OCALA, Fla., February 3, 2014 — America has had its first black president since 2008. He appointed our nation’s first black attorney general, second black surgeon general, and most recently its first black Homeland Security secretary.
The president also nominated America’s first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. While “Hispanic” is not a race in any reasonable sense, it is almost always thought of as one, and who can argue with conventional wisdom?
Despite all of this, race has not been defused as an issue, but amplified.
Although minorities are now more powerful than ever before, most communities in which they constitute a majority remain mired by generational poverty. This, exacerbated by the sluggish economy, inflamed racial passions as scapegoats are sought out. No amount of federal funds can compensate for such a predicament.
So, what can be done to seriously improve the conditions of impoverished minority neighborhoods? If throwing money at the key problems will not solve them, then what might?
Dr. Paul Gottfried is an outspoken conservative and recently retired professor at Elizabethtown College. His observations of the human condition have generated both accolades and animosity.
He tells Communities Digital News that “government spending, the politics of guilt, and lavishing gifts on spokesmen like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have done zilch to remedy the social problems that need to be addressed – by members of the black community. I would also like to see the GOP stop groveling before black voters to prove they’re not racists. Tell blacks the truth, the way a columnist like Star Parker does.
“If blacks don’t vote for you, then look for votes from other groups that don’t expect you to wear sack cloth and ashes.”
One of the few public intellectuals who has found more controversy than Dr. Gottfried is Dr. Robert Weissberg. For decades, the University of Illionis, Urbana emeritus professor has been a popular columnist and public speaker.
Despite having been fired by the National Review for his opinions, he continues to write about sociocultural relations, among other matters.
Dr. Weissberg explains to CDN that we should “(r)eturn to an earlier era when poverty was considered a moral defect—vices like unable to resist temptation or sloth. But, anything that hints of personal liability is DOA in today’s intellectual climate. Who can possibly blame the victim? Cruel and even Republicans dare not go there — they hide behind the usual clichés of tax breaks, reducing regulations and personal incentives .Supposedly, everything is the legacy of slavery, racism and all the rest. But, embracing this flawed vision creates lots of jobs taking care of dependent people.”
Unorthodox opinions about race relations are often attacked. These attacks come from both sides of the political spectrum; almost always levied by individuals who preach tolerance, interestingly enough. Despite being such noted academics and political commentators, both Dr. Gottfried and Dr. Weissberg have found serious difficulties due to their observations.
“I feel flattered by your reference to me as a noted academic and political commentator,” Dr. Gottfried says. “Although ten of my eleven books and many of my articles have been translated into multiple languages, my works are hardly ever reviewed in American newspapers and journals. I’ve been told that my thinking shows a peculiarly Central European quality, one that does not resonate well among American readers. I’ve also marginalized myself by taking very strong positions on questions of intellectual and academic freedom.
“I’ve been appalled that those who scholars who dare to bring up IQ differences between individuals and groups have been driven out of bogus conservative organizations. I believe these research conclusions should be critically addressed. Researchers should not be ruined professionally because they do not meet the momentary standards of PC. This attempt to browbeat and impoverish politically incorrect thinkers represents the greatest threat to the true liberal tradition in the Western world in my lifetime.”
Dr. Weissberg states that he “was not terribl[y] good in school–a classic under-achiever until perhaps my sophomore year of college. Who knows what happened but something did (I suspect it was eating some rancid pickled herring). Actually, I only began to excel academically in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin—Madison (Ph.D. 1970). Taught at Cornell and then University of Illinois-Urbana, written 11 books, many articles in professional journals and lots else. The most recent is Bad Students Not Bad Schools. All making up for my “D” in High School senior English (take that Mrs. Eagan!). Retired in 2001 and now write for various websites.
“Like countless others, began as a liberal and slowly moved rightward. Nevertheless, still consider myself a 1960s color-blind liberal. I once marched for civil rights and all that. I’m hardly an ideologue; just a pragmatist who worships at the altar of Hard Science—verified Scientific Truth über alles. Alas, we now live in a world where lying is normal and quietly accepting lies is a virtue. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man eats lunch by himself.”