Travis Rowley: Minority Report

Saturday, February 23, 2013


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Travis Rowley says the Left’s reaction to racial trends in RI shows how little they think of the minority communities they pretend to champion for.

In order to “create a sustainable state” and “secure a prosperous future,” Rhode Island taxpayers should support policies that “coordinate transportation, housing, and economic development investments to address concentrated poverty, segregation, housing and transportation burdens – all of which have disproportionately negative effects on communities of color.”

Aiming for “a more equitable and sustainable economy,” taxpayers should back “planning” that would “bridge [the State’s] racial generation gap” by encouraging “complete, multigenerational communities” that are “inclusive for residents of all ages and racial groups” – places that “will allow the [white] elderly to age in place at the same time as provide safe and healthy environments for [minority] families to raise children.”

Rhode Islanders should get behind “investments” that would “[connect] unemployed and low-wage workers to training, jobs and careers,” programs that “[focus] on educational pathways for minority students as well as targeting the health of communities as a whole and expanding transportation choices for commuters and non-commuters alike, particularly in areas currently suffering from limited options and/or mobility” – policies that “target issues of racial inequality as a means for improving [the State’s] economic climate as a whole.”

Well, at least those are the recommendations of the progressives at PolicyLink, a “national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity,” and those at PERE, the “Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at the University of Southern California” – the two organizations responsible for a recently released study that “attempted to address how [Rhode Island] is doing on measures of economic growth and well-being, particularly for members of its minority population.”

While these leftists offer their advice on the grounds that “Rhode Island is seeing a growing racial/ethnic populace” and the “prediction that people of color will make up 41 percent of Rhode Island by the year 2040,” GoLocalProv characterizes their report as one that “reveal[s] an alarming trend when an analysis is performed on the current economic climate for minority residents of the state.”

I suppose I can only hope that minorities everywhere take notice of just how much progressives are freaking out over the fact that more minorities are moving in. And that they consider whether or not a conservative think-tank could ever get away with describing a steady migration of minorities as an “alarming trend” or a “cause for concern.”

The fact of the matter is that behind the Left’s anxiety over a minority invasion is the contempt that progressives have always had for those they purport to champion, an admission that progressive policies have failed, and recognition of the fact that minority communities are largely comprised of “takers” rather than “makers” – and therefore are viewed by progressives as people who will never be able to fund their $8 billion state government.

“Economic gaps persist for communities of color, who have higher unemployment rates, lower wages, and less access to high-opportunity occupations than whites at nearly every education level,” the report divulges.

GoLocalProv’s corresponding headline read, “Study Finds Racial Gaps Putting RI’s Economy, Future at Risk.

Doubling Down on Liberalism

Throughout the past several decades progressives have taught that trillions of dollars worth of racial quotas, social engineering, and wealth transfers would solve the issue of poverty and inequality. Today we find them warning one of their most compliant states of a looming disaster that too many minorities could spell for the entire State of Rhode Island.

Everything is as black conservative columnist Star Parker once observed: “Instead of solving economic problems, government welfare socialism created monstrous moral and spiritual problems. The kind of problems that are inevitable when individuals turn responsibility for their lives over to others. The legacy of American socialism is our blighted inner cities, dysfunctional inner city schools, and broken black families.”

Progressives seemingly agree.

Because leftists are inclined to see and solve problems with an emphasis on group identity, they have made it obvious here that they fully expect Rhode Island’s booming minority population 30 years from now – without progressive assistance – to have failed to emerge from poverty.

That’s how much progressives think of their own policies. And that’s how much progressives think of minorities.

Remaining consistent with progressive insanity, however, the failure of liberalism is answered only with calls for more liberalism – more policies that would attract those who seek to abuse the welfare apparatus, and ensnare thousands of others who aren’t so inclined. As New York Times Nicholas Kristof wrote several months ago, “This is painful for a liberal to admit, but conservatives have a point when they suggest that America’s safety net can sometimes entangle people in a soul-crushing dependency.”

While progressives call for more “investments” and more “planning” that would restrict individual freedoms and require state tax rates to remain high – facilitating even more redistribution of wealth from suburbia to inner-city neighborhoods – Rhode Islanders have recently learned that “the state has lost a total of 25,543 residents over the past eight years.”

If poor minorities are moving in, who exactly is moving out?

Readers can feel free to mark my words here: Far from avoiding any approaching apocalypse, doubling down on socialist policies will have progressives in 2040 drafting history books that explain Rhode Island’s fiscal collapse on a “white flight” that was spawned by hate, racism, and xenophobia – rather than a foolish decision to remain devoted to government tyranny and financial enslavement.

Travis Rowley ( is the author of The RI Republican: An Indictment of the Rhode Island Left.


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