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Juan Williams on African-American 'Victimhood'

Aug 7, 2006 (Morning Edition)

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Many African-American leaders have lost touch with a hallmark of the civil rights movement — the tradition of self-empowerment, Juan Williams says in his new book. Instead, they've embraced the notion of "victimhood," the NPR senior correspondent says.

His book is called Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America — and What We Can Do About It.

"I think it's a terrible signal to our young people about who black people are to have us constantly wrapped in the cloak of victimhood, and to have black leadership that in a knee-jerk fashion defends negative, dysfunctional behavior," Williams tells Steve Inskeep.

Their conversation begins a week-long series on the state of leadership in the African-American community.

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