OK, I get it! Cliven Bundy, who staged a standoff this month with federal authorities on his Nevada cattle ranch, has little to no understanding of how black people have evolved since the cotton-picking days of slavery. His message is lost due to his disconnection from black and Latino cultures.
But if we look closely at what the Nevada rancher has said, we can find some nuggets of truth for the problems we face today.
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro. They didn’t have nothing to do … they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” Mr. Bundy said of blacks he saw at a housing project in North Las Vegas. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
His remarks have been widely denounced as racist by liberal and conservative commentators alike. And as an African-American, I can say that we are glad not to be picking cotton in 2014.
The fact remains, however, that black communities have suffered under government subsidy programs, which have failed to help people stand on their own two feet. The last 40 years have proven that federal and state governments are not equipped to build wealth for all of the people. Black churches and mom-and-pop businesses are coming to an understanding that government programs are destroying urban families.
Many who rely on government handouts develop an entitlement attitude that they pass on to the next generation. They have no desire to work. There is no incentive to work or learn to get out of the entitlement system.
This “you owe me even though I did nothing to earn it” state of mind must come to an end.