When Martin Luther King spoke of someday wanting his children to not be judged by skin color but by the content of their character, a year later President Johnson launched his War on Poverty.
Johnson said of African-Americans in 1965: "You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line in a race and then say, 'You are free to compete with all the others.'" He showed a lack of confidence in the African-American community despite facts to the contrary.
Between 1950 and 1965, the number of people who earned below the poverty level declined by more than 30 percent. The African-American poverty rate had been cut nearly in half between 1940 and 1960. In skilled trades from 1936 to 1959, their incomes, in relation to whites, had more than doubled.
In social structuring, children raised in fatherless homes are more likely to grow up poor and eventually engage in criminal behavior, than children raised in two-parent homes.
For decades the welfare state penalized mothers. Benefits dropped by 20 to 30 percent if they got married and liberal secular morals removed nearly all consequences to modify behavior. The out-of-wedlock birth rate among African- Americans is 73 percent compared to 24.7 percent in 1965.
African Americans are 13 percent of the population and 39.8 percent of the 4.3 million on welfare.
Russell C. Fette