Star Parker

Consider, for instance, that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median income of black families is 59 percent that of white families. If we look, however, at the difference in median income between black families headed by a married couple and white families headed by a married couple, this gap in median family income shrinks to 28 percent.

Consider the compelling picture of studies that show that the major predictor of a child's success in school is the behavior and values that the child learns at home. Family is the best education program our nation can have.

The crisis in the black community today is a crisis of values. It is not a crisis of politics, as the league would have us believe. We can be assured, however, that if blacks really want to believe that their problems are in Washington and not in our own hearts, minds and souls, things will only get worse.

In 1950, long before black life in America became defined by politics, 78 percent of black families were headed by married couples. That compares with 48 percent today. In the 1960s, two of every 10 black babies were born to unwed mothers, compared to seven of every 10 today.

Bill Cosby was nobly trying to convey the truth to blacks that today's challenge is regaining control of, and taking responsibility for, our own lives. Exactly the opposite message from that of the National Urban League.

It is not accidental that on questions of government policy, the league ignores every essential reform that would empower blacks. How can the league seriously decry the poor state of affairs of black ownership and oppose President Bush's efforts to reform Social Security with personal retirement accounts? How can the league seriously talk about the dismal state of inner-city public schools and not utter a word about the importance of introducing school choice?

How can the league talk about crime and recidivism in the black community and not realize what happens when politics displace church, values and family in black communities?

In sum, the real message is that the National Urban League is now just another part of Washington of little relevance to the challenges ahead for restoring a strong, healthy and independent black America.

Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.