“While I had been fishing my new black friend had been working as a prison psychologist in Missouri, and he was pursuing a higher degree in psychology. He was interested in my story, and after about an hour getting to know each other I asked him point blank why these Vietnamese refugees, with no money, friends, or knowledge of the language could be, within a generation, so successful.
“I also asked him why it was so difficult to convince young black men to abandon the streets and take advantage of the same kinds of opportunities that the Vietnamese had recently embraced.
“His answer, only a few words, not only floored me but became sort of a razor that has allowed me ever since to slice through all of the rhetoric regarding race relations that Democrats shovel our way during election season:
“‘We’re owed and they aren’t.’
“In short, he concluded, ‘they’re hungry and we think we’re owed. It’s crushing us, and as long as we think we’re owed we’re going nowhere.'”
I never knew before that there were so many Vietnamese in New Orleans. Of course, one didn’t see them on television every day, stealing stereos and squatting on squalid rooftops holding HELP! signs, then shooting at rescue helicopters, or soiling themselves in lineups outside the stadium.