A culture of dependence, entitlement and irresponsibility

Dalrymple notes that the thesis of False Black Power? (2017; in the New Threats to Freedom series) by Jason Riley (author of Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed of 2014) is that

America’s black political leaders, and their white liberal allies, have hindered rather than advanced the progress of the black population. Initially well-meaning policies have undermined the self-help ethos that was a characteristic of black culture in the century between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the Great Society.

These policies, says Dalrymple,

caused a culture of dependence, entitlement and irresponsibility that did not exist before, and is inimical to progress, to put it mildly.

Yet

black political leadership and their white political allies persist in believing, or at least in pretending they believe, that this disastrous culture is the direct and inevitable consequence of an apostolic succession, so to speak, of slavery, Jim Crow policies, and racial prejudice. Their prescription has been political action to destroy not only the practical effects of prejudice (for example, through positive discrimination and quotas) but prejudice itself, through a reform of language and thought. A New Man, long the dream of utopian totalitarians, will have to be created.

Dalrymple points out that

the culture that has emerged, grown up, and been encouraged in the black ares of cities such as Chicago, Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia, is inimical to progress of any kind.

Of course, efforts

to conjure progress or improvement by bureaucratic, administrative, or redistributionist fiat are doomed to time-wasting and expensive failure. In raising expectations that cannot be met, these efforts stoke the fires of conflict.

Dalrymple likens the liberal political establishment to

a stuck record. It cannot change without having to admit that its prescriptions were mistaken, for to do so would destroy its raison d’être and outlook. What started as a desire to do good has ended as a desire to feel good.

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