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Change we voted for, and change we got. And now, as we peer anxiously into future, rounding the corner into a new year, we’re hoping mightily that the changes in leadership and policy will somehow be equal to the immense problems we’re facing.

Analysts are declaring that our economy is experiencing the worst shakeup since the Great Depression of 1929 and following. Giant institutions and corporations are declaring bankruptcy or begging for government bailouts. Unemployment is rising, prices are falling, homes are being repossessed, and we’re being told that we’ve already ravaged the world’s ecology almost beyond repair.

Into this apparently hopeless maelstrom strides a young black man who promises he can come up with the answers. We sure all hope he can. He’s assembling a cabinet and advisers, and trying to lay early plans for addressing all these crises. He’s not waiting till he takes office Jan. 20; he and those around him are at work right now.

In Europe and around the world, there is enthusiasm and hope, some of it centered around the historic election of America’s first black president. It was just announced that Barack Obama will take his oath of office with his black hand on the same Bible on which Abraham Lincoln placed his white hand. There could hardly be a more dramatic symbol of the changes that have already taken place in our society. We’ve achieved significant progress.

And yet – there are grievous problems that aren’t getting better, and may be getting worse. Ironically, as a black president is being sworn in, more than 1,450 black children are being aborted each day in these United States.

Since 1973, more than twice as many blacks have died from abortion than from heart disease, cancer, accidents, violent crimes and AIDS combined. More than 14 million black babies have had their lives snuffed out either in their mothers’ wombs or in the process of delivery.

These facts are common knowledge, so it’s mind-numbing to realize that our incoming president – though he says he doesn’t favor abortion personally – has made extravagant pledges to “pro-choice” groups, women’s organizations, and Planned Parenthood, the nation’s foremost proponent of abortion, that he will strengthen and protect “women’s right to choose” whether their babies live or die!

It’s hard to believe that he doesn’t know about Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, and her “Negro Project” in 1939 that was specifically designed to reduce the birth rate in “the poorer areas, particularly in the South,” where she felt the occupants were “producing alarmingly more than their share of future generations.” She was a lifelong champion of birth control, especially as it contributed to her goal of “improving the human species” by control of hereditary factors in reproduction.

But while President Obama courts the approval of feminist groups, the death rate of black babies may spiral upward.

Bleak prospect? Yes, but hope comes from another direction, exemplified by another black leader who is determined to counteract this deadly trend. His name is Jesse Lee Petersen.

I’ve known and been involved with Jesse for a number of years. He’s a minister and an activist, an author and speaker, and the founder of a beautiful organization named BOND, Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny. Much darker in skin hue and shorter than our new president, Jesse has been working tirelessly as a “community organizer” himself, addressing deeply serious problems like broken families, poverty, homelessness – and abortion – at ground zero in the black community. He believes the answer to all these problems is not just money. It’s character.

He’s dedicated to “rebuilding the family by rebuilding the man.” Since 1990, BOND has helped men and women regain control of their lives by stressing the importance of honesty, helping others through patience and by self-reliance. Rev. Jesse holds regular meetings and Sunday services, runs the BOND Home for Boys and conducts intensive character, mentor, fatherhood, entrepreneurship and intimate rehabilitation programs for young people trapped in drug and alcohol addictions. BOND offers individual and family counseling at its home base in Los Angeles, and has never asked for nor received funding from the government. No ACORN in his past, present or future. His conviction is that people, working together and encouraging each other morally, can solve their own problems without Big Brother intervention. Can you believe it?

He’s a passionate man, a capable man and sometimes a dangerous man – dangerous to established and more popular black leadership. He strongly disagrees with the welfare approach to solving black needs, and feels that most government programs actually worsen the problems and perpetuate irresponsibility. He’s authored two controversial books: “SCAM: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America” (Thomas Nelson) and “From Rage to Responsibility” (Paragon House). He draws angry fire when he appears on radio and TV talk shows or speaks on university campuses.

Because he’s keenly aware – as we could wish our next president might be – that abortion on demand, for any reason, is killing too many black babies and absolving too many young black men of responsibility for their sexual activities, he and associates picket abortion clinics across the country.

But he is also approaching the problem preventively by conducting a BOND After School Character Building Program, literally teaching character and morality to young men aged 13 to 18. Involving guest speakers, discussion leaders and parents, he guides young men toward responsible and moral lives – each student held responsible to share what he’s learned with his peers!

This valiant man, Jesse Lee Petersen, is making a difference. He’s making waves, and he deserves our support. He’s swimming against the tide of popular opinion, of “politically correct” societal thought, and effectively proving that old-fashioned instruction in right and wrong and the building of character can reverse destructive trends. I’m contributing to his efforts and supporting them. I hope you’ll visit the BOND website or call BOND’s offices at 800-411-BOND (411-2663) and get on board with a donation. The more you find out, the more committed you’ll be. We need more Jesse Lee Petersens in our America, if we can find them.

He and BOND bring inspiration at a time when it may be most crucial. I sure hope he and our president-elect can join forces.

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