In an effort to prove that he’s not a racist, President Bush has surrounded himself with prominent black leaders to discuss the aftermath of Katrina.
However, instead of taking the occasion to get solid black conservatives such as Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams front-and-center to talk about the true roots of poverty (welfare, lack of leadership, broken homes, et cetera) and how it can be eliminated, President Bush invites preachers and community influencers who have a leftist worldview. These men, in essence, are blaming whites for the woes of the black community.
“President Bush needs to ensure that we do not see racial divisions reproduced in the reconstruction effort as white millionaires get richer,” is how one of these “leaders” put it.
Bush, and those giving him ‘advice,’ can learn a lot from Sowell.
In his book, The Vision of the Anointed, Thomas Sowell painstakingly demonstrates government’s failure in creating upward mobility, especially among blacks.
John F. Kennedy said that the purpose of his “War on Poverty” was “to help our less fortunate citizens to help themselves.” Furthermore, he posited that Americans must “find ways of returning far more of our dependent people to independence.”
The number of people living below the poverty line was decreasing before Kennedy’s program was even introduced. After the government’s war initiated, more people—minorities in particular—were dependant on the government. This war was actually increasing the number of poor people, not lowering the level of dependency which the rhetoric had originally claimed.
Katrina gave so-called conservative leaders a perfect opportunity to discuss the virtues of capitalism and the vices of socialism to a group that desperately needs to hear the message.
Unfortunately, Men like Sowell and Williams have once again been kicked to the side at a time when their intellectual vigor and indefatigable defense of conservatism should have gained them the ear of President Bush.