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THE CANDID CONSERVATIVE: Getting real on black-on-black crime
Tuesday, 15 September 2020 11:23
Special to the Daily Planet

Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.


The new editor of Asheville’s daily paper recently pledged to up their game on inclusive journalism. 

Time will tell if this is just another attempt to hide liberal bias behind a race diversity screen — or a more sincere wish to rescue thought diversity from MIA status.

Why that’s important was demonstrated by our local television station’s same-day story on black-on-black murder. Therein one was treated to the usual politically correct exercises in hand-wringing and excuse offerings. Predictably, there were four liberal commentators in the mix and not one with a conservative view.

That matters – here’s why.


It doesn’t take one to know one

In anticipation of the usual – “What’s an old white guy doing talking about this?” – allow me to tell you. I’m a psychologist by education and profession. I also took a detour through the University of Georgia graduate school of social work. At this first-tier bastion of liberalism, I learned many good things – including the dangers of sociological sophistry and how to spot politicians, ministers, journalists and activists adept at turning chicken manure into chicken salad.

I’ve arguably spent more time volunteering in Asheville’s public housing than any elected official you might know. Former City Manager Jim Westbrook, former Citizen-Times editor Virgil Smith, former Asheville police chief Will Annarino, and former City Councilman Herbert “Watt Daddy” Watts made it so.

Shortly after election to Asheville’s governing body in 2001, through one means or another, I connected with each of these gentlemen and asked them where a newly elected council member might best serve. “Public housing” was the echo.

For the better part of eight years, I spent an inordinate amount of time there pushing a service agenda through a program named For Our Kids and, on the flip side, trying to draw attention and action toward the drug activity rampant in these and other vulnerable neighborhoods.

It was worth it. With the help of a good group of caring people, we made a difference on both sides of that coin. As I bonus, I learned a lot.


Hard-won insights

I learned that most people could care less that public housing is a haven for drugs and crime that place children and older residents in harm’s way. I learned that thanks to illegal immigration, we don’t need young black males to learn trades so we don’t bother recruiting them nearly as enthusiastically as drug dealers do. 

I learned the fatal flaws of misogynistic, angry, violent and narcissistic male role models who corrupt our city’s children into believing the seven deadly sins are a path to prosperity and mattering. 

I learned that most of our community’s black ministers, politicians, businessmen, dads, moms, teachers and other capable adults are paralyzed in tackling tough social issues. 

I learned that when it comes to horrific health, school achievement, and economic disparities, most everybody else is satisfied to pontificate over grabbing hold and not letting go until the job is done. 

I learned that loving hands — not money and empty political promises — are the answer to much of the pain in our broken black culture. I learned to not confuse virtue-signalers, who do easy stuff like protests, removing monuments and painting slogans, with loving hands. 

I learned that the ones funding the corruption of our young black men in public housing are white drug-users. 

I learned that casually having children dependent upon government benevolence is like casually adopting a puppy and chaining it to a tree. 

I learned that there is an important difference in praising Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and listening to his words and duplicating his example. 

I learned that defunding our police will only work when we figure out how to defang our criminals, and that pretending otherwise is like believing rationing food will end hunger.


What can be done

Are there solutions? Certainly – but most of those have little to do with what white people do or do not. Martin Luther King Jr. said that first and Malcolm X affirmed it shortly before he was murdered by another black man.

Perhaps the most important thing I learned is that for everyone, regardless of race, age, or economic standing, our choices, character and cultural convictions – not our color – are the key determinants of a soft landing in a hard world.

The new editor at our daily paper has a sincere smile. I hope she has pluck, wisdom and energy, too. We’ll need more of all four if we’re going to produce any real change for black Ashevillians ....
Dr. Mumpower is a psychologist and former member of Asheville City Council. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 252-8390.



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