Certainly, that’s what Al Levie, a teacher in Racine, Wisconsin, concluded when Ryan attempted to honor him on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a certificate of recognition at a public event. Levie told the local media:
The NAACP, which is the oldest civil rights organization in the country, has given him an “F” rating for his voting record on civil rights issues, and for him to come up and give me a civil rights award, I didn’t feel it was proper.
One earns a “F” from the NAACP for agreeing with them less than 60% of the time on issues such as those listed above. Ryan agreed 10%. He clearly hates black people, right?
In truth, the folks showing palpable animosity toward blacks are those who refuse to regard them as individuals. Concluding that Ryan “doesn’t appear to be a fan of the poor,” Goff writes:
According to the National Poverty Center, poverty rates for black Americans exceed the national average, with more than a quarter of the black population among our nation’s poorest citizens. Ryan’s hatchet-heavy approach to budget cuts, particularly to programs like Head Start, would have devastating effects on black Americans, particularly children, living in poverty.
This from a writer who defers to the NAACP, an organization opposed to school vouchers which demonstrably improve educational outcomes for blacks. Leaving that aside, Goff’s fundamental offense is defining blacks as poor non-volitional children who must be cared for by the state. Not only is this rhetoric tired, it is indicative of the most prominent racism in our culture today. Often enforced from within the black community, by blacks against blacks, it is the racism of lowered expectations and communal excuses.
Why, pray tell, should anyone be a “fan of the poor”? What about generational failure should we be fanatic about? How about we develop fans of success, and see what that does for the community?
In contemporary political jargon, to be a “civil rights activist” is to be for blacks. Yet as established at the outset, civil rights are not inherently moral. They are proper only when crafted in support of individual rights. For the most part, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which Strom Thurmond opposed, was crafted to uphold the individual rights of American citizens regardless of the color of their skin. While it had a disproportional effect on the lives of blacks, it was not specifically for them in the sense of being against others.