There’s no need for tear gas, body armor, the National Guard…just get these folks into the workforce, building families, contributing meaningfully to their communities and enhancing their self-esteem.
But first, go back to school. As Col. West writes in his book, Guardian of the Republic, One of my favorite personal quotes is Horace Mann’s oft-paraphrased statement, “Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men.” The great black conservative, Booker T. Washington agreed, but he also believed education was most valuable as a means of achieving practical ends, as he wrote in Up From Slavery in 1901: The actual sight of a first-class house that a Negro has built is ten times more potent than pages of discussion about a house that he ought to build, or perhaps could build.”Or in this entitlement economy, the house he expects the government to provide.
But therein lies the root of our problems. Rather than reliance on government solutions, the only way forward for communities like Baltimore is to embrace Booker T. Washington’s principles of self-reliance and economic independence — which oh by the way, just happen to be CONSERVATIVE principles.