Mayor Kriseman can’t help it, he’s a liberal. When a hard core progressive like St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman sees a problem, the natural knee jerk reaction is to reach into the pockets of taxpayers and throw their money at a problem. Such is the nature of his promise to spend $1 million on solving problems in the African American Community. On Sunday, Mayor Kriseman announced that he will direct city staff to find $1 million to address violence in the black community and poverty. A task force will be formed to determine how to spend the money. That’s it. There is no plan, just some money and a hope it will do “something”.
The Mayor is not demonstrating leadership here, but don’t tell that to the Tampa Bay Times who featured him in a breathless feel good story on his million dollar task force. The Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Kevin King, was interviewed by the Sunbeam Times to learn more and, apparently, there is nothing to learn. Mr. King indicated that there is no press release and no program description for the million dollar plan, stating: “He’s just asking city administrator to locate funds to address gun violence and opportunities for young black men”. Mr. King said there is no person to talk to about the idea and that the entire program was “preliminary”. He stated there was no official position or statement from the Mayor’s office on what problems were being addressed or how the money would be spent. Ultimately, Mr. King offered only: “The Mayor’s goal is to identify additional funds in case they are needed as we continue to address the issue of gun violence and opportunity creation”. It is as if the Mayor came up with the million dollar program on a lark while walking around on a Sunday afternoon. Not exactly a paragon of policy leadership, although it is highly likely that well-connected corporations and insiders have a fast track to this magic money already and want even more.
The Mayor’s concept of throwing money at a problem is not only misguided, but it will cause further harm and miss the true sources of the violence and poverty. The Tampa bay Times noted that the Mayor toured black neighborhoods and saw “young men on their stoops in the middle of the school day, young men at home instead of at work.” The story indicated that this was a sign of disenfranchisement and despair, but the Times reporter did not indicate the source of the angst. The fact that young black men are not working or not in school is seen as some sort of failure of society. The Times and the Mayor are ignoring a failure of the individual young black men themselves or a failure of the endless government programs designed to “end poverty”. The fact is that the young black men who are not learning, working or turning to crime and violence, are suffering from poverty: a spiritual poverty and a poverty of true charity from the government. These young men have been caught in a bankrupt culture that promotes drug use, crime, women as sex objects and an absence of God from their lives. They are caught in a culture that makes endless excuses and classifies them as victims of society when they are in fact victims of their own behavior. They face a government that refuses to recognize tough love and moral standards as acts of charity. These young black men are facing an arrogant and clueless culture in St. Petersburg that insults them by indicating that without a “leg up” from government or the great white benefactor, they will be endlessly disenfranchised and in despair. Poppycock!
There are many cases of poor young men and women from single mothers, surrounded by bad influences who have overcome through hard work and dedication to good over evil. They are white and black and include people like Neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and this humble neurosurgeon and St. Pete native, yours truly the founder of the Sunbeam Times. They include hard working black men and fathers I meet every week in the city whose “average” job is actually a triumph over a pedigree of poverty and hopelessness. The solution to break out of poverty is to be found in rejecting the evil path and the easy payoff and in embracing hard work and the hard path of early self-sacrifice for long term personal gain. Young black men are not shooting each other because of easy availability of guns. They aren’t committing crimes because the government refused to spend enough money on a poverty or school program. They aren’t failing to grow into good citizens because of racism or society being against them. There is no end of opportunity for the mildly determined young man or woman to achieve success in St. Pete. No, the failure results from a failure of the self and the promotion of the victim narrative by a condescending class of “betters”.
Kriseman’s million dollar program will cause further harm. The money will be “found”. That means more tax increases for those who create jobs or support our economy. That means more water, garbage and sewer rate hikes for poor and “rich” alike. That means more property taxes, pushing home ownership further out of reach for the poor. That means ignoring the job and freedom killing regulations that the progressive left promulgate in their utopian quest for a “green” agenda, LGBTQ rights or “social justice”. That means bigger and more feckless government giving handouts to well-connected corporate cronies and politicos under the auspices of helping the “young black man”. In short, the million dollar spending program by Mayor Rick Kriseman to end violence and poverty among young black men will only achieve more violence and poverty. If there is any doubt, see the deep democrat, decades long control of cities like Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Ferguson and more.
If the Mayor really cares about these young black men, he will ask church leaders to call these young men to God and away from sin. He would instruct police to start an aggressive anti-crime campaign in midtown. If the Mayor really cared about these young black men, he would stand up in public and chastise them for having babies out of wedlock or objectifying women into sex objects who can abort away their babies. Like a strong father would, the Mayor would go on a speaking tour and charge these young black men to go out and get a job, no matter how menial, or to take their education and teachers seriously. Mayor Kriseman, if he really cared about these young black men, would challenge their absentee fathers to show up and take control of their wayward sons. The Mayor would then call for vouchers for a mother to choose any (private) school she wanted and for government to cut taxes, cut regulation and grow businesses and jobs through an unleashed free market. The mayor would cut all taxes and fees so citizens and business have more money and time to devout to charitable activities (that means cutting government down to proper size). But the Mayor is not interested in that kind of hard work. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is really only is interested in the scoring cheap political points by creating a pointless task force and throwing tax dollars from struggling citizens at a problem that he and his ilk enabled in the first place.