ROBERT WOODSON SR. believes the continued emphasis on race here in America is taking the country toward chaos. I’ve always respected Woodson as a voice of reason. Here are a few of his perspectives.

“America is thirsty to reward grace and virtue. I believe that there’s going to be a revival coming soon and that revival is going to come from low-income black neighborhoods because those neighborhoods are untouched by ‘wokeness.’ No one there claims that fathers are not relevant.”

His hope for the future is that America can get race off the table, so we can deal with the moral and spiritual free fall that is consuming all races of people. The emphasis on race now is acting as a primary barrier for us to address the deeper malaise facing this country.

Woodson, age 84, is retiring as president of The Woodson Center, which he founded in 1981. This column is based on an interview by Jason Willick that ran in the Oct. 16 Wall Street Journal.

He was raised in Philadelphia. After serving in the military, assigned to an airborne electronic training school, he earned a math degree from Cheyney State and a master’s in social work at Penn. He was a civil rights leader and urban organizer, but migrated to conservatism because conservatives have strategic interests that are compatible with the poor.

He explained “If you own a restaurant, you need 100 people who can come in and wait on tables, and be trustworthy and reliable. As an advocate for the poor, I have 100 people who need jobs to feed their families. So, you and I have the foundation of a strategically beneficial relationship. I don’t care whether you’re racist or not.”

The Woodson Center’s approach is to look for people in a community whom others turn to in times of crisis and try to resource them so that they can scale up, strengthening their networks to respond to problems of crime, addiction and family breakdowns; believing the objective is a practical approach.

Woodson does not see how reparations will help solve problems like crime, violence, day care, affordable housing, gentrification and drug abuse in low-income black communities. It’s a divisive issue, as is Critical Race Theory. They could do more harm than good.

Regarding the epidemic of murders in America, Woodson said “If you devalue your life, you’ll either take your own or you’ll take someone else’s, but they’re different sides of the same coin. Young people are dying needlessly in acts of self-hatred.”

There is nothing more injurious to a people than conveying the notion that they don’t have control over their own destiny. Remember, name-calling and acting out are not reasonable replies to perceived slights.

The Woodson Center’s latest project, 1776 Unites, is an answer to the controversial New York Times “1619 Project,” Critical Race Theory and other leftist educational approaches.

Woodson tends to agree with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who has said “Blaming whites today for past racism strikes as unproductive. You don’t help black kids by making white kids feel guilty for being white.”

The essays celebrate the resilience and perseverance of blacks in the past under some of the worst conditions. Woodson contends America’s history of racial oppression should be studied not just in a spirit of moral accusation, but to understand black Americans’ resistance to it, their resilience.

And finally “The civil rights movement succeeded because of its commitment to core black values. Black Lives Matter is hostile to black values. It is not pro-family. It defines Christianity as homophobic,” said Woodson.