Lott became a liability to George Bush when it became clear that
the unreconstructed Dixiecrat's racist outbursts endanger Bush's
faith-based initiatives, the massive political bribery program designed
to smash the Black bloc vote. Not even a political soul mate like
Lott could be allowed to stand in the way of an historic opportunity
to finally neuter the greatest obstacle to a truly Republican-dominated
anyone is angrier at Lott than African Americans, it is those corporate
Republicans who have built the perfect bribery machine, tailored
to the needs and greeds of the worst elements of the Black clergy.
The White House was preparing to celebrate the dramatic, initial
successes of its Black offensive - until somebody got too happy
at Strom Thurmond's birthday party. Lott and his co-Confederates
now twist slowly in the wind because he put Bush's faith-based initiatives
flap disrupted grand plan
As much as African Americans have enjoyed the spectacle
of a squirming Trent Lott, who has no doubt been suffering the special
nightmares of the damned insane, we must not lose sight of the real
prize Bush seeks. The campaign to corrupt the Black clergy is worth
far more to the GOP than preserving the perverted pride of one redneck.
That is why Bush chose to tongue-lash Lott before
an audience comprised mainly of Black clergy and community service
providers, drawn to Philadelphia by the prospect of federal contracts.
Last week's faith-based initiatives conference was part of a nationwide
schedule of events designed to create a Republican political contracting
and patronage network in the heart of Black America. Bush had hoped
to deliver his usual spiel about removing federal laws that "discriminate"
against churches. Lott's stink bomb put the spotlight on real, historical,
Mississippi-style discrimination. It took a few days to sink into
the backward brains of the Bush crew, but their Black hirelings
and the corporate crowd understood the dimensions of the crisis,
immediately. Lott was poison.
to CNN, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell were both asked to speak
out on behalf of Lott, but refused. Much more significantly, Armstrong
Williams, a man who will take money to vouch for the devil himself,
and who began his Washington career as an intern for Strom Thurmond,
balked at defending Lott. Williams knows that the multi-million
dollar project to find, bankroll and field Black fronts for the
Republican message is based on the premise that the GOP is not the
White Man's Party. Trent Lott proclaimed otherwise. Armstrong Williams
squats at the center of the GOP's growing web of Black operatives.
His castle could crumble, and he is pissed.
The peripatetic political prostitute put out a
"bonus column" real quick. "Whatever gains the president
has made (and was poised to make with a GOP controlled Senate) can
be ripped to shreds when just one leading member of the GOP makes
remarks as racially insensitive as those offered by Senator Lott,"
said the fearful servant, who was really talking about the shredding
of his own credibility and usefulness among Blacks. Williams is
water boy to every rightwing foundation on American soil, the people
who invented Bush's vouchers and faith-based gimmicks. Williams
was hastily signaling their displeasure with Lott, whose
indiscretions undercut a decade of multi-million dollar investments
in operatives like himself.
Ward Connerly, destroyer of affirmative action
in California higher education and Williams' older, West Coast counterpart,
freaked and gave away the game. Lott, said the man responsible for
ruining the lives of countless Black youth, "has mortally wounded
himself." Connerly told CNN, "I don't see how Sen. Lott
can be effective" in the fight against affirmative action.
Connerly fears that Lott may succumb to - get this! - "white
guilt" and "defer to" folks like the Congressional
Black Caucus on racial issues.
In other words, Connerly's and Armstrong Williams'
livelihoods are threatened by the events Trent Lott so arrogantly
set in motion.
With faith-based initiatives slated for action
when the Senate reconvenes in January, Majority Leader-to-be Lott
should have known better than to poison the well; he just couldn't
help himself. "African American churches are more enthused
about this initiative than a lot of
other people," said Lott, delivering apology number four at
last week's Mississippi press conference. Lott had forgotten that
you can't wave the Confederate flag and bribe the Black clergy at
the same time. Bribers and bribees alike tend to photograph badly,
under such circumstances. It's hard to sell the congregation on
that kind of deal.
Bush's entire Black strategy is riding on faith-based
corruption. Copyrighted by the Bradley Foundation, whose think tanks
also devised the Republican Party's version of welfare "reform"
and invented the school voucher "movement" out of thin
air, the scheme is elegantly simple. Politically connected churches
are to be awarded federal contracts to perform social services,
setting in motion a permanent patronage system tied to the
party that made the payments possible - the GOP. Ministerial allegiances
would be expected to change, overnight, splintering the Black voting
bloc. Should Democrats regain federal power in the future, they
would face a daunting problem: who is going to de-fund The Right
Rev. Dr. Greedygut, the born-again Republican social service provider?
Once given life, this is the kind of political monster that will
- like Strom Thurmond - refuse to die.
Encouraged by reports from its Black agents in
the field and by polls showing growing Black disappointment with
Democrats, the Bush administration set up faith-based offices in
five cabinet departments, answerable directly to the White House.
Former faith-based director John DiIulio, a Catholic and nominal
Democrat, resigned under constant pressures to grant political dispensations
to the eager clergy who lined up early. Departmental contracting
offices have been reconfigured as paymasters for a new class of
Black Republican preacher-entrepreneurs.
Before Lott suffered his bile spewing, birthday
party seizure, the faith-based juggernaut had been marching like
Sherman through Black America. At least 1,500 people, including
hundreds of ministers, answered the taxpayer-funded call to an October
conference in Atlanta, sponsored by the White House and the departments
of Education, Labor, Justice, Health and Human Services, and Housing
and Urban Development. Indeed, with all that money on display, who
wouldn't want to come take a look?
in July, the Bush men invited 1,600 Black South Carolina preachers
to learn how to get a piece of the faith-based political pie. So
brazen are Republicans in Strom Thurmond's state, they abandoned
all pretense and sent the invitations out on GOP stationary. Three
hundred hungry ministers showed up at what Republican state director
Ron Thomas called "not necessarily a political event."
Thomas was, however, pleased that the seminar "got huge press
coverage, press and TV. It was a great, great success."
agenda rolls on
are the kinds of pressures that South Carolina's only Black Congressman,
James Clyburn, could do without in a district that is only 53% Black.
There was worse to come. On December 12, the day George Bush rebuked
Trent Lott in front the Philadelphia faith-based gathering, the
President issued an executive order to implement his initiatives
without the consent of congress - separation of church and state
be damned, along with separation of legislative and executive powers.
Bush continues to cave in to the right wing extremists of his party,"
said Rep. Clyburn, speaking as vice chairman of the House Democratic
Caucus. "Today's move to bypass Congress and allow federal
funds to support religious organizations that discriminate is an
outrage. This special treatment for his core constituency is a slap
in the face to the constitutional separation of church and state,
and clearly illustrates to whom this Administration is beholden."
out the nonsensical media chatter, and we see that Bush chastised
Lott because the Mississippian needlessly complicated the grand
plan to massively subvert the Black vote - voters that the likes
of Lott and Thurmond had failed to permanently suppress decades
ago. This is the new face of the Republican Party. Its Black
wing is to be reborn in bribery, an attempt to replay Reconstruction
- not the way it really was, but the way white racists imagine it
to have been, full of corrupt Negroes selling their votes for cash
out of a carpet bag.
publishers are immensely enjoying the GOP's discomfort and Lott's
humiliation, as are most Black people. The episode has provided
a spotlight on our history and made credible an African American
worldview that in recent decades has been dismissed as archaic,
almost mythical. But Lott is an episode, one that will be
forgotten sooner than we would like to think. If George Bush's Black
agenda is pushed through the Senate - with or without Trent Lott
as Majority Leader - Black political power will be smashed, irrevocably.
Bush knows exactly the agenda he is protecting as he jettisons Trent
Lott. The GOP's assault on African American political cohesion is
based on two, related schemes: faith-based initiatives and private
school vouchers. These are the pillars of his grand plan to neuter
Blacks, politically. Nothing else related to Blacks is as important
to the White House, and nothing else should be more important to
us, including the status of Trent Lott.
vouchers and faith-based contracting are designed to subvert Blacks,
internally, by planting well-funded centers of Republican influence
in the very heart of African American neighborhoods. Only last month,
Bush's Education department gave $600,000 to the Black front group
created to spread vouchers propaganda among Blacks. Rightwing foundation
dollars succeeded in grafting vouchers onto the "Black"
political agenda, empowering totally non-representative elements,
whom we are now expected to deal with as if they are legitimate
voices of the community.
buyouts of Black ministers will lead quickly to a political fracturing
among African Americans unlike any in our history. Black leadership
will be forced to reorganize itself on terms dictated by the party
in charge of the federal treasury. Bush has thrown open the vaults,
and is awaiting action in the Senate to begin dispensing contracts
to his preachers of choice. That's why he was in Philadelphia -
to shore up his faith-based weapon against Black political solidarity.
Lott had to be sacrificed to that larger goal.
following Lott's conversation with BET's Ed Gordon, New York Black
U.S. Rep. Gregory Meek appeared on the channel. The Congressional
Black Caucus, said Meek, would "make sure that there is a resolution
on the floor to rebuke" Lott, in January. All Black America
looks forward to seeing Lott on the rack, once again.
will also relish the spectacle.
what if Lott votes to rebuke himself, to vote for his own
censure? We raise this question only to ask another one: What have
we won if all we have wrung from this serendipitous blunder by Lott
is... to be handed the head of Trent Lott?
Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney proposed that Trent Lott
endorse permanent extension of the Voting Rights Act to show his
contrition. Lott and the White Man's Party have thrived in
Dixie under the Voting Rights Act. At this rate, they can live with
it forever. We, on the other hand, cannot live with faith-based
initiatives that establish thousands of Trojan Horses throughout
Black America, fully funded captives of the Right.
Trent Lott is still around to be censured in the next Congress,
Connecticut Democratic Leadership Council Senator Joseph Lieberman,
the presidential candidate from the right wing of the party, will
emit self-righteous noises about America entering a new era. He
will then go straight to the White House to reconcile his own
version of faith-based legislation with Bush's bill. The measure
will be offered as a bipartisan expression of enlightened politics.
A number of opportunists on the Congressional Black Caucus will
deserve the rush of satisfaction that Trent Lott's suffering has
made possible, a kind of unintended Kwanzaa offering. But we have
not yet won anything, and are on the verge of losing catastrophically.