In a June 24th Open Forum, Dave Stegmaier asserted that “racism no longer exists in any systematic way.” According to him, over the last 50 years systemic racism has been eliminated and that it is the paternalistic social programs of the Democratic Party that have left minority populations “without purpose or hope.”

Let’s look at the evidence.

Criminal Justice: According to the Death Penalty Information Center, Blacks make up 41.6% of death row inmates but they make up 52% of those wrongly convicted and later exonerated. The Sentencing Project reported that “Federal prosecutors, for example, are twice as likely to charge African Americans with offenses that carry a mandatory minimum sentence than similarly situated whites.”

Health and Environment: In 2016, a University of Michigan study published in Environmental Research Letters found “a consistent pattern over a 30-year period of placing hazardous waste facilities in neighborhoods where poor people and people of color live.”

Jim Crow Laws: In 2019 Virginia instituted a Commission to Examine Racial Inequity in Virginia Law — they reported last December that they found nearly 100 racist laws that need to be removed from the books.

Education: In an article titled “Unequal Opportunity: Race and Education” the Brookings Institution reported “Recent analyses of data prepared for school finance cases . . . have found that on every tangible measure — from qualified teachers to curriculum offerings — schools serving greater numbers of students of color had significantly fewer resources than schools serving mostly white students.”

Locally: In addition to these issues, Blacks in our community must deal with the affront and indignity, at the heart of our city, of a statue honoring those who fought, whatever their intentions may have been, to preserve the cruel institution of slavery.

Sadly, far from being eliminated, systemic racism is still prevalent. The examples I have cited are current realities. In spite of these disadvantages, many African Americans have managed to thrive. Thankfully we have made progress, but it demonstrates we still have a long way to go.

I’m not sure which “paternalistic social programs” Mr. Stegmaier has in mind, but from what I can see the social programs of the Democratic Party have improved the quality of life for all races. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped nearly 400,000 uninsured Virginians procure health insurance. The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) has helped low-income people and is linked to improved nutritional outcomes and lower healthcare costs. In his 2021 budget, President Trump has proposed cutting its budget by 30% over the course of a decade. Democrats are also strong supporters of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) which provides tax credits for low-wage workers. Ronald Reagan said “the Earned Income Tax Credit is the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.” These programs do not rob ethnic minorities of “purpose or hope,” they foster it.

In order to end systemic racism, we must first recognize how deeply it is woven into our social fabric and begin dismantling it in all its multifarious expressions. And, blaming one political party, especially the party most ethnic minority persons believe represents their concerns, for the inequities so deeply ingrained in our nation’s history is unfair and unhelpful.

John Copenhaver is a resident of Winchester.

(44) comments

Spock Here

So what's wrong with this comment? It doesn't matter what political party this goon belongs to, how do we deal with this mentality? Mississippi election commissioner: "I'm concerned about voter registration in Mississippi," the commissioner wrote. "The blacks are having lots (of) events for voter registration. People in Mississippi have to get involved, too."

Doc Samson

So, yeah, that comes across wrong... very wrong. But, AGAIN, you have no problem with someone saying "We need to get more (fill in the minority here) to vote..." or with Biden making racist statements. You Lefties support bias/prejudice/racism as long as it directed at whoever you are most outraged with at the time. One way streetism at it's finest.

Spock Here

You have no clue what I have a problem with. Like others, you just can't stop after the word "wrong". You must continue to yap on what you perceive to be gross failings of all "lefties". Just leave it at "wrong". There's a good boy.

Doc Samson

Because your "standards" are only applied to certain groups that YOU deem "bad". Pointing out your consistent failure of logic is hardly yapping, oh ye of condescending jerkiness... [lol]

Americanwoman741

I believe free speech is everyone's right so i find you to be arrogant to tell someone else what they should or shouldn't say. Grow up.

Americanwoman741

Exactly. The democrats have done nothing for the black community. Citing things such as the Affordable care act is a joke . millions of people lost the insurance they did have because of that piece of legislation raised our premiums to where we can't afford decent insurance. And all the other things such as welfare, snap and food stamps is just an excuse to be lazy and depend on the government. I'm all for hand ups but not hand outs. And as far as blacks getting lengthier prison sentences than some whites, it because alot of them have a previous record that judges take into account when it comes to the sentence they give out. And the reason for such a high number of black folks in prison isn't due to systemic racism. It's due to the fact they broke the law. So if u want to stay your butt out of of prison then stop breaking the law and for God's sake stop the blame game and practice self accountability. Crybabies come a dime a dozen nowadays

Doc Samson

@Americanwoman - I do like that there are more conservative minded black leaders speaking out about those exact things... Check out Anthony Brian Logan and YoungRippa59 for two... Those guys are the real deal!

Doc Samson

This is what happens when you read or listen to nothing but MSM/DNC talking points. You have no clue that there are actually many minorities who disagree completely and see your party as perpetuating the culture of low expectations and enablement...

Americanwoman741

I love ABL. ALSO Brandon Tatum, David Harris Jr , Larry Elder and Jericho Green. All black conservatives

Bernie Mac

Let me boil this down. John implies that most minorities are Democrats, therefore the Democrats cannot possibly be responsible for the misfortunes inflicted upon those minorities. It is just flat out wrong to conclude that. For one, the Democrats could simultaneously claim to want to help the minorities and at the same time pass legislation that harms those same minorities. Every sensible person knows that as someone rises out of poverty, they are more likely to become more conservative and leave the Democratic Party. That explains the Democrats duplicity. They need people to remain in poverty and perceived oppression in order to hang on to power.

Spock Here

Here's an idea....blame who y'all want, shout it from the rooftops, BLAME. Then agree to do something about it.

Americanwoman741

Well you should include yourself in going about the business of "doing something about it'

cuphaus

[thumbup]

GreatScott

Mr. Copenhaver, you proved zero. Nothing. In fact, nobody has proven that Systemic racism even exists anywhere in America in 2020. Liberals like you had 8 years of Clinton and 8 years of Obama to do something. They did NOTHING. Why? There wasn't a problem. Don't try and tell me that the problem started in January 2017. It was either there and your Presidents did nothing or it wasn't there then and isn't now.

Eredmon

Yes! Thank you!

Bryan.the.Nuri

You do realize that systemic racism does exist despite you never having suffered it yourself, right?

Why is it assumed that 60-90% of violent crimes are committed by blacks, when FBI stats show almost equal numbers as whites? Why are more black and latinos jailed for relatively minor drug offenses when the CDC and FBI stats report an almost even rate of usage between them and whites? Why are black suspects usually presented in the media with a mugshot, while white ones often have their angelic senior pictures?

Just because you're blind doesn't mean it's not there.

Doc Samson

Ah, more "stats", Bry? Hmmm, I remember asking for stats from you that never appeared. Your inability to comprehend anything beyond your superficial talking points negates anything you type here. Begone, little man.

Americanwoman741

Hahaha! He's just your typical angry liberal that make everything about race and always finding fault with others. Nuri needs to come off the cross because somebody needs the wood. 😆

Americanwoman741

You better check those stats again. Because you're wrong or just willfully ignorant. And news flash: white folks don't look too good in their mugshots either. So stop acting like a know it all and come of your negative whiny high horse. You are a literal professional troll. You must lead a very unhappy life. It shows.

Spock Here

Is the entire Shaw family out today? They seem awfully cranky. Cooped up too long?

Bryan.the.Nuri

Wait a minute... If white people don't look so good in their mugshots, do black people look good?

Kinda sad that you can't own up to your own bigotry.

Americanwoman741

Don't even try to flip the script with me buddy. You know what you said about mugshots. But i guess i have to break it down in kindergarten laymans terms: NOBODY LOOKS GOOD IN THEIR MUGSHOTS. stop with your "bigotry" rhetoric. Find a hobby perhaps.

Doc Samson

All good points! Interesting how they never seem to speak to any minorities who disagree or who find this whole thing ridiculous - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAb_qVLpcxg & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpByb0jp-LY&t=28s

Whistle Dixie

Oh, the blame game...As John Copenhaver wrote, "Let's look at the evidence."

Democrat President Bill Clinton passed the 1994 Crime Bill. The ACLU wrote, "The 1994 crime bill was a key part of the Democratic strategy to show that it can be tougher-on-crime than Republicans." This strict crime Bill, crafted by a Democrat President led to the mass incarceration you complain about.

Further, the ACLU also charged the following: "the Democratic Party passed tougher sentencing laws and provided more federal funding for prisons in the states. The platform encouraged states to pass truth-in-sentencing laws, bragged about instituting the death penalty for nearly 60 more crimes, and even encouraged the prosecution of young people as adults."

The harsh reality, John Copenhaver, is that we can examine the Democrat platform, and note several other Presidents who adversely contributed to the difficulties that Blacks in America face. They are all Democrat Presidents.

FDR crafted America's first welfare system with the New Deal. Then, racist LBJ shoved the Great Society upon us with his War on Poverty. Government-subsidized social welfare programs such as the War on Poverty incentivize poverty, which has a direct negative impact on communities, family, and societal values.

"The current state of dysfunction in the black community (astronomically high crime rates, very low rates of home ownership and single motherhood as the norm) are not the natural state of the black community in the United States, but closely tied to the role that social welfare programs play." (James Quinn, The Burning Platform)

Dr. Thomas Sowell points out, "If we wanted to be serious about evidence, we might compare where blacks stood a hundred years after the end of slavery with where they stood after 30 years of the liberal welfare state. In other words, we could compare hard evidence on “the legacy of slavery” with hard evidence on the legacy of liberals.”

Since the War on Poverty began, $15 trillion has been spent, with negligible impact on lifting people out of poverty. All taxpayers pay for this program, but it has been the Black community that has suffered the most.

In 1965, when the Great Society began (following an electoral landslide reelection of LBJ), the out-of-wedlock birthrate among the Black community was 21%. By 2017, the out-of-wedlock birthrate among the Black community was 77%.

Every measurable aspect of success/failure concerning Blacks shows that their successes WORSENED after LBJ's "Great Society" and his War on Poverty. The entire breakdown of the Black family, Black home ownership, unemployment, out-of-wedlock births, crime rate worsened after the Democrats made their societal 'contract' to further damage the Black population.

Dr. Thomas Sowell reminds us, "The black family, which had survived centuries of slavery and discrimination, began rapidly disintegrating in the liberal welfare state that subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life.”

To point blame about the failures of America's Black population on the Republican Party is ignorant, even more so when trying to use a statue or street name as causative factors. Racism has always been a part of the Democrat Platform, and the KKK was a Democrat racist group. Racism through dependency-welfare programs are clearly be attributed to the Democrat Party. The higher incarceration rate of Blacks can be attributed to Democrat Bill Clinton's 1994 Crime Bill.

Rather than truly helping the Black community after destroying it isn't the mission, though...Democrats merely want the Black voting block, and every 4 years, racial issues are pushed to the forefront, and then disappeared again. Thankfully more and more Blacks have been waking up to the lies perpetuated by the likes of race-baiters like Al Sharpton, leaving the Democrat Party for good.

Doc Samson

Evidence cannot matter to the Left because their fingerprints are everywhere. This is where they clearly display their inability to comprehend reality because to do so would completely destroy their narrative.

jshepc

Great post W Dixie. Please take the time to submit it as an Open Forum so everyone can read it. These "facts" need to be out there.

Spock Here

Whistle is never going to do that, as it would have to put his information out there and he is just ever so sure the "BLM-types" are frothing for his information

Americanwoman741

Like any BLM types are a threat. Please.

Eredmon

Bravo! I agree with jshecp, this should be an Open Forum! Please submit! Well-researched, well-written, and on point! Thanks so much Whistle Dixie! No more smoke and mirrors.

John D Copenhaver

The last sentence in this Open Forum is not what I sent to the Star. I realize it is an awkward sentence, but here is what I wrote and sent: "And blaming one political party, especially the party that most ethnic minority persons believe represents their concerns, for the inequities so deeply ingrained in our nation’s history is unfair and unhelpful." For some reason an editor removed the coma after "concerns" and placed it after history. That changes the whole meaning of the sentence and the tone of the letter. What I was pointing out is that I believe it was unfair and unhelpful for Mr. Stegmaier to blame one party for these deeply ingrained problems, especially when most ethnic minority people believe the Democratic Party best represents their interests. I wasn't blaming Republicans. In fact, I was saying both parties have a role in these deeply ingrained inequities and that it is wrong to lay all the blame on one party. It seems singularly unfair to lay the blame on Democrats when it is the party most ethnic minority persons believe better represents their interests.

Whistle Dixie

John Copenhaver, I understand your frustration with the bad-edit. Thank you for noting that to the readers and commenters.

Both Parties need to work in a bipartisan effort to end the generational welfare problem that was created through Congress. Changes will not happen in the current political climate, but politics have now become front-and-center -- our population is watching. In general, our population is not interested in violent protests, rioting, looting, or murders. I am not fooled that minorities follow the Democrat Party because they are knowledgeable about the full Dem platform, though. I believe the majority of welfare recipients vote for the Party that gives them the Section-8 housing, EBT cards, and those other freebies. At this time, they really have no clear alternative, so another generation of welfare recipients rises while Congress continues to have meetings and dither.

Eredmon

Great points, Whistle Dixie. Thank you.

Steve Cunningham

But yet you also write "but from what I can see the social programs of the Democratic Party have improved the quality of life for all races" and in the next sentence you blame President Trump for the ails of the world.

[rolleyes]

DavidSparkman

Isn't amazing that the dimocrats can cause a problem, bemoan the problem they created, and then blame the Republicans for the problem? Obama declared that a families without fathers in the home suffered much higher levels of poverty, poor education, crime, and imprisonment, but never addressed why single parent families were increasing so rapidly. The answer of course was "follow the money." Single family's were encouraged by the kind give-away of support to single parents. The short term give-away's started by LBJ to win black votes, destroyed the family structure by making them addicted to the drug of government handouts. The Republicans had nothing to do with it. It was due, as LBJ said "to have those nigg**s voting democrat for the next 50 years." Wake up people, fathers matter!

Spock Here

So it's all the "dimocrats" fault, sparky. I guess you agree, however, that systemic racism exists. Thanks.

John D Copenhaver

I doubt this will change your mind but I wanted you to know that I did not blame Republicans. For some reason an editor moved a coma in my last sentence and made it look that way. Here is the explanation I hope will soon be posted below. "The last sentence in this Open Forum is not what I sent to the Star. I realize it is an awkward sentence, but here is what I wrote and sent: "And blaming one political party, especially the party that most ethnic minority persons believe represents their concerns, for the inequities so deeply ingrained in our nation’s history is unfair and unhelpful." For some reason an editor removed the coma after "concerns" and placed it after history. That changes the whole meaning of the sentence and the tone of the letter. What I was pointing out is that I believe it was unfair and unhelpful for Mr. Stegmaier to blame one party for these deeply ingrained problems, especially when most ethnic minority people believe the Democratic Party best represents their interests. I wasn't blaming Republicans. In fact, I was saying both parties have a role in these deeply ingrained inequities and that it is wrong to lay all the blame on one party. It seems singularly unfair to lay the blame on Democrats when it is the party most ethnic minority persons believe better represents their interests."

Steve Cunningham

But yet you also write "but from what I can see the social programs of the Democratic Party have improved the quality of life for all races" and in the next sentence you blame President Trump for the ails of the world. And blaming the Star for moving a comma to destroy your intended message [rolleyes]

Bernie Mac

Don't lie, John. You may not have directly blamed Republicans but you certainly did by inference. All the same, you did blame Republicans. Be a man. Own it.

John D Copenhaver

I think your view of my letter is influenced by the earlier misprint. Mr. Stegmaier clearly put the blame on the "paternalistic policies" of the Democratic Party. I wrote "And, blaming one political party . . . for the inequities so deeply ingrained in our nation’s history is unfair and unhelpful." I added that it seems especially unfair to put all the blame of the party most ethnic minorities believe better represents their interests. I do think Democrats have done a lot of harm too. I don't agree with Whistle Dixie, but he? (don't know the gender) does make some good points about the Democratic policies that have led to mass incarceration. and, Dixiecrats did a lot of damage in the 20th century. So, No! I did not blame Republicans, though I think they are, at least, equally to blame. As to your "Be a man." challenge, I think it is a challenge ready for the dustbin of history. It implies that women lack the courage of their convictions or are not forthright.

Bernie Mac

Your politically correct comments only expose you further. This time as a squishy little snowflake. Should we also throw "mankind" in to the dustbin of history? I don't want anyone with your childish views in charge of any decision making that might have the slightest influence in this great country. Please move, start your own great society and then comeback and sell us on your success. We will give it a listen.

Americanwoman741

Because Republicans arent to blame anyway. About 97% black Americans vote democrat. And it's Democrat policies that keep them voting Democrat. Hand outs instead of hand ups or else they'd come off that democrat plantation real quick. Republicans recognize that black Americans are just as capable of making it without the help of white liberals. We believe in them. Democratic party just think they know what's best for them. Malcolm X warned black folks about white liberals...

Bryan.the.Nuri

Sparky, LBJ never said that.

But please, keep demonizing a community will will never understand because you are afraid of the ghettos (in your words)

Doc Samson

You know that? How? Because your little Snopes site says so? Sorry, kid, but if he didn't say it, he sure said plenty that was the equivalent - https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/did-lbj-say-ill-have-those-nggers-voting-democratic-200-years/

Now, run along and play with the other children...

Bryan.the.Nuri

So you supplied a source that still doubts the veracity of the quotation?

Good try, "Doc". Thanks for playing. When you decide to man up, you can come back.

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