David Horowitz

David Horowitz’s Archives: Throw Away The Key!

Posted on October 22 2010 6:45 am
David Horowitz is the editor-in-chief of NewsReal Blog and FrontPage Magazine. He is the President and CEO of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His most recent book is Reforming Our Universities

This article was first published in Salon, on November 22, 1999.

Jesse Jackson has betrayed the civil rights movement by defending young thugs who need to be punished, not babied.

You could be forgiven for thinking that I’d hired Jesse Jackson to launch his campaign in behalf of the “Decatur 6” to promote my book “Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes.” The book is about the moral degeneration of the civil rights movement into a hustle designed to keep “racism” alive.

The book opens with a tour of the National Civil Rights Museum, which is housed in the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., where Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, and which features among its exhibits a large portrait of Elijah Muhammad, the racist kook who founded the Nation of Islam. It is as though a portrait of the leader of the Hale-Bopp comet cult were to be placed inside the Jefferson Memorial.

The Decatur 6 are a group of low-life gang-bangers who participated in an explosion of thuggery at a high school football game in the small town of Decatur, Ill., spreading panic through the stands and endangering the safety of innocent bystanders, including women and children.

Apparently, the incident was a rumble between members of the Gangster Disciples and the Vice Lords — self-identifications which tell you more about who the Decatur 6 are and what they aspire to than you probably wanted to know. Yet, the Rev. Jackson refers to these predators as “our children,” whom whitey is trying to persecute and keep from access to educational opportunity. He got himself arrested Nov. 16 to protest their expulsion and demand they be allowed to return to their school.

For their part, the villains in Jackson’s case — the seven white members of the Decatur school board — reacted swiftly to the outrage, expelling the six delinquents in an effort to punish them and make them an example to others.

Like many other school boards, Decatur’s had adopted a policy of zero tolerance for violence in the wake of the Columbine shootings and similar terrifying incidents. Discipline, it should go without saying (but can’t, apparently, in the present racial context), is an absolutely crucial element in the creation of a productive educational environment. Youngsters who go to school in fear are not going to be able to focus on their studies. Youngsters who disrespect authority are not going to learn at all.

There is no sector of the population that needs to hear and heed this message more than young, inner-city African-American males. One in three among them is a convicted felon. Homicide is their No. 1 cause of death, and their killers are mainly other young African-American males. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that restoring social and individual discipline in the inner city (having a zero tolerance for violence) is one of the most crucial tasks facing this nation if it is to increase the opportunities and life expectancies of its most disadvantaged inhabitants.

Yet here is Jesse Jackson in Decatur, breaking the law and getting arrested Nov. 16 to support criminal rioters, and attempting to turn them into civil rights heroes. What a message!

Jesse Jackson has betrayed the civil rights movement. He has squandered the moral legacy that the movement inherited from its founder Martin Luther King Jr., and has turned it into a ritual of blaming whitey for every failure in the African-American community.

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