Modern Black America's Contempt for Conservatism

I have been reading and taking notes from Lee H. Walker's Rediscovering Black Conservatism. No, I am not a Republican and I am no longer a Democrat. I wanted to share this information about this book because it coincides with the video included in this post. I want to discuss Dr. Cosby's infamous "Pound Cake Speech" from 2004. I was around 13 at the time he delivered that controversial speech. I remember some people in my family appreciating what he had to say because they argued that he was providing tough love. While some other people in my family disagreed with the speech like most Black Americans. In the fifth chapter of this book entitled "Self- Reliance and Leaving Victim hood." Walker argues that Dr. Bill Cosby was not condemning the entire Black American community, instead he was critiquing liberalism. He addressed the crowd at the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education at Constitution Hall.

" The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for their kids: $500 sneakers for what? And won't  spend $200 for "Hooked on Phonics." I can't even talk the way these people talk: "Why you ain't?" "Where you is?" And I blamed the kid until I heard the father talk. Everybody knows it's important to speak English-except these knuckleheads. You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth! (Walker p.66)"

Another chapter in the book that resonated with me is the fourth chapter. The fourth chapter is entitled " Entrepreneurship-Creating Wealth and Opportunity." Walker explains how liberal economic policies have been detrimental to Black Americans. Walker makes reference to the 2006  Big-Box Ordinance passed  in Chicago, Illinois  in July 2006. The ordinance was passed by the Chicago City Council but it was vetoed by  Mayor  Richard Daley. The ordinance required that retail chains such as Wal-Mart and Target to pay their Chicago employees at least $9.25 an hour plus $1.50 in benefits, to increase to $10.00 an hour and $3.00 in benefits by the year 2010. Initially the law would have applied only to retail stores with at least $90,000 indoor square foot, owned by national companies with annual revenues of $1 billion or more.

Walker argues that if  Mayor Daley would not have vetoed this ordinance, it would have ended up in court, where it could probably eventually be rejected. 

"Advocates of the ordinance both black and white, claimed it would help poor black Americans. But support for this  ordinance did not begin in the black community, nor would its effect be to benefit black (Walker p. 58)"

What was the intent behind this ordinance? The original intent of the bill was to increase labor union membership and dues collection and put union leaders in a stronger position in dealing with the management of Wal-Mart and other nonunion companies. So when two groups collaborate- in this scenario, unions and the Black community where the stakes are not equal, one usually reaps all the benefits while the other foots the bill. Walker says in this case an underdeveloped Black community stood to lose both jobs and services.

Walker makes a very compelling statement as to why this harms Black Americans in Chicago.

" So when a city government steps on and makes it illegal for some businesses to pay less than $10.00 an hour and an additional $3.00 an hour in benefits, it effectively makes it illegal for those businesses to hire many black applicants.  Crucial entry-level jobs that would leave enable young blacks and ex-offenders to start climbing the career ladder to better-paying and more fulfilling jobs would be closed to them ( Walker p. 59)."

Toni's Thoughts: I believe this is a very interesting. The author made it clear that one does not have to be a Republican to have some conservative principles. Which I did not realize. The video above expands and introduces another perspective to Dr. Cosby's comments from that speech. I plan on doing another post about Bill Cosby. Check out both the book and video peace.

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