Number 21 - December 19, 2002
The size of the type may be changed by clicking on view at the top of
your browser and selecting "text size". The document will
print in the size you select.
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 America.
If 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 in jeopardy.
Lott flap disrupted
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.
According 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.
Bush seeks sea-change
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
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?
Back 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."
GOP agenda rolls
These 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."
Filter 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.
George 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.
Both 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.
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.
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.
But 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?
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.
If 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 applaud.
We 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.