The long-term result of the War on Poverty vs. American exceptionalism

Today I spoke to students at Lucy Laney High in Augusta, Georgia. But right now I find myself in the world-renowned Colonial-style Willcox Hotel in Aiken, South Carolina — in the Churchill Suite, can you believe that? Sir Winston Churchill visited here and I am sitting in his namesake suite. Doggone America is something else.

The contrast between my morning and afternoon struck me — but it also reinforced to me the exceptionalism of our beloved Republic, and what can be achieved.

At Lucy Laney High, I spoke to the JROTC students and others. The Army JROTC instructors at Laney are LTC Murphy and Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CW3) Flournoy, with whom I served on active duty at Ft. Bragg. They are impeccable role models for these young people. LTC Murphy has been there for some 16 years.

I could tell my presence was not pleasing to some — especially when LTC Murphy introduced me to the principal and her closing sentence to me was, “you got one hour.”

Well, one hour for me with young people is more than enough. Having been brought up in the inner city myself it is imperative for me to give back and be an example — a positive one — for young people, especially black kids.

I talked about where I was from and the difference high school JROTC had made in my life. I spoke to them about making choices and that every decision comes with a consequence. We talked about the three things that no one can take away from you: honor, integrity, and character — only you can surrender them.

One question from a young man was especially memorable when he asked, “Do you believe that your personal life has an impact on your everyday life?” My response was of course it does and I also explained how your image leads people to develop certain perceptions of you, often without you even opening your mouth.

However, what hurt me most looking over that gathering of about 90-100 students was the despair and despondency I saw in many faces. Some just put their heads down and went to sleep. Most of these kids live in Section 8 housing and are on free or reduced lunch — in other words, I was looking at the long-term result of Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty.

I thought about how many of these kids came from a home without both a mother and father, knowing that only 28% in the black community do. I wondered how many of the young girls were already mothers, or would be before the age of nineteen. After all, it was Johnson’s progressive socialist policy of awarding checks to girls having children out of wedlock that has destroyed the black community.

I spoke to them about making a five-year plan and asked them to consider where they saw themselves five years from now — sadly I thought, many would be right in the same plight, another generation dependent on the welfare nanny-state.

But my hope and prayer is that one day several of those students to whom I spoke will stay in The Willcox hotel in the Churchill Suite. My desire is that some of them will go on to a successful career in the military and come back to Lucy Laney High and be a shining example, or maybe even be the high school JROTC instructor themselves.

I know it’s possible. LTC Murphy told me about his success stories, and that two of his former students are second year Cadets at The Citadel, and others have gone onto greater successes and come back to see him.

Our conservative message has to be taken to these corners and segments of our America. When I spoke to those young people about personal responsibility, education, not being in debt, appearance and communications skills, and looking to their future, I know the seed was planted, but others will have to water it. And grow they shall — not all — but some will yield bountiful fruit, and that makes it worthwhile.

As conservatives, we must demonstrate to these young people that there is no class or caste system in America. No one is relegated to some lower social status. The sky is the limit. Conservatives believe every child born in America, or anyone coming to this great country, receives the ladder of achievement which they can climb — and when they slip and fall, we will ensure there is a safety net.

In contrast progressive socialists only believe in the shared misery of the hammock, to borrow the concept from Sir Winston himself as he described socialism. I pray for the kids at Lucy Laney High but I do not worry for them. I believe they will experience a “new birth of freedom” that breaks the shackles of economic enslavement and unleashes their full potential.

I know it’s possible, because of what their JROTC instructors believe, which was exactly what my instructors believed, and why I am sitting here in the historic Willcox Hotel in the Churchill Suite in Aiken, South Carolina.


  1. The War on Poverty, the entire Welfare system was supposed to help bring the poor, uneducated, unskilled black families of the 1960’s into mainstream America and help them achieve the prosperity they wanted.
    Instead, it’s enslaved them to the Democrats in Government, both local and Federal.
    It took a progressing, hard working, striving culture and turned them into the permanent welfare class.

    • The socialistic system attacks all regardless of race. Years ago I vacationed in Northern Ireland and stayed with Irish Catholic relatives in Protestant Ireland. The vast majority of those Irish Catholics were without jobs and kept on “the dole” (welfare) which amounted to slavery to the government. So similar to the situation we have now. Thank you for focusing on pushing for employment to break away from the temptation of a vote buying handout.

  2. I so admire how you have the courage
    and the strength to clearly state what many in Congress know but refuse to say
    in order to keep their jobs. I would like to add that it is not only many of
    the youth in the black communities, but also in the Hispanic and White as well
    that have embraced a life of mediocrity so that they will not have to
    work. It is ironic that how many make comments or jokes about the Asian or East
    Indian communities, but yet due to their cultural upbringing and family
    expectations, you do not see the youth in these communities following this mind
    set. Please, stay strong and speak the truth, because you are the voice
    for the millions of us that our government has chosen to ignore.

  3. It is so good to hear your positive message as opposed to the Obama racially devisive message. I hope young people will listen to you and Ben Carson, two fine examples of bringing oneself up by your bootstraps. Please run for president!

  4. I am concerned that there won’t be anymore elections. There so many bills, executive orders, treaties, acts,etc that are demolishing our liberties and devised to enslave all Americans. Look at the NDAA, TPP. Common Core, Clean Water Act, and Obamacare.

    It maks no difference who is demorate or republican in the upper ranks of our government. They are part of this evil globalist agenda who hate humanity. They have rigged the presidential elections for at least a hundred years and when the President decides to do what is right and not play ball, they end up like JFK.

    Our once great country has been bought and corrupted by an evil cabal of
    globalist bankers. Some of the villians are Rothschilds, Rockefellers, J. P.
    Morgan, Soros, and Kissinger. A couple telling quotes on the desire of these
    globalists to control our country and the world:

    “We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine
    and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and
    respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have
    been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been
    subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now
    more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The
    supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely
    preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past
    –David Rockefeller, Baden-Baden, Germany 1991

    “Today, America would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to
    restore order. Tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they
    were told that there were an outside threat from beyond, whether real or
    promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of
    the world will plead to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man
    fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will
    be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them
    by the World Government.”
    –Dr. Henry Kissinger, Evians, France,1991

    Watch the video on the history of the Rothschild family and the evil
    banksters that control our country and most of the money in the whole world:

    These banksters have controlled our government and money for over 100 years
    (at least). They created the CIA and have created many wars to keep us in
    financial bondage by loaning money to fun the wars and charging interest. The
    CIA controlls the poppy fields in Afghanistan that our troops guard and have
    died for. They smuggle the drugs and their mega banks launder the money. I have
    gleaned some of this info from “The Fruits of Graft” by W. Jett and “The
    Creature from Jekyll Island” by G. Edward Griffin. And, by watching videos
    posted by commentors on many websites.

    These people are pure evil and hate humanity. They only love money and power
    and want control over humanity.

    Who in America will stand up against this evil corruption? I sure hope Lt.
    Col. West is one who is true and will lead us, if it is not too late. It is not
    just the fate of America, it is the fate of the whole world. Lord have

    • Funny, a lot of people think Bill Gates is a wonderful guy. He happens to be friends and business partners with George Soros…a “not-so-wonderful” guy.
      I pray to have LTC West in the White House.

  5. Thank you LtC West, for doing the RIGHT thing by our teens! You have also set the fine example of a responsible person, one who has helped HIMSELF, and raised himself to
    great accomplishments! Our young people do indeed need to be reminded that their live will play out according to what THEY DO with it. If they work, learn, and practice they will certainly be effective adults and possibly will be leaders themselves. It is a matter of pride (not bad pride) but the feeling of accomplishment, which I’m sure you feel, as do I in my own life. We need to keep up the encouragement, the emphasis on education, work and accomplishment, the message will eventually get through. We may even need to re-educate some young adults, but I have great hopes for the young ones of this nation! I see Obama “shooting himself” in the foot, as it were, possibly even failing as president, and our beloved land will have its chance to recover, even in our lifetimes.

  6. Col.West, there is an interesting article from Thomas Sowell that speaks to these same issues. It appears that what holds inner city American Black children back is the same thing that holds back. Lower class white children in England……they have internalized the belief that the deck is stacked against them and they will never succeed. So they never try.

    • And with everyone getting a “participation award” and basically being paid to do nothing, they have no incentive to try. It’s the Liberal Marxist Way.

  7. LTC West: Thank you for taking time out of your day to reach out to these young folks. As adults, all of us should find a way to reach out to keep America alive.

  8. I know several people whose families received “help” from the government in the 1960’s. They grew up and went on to work in respectable jobs in different parts of the south. Not many were college educated, but “escaped” the handout system simply by working hard and wanting to be free from the government. Pride in a country that helped their family to survive didn’t make the next generation dependent on handouts. But then most of those families had a man and woman together rearing the children…

    • There has always been resources to fall onto for those who want to work and be their own boss or in charge of their own destinies, but since Obama has been in office those resources are not there, and so we must in order to survive and keep our families from starving take those hand outs, this is all a master plan by Obama, making it so we half rely on the government, we must get him out of office and bring back prosperity and jobs, but first we must remove one way or another this tyrant, immoral, Anti American bastard out of office, he is a mass murderer of Americans.

  9. It is a shame that they do not have parents or mentors who push and push and demand (yes demand) that they use this free early educational system!! You drop out and it cost money to get a substandard GED. People k-12 is FREE!!! USE IT!! Suck up as much as you can before you have to start paying for it!!! (Yes I know our taxes pay for it but it is free to those who pay no taxes)

  10. Anyone can come out of something that has them down. Unless of course you take all hope away. That’s what the DNC has done to the inner city population and they want the rest of America to foot the bill on keeping them there or even joining them all together.

  11. Col. West, I would like to thank you for helping our children. We need a lot more men like you. Please continue your wonderful work.

    Two of our daughters, are four year, high school JROTC graduates. Neither entered the military, but both went on to college.

    I would like to see a man of your caliber run for president. I don’t really know enough about you, but everything I have seen & read, I’m pretty sure I would vote for you, unless Condoleezza Rice ran against you & I would have to vote for her. Looking forward to seeing more about you in the news.

  12. It refreshes our spirit to refresh others, thanking God for a man with a true moral compass. To those that have been given much, much is expected. May God continue to bless this man and his family.

  13. Congratulations, Col. West. You understand the value of the responsibility taught in the military as well as the opportunities that open for those who serve. I pray for the young people caught in the no-win government-supported cycle of despair. Your contributions to young people is invaluable.

    I offered to teach “Cotillion” to the Boys & Girls Club in my home town. I received no interest. My goal was to show the funny and fun side of being able to be comfortable in the company of anyone — prince or pauper. It is not the good that is noticed, but the bad. I haven’t given up yet.

    • It’s not the hoodie, it’s the crime they’re committing while wearing the hoodie that gets them shot. They could be wearing a coat and tie when they do what they do, they’d still get shot. It’s the behavior, not the “outfit”.

    • Honestly, yes appearance matters. I would not hire some people based on their appearance. Slacking and thuggish. Why would I? I don’t want to associate with their type. Am I profiling? Yes. It has nothing to do with race though and everything to do with respect. If someone comes to me for a job and shows so little respect that they won’t change clothes or their outwardly attitude they have no chance. The hoodie is sybolic of thuggery now right? I don’t think so. If you didn’t hear the Col. say it listen to Bill Cosby, he said “Pull your damn pants up, put on a belt, comb your hair, and act like you had some raising when you go looking for a job”.

      • Me neither why hire someone who can’t at least bother to look like he wants the job. Doesn’t mean you need to start following people in streets based on what they are wearing.

  14. Mr. West has a tough row to hoe with those inner city youth. While I applaud his efforts, he might as well bang his head against a well built brick wall. Unfortunately the result will be the same.


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