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(Yahoo/AP) — Michael Steele, the Republican National Committee’s first black chairman, told an audience that his party wants to help the black community but they need to do a better job of depending on themselves and not the government to create opportunities.

Steele received a warm welcome from hundreds of black activists at the annual meeting of the National Action Network, an organization founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton, a noted civil rights activist and former Democratic presidential candidate.

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.

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