What happened to the Black community between the Harlem Renaissance and the advent of N.W.A?[note: the hip hop group "Niggaz With Attitude"] Part of what happened was the growth and development of an entire bureaucracy devoted to the ongoing victim status of the American Black. There is no question that on an individual basis many poor Black Americans became materially better off with the Great Society programs, but what they lost was so much more significant. Victims have no dignity and no agency; they are helpless and weak, like children. Worse, the toxic combination of anti-male radical feminism that began to seep into the culture and the growth of the nanny state, had horrendous consequences for the poor Black community; their men were devalued (after all, they were seen as incapable of supporting a family without assistance) and unnecessary. Since a young woman could raise a child (financially) without any input from "her baby's father" (in a locution that has become all too popular), the father's importance in the life of the child was diminished. Boys growing up without fathers have no fully human, three dimensional, role models for becoming men; as a result they have adopted a caricature of manhood which depends on demanding and coercing "respect". The results, stuck at the level of a Shame Culture, have been all too apparent in the destruction of the poor Black family.
People like Bill Cosby, Thomas Sowell and other prominent Blacks within the larger Black community have been trying to get the message out that the time has come for the Black community to stop playing into these victimhood schemes promulgated by the political left--who have a need to feel "virtuous" by championing the "poor, helpless, oppressed" Blacks--and to take back both their culture and responsibility for their own success.
While once the rationale for programs like Affirmative Action seemed reasonable to most people; by now it should be evident that whatever it hoped to accomplish in the beginning, it has since evolved into an ever-growing bureaucracy whose main purpose is to maintain the moral authority of the political left.
Blacks have been stripped of all individuality and reduced to mere members of an oppressed race. And they are also stripped of any individual accountability for either success or failure in life. If they are failures-- it is ascribed to the societal racism and justification that more Affirmative Action is needed; if they are successful-- it is ascribed to the effects of Affirmative Action.
Either result ends up being profoundly destructive to the individual Black person.
Of course, God help them if they succeed without the programs of the left; or if they denouce the programs of the left; or if they join the right. Blacks are not permitted to have individual identity under the strict guidelines of the political left. If they deviate from their script, they are immediately denounced as traitors to their race.
I agree with ShrinkWrapped. Let's get rid of Affirmative Action.