Unfortunately, the defining ideas of post-King black politics had more in common with racism than the humanism of King. The politics of categories and quotas returned human beings to the realm of objects. Values and responsibility were taken off the table and victimization and blame became the themes. It is no wonder that during the last 40 years, the inner city black family has all but disintegrated, and inner city communities have become defined by crime, drugs, disease, promiscuity and abortion.
Truth ultimately always has its way, and more and more blacks, particularly young blacks, are seeing it. They want to recapture their humanity and want to be liberated from the prison of racial politics. Polls show movement of young blacks away from the political establishment, with more and more defining themselves as politically independent. Consider Al Sharpton's disastrous presidential bid. Being black just isn't a political platform anymore.
Sharp eyes in the leadership of both political parties should see the opportunities here. A tight presidential race is upon us and swing votes in a handful of states can make all the difference. For increasing numbers of blacks, business-as-usual party politics simply amounts to a battle between which party's status quo will be preserved. Neither is of much interest to those already disenfranchised.
Political candidates of both parties should listen to the truth of the street, made clear and public by Bill Cosby. Today's challenge in black America is the restoration of humanity and the recapture of personal responsibility. Platforms that capture this theme will capture the hearts and minds of those in the inner city who can help decide who occupies the White House next year.
Let's talk about schools that respond to the discipline and creative forces of the market place. Remove the heavy hand of government from education, allow parental choice, and citizens of all colors will respond. Let's start telling the truth about a bankrupt Social Security system that systematically prevents low-income workers from saving and accumulating wealth. Allow Americans of all colors to opt out and use these funds to open their own personal retirement accounts. Let's fix a bureaucratized health care system that minimizes individual control over their funds and choices.
And let's keep faith, family and values, not politics and government, at center stage.
Thank you, Bill Cosby, for telling the truth. America is listening.
Star Parker is president of CURE, Coalition for Urban Renewal and Education ( www.urbancure.org ). She is the author of "Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What You Can Do About It."