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Uncle Sam’s Slaves
by La Shawn Barber
11 March 2004Uncle Sam's Plantation

Uncle Sam's Plantation is a first-hand account of a black single mother on welfare who dared to dream.


It [slavery] exists wherever men are bought and sold, wherever a man allows himself to be made a mere thing or a tool, and surrenders his inalienable rights of reason and conscience.”
-- Henry David Thoreau

Few people will admit how analogous government dependence is to living on a plantation. Star Parker, once enslaved by “Big Government,” is now unshackled and ready to expose her former master in her new book, Uncle Sam’s Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America’s Poor and What We Can Do About It. She openly takes on “Uncle Sam” for keeping millions trapped in poverty.

A former “welfare queen” and current president and founder of the Coalition for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), Parker courageously analyzes Big Government’s system of dependency. She encourages those living on handouts to break the chains of poverty and find purpose and meaning in their lives.

In a follow-up to her first book, Pimps, Whores and Welfare Brats, where she handed down a stinging indictment against liberal politicians and the black leaders they exploit, Parker hits the mark once again in Uncle Sam’s Plantation. “Uncle Sam has developed a sophisticated poverty plantation, operated by a federal government, overseen by bureaucrats, protected by the media elite, and financed by taxpayers.”

The author knows of what she speaks. Parker lived a reckless life; she was promiscuous, had four abortions, smoked pot and burglarized people’s homes. One day while looking for “under the table” cash to supplement her welfare check, she was given a Bible instead. She was told that her lifestyle was unacceptable to God.

Three years later, still on welfare, the pastor at her church preached to no one in particular, “What are you doing living on welfare?” At that moment, Parker says, she knew he was talking to her and felt a sense of personal responsibility for the choices she’d made.

“Before the pastor could finish his sermon,” Parker writes, “my heart was stirring with the desire to find real purpose and meaning for my life.” The next day, she wrote her caseworker and asked that her name be taken off the welfare rolls. Parker began to wrest the chains of dependency and hopelessness and dared to dream.

Parker’s charges against the liberal establishment will move readers to challenge Big Government’s plantation system. Tracing the shift in America’s attitude from belief in strong families and hard work to the flawed idea that it’s the government’s role to solve social problems, the author contends that the Great Depression marked a turning point in the American conscience.

After the stock market crashed, fear caused people to turn to the government for help in the face of the “dark side of capitalism.” Looking to the government for solutions became acceptable.
As increased racial tension and discrimination led blacks to demand civil rights, societal guilt over past wrongs in turn led to a lie still perpetuated today.

“Social engineers of the late 1960s told Americans that black people could not take control over the poverty in their lives due to centuries of racism and segregation,” Parker writes. The onus was now on society to “fix” poverty. Thirty-five years later, taxpayers are still trying to fix it.

But poverty cannot be fixed with money, Parker asserts. Moral bankruptcy, caused by the scourge of relativism, must be overcome. Government “safety nets” allow people to escape the consequences of personal behavior (free health care, abortion on demand, sex education, affirmative action, etc.). As a result, there is little incentive to learn from bad behavior.

For example, by removing the man’s responsibility to take care of his family, the welfare state has freed men to abandon their pregnant women, the author argues. The collapse of morals in America has virtually destroyed the black family.

Uncle Sam’s Plantation offers more than Parker’s personal journey; it’s about what works and what doesn’t. The author outlines in detail several “mission-critical” challenges to anyone who wants to respond constructively to race and poverty in America. These challenges include dismantling multiculturalism, abolishing affirmative action, allowing school choice and privatizing social security. Radical!

Parker’s life is a testimony to her faith in God and determination not to waste the precious gift she’s been given: freedom. Read for yourselves the first-hand account of a black single mother on welfare who dared to dream. Freedom and personal responsibility, not government dependence, are the answers to poverty.

Uncle Sam’s Plantation will inspire you to resist the lie next time you hear it.

Uncle Sam's Plantation is available on Amazon.com.

La Shawn Barber, a columnist for American Daily, reviews books for Townhall.com. Visit her weblog at http://lashawnbarber.blogspot.com.

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