Opinion: Columnists

Race isn't going away because the Democrats find it useful

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Opinion,Star Parker,Columnists,2014 Elections,Race and Diversity

Suddenly we can't seem to get race out of the news.

Congressman Paul Ryan's tour around America's cities, trying to get a handle on America's persistent problems with poverty, turns into a racial incident, as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus calls remarks he made in a radio interview "a thinly veiled racial attack that cannot be tolerated."

A simpleton law-breaking rancher in Nevada, egged on by reporters, says stupid things about black Americans, and suddenly he becomes a national figure with serious views about race.

And then a sleazy billionaire octogenarian, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, with a long history of racially charged remarks, some of which having resulted in lawsuits, becomes front-page news when his equally sleazy young black Latina mistress records a private spat between them in which he makes tasteless comments about blacks that later is made public.

Isn’t race supposed to be behind us? Hasn’t America elected, twice, a black man as its president?

But these days our president is far less popular than he was when, with much fanfare, he was first elected.

Americans are not thrilled with his signature health care law, which has expanded the reach of government in an unprecedented way into the private lives of Americans and American businesses.

Economic news out this week shows that the American economy in the first quarter this year hardly grew at all, providing, according to the Wall Street Journal, "fresh evidence that the economic expansion that began almost five years ago remains the weakest in modern history."

Race is not going to go away because it is too useful to the party of the left. In fact, it has never been so important.

Democrats are well aware of the profound demographic shifts in the nation today.

America is becoming decidedly less white and the minority vote has and will continue to have increasing impact on the nation’s future.

The Washington Post "The Fix" political blog ran a piece this week saying "Black voters could decide who controls the Senate in 2015."

According to the piece, “Six of the 16 states with the highest black populations are holding key Senate contests in 2014.” And, it continues, three of these states - Louisiana, North Carolina, and Arkansas - “are widely considered the most pivotal when it comes to the GOP's hopes of winning the majority.”

High black turnout in these key states can extinguish Republican hopes of winning back the Senate.

A 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center reported that 46 percent of blacks feel there is “a lot” of racial discrimination today compared to 16 percent of whites that do.

Democrats and the left-wing press know that fanning these still racially sensitive flames is the way to turn out black voters.

Paul Ryan visited the Congressional Black Caucus this week to try and take the edge off the allegations thrown his way and talk about race and poverty. But why would 42 big-government-loving liberal black Democrats care about building bridges with a white Republican?

The black caucus isn’t about ideas or solving problems. It is about political power. Black poverty hasn’t changed since 1971 when the caucus was formed. But some present and former caucus members have become wealthy.

Conservatives waste time answering the race-baiters. It’s time to talk directly to minorities around the country about policies that would actually help these communities.

Ideas like real unconditional housing vouchers that would break the Department of Housing and Urban Development-induced ghettos and allow low-income Americans to live wherever they want. Letting low-income earners opt out of payroll taxes and invest those funds in a private retirement account. School choice programs permitting real education freedom and liberate black kids from teachers' unions and failing public schools. And getting rid of minimum wage laws that do nothing but increase unemployment among minority youth.

STAR PARKER, a Washington Examiner columnist, is an author and president of CURE, Center for Urban Renewal and Education. She can be reached at www.urbancure.org
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