President Barack Obama calls getting a "world class" education is the "civil rights issue" of the 21st century. Yet the Democratic Party -- and the teachers' unions -- fight against parental choice that allows one to opt-out of an underperforming government schools. This disproportionately hurts black parents who, according to polls, want the right to reject a bad government school.
And then there is the issue of what the welfare state has done to the family. My Democrat mom and Republican father did agree one thing: that government welfare made it "too easy" for the able-bodied "get on the county." And my Dad always said, "If you try to get something for nothing, you end up with nothing for something."
In 1965, Daniel P. Moynihan wrote a book called: "The Negro Family Case for National Action." At the time, 25 percent of black kids were born out of wedlock. Today, that number is 70 percent. Now 26 percent of white kids are born to unwed mothers. This is an indictment of the welfare state and a direct link to crime, drop-out rates and poverty. This is a crisis -- but not a death sentence.
As I write in "Dear Father, Dear Son," my "illegitimate" Republican father never knew his biological father. Raised by an irresponsible mother during the Great Depression in the Jim Crow south, my father was on his own from the age of 13. He worked two jobs as a janitor, and saved enough to open up a small restaurant in his late 40s, which he ran until his 80s.
My dad's wisdom was simple. Don't play the victim: "Hard work wins. Nobody owes you a living. You get out of life what you put into it. And no matter how you hard work or how good you are, bad things will happen. How you react will tell if me and your mom raised a man."
Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. His latest book, "Dear Father, Dear Son," was released on November 13, 2012. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2012 LAURENCE A. ELDER
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