My colleague Jeff Charles wrote an amazing piece on Saturday that I think should be read more than it has been. In it, he details why the hard-left loves to riot in black communities.
Charles goes over the effects that the riots have had, between burned down black-owned businesses to the taking of black lives. He mentions how, despite these riots destroying black communities, in a virtue-signal show of wokeness, rich celebrities came forward to raise funds to bail rioters out of jail.
As Charles points out, not only are black communities destroyed by the riots, they’re a constant staging ground for them:
In another piece, Palumbo points out that historically, rioting and looting has had a disproportionately pernicious impact on minority business owners. “A 2005 Vanderbilt University study examined the rioting and unrest that broke out in the late 1960s during the civil rights movement,” he writes. “It finds that much of it occurred in minority neighborhoods, such as the predominantly black Watts neighborhood in Los Angeles.”
He also notes that the study found that riots have brought about “a 10 percent decline in the total value of black-owned property in cities.” Predictably, these events create a dire economic decline from which it is exceedingly difficult to overcome.
Charles then makes a poignant observation. Why does the hard-left constantly target black communities? He quotes Sonnie Johnson.
“If they want to be the party of the poor, they have to keep you poor,” he wrote.
Looking at the actions of the Democratic party toward the black community, this holds true, but the riots are just the icing on a very thick, multi-layer cake.
In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared an “unconditional war on poverty” during a state of the union address. This “war” was quickly meshed with civil rights issues, making poverty a racial issue and any opposition to the entitlements and welfare being dished out during this “war” a racist act.
Welfare became a very common occurrence within the black community as a result. According to a 2013 Pew study, black households were twice more likely to have welfare than white households. What’s more, like a stone hitting a pond, it caused an ever-widening ripple effect according to The National Bureau of Economic Research:
Using this exogenous variation, we find strong evidence that welfare receipt in one generation causes welfare participation in the next generation: when a parent is allowed [Disability Insurance], their adult child’s participation over the next five years increases by 6 percentage points. This effect grows over time, rising to 12 percentage points after ten years.
What kind of effect does welfare have on a household, and by extent, a community? Well, for one, it keeps them poor as it punishes any person or household looking to break out from the poverty line as Forbes writer Jeffrey Dorfman explained:
In simple terms, a poor family trying to escape poverty pays an effective marginal tax rate that is considerably higher than a middle class family and higher than or roughly equal to the marginal tax rate of a family in the top one percent. Given that our federal income tax system is supposed to progressive, meaning higher income families pay a higher percentage of that income in taxes, it is nonsensical to impose such high tax rates on families in poverty.
Clearly, welfare benefits must phase out as incomes rise, but they do not have to phase out this rapidly. An effective marginal tax rate that high can (and by numerous accounts from the real world does) cause families in and near poverty to turn down opportunities for promotions, raises, or more hours of work because the higher earned income is hardly worth it given the losses they face from taxes and lost benefits.
Thus, the way that welfare benefits phase out can serve to trap people in poverty. To obtain a job that provides a middle class living you typically work your way up through several entry-level and intermediate jobs with increasing incomes. Yet, if a person never accepts one of those intermediate jobs, because it pays more than the poverty line but less than the combination of a lower income plus welfare benefits, they will likely never get a job high-paying enough to be self-supporting.
This also has a fallout effect in terms of family structure. For those earning welfare, a two-parent household is likely going to be more steady in its income and not qualify for handouts. Single-parent households, however, get you big welfare bucks.
Let’s add this all up. The Democrats targeted the black community for welfare from the beginning. Not only did welfare encourage fatherless homes, which come with their own set of problems, it encouraged black households to stay poor so they didn’t have to risk losing money due to our overburdensome tax system. A barrier is put between you and middle-class life. What’s more, black communities in these welfare holes suffer this pattern for generations due to the natural inclination of children to learn from their parents. In a single-parent household, government reliance becomes a normal, everyday thing, even an encouraged thing in some circles.
The Democrats have the black community locked in poverty without end. They’ve kept black homes dependent on them, unable to escape the growing cycle of poverty and crime with little to no way out.
So while the left loves to target the black community for destruction by riots, it’s been targeting the black community for destruction in far more damaging ways for decades.