Black Entrepreneur Burying Integration?
One aspect of white-black relations since the end of
the "civil rights movement" that no one hears much about
is the black retreat from the forced integration that
both the movement and the federal government demanded.
As the illusion of "color-blindness" began to vanish
and an explicitly black racial consciousness emerged,
many blacks began to question why mixing with whites in
schools, housing and education was supposed to be the
pinnacle of their lives.
Now a black businessman in Philadelphia has a plan
that may scrap the whole concept of racial integration.
The businessman is Kenny Gamble, well known in
entertainment circles as a songwriter and music
entrepreneur, who became a Black Muslim in 1975 and long
before that began questioning the assumptions of racial
integration. Mr. Gamble argues that
prior to the civil rights movement, as the
Philadelphia Daily News reported recently, "there
were thriving African-American communities where `all
kinds of people` came to enjoy black food, music and
Revive black areas run by, for blacks |Music mogul
pushing vision in South Philly, By Earni Young,
Philadelphia Daily News Apr. 17, 2003]
The effect of the
civil rights movement and the integration it imposed
was that black customers and clients of the small,
black-owned businesses in black areas went elsewhere—to
the bigger and better-stocked chain stores owned by
The black businesses dried up, and the areas where
they once flourished died.
Mr. Gamble means to fix that. His plan involves
buying up property in the inner cities (which he has
already started doing at his own expense) and to
"focus on reviving distinctly African-American
neighborhoods with better housing while empowering their
residents to control their neighborhood`s economy. And
restore the mix of incomes in the community that existed
before integration." As for integration itself:
It`s not entirely clear how he plans to translate the
properties he`s buying into successful small businesses,
but in general he may be on to something. His concept
abandons liberal egalitarianism as well as government
planning and concentrates on building independent social
institutions. A "mix of incomes" means different classes
living in the same community, and as Mr. Gamble says,
"Our plan is about rebuilding the family. It`s about
educating our children and their families. It`s about
private and economic development and supporting local
Instead of silly neo-conservative slogans about
"enterprise zones" created by
government-enforced privileges, Mr. Gamble is
suggesting the restoration of real communities
maintained by private efforts.
There happen to be two small problems with his ideas,
Problem one is that they`re probably illegal—he plans
to sell his properties only to blacks; that`s the whole
point—and Problem Two is that it violates every liberal
preconception about race and society you can name.
One of the "achievements" of the civil rights
movement was to outlaw
discrimination in buying and selling, which is why
white areas turned into black areas and whites left the
cities almost entirely. The law works both ways, and
blacks can`t discriminate against whites in selling
property either, but that`s exactly what Mr. Gamble
seems to have in mind. "I want to see us owning the
hotels, restaurants and businesses in our own
community," he told the News.
But the legal problem is nothing compared to the
crunching of ideological toes his plan involves. Don
DeMarco, a director of the
Fund for an Open Society, which remains committed to
integration, says, "I don`t see what he`s doing as a
commitment to segregation, but regardless of what he`s
committed to, it promotes segregation." Mr. Gamble
can probably expect that reaction from most liberals and
many conservatives, since what lies behind his whole
plan is the reality of race and racial consciousness.
When Mr. Gamble talks about blacks, it`s "we" and
"us," and one of his explicit goals is to halt the
process of "gentrification"
through which whites are beginning to take back the
cities from which integration drove them.
The legal problems with Mr. Gamble`s plans could
easily be fixed—by getting rid of the phony
constitutional concepts that justices like
Earl Warren and
William Brennan foisted off on the country—but
getting rid of liberal delusions won`t be so simple.
Liberal ideology now stands guard around a set of
material interests with immense investments in its
falsehoods, in addition to its deeply rooted delusions
among those who still believe in it.
Mr. Gamble`s ideas may slow down "gentrification"
and the return of white yuppies to the cities their
ancestors created, but the more important effect is that
they may also kick the stool from underneath the racial
liberalism that helped wreck entire cities as well as
the Constitution in the first place.
By championing a concept that rejects liberalism and
accepts the reality of race, class and community, Mr.
Gamble may be pushing both blacks and whites down a path
where liberals and pseudo-conservatives don`t want
either race to go.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
[Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,
America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The
Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available
Americans For Immigration Control.]