We need a new model for civil rights politics. Americans are deeply motivated by our ideals of freedom, liberty, and civil equality before the law. We breathlessly hear Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech and feel the future he painted deep in our souls. The progress of society in accepting blacks, Asians, gays, women, etc, affirms our optimism that liberty and freedom has arrived for all. The Founding ideals and the society the Federalist papers spelt out has finally been achieved.
Of course, Dr. King is dead, and the civil rights model has lead most minority groups–except Asians–into horrific social breakdown; a breakdown that is steadily infecting the majority. Single motherhood has skyrocketed not just among the poor victims of Al Sharpton, but also among European-descended whites.
The civil rights model has failed. Are blacks better off then they were? Is growing up without a father in crime-ridden neighborhoods really better then Jim Crow? Have we simply swapped one form of inequality for another?
Gay activists are often as bigoted as their opponents, discriminating against gays and bisexuals who do not conform to self-inflicted stereotypes. The African-American “race man” Al Sharpton has led anti-Semitic mobs that killed people. We all know how Islamists (not to be confused with Islam) take advantage of Muslims, especially the women. Identity politics claims the lives of innocent people every day: in crime-ridden black slums, where those who attempt positive change are demagogued as “acting white”; in northern Mexico, where the desire of illegal immigrants for an open border has resulted in billions of dollars freely flowing into Mexican drug cartels, organizations that have killed tens of thousands of Mexicans.
People died in Israel for decades from a stream of terrorism that finally came to an end with the construction of a security barrier–but when Hamas lobs rockets over the barrier and the IDF retaliates, somehow it is the IDF’s fault. Extremists the world over have learned to use the civil rights model too.
We need a new civil rights model. Classical liberal theory works–my own Mormon ancestors used it to build their society. We conservatives have the answer. But how do we share it? How do we reach out to communities in social breakdown? How do we create civic organizations that can effect real change–whether it’s repelling Islamisization in Muslim communities, reversing single black motherhood, or creating a safe space for morally-minded conservative non-heterosexuals?
Our nation’s future depends on finding the answer.