In business there is a practice known as root cause analysis. The notion is you can’t solve a problem if you don’t get to the root of it. Eliminating symptoms and side effects (often millions of project dollars later) leaves you with the original problem rearing its ugly head again.
Recently GOP Senator Rand Paul and Dem Senator Cory Booker made headlines advocating criminal justice reform. The REDEEM act calls for expunging non-violent juvenile records and other measures to help young criminals get out from under the label of “criminal”. Paul has also spoken to black audiences about the unfairness of sentencing laws, stating that blacks get tougher sentences for crack cocaine than whites get for the powdered variety.
There is no doubt that sentencing should be fair and color blind but is this really the best Paul can offer black folk? He’s stealing from the tired old liberal playbook of addressing everything EXCEPT the root cause. The root cause is that blacks are committing crime in the first place.
It’s almost as though Paul were saying “now we know, because of the MAN, that you just can’t stop doing drugs and committing crime so let’s reduce the consequences of your behavior.” How about CHANGING the behavior? How about no new drug legislation until black communities make a serious effort to rebuild? How about we wait for black “culture” to stop embracing rap singers who celebrate criminal behavior?
Rand Paul, a doctor by the way, is addressing the black man’s toothache by performing a colonoscopy. He is attacking the wrong end of the problem. It should not be the goal of blacks to get away with as much crime as their white counterparts. The goal should be no crime and that is fueled by increased opportunity, staying in school and developing a self-sufficient spirit.
I just hope my fellow blacks don’t believe that Paul’s efforts are helping them. If you buy what Paul is selling, no matter how well-intentioned, you are still left with high crime and poverty. What we need now are leaders with the courage to do some root cause analysis.