NEW YORK (AP) -- The Republican National Committee's first black chairman says his party wants to help the black community.
Michael Steele spoke Wednesday in New York City at an annual conference on black issues organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton.
Steele says blacks still lag behind whites in education and employment. He says blacks need to demand innovation in public schools and own businesses that create wealth.
He criticized the federal stimulus program, saying he'd rather see that money go to a small business owner in Harlem than to a government agency.
Steele has come under fire from some Republicans after saying he is held to a different standard because he is black. He is also battling accusations that he has allowed RNC money to be misspent.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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