From the Senate in the 1970s to the presidential campaign trail in 2020, Joe Biden has a long record of going where political pressures push him—and right now they’re pushing him aggressively leftward
Star Parker is a conservative commentator, author, and founder of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE). Here are edited excerpts of our recent conversation at her Washington, D.C., office.
Tell us about your childhood.
I grew up in a military household. My coming-of-age years were during the 1960s when institutions were under attack and our foundations were collapsing—and my parents were not Christian people. I had no moral guidance in the household, so I did what most people do when they don’t know what to do: They look outside and see what everybody else is doing. The people around me were involved in criminal, drug, and sexual activity, so I got caught up in all of it and ended up on welfare. That’s where God found me.
Were you ever caught doing illegal things?
I got caught shoplifting. Thank God it was a minor crime and not some of the other things I did, because I would have spent the rest of my life in jail. I was involved in breaking and entering and armed robbery. The shoplifting opened the door to the adrenaline that comes with criminal activity and going to jail. It’s kind of like drugs. It becomes cool.
How old were you when you professed faith in Christ?
I was probably 25. In the early ’80s I met a gentleman who told me my lifestyle was unacceptable to God. I had not thought about God. I ended up going to church with him one day and heard the gospel. For the first time in my life, I heard God was in Christ, and He loved me, died for me, and was reconciling the world to Himself.
And at that point you already had a child?
Yes, I had her outside of marriage. I had been in and out of abortion clinics, and it wasn’t until after the fourth time that I realized there’s just got to be something wrong with killing your offspring. I determined I wouldn’t abort again. But I didn’t change my sexual patterns, so I soon got pregnant again. I was already very familiar with the welfare state, because that’s how I paid for my abortions. For 3½ years my life spiraled into a little dark hole.
There are laws against government funding for abortion, so how did you do that?
The same way Planned Parenthood lies to keep its $520 million in government funding. They say they aren’t using it for abortion. But if you’re using it for rent, then that means you have a facility to do abortions. It’s similar through Medicaid plans. I don’t recall all of the details of how it works, but I do know Medicaid in California paid for my abortions. You just get your stickers, and you can use them for whatever you want. God-fearing people were complicit in my abortions—and in abortions all across this country—because of Medicaid.
Many progressive and civil rights leaders say abortion is part of the solution for poor Americans, but you say it’s part of the problem?
Abortion is a crime against humanity. We shouldn’t be doing it. But in addition to the moral, mental, and medical implications, abortion feeds into a narrative that women are victims—as if they don’t have any control over their sexual impulses. That’s what the Congressional Black Caucus, so-called black leaders, and liberal progressives imply when they say, “These poor, pitiful people wouldn’t know what to do” without abortion. Then people buy into that as if they cannot discipline themselves sexually, and they engage in reckless sexual patterns. That’s what happened to me. If abortion were not legal, I probably would not have gotten totally out of control sexually. Marriage is the stabilizer. Abortion has become an entitlement program, and that’s how liberals sell it. It’s extremely destructive—particularly in the black community.
Many criticized President Trump when he called inner cities a disaster. How did you take his language?
It wasn’t strong enough. He used the words “disaster” and “carnage” in his inaugural address, and everybody said he acts like these are victims of war. Well, let’s go into the cities and see that they are victims of war. Housing and Urban Development policy traps people in ghettos. We have trapped people in failing schools, and we pretend there are no solutions. Leftist progressives deliberately keep people dependent. When he said it out loud, Donald Trump made a lot of people mad, but it made others look more deeply. Ben Carson over at HUD is looking into all the housing programs, and we have Betsy DeVos looking at all the education programs. This administration is very serious about fixing what is broken down, but before you can fix it you certainly have to identify it—and he identified it well. It is a disaster. It is a war zone.
Did you endorse Trump before the election?
I don’t endorse candidates, but when we hear a presidential candidate or now a president saying, “I want to fix these inner cities,” we are very open to that idea. Less than 8 percent of blacks actually went out and voted for President Trump, but then he turned around in his inaugural and joint session addresses and said he still wants to fix the inner cities.
‘The Confederate flag tells black people they’re not welcome, and the rainbow flag tells Christians they’re not welcome.’
What did you think of President Trump’s Charlottesville response?
His initial response to calm the rioting on that Saturday was correct. Both sides needed to go home—the alt-right that showed up with Confederate flags and hoods, and the alt-left that showed up with everything from rainbow flags to nudity. The Charlottesville City Council was working through the statue issue as a local community, which is the way our republic works best. We should stay out of local business. Then on Monday—in response to the left-wing media’s insistence—he denounced the KKK and these other groups. But on Tuesday, President Trump went unhinged—to the point that now people are asking if he’s competent to be president of the United States. He should bring the cameras into the Oval Office and address the people. A lot of people are confused.
What points should he address?
First, he needs to address the alt-right, which were the first ones to show up in Charlottesville and create the response from the other side. He needs to let the KKK and all allied groups know that he is not dog whistling for them. They’re outside the mainstream of America. They’re a terrorist group that lost the Civil War. This is not the time for them to interrupt his presidency. The American people did not vote for him to go back to the Confederacy.
Second, he needs to address the alt-left and let them know they’re not going to pull down Confederate flags and put up rainbow flags. Those flags are exactly the same: The Confederate flag tells black people they’re not welcome, and the rainbow flag tells Christians they’re not welcome.
Third, he should address the symbols that are in many communities. They’re relics of the past, but each local community should decide. He should also explain the difference between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and people like Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.