African-Americans should listen to other leaders like Colin Powell, Bill Cosby, Clarence Thomas, Juan Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Star Parker, Charles Barkley, and even Marion Jones. Although I disagree with almost all of his policies, Barack Obama has said the right things about race. Cosby, Parker, and Williams have been adamant in their message to fellow black citizens about using the “race card”. Williams has authored a good book on the subject entitled Enough that condemns the use of the “race card”. These authors continue their fight despite being labeled as “Uncle Toms”. They not only speak against using the “race card”, they urge blacks, especially males, to be more responsible. They want to decrease the extremely high percentage of poverty stricken black children being raised only by their mothers because their fathers abandon them. A father figure is critical because it builds a better environment for families and their kids to succeed. This may be the single most important issue that is being preached by Bill Cosby, Star Parker, and Juan Williams. They believe a father figure is essential for young minority children to succeed. In the family, the father is the disciplinarian and helps make sure their kids stay out of trouble and excel in schools. Statistics indicate that any children, regardless of race, have a better chance of being successful if they are brought up with correct family values. This is especially true with African-American families. Those agreeing with Cosby, Parker, and Williams will have Jackson, Shartpton, and other black leaders calling them a racist. This is sad. Cosby, Parker, and Williams’ intentions are to make the world colorblind. Jesse Jackson has multiple children from affairs held outside of his marriage. Hence, he is essentially the worst role model for African-Americans to follow for parenting and family values. Star Parker grew up in poverty and was addicted to drugs before turning her life around. She not only talks about the importance of the family, but speaks of dismantling entitlement programs such as welfare. Clarence Thomas has been a Supreme Court Justice for sixteen years, and Jackson and Sharpton have routinely criticized him for not supporting the civil rights movement. Simply because he does not necessarily agree with them on all issues, they say he has turned his back on his race once he gained success. Although Thomas is a conservative, he would be the first person to tell anyone that abortion should be decided by the states because it is not in the constitution. Therefore, he does not always follow Republican or conservative agendas and beliefs either. This only demonstrates he is a man with character and will do what he thinks is right, and not what is best for politics. Regardless of what Sharpton and Jackson think, Thomas is a role model for their community just by what he has accomplished in his life. Any person regardless of ethnic background should strive to have the success Clarence has had.
Oprah Winfrey has supported Bill Cosby on her show, as well as spoken against the double standard created by rap music lyrics. Marion Jones was a track superstar who originally lied about taking steroids and performance enhancement drugs. However, Jones came clean and took one hundred percent of the responsibility and blame for her actions. It is extremely rare in this day and age when someone tells the truth, and they do not blame someone else for their actions. She could have played the “race card” claiming the pressure for black athletes to succeed forced her to make bad decisions, but she did not. It is rare these days when anyone regardless of race says they are wrong. Her actions will hopefully teach others to be responsible for their actions. Hopefully, her bravery will promote good sportsmanship and force others to see that winning is not the most important thing. Charles Barkley is very opinionated, but he is objective and does not side with an issue for racial reasons.
My Book: Is America Dying? (Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com)