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Your Opinion: For what should I apologize?

by Bert Dirschell, Centertown | January 6, 2015 at 12:04 p.m. | Updated January 6, 2015 at 12:04 p.m.

Dear Editor:

After the post-Ferguson rhetoric I am trying to figure out what I, as an old white man, should be apologizing for. Which of the following in my fault?

• 54 percent of African Americans graduate from high school, compared to more than three quarters of white and Asian students.

• Nationally, African American male students in grades K-12 were nearly two and one-half times as likely to be suspended from school in 2000 as white students.

• On average, African American twelfth-grade students read at the same level as white eighth-grade students.

• Only 14 percent of African American eighth graders score at or above the proficient level. These results reveal that millions of young people cannot understand or evaluate text, provide relevant details, or support inferences about the written documents they read.

• The Violent Crime Index arrest rate for black juveniles is five times that of white juveniles, six times that of American Indian juveniles and 15 times that of Asian juveniles.

• When Democrats started the War on Poverty in 1964 less than 10 percent of births were to unwed mothers, after 50 years of massive increases in welfare spending that number has skyrocketed to over 40 percent. In 2012, 72 percent of unmarried births were to black women.

• There is a 36.5 percent chance that a child born to a single-parent, female-headed family will live in poverty, compared to only a 6.4 percent for a child born to a two-parent family. She/he will be more than twice as likely to be arrested for juvenile crime. She/he will be twice as likely to be treated for emotional and behavioral problems. She/he will be roughly twice as likely to be expelled from school. She/he will be a third more likely to drop out before completing high school.

Taxpayers pay for over half of all births in our nation. Federal and state governments spend enough on means-tested welfare to raise the income of every person in the U.S. up to twice the poverty level. Should I apologize because this is not enough?

I do apologize to younger taxpayers. I have allowed the federal government to grow in power, to take more and more of our liberty, and to expand its programs of punishing the productive while rewarding the unproductive. I apologize that I have allowed elected officials to create a class of people who believe it is government's job to provide for them, no matter how poor their personal decisions.

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