Tuesday, September 13, 2005

George Will on Post-Katrina Liberalism

In his column today, George Will weighs in on "Post-Katrina Liberalism," especially on issues concerning race and poverty: . . .

America's always fast-flowing river of race-obsessing has overflowed its banks, and last Sunday on "This Week" Sen. Barack Obama, Illinois' freshman Democrat, applied to the expression of old banalities a fluency that would be beguiling were it without content. Unfortunately, it included the requisite lament about the president's inadequate "empathy" and an amazing criticism of the government's "historic indifference" and its "passive indifference" that "is as bad as active malice." The senator, 44, is just 30 months older than the "war on poverty" that President Johnson declared in January 1964. Since then the indifference that is as bad as active malice has been expressed in more than $6.6 trillion of antipoverty spending, strictly defined.

The senator is called a "new kind of Democrat," which often means one with new ways of ignoring evidence discordant with old liberal orthodoxies about using cash -- much of it spent through liberalism's "caring professions" -- to cope with cultural collapse. He might, however, care to note three not-at-all recondite rules for avoiding poverty: graduate from high school, don't have a baby until you are married, don't marry while you are a teenager. Among people who obey those rules, poverty is minimal. . . .

Liberalism's post-Katrina fearlessness in discovering the obvious -- if an inner city is inundated, the victims will be disproportionately minorities -- stopped short of indelicately noting how many of the victims were women with children but not husbands. Released during the post-Katrina debacle, scant attention was paid to the National Center for Health Statistics' pertinent report that in 2003, 34.6 percent of all American births were to unmarried women. The percentage among African-American women was 68.2.

Given that most African-Americans are middle class and almost half live outside central cities, and that 76 percent of all births to Louisiana African-Americans were to unmarried women, it is a safe surmise that more than 80 percent of African-American births in inner-city New Orleans -- as in some other inner cities -- were to women without husbands. That translates into a large and constantly renewed cohort of lightly parented adolescent males, and that translates into chaos, in neighborhoods and schools, come rain or come shine.


At Wednesday, September 14, 2005 9:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

George Will is dead-on the mark in his very honest, eye-opening editorial. But what may prove to be astonishing is how all this plays out. The big 3 conservative rules, as Will points out, are; finish high school, don't get married as a teenager and don't have kids as a teenager.

But it may not stop there in this liberal world. It may finish out as being, Rule #4: break all 3 of the previous rules, wait out the big storm that will befall you and then if you survive, collect a bunch of compensation from the federal government.

I truly hope we are all able to help these people out and get them back on their feet. I also hope that the government doesn't make all of these folks rich because they ignored an evacuation or put themselves in a position not to be able to evacuate.

Before you accuse me of not being compassionate, just think about what groups like the Rainbow Coalition are pushing. Yes, there are families who had circumstances that prevented them from getting out of town. But as George Will points out in his stats, there are thousands of these victims who broke all 3 of the big rules and also ignored the evacuation. Help them indeed! I'm just opposed to rewarding them for all the reasons mentioned in Will's column.

the Heckler


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