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Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 202 -- George Bush Cares About Black People.

Recent Improvements In The Lives Of African-Americans-

It's been well-documented that African-Americans are no longer fans of the party of Lincoln. President Bush, frustratingly, was even blamed for the poverty in New Orleans, and for not personally rescuing the folks stranded for a couple/few days, even in the face of unprecedented infrastructure damage and flooding.

Marginally talented hip-hop artist Kanye West infamously took it upon himself to declare (during a Red Cross benefit telethon) that Bush doesn't care about black people. Moreover, many voices from the left announced that the GOP does not get black votes because it does not deserve them.

Well, that's bogus. And ridiculous.

Putting aside the facts on which party in Congress actually supported Civil Rights legislation and which party opposed it, and putting aside President Bush's trust in Condi Rice and other high-profile African-Americans in his administration, it is disingenuous based on the facts in front of us to claim that African-Americans suddenly have it so bad under President Bush.

Let's also put aside these facts:

Since Bush took office... federal anti-poverty spending -- including Medicaid, food and nutrition programs, housing, earned income tax credit and child credits, plus other programs -- increased 42 percent. This is nearly double the rate of increase under President Clinton.

That's all well and good. Bush clearly has not neglected the poor. Perhaps he has not neglected the poor too much for many fiscal conservatives. But what about results?

Crime Victimization-

Crime is the single most pronounced scourge of many African-Americans communities. Crime affects every aspect of life. It drives away jobs. It ruins schools.

You likely already know that America's crime rate is at what is essentially an all-time low (.pdf).

You may be surprised to learn that the African-American victimization rate has also plummeted in recent years:


During the 1990s, victimization fell dramatically for African-Americans, but it has continued to fall since President Bush took office:


There's still a gap between blacks and whites on the issue, but even as crime victimization has been down for everyone, the gap has closed significantly.


Love or hate No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the results are in, and the racial achievement gap is narrowing:

* In fourth-grade reading, more progress was made from 2000 to 2005 (up 6 points) than from 1992 to 2000 (down 4 points), driven by gains among... African American students (up 10 points).

* In fourth-grade math, nearly as much progress was made from 2000 to 2005 (up 12 points) as from 1990 to 2000 (up 13 points), driven by gains among... African American students (up 17 points).

* Since 2003, African American fourth-graders have made significant gains in both math (up 4 points) and reading (up 2 points).

Earlier this year, African American fourth-graders posted the highest reading and math scores ever.

Education, obviously, is one of the most important components, if not THE most important component, in predicting success in life. And the fact that African-Americans have improved their scores and narrowed those racial achievement gaps so significantly is very encouraging.

Can we do better?


But the positive trend lines under this President are certainly worth noting.

Home Ownership-

As Larry Elder notes, since Bush has taken office, home ownership is way up for blacks:

Half of all minority households are homeowners, an all-time high. In 2002, Bush vowed to increase minority homeownership by 5.5 million families by 2010. Bush pushed for programs on down payment assistance, and called for increased funding for housing counseling services.

While some worry themselves half to death about the impending burst of the housing bubble, others celebrate that so many Americans-- of all races-- now own their own homes. When a family owns a home, they are far more likely to act to increase the value of their home, as well as their community. This means more volunteering, more upkeep on the house itself, and more concern for neighbors. Home owners typically have a much greater stake in their communities than renters, taking more interest in the quality of schools, and contributing more to community initiatives.

Owning a home can transform a family, but it can also transform communities. George W. Bush has made minority home ownership a priority of his administration, and his efforts are paying off nicely.


The unemployment rate gap between whites and blacks is smaller than ever before:


We can certainly do better, for all races, but it absurd to claim that this gap has only recently appeared, or that it has gotten more chasmic under this administration.

It's about time President Bush got a little credit for America's booming economy, not because he has micromanaged success (he hasn't), but because he has lowered taxes and has (generally) trusted free trade and free markets to produce robust growth.

Today, we're all benefiting from tax relief.


One way to improve communities and enrich individuals is through ownership of small businesses. Entreprenurialism is especially important, because people typically run their businesses in their own neighborhoods, hiring their neighbors, providing services for their neighbors, and otherwise improving the lives of those close to them.

James K. Glassman points out that blacks are making very real strides in business ownership:

An extensive government study, released by the Census Bureau in July and covering 2002 data, found that small businesses owned by women rose 20 percent over five years while the number of all U.S. businesses rose by 10 percent. Black-owned businesses were up by 45 percent, Hispanic-owned by 31 percent.

Sure, whites and males had a significant jump start on the other groups, but the growth for minorities and women ought to be very encouraging for those who desire equality. Blacks saw their rate of small business ownership jump four and a half times faster than the national average.

Indeed, there is a difference between Clinton and Bush on black entrepreneurship:

During the last five years of President Clinton’s term — as far back as the data for this analysis goes — entrepreneurial activity among blacks increased 0.02 percent. Since the beginning of the Bush presidency, it has increased 0.04 percent — twice the Clinton growth rate for the available data.

Noticing a trend, yet? African-Americans are catching up to whites in nearly every category, even as whites are making their own advances.

This is good news-- and evidence that George Bush does indeed care about black people.

Blacks, to be sure, have made enormous strides in recent years, but the Republican Party can and should continue to make the political sales pitch until it becomes overwhelmingly clear that the Democrats not only do not deserve the black vote, but that the GOP actually does deserve another shot.

After all, it is home and business ownership, lower taxes and more jobs, less crime and better schools, not Section 8 government housing, failing schools, and welfare checks, that will allow African-Americans to close those infamous inequality gaps once and for all. It is the free enterprise system championed by Republicans, not the soft socialism of the Democratic Party, that will spur continued economic growth in this country. And it is economic growth that will generate even more entrepreneurial success, more jobs, better schools, less crime, and more home ownership. For all.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Presidential Election Turnout Rates.

Posted by Will Franklin · 31 October 2005 03:49 PM


Holy moly, when you do a post, YOU DO A POST.

Very nice job.

When I get my computer back, I'll be linking back to this.

Posted by: Tom Blumer at October 31, 2005 04:50 PM


Excellent data mining. I haven't seen these statistics on the front page stories of the MSM (though I can't say I am suprised).

I agree that reducing crime, promoting home ownership and encouraging business development will improve the lot of all Americans.

I like the concept of attacking blighted, impoverished areas, rather than making racial preferences. I am curious where you stand on Empowerment Zones?

Kind regards,

Bill Rice

Posted by: Bill Rice at November 1, 2005 12:31 PM

How can you ever expect to be taken seriously when you use facts to make a point and don't rely on wild innuendo and ranting and raving?

Posted by: Steve L. at November 2, 2005 07:56 AM

A wonderful series of posts. This is the sort of analysis that should be in the NYT, but regretfully, those folks have to carry the "Journalism School" anchor, which results in profound idiocy. (Hope you are not one of those...but if you are...let's have many more!)

And...great research! Actual documentation. Solid reasoning. Gasp! Congrats.

Posted by: Da Coyote at November 17, 2005 09:25 AM

this is all bullshit... no stats can explain the neglect that bush gave new orleans before the storm and after...those stats show the positive change black people have made. lets look at policy...the whole Idea of going back to area schools is an attack on black and other minorty youths. black people have never gotten a fair cahcne to gain wealth and pass it on to thier children in this country and bushes new policies have been and will continue to make it harder...Fire the fool who put this up you all should be ashamed of trying to hurt the positive influnce kanye has given people who arent equal to such fucking bigits.....now leave and put a fucking hood on and burn some crosses

Posted by: alex at November 22, 2005 05:54 PM