Another day, another post by some Liberal sticking up for black folks against imagined insults by the Right. So....let me give a tip-of-the-hat to brilliant Daniel Patrick Moynihan: Liberal? Conservative? Or simply smart. His proposal for treating blacks? He suggested that "the issue of race could benefit from a period of 'benign neglect'. Not the overarching 'mothering' that Liberals have enforced.... Why? Because he understood the history of every ethnic group. Such as the Irish.... 1. The Irish were the first ethnic minority in American cities, and their history shows the classic pattern of new comers to the urban economy, and society. Beginning in the 1820’s, and continued with the massive immigration of the 1840’s and 1850’s. Starting at the very bottom of the urban occupational ladder, with the men as laborers and the woman as maids. Housing was far worse than urban slums today. Thomas Sowell, "Ethnic America," chapter one. a. The French sociologist, Gustave de Beaumont, visited Ireland in 1835 and wrote: "I have seen the Indian in his forests, and the Negro in his chains, and thought, as I contemplated their pitiable condition, that I saw the very extreme of human wretchedness; but I did not then know the condition of unfortunate Ireland...In all countries, more or less, paupers may be discovered; but an entire nation of paupers is what was never seen until it was shown in Ireland." b. Slaves in the United States had a greater life expectancy than peasants in Ireland. 2. The living conditions was readily conducive to violence, alcoholism, and crime. And the native population quickly moved out of neighborhoods en masse as the immigrants moved in. They were characterized as drunkards, brawlers, and incompetents. a. “The first blacks to move into Harlem were middle-class Negroes who left the black enclave in mid-Manhattan around the turn of the century to get away from the Irish living nearby.” Thomas Sowell, “Ethnic America,” p.39. b. The Irish had similar relations with the Scotch-Irish, the Germans, the Italians, and the Jews. Wittke, “The Irish in America,” p. 183,189,190. 3. Unemployment exacerbated by signs such as “No Irish need apply.” The jobs they could get were considered too hard, too dirty, too menial, or too dangerous for others. 4. Their average life expectancy was forty years, thus the 19th century observation, “you seldom see a gray-haired Irishman.” 5. They rose slowly….over generations. Their first successes were in politics. It started in the mid-19th century, and within a few decades, they became dominant in big city “machines” in Boston, New York, and other metropolitan areas. a. And while this brought prosperity and prominence to a few, it had little impact on the lives of most Irish-Americans. In the 1890’s most of the men were still laborers, and the women, domestics. 6. How about the Kennedys? The first arrived in 1848, a laborer. He lived and he died a laborer. Edward Banfield, “The Unheavenly City,” p. 58. a. But- his son was successful enough to send the grandson to college. That grandson was Joseph P. Kennedy, and he made a fortune that enabled the great-grandsons to achieve …a certain level of success in politics. 7. For the Irish, their success took over a century before equality was achieved in income, IQ, occupations, and other socioeconomic indicia. 8. Note: social acceptance came slowly, and followed achievements, rather than being a precondition. a. It was the misfortune of black Americans that they were just on the verge of passing through the immigrant experience when damaging ideas about welfare and the lenient attitude about crime took hold. It could have happened to the Italians, Germans, Jews or Irish, but luckily for them, there were no Liberals around to “help” when they arrived. Coulter, “Mugged,” chapter 7. So....what can we learn from the classic pattern exhibited by the travails of the Irish? Solving the problem of 'race'? Don't expect to race to a solution.