The black community’s 9/11 and Pearl Harbor

The black community’s 9/11 and Pearl Harbor
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No one would have predicted the social media furor resulting from a remark I made to Stuart Varney on the Fox Business Network the day before we commemorated the lives and innocence lost on 9/11. Asked to comment on the continued kneeling in the NFL, I referenced Colin Kaepernick’s new Nike ad, pointing out the irony of a Marxist making millions to continue a narrative that undermines America.

The attack by the radical left on our American culture and communities, I said, “is like 9/11 and Pearl Harbor … and we need to understand who they are.” Within minutes the Twittersphere erupted, vile comments and threats began rolling in; even seemingly respectable commentators and virtue signalers began excoriating the comparison.


What they fail to understand is that my comment had nothing to do with minimizing the tragedy of 9/11 and the “day that will live in infamy.” Rather, it was to highlight the dark and deadly legacy of liberal policies in a nation that was founded and has flourished on market principles that promote self-reliance, strong families, limited government intervention, freedom of worship and expression — all provided through a Constitution and rule of law that are today under assault by radicals such as Kaepernick.

Particularly as those liberal policies have affected black America.

Here are the facts: 78 percent of Planned Parenthood clinics are placed in minority communities. Blacks make up 12 percent of the population, but represent 35 percent of the 2,900 babies killed daily; in 2012 , New York City had more abortions than births, representing a“de-population” of the black community; 70 percent of black men forsake marriage and desert their children; 75 percent of black boys in California are illiterate; 83 percent of black teenage boys nationwide are unemployed; less than 1 percent of venture capital funding goes to black entrepreneurs; blacks are five times more likely to be incarcerated than whites; and 1,400 more black Americans were murdered in 2010 and 2011, by other blacks, than were lynched from 1882 to 1968.

Unlike 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, which respectively and in an instant changed American reality, these statistics — every bit as dangerous and ugly — have become America’s reality through a methodical process. And rather than do something meaningful, such as work to heal the black family, or mentor incarcerated youths, or invest in urban enterprise, radicals such as Kaepernick would rather ruin than reform, particularly at a time when economic indicators are trending upward for the black community and the rule of law seems to be returning to our streets.

Though our journey has not been easy, black Americans are not victims. We do not need elitists and social justice warriors such as Kaepernick to profit on our travails in a way that panders to base emotions and eradicates home, self-reliance, commitment, industry  and thrift. Growing up in the Jim Crow south, I know racism. I have experienced it from whites, and I have experienced it from blacks. But until the victimization industry, which Kaepernick represents, came as an unintended consequence of the Great Society policies that destroyed the black family, there was always hope—always self-respect.

As early as 1905, the black college of Tuskegee, founded in the state of Alabama, had produced more self-made millionaires than Harvard, Princeton and Yale combined. That same year, representatives from 16 countries including Africa, India, China, Japan, Poland and Russia visited Tuskegee to learn firsthand of its industry-leading agricultural techniques being developed by black Americans.

Though fighting the institutional racism of the Democratic Party’s Jim Crow laws and the intimidation of its militant terrorist arm, the KKK, this competitive community was leading all others in the growth of its middle class (40 percent), the percentage of men committed to marriage (70 percent), higher education pursuits and percentage of entrepreneurs (40 percent). We were a growing and aspirational minority in America at the time, entering the decade of the 1960s with vision and the hope that posterity would follow.

Then came the beginning of the black community’s 9/11 and Pearl Harbor — socialist ideologies that not only allowed the black family and personal responsibility to deteriorate but encouraged and accelerated the process. Socialism. Marxism. Atheism. Within two generations, these forces succeeded in stealing the essence of success from a once formidable community, leading to the pathologies we suffer today and the rise of the royalty class of black elitists, reflected by a Nike-powered, 30-year-old multi-millionaire whose message to young black boys and girls who revere him is not inspirational but instead one that denigrates the spirit of hope, effort and enterprise.

Kaepernick has not sacrificed anything. He has capitalized on the blessings of America. I know the NFL well. I know when a career is over, and Kaepernick’s was winding down well before he decided to take a knee. He received a $12.3 million signing bonus in his last NFL contract. He has never had the courage to risk or create wealth in the free market where he could provide jobs, opportunity and growth.

Instead, by fomenting dangerous class warfare, he has thrown in with a company once known for its child-labor and sweatshop facilities. One Nike Taiwanese plant hires 10,000, mostly female workers, who make around 50 cents an hour producing $200 shoes that fatherless urban boys are willing to kill for. The elitists and mainstream media cheer Kaepernick on, imperiling the welfare, lives and future of black America into perpetuity.

Now, you tell me, counting the loss over the past six decades of literally “tens of millions” of black lives because of the embrace of an ideology, is this not tantamount to a Pearl Harbor or 9/11?

Burgess Owens played in the NFL for seven years with the New York Jets and three with 1980 World Champion Oakland Raiders. He is the executive director for the Utah Chapter of The One Heart Project, which works to give incarcerated juvenile offenders a second chance upon their release, and is the author of “Why I Stand: from Freedom to Killing Fields of Socialism,” which will be released Oct. 30, 2018.