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Over the last 25 years, my work has been in the public arena.
I began with an inner-city Christian newspaper that I founded, moved on to start my current organization, CURE – Coalition for Urban Renewal and Education, wrote three books and have written a weekly opinion column for the last five years. I’ve spoken at over 200 universities and in 49 of 50 states.
All of this effort has been aimed to deliver one basic message – that the barrier between America’s chronically poor and the American dream is the welfare-state socialism that was supposed to be our answer to poverty.
As a young woman, I was on welfare myself. I saw from inside the perverse and destructive culture it created – a dehumanized culture of dependence and irresponsibility that encourages behavior exactly the opposite of what a successful life demands.
The result speaks for itself. Fifty years and a trillion-plus dollars in spending after President Johnson announced the War on Poverty, poverty rates are unchanged.
I’ve often been approached to run for public office. However, I always deferred because I felt I could make the greatest difference delivering my message as a free agent, outside the formal structure of politics.
But things have changed, and now I’ve decided to run.
We’ve totally reversed the direction we started in after we reformed welfare in 1996.
As I wrote a little over a year ago: “I thought we were on the road to moving socialism out of 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 America on capitalism, rich America on capitalism is becoming like poor America on socialism.”
The leaders of many of our largest corporations, whose founders were among our nation’s great entrepreneurs, are now bureaucrats content to bargain away our nation’s future, happy to play ball with government, if it means carving out politically protected profits for themselves.
The government health-care takeover that has just been forced on an unhappy America could not have happened without the cooperation of our large pharmaceutical firms and insurance companies. They should be ashamed of themselves.
Just a few weeks ago, the chairman of Citigroup, one the largest banks in the world, came to Washington to testify and thanked American taxpayers – you and me – for bailing out his bank.
There is a reason why eight of 10 Americans say that our nation is on the wrong track and why, according to Gallup, only 28 percent of voters now believe most members of Congress deserve to be re-elected.
Most citizens retain their common sense because they run a household and have to pay their bills. They see through the duplicity and deception our political class tries to pass off as governing.
It’s estimated that our national debt plus unfunded obligations of Social Security and Medicare is now $100 trillion. As with the health-care bill, those holding power in Washington will try to deal with this through even greater tax increases and expansion of government – sealing for good the welfare state transformation of America.
I’m challenging a Black Caucus incumbent in a district that political pundits rate “safe” for Democrats.
But this year no Democrat representing low-income Americans should feel safe peddling the same plantation policies that already have produced our broken schools, broken families and broken spirits. Now they’re bringing these bankrupt ideas to the whole country.
Even California Sen. Barbara Boxer recently admitted that this year no seat is safe.
Will we resign ourselves to an America where freedom and prosperity are distant memories and where 40 percent out-of-wedlock births and abortion as birth control are our new social norms?
I won’t. It’s why I’m stepping into this race.