The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Posts Tagged ‘African Americans

A Word of Advice

The marching orders have been given:

“I expect all of you to march with me, and press on,” Obama said. “… Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying. We are going to press on. We’ve got work to do.”

In case he wasn’t clear, here’s what is really being said:

When black unemployment is at 16%, Obama wants you to “stop complaining.” When 40% of blacks nationwide live in poverty, he wants you to “stop grumbling.” And although the president can personally fix none of these problems-many of which came about through our own doing-he wants you to “stop crying.”

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Written by Coby Dillard

September 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Beyond the Movement of the Minute

The Jena 6. The Obama ascendancy.

Both of these stories have a unifying theme. In both, black Americans came out in droves to protest or support a cause they felt worthwhile. Facebook groups were started, emails flew across the internet from individuals and organizations, phone calls and text messages came from people you didn’t know…every form of organizing you can imagine for these causes took place.

And then, they just ended. Not because the causes themselves weren’t sustainable, but because their participants declared a victory on a limited goal, and then moved on with their lives.

This is, unfortunately, the nature of black political involvement-mobilize for what amounts to a split second, declare victory, fade away, rebuild and restart for the next “crisis.” And it’s about to happen again with the execution of Troy Davis.

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Written by Coby Dillard

September 22, 2011 at 10:34 am

Where Are The Jobs?

Last month, the American economy added no new jobs at all. This is the first time since 1945 that there’s been no gain in employment in a single month. While the national unemployment rate remained at 9 percent, the unemployment rate for African Americans actually rose, from 15 to 16.7 percent-the highest it’s been since 1984, when I was all of four years old.

How has the black community ended up with such a high unemployment rate, and-perhaps more importantly, what can we ourselves do to reverse this trend at a time when the ability of the government to intervene is at best limited, and at worst nonexistent?

The roots of this recent rise in black unemployment are many and varied. A lack of basic education that prepares children for more than just standardized testing is to blame, as are a lack of educational options-access to private and charter schools-in too many urban environments. Broken black families-72% of our children are raised in single parent homes, mostly by single mothers-are another symptom. Also to blame is the inability of our youth to prepare for the job market, either by attending college or job-training programs. And yes, a degree of racism that’s existed as far as many can remember, has a role in this epidemic as well.

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Written by Coby Dillard

September 20, 2011 at 8:00 am

Posted in Editorials

Tagged with , ,

When We Were Negroes

My friend Winsome Sears sent this over to me…definitely food for thought.


by Charles E. Richardson

Posted on Sun, Jul. 31, 2011 in the Macon Telegraph

There was a time until the early 1960s when the terms to describe those of African decent, like me — African-American or Black or Afro-American — were almost unheard of. I remember a distinct conversation with a friend discussing descriptive terms for ourselves in 1963 or ’64. The term “black” was just coming into vogue and he didn’t like it one bit. “Call me a Negro,” he said, “but don’t call me black.”

Now, the word “Negro” (publications used a lower case “n”) has almost become a pejorative, so I was a little surprised when my pastor, the Rev. Willie Reid, used it during Thursday’s revival. “Back when we were Negroes,” he said, and listed several things that were different about black life in America back then.

That got me to thinking. Back when we were Negroes in the 1950s, “only 9 percent of black families with children were headed by a single parent,” according to “The Black Family: 40 Years of Lies” by Kay Hymowitz. “Black children had a 52 percent chance of living with both their biological parents until age 17. In 1959, “only 2 percent of black children were reared in households in which the mother never married.” But now that we’re African-Americans, according to Hymowitz, those odds of living with both parents had “dwindled to a mere 6 percent” by the mid-1980s. And check this, in Bibb County, more than 70 percent of the births in the African-American community are to single mothers.

Back when we were Negroes and still fighting in many parts of the country for the right to vote, we couldn’t wait for the polls to open. We knew our friends, family and acquaintances had died getting us the ballot. Dogs and fire hoses were used to keep us away and still we came. But now that we’re African-Americans, in a city of 47,000 registered — predominately black voters — more than 30,000 didn’t show up at the polls July 19.

Back when we were Negroes, we had names like Joshua, Aaron, Paul, Esther, Melba, Cynthia and Ida. Now that we are African Americans, our names are bastardized versions of alcohol from Chivas to Tequila to C(S)hardonney. And chances the names have an unusual spelling.

Back when we were Negroes, according to the Trust For America’s Health’s “F as in Fat,” report, “only four states had diabetes rates above 6 percent. … The hypertension rates in 37 states about 20 years ago were more than 20 percent.” Now that we’re African-Americans, that report shows, “every state has a hypertension rate of more than 20 percent, with nine more than 30 percent. Forty-three states have diabetes rates of more than 7 percent, and 32 have rates above 8 percent. Adult obesity rates for blacks topped 40 percent in 15 states, 35 percent in 35 states and 30 percent in 42 states and Washington, D.C.

Back when we were Negroes, the one-room church was the community center that everyone used. Now that we’re African-Americans, our churches have lavish — compared to back-in-the-day churches — community centers that usually sit empty because the last thing the new church wants to do is invite the community in.

Back when we were Negroes, we didn’t have to be convinced that education was the key that opened the lock of success, but now that we’re African-Americans, more than 50 percent of our children fail to graduate high school. In Bibb County last year, the system had a dropout rate of 53.4 percent.

Back when we were Negroes, the last thing a young woman wanted to look like was a harlot and a young man a thug, but now that we’re African-Americans, many of our young girls dress like hootchie mamas and our young boys imitate penitentiary custom and wear their pants below the butt line.

If I could reverse all of the above by trading the term “African-American” for “Negro,” what do you think I’d do?

Written by Coby Dillard

September 5, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Posted in Editorials

Tagged with

A Disproportionate Response

One of the things I have consistently defended President Obama on is his reluctance to become a “president for black Americans.” I’ve admired, even in disagreement, his desire to be a leader for everyone and not to take part in the “is he doing enough for black America?” argument.

But with an election coming up, and his approval among the African American community “slipping” from above 90% to…85%, I guess it was time to become “the black president.”

So, what do we get? A website called “Winning the Future: President Obama and the African American Community.” What started as a website touting the accomplishments of black Americans during Black History Month is now, essentially, a campaign site.

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Written by Coby Dillard

April 12, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Dying Young, Dying Black

La’ Tanya Pillow named her baby Nevaeh when she was born in February. It’s “heaven” spelled backward, a nod to the joy Pillow felt when the girl was born wriggling with life at 5 pounds, 12 ounces.

Two other babies Pillow gave birth to died, one in 2005 and another in 2007 – both barely a pound, both four months early. The first boy was born still; the other died after a four-hour fight.

The death of a child is not uncommon in Pillow’s world. A number of factors combine to make mothers like Pillow more likely than most to lose a baby.

For starters, she lives in Virginia, which ranks in the bottom half of the country for infant mortality.

And she lives in Norfolk, where rates between 2005 and 2009 were worse than the state average.

And she’s black, a race that in this city had an infant mortality rate more than double that of whites.

Put the numbers together, and you find that black babies born in Norfolk have a death rate substantially larger than that of the country as a whole.

Yes, you read that right. Black babies here have a death rate higher than that of the entire country. The article gives several reasons as to why this is-poverty, lack of access to good healthcare, poor health, too many teen moms and too many single parents.

Some in my circles will say “well, these people shouldn’t be having babies if they’re not prepared to deal with them,”  or rant about how government dependency is the real culprit here. Agree with the former, disagree with the latter. But, to me, the “why” isn’t as important as the “what can we do about it?” And there’s plenty of things that can be done that will cost little-or nothing.

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Written by Coby Dillard

January 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Owning Our History (So We Don’t Repeat It)

“Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”

That quote’s attributed to so many different people that I can’t nail down the exact source of it. That said, it’s time for many of us in the Republican Party to have a history lesson. Why?

Last month, RNC chair Michael Steele said the following when asked why blacks should vote Republican:

“You really don’t have a reason to, to be honest — we haven’t done a very good job of really giving you one. True? True.”

“We have lost sight of the historic, integral link between the party and African-Americans,” Steele said. “This party was co-founded by blacks, among them Frederick Douglass. The Republican Party had a hand in forming the NAACP, and yet we have mistreated that relationship. People don’t walk away from parties, Their parties walk away from them.

That didn’t make Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson very happy:

“Michael Steele is a RINO (Republican In Name Only) — he’s dividing the party and hurting recruitment efforts,” said Rev. Peterson. “Since January I have called for the GOP to fire Steele because he cannot be trusted to lead the party to victory. I’m hoping that party leaders will finally get over their fear of being called racists and dump him before it’s too late.”

Peterson then went on to pose several questions for Steele.

Is Steele right? Of course he is…and though I would’ve said that this time last year, there were several things that happened on McDonnell’s campaign that proved it.  And he’s right for reasons that some black conservatives (many in my demographic, but some older as well) know all too well: we don’t carry our message to the black community, and when we try, it doesn’t relate to the issues and realities they face daily.

So what has the modern-day (which we’ll call post-1964, since that’s about when the shift took place) GOP done to alienate black voters? Let’s see.

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