unreconstructed racists at the helm of the Republican Party
have elevated the most widely despised Black man in the nation
as their principle African American political spokesman. Armstrong
Williams, the raving reactionary whose opinions are shared by
no significant segment of Black America, has positioned
himself as the GOP's Director of Black Personnel, the central
player in the party's drive to recruit Black candidates for
electoral and appointive office. Flanked by about a dozen Black
Republicans less known - and, therefore, less reviled - than
himself, Armstrong pretended to strong-arm Republican National
Chairman Mark Racicot and Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist,
demanding that they entrust to his care a large portion of the
party's minority recruitment funds and favors. Racicot and Frist,
for their part, pretended to be awed and intimidated by the
fawning talk show buffoon.
the end of the day's political theater, the players bowed and
congratulated each other on a ruse
well done. As we wrote in our January 16 commentary Armstrong
Williams' Big Move, "There is a giant money pot in
this deal for Williams, whose public relations firm, the Graham
Williams Group, co-founded with Oprah boyfriend Stedman Graham,
specializes in crafting benign racial images for the institutional
Democrats should take no pleasure in Williams' coup. The carefully
scripted Racicot-Williams production, starring Strom Thurmond's
Black protégé, a mercenary who has "never
run for office or led any organization indigenous to the Black
community," sets the political bar so low that it can only
encourage complacency among white Democrats. The GOP has no
monopoly on racism - although, when it comes to minstrelsy,
the White Man's Party puts on a far more entertainingly authentic
show, the real doo-dah.
calls for a snappy one-liner from one of our readers, Bro Reuben:
are for sale. Black folks just can't afford them.
course, Black Republicans don't have the luxury of humor, as
they contemplate Armstrong Williams' coup. Sherman N. Miller
publishes the online InnerCity Conservative. He's not laughing.
am a Black Republican who ran for Lt. Governor of the state
of Delaware in 1996 on the Republican Party ticket. My columns
have appeared in the African American press for over 30 years.
I am also a member of the Trotter
Group for the last ten years.
of my columns have also appeared simultaneously in the mainstream
media. I am presently building a web
page to offer opinions of inner city conservatives that
speak to the issues of tomorrow. You may find my vita at that
web site. If you know of conservatives that wish to have their
articles on line please send them to me.
also firmly believe that Black Republicans have a responsibility
to speak to the issues of today and not appear to put down
the Black race merely to exploit the media for high coverage.
Perhaps the media will seek out some of us moderately conservative
Black Republicans who have excellent working relationships
with the Black Democrats over the years to do what is right
for our community. The national Republican Party knows who
the moderately conservative Black Republicans are, so you
all might want to challenge them to also bring out these people's
positions versus merely blindly following the Armstrong Williams'
school of Black Republicanism.
National Republican Committee also knows that they cannot
follow a doctrine as extreme as the Armstrong Williams doctrine
without committing political suicide in the long run.
D. Robinson is editor of editor of Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine.
He dropped us a line:
piece on Armstrong Williams and the GOP was awesome!
Oprah-Armstrong Williams connection moved Don Call to write
to us, from Florida.
didn't realize that Stedman was affiliated with Williams.
So much for the people's gal, Oprah. Why is it that every
time a Democrat gets a couple hundred thousand in the bank,
they suddenly become Republicans?
of the pundits on CNN said that Rep. Ford may be considering
a move to the Republican Party. Is this true?
Mr. Call, we don't study too much Oprah at
but, regarding right-leaning Black Congressman Harold Ford,
we very much doubt that he would commit political suicide in
his Memphis district or embarrass his locally powerful family
by switching parties. However, we predict that he will be among
the first in the Congressional Black Caucus to endorse Connecticut
Senator Joe Lieberman for President - which is almost the same
is one of the Four
Eunuchs of the CBC who voted for Bush's Iraq War, along
with Sanford Bishop (GA), William Jefferson (LA) and Albert
Wynn (MD). Lieberman is even more Hell-bent on war than Bush,
and is the standard bearer for the Democratic Leadership Council,
representing the party's right wing. Ford serves on the executive
board of the DLC.
that Rep. Ford might switch parties probably emanate from Ford,
himself, a buzz-addicted personality.
deadline prevented us from examining the hoopla and nonsense
surrounding Condoleezza Rice's role in George Bush's anti-affirmative
action farce, last week. Boston's Gary N. Harding decided to
write to us about it, anyway.
found it interesting the White House stated that Condi Rice
played a part in helping Bush come up with the administration
position on affirmative action. But what really got my attention
was the administration position that the best way to achieve
diversity in higher education was to allow diversity to just
"evolve." After reading this I thought to myself.
How and why are these people allowed to get away with saying
to African Americans again in 2003 to just wait, you'll get
your opportunity. Just wait for things to "evolve."
But I am from the old school and I say, Freedom, when do I
want it? Now! And not just for me like selfish white Negroes,
persons the likes of Colin Powell, Rice, Armstrong and the
rest of the traitors who serve their own interests for selfish
purposes. I want it for all who are left behind in this society.
by the way, keep up your work. Your site is by far, one of
the best sources for information for people of color to be
our take on where Condoleezza Rice fits in the White House scheme
of things, see Condoleezza
Rice: The Devil's Handmaiden, in this issue.
expected Jorge Mariscal's Guest Commentary "A
Chicano Looks at the Trent Lott Affair" to provoke
a serious response from the readership - and we were not disappointed.
Mexican American immigrants to the Deep South, wrote the educator
and activist, "are walking into a black/white universe
like virtual aliens from another planet." Mariscal cautioned
that the "hoary black/white paradigm that still determines
all discussions about race in the United States" fails
to address the new realities occasioned by the Hispanic presence.
Mariscal posed the question: "Will discrimination in education
and housing and economic inequality in general eventually lead
to a new Mexican American militancy that will rise up this time
not in the Southwest but deep in the heart of Dixie?"
Bogan, of Portland, Oregon, isn't ready to discard the old racial
paradigm, just yet.
always, a thought-provoking issue. I'd like to respond to
the article "A Chicano Looks at the Trent Lott Affair"
by Jorge Mariscal, specifically, the contention, shared by
he and other Latino/a academics and commentators, that discourse
on race in these United States is locked in an "narrow
and antiquated black/white reality" I would beg to differ
that in the experience of most black brothers and sistahs,
there's nothing "antiquated" about: 1) being stopped
by cops on highways (better known as DWB - driving whilst
black) 2) denial of job/housing opportunities due to their
particular pigment 3) frequently demonized in the white mainstream
media as being the locus of all social pathology in America
and lastly 4) comprising a disproportionate number of individuals
in prison in relation to their population.
I do agree with Mr. Mariscal that the discourse needs to be
broader in regards to racial issues, and the history of the
black/latino/a coalitions should be better understood amongst
both peoples, by no means have we achieved anywhere near a
point in time where anyone can state with the certitude of
Mr. Mariscal that the issues that continue to stay with us
are in any way "antiquated'' simply due to the "facts
on the ground" of latino/a immigration numbers that are
Uwangue examines the paradigm from a slightly different angle.
fit into the American racial madness pretty much according
to the old schoolyard rhyme: If you're white, you're all right/If
you're brown, stick around/If you're yellow, you're mellow/If
you're black, get back.
non-white immigrant groups coming into this country fit into
this racial pyramid, whether they know it or not, and whether
they like it or not.
Richard Pryor famously joked, being able to yell "nigger"
is a basic qualification for US citizenship. A working knowledge
of the history of American apartheid would inform any new
American's understanding of what it means to be an American.
To go along and conform to the status quo is to support the
white supremacist hierarchy. If they wish to challenge that
hierarchy and build a better future for themselves and their
families, they have to form coalitions with African-Americans.
We know the most about challenging white supremacy in this
nation; apart from the Native Americans, we've had the most
the "brown, stick around..." rhyme is a Black-Black
paradigm, referring to different shades of African Americans.
However, we do agree with everything ever said by Richard Pryor.
believe it is critical that Black activists and politicians
rise to the challenge of the exploding Hispanic population,
whether the immigrants are immediately receptive or not
(to paraphrase Ms. Uwangue). It is to our advantage that they
be politically assimilated to our worldview, and that
we become more knowledgeable about theirs.
Boren writes from Texas.
Mariscal's commentary is an excellent one, and it deserves
the added readership that inclusion in
will give it.
Boren partnered with
publishers Peter Gamble and Glen Ford to establish America's
Black Forum as commercial television's first nationally syndicated
Black news interview program, in 1977. He, too, is outraged
that ABF has become a showcase for the GOP's Personnel Director,
clown-columnist Armstrong Williams. It's good to hear from Jim.
may have noted that we changed the name of our "Briefs"
column to "The Issues" - partly because we are quite
often anything but "brief" when dealing with the issues.
In last week's Issues column, we examined Illinois Governor
George Ryan's decision to empty the state's death row.
is the only answer," we wrote. "167 men and women
were spared when a Republican governor, like Saul on the road
to Damascus, was made to see the light, and became Paul. Such
transformations are rare. The prosecutors of Illinois vow to
fill the empty spaces on death row. They are the bloodthirsty
problem beyond fixing. The tools of death must be snatched from
their hands." (See "Death
takes a [brief] holiday," January 16.)
bright light also seems to have shined on John Lockhart, of
San Diego, California, one of the 38 capital punishment states.
reading your story I have changed my way of thinking, concerning
the capital punishment. The facts are what they are. It makes
me very sad that our country tells other countries how to
treat their people and we treat ours just as bad. We do a
good job of cover up. America should be held accountable.
This information is very powerful.
piratical class dominates the executive and legislative machinery
of U.S. government through the Republican Party - a class with
no national loyalties and only tenuous connections to the workings
of the domestic economy. In our December 5 commentary, "Rule
of the Pirates: The $200 Billion Payday," we pointed
out that the "cost" of war with Iraq is welcomed as
a bonanza among the circles that brought us George Bush and
Dick Cheney. "For them," we wrote, "war is the
ideal business environment."
Paige writes from Cambridge College, Massachusetts.
read the editorial, "Pirates". It was very good.
However, you neglected to mention the Carlyle Group, the investment
firm that Bush Sr. is involved in and also I believe James
Baker. Once you look at the Carlyle Group you begin to understand
the long and large tentacles of the military/industrial complex.
There is a revolving door between business and government.
We sell them weapons, we attack them because they possess
the weapons, we rebuild the infrastructure we just destroyed.
We get to profit three times. I also feel bad because most
people join the military for a noble reason. However, the
U.S.military is becoming the security force for U.S. corporations,
smoothing and paving the way for oil fields and pipelines.
I would like to see future editorials about the connections
between the Carlyle Group and the U.S. government.
is, of course, a major player in the ascendant, pirate political
Paige must be gently chastised on his use of the word "we,"
as in, "We get to profit three times." The
only people who will profit from rebuilding Iraq after first
destroying it are the pirates of Carlyle, Halliburton, etc.
The rest of us get the bill.
Francis is more excitable than the Pointer Sisters.
I was blown away by your "pirates" commentary, which
I linked to from Buzzflash.com. Thoughtful and visceral.
I'll be back. With friends.
are confident that Ms. Francis keeps good company.
Bridgeman has written
into her book of notable dates, for which we are honored.
never knew this website existed before today the 17th of January
2003. From the two articles I've read your stuff is very good
and necessary at this time to counter all the right wing dung
that passes for information on radio and TV. I'll be reading
your stuff a lot more often from now on.
can also attest that John K. Boyd is a gentleman of discerning
taste and penetrating intellect. Here is the proof:
only recently stumbled across your site. I'm a white reader
who attends the University of Oklahoma. I find The Black Commentator
an invaluable resource for insight into the concerns of blacks
and other minorities.
site is very well designed and the commentary cogent. Thank
you for this valuable resource.
are particularly pleased to receive this note from syndicated
columnist Deborah Mathis, who puts words to the service of the
are fabulous. Keep that strong, unflinching stance dear Brothers
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