Star Parker

-- Star Parker: Biography - Posted 6/21/11
-- Why Do Blacks Still Buy The Government Plantation Lie? - 11/15/10
-- Back on Uncle Sam's plantation - 2/9/09
-- Black politics? You mean 'liberal' politics - 8/11/08

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 Star Parker: Biography

Star Parker ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 37th Congressional District in Los Angeles County, California. She is the founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal & Education, a 501(c)3 non-profit think tank that explores and promotes market-based public policy to fight poverty.

Prior to her involvement in social activism, Star Parker was a single welfare mother in Los Angeles, California. After receiving Christ, Star returned to college, received a BS degree in marketing and launched an urban Christian magazine. The 1992 Los Angeles riots destroyed her business, yet served as a springboard for her focus on conservative activism.

As a social policy consultant, Star Parker gives regular testimony before the United States Congress, and is a national expert on major television and radio shows across the country. Currently, Star is a regular commentator on CNN, CNBC, CBN, FOX News, and the United Kingdom's BBC. She has debated Jesse Jackson on BET; fought for school choice on Larry King Live; defended welfare reform on the Oprah Winfrey Show, debated Michael Moore regarding healthcare reform on The View, and spoke at the 1996 Republican National Convention.

Star has written three books,"Pimps, Whores & Welfare Brats", "Uncle Sam's Plantation", and "White Ghetto: How Middle Class America Reflects Inner City Decay".

Star is a syndicated columnist for Scripps Howard News Service, offering weekly op-eds to more than 400 newspapers worldwide, including the Boston Herald, the Dallas Morning News, The Orange County Register, San Diego Union, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the Washington Times, and the Star and Stripes, the largest paper serving the men and women of our Armed Forces. During the campaign Star's column is on hiatus and will return in November.

 Why Do Blacks Still Buy The Government Plantation Lie?

11/15/2010     By Star Parker

Almost two years ago, a new Democrat administration and congress took control of Washington.

They immediately sent out invitations to the American people.

“You are cordially invited onto the government plantation. P.S. We’re in charge but you pick up the tab. RSVP by November 2, 2010.”

The RSVP’s have poured in and the majority of Americans have replied “Sorry, we’ve got other plans.”

But it was mostly white voters who turned down this invitation.

Why are blacks, who know life on the government plantation better than whites, and who are proportionately being hit much harder in this difficult economy, still buying what working class whites have rejected hands down? That, as Karl Rove put it, “…we can spend our way to prosperity?”

The problem is broader and deeper. Blacks still by and large see government dependence as the remedy rather than the disease, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They still choose to listen to left wing black political leadership and media who have careers in keeping it all going.

Consider that it was welfare state government policies that caused this economic collapse to begin with. And that it was community activist groups claiming to represent the interests of minorities who lobbied for these policies.

According to a new study by American Enterprise Institute scholar Edward Pinto, a former Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer at Fannie Mae, this is exactly what happened.

The recession was caused, according to Pinto, by the collapse of housing and mortgage markets. Markets imploded because of the proliferation of risky unconventional mortgages which spread as result of government dictates to promote “affordable housing.”

It was community activist groups such as National People’s Action and ACORN – yes the old stomping buddies of our president – that lobbied for taxpayer backed lending behemoths, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to relax lending standards.

The result was new law passed in 1992 directing new “affordable housing mandates” on Freddie and Fannie.

Following this, as Pinto tells the story, HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, issued new liberalized lending guidelines, directing that “Lending institutions, secondary market investors, mortgage insurers…..should work collaboratively to reduce homebuyer downpayment requirements.”

A widespread change in the mortgage lending landscape followed.

Whereas in 1990 a tiny fraction of mortgages had downpayments less than 3%, by 2006 “an estimated 30% of all homebuyers put no money down.”

According to Pinto’s AEI colleague Peter Wallison, by 2008, “almost 50% of loans…were subprime…and two thirds of them were held by government agencies or firms required to buy them by government regulations.”

In the short run, these government directives relaxing lending standards to promote home ownership were wildly successful. Home ownership rates climbed to record levels.

Of course, HUD, Fannie, and Freddie could push all this because the assumption lurking behind it all was that if it collapsed, U.S. taxpayers were there to pick up the tab.

Hey, government bureaucrats actually got something right.

Now we are left cleaning up the mess and picking up the pieces. But a tragic and ironic footnote is that black Americans, whose interests community activist groups who lobbied for all this were supposedly representing, have taken the brunt.

Black’s, whose home ownership rates skyrocketed during the government stoked boom, now have foreclosure rates twice that of whites. And, of course, black unemployment in this economic slowdown following the collapse is double that of whites.

If there was a moment of doubt that most Americans were going to buy into the government plantation lie, this last election should clear things up.

But this election also tells us we still have a divided country and many who bought the big government lie in the past still aren’t getting it.

We’ve got a lot of work to do.

Star Parker
Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.

 Back on Uncle Sam's plantation

Star Parker - Syndicated Columnist - 2/9/2009 8:00:00 AM

Six years ago I wrote a book called Uncle Sam's Plantation. I wrote the book to tell my own story of what I saw living inside the welfare state and my own transformation out of it.

I said in that book that indeed there are two Americas -- a poor America on socialism and a wealthy America on capitalism.

I talked about government programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS), Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children (EANF), Section 8 Housing, and Food Stamps.

A vast sea of perhaps well-intentioned government programs, all initially set into motion in the 1960s, that were going to lift the nation's poor out of poverty.

A benevolent Uncle Sam welcomed mostly poor black Americans onto the government plantation. Those who accepted the invitation switched mindsets from "How do I take care of myself?" to "What do I have to do to stay on the plantation?"

Instead of solving economic problems, government welfare socialism created monstrous moral and spiritual problems -- the kind of problems that are inevitable when individuals turn responsibility for their lives over to others..

The legacy of American socialism is our blighted inner cities, dysfunctional inner city schools, and broken black families.

Through God's grace, I found my way out. It was then that I understood what freedom meant and how great this country is.

I had the privilege of working on welfare reform in 1996, passed by a Republican Congress and signed 50 percent.

I thought we were on the road to moving socialism out of our poor black communities and replacing it with wealth-producing American capitalism.

But, incredibly, we are going in the opposite direction.

Instead of poor America on socialism becoming more like rich American on capitalism, rich America on capitalism is becoming like poor America on socialism.

Uncle Sam has welcomed our banks onto the plantation and they have said, "Thank you, Suh."

Now, instead of thinking about what creative things need to be done to serve customers, they are thinking about what they have to tell Massah in order to get their cash.

There is some kind of irony that this is all happening under our first black president on the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.

Worse, socialism seems to be the element of our new young president. And maybe even more troubling, our corporate executives seem happy to move onto the plantation.

In an op-ed on the opinion page of the Washington Post, Mr. Obama is clear that the goal of his trillion dollar spending plan is much more than short term economic stimulus.

"This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending -- it's a strategy for America 's long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, healthcare, and education."

Perhaps more incredibly, Obama seems to think that government taking over an economy is a new idea. Or that massive growth in government can take place "with unprecedented transparency and accountability."

Yes, sir, we heard it from Jimmy Carter when he created the Department of Energy, the Synfuels Corporation, and the Department of Education.

Or how about the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 -- The War on Poverty -- which President Johnson said "...does not merely expand old programs or improve what is already being done. It charts a new course. It strikes at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty."

Trillions of dollars later, black poverty is the same. But black families are not, with triple the incidence of single-parent homes and out-of-wedlock births.

It's not complicated. Americans can accept Barack Obama's invitation to move onto the plantation. Or they can choose personal responsibility and freedom.

Does anyone really need to think about what the choice should be?

 Black politics? You mean 'liberal' politics

8/11/2008   Star Parker - Syndicated Columnist

A feature story in this week's New York Times Magazine asks, "Is Obama the End of Black Politics?"

This in the wake of a full week of TV talking heads asking if presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama played the "race card" in his response to John McCain's Obama "celebrity" ads. And an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal by black journalist Juan Williams saying "The Race Issue Isn't Going Away."

Williams is right. The race issue isn't going away. And The New York Times' feature, which profiles new young black politicians around the nation – such as Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Newark (NJ) Mayor Corey Booker, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter – sheds little light on the issue in what it says.

More revealing about the Times' piece is what it doesn't say.

The Times reporter never found it relevant to note that every black politician he spoke to is a Democrat. Nor did he see a need to talk to a single black conservative.

It's not like black conservatives have nothing to say here. Hoover Institution scholar Shelby Steele wrote a book about Obama. Tom Sowell has regularly written about him, as have I.

But black conservatives are not considered relevant to these discussions because race is not an issue of ethnicity but an issue of politics. Black politics means liberal politics and hence black conservatives are not black.

When I do media and speak as a conservative, I can expect e-mails pouring in from blacks calling me a sellout, who cannot conceive that I actually believe what I say, and for whom there is little doubt that I am a paid Republican shill.

Almost a third of blacks surveyed in a recent Wall Street Journal poll responded that race is the most important or one of the most important considerations in their vote.

But practically speaking, it makes no difference. Despite black excitement and pride in the Obama candidacy, the black vote would go for whoever headed the Democratic ticket, white or black. In 2004 John Kerry got 88 percent of the black vote.

The dynamics that the Obama candidacy has interjected is new only in form, not in content.

In the past, the liberal at the top of the heap for whom blacks overwhelmingly voted was white. Now that liberal is black. That's new.

Obama, as Shelby Steele has written, departs from the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton brand of politics in that he is far more sophisticated and subtle in how to play on white guilt and how to intimidate. That's new.

But the liberal content and agenda is not new, and this blacks continue to buy en masse.

The points that conservatives have been hammering home for the last 20 years have not been for naught. There is increasing awareness among blacks how family breakdown is driving the social problems of the community.

This is not lost on Obama. His speeches paying credence to the importance and relevance of personal responsibility are well received among blacks, but also play well to the whites he wishes to reach.

But the program behind the words remains comfortably lodged on the far left. Big government answers for everything, redistribution of wealth, use of law as a tool for politics, liberal abortion policies, and legitimization of the gay agenda.

The relevant question is not if Obama means the end of black politics. The issue is will black politics – black uniform support for liberals – ever change?

In a Pew Research Center survey of blacks last year, nearly 90 percent said Oprah Winfrey is a "good influence," but only 50 percent said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and just 31 percent said Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas are.

In the same survey, nearly 70 percent of blacks said they "almost always/frequently" face discrimination when applying for a job or when renting or buying an apartment or house.

Despite the fact that the survey showed that blacks have traditional and conservative views regarding crime and promiscuity, the sense of vulnerability defines black attitudes and politically trumps everything else. There's a lot of history driving these feelings, and liberals will continue to exploit them.

Things won't change until blacks begin to see that these same liberal politics and attitudes are at the root of their problems today.