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The need for a 'black agenda'

August 07, 2009

Re "Black like 'us'?" Opinion, Aug. 1

I get very frustrated reading articles such as Erin Aubry Kaplan's, which encourages black America to find a common agenda in fighting against racial inequality. Racial inequality still exists, but it is hardly the major problem facing black America today.

If Kaplan really wants to help blacks continue to progress, she should urge them to unite against out-of-wedlock births, black-on-black crime, lack of parental supervision that leads to poor education, gangs, drugs and other such problems. Until black America focuses on these problems, the black community has little chance of progressing.

I know some will say my comments are arrogant or racist, but the truth is the truth. Until all of America (both black and white) is not afraid to address it, none of us will ever reach our full potential as a united, colorblind country.

P.J. Gendell

Beverly Hills

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As Kaplan suggests, the social and economic indicators for African Americans reveal a crisis situation despite President Obama and a growing middle class. Clearly there is a need for a "black agenda," as well as a national urban policy that addresses more than African Americans. Obama can effect a national urban policy directly and a "black agenda" indirectly.

The African American community moves between recession and depression, while the mainstream community moves between prosperity and recession. Both a national urban policy and a "black agenda" in combination could level this playing field such that African American joblessness, poverty, poor health, poor education and so on become at least equal to these same indicators for mainstream America.

Philip S. Hart

Los Feliz

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