Opinion

PILGRIM: Black Culture Is In Dire Need Of Reform

REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

White supremacy is not preventing African Americans from achieving racial equality in the 21st century. Black culture is.

Each year, thanks to unaddressed cultural pathologies, black men and women commit violent crimes and have children out of wedlock at rates that are substantially higher than every other racial group. And, each year, thanks to black pathology, African American students at all income levels do much worse academically than their white, Asian, and Hispanic peers. Indeed, black youths perform so poorly that their test scores consistently drag down the ranking of American students in international scholastic competitions.

Additionally, each year, black men and women lead the nation in several undesirable categories, such as infection rates for venereal diseases. Compounding these serious problems, black culture has spawned a seemingly endless succession of rap “artists” who regularly bombard the public with crass music celebrating pimps, thugs, and drug dealers along with women who “pop dat pussy and shake dat ass.”

As if this abysmal track record were not depressing enough, black youths also negatively distinguish themselves from white, Asian, and Hispanic youths by carrying out “flash rob” attacks in which bands of hoodlums swarm into stores or onto subway trains to assault and rob innocent victims.

And, to cap things off, out of all the many ethnic groups found in the United States, blacks are the most likely to kill police officers and to resist officer instructions, frequently leading to dubious and sensationalized allegations of “police brutality.” (Notably, police officers are 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by an officer, a fact conspicuously ignored by Black Lives Matter activists and their liberal enablers.)

Despite this plethora of troubling facts uniquely clustered around the black race, there are virtually no black men or women in a leadership position today who have called for self-improvement in our community. Instead, for the past 50 years, most black leaders and “intellectuals” have been obsessed with lecturing white people on what they must do to make life better for black people.

Notably, these race spokesmen have also excelled at making excuses for blacks’ subpar performance, and they have constantly demanded that society lower its standards to benefit black people. But while these “woke” leaders and activists fret over whether white teens should be able to paint their face black for Halloween or whether multimillionaire athletes should kneel during the national anthem, they have glaringly failed to address the most important question facing black people today: how can we improve our performance so that we do not always come in last place?

The tragic state black America finds itself in proves the truth of the Biblical proverb: “Where there is no vision people perish.” Ever since the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the black community has been represented by leaders and activists who fixate on fighting the ghosts of the past rather than combatting the main drivers of racial inequality today. Tilting at windmills of racism, these modern-day Don Quixotes have failed to realize that the two greatest obstacles impeding black progress in the modern era are African Americans’ unmitigated propensity to having children out of wedlock at rates much higher than every other ethnic group and our glaring academic underachievement.

Tellingly, neither of these significant problems plaguing the black community can be overcome by whining about racism or pretending that white supremacy is an insurmountable barrier to success. Instead, black culture will have to be reformed so that African Americans stop having so many children outside of marriage and start performing better inside the classroom.

Smart people should learn from history. The past five decades have conclusively shown that true racial equality will elude African Americans until we change the behaviors in our community that perpetuate inequality. These self-destructive behaviors will not simply vanish on their own accord. Instead, African Americans must make a concerted effort to reform our culture because, as psychologist Gustavo R. Grodnitzky has recognized, “culture drives behavior.”

Because black culture is driving black men and women to behave differently from everyone else when it comes to violent crime, academic performance, having children out of wedlock, and creating bawdy music that celebrates crime, those who truly wish to see African Americans achieve racial parity must abandon the fiction that white supremacy is the primary force holding back black people today. What is really preventing African Americans from achieving equality with other groups is our chronically inferior performance in several key areas. This embarrassing status quo will never change until black culture is reformed.

Nick Pilgrim is a trial attorney in the Washington, D.C. area who formerly worked for the United States Department of Justice as an award-winning federal prosecutor. This column is excerpted from his new book, “Black Culture Matters: Why It’s Time To Stop Pretending Racism Is The Problem.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.