Bernie Sanders’ recent statements about “white people” has caused a backlash among people who understand economics, race relations, and history. To understand, let’s take a look at the statements he made at the recent democratic debate
“When you are white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto, you don’t know what it’s like to be poor, you don’t know what it’s like to be hassled when you are walking down a street or dragged out of a car,” Sanders said when asked about his personal racial blind spots. “We must be firm in making it clear that we will end institutional racism and reform a broken criminal justice system.”
There’s a lot to untangle there, and there’s good reason to be bothered.
First, “white” can mean everything from French Canadian Catholic to Russian Jew, and everything in between. This form of blanket statement denigrates the plight of different people around the world. Without even having to reach across the border, a simple look at US statistics disprove his claims.
White Population and Poverty
White’s make up a higher percent of Project-Based Section 8 Housing than any other race
In those two charts the “whites don’t understand poverty” line is debunked.
Whites and Police Brutality
Bernie has made it clear time and time again that police brutality is a race issue, but is that true?
Police killed more white people than any other race in 2015. A total 385 white people have been killed by police this year, and 66 of them were unarmed at the time of their death.
To be fair, a look at per capita rates shows that blacks may be more likely to be killed by police. Police killed almost five black people per every million black residents of the U.S., compared with about 2 per million for both white and hispanic victims.
Is that all because of racism? Not necessarily.
Despite making up just 13% of the population, blacks commit over half of homicides in the United States. DOJ statistics show that between 1980 and 2008, blacks committed 52% of homicides, compared to 45% of homicides committed by whites.
Though the amount of blacks being persecuted by cops appears over-represented due to blacks representing 13% of the population, it’s the opposite when you factor in violent crime offenders.
Given that whites and blacks commit a similar amount of violent crime by percentage – though blacks commit much more per capita – you would expect that the amount of police brutality to be the same. This is not the case; in fact, whites are nearly twice as likely to be victims of police brutality based on the numbers.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, between 1999 and 2011, 2,151 whites died as a result of being shot by police compared to 1,130 blacks.
This is not a racist statement, nor a racist fact. Facts are not racist, they are simply facts and it’s up to you to interpret them.
Can Government Fix The Problem?
Bernie’s continual pandering to Black Lives Matter racist campaign does absolutely nothing to help blacks or whites. It’s simply removing the locus of control from black individuals, so that they can blame everything on whites.
Are there issues with race relations in this country? Yes.
Can we solve the issue by blaming one group solely for the issue? No.
Can the government fix this problem? Absolutely not.
The government has been the greatest force to prevent blacks from getting out of poverty and doing well:
“The economic milieu in which the War on Poverty arose is noteworthy. As of 1965, the number of Americans living below the official poverty line had been declining continuously since the beginning of the decade and was only about half of what it had been fifteen years earlier. Between 1950 and 1965, the proportion of people whose earnings put them below the poverty level, had decreased by more than 30%. The black poverty rate had been cut nearly in half between 1940 and 1960. In various skilled trades during the period of 1936-59, the incomes of blacks relative to whites had more than doubled. Further, the representation of blacks in professional and other high-level occupations grew more quickly during the five years preceding the launch of the War on Poverty than during the five years thereafter.
Despite these trends, the welfare state expanded dramatically after LBJ’s statement. Between the mid-Sixties and the mid-Seventies, the dollar value of public housing quintupled and the amount spent on food stamps rose more than tenfold. From 1965 to 1969, government-provided benefits increased by a factor of 8; by 1974 such benefits were an astounding 20 times higher than they had been in 1965. Also as of 1974, federal spending on social-welfare programs amounted to 16% of America’s Gross National Product, a far cry from the 8% figure of 1960. By 1977 the number of people receiving public assistance had more than doubled since 1960.
The most devastating by-product of the mushrooming welfare state was the corrosive effect it had on American family life, particularly in the black community.â€¨ As provisions in welfare laws offered ever-increasing economic incentives for shunning marriage and avoiding the formation of two-parent families, illegitimacy rates rose dramatically.
For the next few decades, means-tested welfare programs such as food stamps, public housing, Medicaid, day care, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families penalized marriage. A mother generally received far more money from welfare if she was single rather than married. Once she took a husband, her benefits were instantly reduced by roughly 10 to 20 percent. As a Cato Institute study noted, welfare programs for the poor incentivize the very behaviors that are most likely to perpetuate poverty.”
How To Actually Fix The Problem
The government destroys wealth and will continue to do so as long as it exists. By creating a perpetual dependent class through the creation of massive government job programs, the redistribution of wealth to fund failing “anti-poverty” programs, and by punishing those who succeed through taxation, the government is ensuring that poverty continues. If you want to fix the issue, tell the government to get the hell out of the way.
About the author: Carlos Morales is a former Child Protective Services investigator, president and founder of Child Protective Services Victim Support, the host of the Libertarian Atheist Podcast, and a committed legal advocate for family reunification.