SIMMONS: For blacks, did integration give way to disintegration?

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In a postmortem on the Republican and Democratic conventions, Leo Alexander, an also-ran in the 2010 Democratic race for D.C. mayor, said Americans still don’t get it.

Black America has lost its way, he said, having put all its eggs in a basket that reeks of foul “poli-tricks.” (And I’m not going to argue with the man on those points.)

A fiscally conservative and moderate Democrat, Mr. Alexander wants a crackdown on illegal immigration, parents to decide how and where their children are educated, and he wants “us to help us to help ourselves.”

“We’re disproportionately dependent and institutionalized,” he added during an interview on Friday.

Interestingly, he cited integration as a chief opponent of black American progress — or “forward” progress to Obamacrats.

The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act both effectively dismantled race-based laws, but black America is paying the steepest of prices from Wall Street to Main Street and from the schoolhouse to the jailhouse.

“Integration on paper, as a theory, is a beautiful concept, but [in practice] integration didn’t happen on both sides,” Mr. Alexander said. “We took our money to their communities, and now we are suffering. We weren’t smart with our money, and neither grass-roots Democrats nor Republicans are talking about it.”

“In the name of integration, we transferred our wealth,” he contended, as he rattled off a lengthy list of business and social commodities.

“Prior to integration, we traded goods in our own communities with our own people and saw that tax money and expendable income give us a direct return on our investment,” he said, singling out doctors, lawyers, teachers and firefighters, as well police, scholars, barbers and beauticians.

But as soon as integration unblocked the doorways, the “black bourgeoisie, the black aristocracy, the black middle class, the black businesses and the black professionals sought” whiter pastures.

Mr. Alexander even turned toward the commonwealth of black America.

“Black churches pull in $13 billion a year, and 80 percent goes to white banks,” he said.

The dollars and sense just don’t add up, he said, mocking former President Bill Clinton’s directive at last week’s Democratic National Convention to do the “arithmetic.”

It’s a rude awakening when we don’t mind spending $40,000-plus a year to incarcerate blacks instead of spending $10,000 to $40,000 on sending them to college.

It’s also unfortunate to see black union members bristling at the idea of blacks making $25,000 working a steady job in the retail, health care or service industries when they aren’t making any dollars because they are unemployed and underemployed.

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About the Author
Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons

Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...

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