Liberals hurt African Americans by having "an inflated sense'' of what the government can do to help them, Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley says.
"What we need is for the government to get out of the way,'' Riley told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"To stop doing the things that harm, that get in the way of the cultural development that needs to take place in order for blacks to rise in society.''
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Riley is author of the new book, "Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make it Harder for Blacks to Succeed,''
published by Encounter Books.
"One of my overarching themes in this book is that poor blacks need a man in the home much more than they need a black man in the White House. What I mean by that is that blacks ultimately must help themselves,'' Riley said.
"They must develop the types of habits and characteristics and attitudes that previous groups had to develop in order to rise in society and to the extent that a government program, however well-intentioned, interferes with that self-development. It does more harm than good.''
Riley discounted President Barack Obama's linking of the disenfranchisement of blacks all the way back to when slavery, and later, Jim Crow segregation laws, were legal in the United States.
"Slavery and Jim Crow are used as all-purpose explanations for all that ails black Americans today,'' Riley said.
Obama "is saying to the black community, you remain victims just like you were 150 years ago, just like you were under Jim Crow, nothing has really changed.
"It's a cop-out, it's a dodge. If you look at the data, if you look at the statistics, the black family, for instance, was in much better shape coming out of slavery than it is after 50 years of Great Society programs.''
He noted that black labor participation rates were higher in the 1930s and 1940s, and even into the 1950s before minimum wage laws and other efforts were made to help improve black employment.
Riley believes there are large differences between the civil rights leaders of the '60s like Martin Luther King and those of today like the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.
"Martin Luther King was someone who thought blacks needed to succeed in American society, notwithstanding racism. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton take the view that blacks cannot be expected to succeed until racism has been vanquished from America,'' he said.
"What Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are really about today is justifying their existence. So they sort of scour the land looking for Confederate flag sightings or someone somewhere using the 'n' word — some white person, that is, using the 'n' word.
"[They] point to it and say, look, nothing's changed, nothing's changed, you still need us to march, you still need us to do what we've been doing for decades to line our own pockets. But they're not really helping the interest of the black poor.''
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