Thomas is number one - the most backward, reactionary, bloodthirsty,
Black people hater on the U.S. Supreme Court. The pride of Pinpoint,
Georgia has added yet another superlative to dazzle the Black-appointed-faces-in-high-places
crowd. In defiance of storerooms of evidence, bravely disregarding
all standards of human decency, and with clear-eyed contempt for
legal process, Thomas has registered a singular achievement as a
representative of "the race," one he need not share with
any of his colleagues on the High Court.
among the nine Persons In Black, Thomas stood firm against a new
hearing and possible new trial for a Black Texas man sentenced to
death by a jury of nine whites, one Asian, one Hispanic and an African
American in 1986. Lawyers for Thomas Miller-El presented damning
evidence that the Dallas prosecutor's office pursued a policy
of excluding minorities from juries. As the New York Times reported
from several black prospective jurors who were struck from the
Miller-El trial are included in the clemency petition, along with
a 1986 article in The Dallas Morning News citing a 1963 internal
memo in the district attorney's office advising prosecutors who
were picking juries: "Do not take Jews, Negroes, Dagos, Mexicans
or a member of any minority race on a jury, no matter how rich
or how well educated."
That language was later dropped, but in the early
1970's the office used a training manual that included a memo
from a Dallas County prosecutor, Jon Sparling, containing advice
on jury selection: "You are not looking for any member of
a minority group which may subject him to oppression - they almost
always empathize with the accused."
1970's memo was still in circulation when Miller-El went on trial
for the murder of a Holiday Inn employee.
a Supreme Fool could see that Miller-El had been victimized by a
system programmed to kill Black defendants. The sheer weight of
the evidence of racial manipulation of the jury selection process
convinced Antonin Scalia, the Neanderthal who served as Thomas'
early mentor on the court, to relent. There was "a close rather
than a clear" chance that El-Miller might prevail in an appeal
to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court, said Scalia, according to the Washington
Post. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority.
Kennedy said Mr. Miller-El had clearly shown that the evidence
of bias was at least debatable. Not only did the prosecution remove
most black prospective jurors, but black members of the panel
were subjected to more searching questioning on their views of
the death penalty in what Justice Kennedy said could fairly be
seen as an effort to build a record justifying their removal.
nothing could shake the resolve of the man from Pinpoint, quoted
in the February
26 edition of the New York Times:
lone dissenter was Justice Clarence Thomas, who said Mr. Miller-El
had not met even the relatively low threshold that the majority
emphasized today. "The simple truth" is that proof of
racial bias is circumstantial at best, lacking "anything
remotely resembling clear and convincing evidence of purposeful
discrimination," Justice Thomas said.
is the humanoid affliction brought down upon us by the Republican
Party, which only Divine Providence can remove. Clarence Thomas
is 54 years old. He serves for life.
in 1991, a sorry pack of Black back door feeders rushed to Clarence
Thomas' side during his confirmation hearings, hurrumphing that
the young political operative with the barest of judicial credentials
should be given a chance to prove himself. Like the Spook Who Sat
By the Door in the novel, Thomas would show his true Black colors
once the U.S. Senate punched his lifetime ticket, they grinned greasily.
our January 30 discussion of "race traitors," we speculated
that "some of us would cheer if a Black were appointed Lord
High Executioner of African Americans." We misspoke; the position
was already filled. Clarence Thomas is Lord High Executioner
of Blacks. It takes eight white people to hold him back.
hosted a brief but interesting EmailBox dialogue, early this month,
on the exploding Hispanic presence in the southern United States.
A number of Black readers took offence at suggestions that the "Black-white
paradigm" of race relations in the U.S. was outdated, now that
Latinos outnumber African Americans. Simply put, the Black responders
told our Chicano guest commentator that the newcomers should learn
some lessons about white American racism from folks with a few centuries
of experience on the subject, before they declared the Black worldview
an anachronism. (See "Plain
Language on Blacks and Hispanics," February 6.)
some Hispanics are repeating the most backward aspects of the tortuous
Black experience as they attempt to reinvent the race relations
wheel. The question of changing paradigms is misdirected. It is
the racists of the White Man's Party who impose the rules of the
grotesque game, and they are now playing the same tricks on Hispanics
that proved effective in suppressing and confusing Black Americans.
Miguel Estrada spectacle is like watching a rerun of the Clarence
Thomas confirmation, poorly dubbed in Spanish. Estrada, too, is
a young (41), Hard Right political operative with few qualifications
for the federal bench. Like pre-confirmation Thomas, Estrada has
refused to say much of anything substantial about his legal opinions,
and lies when he does speak.
terms of social background, Estrada bears no comparison to Clarence
from Pinpoint. He is the U.S.-educated scion of the Honduran elite,
with no connection to the barrios of the U.S. or the shantytowns
of his native land. But that doesn't matter, because white people
are the ones who always deal and play the race card. And sure
enough, the old racial mojo is working fine. The Hispanics are split,
and the Democrats are in agony.
41 Democratic Senators prepared to filibuster against confirmation
of yet another reactionary colored man with life tenure, Thomas
patron Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) denounced the Estrada opposition
The old trickster was encouraged by the League of United Latin American
Citizens (LULAC), which had endorsed Estrada for no coherent reason
other than his surname.
was just very difficult for us not to support the guy, given his
impeccable credentials," said Hector Flores, president of
the Texas-based group. "It's the American dream, rising up
from Honduras the way he has. The battle isn't whether he's conservative;
it's that he represents Latinos, whether we like him or not."
held down assistant positions in the U.S. Attorney's office for
the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Solicitor General's
office, and is a partner at a high-powered Washington firm. His
qualifications to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District
of Columbia Circuit are comparatively weak. LULAC's Flores has an
"American dream" dancing in his own head and, like Black
Clarence Thomas supporters of the previous decade, he will populate
it with whomever of his ethnic group the White Man's Party offers.
other mainline Latino organizations - the Puerto Rican Legal Defense
and Educational Fund, the Southwest Voter Registration Project and
the House Hispanic Caucus - are having as little success with determined
Latino dupes as did the national African American organizations
back in 1991. Brown fools walking in the footsteps of Black fools,
all the while declaring that their new day has dawned.
paradigm? No, just a new bunch of suckers. White supremacy may well
have a brown defender to keep the Black one company on the High
Court deep into the century.
against the euro
London Sunday Observer took note of the "quiet
emergence of the 'petroeuro,'" this week, part of the growing
realization that the unfolding U.S. military encirclement and impending
occupation of Middle Eastern oil fields is directly linked to maintaining
the American dollar as the preeminent oil currency. As Dr. Sonja
Ebron explained in last week's
African Americans Should Oppose the War," the U.S. economy
would suffer a devastating crash were the dollar's value not "backed
by oil, which allows our Treasury to simply print money as needed
to finance our debt."
Sunday Observer's Faisal Islam agrees. "The US can carry on
printing money - effectively IOUs - to fund tax cuts, increased
military spending, and consumer spending on imports without fear
of inflation or that these loans will be called in," he writes.
"It's probably the nearest thing to a 'free lunch' in global
is also ample cause for a war to "shock and awe" the people
of the planet and prevent oil producing nations from considering
a switch to the euro as a petroleum currency, a move that would
be in the best interests of many producers. Middle East oil nations
engage in more reciprocal trade with Europe than with the United
States. The Observer's Faisal also reports that "the Bank of
China and the Russian Central Bank are both rumored to be waiting
for the best moment to increase the holdings of euros."
exposing itself as a would-be global dictator, the United States
may be accelerating the very thing that it seeks to prevent: a mad
dash away from the dollar. As Dr. Ebron put it in her February
20 analysis, "Far from staving off disaster, our arrogance
may instead compel OPEC to 'go euro' en masse, taking many
oil-consuming nations with them by force of economics. And a trade
war with Europe will lend the coup de grace to our economy."
Times contributor Paul Harris writes that the "reason for the
drive against Iraq is Bush's war against Europe." Harris dates
the current crisis to November, 2000, when Saddam Hussein began
accepting only euros for Iraq's oil, threatening a status quo in
which "the U.S. essentially owns the world's oil for free."
point of Bush's war against Iraq, therefore, is to secure control
of those oil fields and revert their valuation to dollars, then
to increase production exponentially, forcing prices to drop.
Finally, the point of Bush's war is to threaten significant action
against any of the oil producers who would switch to the euro.
the long run, then, it is not really Saddam who is the target;
it is the euro and, therefore, Europe. There is no way the United
States will sit by idly and let those upstart Europeans take charge
of their own fate, let alone of the world's finances.
this context, the shockingly crude behavior of George Bush and his
pirates towards the French and Germans becomes more understandable.
term oil availability has never been an acute concern for the people
who rule America - if it were, Bush would not be offering tax breaks
for gas guzzling SUVs, defying the rest of the planet over global
warming, or putting the physical safety of the oil fields themselves
in jeopardy. It is not in the interest of a single nation on the
planet to seriously disrupt the flow of oil - the producing states
least of all. However, U.S. hegemony in the world is based
on keeping oil prices tied directly and exclusively to the dollar.
This is the artificial arrangement at the heart of the empire -
the "national interest" for which millions will die in
Permanent War until the pirates are removed from power.
lawmakers in the lead
path that the U.S. is going... will destabilize the world as it
is destabilizing the Middle East," Texas Black Congresswoman
Sheila Jackson-Lee told CNN, this week. Reflecting overwhelming
African American distrust of U.S. war policy - historically and
in the current madness - Black lawmakers have assumed leadership
of the resistance to Bush's machinery of destruction.
by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the dean of the Congressional Black
Caucus, six members challenged in federal court Bush's right to
invade Iraq without specific congressional authorization. "The
Iraq Resolution passed by Congress on October 3, 2002, did not declare
war and unlawfully ceded to the President that decision," said
Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL), one of the plaintiffs. "Historical
records show that the framers of the Constitution sought to ensure
that U.S. presidents did not have the power of European monarchs
to single-handedly declare and wage war." Representatives Sheila
Jackson-Lee, Jim McDermott (D-WA), and Jose Serrano (D-NY) joined
in the suit.
Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney lent her considerable prestige
to a Canadian-based effort to expose the U.S. as "home of the
largest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction." McKinney has
signed on as an honorary weapons inspector for the Rooting
Out Evil project. In a letter of support, she wrote:
the United States under the leadership of George W. Bush qualifies
as a misguided missile, dangerous to global peace and security.
You are right to begin your campaign in the U.S. because it is
here that the world's largest stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction
including nuclear, conventional, biological, and chemical weapons
are situated. At the same time, the American people are paying
a dear price for the U.S. focus on militarization at home and
abroad. This focus impoverishes the American people, insults our
fundamental values, and diminishes our spirit and moral character.
economics of war are hurting the American people. And the Bush
government is becoming a global threat. There was a time when
America was loved around the world. Now, it is feared. Now is
the time for all good people of conscience to act.
Rooting Out Evil team last week staged a visit to the Edgewood Chemical
and Biological Center, in Maryland, to bring public attention to
the "dangerous chemical and biological agents being developed
and stored at the facility."
the doggedly domestic-oriented NAACP
is assuming the role of global citizen. As a new non-governmental
organization (NGO) affiliate of the United Nations, the civil rights
group will host an "America's Summit" at its annual meeting
in Miami, in July. "The world is much smaller today,"
said executive director Kweisi Mfume. "Many more issues are
cross-linked between the domestic and international realms. And
the issue of Third World development resonates particularly with
chairman Julian Bond spoke for the organization at the February
15 anti-war rally in New York City, sounding much as he did four
decades ago as a leader of the staunchly anti-Vietnam War Student
Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC):
Americans must ask ourselves today, are we prepared for the consequences
and after effects of an attack on Iraq - continued destabilization
of the region, the deaths of American fighting women and men,
the deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqis, the
collapse of regimes, however undemocratic, which now support us,
near permanent occupation by our soldiers of a defeated Iraq and
the millions upon millions required to bring it stability? If
we really favor regime change, we ought to begin right here at
activist Ron Daniels is coordinating a February 28 action to "surround
the U.S. State Department with a massive Prayer Circle for Peace
before leaving on an urgent Prayer Pilgrimage for Peace to Iraq."
Daniels explains the mission.
my capacity as Executive Director of the Center
for Constitutional Rights, since September of 2002, I have
been working to build an African American lead, multi-racial,
ecumenical coalition of faith leaders opposed to the war. Dr.
James Forbes, Senior Pastor of Riverside Church in New York, Rev.
Tyrone Pitts, General Secretary of the Progressive Baptist Convention,
Rev. Herbert Daughtry, pastor of House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn
and founder of the National Black United Front, former Congressman
Walter Fauntroy, pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Washington,
D.C. and President of the National Black Leadership Roundtable,
Imam Mahdi Bray, President of the MAS Freedom Foundation in D.C.
and Rev. John Mendez, former Chairman of the Racial Justice Working
Group of the National Council of Churches from Winston Salem,
N.C. are among the African American faith leaders who have participated
in the coalition....
together, it is clear that Black voices for peace and justice
are increasing as Bush and company push forward with their misadventure
in Iraq. In the coming days and months ahead, however, more and
more Black voices must come to the forefront to stridently say
no to war and yes to justice and peace. As Martin Luther King
put it, "when machines... and profit motives and property
rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets
of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being
conquered." Black voices for peace and justice can be decisive
in ending militarism, not only in this country but the entire
is a righteous Faith-based Initiative, bearing no resemblance to
George Bush's slavery-time religion.
of the bribed
Bush administration finds international allies in the same way that
it attracts African Americans to the GOP: it bribes them. As this
issue was going to press, the legislature of overwhelmingly Muslim
Turkey was about to decide how many billions of dollars it will
take to buy its participation in the war on Iraq - an invasion that
more than 95 percent of the Turkish people oppose. An important
sticking point is Turkish insistence that Bush sign off on the deal,
personally, since the U.S. is famous around the globe for reneging
on its promises once its goals have been achieved. (Native Americans
could have warned the world about this reflexive behavior.)
figures bandied about range to upwards of $30 billion. All that
is certain is that, as with all U.S. foreign "aid" deals,
much of the money must be spent with corporate friends of the regime
$30 billion, the Turkish deal would be twice the amount spent
annually on federal Temporary Aid to Needy Families - the program
once known as welfare.
all its dimensions, the Bush War is depraved.
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