Banish The Bling
Juan Williams argues in an op-ed in today’s Post that, while “systemic racism remains a reality, there is also a far more sinister obstacle facing African American young people today: a culture steeped in bitterness and nihilism, a culture that is a virtual blueprint for failure.” The money ‘graph:
With 50 percent of Hispanic children and nearly 70 percent of black children born to single women today these young people too often come from fractured families where there is little time for parenting. Their search for identity and a sense of direction is undermined by a twisted popular culture that focuses on the “bling-bling” of fast money associated with famous basketball players, rap artists, drug dealers and the idea that women are at their best when flaunting their sexuality and having babies.
It’s not a new argument, having been made by people from Bill Cosby the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Indeed, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton say much the same thing when talking to black audiences. Still, it’s one that bears repeating, especially when it comes from highly respected minority voices with impeccable civil rights credentials.
While Williams is decidedly left-of-center in his politics, he’s very much a product of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. school of social policy. While I have not yet read it, his new book, Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America–and What We Can Do About It, is hardly a departure from the author of Thurgood Marshall, Eyes on the Prize, and many other books. Williams is a man of deep religious faith and spirituality, as exemplified by his 2004 book, This Far by Faith: Stories from the African American Religious Experience.