Monthly Archives: January 2003

“WASHINGTON (CNN) –Declaring “there’s more to do,” President Bush paid tribute Monday to the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. at a time when politicians and civil rights leaders are debating anew America’s troubled racial history and efforts to remedy past wrongs.”

And indeed there is more to do for George W. Bush. Reversing decades of civil rights progress and “putting them in their place” is no walk in the park. Even when you’ve got the help of House Niggers like Colin and Condi.

“While Monday’s focus was on honoring the slain civil rights leader, the day’s activities were playing out against a backdrop of growing political debate on affirmative action, and Democratic and Republican appeals to minorities.”

And in Texas they’re honoring Jefferson Davis. Because today has become “Confederate Heroes Day” in the President’s home state.

“Bush and first lady Laura Bush were warmly received at a Baptist church in Landover, Maryland, where the president spoke.”

Surrounded by armed guards.

“Even though progress has been made, there’s more to do,” Bush said. “There are still people in our society who hurt. There’s still prejudice holding people back. There’s still a school system that doesn’t elevate every child so they can learn. There’s still a need for us to hear the words of Martin Luther King to make sure the hope of America extends its reach into every neighborhood across this land.”

There are still children born into poor families whocan’t buy their way through life as he as done, with a C average

“Bush made no reference to his decision last week to intervene in a pair of affirmative action cases before the Supreme Court. The administration filed two friend-of-the-court briefs opposing the University of Michigan admissions policy which helps minority students. Bush criticized the policy as a “quota system.” In the briefs, the administration argued in favor of “race-neutral factors,” such as considering an applicant’s socio-economic background.”

As if anything in this heaving cesspool of a culture was “race-neutral.”

“That move angered many civil rights leaders and Democrat lawmakers who say it flies in the face of Bush’s oft-stated commitment to diversity.

“All we’re saying simply is that there are a lot of different factors that ought to be considered as you really strive to achieve diversity in our society and especially on campus. Race is among them,” Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle told CNN Sunday.

He said considering race should be no different than considering an applicant’s athletic prowess or reviewing family connections. He said he believes Bush has benefited in life, such as getting into Yale University, because of his father’s connections.”

To put the most polite possible spin on it.

“Across the nation, Americans marked the federal holiday with prayer, parades and political speeches. In Atlanta, Georgia, Coretta Scott King, the widow of King, urged world leaders to “seek peaceful alternatives to the war with Iraq.” “

As would her husband who, were he alive today, would be ignored by George W. Bush.

Or possibly imprisoned by John Ashcroft.

“Daschle is scheduled to deliver a speech in Detroit, Michigan, on the Democratic civil rights’ agenda. His GOP counterpart, Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee, is scheduled to talk about civil rights at a dinner in New York hosted by the Congress of Racial Equality.”

And talk, as we all know, is exceedingly cheap. Daschle and the Democrats have yet to demonstrate that they have anything to offer Americans — black or white — except warmed-over Republicanism designed to mollify corporate interest while giving the appearance of tossing a few crumbs to everyone else.

“Also appearing Sunday on CNN was Secretary of State Colin Powell, who said he is a “strong proponent” of affirmative action and believes that race should play a role in university admissions.

“I wish it was possible for everything to be race-neutral in this country, but I’m afraid we’re not yet at that point where things are race-neutral,” said Powell, who is African-American.”

Thanks for reminding us. We wouldn’t have known otherwise.

“On Friday, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said that while race-neutral practices are “preferable,” race can be used as “one factor among others” to achieve the goal of racial diversity on campus.”

Then she put the handkerchief back on her head and proceeded to brush-scrub the White House floors. But seriously folks —

“In the briefs, the Bush administration did not address the question of whether race could ever be considered a factor in making admissions decisions.”

Meaning that it’s considered a factor.

One must either be white or turn on one’s own race in slavish support of whites.

“Over the weekend, the White House announced that Bush wants to boost funding by $371 million for historically black colleges and Hispanic institutions.”

Thus coming out in favor of “separate but equal” education in a “separate but equal” America. And this in turn recalls a passage from James Baldwin’s The Devil Finds Work (Dial, 1976) that is a particular favorite of mine.

“Blacks are often confronted, in American life, with such devestating examples of the white descent from dignity; devestating not only because of the enormity of the white pretensions, but because this swift and graceless descent would seem to indicate that white people have no principles whatever.”

As Baldwin well knew, this isn’t always the case. But it certainly accounts for the fact that The Birth of a Nation, a film Baldwin rightly identifies as nothing more than “an elaborate justification of mass murder,” is so widely revered on the one hand, and Martin Luther King’s Birthday is officially celebrated on the other.

But we all know George W. Bush would rather be in Texas celebrating somebody else…

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Tracked: January 30, 2003 09:35 AM