The Inconvenient Disability

A few weeks ago, the “Nation’s Report Card” was released. It is embarrassing, and disappointing, and probably would be much more so had the administration not completely changed the methodology so that no comparisons can be made to previous periods.

That act could not have been done lightly — it means that all of the data prior to 2009 has been disconnected, and that it will take years to build up enough data to be meaningful. And that no trend line can cross backward from 2009. Adjustments will be made in the future, for some studies, and those adjustments will suit the particular studies’ authors — but the “measure the same thing the same way” concept was thrown out. I cannot help but wonder what was so very flawed about this that the methodology had to be changed.

But that’s not my issue here. For the moment, we can still look backward. In so doing, I note that “the Nation’s Report Card” lists (for data only through 2009 of course) such items as the performance of whites versus hispanic students. There’s an interesting pattern.

Teach your Children Well: Move!

In short, if you are Hispanic or black, move (with your kids) to a conservative state, right away. The rule of thumb is: the more liberal the state, the poorer that minorities perform. This agency actually labels being black or Hispanic a “disability.” But this disability depends, evidently, upon where in the US you live. Thus, it isn’t truly a disability at all. Instead, it reflects a lack of ability of teachers. Particularly in certain states.

Consider the chart below, from the current NAEP report (PDF):

This is for math; the pattern is very similar for reading and for blacks. Florida and Hawaii are interesting exceptions, and Hawaii’s pattern is that whites score rather low, with Hispanics not far behind. Utah is a mixture of conservative people but liberal media and fairly strong unions — I was amazed at how far left the Salt Lake City newspaper is.

There’s another pattern as well; many of the whites in the conservative states are not as high-scoring as whites in some of the liberal states. That difference is far smaller, but it’s still evident.

(Something to keep in mind: These are averages. There are brilliant individual students of all races in all of these jurisdictions, and it would never be fair to pre-judge someone based on his or her race and state of education.)

And Catholic schools (and private schools in general) seem to do extremely well.

Another curious, and perhaps related, aspect is the apparent connection between urban (and highly correlated with liberal) environments and mental disorders.  See this link, for example.

It’s intentional

But what is it about minorities in liberal states? I was intrigued to learn that this effect is intentional, or at least the plan to make minorities into perpetual dependents was and is. For example, John McWhorter’s comments on the effect of Frances Fox Piven on black incomes and families, and the attacks he endures from others on the Left for writing about it. It doesn’t seem to matter that his commentary started ten years before Glenn Beck’s — he is now agreeing with Beck, and this is distasteful (even to him). Especially since his major critic, Jim Sleeper, suggests that he’s just a “water carrier” for the hated Glenn Beck and other conservatives:

Since I was an early and rather scathing critic of Frances Fox Piven’s politics by racial paroxysm (Chapter 3, The Closest of Strangers, 1990), I’d simply like McWhorter to tell us … What really prompted him to zap Piven now?

Secondary effects: fatherless families and the hoped-for collapse of the United States

The problem seems to be that you can criticize liberal icons like famous socialist Francis Fox Piven who has, for decades, advised collapsing the United States by getting as many people as possible to go on welfare. McWhorter, Sleeper and others agree that the results have been very bad for black families.

I agree — as well as disagreeing with the basic goal of collapsing the US which is not addressed by these folks. The educational effect I pointed out above, and there are many other effects such as the rate of children born out of wedlock increasing from 17% to more than 80%. McWhorter describes the result this way in his article:

I have written, often, that Columbia social work professors Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward (who were married) wreaked havoc on poor black communities in the sixties by openly calling on poor blacks to seek welfare payments rather than work. The story is simple and sad. Early last year I told it thusly in these pages, and see no reason not to simply present exactly what I wrote then. To wit, Piven and Cloward hoped … that this would bankrupt the government and force a complete overhaul of our distribution of income. It wasn’t that they thought there was no work for blacks—just that it was beneath blacks’ dignity to do it. By 1968, the organization was staging more than two hundred protests a month, sometimes assisted by the Panthers.

Traditional civil rights leaders didn’t get it. Piven has recalled, “We met with Whitney Young [executive director of the National Urban League] … and he gave us a long speech about how it was more important to get one black woman into a job as an airline stewardess than it was to get fifty poor black families onto welfare.” But when Piven and Cloward published a manifesto in The Nation, there were 30,000 reprint requests. One thousand neighborhood service centers nationwide encouraged people to go on welfare who would not have otherwise. In the ’60s, one-third of the people whose incomes made them eligible for AFDC were on the rolls. By 1971, 90 percent were.

For three decades, welfare was an open-ended program, unconcerned with whether people got jobs or whether children’s fathers were present or able to work. The government never fell, and meanwhile black neighborhoods started falling to pieces. The near-fatherless tracts now thought of as normal would have sounded like science fiction in even the poorest black districts before the ’70s. Rarely in American history have people with such a destructive agenda had such power over the lives of the innocent. I wish Piven and Cloward had stayed obscure teachers instead of helping to ruin the lives of, for example, some of my relatives.

I meant this. I have written, and often said in public, that I would have seen perfect sense in what Piven and Cloward were advocating if I had been there at the time.

Yes, he’s saying, he’s a good Progressive, and it would have made sense to him (and apparently still does) to “bankrupt the government and force a complete overhaul of our distribution of income.”  What rankles me is that the experiment was such a resounding failure, and yet Piven has continued to insist that what she advocated was a good thing.  And:

My annoyance here is based on a larger argument I have made at length and often, such as in my Winning the Race, that the new kind of welfare in the sixties was decisively poisonous for black people who deserved better, and had a lot more to do with the black community’s problems than, say, the relocation of factory jobs to the suburbs, which is the accepted op-ed page wisdom on such matters.

McWhorter’s other critics, too, largely agree with him about what’s happened to the black family — but he’s a black man agreeing with Beck, and this makes him (in their words) a “racial bargainer.” One mentions that, though the Social Work School now disagrees with Piven, ten years ago they agreed and thus (apparently) McWhorter’s statements shouldn’t be made. And another pointed out that decades ago (he asserts) conservatives were pushing welfare on blacks, and thus (apparently) McWhorter’s statements shouldn’t be made. Another critic commented that Piven’s statements were from many years ago — ignoring the fact that her rhetoric has not changed, and statements and policy from her in recent months are of the same ilk.

The Plan

In short, it has been the progressive plan for decades to use minorities to collapse the United States financially, by having them all on welfare. And as many others as they could arrange: Remember California governor Jerry Brown’s statement? “We need more welfare and fewer jobs.”

In addition to the stress this concept puts on the US economy (a feature attractive to progressives), this concept also turns what should have been proud, capable people into perpetual victims — and voters for Democrats.

A century after Republicans fought Democrats and freed the slaves (we call this the Civil War), progressives have managed to bait many of their descendants into bondage again. And anyone else willing to take the bait.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • David

    Thank You Keith. I find thes ok, but not to the point of the study I read. that paarticular study looked very directly at various national welfare decisions, and correlated them very convincingly with fluctations in Black employment, marriage, family size, wealth etc. One intresting fact was how the expediancy factor of revenue for single mothers led them to choosing to have children, as they did better financialy until about the age of 33?, after that the women who never had children did considerably better. Right down the line the indiscriminant increase in benefits lead to greater unemployment and increased poverty. Alas, I will continue my search.

  • This is not that study, but it was a study of the history of such studies, sort of. And it’s not behind a paywall:

    It talks about the biases toward single parenthood built into the systems, but is cautious in its recommendations. (“More study needed,” basically.)

    This article is talking about the famous Moynihan report, and the link to the report is good:

    Note that there are multiple writers at the above link, some trying to appeal to both sides. I don’t know how effective that is.

    The Moynihan report itself is here:

    They actually misspelled his name in the link. The situation has gotten much worse in the half-century since this report came out, of course, but his writing at the time was very controversial.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • David

    Dear keith

    This is a very good article. A few years ago I read a University study (Unfortuately I cannot remember the School or title) which detailed the History of Blacks in the US from ? the 50s onward. It illustrated how various changes in the welfare system affected the Black poulation and very convincingly showed how destuctive this was to Black economic and even moral sucess. If you are familiar with such a study please point it out, I have been looking for this one ever sense I lost the link..