By: Chad Kent
Chad Kent Speaks

During his radio show on Friday, Al Sharpton made the following comments as he tried desperately to make sense of Herman Cain’s campaign for president:

“How could anyone in their right mind — they grew up in the south and saw what they saw — and act like everyone that is unemployed and that is not rich did it to themselves?” Sharpton said. “So I would assume he is either socially ignorant or playing games to get votes, that he couldn’t possibly have grown up and come to that conclusion unless he was one or the other.”

Let’s set aside for the moment that Sharpton sees every situation only through race – which is disgusting all by itself.

Look at his reaction. The only way a person could react the way Sharpton does here is if he is absolutely convinced that black people are helpless and could never succeed without the help of government. How else can you explain his complete inability to understand how Cain could sincerely advocate that unemployed people take more responsibility for their lives?

What Herman Cain understands is that – even though many minorities face great obstacles in life – they already have all the tools they need to achieve great things in life. All they need now are community leaders who motivate them to be self-reliant and throw off the chains of government rather than charlatans who tell them to play the victim and wait for politicians to save them.

There are so many people like Sharpton out there saying that minorities need the government to provide them with a safety net. But in reality, the government doesn’t provide a safety net – it provides a drag net. Government involvement in your life will only slow your achievement. Once you get accustomed to having that little bit of government help you’re hooked – and it becomes infinitely more difficult to ever become fully self-reliant.

The real irony here is that the foundation for Sharpton’s anger is the fact that those of us who believe in limited government – Herman Cain included – have more faith in the abilities of black people than he does.

To illustrate that difference, let’s look at the words of a real black leader (note the contrast between his approach and Sharpton’s). Richard Cain, representative from South Carolina, made the following comments to Congress in support of the Civil Rights Act of 1875:

I know there are prejudices; but we must expect that these will exist. Let the laws of the country be just; let the laws of the country be equitable; this is all we ask, and we will take our chances under the laws in this land. We do not want the laws of this country to make discriminations between us. Place all citizens upon one broad platform; and if the negro is not qualified to hoe his row in this contest of life, then let him go down. All we ask of this country is to put no barriers between us, to lay no stumbling blocks in our way, to give us freedom to accomplish our destiny, that we may thus acquire all that is necessary to our interest and welfare in this country. Do this, sir, and we shall ask nothing more.

There’s one thing I can guarantee you – if we had a lot more people in our inner cities studying the words of Richard Cain and a lot fewer listening to Al Sharpton you would see a dramatic transformation in those communities in a short period of time… and not one politician would ever have to lift a finger to make it happen.