous “I Have a Dream” speech. Rustin, an openly gay black man, also op­posed race-based pref­er­ences.

Do our left-wing ed­u­ca­tors, dur­ing Black His­tory Month, note that Pres­i­dent Franklin De­lano Roo­sevelt’s cel­e­brated New Deal ac­tu­ally hurt blacks? Ac­cord­ing to Cato In­sti­tute’s Jim Pow­ell, blacks lost as many as 500,000 jobs as a re­sult of anti-com­pet­i­tive, job-killing reg­u­la­tions of the New Deal. Pow­ell writes: “The flag­ship of the New Deal was the Na­tional In­dus­trial Re­cov­ery Act, passed in June 1933. It au­tho­rized the pres­i­dent to is­sue ex­ec­u­tive or­ders es­tab­lish­ing some 700 in­dus­trial car­tels, which re­stricted out­put and forced wages and prices above mar­ket lev­els.

The min­i­mum wage reg­u­la­tions made it il­le­gal for em­ploy­ers to hire peo­ple who weren’t worth the min­i­mum be­cause they lacked skills. As a re­sult, some 500,000 blacks, par­tic­u­larly in the South, were es­ti­mated to have lost their jobs. Mar­ginal work­ers, like un­skilled blacks, des­per­ately needed an ex­pand­ing econ­omy to cre­ate more jobs. Yet New Deal poli­cies made it harder for em­ploy­ers to hire peo­ple. FDR tripled fed­eral taxes be­tween 1933 and 1940. ... By giv­ing labour unions the mo­nop­oly power to ex­clu­sively rep­re­sent em­ploy­ees in a work­place, the (1935) Wag­ner Act had the ef­fect of ex­clud­ing blacks, since the dom­i­nant unions dis­crim­i­nated against blacks.”

Are stu­dents taught that gun con­trol, widely em­braced by to­day’s black lead­er­ship, be­gan as a means to deny free blacks the right to own guns? In rul­ing that blacks were chat­tel prop­erty in the Dred Scott case, Supreme Court Chief Jus­tice Roger Taney warned that the con­se­quences of rul­ing oth­er­wise would mean that blacks would be able to own guns. If blacks were “en­ti­tled to the priv­i­leges and im­mu­ni­ties of cit­i­zens,” said Taney, “it would give per­sons of the Ne­gro race, who were rec­og­nized as cit­i­zens in any one state of the union, the right ... to keep and carry arms wher­ever they went ... en­dan­ger­ing the peace and safety of the state.”

Are stu­dents taught that gen­er­a­tions of civil rights lead­ers op­posed im­mi­gra­tion — both le­gal and il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion? Af­ter the Civil War, black abo­li­tion­ist Fred­er­ick Dou­glass im­plored em­ploy­ers to hire blacks over new im­mi­grants. Twenty-five years later, Booker T. Wash­ing­ton pleaded with South­ern in­dus­tri­al­ists to hire blacks over new im­mi­grants: “One third of the pop­u­la­tion of the South is of the Ne­gro race . ... To those of the white race who look to the in­com­ing of those of for­eign birth and strange tongue and habits for the pros­per­ity of the South: Cast down your bucket where you are. Cast it down among the eight mil­lions of Ne­groes whose habits you know, whose fidelity and love you have tested in days when to have proved treach­er­ous meant the ruin of your fire­side.”

About il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion, an is­sue that nearly all of to­day’s so-called black lead­ers sim­ply ig­nore, Coretta Scott King signed a let­ter urg­ing Congress to re­tain harsh sanc­tions against em­ploy­ers who know­ingly hire il­le­gal work­ers. The let­ter said: “We are con­cerned ... that ... the elim­i­na­tion of em­ployer sanc­tions will cause an­other prob­lem — the re­vival of the pre-1986 dis­crim­i­na­tion against black and brown U.S. and doc­u­mented work­ers, in fa­vor of cheap labour — the un­doc­u­mented work­ers. This would un­doubt­edly ex­ac­er­bate an al­ready se­vere eco­nomic cri­sis in com­mu­ni­ties where there are large num­bers of new im­mi­grants.”

These are just a few his­tor­i­cal and in­con­ve­nient notes left on the cut­ting room floor dur­ing Black His­tory Month.

El­der is a best-sell­ing au­thor and na­tion­ally syn­di­cated ra­dio talk-show host




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