Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a stunningly courageous leader who fought valiantly for blacks’ constitutional rights. His leadership was based in sound principles and selflessness, and our country would be well served if today’s public figures followed his example.
Sound leadership is especially needed in the black community, which is plagued by a litany of problems — unacceptably high unemployment, deplorable school dropout rates, staggering crime rates and a mentality that it’s the role of government to take care of people.
Sadly, many blacks are influenced by, if not held hostage to, the black liberal establishment, which is comprised of media outlets, progressive elected officials, nonprofit organizations and community activists. That establishment functions as an echo chamber, advertising the same failed policies that have trapped the black community in underachievement and government dependency for decades.
I wrote my book “Blacklash” to sound the alarm that our country is at a crossroads and to expose the black liberal establishment’s self-serving agenda.
Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are masters at misleading their constituents. Making matters worse, they are not held accountable for their actions. They maintain their power and are financially rewarded by playing the race card and advancing big-government policies, as well as by promoting the false notion that blacks are victims in need of special treatment.
Jackson portrays himself as a champion of civil rights. He asserts blacks have been taken advantage of by whites and should be compensated for slavery.
Sharpton, on the other hand, maintains his 1960s worldview to hold onto power. He grabs power by making sure race is always the focus, regardless of the context.
Then there’s the NAACP, a group that markets itself as civil rights organization but is really dedicated to promoting left-wing policies and politicians.
The NAACP was critical of Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) following his appointment by South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley. Scott, the first black senator from a former Confederate state since Reconstruction, is an example of American exceptionalism. He was raised by his mother and almost dropped out of high school, but eventually became a successful small business owner.
Instead of applauding Scott for his leadership and success, NAACP President Ben Jealous has criticized Scott on civil rights. Shockingly, his group gave Scott a failing grade, even though it gave now-deceased Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd (D-WV) — a former KKK recruiter and grand cyclops — a 100 percent approval rating. Byrd filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for over 14 hours.
Rounding out the black liberal establishment is President Obama. Black unemployment is now about twice as high as white unemployment. Blacks haven’t gotten much in return for their overwhelming support for President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns — in fact, he has made their lives worse.
Obama has used his administration, especially the EPA and the Interior Department, to regulate and discourage the development of fossil fuels like oil, coal and natural gas. By increasing regulations and decreasing the domestic supply of energy, Obama is guaranteeing higher prices. High energy prices are regressive and therefore particularly harmful to blacks, who have a lower average income than whites or Asian Americans.
It’s time for principled black leaders to step up and carry the message of economic empowerment to the black community.
Thankfully, Dr. Benjamin Carson is a ray of hope for our country.
Dr. Carson, the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, gave an inspirational speech critical of big-government policies and political correctness at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast. He grew up in a single-parent household and suffered academically, overcame his challenges and worked hard to maximize the opportunities America has to offer. His amazing success story is sorely needed in the black community to challenge the black liberal establishment’s messages of victimization, race-card politics and wealth redistribution.
America is an exceptional country. It’s time to reject progressive policies and unleash our economic potential with support from a new group of leaders who are capable of following the principled leadership of Dr. King.
Deneen Borelli is FreedomWorks’ outreach director and the author of “Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation.”