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Culture Q&A

Star Parker

Urban visionary

From crime to Christ to social critic

Urban visionary

Star Parker (Handout)

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.


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  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Wed, 09/06/2017 03:54 am

    "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."   Yes, this is the MSM response, and one would have to show how his response was unhinged! What exactly was wrong with Trump's statement? I find this to be overkill and once again Christians becoming part of the propaganda war supporting the left.

  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Wed, 09/06/2017 04:46 am

    "A lot of people are confused."

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Wed, 09/06/2017 11:54 am

    Confused about what? President Trump's statement was very lucid and coherent. It is only the left and "never Trump" crowd that were confused and upset. You need to explain exactly what was wrong with his statement and sad to say you cannot do this because it is a visceral attack based on no substance!

  •  Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Wed, 09/06/2017 02:18 pm

    What was wrong with it is that he muddied the waters, and continued his habit of trying to poke "fake news" in the eye.  His statement in the impromptu press conference (transcript here) help nobody.  He had made a very crisp and clear statement prior to that (transcript here).  All he needed to do in order to satisfy your needs would be to add Antifa to the list of hate groups in this latter statement.

    He was right to be concerned about saying too much with too little information.  So what he should have said was, "I will not comment on this until I have more information."  People do that all the time.  Then, he makes a full statement when he has enough facts at his disposal to feel comfortable with it.  Then LET IT GO!  That is just a reality of political life.  Unfortunately, he walks around with a chip on his shoulder, pokes a bunch of other people in the eye, and then complains when other people poke him in the eye.  He and the country will benefit greatly when he stops taking things so personally.

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Thu, 09/07/2017 07:49 am

    Brendan, I find your support of the left and MSM to be morally reprehensible!  Are you aware of the propaganda campaign against Trump? Do you even care? Do you even see how it is evil? Whether or not you like it, Trump is our president and he has supported Christians and the Christian cause - fighting abortion (preventing the killing of many black children), appointing moral judges, standing up against attacks on Christian business owners, using Christian principles to fight poverty in the inner cities ( helping many black people), transforming education (again helping many black kids), standing up for honest capitalism which benefits people with jobs (again benefiting many black people), not promoting godless socialism and communism with their atheistic and utopian leanings, standing up for justice on the international stage (e.g. fighting ISIS), fighting a press whose ideology is bent on destroying Christians and on and on I could go. I am reminded of Psalm 11:2,3 which says, "For look! The wicked bend their bow, They make ready their arrow on the string, That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?" And you are going to wag your finger at Trump when he fights the MSM who is bent on destroying him and the Christian cause? How irrational is this? How dare you shoot arrows at Trump saying "he muddied the waters." We all know Trump is not an orator, but this was an impromptu question and answer session in which Trump was responding. Everything he said was honest and forthright and the press were baiting him with "gotcha" questions. He never said anything racist but was communicating honestly about the events in Charlotte Va. Please, look through the transcripts and show me otherwise!  I am reminded of Paul saying (I Cor 1:17) that he did not come with eloquent words, but the simple honest gospel. Even Moses claimed he was not a man of eloquence. The point is that eloquent words don't necessarily mean they are honest and moral words, nor is it a requirement for speech.  Simple, direct and honest words are all that are required, which Trump delivered. And are you so naive to believe that even if he presented the most eloquent response, that the press would not find fault?  Essentially, the left are playing the race card on Trump trying to paint him out to be a racist- which is a lie at heart! Why do you support this? How exactly are you being godly when you play into the narrative that their was something questionable about Trump's response? 

  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Wed, 09/06/2017 04:51 am

    Thanks for this interview. I always appreciate what Star Parker has to say. I'm especially encouraged to hear again about how Chirst changed her life and impacted every area.

  • Dick Friedrich
    Posted: Wed, 09/06/2017 07:38 am

    I have great respect and admiration for Ms. Parker. It's not just as simple as "two sides." A lot of people are confused, but also willingly ignorant and self-righteous. Not sure it's the President's job to always teach the details. Importantly, there are Constitutional issues here that the President might focus on rather than on how people feel, e.g. what do our laws say and how should we behave wrt the law? As an aside - how many people know that Stonewall Jackson taught Sunday School to blacks and not with the intention of keeping them in slavery? 

  • DB's picture
    Posted: Wed, 09/06/2017 07:46 am

    Dick Friedrich, I didn't know Stonewall Jackson taught Sunday School at all. Also, untill just recently I didn't realise what a godly man Robert E. Lee was.  I've caught exerpts from a book reading about him. I think it's interesting the details that the histroy revisionits like to cover up.

  • Janet S
    Posted: Fri, 09/08/2017 09:01 am

    Thank you Star Parker. There are so many things that need addressed in our nation such as well fare reform, education, health care, etc and the alt-left and alt-right keep us muddled in endless arguements that keep the focus off what most Americans really care about

  •  Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Fri, 09/08/2017 02:04 pm

    Cyborg3, the first sentence out of your keyboard in response to me was, "Brendan, I find your support of the left and MSM to be morally reprehensible!"

    If you truly believe that I "support the left and MSM," then you do not know me very well.  Second, the fact that you believe that my answer was made in support of a "morally reprehensible" cause tells me that you really do not want to hear what I have to say.  Therefore, I will not respond to the rest of your post.

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Mon, 09/18/2017 10:44 am

    Brendan, maybe my introduction was somewhat hyperbole but my point was that you are supporting the cause you claim to be against! Trump, the imperfect man that he is, is supporting our cause and doing his best to "win" for us. The left is outraged that he won the election and are using all means to destroy him because ultimately they hate everything he stands for.  Trump is a 1970's guy with a little of the 1950's thrown in, so he is much closer, in many ways, to the Christian World View. The Left thought they had absolute victory, where if they had control of the Supreme Court, they would have dominated us for years to come. Along came Trump who ruined their ball game and the left is spitting fire! The MSM are out to get Trump and they are waging a relentless propaganda campaign against him. Trump is smart enough to realize this so he calls them out on their propaganda war.  The methods the MSM use are ruthless where they constantly bring into question everything Trump says, accuse him of being a racist, accuse him of being xenophobic, ridicule him, accuse him of being a fascist, and accuse him of being insane. All of this is meant to destroy Trump and turn Americans against him.  So yes, I recognize the many good things Trump is doing for America (and Christians). When I see the propaganda war converting even people on the right, yes I get upset about it. When I see fine people like Mrs. Parker saying something unfairly against Trump, yes I will say something about it. And when I see you, voicing the lefts position, then too I will speak up.