Houston's predominately Southern Baptist, but also diverse religious community has united to help the hurricane victims. Members of the mostly-white and prosperous Second Baptist Church - whose pastor, Dr. Ed Young, was asked by Houston's mayor to head the faith-based assistance effort - defied stereotypes about rich, white evangelical Christians. They applied the teaching of their Master by getting down and dirty with the poor. The Houston Chronicle also carried ads from people in many states offering help to people in need of a place to stay and assistance in finding a job.
Politicians, race-baiters and the media have an interest in keeping the racial pot boiling. For the media, it provides conflict (and ratings) so that race hustlers can blather on about a pre-voting rights, pre-open housing America.
For the politicians, mostly Democrats, it affords them the opportunity to stir the class warfare pot and claim that only by voting for Democrats will blacks who are poor ever escape poverty. But the political and humanitarian realities are quite different from these templates.
True compassion is not demonstrated by government, but individuals. The fundamental cause of poverty is not race, otherwise how to explain the vast and growing black middle and upper classes? A child may be born into poverty, but if he makes decisions to stay in school and study, not produce children outside marriage, refrain from taking or selling drugs and committing other crimes, there is a strong likelihood he will escape poverty.
These are the messages the government and media should be sending instead of relying on the race-class liberal Democrat templates through which it filters most contemporary issues.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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