William James said: “Thinking determines life. It is a common habit to blame life upon the environment. Environment modifies life but does not govern life. The soul is stronger than its surroundings.”
Can we ever move past blame? Everybody blames everyone and everything else for their problems, while taking no responsibility for themselves. Even worse, we analyze situations with the drive to assign blame. Liberals blame Conservatives, even when Conservatives have nothing to do with the situation for which they are receiving blame. As long as you can pass the buck, you take the burden off yourself.
On MSNBC, host Toure always has something interesting to say. But rather than on TV, Toure took to the Twittersphere to assign blame for Black unemployment. In response to a Tweet from a follower that read: “Blame slavery. Black unemployment has been at severe recession levels for 50 plus years,” Toure Tweeted: “That’s obviously part of it.”
Hold the phone. Is Toure really blaming Black unemployment on slavery? When will we move past blaming slavery? It’s so easy to say that slavery has had a rippling effect through history, and that it is responsible for all the ills of the Black community. At some point, we need to stop blaming something that happened hundreds of years ago, and think about now. We also need to move beyond blame and try for solutions.
What is happening now that may be partially to blame for the high rate of Black unemployment? I can think of a couple things:
1. The nanny state, created by the Left, as well as many so-called Republicans. By keeping minority communities on Food Stamps and Welfare, the Left keeps minorities on the government dole. So long as there is a source of unlimited free stuff, nobody will have the initiative to work for their money.
2. Culture. There exists within the Black community a culture of brokenness. According to fatherhood.org: “Nearly 2 in 3 (64%) African American children live in father-absent homes.” This parental dereliction causes severe problems within the Black community. Children who are abandoned by their fathers are much more likely to live a lifestyle that leads to unemployment. Without guidance, they are more likely to join gangs, become thugs and possibly end up in prison.
There is much more validity in those two examples than in slavery. The “Let’s blame slavery” train has long since left the station. But ultimately, though environment does factor into human development, it is only I who can lift myself up. It is up to us to decide who we are and what we are. We cannot simply pass the buck, and sit back. We may have been dealt a rough hand, but it is up to us—with strength and endurance—to win the game on our own terms.