No. 1222



Dale Brown, former head men’s basketball coach of the LSU Tigers, is a friend of mine. He sends me quality thoughts and ideas almost every single week and has given me blanket approval to share any of it with you. Dale has always been a champion of the underdog, and was the first coach in the Southeastern Conference to include blacks on his teams. In recent days he has mounted a serious campaign to improve race relations in our country, something we must do not only because it is right but also because America will never achieve true greatness until this comes about.
Recently he sent me something titled, “Ten facts to improve race relations in America,” and it contains information that every citizen in our nation should know and understand if we are to achieve this noble objective. One thing that most Americans do not know is that the founding members of the NAACP in 1908 were made up of four blacks and four whites. There are so many loving and caring blacks and whites who constantly interact with each other as brothers and sisters, however we seldom hear about these because the media accentuates the negative and diminishes the positive.
Here are those 10 facts. No. 1 – History: African-Americans have had to suffer through 250 years of slavery, 90 years of Jim Crow, 60 years of separate but equal, and 35 years of racist housing policies. No. 2 – Fear: Many of my black friends from all over the nation have told me they fear the violent dysfunctional behavior that has made murder the number one cause of death for black males between ages 15 and 34. Sadly 90 percent are killed by other black men. No. 3 – Fathers: What helps to perpetuate the problem in the African-American community is that 75 percent of births are out of wedlock. Nearly 70 percent of these children are growing up in single-parent households. A former NFL player bragged about having 11 children by seven different women. What a shameful and lousy role model he became.
No. 4 – Education: Education is another major problem. Less than 50 percent of black males graduate from high school and 75 percent of all crimes are committed by high school dropouts. No. 5 – Freedom: Martin Luther King said, “There is a danger that those of us who have been forced so long to stand amid the tragedy of oppression that we will become bitter. But if we become bitter and indulge in hate campaigns, then the new order that is emerging will be nothing but a duplication of the old order.
No. 6 – Excuses: George Washington Carver grew up in a slave family and became inventor and professor at Tuskegee University. He said, “Ninety percent of the failures come from people who have the habit for making excuses.” Benjamin Franklin supports that theory: “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” No. 7 – Evaluation: The four P’s – Prayer, Politicians, Police and Prison - cannot solve these problems. Our system needs a total evaluation and overhaul. No. 8: Saviors: We have built the idea of saviors into our entire culture. If you are looking for a helping hand, look at the end of your arm.
No. 9 – Conversations: Until blacks and whites reach out to each other and have an honest and candid discussion, nothing will change. No. 10 – Teamwork: The world must learn to work together or it will not work at all.”
Thanks Dale, I say, a-men to all that.
(Editor’s Note: JIM DAVIDSON is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated to over 375 newspapers in 35 states, making it one of the most successful in the history of American journalism.)