Q & A with Star Parker

Star Parker
So you believe that the new Social Security plan will benefit the black community?

It absolutely will. Social Security is the next civil rights issue. We are talking about ownership. We are talking about having a stake in America for the first time, where you can actually accumulate transferable wealth. The way the system presently is, you don’t own it and you don’t get a rate of return. If employers were sending that same money of a low wage worker to an IRA instead of the IRS, yes, blacks would absolutely benefit.

Do you think it's dangerous to gamble people's retirement on Wall Street?

Nothing is dangerous about accumulating wealth. All of the economics of America is driven to some degree by capitalism. So for people to tap into the ownership of the very products they are buying every day is healthy for all Americans, particularly those that are struggling.

Many left-leaning black leaders also believe that the president’s faith-based initiative was a way to woo the black Christian vote.

I think the faith-based initiative is just another political ploy to addict people to government. I do not agree that we should put our nation’s charities that are successful and help people in need on the government dole. If people really want to help others, they should be able to support any local nonprofit that they want to and get a tax credit.

Some black conservatives say that popular Left-leaning black leaders hinder rather than empower the African-American community.

They absolutely do. When you look at what has happened in this society, in fact I address this in my book “Uncle Sam’s Plantation,” you'll see that these black leaders are the gatekeepers of Uncle Sam’s plantation. Their job is to keep poor people from seeing the truth, preventing them from getting along with the business of freedom. These guys’ days are over. You mentioned the increased percentage of blacks’ participation in the GOP this last election. Actually, we saw an increase of almost 37 percent in the election 2000 vote. Eight hundred thousand blacks voted for President Bush in election 2000, and 1.5 million voted for him this past election. Most of the activity of movement was because of the social issues, particularly the gay marriage issue. But as the nation discusses Social Security, and how traditional black Christian voters start looking at other ideas of empowerment, you are going to see a whole lot more blacks leave the Democrat Party and move to the Republican.

What will be the future of African-Americans in the Democratic Party, especially with some saying that perhaps Congressman Harold Ford (D-TN) or Illinois’ Senator Barack Obama could be the first black president?

It depends on what the Democrats do with this opportunity before them. If they choose to say: We are going to move a little bit to the Right, we’re going to stop encouraging poor people to kill their children for any reason that they want to, we are going to start allowing for poor parents to have more choice in their children’s education, we are going to allow for more citizens to start owning their labor and wealth accumulation for their retirement — you might see blacks staying with the Democrat Party. But as long black Democrats keep crying out: “Woe is you. You’re a victim, depend on me, Mr. Politician, who knows best,” the Democrats are going to lose.

You stated in a recent article that Senator Hillary Clinton is moving more to the center, and could be a successful presidential candidate for the Democrats in 2008.

She absolutely could be the thorn in the GOP’s side in 2008 if 1) the GOP thinks that the pro-life community is going to vote for someone like Rudy Giuliani, and 2) if Hillary moves to the Right. There is no reason to think that’s not true. However, the questions are : Will she continue to move to the Right, and is she going to start voting for some of the policies that are going to be particularly empowering to the Black community?

If she wants to win, she will.

Yes. Quite frankly I would have no problem with Hillary running for president in 2008. It would be very interesting to see how she votes on any reforms that we are going to do on Social Security; her stand on the gay marriage amendment; her position on issues of school choice; and other empowerment issues that will help the people she claims to care about. Frankly I don’t think she will keep moving to the Right. Hillary Clinton has proved herself to be an enabler. She will do anything to keep power and position, particularly when it includes lowering her standards to appease a man. I’m not sure if she is the leader that many say she could be, but it will be interesting to watch over the next two years and see exactly how much she wants to commit to win the White House.

Do you think 2008 could boil down to Hillary versus Condi?

Condoleezza Rice has expressed no interest in running for the presidency. Commentators predicting that are just trying to put the carrot out there. She's made it very clear that she is not going to be running for the presidency. She is doing such an excellent job right now as secretary of state. She will continue to keep this nation at peace.

In the senate confirmation hearing for Rice to be approved as secretary of state, she came under vicious attack by hard-line Democrats such as Barbara Boxer, Ted Kennedy, etc. Why did no one in the black or women’s rights communities come to her defense?

Condoleezza Rice represents everything they are against. When you think about America, and the ideas of the founding fathers — Condoleezza Rice is the epitome of this. Her ancestors were slaves, and now she is the face of America internationally. This destroys the idea of feminism and also destroys the idea of this government poverty plantation that most black leaders have developed in the last 40 years.

What attracted you to the Republican Party?

My faith drew me to the GOP. I lived the street life. I used to be an ex-hustler and on welfare. The way I got saved and came to a better understanding of how to self-govern and make better choices was a big eye-opener. When I first started voting, I read the various parties’ platforms and felt the Republican platform was more consistent with my ideas about how the country could maintain stability, and what family life should look like, since I am very much pro-life.

Star Parker is the founder and president of CURE, the Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education, a 501c3 non-profit think tank that provides a national voice of reason on issues of race and poverty in the media, inner city neighborhoods, and public policy. Prior to her involvement in social activism, Star Parker was a single welfare mother in Los Angeles, California. After receiving Christ, Star returned to college, received a BS degree in marketing and launched an urban Christian magazine. The 1992 Los Angeles riots destroyed her business, yet served as a springboard for her focus on faith and market-based alternatives to empower the lives of the poor. As a social policy consultant, Star Parker gives regular testimony before the United States Congress, and is a national expert on major television and radio shows across the country. Currently, Star is a regular commentator on FOX News. Her autobiography, "Pimps, Whores & Welfare Brats" was released in 1997 by Pocket Books and her new book, “Uncle Sam’s Plantation” was released by Thomas Nelson in 2003. Today, in addition to heading CURE, Star is a syndicated columnist for Scripps Howard News Service, offering weekly op-eds to more than 400 newspapers worldwide.