Rapheal Adams is a dissenter in Cincinnati, seat of the country’s most vicious race politics. Until recently, the ebullient 43-year-old fought the city’s racial arsonists as a host on black talk radio, working the night shift at a General Electric jet-engine plant in order to promote his views during the day. When race riots erupted in 2001, Adams, as the sole pro-police counter-demonstrator at an anti-cop rally, barely escaped assault.It is interesting that many of these black leaders that MacDonald talks to reject the GOP's efforts of reaching blacks through their ministers. They think that many black ministers have been in the leadership to connect blacks to government handouts. Their recommendation is to cultivate black businessmen instead. I don't see why it has to be an either/or proposition. But MacDonald is certainly correct that such leaders as she profiles are the ones that the GOP should be connecting with across the country. However, this isn't merely a political question; it is a question of survival and progress. This seems like a tremendous opportunity for attitudes towards victimhood to change and for there to be a new gospel of self-reliance.
The hatred directed at him by Cincinnati’s race-baiters has had no effect on his high spirits. Over bacon and pancakes in an outlying Cincinnati shopping plaza, he parodied black victocrat dogma and countered it with his own exasperated common sense. Despite his hip exterior—shaved head, tiny retro glasses, and sleek black turtleneck over a slender frame—Adams is remarkably old-fashioned. When a classmate handed him a joint in the seventh grade, he handed it back, because his mother had never mentioned such things to him. His filial respect remains unwavering today. “My parents are the most important people in my life,” the air force vet explained in a heartfelt letter he sent before we met. “They instilled in me a very important lesson about the value of right vs. wrong.” As for his grandparents, “They’re deceased, but I carry them with me every second of my life. My grandfather grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, at a time when black men were not allowed onto the sidewalks. He gave me this lesson: ‘You can’t condemn someone for his skin color. If you can’t be nice to people, there’s something wrong with you,’ ” Adams urges emphatically, pointing for emphasis. “My grandfather never gave me hand-me-down misery.”
By contrast, the anointed civil rights leaders, Adams says, constantly manufacture racial resentment to stay in power. “Conyers, Mfume, Sharpton, Jackson—these people can’t go before a camera, they can’t go to sleep, without pushing the ‘get-whitey’ syndrome. There was Jackson down in Florida in 2000, talking about ‘dis-en-franchise-ment,’ ” Adams rolls out the syllables portentously. “Oh, really? Go to Dade County and check out the educational level of the population. The Democrats were taking U-Hauls and vans to cart anyone they could find to the polls. ‘But I’ve never voted in my life!’ their captives said. ‘Don’t worry, you just get in there and press the lever for Gore.’ But these people couldn’t read, they didn’t know what the hell was going on. Why doesn’t anyone talk about voter irresponsibility?”
The “get-whitey” syndrome now permeates black culture, Adams observes, destroying the spirit of self-help. “It’s so disheartening for black people to try to pin blame on every white person.” Adams recalls Jesse Jackson’s 1999 lawsuit against the Decatur, Illinois, school district for having expelled six ninth-graders for a vicious football-stadium brawl. “Now we call school discipline ‘disciplinary profiling.’ See how twisted that is!” He shakes his head incredulously. “People say: ‘We’re more boisterous; that’s our culture.’ No. You can’t just stand up and shout at your teacher; you’re embracing behavior that others see as wrong.”
The flip side of the “get-whitey” syndrome is the “acting-white” syndrome. “Anything of value, that’s ‘white,’ ” observes Adams. “Standing with your pregnant girlfriend, that’s ‘white.’ Staying away from gangs, ‘white.’ Wearing pants where they’re supposed to be—on your waist—‘white.’ ‘We wear our pants below our butt line.’ It is so sick. If you’re not acting out in school, you’re an Uncle Tom, you’re ‘white.’ ”
There are a lot of fabulous articles in this issue of City Journal. I'm just getting started with it, but I already see several must read articles.