MINOT, ND — The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the irresponsible and barbaric response by thugs and racial activists is the product of the takeover of America’s educational and political institutions by the radical Left.

Not everyone, of course, agrees. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, aka Lewis Alcindor, Jr. (an NBA star in the 1970s) believes the shooting of Michael Brown tells us, “We need more protests across the country to mobilize 4 million students in peaceful protest the middle class has to join the poor, and whites have to join African-Americans in mass demonstrations ousting corrupt politicians boycotting exploitative businesses, passing legislation that promotes economic equality and opportunity and punishing those who gamble with our financial future.”

That is a mouthful! I give Mr. Abdul-Jabbar credit for at least listing some actions that are not motivated by hate and race. Unfortunately, his suggested actions are as likely to fix what is wrong in America as a Johnson & Johnson Band-Aid is to cure cancer.

When you mix race or class warfare with mass demonstrations, a positive — let alone peaceful — outcome is as likely as an ice cube lowering the temperature in hell.

Michael Brown’s death was a tragedy. However, it was not caused by a racist white police officer. Mr. Abdul-Jabbar opines, “To many in America, being a person of color is synonymous with being poor, and being poor is synonymous with being a criminal.” He suggests that the rich One Percent want this and work to distract the middle class and the poor with “emotional issues like immigration, abortion, and gun control so they never stop to wonder how they got so screwed over for so long.”

To a limited extent, I agree with Mr. Abdul-Jabbar. He and I are the same age and grew up during the “sexual and drug and dope revolution.” Our generation led the challenge to authority, and its activists set out to “fix things.” 

The 1970s radicals took over our institutions of higher education and the halls of power at all levels of government. They promised to abolish inequality, poverty, guilt, and responsibility and to promote no-fault divorce and abortion. They succeeded in abolishing guilt and responsibility. After spending 20 trillion dollars to eradicate poverty and achieve economic, sexual, and racial equality, we have exploding unrest and turmoil nationwide. The success with no-fault divorce has resulted in a divorce rate that exceeds 50 percent. In the black community, the lack of marriage has resulted in 80 percent of black children being born out of wedlock.

Mr. Abdul-Jabbar chides “emotional issues” such as abortion, illegal immigration, and gun control as mere distractions. I suppose he would tell us that devalued human life; unlimited divorce; out-of-wedlock births; condoned sexual promiscuity; and legalized pot, state gambling, and assisted suicide have nothing to do with the mess that Michael Brown’s death illustrates. 

I suggest that divorce and out-of-wedlock births in the black community are the single biggest cause of the destruction of that community. The second major factor contributing to the black community’s dysfunction has been directly facilitated by America’s failed war on poverty. America’s welfare system gives nothing of value; instead, it strips individuals of their self-esteem, fueling the black community’s response in Ferguson, Missouri. 

What has happened to the black community is spreading like a cancer to the rest of American culture. What made America great — self-reliance, individualism, and common sense — is being abolished as public welfare, government bureaucracy, red tape, and government mandates are imposed by a growing swarm of government agents. 

Yes, Mr. Abdul-Jabbar, there is a One Percent and a rapidly shrinking middle class in America. However, it is the product of a permissive society that was spawned by the social revolution of the 1970s. It has fostered government taking an increasing share of the earnings of our once-powerful and growing middle class and using them to destroy self-respect and independence. 

Unless we want the America of 40 years hence to look like the ghettos of America today, 80 percent of our children to be without fathers at home, and most households in America to be subsidized by welfare, we had better wake up.

Waking up means shrinking government spending by at least 70 percent, removing government control of education, encouraging marriage, and looking down on those who produce children out of wedlock because of its selfish and destructive consequences to society. 

It is time we expose the negative and self-limiting consequences of Ebonics, black power, and hyphenated-American identities. It is time we make clear to our children that if they want to be treated with respect, they must first learn what respect is and treat others with it. It is time to make clear that values, respect, morals, and ethics are universal, not racial; objective, not subjective. It is time to view anyone who tells us otherwise with skepticism — these are the people who are destroying America. 

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HaleRobert L. Hale is founder and director of a nonprofit public interest law firm. Robert Hale’s biographical sketch and photo http://www.fgfbooks.com/Hale/Hale-bio.html

 A Voice from Fly-Over Country is copyright (c) 2014 by Robert L. Hale and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, fgfbooks.com. All rights reserved.