Mayors Pledge to Fight 21st Century “Racism”

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, and some of the mayors have used the occasion to pledge a renewed effort to combat “racism.” Reuters reports:

From lunch counters to public buses, the battle over racism in the United States during the 1950s and 60s took place in cities, and five decades later mayors of some of the country’s largest urban areas have vowed to carry on the fight for civil rights.

Meeting in Birmingham, Alabama on Thursday where the 50th anniversary of the bombing of a black church will be remembered this week, civic leaders called for an end to modern discrimination in areas like jobs, housing and transportation.

Racial discrimination in jobs, housing and transportation is illegal. To the best of my knowledge, it does not exist to any perceptible degree, except insofar as affirmative action is practiced with respect to employment. In today’s world, I am not even sure what could be meant by racial discrimination in transportation.

[Mitch] Landrieu [of New Orleans] was among 50 mayors nationwide who on Thursday joined a newly created U.S. Coalition Against Racism and Discrimination by signing a pledge to end racism in their own cities.

Isn’t this rather weird? New Orleans was, as of 2010, more than 60% African-American. Does Landrieu seriously believe that this majority is being discriminated against in his own city? And if so, why? He is, after all, the mayor. If Landrieu is right, then it is time for New Orleans voters to start electing Republicans.

Civil rights leaders always try to relate today’s conditions to the glory days of the movement, but the effort becomes more and more threadbare as the years go by:

The action comes as Birmingham remembers the 50th anniversary this week of the racial bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church that killed four girls and galvanized the civil rights movement.

On Friday, as part of its commemoration activities, the conference will host former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was an 8-year-old girl in Birmingham at the time and lost her friend, 11-year-old Denise McNair, in the explosion.

The official ceremonies feature U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and will happen on Sunday, September 15, in Birmingham.

McNair, as well as 14-year-olds Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley perished in the blast. The bomb set by members of the Ku Klux Klan sparked passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Birmingham church bombing was one of the lowest points in the sordid history of the Democratic Party, and should not be forgotten. But what does Eric Holder have to do with it? He is himself a practitioner of racial division for political gain.

Fifty years on, however, black children are still three times more likely to be impoverished, blacks and Hispanics have a higher unemployment rate than whites, and minorities are disproportionately imprisoned, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

This is, frankly, pathetic. Blacks are “disproportionately imprisoned” because they commit so many crimes. Equating the condition of a man who has been incarcerated for committing a violent crime with a little girl who was blown up by a rabid Democrat while attending church is outrageous. And there is zero reason to believe that blacks’ elevated rates of poverty and unemployment have anything to do with “racism.” Rather, they are caused by illegitimacy, drug use and failure to pursue education. For people who style themselves civil rights leaders to try to obscure these obvious facts serves no one, least of all African-Americans.

Sadly, the time when the civil rights movement could reasonably consider itself to be a positive or progressive force is long gone.