Uh oh…over at TNR (The New Republic)…

A book review.  But it’s certainly not a book I would have thought this liberal website would have chosen to review.  It actually puts the responsibility for the success of the black community in the hands of–gasp–the black community!  Here are a few chosen passages:

Wax appeals to a parable in which a pedestrian is run over by a truck and must learn to walk again. The truck driver pays the pedestrian’s medical bills, but the only way the pedestrian will walk again is through his own efforts. The pedestrian may insist that the driver do more, that justice has not occurred until the driver has himself made the pedestrian learn to walk again. But the sad fact is that justice, under this analysis, is impossible.


The black family was far more stable 50 years ago, when conditions for blacks were far worse than they are today. Black out-of-wedlock births started to climb and marriage rates to fall around 1960, long after slavery was abolished and just as the civil rights movement gained momentum. Perhaps a more nuanced explanation for the recent deterioration is that the legacy of slavery made the black family more vulnerable to the cultural subversions of the 1960s. But what does this tell us that is useful today?  The answer is: nothing.


Still, at the end of day, as Wax puts it:

The government cannot make people watch less television, talk to their children, or read more books. It cannot ordain domestic order, harmony, tranquility, stability, or other conditions conducive to academic success and the development of sound character. Nor can it determine how families structure their interactions and routines or how family resources “including time and money” are expended. Large-scale programs are especially ineffective in changing attitudes and values toward learning, work, and marriage.

Read the whole thing here:  What Hope?

LBJ was famous for saying that you couldn’t take the shackles off a man and expect him to win a race, and that’s a nice analogy–but you can’t give him a ride to the finish line and convince him, or anybody else, that he’s been in a race, either.

I wonder if liberals, witnessing the strength of the conservative message with the whole of the rest of the universe lined up against it, might decide to try to co-opt it and claim it as something shiny and new from the left?  It wouldn’t be the first time…


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