Looking over the program for the festivities commemorating the 50th anniversary of the civil rights March on Washington, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech, it's hard to not feel sober about the whole thing.
I say sober because there is good news and bad news.
What's the good news?
There has been monumental progress in the quality of life, on average, that black Americans lead today.
The bad news?
Fifty years is a long time, and the progress is not nearly what it should be or could have been.
Unfortunately, the program for the "50th Anniversary March on Washington," posted on the website of that name, shows that liberals who control the event have little interest in serious thought about why there have been failures. Needless to say, the event is devoid of a single black conservative spokesperson.
Few would have dreamed in 1963 that within 50 years a black man would be president of the United States -- let alone twice elected.
We've got black millionaires, even a couple black billionaires.
The inherent stigma of race has changed dramatically.
According to a recent Gallup poll, 87 percent of Americans approve of marriage between blacks and whites, compared to only 4 percent who approved in 1959. Among white Americans, 84 percent approve of black-white marriage today, compared to just 17 percent in 1969.
Institutional racism is no longer legal in America, and acceptance of black Americans as every bit as human and normal as white Americans is in much better shape today than 50 years ago. But the overall picture of black America is not good.
According to the Census Bureau, the median net worth of black households in 2010 was $4,955 compared to a median white household net worth of $110,000.
Median black household income in 2011 was $32,229 compared to median white household income of $52,214.
Comparing median household income by ethnicity -- white, Hispanic, Asian, black -- it's lowest for blacks.
Black liberals want us to believe that huge economic disparities persist today between black Americans and the rest of the nation because of racism and continuing civil rights injustices.
Fifty years ago, blacks faced major institutional barriers to living in America as free, normal citizens. As result of the civil rights movement and passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, barriers that allowed differential treatment under the law and permitted institutional racism were dismantled.
Of course, there are still individuals with us who carry racial prejudice in their hearts.
But to suggest, as liberals do, that institutionalized racial injustice explains today's disparities in educational and economic achievement between black and white America is to assure that disparities will continue and that the real problems will never be addressed.
The "50th Anniversary March on Washington" does our nation a disservice by going beyond just commemorating a great achievement and suggesting that disappointing progress is because that achievement was incomplete. Organizers suggest that blacks lag behind today because many "continue to suffer civil and economic injustices."
Not true. Black Americans are today free.
It may be fun to come to Washington to remember and celebrate.
But the answers for blacks today are not in Washington. They are in black homes, black schools, black hearts and black minds.
We need today a Personal Responsibility Movement. If it had gotten started in 1964 with the Civil Rights Act's passage, blacks would be in far better shape today. Instead, too many turned to government for programs.
It's why increasing numbers of black Americans are now looking to a conservative agenda that honesty examines and looks to fix what is broken in black communities and correctly identifies these as mostly moral rather than political challenges.
Diversity should be about about recognizing "diversity of people's gifts, talents, and skills." (comments)
Low-income black parents need options, choices, for educating their children outside the public school monopoly. (comments)
Since Johnson, the government has spent $15 trillion dollars fighting poverty without reducing poverty. (comments)
What do successful, wealthy black entrepreneurs know that they are not sharing with their own? (comments)
In our president's take on the world, if there is a winner who winds up better off there must be a loser who winds up equally worse off. (comments)
The Tea Party captures a groundswell of dissatisfaction with business-as-usual in how our country is being run. (comments)
What kind of discussion can take place with those who equate a procedure in which one life is destroyed and another put at risk with going to the dentist? (comments)
In 20 years there will be no funds to pay one third of the benefits of retirees. (comments)
The growing percentage of our voters is not white and they largely vote for Democrats. (comments)
Free choice and private initiative seems to violate the religious convictions of liberals. (comments)
Why does America convey neutrality between a nation that is indisputably free and a government that is not? (comments)
In a Pew Research survey of last October, 25 percent of blacks expressed favorability toward the Tea Party, just 6 points less than whites. (comments)
Everyone, except the teachers unions, seems to grasp that public education in America, particularly in low-income communities, suffers because of lack of competition. (comments)
Mainstream means shrugging your shoulders at $17 trillion in federal debt, $4 trillion in federal spending, and a tax code of over 73,000 pages. (comments)
Cochran's agenda is to serve up government pork and protect the interests of his friends in Washington. (comments)
Thought police have no place in a free society. (comments)
Americans elected a president, twice, who was not afraid of being bold, of taking on hard issues, and of being ideological. (comments)
Religion and the institutions of traditional marriage and family are being challenged and, rather than being seen as enablers of our freedom, are now regularly portrayed as obstacles to it. (comments)
No Americans have suffered more from the improper use of government and abuse of political power than black Americans. (comments)
Democrats and the left wing press know that fanning these still racially sensitive flames is the way to turn out black voters. (comments)