Host: Star Parker is the founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, or CURE. Star, you have a staff member in Ferguson. What do you hear from him.
Star Parker: Well, Jadan is there as Communications Director to have boots on the ground so we can get the truth. The last time, we knew that a lot of lies came out of Ferguson. Just the whole 'hands up, don't shoot...', so what I'm hearing are two things:
One, the people of Ferguson are really looking to rebuild their communities and, number two, most of the protesters are from outside. They're camping there, they're waking up to make havoc, they come out at night.
Host: So, do you think the root causes of these protests have been addressed in this past year since Michael Brown's death?
Star: No, I don't. I don't believe the root causes of these protests have been addressed because the leadership of the communities we were discussing, the African American communities, more than not. Because of the poverty that is in these communities, we have to start looking at bigger questions. We have to start looking at the war on poverty and the leadership of these communities do not want to go there. They do not want to relate the break-down of family life and what happens when you take out religion out of a community. And until we get there, that we've concentrated poverty through these welfare programs, we are not going to get to the root causes.
Host: What about the policing issue? Have we seen enough change or what else needs to change?
Star: Well, they're attempting to make change in the police department there. They brought in a new police chief, an African American, who has already made it clear that if you do not want to serve that community, then you do not have to. But these questions take a while. We're talking about union control for one thing, so you have to abide by union rules. If you really want to make fundamental changes in police forces, then we have to revisit issues that are union and other issues that are local.
Host: Well, we've seen the violence there in Ferguson and also Baltimore, but not in Charleston. What was the difference?
Star: The difference is South Carolina still has a moral thread. They still have deep respect for a biblical thread in their society. Remember, Charleston, they call it the holy city. They call it the holy city because it has more churches than any city in the country. They take that very seriously. So it's a city that immediately wanted to heal themselves and they knew where to go. They knew to go to the Lord.
Host: There was forgiveness right away, that was key.
Star: There was forgiveness right away.
Host: So from CURE, it's always good to have you, Star Parker. Thank you.
Star: Thank you.