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American Blacks must cultivate a culture of entrepreneurship

Armstrong Williams | 1/31/2013, 4:40 p.m.
At Thanksgiving, embracing the winds of change and increasing our faith

To this day, many Black officeholders depend on the perception of ongoing, widespread racism in order to remain competitive in the electoral process. They underplay the dramatic improvements in economic and social status experienced by Blacks over the last 40 years. Large numbers of their constituents, particularly those who came of age during the overt racism of earlier decades, continue to believe that the problems confronting the Black lower class stem primarily from racism.

Herein lies the greatest missed opportunity of the Civil Rights Movement. They never prepared for the day when the hand of God moved the conscience of a nation and many whites joined the spiritual movement to start treating minorities as equals. Their entire public image, their very legitimacy as political and cultural spokespersons, was predicated on the rhetoric of a Black versus white war. As my mentor Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas once observed, the civil rights revolution missed a larger point by merely changing the status of minorities from invisible to victimized.

Tragically, this point was also missed by pop culture, which glorifies images of Black misogyny, violence and victimization. We hold up gangsta rappers as models of achievement. Hey, they're just keeping it real, we say. Meanwhile, our children stare at these sociopaths with adoring eyes. They emulate their mean sense of entitlement, their broken English and their violence because this is what the popular culture tells us it means to be Black. This is crystal clear today, as many Black high school and college students have told me that they had no hope of achieving economic success in this world.

So what does this tell us? For starters, liberalism has not solved their most basic problems. Instead, it has put many minorities in the mindset that they must be fed government programs instead of being given access to capital and the opportunity to create their own jobs. Second of all, we need to stop glorifying thugs and start praising those Black CEOs, and there are plenty of them now who have seared through the competition to take possession of wealth and prominence. In short, we need to glorify entrepreneurialism, not victimhood!

Entrepreneurialism is the engine that will close the racial economic gap, but we'll never get there unless the younger generation of American Blacks decides it is time to move beyond the basic covenants of liberalism. That is to say, unless they decide they can succeed as individuals, rather than remain forever victims because of their skin color. If the Republican Party were to get its act and message together, it could be the catalyst for this movement.

Armstrong Williams content can be found on RightSideWire.com. He is also the author of the new book "Reawakening Virtues." Come join the discussion live 4-5 p.m., 6-8 p.m. ET at www.livestream.com/armstrongwilliams or tune into S.C. WGCV 4-5 p.m., Sirius/XM Power 128, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m. ET, 6-7 p.m. D.C. a.m. 730 WTNT, 7-8 p.m. WGNU a.m. 920 St. Louis. Become a fan on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.