Thursday, August 4, 2011



Back on Uncle Sam's Plantation

by Star Parker
The Orange County Register
February 9, 2009

Six years ago I wrote a book called "Uncle Sam's Plantation." I wrote the book to tell my own story of what I saw living inside the welfare state and my own transformation out of it.
I said in that book that indeed there are two Americas. A poor America on socialism and a wealthy America on capitalism.
I talked about government programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS), Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children (EANF), Section 8 Housing, and Food Stamps.
A vast sea of perhaps well intentioned government programs, all initially set into motion in the 1960's, that were going to lift the nation's poor out of poverty.
A benevolent Uncle Sam welcomed mostly poor black Americans onto the government plantation. Those who accepted the invitation switched mindsets from "How do I take care of myself?" to "What do I have to do to stay on the plantation?"
Instead of solving economic problems, government welfare socialism created monstrous moral and spiritual problems. The kind of problems that are inevitable when individuals turn responsibility for their lives over to others.
The legacy of American socialism is our blighted inner cities, dysfunctional inner city schools, and broken black families.
Through God's grace, I found my way out. It was then that I understood what freedom meant and how great this country is.
I had the privilege of working on welfare reform in 1996, passed by a Republican congress and signed into law by a Democrat president. A few years after enactment, welfare roles were down fifty percent.
I thought we were on the road to moving socialism out of our 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 American on capitalism, rich America on capitalism is becoming like poor America on socialism.
Uncle Sam has welcomed our banks onto the plantation and they have said, "Thank you, Suh."
Now, instead of thinking about what creative things need to be done to serve customers, they are thinking about what they have to tell Massah in order to get their cash.
There is some kind of irony that this is all happening under our first black president on the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.

Worse, socialism seems to be the element of our new young president. And maybe even more troubling, our corporate executives seem happy to move onto the plantation.
In an op-ed on the opinion page of the Washington Post, Mr. Obama is clear that the goal of his trillion dollar spending plan is much more than short term economic stimulus.
"This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending-it's a strategy for America's long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, health care, and education."
Perhaps more incredibly, Obama seems to think that government taking over an economy is a new idea. Or that massive growth in government can take place "with unprecedented transparency and accountability."
Yes, sir, we heard it from Jimmy Carter when he created the Department of Energy, the Synfuels Corporation, and the Department of Education.
Or how about the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 -- The War on Poverty -- which President Johnson said "...does not merely expand old programs or improve what is already being done. It charts a new course. It strikes at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty."
Trillions of dollars later, black poverty is the same. But black families are not, with triple the incidence of single parent homes and out of wedlock births.
It's not complicated. Americans can accept Barack Obama's invitation to move onto the plantation. Or they can choose personal responsibility and freedom.
Does anyone really need to think about what the choice should be?

Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.


Exliberal Wrote: Jul 18, 2011 5:54 PM

Recently, my long-time mechanic, who is black, mumbled somthing that sounded critical about Obama. I said, "Did you say you're not thrilled about Obama?" Then he burst out, "He's ruining the country, he's killing jobs, and my relatives who voted for him because he's black just won't see it! And they say I'M the one that's crazy!" I answered that it took guts to be a black Republican, and could I bring him something to read. He replied, "Would you?" I brought him Star Parker's "Back on Uncle Sam's Plantaion" article, a couple by Tom Sowell, and Herman Cain's THEY THINK YOU'RE STUPID. Now, whenever I go to pump gas, he exults: "I I never had words to explain it before! They say everything I always knew!" Spreading the word feels good.
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corinne Wrote: Jun 19, 2010 6:36 PM

Star Parker is so right on and who better to speak on the subject of entitlements than someone who has been there. She is an amazing woman and I hope everyone, even those not in her district will donate to her campaign to get her elected. We need her to fight this current administration. She is going to be the first campaign I have ever donated to.

Good luck Star.
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Robert Wrote: May 20, 2010 2:01 PM

First I must appologize for any miss spelling and such, I am a recovering drug addict high school drop out so take pitty on me (joke, about the pitty anyway)

I am proud to be american, and proud to say I have conservitive values. I believe we are living in troubled times, where glimmers of hope for the futer are few and far between. What this country needs now is for people to come together and debate, and speak out and tske action but with compasion for one another. I love my countrymen as I love myself, it is the same love, there is only one love. Let's keep this country great.
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Eva Wrote: May 02, 2010 10:38 PM

Thank you John. Your comment puts it all in perspective without the whining of democrats and republicans alike making comments that make little sense (reply #1 "40 yrs of sins" Who died and made you God?) and/or missed entirely the point (reply #24) that Ms. Star was making in her column.

I am and have been an advocate of voting the incumbents out for quite some time now and I'll continue to do that in hopes that some day our country will get back on the right track.

We need a new party!
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aec Wrote: Dec 27, 2010 1:46 PM

So give the parents of those poor kids vouchers to take the school of their choice instead of forcing them into the government school plantation that keeps them dumbed down for massuh.
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susan Wrote: Apr 18, 2010 1:30 PM

I am just discusted that my fellow Americans would elect obama. America was so determined to have the first black president that we completely ingnored what he was saying. SInce he was black we were afraid to expose or highlight anything that might offend him. Even McCain handled him with kid gloves. Now there is no excuse, Ameica get him out of there! THis is what happens when you vote on skin color instead of policy!
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Al Wrote: Mar 31, 2010 12:27 PM

You go Star! Sharpton even admitted Obama was a socialist.
“[T]he American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism
when they elected President Obama. Let’s not act as
though the president didn’t tell the American people --
the president offered the American people health reform
when he ran. He was overwhelmingly elected running on
that and he has delivered what he promised. ... They voted
for President Obama who said this was going to be one of
the first things he would do.... This was not some concept
the president introduced after he won.” --the “Reverend”
Al Sharpton
Sharpton actually gets it partly right -- we were warned.
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Jon Wrote: Mar 28, 2010 4:49 PM

It appears that there are more "thinking" people coming out of the woodwork everyday. Star's comments and writings are based on a first hand knowledge, gained through practical experience. Very wise young lady. We can only hope that the American Voters will come to their senses come November.
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Louis Wrote: Mar 20, 2010 7:47 PM

Location: MI

If Obama is not a socialist why did he appoint and/or hire unvetted socialist czars as his personal advisers?

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John Wrote: Feb 17, 2010 10:58 AM

I've known this since I was a young kid. It's NEVER been about helping the poor get out of poverty. It's about containing a group of potential constituents, that can be brainwashed by someone(or some group) into thinking that "if you just vote for me (us), I'll (we'll) take care of you and try to help you get out of your terrible situation." Blah, blah, blah...... When all they truly want is the vote of the "disadvantaged" so that they can stay in power for 40 odd yrs. You want evidence? LBJ created the great society almost 50 yrs ago to eradicate this disparity between classes and races. FIFTY for crying out loud. With all the affirmative action rules and all the help that the disadvataged get, why is there still disadvantaged people? Why do we still hear the daily drumbeat about our 'evil racist and greedy capitalistic' society if the great society has really worked?? Fifty yrs and in reality the situation is no better now than it was then and I contend it's worse. I realize government works at a snails pace (which isn't an excuse) but, come on! Fifty yrs and NO real measurable progress? That proves my earlier contention. It's not about helping anyone except the greedy pols and their cronies and now we sleepers are starting to wake up and smell the deciet. 'bout time.

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Chancellor Carlyle Wrote: Jan 20, 2010 3:08 PM

As someone who lives in America's third-poorest city (Buffalo, New York) with its largely self-segregated impoverished black community, and as someone who was a kid on Welfare, I see the effects of Uncle Sam's plantation. Sadly, suggestions of self-reliance, hard work, etc. - of getting off the plantation - are considered racist (and, if blacks suggest these, they're "acting white" or are "traitors to their race").

Here in the empire that is New York State there's a battle raging over how the state government is going to continue to provide all the services, programs, incentives, etc. it provides here where Welfare and Medicaid spending are some of the highest in the country. Our Governor (bless his heart) has proposed massive budget cuts in order to keep the state from going insolvent but the legislature and the various entities subject to cuts have declared his proposed budget dead. Meanwhile, there's always someone whining in op-ed pieces about why their pet program shouldn't be cut.
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Richard Wrote: Oct 30, 2009 12:31 PM

The only reason there is racism today is economics. As long as this country does not address the fact that we no longer manufacture goods in this country, export all our jobs to other countries we will continue to be a welfare state. That promotes racism. The goverment should be promoting new manufacturing businesses and stop the exporting of jobs and promote exporting goods. No one in politics and media seems to be addressing this. The only reason politicians do anything is to perpetuate their re-election they don't do anything to help tis country, only destroy it.

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bonnie Wrote: Oct 06, 2009 1:25 PM

Star Parker is a real convert to Truth and the new voice of Freedom from Bondage for those who have been brain washed into believing in a FREE LUNCH...Where do they think the money for the FREE LUNCH comes from?
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Sandee Wrote: Jul 13, 2009 10:38 AM

Keep it up!
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Myke Wrote: Jul 10, 2009 9:28 PM

This is great. When I saw them rescuing the people in Katrina my first thought was all those poor people have been made slaves to welfare. After Joe the Plumber they had Tito the builder on a couple times and he said welfare only gives you enough to keep you down.
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Ramon Wrote: Jun 28, 2009 1:02 AM

Thank you! It was well written and to the point. I am glad that are others like me(black) out here that see where Mr. Obama is taking us. Keep up the good work!
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Melissa Wrote: Jun 24, 2009 9:27 AM

Mrs. Parker,
As someone who lives in urban Houston and has a child in an urban school where almost all of the kids are receiving one benefit or another even tho they might not be legal, I would like to commend you for your willingness to call it like it is. I don't want anybody living on the plantation or going back to it.

I feel too bad for Wayne. He needs to take an honest look at the situation and realize that he is pushing for a society that is enslaved to its government. We have already fought a bloody war that split families over slavery. I hope that we don't find ourselves in that predicament again.

Oh yeah, by the way, we are on a direct path toward European style Democratic-Socialism, but in my opinion this is much worse because we are not willing to call it that.

It is my sincere hope that Mrs. Parker will continue to keep up the good fight with her intellect, insight and ability to use words to reach the people.
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1 comment:

  1. Star, you are as solid as a rock. Thirty years ago, I gave a speech to a group of black businessmen in Birmingham with the same theme. The plantation was not secured with whips, chains and guns. It was a false security that created the bondage. "Where you gonna go, and what you gonna do?" had more power than a dog handled by a shotgun wielding overseer. Even more powerful was "If you leave, who's gonna take care of you?"

    Huge power. Terrible bondage. You're free, and you're right.