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Jason Riley Dismantles Accusations of ‘Systemic Racism’ in America

America shuttered as protests kicked off following the recent police killing George Floyd in Minneapolis, elevating the political action group Black Lives Matter to the forefront of the political conversation. Old wounds were once again inflamed, as the body politik now echoed calls for “racial justice” and even further afield. Suddenly, activists, politicians and media pundits were all repeating the same mantra – decrying the scourge of ‘systemic racism in America.’ But is it true? Does systemic racism really exist in America? Can one actually define what it is? 

According to Jason Riley, author of False Black Power?, the real answer has less to do with the issue of race, and more to do with the pursuit of partisan political power. Riley shares his research and insight which shows that economic inequality in black communities is not specifically determined by race or skin color, but rather, due to a much more complex set of political and socio-economic forces, one of the most dominant being the perennial patronage of America’s Leftwing political machine.

Uncommon Knowledge: “Riley discusses the Moynihan report of 1965, which documented the rise of black families headed by single women in inner cities and how this report was something black sociologists had already been writing about for several years. He argues that there was clearly a breakdown of the nuclear family and that this is a result of the “Great Society” welfare programs of the 1960s rather than the legacy of slavery or Jim Crow laws. In the 1960s, Riley posits that the black activist community’s shift towards political engagement was misguided. He argues that the idea of black political clout leading to black economic advancement was misplaced. Other impoverished communities (i.e. Irish, Jewish, and Italian immigrant communities) at various times in American history focused on economic advancement first before trying to achieve political clout, and they were successful. Instead, the black community focused first on electing black politicians, which ended up doing very little for the economic advancement of the community as politicians typically put their own interests first, above their communities’. Riley points out that the economic data shows that black communities became more impoverished under black leadership. Riley proposes a solution of advocating for more school-choice vouchers, which allow black parents to take better control of their children’s futures and place them in the best schools for them. He also argues for reducing social safety nets, making them a more temporary form of welfare rather than the multigenerational welfare system currently in place.”

Uncommon Knowledge Peter Robinson discusses this and more with journalist and author Jason Riley. This interview was recorded on February 21, 2019. Watch:

Additional resources:

Please Stop Helping Us, by Jason Riley
Discrimination and Disparities, with Thomas Sowell
Stanford Hoover Institution economist targets socialism, fears ‘we may not make it’
Sowell: Politicians using race as their ticket to whatever racket they’re running

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