Jeff Crouere
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As we mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, it is worthwhile to note the state of Black America. Sadly, we still have immense poverty, blight, broken families, crime, failing schools and crumbling infrastructure in the inner cities of this country.

While several trillion dollars has been spent in the last 50 years on Great Society projects like public education and public housing, the results have been devastating to say the least. The federal government has provided an incentive for Black families to disintegrate, so, today, 75% of African American children are born to unwed mothers.

This lack of family structure inevitably leads to more crime and incarceration for millions of young African Americans. The Black on Black crime epidemic afflicts every region of our country. Among Black homicide victims, a staggering 93% are killed by other African Americans.

In the area of interracial crime, African Americans are 40 times more likely than Whites to commit a violent act against a victim of another race.

Sadly, civil rights leaders have been silent on the crime crisis in the African American community. Fortunately, some Black conservatives like former Congressman Allen West have displayed the courage to tackle the issue.

During his era, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a monumental figure, speaking for millions of Americans and speaking out against injustice and oppression. He spoke of judging people based on the “content of their character” and not the color of their skin.

His successors in the civil rights movement are not worthy to follow in his footsteps. It is a crying shame that the talented Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was succeeded by sleazy race hustlers like Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson. King was a motivational orator, preaching non-violence and the value of a colorblind society. Today’s civil rights leaders preach a steady diet of racial grievance issues, highlighting incidents like the death of Trayvon Martin, but overlooking the crisis in the inner city and in the Black family.

The threat of more Trayvon Martin tragedies is grossly exaggerated by Rev. Al Sharpton and others to generate anger among African Americans. This tactic is also used to keep the civil rights leaders relevant and employed. The race hustling business is still brisk today, as networks like MSNBC and other mainstream news outlets regularly whip up tensions in the country.

Jackson, Sharpton and others try to emphasize race in almost every issue. They are stuck on the race issue, using it to divide Americans, not unite the people as envisioned by Dr. King While the race hustlers like to highlight problems, our country has made tremendous progress in the past 50 years. There are no separate lunch counters or fountains. Blacks have equal access to the voting booth and the corridors of power. In fact, with an African American President, there are no political doors closed to African Americans today.

Unfortunately, Barack Obama has been ineffective in improving the plight of African Americans. Today, our country still has generations of African Americans on welfare, with no prospect of gainful employment. There are an incredible 47 million Americans on food stamps, a record amount. In the Black community, the poverty rate is 33%, double the national average, while the unemployment rate is 12.6%, double the level of the White community. Not surprisingly, the average Black family earns just 60% of the average White family and this gap has increased during the Obama years.

Going forward, our leaders should pursue policies that lift the economy for all Americans. We should continue to demand that all racial discrimination ends. No one, White or Black, should be discriminated against on the basis of skin color. Yet, there are Affirmative Action programs in place throughout the country that give minorities’ preference in hiring, contracts and admissions to colleges and universities.

Our country should never demand equal outcomes, only equal access and opportunity. The positions at businesses and universities should be awarded based on merit, just like competition on an athletic field.

In reality it is racist to hold Black Americans to a lower standard and expect less. We need to hold all Americans to the same standard and encourage excellence in the classrooms and in the workplace. Only in this way will our country be realizing the beautiful dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


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Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com