BY ALLEN WEST
February is the month when we remember and celebrate the accomplishments, achievements, and contributions of American Blacks to these United States of America.
Now, there are those who will say, this month, and others similar, only serve to “balkanize” our Nation and create more division than unity. I must disagree. I do believe that celebrating an American Black, Hispanic, or Asian month is important, if the event is not usurped for the political propaganda purposes.
Therefore, please do not leave comments asking, why do we need an American Black History month. I am going to explain why.
First, there is a difference this February 2020. It may not be monumental at this moment, but there is a philosophical and principle shift happening in the Black community.
In the last three years we have seen a real policy emphasis placed on the solutions that improve the quality of life for Blacks. We have seen a historic drop in the unemployment rate in the Black community. There has been a great move of Blacks off the poverty rolls. There has even been an awareness, at the highest levels of our government, of the plight of our Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
We have seen criminal justice reform resulting in the release of incarcerated individuals like Alice Marie Johnson. Ms. Johnson was sentenced to a 25-year prison sentence without possibility of parole for a first-time non-violent drug offense. And we have economic opportunity zones that are focused on growing more small businesses in the black communities.
Because of all this, we are seeing some in the American Black community question why this has happened in the past three years? Why did none of this happen in the eight years of the so called “first Black president”?
We should never forget the explosion of unemployment and poverty in the Black community during those eight years. We should not forget that it was Barack Obama who ended the D.C. school voucher program for deserving minority, Black kids, shutting the door to them have an equality of opportunity via quality education.
We do need an American Black history month to focus on reconnecting the Black community to its first principles. This, and every month, would be a great time for the Black community to go back and reread, or read for the first time, the autobiography of Booker T. Washington’s “Up from Slavery.”
When Washington was charged with creating the first institution of higher learning for recently freed Blacks in the deep South, he established a three-point agenda – education, entrepreneurship, and self-reliance. Yet, he has become a forgotten figure in American Black history, cast aside because his principles do not fit the progressive socialist left narrative of victimization.
If we do dedicate ourselves to a true reflection upon the history of the American Black community in this Nation we will see that we have moved from physical enslavement to economic enslavement.
This Black History month we need to reflect and ask, when did the Black community in America decide to destroy its families? When did the Black community in America decide to murder their own babies in the womb? When did the Black community in America decide that it was better to have an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, instead of a job? When did the Black community decide that their women no longer deserved respect and honor and would be denigrated and disparaged in song?
I was born in a Black-only hospital in Atlanta, Georgia in 1961, Hughes-Spalding. Amazingly enough, this was before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but the two-parent household in the Black community was near 77%. Today, it is down to 24%.
In 1960, the American Black population in our country was approximately 18.6 million. Last week was the 47th anniversary of the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision. Since the 1973 court case, 20 million black babies have been murdered in the womb. In essence, in 47 years we have wiped out the entire Black population from the time of the first black slave arrived at these shores to 1960.
The schools in our urban centers are failing to prepare students for the 21st century economy, and life. Yet, we have those who stand in the way of educational freedom and education opportunity zones for the most deserving in our Nation.
Therefore, as an American Black conservative who was born in the month of February, I decided to tell the conservative history of my community. I know that not just in this month, but always, there have been iconic figures in the American Black community who have been forgotten, their existence discarded, their lessons cast aside.
So, in this American Black History Month, February 4, 2020, the year of clear vision, I will release a book entitled, “We Can Overcome, An American Black Conservative Manifesto.”
Too often there have been those who want us to believe that conservatism in the black community is some recent phenomenon, quite to the contrary. What is new, and detrimental, to the Black community in America is this acceptance of progressive socialism. Although, it has always been a goal of the left…starting with the white progressives, Mary White Ovington, Henry Moskowitz, William English Walling, and Oswald Garrison Villard who were founding members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). And yes, W.E.B. DuBois was a avowed socialist, who became a communist, and later renounced his American citizenship.
It is time that the real history of the American Black community be told. It is time we stop singing “We Shall Overcome.” “Shall” is a passive verb. Now is the time, starting in this American Black History Month to sing, “We Can Overcome”, and take the actions to do so…stop being passive and allow someone else to define the history, and future, of the American Black community.
Yes, the Black community in America needs this month, and all eleven others. It is necessary to stem the tide of leftism that has brought about the decimation of the Black community…We Can Overcome!
Editor’s Note: This column previously appeared at CNSNews.com. Used with the permission of the author.
Lt. Col. Allen B. West is the former U.S. Congressman representing Florida’s 22nd District, a Fox News Contributor, Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, former Executive Director of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas Texas, and the author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom. Col. West is the third of four generations of military servicemen in his family. During his 22 year career in the United States Army, he was awarded the Bronze Star, 3 Meritorious Service Medals, 3 Army Commendation Medals (1 with Valor device), and a Valorous Unit Award. In 1993 he was named the US Army ROTC Instructor of the Year. Col. West believes it will be principled constitutional conservative policies, not politics, which will secure a sound economic future for Americans. LTC West is running for Chair of the Republican Party of Texas. To support his efforts, please visit his campaign website