"Wall Street Journal columnist and conservative commentator Jason Riley talks about his new book, False Black Power, and how black political power hasn't done much to move the needle for the black community.
From Riley's appearance on the Monday broadcast of FOX & Friends:
JASON RILEY: Since the 1960's, the civil rights leadership has really been focused on electing more black officials.
And the thinking was that that would bring up blacks socio-economically. Just put more blacks in office.
STEVE DOOCY, FOX & FRIENDS: Because white leaders were racist toward blacks?
JASON RILEY: Well, yes, and that political power would lead to black gains economically and socially. Obama's presidency was really the culmination of that strategy.
And I thought it would be a good time to look back and see well, what happened to the black masses so to speak in the Obama years? ...
These are two areas where the gap increased under Obama:
- The white-black disparity among home ownership and
- household incomes was another area where we saw iniquities grow under the first black president. Something you probably didn't expect to see.
There were other areas.
Poverty, and educational attainment and so forth that sort of flat lined.
There wasn't much movement at all.
But the point is that even Obama as president was unable to close a lot of these racial gaps that we've seen for decades.
And I think the lesson here is that black political power is not going to be enough in and of itself to close these gaps.
Political clout is not what blacks are lacking.
That is not the basis for these iniquities we see today.
And political solutions aren't necessarily what blacks need or low-income blacks in particular.
STEVE DOOCY: If it isn't power, what is it?
JASON RILEY: I think really what we are talking about are attitudes and behaviors, cultural traits. I think cultural capital, social capital, human capital.
What economists call human capital is really what's lacking particularly among low-income blacks.
The development of human capital is really going to be the basis of closing these gaps. It's not going to be political saviors.