Star Parker

The National Urban League has just issued its annual State of Black America report. It provides a troubling statistical snapshot of where blacks stand today in our country.

Like Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, I'm concerned. But after concern, we part company. We have very different ideas of what it is we should be concerned about.

Morial, I am sure, sees his organization as part of the solution. From what I see, it is a well-funded symptom of the problem.

Shouldn't it embarrass black Americans that one the nation's largest and most prestigious civil rights organizations offers a long list of proposals to improve black life in our country, and every single proposal is a government program?

Government funded jobs as the answer to unemployment, more government money in public schools, government health care, government business loans, government money for retirement accounts, government programs for counseling homebuyers, government worker training programs, government money for building construction, and on and on.

There's not a single proposal that I could find in a several hundred-page report about improving black life that does not start with government. The civil rights movement once was about freedom and liberation. Now it's about government dependency. We should be ashamed.

The report is crafted to disabuse any notion that since we now have a black president, our discrimination woes are "relics of the past." The proof: blacks are "twice as likely as whites to be unemployed, three times more likely to live in poverty and more than six times as likely to be incarcerated."

But with all the statistics reported, methodically ignored is that blacks are little more than 12 percent of the population, yet we account for 50 percent of new AIDS cases, almost 40 percent of abortions, and 70 percent of black babies are born to unwed mothers and grow up in single parent homes.

Please, hold the hate mail telling me that I only want to show the ugly side of black America. No, I want to show the side of black America for which we ourselves are responsible and which really point to where our problems lie.

The National Urban League report talks about black poverty. But it does not bother to point out that hand in hand with poverty are single-parent homes.

That black households with two married parents are not living in poverty and their household incomes are on par with those of white households.

Breakdown in family and values is at the root of poor education, unemployment, and crime as well.

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.