Cal  Thomas

"Hopkins gave me a second chance," Steele told Johns Hopkins Magazine, "But before it gave it to me, it told me to straighten up, to recognize your priorities, and to do what you're responsible for. . That sounded a lot like my mom."

This is not the modern Democratic Party message, which teaches victimhood and government dependency, telling African Americans they can't make it on their own. Steele rejects such thinking. He tells blacks their best political future lies in the Republican Party, through which they can build vibrant businesses and decent schools.

The Baltimore Sun, with which Steele and Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich Jr. have a running feud, said of Steele during the 2002 campaign: "Michael S. Steele brings little to the ticket but the color of his skin." In response, Steele said, "It's an ignorant statement meant to diminish what I represent." He became the first African American elected to statewide office in Maryland history.

Liberal Democrats are worried about success stories like those of Michael Steele, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Clarence Thomas. While discussing the demographic makeup of the Supreme Court in a Nov. 1 editorial, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel implied Justice Thomas isn't really black and that he "deserves an asterisk because he arguably does not represent the views of mainstream black America."

I have news for those who think this way. The so-called "mainstream" of black America, as represented by race-hustlers like Rev. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, doesn't represent the best interests of black America. The work and personal ethics of people like Steele, Powell, Rice and Thomas do.

Michael Steele should be elected to the United States Senate from Maryland, not only because he is qualified, but because he would provide a sharp contrast to the Democratic Party and its plantation mentality. Currently, the only African American in the Senate is Barack Obama of Illinois, a Democrat.

Steele's inspiring story should serve as an example not only to African Americans, but to all Americans.

Cal Thomas

Get Cal Thomas' new book, What Works, at Amazon.

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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