While a large portion of the African-American community has successfully broken into the American middle class, many of those who have not yet gained entry are being held back by the victimhood status being forced upon them by schools, politicians, and other cultural institutions. A lawsuit that is highly emblematic of this destructive dynamic was filed recently in Virginia.

The plaintiffs are seventeen former employees of a MacDonald’s franchise who were fired by the owner. They claim that in each case, racial discrimination was the reason for the termination.

One fact relevant to the case is that the franchise owner, Mike Simon, is himself African-American.

Mr. Simon was obliged to make a public statement disavowing any discriminatory intent in connection with his decision to terminate the employees at issue. We are left with the bizarre image of an African-American business owner having to deny his racism and defend a lawsuit that is premised on such an accusation. Only in America.

The mindset of the plaintiffs in bringing this suit is worth examining. A healthy culture would encourage these workers to accept that their work was not adequate, to take the lesson to heart, and to do better at their next jobs in order to avoid getting fired. But that is not the lesson they have absorbed from our culture.

These workers have been sold by politicians, schools, and other institutions on an inaccurate vision of America as enduringly racist. That is simply not accurate today. While some racism persists, today the greatest impediments to African-American advancement are a weak economy and the victimization culture that these MacDonald’s workers, and millions of other African-Americans, have been taught to accept.

The shining example that should be offered to black America is Prince George’s County, also in Virginia. For the past twenty years, that county has become more prosperous, even as it has become more African-American demographically. A nucleus of educated, hard-driving African-Americans with solid, skilled jobs established themselves as middle-class gentry in the area, and others have followed.

While the economic slowdown of the last six years has threatened this advance, it has not destroyed it. But you have to dig deep to find out about Prince George’s County. The preferred cultural narrative for African-Americans is one of victimization, not independent, proud, dignified, achievement and success.

This continuing cultural stereotype of African-Americans as down-trodden and as oppressed by Caucasians is actually the true racist stereotype. And this stereotype is being imposed on African-Americans, and to their detriment, by the left.


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