Christopher Donovan: Boys Choir of Harlem No More

Christopher Donovan: It says a lot about the organizational inabilities of blacks that the venerated Boys Choir of Harlem, a 41-year institution that once ranked as an American cultural icon, is now reported as dead.

Consider the magnitude of the incentive to keep it going.  Here you have a perfect storm of America’s hopes and aspirations for race:  They’re young, they’re Black, they’re from America’s most famous and recogizable poor black neighborhood.  And rather than spew rap laden with foul language, they make White NPR listeners swoon by singing   “Mozart in Latin and Bach in German”, as the New York Times put it.  From the rubble of their White oppression, they shine forth like the jewels they truly are, proving racist Americans everywhere that they’re wrong.  It’s like a self-writing movie. 

The raw material for even a large choir wouldn’t seem difficult to come by.  New York is filled with poor young Blacks, many of whom can probably sing very well.  Little overhead is needed —  a space to sing in, a few leaders, some blazers to wear.  The white liberals are tickled by it, sure, but there’s some nice self-interest for blacks, too:  they can use the experience to launch to an entertainment career, or just put it on a resume and sail into a nice college.  And who doesn’t like to hear a nice choir singing, anyway? 

It’s further baffling to me that nobody — with the slight exception of (of all things) a White country duo — would come to their financial rescuse.  Straightening out their tax woes sounds like a gem of a pro bono project for a big New York City law firm, and I would have thought that Fortune 500 companies would fall over themselves for the opportunity to fund them.  For just a few bucks, you get to trumpet your dedication to noble Blacks — a win-win, as the corporate types like to say. 

And where are rich Blacks?  None of them could have pitched in?  If money were the only problem, Oprah’s interest earnings for the weekend could cover it. 

Ah, but we’re talking about Black people here.  The well-known IQ differences, the shortened time-horizons, and the rest of the inherited behavioral differences are what’s likely at work here.  The problem with blaming whites or other external factors for their failures in this case is that all that’s been factored out. 

The reality is that their own, Blacks are woefully unable to perform the organizational tasks that keep an advanced society functioning.  In multiracial societies, it’s Whites who carry that burden.

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