Fifty years ago blacks faced major institutional barriers to living in America as free, normal citizens. As result of the civil rights movement, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, those barriers, which allowed differential treatment under the law and permitted institutional racism, were dismantled.
Of course, there are still individuals with us who carry racial prejudice in their hearts.
But to suggest, as liberals do, that institutionalized racial injustice explains today’s disparities in educational and economic achievement between black and white America is to assure that disparities will continue and that the real problems will never be addressed.
The “50th Anniversary March on Washington” does our nation a disservice by going beyond just commemorating a great achievement and suggesting that disappointing progress is because that achievement was incomplete. That blacks lag behind today because many “continue to suffer civil and economic injustices.”
Not true. Black Americans are today free.
It may be fun to come to Washington to remember and celebrate.
But the answers for blacks today are not in Washington. They are in black homes, black schools, black hearts, and black minds.
We need today a Personal Responsibility Movement. If it had gotten started after the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, instead of turning to government for programs, blacks would be in far better shape today.
It’s why increasing numbers of black Americans are now looking to a conservative agenda that honesty examines and looks to fix what is broken in black communities and correctly identifies these as mostly moral rather than political challenges.
Star Parker is an author and president of CURE, Center for Urban Renewal and Education. Contact her at www.urbancure.org
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