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.
The basis of humanity, civilization, and decency is respect for and awe of the miracle of life. This must take precedence over all. (comments)
The American recovery is happening despite government, not because of it. (comments)
How far do we let liberals go in censuring speech and ideas in America? (comments)
Why focus on trying to make government more efficient rather than on what government should or should not do? (comments)
Moral relativism does not neutralize the moral marketplace. It replaces one set of values with another. (comments)
Five reforms the new Republican congress can pass to guarantee no more Fergusons. (comments)
There is no poll showing that that the immigration issue sits at the top of concerns of the American people. (comments)
For lack of something of substance to tell the American people, Democrats ran a campaign of hate, blame, and division. (comments)
Black Americans have suffered greatly living under the thumb of government and believing it is a good thing. (comments)
The funds that pay for the fear and disinformation campaign come from groups who really are hurting black Americans. (comments)
As Elbert Guillory points out in his ad, despite all the big government, the economic state of affairs of low-income blacks has changed little over the years. (comments)
Beyond the overriding economic control that the federal government now has over citizens, federal courts now dictate our social norms. (comments)
The black unemployment rate in North Carolina is more than double that of whites. (comments)
American families have been damaged and out-of-wedlock births have increased six-fold from 1960 to 42 percent today. Government has displaced family. (comments)
Republicans should resist temptation to pander and point Hispanics in the direction of freedom and opportunity, what got them here in the first place. (comments)
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)