Accountability

The Senate GOP – the only real bit of power the opposition has in Minnesota – is finally going to ask the question that it seems nearly nobody in our media will.

Why didi the DFL politiclal “chain of command”, from Mayors Carter and McDreamy up through Governor Klink, allow two of the Twin Cities poor, blighted but slowly recovering neighborhoods to get torched, looted and bludgeoned almost beyond recognition?

Republicans specifically want to know the details of what led Minneapolis police to abandon the Third Precinct police station. Additionally, they want to know why the National Guard was not a visible presence on the ground in Minneapolis until the weekend, four days after the violence started.

At the press conference, Gazelka did not directly answer a question about whether there will be subpoenas issued for the hearings, but a top aide clarified that the Senate Judiciary Committee does have subpoena power, and they will be involved in these hearings.

Democratic senators will be part of these hearings as well. It sets up for what is likely to be a spectacle at the Capitol, with Republican Senators, most of whom are from greater Minnesota, grilling top state and even city officials over the basic question of what happened.

The DFL’s evasion controls are set to “emergency”:

Susan Kent, the DFL Senate leader, responded to Republican plan to hold hearings, saying that Republicans should be just as focused on criminal justice reform as they are on the destruction of property. She noted that these hearing come after a recent special session, where no police reform proposals were agreed upon, during which the Senate held a single, informational hearing for criminal justice reform.

“It is deeply discouraging and troubling to see Senate Republicans prioritize hearings that completely fail to address racial disparities within our criminal justice system,” she said, adding: Minnesotans statewide are asking us to do our jobs and take meaningful action. The one informational hearing they held on weak proposals doesn’t cut it. It is now abundantly clear they were never really interested in passing critical legislation.”

And I’ll agree with the suburban doyenne Sen. Kent, at least halfway; we should examine the “racial disparity”.

Why is it always the black neighborhoods that the hordes of white “anarchists” and “anti”-fa and other members of the DFL’s direct action force flock to to burn and loot?

They Own These Towns…

…but that doesn’t leave Republicans off the hook for the collapse of America’s cities:

Despite all of these Democrats, the number one factor stopping real progress in the inner city is Republicans. If Republicans can’t figure out how to speak to minority voters, it is pointless to discuss alternative solutions. President Trump has been the first “Republican” in years to really talk to minority voters and also work to pass bills that directly affect them. We need others willing to seize that momentum and work to demonstrate that Democrats have done nothing for the inner cities but hurt them. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, then that is exactly what being a minority and voting for Democrats is like. Nothing ever gets better for them, but they continue to vote for Democrats.

Recently, Sean Combs said the “black vote is not going to be for free,” and he should be right! Politicians should be working for the black community as well as all communities if they want our votes. No one should give away his vote without question. All politicians should work a little harder and not assume that they will get our votes just because there is an R or D next to their name.

If Republicans can actually begin having constructive conversations with minorities and inner-city residents, these are just some of the many conservative ideas that can and will help inner cities if implemented:

Democrats, until a few years ago, were wont to chant “WE OWN THIS TOWN” after elections where their people were swept into office by near-three-digit margins. It’s tempting to tell them “Yes, Sparky, you sure do. Clean it up”.

So tempting that I do it myself.

But when you get a wasp nest under your back porch eaves, do you leave the back porch to the wasps?

Public Order

There was an apparent homicide last night – a woman was killed in the alley behind the Trend Bar on University at Pascal. The Trend – known throughout the neighborhood as “the place where alcoholics go to get drunk and robbed, and the drug trade goes to romp and play” – is eight blocks south of my house.

It’s squarely in the district of Councilwoman Mitra Jalali – who ran for office as “Mitra Jalali-Nelson”, but apparently that whole Swedish surname thing has become less convenient in Saint Paul politics in recent months.

She’s the one who advocates de-funding Saint Paul’s police department.

Seems like a bit of a conundrum, no?

Compare And Contrast

In watching yesterday’s kerfuffle about the couple in suburban Saint Louis who strapped up – to a horde of catcalls about their deeply flawed gun handling – against a bunch of “peaceful” protesters who’d just smashed their community’s gate – I can’t help but recall four scan weeks ago…

…when armed Americans were briefly all the rage, if a confused sort of rage, to our cultural betters…

…provided it’s the right people with the guns.

This Is War

Shizzle just got way too real:

This is getting personal.

Keegans was where I met some of the favorite arcs in my social circle: the NARN guys (Brian, Chad, Ben, Ed Morrissey, King Banaian, Michael Brodkorb), John Stewart and Marjorie Farnsworth Stewart and their kids Patience Stewart and Faith Worley , who at least started the process of meeting her husband Ben Worley (long story) there at a Trivia night one summer. It’s where I first met (socially, at least) David Strom and Margaret Martin, and Christopher K. Senn and Chris Neugent, where we were trivia regulars with Brad Carlson and Nancy LaRoche and Bill Charette and Guy Collins and Peg Kaplan and so many more, a place where Gary M. Miller and Bob Collins shared a table over a couple beers and some sports talk, where I met the likes of Tracy Eberly and Julie Hanson and Mark Heuring and Jacq Smith and Sean Michael and Diane Napper and Bridget Cronin, where I met Don Lokken after 20 odd years. where celebs like Mike Nelson and Lynn McHale’s husband rubbed elbows with a bunch of my other closest friends, and the last place I saw Joel Rosenberg and Sarah Janecek before their untimely passings, and…

…well, so many memories, it’s hard to catalogue them all.

Keegans – and the Savoy next door, both owned by the redoubtable Marty Newman – is closing after Tuesday night. Marty, like Terry (a Marine vet from Vietnam) and Virginia Keegan before him who founded the place, is a classic small businessman, is pretty much SOL.

The place was always jam packed – always – so let’s hear none of this “bars and restaurants close all the time” bullsh*t. This place was killed by the Governor’s ham-fisted quarantine combined with Minneapolis’ unicorn-driven small business policies.

This is a kick in the teeth.

I will be heading there Tuesday night. I guess that would be tonight…

Take Your Pick

The left, last week: “People don’t need the police! People can defend their own communities!”

The left, this week after people defended their own community:

“Chilling”. The “protesters” were encroaching on private property after forcibly breaking down a gate. The implied threat could miss nobody who isn’t already insulated by Urban Progressive Privilege.

The only “chilling” part of this episode is the atrocious firearm-safety the couple are exhibiting; fingers on triggers, sweeping each other and people who aren’t immediate threats. Get some training, people.

And it’s instructive to note how “chilling” it wasn’t to the mainstream media last month, when stories about black neighborhoods and business owners strapping up to deter looters met with…uncomfortable acquiescence.

Fact-Checked!

Democrat run cities are crime infested hell holes.

It’s not even a controversial premise.

Which isn’t to say the “fact checked industry – which exist primarily to uphold, or at least try and prevent the destruction of, leftist narratives Dash isn’t going to take a run at it.

From WaPo:

And let’s just say that the “ Independents” aren’t too far to the right to be Republicans, either.

Is there anything about today’s American left that isn’t built on exploitation, violence and lies?

Let Them Eat Committee Minutes!

Minneapolis voted last week to change its police force into…

…well, something.

And if that makes you nervous, don’t worry – accountability for the results of this sweeping change is going to be split 14 ways. Because we all know the stories of successful enterprises in the worlds of politics, business and ideas that’ve had 14 co-equal chief executives.

What it does mean, so far, is a transfer of power from the mayor to the City Council, a transfer of wealth from the taxpayer to the myriad “community” groups and non-profits that will be part of the system – a system that feeds money, influence and people to the DFL…

…and a transfer of accountability for public safety from a police chief and a mayor (both of whom flunked the test terribly this past month) to…well, leave a message and someone will get back to you.

But hey – if you’re really worried about your safety, there are other options…

provided you’re part of the class that actually matters

MiniHealth Has Never Been At War With MiniPol

Some Henco Commisioners want to declare racism a public health crisis:

Hennepin County Commissioners Angela Conley and Irene Fernando plan to introduce a resolution on Tuesday declaring racism a public health emergency in the county.

“We need to be explicit about racism,” Conley said. “We need to say that at the root of the disparities is systemic racism . . . and we need to do it now while this conversation is ripe.”

Nearly a dozen other counties across the country have passed similar resolutions, many doing so in recent weeks as governments and businesses aim to address racism within their own organizations in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis…The move to declare racism a public health crisis is symbolic, but would also direct the county to consider racial equity in all of its decision making.

When you mix politics and science, you don’t get scientific politics. You get politicized science.

It is a strong contender to be Berg’s 21st Law.

A Little Bit Country

I left North Dakota for a lot of good reasons. Pretty much everything I wanted in life, especially back when only Al Gore had the Internet, was in a major metropolitan area; a place to try to be a songwriter, a musician, a writer, or something just different than I could be back in one of the most rural states in the US.

And that judgment was largely right, then and now. I found opportunity in the big city that would have eluded me back in the rural west, then and, let’s be honest, now. I’d have never fallen out of college into a major market talk radio job; I’d have never tripped into either of the careers I’ve had since then; nothing that is my life today had I stayed in North Dakota, other than faith and family – and my family is mostly here, too.

And for better or worse, that’s the way it’s going to be for at least the next five years. I was working remotely – at least for a while – before it was cool; from 2015 through most of 2017 I worked from home. And it was great. But when the jobs ended – and they did – the immutable fact is, being where the work was, having a network and a presence and a reputation among a critical-enough mass of people in the industry to find the next job was pretty much non-negotiable.

So the ties that bind me to the big city are emotional, financial and personal.

Oh, yeah – and I’m stubborn. I may eventually walk away from the city, to someplace in Minnesota with a functional two-party system, or across the river to solid, competent, red Northwest Wisconsin. But I’ll do it on my own time. I won’t run away from the mob, either on the street or in city hall. Not if I can help it.

So I’ve got my reasons for being here, and I’m fine with that.

Still, I brought a little bit of my home here. North Dakotans are famously stoic, and calmly but ruthlessly pragmatic – and it shows in the way the state governs itself. And, to be honest, it did, mostly, even when the state’s governor and its congressional delegation were longtime Democrats – although the likes of George Skinner and Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad would look like Barry Goldwater in the modern Democratic Party; Collin Peterson is as close as you’ll find in the wild today. And I compare the public life of my “new” home of 30-odd years to my old one, and find it grossly wanting. Perhaps the lower population density means that there’s noplace to escape the wrath of an angry populace; perhaps the more modest budget for a permanent political and non-profit class means that politicians of all stripes need to mind their manners, since they are unlikely to wind up in permanent political sinecures. More than a few former governors in the Dakotas and Montana went back into private legal practice after leaving office; perhaps knowing they were going to be back on Main Street one day tempers behavior in a way that looking forward to a “teaching” job at the Humphrey Center and a cushy and largely ceremonial “job” at a law firm or non-profit doesn’t. And I suspect it’ll take a genuine catastrophe – not the twin, training-wheels problems, Covid and the Floyd Riots – to strip away enough of the surplus wealth that enables rot-enabling dross like our non-profit/industrial complex and academic complexes to thrive. And that’s a level of catastrophe that will make Governor Walz’s original models look pollyannaish – a serious epidemic, like aerosol Ebola or a reawakened Bubonic Plague; rioting with guns instead of spray paint.

And let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

I’ve got a fair number of people in my metro social circle who are making active noises about moving to the rural west. South Dakota is a current favorite – Governor Noem has distinguished herself in leading SoDak through the Covid crisis to the point where there’s talk of her being, unthinkably, a national contender. (In a just world, Governor Burgum of North Dakota would be a legitimate contender as well – but being a billionaire and by all indications pretty dang happy where he’s at, he’d have no reason to want to). I ask, mostly in fun, “you have two Dakotas to choose from, and you pick that one?”, but I get it…

…mostly.

My next question is absolutely serious: “Go to South Dakota…and do what?” If you’ve got a career that’s genuinely portable and can exist anywhere – or no career at all, and able to start over from rock bottom – then that makes sense. If you earn your living via the many, many parts of the economy that only occur in metro areas larger than 250,000 (and Fargo makes the cut, more or less, batting well above its weight economically – but it’s also developed its own class of “progressive” useless mouths, and along with Grand Forks the state’s only real collection of institutional Democrats), you may be looking long and hard to find a way to make ends meet. And if you’re counting on your remote job to carry you through – check those connections, both on the Internet and on your LinkedIn. You’d best have a very high profile in your industry to be able to find your next job from your den in Aberdeen.

Still, for all the Metro governments have poured into the bogus, politically-correct, perverted-to-the-point-of-Orwellian definition of “resiliency”, Victor Davis Hanson reminds us in his meditations on Æsop’s fable of the City Mouse and Country Mouse that life in the more rural areas offers the real thing – the ability to provide one’s own “safety net” far more resilient than that of even a well-intentioned social one, a genuine community.

And there are times that sounds attractive.

Reagan Spoke Too Soon

What’s the most dangerous phrase in the world?

1980: “I’m from the governent and I”m here to help”

2020: “I’m an ‘ally’ and I’m here to help. “

A friend of the blog emails:

Privileged Liberal White People: we’re going to help those poor communities of black people. We’ll build a train so they can get around with a car!

Black people: But, we’d like to get around by car just like you.

PLWP: We’re going to help those poor black people by raising the minimum wage!

BP: But we’d like to have a job to support our families. This will just get rid of our jobs.

PLWP: We’re going to help those poor black people by building high density housing in their neighborhood. Let’s tear down the affordable single family housing stock to help them!

BP: But we’d like to own a house, just like you.

PLWP: We’re going to help those poor black people by taking away on street parking around their apartment buildings to build bike lanes!

BP: But we’d like to park by where we live just like you, especially in the winter. We aren’t biking.

PLWP: We want to help black people by not calling the cops when thugs take over their neighborhood. And we’ll tell the whole world!

BP: Seriously, stop helping us.
________________
Biggest problem in my neighborhood, other than the issues above, most of my neighbors don’t bother voting in local elections.

Semi-related: It’s interesting, to me, to note that John Lesch’s district has the lowest voter turnout numbers in the state.

To the original point: Urban Progessive Privilege means never having had to confront the notion that your ideals are only “ideal” for people in your own class.

Human Nature

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In college poli-sci classes, you learn there are two schools of thought about what humans would be like in the absence of government.

Some think humans are Basically Good and government corrupts us, so if we could get rid of government, everything would be wonderful.

Others think humans are Basically Rotten and only government protects us from ourselves. If we got rid of government, our lives would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.

Recent events don’t answer the question. Did people riot because government pulled back and let them, or because government was so corrupt they had to?
Ask yourself this: if we get rid of the police, and the Basically Rotten people are correct, what will take the place of the police? Individual citizens maintaining Eternal Vigilance, dispensing Street Justice? Are we certain that’s a better solution than a municipal police force? Are we willing to bet our lives on it?

Joe Doakes

The “better solution” our social justice-y betters are splaining to us is Camden – whose new, woke, exquisitely expensive law enforcement organization has improved it from the worst murder rate of any city of any size in the United States to tied with #6 (Kansas City), were it over 200,000 people, which it’s not; it may be the most dangerous small city in the US.

Transit Memorial Day

Today is the sixteenth anniversary of the opening of the Metro Transit Blue Line – the beginning (or re-beginning) of light rail transit in the Twin Cities.

So on this anniversary, let us remember the people who gave their lives – unwillingly and probably unwittingliy – to further Big Minnesota Left’s obsession with feeling like a Big City.

The Blue Line has claimed 15 lives – eight pedestrians, three bikers, a man in a wheelchair, and three people in cars. There was also a stabbing death this past winter on the Blue Line, and two more murders at stations along the line. That’s an average of just one death per year.

The Green Line has taken eight victims in only five years – the first just six weeks after the train started operating, mostly pedestrians trying to navigate the badly-designed street-level crossings. The most recent was less than a year ago. j

The Northstar line has five fatalities so far, the latest just last winter.

That’s 29 dead, so far. 29 lives sacrificed so that the Met Council, the various governments, and other people who love to play with the dials and levers of government can feel like they’re “running” a big city with all the trimmings.

Let’s take a moment today to remember these innocent victims of government megalomania.

There Are Millions Of Reasons…

… why I will never donate a single penny to Minnesota Public radio, even though I listen to them (primarily news and classical music) constantly.

Two of them, for starters, are:

  • Keri Miller
  • WNYC’s “On The Media”.

But a few more million of them are right here; as Minnesota Public radio lays off much of what used to be a pretty good news room, their executive staff still keep getting paid, well, like this:

To add insult to injury, MPR’s national production group, “American Public Media”, is canceling “Live from Here with Chris Thile” – the excellent show that grew from the ruins of “Prairie Home Companion”, and one of the few original production non-news shows worth listening to.

MPR hastens to point out that their C-suite is taking a 30% pay cut. Which sounds like a big deal, until you realize that a whole lot of private sector CEOs are cutting their pay to $1 for the duration.

Two Minnesotas

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We don’t like the statue of Columbus on the Capitol Grounds.

We tried to get it removed through official channels.

We lost.

We announced we were going to tear it down ourselves.

We heard the Governor tell us not to, that the police would stop us.

We didn’t care.

We tore it down ourselves.

We weren’t stopped.

We weren’t arrested.

We weren’t charged.

We weren’t even scolded.

We are heroes, taking back the lands our ancestors sold a century ago.

We’re coming for your house, next.

Joe Doakes

Some animals are more equal than others.

While We’re Destroying Things With Objectionable Cultural Connotations…

Georgetown and Harvard universities were both built with slave labor and the proceeds from sales of human beings.

Yale is named after an actual slave trader.

The city of New York didn’t ban slavery till 1827, and people in NYC still owned slaves into the 1840s, and the industries that made it wealthy before 1861 – textiles and cigars – were entirely powered by cheap material produced by slavery. New York City voted for the proslavery candidate for president in 1860 end, after three years of Civil War, 1864. The New York City draft riots of 1863 overwhelmingly targeted freed black men and pro-abolition businesspeople, politicians and groups.

The father of modern progressivism (as well as today’s bureaucratic administrative state), Woodrow Wilson, was one of the most corrosive racists In the history of American government; he is overwhelmingly responsible for the institution of Jim Crow at the federal level, which had cascade effects throughout the country, including an expansion of Jim Crow laws at the state and local levels, and the expansion of the KKK to its greatest power.

So if today’s “protesters“ are really serious about tearing down the legacies of a racist history, they need to tear down the ivy league, New York City, the Internal Revenue Service and about half of the executive branch departments.

Let’s go to it!

Too Far

The stupidity of the mob that is seizing headlines and rewriting/erasing history is on daily display.

But now, they’ve gone far, far beyond too far:

It’s a statue of legendary confederate general, slave trader and blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Wait – he was never a confederate general, never owned a slave, and was born nearly 100 years after the Civil War.Indeed, Vaughan was something of a center-lefty during his way too short life.

So of course the mob is vandalizing his statue.

Recycling

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I wonder what they’re going to do with all those statues the Left is
tearing down?   Can I have them?

I might put a few around the perimeter of my back yard, looking in
toward the yard.  Dress up the place a bit.  Put some nice hostas around
them.  St. Francis of Assisi.  Robert E. Lee. Christopher Columbus. 
George Washington.  Are they tearing down Aphrodite?  I’ll take her, for
sure.

Maybe put a fire ring in the corner of the yard so I could enjoy a
“recreational fire” with a few cold ones while I admire intelligence and
beauty.  Make a nice change of pace for a guy who lives in St. Paul.

Joe Doakes

I’ve taken to going to churches that have no hymns written in the past 100 years.

I could see doing the same as re art, soon enough.

Blue Fragility, Part VIII: Unequal Risk

If you remember the 1980s, you might recall the early years of the AIDS epidemic. While it was clear fairly early on that the disease particularly targeted gay men and IV drug users (leading to the overnight extinction of what had been a fairly thriving “bathhouse” scene in Minneapolis), government health authorities kept hammering on the line that “anyone could catch it” and “nobody was immune”.

Which was, literally, epidemiologically the truth. Cases of children and suburban housewives coming down with AIDS got wide play in the media, to prove the point.

But eventually the world figured out AIDS was a blood-borne pathogen, spread by behaviors that transferred contaminated blood between people; sharing needles, inadvertent exposure to infected peoples’ blood, and various intimate practices that had a tendency to tear skin.

And so people learned. ER staff masked and goggled and gloved up. Condoms became mainstream. Cities gave out free needles – aggravating to law-and-order types, but it did help slash the infection rate.

Unsaid but unmistakeable? While anyone could get it, the odds moved greatly, almost completely, in one’s favor with a few minor behavioral and prophylactic practices.


So I was in North Dakota over the weekend, taking care of some family business.Here’s a county by county breakdown of the Covid situation in North Dakota as of this past Friday.as of this past Thursday.

Big Left tells us, in a tone usually reserved for devotional prayers and aspirational mantras, that Red America is going to get it. Covid is going to ravage the square states, they say, like a revival preacher winding stems on the Old Testament lesson. “We’re all in this together”, after all.

So let’s take a look at North Dakota’s numbers:

The red circles with white numbers are death counts.

Of the states 74 total Covid deaths as of last Thursday, 62 of them were in Cass County – which is Fargo. Four more were in Grand Forks County.

And, significantly, the counties containing North Dakota’s four Indian reservations – which, conventional wisdom here in the Twin Cities tells us, are the most vulnerable populations in the entire state outside of nursing homes – account for a grand total of six cases, and no deaths.

It’s not lack of testing, in this reddest of states; as of last week, North Dakota has the third highest test per million rate in the country, triple that in Minnesota.

Maybe it’s time to just cut the crap and admit that Covid – and most diseases that spread via aerosol transmission – are particularly transmissible by people breathing the same air, jammed into close quarters for extended times?

Nursing homes, of course – but also bars and restaurants, mass transit, open-plan offices, and other artifacts of high-density urban life?

That’d scotch the attractiveness of any “high density” social investments (the ones that aren’t already plummeting in the wake of this month’s rioting), of course…

…which would jeopardize the gravy train for a lot of transit consultants, urban nonprofiteers, insect farmers, public union employees and other big-state hangers-on.

Statistics, Damned Statistics And Lying Statistics

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Here we go again.  Liberals deploying statistics as weapons without understanding how to operate them. 
First chart: White household income is twice Blacks’.  Yes, but a “household” is a family unit.  A two-parent family household with both parents working $15 an hour jobs makes $60,000.  If the family splits up or never marries, the same parents working the same jobs are  reported as only $30,000 per household.  Whites are twice as likely to get married and stay married as Blacks so their household numbers reflect combined totals instead of single-parent totals. This is a cultural choice, not systemic racism.
First chart notes that Blacks get paid less than Whites.  Yes, because Blacks work lower skilled jobs than Whites, because of the educational “achievement gap” which has stubbornly persisted for decades despite all efforts to change it. Individual Achievement Plans, Affirmative Action, school funding, court monitors, forced bussing . . . nothing changes the fact that Black kids do less well academically than White or Asian kids.  Which might be because Black kids are simply not as smart, as IQ researchers consistently find, or because Black culture deplores “acting White” but protects disruptive Black students who are passed along to avoid trouble.  This is not systemic racism against Blacks. 
Second chart – Minnesotans in poverty – is the result of broken households and also family size.  Black women tend to have more children than White.  More people in a single-income household = closer to poverty.  This is a consequence of cultural choices (not to marry and stay married, to have more children), not systemic racism against Blacks.
Third chart: Black unemployment is 40%.  Point the finger directly at Governor Walz for that one.  He shut down “non-essential” businesses which tended to employ more Blacks.  But as stupid as the Stay Home order was, it wasn’t intentional racism, it was a panic response to the Covid pandemic. But even before the shut-down, Black unemployment was still twice that of Whites.  
That’s not because of intentional racial discrimination, it’s because Minnesota’s economy is largely white-collar which requires educated workers (see education gap, above) plus we’ve experienced a huge influx of low-skilled Black immigrants.  There are only so many taxi driver jobs available; the rest sit idle.  These are functions of economics and immigration, not systemic racism.
Final chart: Blacks are more likely to die of Covid than Whites.  Nobody knows why that’s so.  It’s an interesting fact but it cannot be the result of systemic racism – the virus hasn’t been around long enough for Whites to develop plans and methods of discriminating against Blacks based on the virus.  Maybe it’s genetic?  
We are endlessly lectured by Liberals that all cultures are equally valid, and therefore Whites have no moral grounds to impose our culture on other people.  Fine, but that also means we have no duty to ensure their cultural choices result in the same achievement outcomes as ours.  Stay in school, get a job, wait to have kids until you’re married: these are the keys to academic and economic success in America, regardless of your race.  But the keys only work if you’re willing to use them.  Otherwise, you remain locked out of prosperity and it’s nobody’s fault but your own.  
Joe Doakes

For some, blame is easier than fixing the problem. And we have an entire political party devoted to harnessing that fact.