is shameful that one million Black children are left behind
in extreme poverty. It is hard to be poor. It is harder to
be an extremely poor Black child in America when our president
who says we should Leave No Child Behind is proposing massive
new tax breaks for the richest Americans."
and traditional liberals rightly invoke morality and fairness
in denouncing the Bush men, who answer with contempt for the
"bleeding hearts." The class that seized power in
the United States in 2000 does not share the values of what
normal human beings consider "civilization." Human
progress, as they define it, is not measured in the general
good, but in the "freedom" to accumulate wealth
unfettered by the needs and claims of other human beings.
One million desperately poor Black children represent, to
them, two million grasping hands to be employed at terms dictated
by "the market" (themselves) or manacled so as not
to threaten the rich man's "freedoms."
the Bush men's world, populated mainly by persons who create
nothing of value to society, the safety net is a profound
evil, against which they wage war. They tear down social support
structures in order to create insecurity among the people,
a state of affairs they believe is conducive to "virtue"
in that it enforces the rules of the "marketplace"
in which their acquisitive values rule. The Bush men believe
absolutely that reformers such as Edelman threaten the destiny
of mankind - a sacred reserve of the rich. If they actually
feared Edelman, they would kill her, and feel themselves righteous.
are killing these one million Black children, as surely as
if they shot them at birth. Many of the kids' brothers and
sisters never made it into the statistical tables - African
American women have by far the highest infant mortality rate
in the developed world: 13.6 deaths per 1,000 births, just
ahead of impoverished French Guiana, in South America. (See
Peril," March 6.)
is already inevitable that a majority of the boys in the extreme
poverty cohort and a very substantial portion of the girls
will go to prison. Twenty-eight percent of adult Black males
of all incomes have spent some time in jail - these
children of extreme poverty will easily double
or triple that proportion when they reach the age of incarceration.
Indeed, with 3.4 million African American kids living at or
below $14,000 a year, and one million subsisting on half that
much money, there can be little doubt that the current Black
prison population of one million will at least double in the
next 13 years or so, just as it did during the past 13 years.
Bush men accept the inevitability of such consequences - or
may even revel in the thought. Who knows? These are people
that operate in a different moral framework than the rest
we can easily observe, once we cease listening for signs of
a compassion that does not exist, is that the Bush men celebrate
every step that is taken in the forced march to a society
of vast inequalities, spreading squalor, and premature death.
What decent people recoil from, they embrace. In place of
general prosperity, they seek to impose general insecurity.
Their vision of Heaven is our Hell.
the Bush men promise to leave no child behind, they mean that
no child will be spared the full rigors of the marketplace,
to sink or swim unaided, so that the freedoms of the rich
Bush regime is less than two and one-half years old, and already
they have condemned hundreds of thousands of additional Black
children to incarceration, moral degradation, and early death.
Yet they stomp across the social landscape as if killing roaches,
determined to purify the nation (and world) of all material
and ideological traces of egalitarianism.
can be no common, human dialogue with a class that is, essentially,
misanthropic. One million Black children are on a conveyer
belt to death, George Bush's Harvest of Shame. Yet Bush is
not ashamed, but proud of the fruits of his exertions, and
believes that his God approves of his work.
is an enemy who plays for keeps - a happy, smirking child