Let’s not make any more excuses!

In his September 12 column, former mayor C. Jack Ellis remarks, "One might say Ferguson [MO] is a microcosm of Macon [GA] pre-2014, approximately 65 percent of the population is black with a poverty rate of approximately 25 percent. The unemployment rate of young black men hovers around 20 percent. And far too many of its citizens reside in public or subsidized housing." True, but whose fault is it? Opportunity is there for individual achievers; Asians, without “Asian-American” leaders, largely succeed.

African-American leaders (and a well-known Telegraph writer) consistently, while calling repeatedly for “reconciliation, keep making excuses for racial strife; excellence and individual achievement are what they should be promoting. To blame longstanding racial tensions for mob violence in America today is inexcusable. As a Cuban-American, I applaud achievements of Hispanics, but I'm also keen to denounce crime from that quarter when it happens. The truth is we ALL need to cease making excuses.

Ferguson MO lootingI stand by what I wrote August 25: The moral high ground of civil rights and injustice are lost, when inexcusable but isolated police incidents are used as pretexts to create mayhem for looting, vandalizing, and robbery.

In 2011 Charles Richardson in an epiphanous moment of clarity elucidated: "Back when we were Negroes in the 1950s, 'only 9 percent of black families with children were headed by a single parent... 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... those odds of living with both parents had 'dwindled to a mere 6 percent’ … in Bibb County, more than 70 percent of the births in the African-American community are to single mothers."

Richardson went on: "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."

So whose fault is it? Looting in Ferguson MO

According to the Uniform Crime Report for 2009, "among people 18 or younger, blacks were charged with 58 percent of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, 67 percent of robberies, 42 percent of aggravated assaults and 43 percent of auto thefts. As for murder, more than 90 percent of the time, their victims were black."

Returning to Ellis, "Study after study shows that young black men in the U.S. suffer from wide-spread racism and stereotyping by a large segment of the population.” But how is it then, we elected and re-elected an African-American President, a graduate from Harvard Law School in a nation with a majority of white voters!

Frankly, the situation will not improve as long as African-American leaders continue to reopen festering wounds for their own selfish motives, i.e., politics, profit, and sadly, self-aggrandizement. What they should be doing is inspiring young blacks to succeed, to excel as individuals; but no, they reinforce the opposite, the specious idea that despite the progress made in five decades they still cannot succeed because of discrimination and racism.

Yes, injustice, discrimination, and segregation were blots in our nation’s history, but what we have had for five decades is opportunity and affirmative action. And what was unfathomable a few years ago, as mentioned previously, a two-term African-American President who proves them wrong. Years earlier, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should have been embraced as an exemplar of individual achievement, instead he was rejected by the same “leaders” because of political ideology.

Latin America has had its share of problems, poverty, cycles of revolutions and dictatorships, etc., but it has one area where it can teach America, and that is in race relations: genuine reconciliation and acceptance on an equal footing, gained, not by the constantly reopening wounds and race baiting, but by learning to live together as human beings, getting on and moving on, in the course of our brief existence, in the face of inescapable adversity and insurmountable human imperfectability.

Read also: Looting and Burning — Trampling the Rule of Law!

Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D. is associate editor-in-chief and a world affairs editor of Surgical Neurology International and author of “Cuba in Revolution — Escape From a Lost Paradise.”

This letter to the editor was published in the Macon Telegraph on September 17, 2014.  

This article can be cited as Faria MA. Let's not make any more excuses. The Macon Telegraph,  September 17, 2014. Available from: http://www.haciendapub.com/randomnotes/let%E2%80%99s-not-make-any-more-e...

Copyright ©2014 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

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Black leadership

Letters to the Editor, MT, Faria’s take
Sept 22, 2014

It’s hard to know where to begin. I have been a resident of Middle Georgia for 44 years. I am well-educated as a member of Mercer’s class of 1981. My major was social work. The one issue I have never been able to figure out is what can be done about racial friction. Recently, it has been my experience that black people hate white people more than ever before.

Twice in the past couple of years, I have said hello to a black child only to have their parent tell them “Don’t talk to that white man.” But due to a recent column in your paper I finally figured out why this is happening. It is because of people like Al Sharpton and the Black Panthers who are preaching hatred of whites and stirring up distrust.
The column to which I am referring was written by Dr. Miguel A. Faria. This column is the best thing I have ever read on the subject. It puts everything into perfect focus and hits the nail on the head. I was so impressed that I have made copies to give to friends.

After years and years of trying to figure this problem out, I have finally been given the perfect perspective on the subject. I cannot express enough how brilliant I find Faria to be. Thank you so much for publishing his viewpoint.
I wish everybody in America would read it.
-- Randal D. Duckworth, Warner Robins, GA

A terrible cycle!

Comments to the article in the Macon Telegraph (9/18/14)

Willy Bee (Warner Robins, Georgia): Dr.Faria, When I think of Ellis, Sharpton and Jackson, I visualize purple clad crushed velvet dressed men driving a Buick deuce and a quarter while making prostitutes out of their own people. They have no problem wearing that feather in their hat. It's very sad for all of us.

Spyros Alvonellos (Warner Robins, Georgia): Knocked it out of the Ballpark....Unfortunately it falls on deaf ears for some people who have to blame someone else. If there is ever any blame to be assigned it could be the people who created the welfare state that supports in perpetuity the single parent African American household prone to violence, drug use. Males getting locked up for crimes they commit and the females getting pregnant and continuing the cycle.

Ben Damron: Think this little article might add to what you've stated Dr Faria.

"The War on Poverty After 50 Years" by Robert Rector & Rachel Sheffield, HERITAGE FOUNDATION, 9/15/2014

"In his January 1964 State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed, “This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America.” In the 50 years since that time, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs. Adjusted for inflation, this spending (which does not include Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all U.S. military wars since the American Revolution. Yet progress against poverty, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau, has been minimal, and in terms of President Johnson’s main goal of reducing the “causes” rather than the mere “consequences” of poverty, the War on Poverty has failed completely. In fact, a significant portion of the population is now less capable of self-sufficiency than it was when the War on Poverty began...

"Since that time, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs (in constant 2012 dollars). Adjusted for inflation, this spending (which does not include Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all military wars in U.S. history since the American Revolution. Despite this mountain of spending, progress against poverty, at least as measured by the government, has been minimal…"


"If the person you referred to [Dr. Catherine Meeks] who writes those editorials for the Telegraph would spend more time on constructive words of wisdom instead of constantly criticizing everyone of the opposite race, maybe her time would be better spent and she'd be a little more respected! I doubt that will happen though!

Rampant Looting

Ferguson MO looting