Acton Commentary

Creating Black History


When Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week in1926 (later to become Black History Month in 1976), to honor past blackaccomplishments, he had no idea that the future of black achievement could beso threatened. If it doesn't seem as though the extraordinary potential ofblacks is being realized, we shouldn't be too surprised. Substandard education,poor health care choices, and genocidal abortion rates are working together tostifle the potential of many black individuals to make the world a better placeby using their talents and creativity for the improvement of themselves and theservice of others. Past leaders such as Martin Luther King believed that Godcreated blacks for more than self-destruction. They desired freedom so thatblacks might live according to the dignity inherent in them as children of God.

The leading causes of death for black Americans are heartdisease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. With the exception of cancer, there ismuch evidence to suggest links between these diseases and poor diets. Accordingto Dr. Michael Bradley, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Universityof Arkansas for Medical Sciences, quality health care in the black communityhas to do with “people making better food choices.” These choices are not madeany easier with the fast-food saturation in minority communities. In NewOrleans, for example, predominantly black neighborhoods have 2.4 fast foodrestaurants per square mile compared to 1.5 square miles for whiteneighborhoods.

Fast-food restaurants are only responding to the unhealthyfood choices of blacks in these neighborhoods. If blacks did not want foodsthat are mired in saturated fats and loaded with calories and sodium, orbeverages high in sucrose, fast-food restaurants would change what theyprovide. The nearly suicidal causal chain of unhealthy food choices, obesity,Type II diabetes, heart disease, and stroke can be broken. Unless better,educated choices are made, blacks and other Americans, failing in thestewardship of their bodies, will lack the foundation of good health on whichcommunities of work, creativity, and prosperity can be built.

Another problem confronting the promise of a better futureis educational failure. Jay Green, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute,reports that nationally only 56% of blacks graduate from high school. Of thoseblack students who stay in school, around 75% score lower comparably situatedwhites on standardized tests, according to the Brookings Institution. Withthese numbers, many blacks are destined to be the nation's permanent servicesector employees, unemployed, or welfare recipients. Uneducated and poorlyeducated blacks in our information and technology age are handicapped at theoutset from making significant, historical contributions.

Finally, abortion ravages the black community at rates worsethan slavery or Jim Crow ever did. According to the Allan Gutmacher Institute,over 43% of all black pregnancies end in abortion. Although blacks representonly 12% of the American population, we account for almost 35% of allabortions. Since 1973, over 13 million blacks have fallen victim to abortion.Blacks in America are disappearing.

What is most bizarre about these numbers is that the so-called“black leadership” is silent. In other contexts, these statistics would warrantthe charge of “racism.” In Mississippi alone, 73% of all of the state'sabortions are by black women. Where are the NAACP and Congressional BlackCaucus? If 73% of Mississippi blacks were not graduating from high school, theRainbow Coalition would organize a “March on Washington.” Why is PlannedParenthood not charged with “racial profiling” for locating 71% of itsfacilities in minority communities. Blacks, created by God with wonderfulpotential, cannot make history if we are not given a chance to live.

The greatest threats to the creation of black history arethe choices of black people, not the actions of white people or “the system.”Some drop out of high school by choice; others remain trapped in substandardschools by government edict, even though minority parents desperately wantfreedom to choose the best schools. Consuming unhealthy, poisonous diets, andthereby increasing the known risks of terminal diseases, is a choice.Irresponsible sexual behavior relying on abortion as contraception is likewisea destructive decision.

In order for Black History Month to include blacks beyondMartin Luther King, blacks need to be given a chance to live, live well, andlearn enough to meet the critical needs of our world. The book of Proverbssays, “There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads todeath.” Poor levels of education, unhealthy diets, and abortion may seempermissible for some, but these things are slowly leading to the death of blackhistory.