By James H. “Smokey” Shott
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Harry Belafonte is an African-American entertainer best known for the 1956 Calypso hit “The Banana Boat Song,” who in more recent years has been known for his civil rights activism, left-wing activism and his admiration of Third World dictators; and who has now voiced his opinion on gun control, claiming that “white Americans” who support the 2nd Amendment’s protection of gun rights are ignoring the black “river of blood that washes the streets of our nation.”
“America has the largest prison population in the world,” he noted. “And of the over 2 million men, women and children who make up the incarcerated, the overwhelming majority is black. We are the most unemployed, the most caught in the unjust systems of justice, and in the gun game, we are the most hunted.”
He continued: “The river of blood that washes the streets of our nation flows mostly from the bodies of our black children. Yet, as the great debate emerges on the question of the gun, white America discusses the constitutional issue of ownership, while no one speaks of the consequences of our racial carnage.”
Columnist Walter Williams notes that, “though blacks are 13 percent of the nation’s population, they account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims. Nationally, the black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities, it’s 22 times that of whites. Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered. Ninety-four percent of the time, the murderer is another black person.”
Mr. Belafonte tries to hang the responsibility for black-on-black murder around the necks of white America because they want to honor the U.S. Constitution, an argument that wildly misses the mark. Black youths dying in the streets is indeed a tragedy, but it is not because white people defend the Constitution.
Mr. Belafonte is also confused about the results of the 2012 election, believing that President Obama’s thin victory in the popular vote constitutes a mandate from the people to do whatever he wants. But the margin of victory was only 3.84 percent. That constitutes a win, but it’s far from a mandate. This win was just over half the margin in 2008, which means that American voters are less in love with Mr. Obama and his agenda after seeing it in action for four years.
He also does not understand the American system of government, which in his mind enables President Obama to jail those that disagree with him. “The only thing left for Barack Obama to do is to work like a Third World dictator and just put all of these [white] guys in jail. You’re violating the American desire,” he said on the Al Sharpton TV program.
Perhaps Mr. Belafonte should review the founding principles of the country that was so good to him before he fell into the irrelevance that mediocrity brings. Maybe a better idea is for him to move on from what he believes is a horrible country to one of the paradises he so admires, like Cuba or Venezuela.
Harry Belafonte’s racist and communist ideas are grossly un-American and are blessedly shared by only a small minority. Others on the left, however, are also confused about what is going on.
Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader from California, also harbors some nutty ideas. Despite consistent budget deficits exceeding a trillion dollars a year throughout Barack Obama’s tenure and a $16 trillion national debt that has increased by about 50 percent over that same period, Ms. Pelosi not only says with a straight face that we don’t have a spending problem, but she is miffed that the pay raise proposed for all federal employees seems destined for the trash heap.
“I think we should respect the work we do,” Ms. Pelosi told reporters. “I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job ...” Just because the nation is drowning in red ink is no reason to fail to show due deference to our employees in the Congress, right?
Congressional Democrats twist themselves into knots trying to convince us that it’s OK to spend 40 percent more than the revenue we collect every year. Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin commented that “We are now the richest nation in the world. We have the highest per capita income of any major nation. That kind of begs the question, doesn’t it? If we’re so rich, why are we so broke? Is it a spending problem? No.”
Sen. Harkin and Congresswoman Pelosi, and a whole gaggle of others see salvation in taking even more hard-earned money from the citizens, or at least some of them. However, a new poll shows 83 percent of Americans disagree. They have had it with fiscal irresponsibility and piling debt on future generations.
Here’s a lesson in good government for public servants from someone who actually understood the concept: “A wise and frugal government ... shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” — Thomas Jefferson.
James H. “Smokey” Shott, a resident of Bluefield, Va., is a Daily Telegraph columnist.