Black soldiers on African-American Patriots Day.
Maryland National Guard/Flickr

Sometimes I hate defending my race, but I can’t let Bill O’Reilly and other Fox News hosts demonize African Americans, many of whom are struggling and doing everything they can to survive.
Sometimes I’ve said crazy things, because I know White guilt, not racism, destroys the Black man’s resolve to lift himself. I and other working Black men are just as perturbed seeing Black kids skipping school, not pulling their pants up, speaking Ebonics and not respecting our women. I have been guilty of all those things. However, I’m more perturbed by our own leaders not countering this narrative by showing the excesses of White people.

Why hasn’t MSNBC, CNN or Al Jazeera been in Appalachia or Western Maryland reporting about the corrosive culture of poor Whites who voted for Donald Trump? There are just as many Whites that don’t want to work, absentee fathers and White women out there prostituting themselves, while hard working Black men are paying taxes to pay for their licentious lifestyle. Don’t cry about Black trash when many White people live in poverty as well. What is it about White folks who think they’re the only ones that work hard and pay taxes? Fox News has fostered a narrative that is harmful and dangerous.

Do you think I want anything from the White man? I believe in pulling yourself up. But people such as Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity show a few ignorant Blacks who prefer handouts over work and use these folks for political purposes. Some people are on welfare not to buy drugs, but to keep from starving to death. Conservatives want to have it both ways. They say they’re for life, then want to cut school lunches for children. They say “All lives matter,” then create policies that trap people in dire economic conditions, leaving the inhabitants with no choice but to rob, sell drugs or commit crimes.
Mr. O’Reilly, “pull yourself up” sounds good, but when people are shoeless they don’t want to hear about the Constitution; they’re saying, “I’m defeated, show some mercy.”

The conservatives keep saying, “Screw you.” You made an assertion that most panhandlers buy drugs — you’re dead wrong! I work with the homeless and none of them are buying drugs. They are making the best of a bad situation. The deck is stacked against them and people like you keep dropping cards on them. They have no money, but work with what little means they have. They are trying to make the world better, while people like Bill O’Reilly want to make everyone miserable.

Not long ago, he commented that “the problems have little to do with White people. Rather, a corrosive culture that does not confront child neglect and anti-social behavior on the streets is driving poverty and dysfunction.” Not only are these words cold and callous, but he is delusional if this is how he interprets the teaching of Christ.

Conservatives love to paint a narrative about minorities, hoping that their audience will dismiss the historical reasons why so many African Americans are in chaos. To say that Whites aren’t responsible is mendacious, after five centuries of slavery, 100 years of JIm Crow and 50 years of civil rights. To suggest Blacks are to blame for their own failure should be denounced.

Out of wedlock births and high school dropouts aren’t just a Black problem but an American problem. Our nation is falling behind morally, spiritually and economically. We are beyond the stage of “Why can’t Johnny read.” We need to teach Johnny how to read or we are going to have another person lost to the streets.

We all pay the bill, whether it’s welfare or jail. So let’s try something different, instead of looking for who’s to blame. Relitigating past grievances hasn’t solved race problems. Americans are going to have to humble themselves and find solutions to make these urban areas better. When we have strong Black men leading our people, we won’t have people such as Bill O’Reilly airing out our dirty laundry. White people aren’t to blame for Obama’s failure — we are!

Blaming Republicans for obstructions is equivalent to the Redskins blaming the Cowboys for not making the playoffs. Racism is a strategy, but it’s not a determination for whether you fail or succeed. Liberalism has failed Black people because it’s lulled them not to shoot for anything but mediocrity. Life is a battle, there are people out here who want you dead. So to believe we can sing people into loving us is not only naive, but dangerous. We have no choice but to fix the problem, or we will continue to have situations such as Chicago and San Francisco. I hate to sound like a liberal, but poverty and trailer trash culture is a blight on all of us!