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"Foster New Hope"
The Star, December 20, 2000
By Terry Paulson, PhD

As I continue to read and listen to Jesse Jackson talk about the illegitimacy of the Bush Presidency and to diminish Bush's "token appointment" of African Americans to key cabinet positions, I am saddened by how black leadership in America seems preoccupied with complaining about the demise of affirmative action programs.

Unfortunately, such programs have effectively locked too many black Americans into victim thinking and learned helplessness. Too many have looked to Washington and Sacramento for answers instead of looking in the mirror.

Instead of fostering rage and whining about past problems, black leaders should work with our new President to foster new hope and support new achievement in school and in life. If Jesse Jackson and the NAACP put as much time and money into honoring the great black entrepreneurs, leaders, workers and students who have and continue to make a difference in America as they do complaining about bias and demanding special treatment, they would truly make a difference.

No matter what black leaders do and in spite of their overwhelming support for Gore, I call on President Bush to go beyond his appointment of Powell and Rice to honor achievers of all races and parties by starting each Saturday address by catching the American Dream working. Telling stories about real Americans and how they made our country work for them builds hope.

The former LA Ram football great, Rosey Grier, once said, "All too often, minority kids never hear about anyone other than athletes. They don't know the living you can make with your mind. When I hear the same thing in black schools as white, kids talking about becoming doctors and lawyers, I know the ghetto will disappear." President Bush should challenge Jesse Jackson and the NAACP to join him in making it so. America can't afford to leave any child or any race behind.

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