Bob Herbert is the most liberal member of The New York Times editorial board. He champions a wide variety of left wing causes, but today I am in complete agree with his sentiments. A link to his article on the black male crisis is below and he makes the following key observations:
- A tragic crisis of enormous magnitude is facing black boys and men in America. Parental neglect, racial discrimination and an orgy of self-destructive behavior have left an extraordinary portion of the black male population in an ever-deepening pit of social and economic degradation. On-time high school graduation rate for NYC black males in 2008 was 28 percent.
- The astronomical jobless rates for black men in inner-city neighborhoods are both mind-boggling and heartbreaking. There are many areas where virtually no one has a legitimate job. More than 70 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers.
- That the black community has not been mobilized en masse to turn this crisis around is a screaming shame. Black men have nearly a one-third chance of being incarcerated at some point in their lives. By the time they hit their mid-30s, a solid majority of black men without a high school diploma have spent time in prison. Homicide is the leading cause of death for young black men, with the murderous wounds in most cases inflicted by other young black men. This is a cancer that has been allowed to metastasize for decades. Not only is it not being treated, most people don’t even want to talk about it.
- This is a job that will require a campaign on the scale of the civil rights movement, and it will have to be initiated by the black community. Whether this is fair or not is irrelevant. What is needed is a dramatic mobilization of the black community.
- For many, this is a fight for survival. Terrible injustices have been visited on black people in the United States, but there is never a good reason to collaborate in one’s own destruction. Blacks in America have a long and proud history of overcoming hardship and injustice. It’s time to do it again.