Monday, February 1, 2021

Woke Politics are a Disaster for Minorities

 From American Mind:

For all that President Biden’s inspiring talk of unity represents a necessary salve after the often-excessive divisiveness of Trump, the new Administration’s focus on “systemic racism” simply nationalizes the race-based politics common in those areas, like California and New York, that now have control of the federal apparat. These policies—from affirmative action to Maoist “struggle sessions” reborn in corporate seminars—have catapulted minorities into important-seeming jobs but have brought little actual progress to most in minority communities. As the activists and their corporate sponsors preen over “defunding police,” it is predominately minority communities who face the greatest threat from renewed levels of violent crime in cities such as New York.

But, as demonstrated in a recent report for the Urban Reform Institute, generally speaking minorities have done much better—in terms of income and homeownership—in deep red states and regions than in the more “enlightened” blue regions. In fact, among larger metropolitan areas such as Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, the median African-American income, adjusted for costs, is more than $60,000—compared to $36,000 in San Francisco and $37,000 in Los Angeles. The median income for Latinos in Virginia Beach-Norfolk is $69,000, compared to $43,000 in Los Angeles, $47,000 in San Francisco, and $40,000 in New York. 

One critical measure can be seen in homeownership. Property remains key to financial security: Homes today account for roughly two thirds of the wealth of middle-income Americans. Homeowners have a median net worth more than 40 times that of renters, according to the Census Bureau. Yet in some parts of the country, notably California and the Northeast, housing prices are often out of reach for most minorities. Black home ownership in areas like Atlanta and Oklahoma City borders on 50%, compared to one third in Los Angeles, Boston, or New York. Among Hispanics, Pittsburgh, Akron, and St. Louis stand out while the least affordable housing markets include the four large California metros, Honolulu, and Boston.

Minorities may still vote blue, but they are moving red. African-American populations are stagnant or even declining in places like New YorkSan FranciscoLos AngelesSeattle, and Portland (whose city council is demanding reparations for the very people who have been pushed out of the city) while rising in many red state metros. Minorities are also becoming suburbanites: In the 50 largest US metropolitan areas, 44% of residents live in racially and ethnically diverse suburbs, ranging from 20% to 60% non-whiteNationwide, in the 53 metropolitan areas with more than 1,000,000 residents, more than three quarters of blacks and Hispanics now live in suburban or exurban areas. More than a third of the 13.3 million new suburbanites between 2000 and 2010 were Hispanic, with white non-Hispanics accounting for a mere fifth of suburban growth. 

To be sure, minorities had ample reasons to dislike Trump, whose more unhinged racially charged outbursts appealed to the very toxic white nationalists who ended up sinking his legacy. There is certainly more support for liberalized immigration than many hard-core Trumpistas suspect. But the fact that he managed to pick up a larger share of minority voters in 2020 suggests there is a market for growth-oriented policies and against the squelching of the grassroots economy. 

The pandemic has inflicted intense economic pain on most minorities. Lockdowns, whether justified or overwrought, have pummeled low-income workers and those living in crowded housingRoughly half of all job losses in April were in such low-paying fields as restaurants, hotels, and amusement parks. Minorities have been far less able to work remotely than tech workers, stock traders, and media figures. Barely 3% of low-wage workers can telecommute, but nearly 50% of those in the upper middle class can. Workers at restaurants and shops may face hard times, but professors and teachers generally continue to teach online and senior bureaucrats remain employed. 

Almost 40% of those Americans making under $40,000 a year have lost their jobs and watched wage gains from the first three years of the Trump Administration evaporate. Some 44% of black households and 61% of Latino households, notes Pew, have suffered a job loss or pay cut compared to 38% of whites. “Lockdown fanatics,” thunders the widely-circulated “labor populist” blog The Bellows, “ have helped manufacture consent for a brutal reorganization of labor that will plunge millions of people into serfdom.” 

The woke brand of race politics now being injected into the Biden Administration is not particularly popular. The vast majority of all races, noted a 2018 survey, reject the woke Manichean “anti-racist” meme and scorn political correctness, even as it is widely adopted by the billionaire class and corporate HR departments. Generally, minorities do not want to turn away from law enforcement; the vast majority of Americans—including millennials and minorities—do not favor defunding the police, even as these policies are pushed in their name. 

Some politicians and progressive intellectuals have excused looting as a form of racial redress, although many victims of “no justice, no peace” are themselves minority business owners and their employees. Similarly, among the general public and many minorities, racial quotas are not particularly popular—as evidenced in the recent defeat this November, in deep blue California, of a proposition to introduce racial preferences (even though opponents were charged with defending “white nationalism”). 

What minorities and working-class people in general—a majority of whom will be non-white by 2030—need is not more Maoist “struggle sessions” but pro-family, pro-growth policies for the broad working class. Policies that transform schools into factories to combat “systemic racism”—with little emphasis on skills or discipline—will not nurture the kind of workforce that can move up. 

One has to wonder how employers will regard students coming out of systems such as that of San Diego, which is busily getting rid of mandates for such things as knowing course material, taking tests, doing work on time, or even showing up (all these, the district insists, are “racist” in nature). This is part of a racially charged effort to dumb down education: deemphasizing tests, excusing bad behavior, targeting selective high schools for extinction, politicizing education schools, and imposing ideology on often ill-educated students. 

Similarly, regulations that drive industries out of the country by raising energy prices will not affect grievance studies professors at the local university. But they could impact union jobs at the factories, or the energy and logistics facilities which often employ minorities. Having groups like the Realtors announce a drive to wipe out “hate speech” may make woke association executives self-satisfied, but it won’t help people leave dysfunctional neighborhoods, create affordable housing, or speed the path to homeownership. (Read more.)


From Gregg Jarrett:

 You are hereby warned: the Woke Mob is coming for you.  They’re aided and abetted by the powerful “cancel culture” that seeks to eliminate free speech, repress dissent, and silence anyone who dares to disagree with their progressive orthodoxy.  Civil liberties?  Forget about it.  That’s a quaint artifact of bygone principles of liberty. Censorship is the new rage.  If you complain or resist, you’ll be targeted with a vengeance.  The woke crowd will demand that you be fired and branded with a Scarlet Letter.  They want you punished as permanently unemployed —blacklisted in perpetuity.  If they get their way, they’ll dictate the way you think, command your every belief, and mandate what you can read or watchThey seek total dominion over your actions and the power to control all aspects of your life. (Read more.)


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