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Professor Capehart Lectures Rep. Paul Ryan

Do problems in the inner cities really have nothing to do with culture?

by
John Rosenberg

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March 18, 2014 - 9:08 pm
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Jonathan Capehart, the “certified boy wonder” black opinionator at the Washington Post and MSNBC, a New Jersey native who graduated from Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School and Carleton College, has in effect joined the chorus calling Rep. Paul Ryan a racist in a scolding open “letter to Paul Ryan about inner-city issues, and what’s to blame.”

On Bill Bennett’s Morning in America radio show last week Ryan invited Capehart’s ire by saying:

You know your buddy Charles Murray or Bob Putnam over at Harvard – those guys have written books on this. Which is, we have got this tailspin of culture in our inner cities in particular of men not working. And just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work and so there’s a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.

Convinced that Rep. Ryan has “much to learn,” Capehart presumes to instruct him. The condition of the inner cities, according to Professor Capehart, has nothing to do with culture. “Rather, it was the end result of discriminatory housing policies enacted decades ago by federal, state and local governments that created a cycle of residential segregation for black people that persists to this day.” Among those policies Capehart blamed:

• red-lining and restrictive covenants

• the departure of manufacturing and commerce

• under-funded schools

• racial profiling

• discriminatory drug enforcement laws

• debilitating effects of a “cycle of incarceration”

“So, no,” Professor Capehart concludes, “the problems plaguing the inner city aren’t created by culture. They are the indirect result of government policies. And it’s going to take progressive government policies to solve them.”

Let us assume that this typical liberal list of discriminatory government policies (even though it sneaks in “the departure of manufacturing and commerce”) is  valid. Still, it’s odd that “culture” in any manifestation is totally absent, especially since in other contexts the vibrant “difference” of black culture is at the very core of the justification for engineering increased “diversity” in all areas of American life (perhaps even playing a role in Professor Capehart’s own meteoric rise).

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Top Rated Comments   
Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell

read it, professor capehart. read it and learn something.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
The job of the inappropriately named black leadership is to deliver 95% of the black vote for democrats in order to maintain their status as "leaders". So while the people hang out on the dole, the "leadership" lives an extravagant lifestyle largely hidden from those in various stages of squalor. Capehart's bleating about comments made by Mr. Ryan is akin to the slumlord defending his turf.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
How many government “assistance” programs for woman and children require that there is no adult male in the household? When you compare cash on the barrel versus delayed gratification of seeing your child well raised? When there seems to be a preference for single mother households versus men underemployed but receiving support from the state; which doesn’t happen unless the man is diminished?
There is a valid argument to be made that the Federal government did not set up a pattern for success for those who partook of its’ largess.
Let’s have that conversation, which is not limited to race, but to behavior patterns built on government incentives.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (43)
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Perhaps Capehart ought to look at some of the real reasons why things are like they are in the inner cities. How about the tribal imperative to father children in order to prove that you're a man or a woman. I've had inner city kids tell me that they are not considered adults until the have their first kid. Nothing is ever mentioned about a job or marriage or any way to take care of it--just have it to be considered an adult. How about the idea of " I'm entitled".The myth of payment for imagined slavery justifies them laying on their a## ed and not endeavoring to help themselves and get a job. Minorities are in love with the myth of slavery---got news for you--- not every black in this country was a slave and some blacks even had black slaves themselves, but I suppose mentioning this is taboo in the politically correct circles of appeasement today. Lack of education by choice. Many blacks feel that if they get educated , they'll be "too white" Choosing an alien culture instead of the culture that will give you what you want is just too much for them. What a slap in the face to people like Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglas, Charles Drew and MLK. all educated and all respected for their contributions to society. The chronic boo hooing of blacks is losing supporters among many whites who would have been willing to see their arguments formerly. Maybe Capehart should look in the mirror before he accuses any one of racism---he and his cronies are the ones setting the failing agenda in his culture, and it has nothing to do with racism but a great deal to do with the underlying choices not to become part of the mainstream.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
"What “progressive government policies” will cause black men to marry the mothers of their children?"

Shotguns!

Oh, dang...shotguns are conservative policies.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, the problem IS culture..... The culture of "gimme."
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
My fallback position is to agree with PJ Media, but here you are wrong. The problem is not culture. If it were culture then all of Walter Williams stats about the intact black family prior to the "war on poverty" would not make sense. There is nothing inherently black about out of wedlock childbirths, one parent families, high levels of unemployment. All of those things are the result of policies that made black men unnecessary. As soon as the laws were written that increased welfare benefits for single moms, the guy had to leave. That is not culture. Perhaps what we have here is a semantic problem. Ryan called the problem cultural. Culture is tomato sauce for Italians, it is reggae for Jamaicans, it is rodeos for cowboys, it is not unemployment and underachieving in school for anyone. Detroit, Balitimore, New Orleans etc are not the product of culture but of the direct influence of liberal policies. I am not enough of a mind reader to know if it was intentional, but it certainly has had a destructive effect.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Seems like the "certified boy wonder" (No, I didn't call you 'boy', somebody else did!) cuts his own throat with the evidence he presents. Democrats have and are still running the cities with the highest deteriorated inner cities. Add to that "baby daddy" syndrome and you have a formula of irresponsibility and ignorance that was predicted by a very beneficent Democrat in the 20th Century: “I'll have those n[word]s voting Democratic for the next 200 years. [Touting his underlying intentions for the "Great Society" programs, LBJ confided with two like-minded governors on Air Force One].”

So, Mr. Capeheart, what "your people" suffer from is not Conservatism, Republicans, Tea Partiers, White Racists, etc., it's a condition called "myopia' which is typified by willful ignorance and/or closing one's eyes when forced to see Truth.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I really hate the fact that 'blame' is put on everything but themselves and their tendency to handle everything with violence. violence against white people, against themselves. but its never their fault.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Those progressive policies are working really well in Detroit's inner city. What a moron.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tell it to the Democrats who have run those cities for generations.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
One thing that you did not mention in your stats was what percentage of kids actually study. For example, if you have 10 kids and four of them study 20 hrs per week and the rest don't study, you have an exceptionally high illiteracy rate.

There are schools in SC that I know of that don't send kids home with homework, because it is all done at the school, leaving the kids the time for family and other things, after school. Less stress.

I think that this whole paradigm of education is wrong. More hours. More money. That's all anyone talks about. How 'bout better education.

35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

Lately, some of my thinking, if that's not too strong a word, has been centered on the subject of culture. It seems to me, in a kind of Freudian analogy, that most people are unaware of the "subconscious" impact of their culture on their behavior. I fear that something akin to Freud's "talking cure" will be necessary for people to understand the deficits that dysfunctional culture impose on their thinking and acting.

I grew up in the Bronx of the '50s and '60s in a small working and lower middle class neighborhood that had well less than 10% Negro inhabitants. In the afterglow of the Negro civil rights movement, our neighborhood was introduced to burglaries, muggings, and drug addictions with the result that those would could relocated while those who couldn't adapted. The result is nicely visualized in the movie "Fort Apache; The Bronx". I await the good Professor's analysis.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
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