Civil rights expert shares how American dream is vital to ending discrimination

BOB WOODSON: The reality is, otherwise, it’s really demeaning. Thomas Sowell, in his new book “Charter School and Their Enemies,” points out that after slavery, Blacks had $ 700 million in accumulated wealth. We had 40,000 Black businesses, 40,000 churches, 739,000 farms that we had. Illiteracy rate was 5% at the end of slavery and in less than 50 years, it climbed to 70%, and in the past 50 years, in all of the social indicators of labor force participation rates, homeownership, marriage, Blacks increased and improved throughout that period. It was because of their embrace of the American dream and the principles, the foundation of faith, family and self-determination. These were the drivers, the principles that were used to resist and push against slavery and discrimination. All of this changed in the ’60s. … The incarceration rates at the turn of the century up until 1960 were not what they are today. All of the problems that we’re witnessing today, the decline, the out-of-wedlock births, are a function of the liberal policies of the ’60s. What racism and slavery could not achieve per so-called progressive policies of the ’60s did promote the kind of decline that we’re trying to face down.

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