Intellectuals and political hustlers who blame the plight of so many blacks on poverty, discrimination and the "legacy of slavery" are complicit in the socioeconomic and moral decay. But as Booker T. Washington suggested,
"Racism or Stupidity," by Walter Williams."There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs -- partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs."
For the original quote, see Washington, The Autobiographical Writings, Vol. 1, p. 430.
"I am afraid that there is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public" (pp. 430-431).So, was Booker T. Washington ahead of his times? Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that he had the necessary insight and foresight to recognize and to address a fundamental issue of his own time that would sustain racial oppression of his own people, oppression not from the old oppressors but from the new oppressors, those of his own people who wanted to exploit racialism for political purposes, and has in fact become a major, perhaps the major, source of racial oppression today, the race-baiters, the race-exploiters, the diversifiles, the multiculturalists, the racial do-gooders. No, in the sense that what seems to have been a minority group of his own people who exploited racialism for political purposes was already promoting in those days what has mushroomed into an overwhelming majority and a highly lucrative vocation, given the ascendancy of political correctness, flying under the banner of "multiculturalism and diversity," which has emboldened the racialists to exploit race for political and social purposes by persistently fomenting enmity by conjuring up grievances.