Monday, April 11, 2005

A Berry Good Column

There is a good Opinion piece by William Raspberry in today’s Washington Post. One of the main points I took away from his column is that a group needs to contribute to its own success. He takes issue with the National Urban League’s State of Black America report because it focuses entirely on what the government needs to be doing to help black America. While there is more that can be done by the government to help those in our society that are under-achieving – and it is right to ask for more to be done – there is also more that black America can do for itself. He believes they need to look at the examples of black Americans that have succeeded and copy what has worked for them. Raspberry says that if you look at examples in the expanding black middle class “you will see an unusual commitment to education, to civic involvement, to clean records and sterling reputations, to long-term thinking, to responsible parenthood.” Also, those who have succeeded also need to look for ways to help those who are still left behind. I strongly agree with Raspberry and others like Bill Cosby who say that in any group looking to move out of poverty, there are certain things that the group can do for itself. The message therefore should include both what black America expects from society, and what it expects from itself.