It’s not unreasonable to ask how valuable the variously labeled liberal, Democratic or progressive agenda has been to black Americans and whether blacks should proceed in political lock step with this agenda.
According to an American Community Survey, by the U.S. Census Bureau, the top 10 poorest cities with populations more than 250,000 are Detroit, with 33 percent of its residents below the poverty line; Buffalo, N.Y., 30 percent; Cincinnati, 28 percent; Cleveland, 27 percent; Miami, 27 percent; St. Louis, 27 percent; El Paso, Texas, 26 percent; Milwaukee, 26 percent; Philadelphia, 25 percent; and Newark, N.J., 24 percent.
The most common characteristic of these cities is that for decades, all of them have been run by Democratic and presumably liberal administrations. Some of them — such as Detroit, Buffalo, Newark and Philadelphia — haven’t elected a Republican mayor for more than a half-century. What’s more is that, in some cases for decades, the mayors of six of these high-poverty cities have been black Americans. You say, “What’s the point, Williams?” Let’s be clear about it. I’m not stating a causal relationship between poverty and Democratic and/or black political control over a city. What I am saying is that if one is strategizing on how to help poor people, he wants to leave off his list of objectives Democratic and black political control of cities. According to Albert Einstein (attributed), the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”