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Gospel of dependence from National Urban League

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

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.

Blacks have the highest church attendance in the country. If we paid attention to the gospel heard on Sunday, we wouldn't think that extorting welfare from taxpayers was the answer to our problems the other six days of the week.

Regarding discrimination, you have to wonder what it will take to get off this convenient excuse. Some 40 million white Americans voted for Barack Obama for president. That is two million more white Americans than voted for John Kerry in 2004.

As the civil rights movement transformed into a government dependency movement, the original focus on law and the U.S. constitution as the vehicles to protect all citizens has been lost.

My friend Pastor Walter Hoye sits in jail in Oakland, California for violating a clearly unconstitutional city ordinance prohibiting him from peacefully standing in front of an abortion clinic offering life literature to the mostly black clientele.

A black pastor's civil rights have been violated as he tried to save black babies. It happened in the district of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Yet, she could care less and has done nothing. The National Urban League could care less. The NAACP could care less.

What's wrong in black America? You won't find the answer in the National Urban League's report.

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