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Article updated: 8/30/2013 9:12 AM

Walsh gives advice to black conservatives in St. Charles

By James Fuller

Fresh off delivering his own controversial version of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech on the radio Wednesday, former congressman Joe Walsh doubled down Thursday with remarks critical of violence and babies born out of wedlock that he described as particularly problematic in the black community.

Walsh told a small audience at a Black Conservatives Summit in St. Charles that there is a fight to save black communities in the United States. That fight begins with tearing away from what he perceives as a liberal push to make blacks dependent on government.

"Big daddy and big mommy government has replaced the black family, has replaced the black church in the black community," Walsh said. "And I know I'm only a white guy, and maybe I shouldn't be saying that, but it's simple. It's right in front of us."

Walsh's remarks came during the opening day of a Black Conservatives Summit organized by the Freedom's Journal Institute and sponsored by conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation and the Illinois Family Institute. The four-day summit aims to encourage blacks to embrace conservative principles regardless of political party.

The Rev. Eric Wallace, the publisher of the Freedom's Journal Magazine, told attendees being followers of Christ involves a call to political involvement. That includes following biblical guidance on issues such as global warming and gay marriage.

"When people start saying that homosexuality is OK, and people are born like that, that's keeping those people captive," Wallace said in opening remarks preceding Walsh. "We're supposed to bring relief."

Walsh praised Wallace as a much better voice for the black community than some of the figureheads often seen on television.

"We listen to guys like Al Sharpton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson," Walsh said. "We listen to men like this who deep, deep, deep down in their hearts may have the best of intentions. But everything they say, and everything they preach, hurts black America."

Walsh's appearance showed he wasn't backing away from his "My Own Dream for America" speech he delivered on his radio show Wednesday.

"I have a dream that today's black leadership will quit blaming racism and 'the system' for what ails black America," Walsh said Wednesday. "I have a dream that one day black America will cease their dependency on the government plantation, which has enslaved them to lives of poverty, and instead depend on themselves, their families, their churches, and their communities."

Those remarks drew cries of racism from several media outlets.

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