In January, I made a post about how Black America has predicted our future. In that entry I talked about how many of the negative trends harped on in the manosphere have already been predicted in modern Black America, and how these trends are spreading. In that article, however, I failed to really go into the reasons for the development of those trends in Black America. For the sake of completion, I’ll do so here.
The creation of modern Black America was born of a combination of three main things: the welfare state (specifically the tenets it promoted incentivizing single motherhood), the beginning of the drug war, and plain old racism (discrimination in the GI Bill, redlining, etc). I’ll go on to describe each in some detail below.
The welfare state obviously made single motherhood much more practical and in some ways preferable to the nuclear family model in the black community. Feminism played a crucial role in this and did black folks no favors. When folks warned of the concerns inherent to the promotion of single motherhood at the expense of the nuclear family, many opposed it by applying feminist talking points to the struggle of black women (“they can do it on their own!!!”), which was impractical.
Feminists were not willing to consider the importance of male role models in the upbringing of children, and were all too happy to allow blacks to become the sacrificial lambs at the progressive altar of the “independent woman.” Black women paid the early price so white women (for whom feminism was really intended and to whom it still generally caters predominantly to) would not have to do so.
Feminists used black women to make a point that blacks would gain nothing from, and whose consequences only blacks would feel (at first, anyway—whites are catching up now). I think that in the civil rights movement, feminists saw an opportunity to advance their own aims, and they did so splendidly at the (ironic) expense of minorities.
The drug war’s impact was obvious—it essentially battered the black poor and made them more desperate than they’d already been. It also greatly enhanced incarceration rates, though there is a discriminatory element there that has enhanced that.
Long story short—drugs did a number on the community.
This factor gets significantly more mainstream attention than the others when it comes to explaining modern problems in Black America. While the singular focus on it is unwarranted (the problems I outlined relating to welfare may have done just as much damage), it is difficult to minimize the role that racism played in facilitating some of the trends I mention above and the general state of modern black America as a whole.
Following WW2, many benefits were given to formerly marginalized European Americans with the aim of enabling the creation of a new middle class. Massive government initiative made this possible by subsidizing the provision of home loans, employment, higher education, and other benefits.
This worked quite well. The white middle class we know today is a direct product of these efforts. Prior to WW2, Non-WASP whites were often marginalized, stereotyped, and attacked. After WW2, they were lent a helping hand and pulled into a newer, wealthier, more cohesive white America, the one we know today.
Blacks, however, were largely left out of this due to a combination of day-to-day discrimination (fewer checks on that existed back then—no political correctness to provide them) and legislation, which often served to blunt or just plain erase the impact of any benefits on their community.
Redlining, meanwhile, kept blacks out of the housing market that would, over the next half a century, come to comprise the bulk of white American wealth and provide a foundation for the vast swaths of suburban, middle-class America we take for granted today.
The “American Dream” was essentially not an option for African-Americans until well after the civil rights movement had ended and the earlier obstacles I mentioned (welfare and the drug war) had enjoyed plenty of time to do damage, expediting the decline.
Combine all of these things and the result is modern Black America.
OK, So Why Should I Care?
It is important to understand history in order to avoid its repetition. To this end, I would argue that there are three crucial lessons that can be taken from the history I outlined above:
1. Even the best of intentions can create the worst results. I’m sure that some of those who constructed welfare programs decades ago had good things in mind. On paper, what they built seemed like the charitable thing to do. Their failure to realize the perils of fatherless societies and guard against them, however, set the stage for trouble.
2. Division can foster more division. Today, there is a pretty large cultural and socioeconomic gap between black Americans and whites. The modern gap is in many respects (ex: illegitimacy rates) much wider now than it once was.
Had any significant portion of black America been allowed access to the middle class during the height of the post WW2 boom, could we be sure that these gaps would remain quite so large today? Perhaps the outcomes we live with today between the two groups would show a narrower degree of diversity today had there been more openness to more racial diversity early on.
3. Traditional values still have a place. Much of the reason why the architects of modern welfare programs ignored the warnings about the potential pitfalls of their system stemmed from their desire to move away from the “traditional” notion that a male influence was crucial to the functioning of a household. Black Americans have paid the price for this assumption.
Perhaps the place that these traditional notions occupy doesn’t need to be as large as it once was. I, for one, am confident that the social mores of the 1950’s are in fact gone for good, and will not return to us. I’m not mad about that either. Even in a diminished form, however, traditional ideas relating to the value of the father will never totally lose relevance. Children must have some sort of male role model to look up to—women simply cannot totally supplement this role on their own without everyone paying some sort of price.
As the modern state of Black America shows us, societies ignore this reality at their own peril.
Don’t Miss: How Black America Has Predicted Our Future