Thursday, January 19, 2006

Race-Baiting and a Return to Segregation

Not two subjects that you would expect to be reporting from MLK Day, a day set aside to honor the life and dedication of the "father of the American Civil Rights movement," Martin Luther King, Jr. But there it is, in all its racist ugliness.

And the big surprise? The culprits are liberal Democrats, and neither was called on the carpet for their comments by fellow Dems. So much for the party of inclusion and integration.

In one speech Monday supposedly paying homage to Dr. King, Senator Hillary Clinton stepped behind the pulpit of a Baptist church in Harlem and turned what should have been a celebration of King's vision and activism into a race-baiting political rally:
"When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation, and you know what I'm talking about," Clinton, D-N.Y., told the crowd at the Canaan Baptist Church of Christ in Harlem.
"We have a culture of corruption, we have cronyism, we have incompetence," she said. "I predict to you that this administration will go down in history as one of the worst that has ever governed our country."
The irony of her comments was that they focused not on her own former presidential administration, shared jointly with husband Bill, but on the current administration of President George W. Bush. (A clear example of the pot calling the kettle black in the eyes of most conservatives.)

But the most egregious statement was the one comparing the Bush administration to pre-Civil War slave owners. As Harvard law student Josh Riley opines at TPMCafe (an offshoot of Talking Points Memo, which has never been accused of being a bastion of conservatism), Mrs. Clinton's words were "entirely unacceptable."
...[B]efore a predominantly black audience, Senator Clinton, in no uncertain terms, expressed her opinion that the House of Representatives was "being run like a plantation." While criticism of the House is warranted, analogizing the relationship of Republicans and Democrats to that of slave-owners and slaves is entirely unacceptable. First, these words trivialize years of racial atrocity that scarred our nation. Second, they demonstrate a willingness to use race as a political wedge where issues of racial equality should be above the fray of partisanship.
In a separate MLK event in New Orleans, Louisiana, Mayor Ray Nagin took the opportunity to advance his own vision for the rebuilding of the tattered city. A vision which seems to hold more than a touch of racism and a planned return to segregation, instead of Dr. King's dream of racial unity.
"Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country," Nagin, who is black, said as he and other city leaders marked Martin Luther King Day.

"Surely he doesn't approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We're not taking care of ourselves."
"It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans - the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans," the mayor said. "This city will be a majority African-American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans."
A chocolate New Orleans? It sounds like someone has their hand stuck in the candy jar, and doesn't mind letting the world know it. But this is not the dream preached by Dr. Martin Luther King. This is one thing, pure and simple: a return to the segregation of pre-Civil Rights southern life. This is what Dr. King preached against when he said, "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Almost as bad as the racism behind these remarks is the double standard by which liberals and the American media are treating them. Other attendees of the Harlem rally included the Reverence Al Sharpton (the event organizer), Clinton's fellow New York Senator Charles Schumer, and extreme left-wing activist Harry Belafonte. Not only did none of these august persons object to Mrs. Clinton's remarks, but when conservatives across the nation began protesting, the DNC dispatched the only current black member of the Senate, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, to defend the former First Lady. But if a conservative Republican politician had used the similar analogy, he would have been lambasted for his crude racial hatred.

And in case you doubt it, NewsBuster's Mark Finkelstein reminds us of a not-so-different incident with Sen. Trent Lott:
When Republican leader Trent Lott made racially insensitive remarks, the MSM was immediately flooded with speculation as to whether he could survive in his political leadership post.

But when Hillary Clinton did the same, the Today show portrayed her as going on the offense, not being on the defense.
The same double standards are being used in the case of Mayor Nagin's chocolaty remarks. Not only is there a pass by the media for his apparent direct line to knowing the mind of God -- when televangelist Pat Robertson recently declared that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was God's punishment for dividing the Holy Land, liberals and conservatives alike joined the international media in protesting his words, and rightfully so. But the outcry from Democrats and the American media was noticeably absent after Mayor Nagin proclaimed the hurricanes were sent by God to punish America for her sins in Iraq, and to punish "black America" for its violence and "political infighting." (Interesting enough, the Almighty does not appear in Mayor Nagin's world to care too much about the absolute moral and social depravity that was touted and flouted in pre-Katrina New Orleans with such things as gay and lesbian conventions, the drunken orgy called Marti Gras, etc.)

But just think of the nation's reaction if a white Republican official -- say Texas Governor Rick Perry or Congressman Tom DeLay -- were to make similar statements of racial segregation. I can just hear the heads exploding if DeLay were to proclaim a move to make Sugar Land a "vanilla" city, or if Perry announced his plans to make Austin a majority white city, because "that's the way God wants it to be." There would be burning effigies of these men thrown across every TV screen and newspaper front page in the nation, and the backlash would be overwhelming.

As blogger extraordinaire Michelle Malkin writes,
These calculated moments of Democrat demagoguery illuminate liberalism's three-decade-old moral bankruptcy on issues of race. From the party's smearing of Clarence Thomas to the bigoted attacks on Condoleezza Rice and Maryland GOP Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, to its opposition to school choice for inner-city students and denigration of California businessman Ward Connerly's campaign against government racial preferences, to its latest desperate attempts to blame racism for Hurricane Katrina and to portray Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito as a red-necked bigot, the Left has offered nothing but slime and obstructionism.

Yet, there isn't a day that goes by without Democrats effectively using the race card against their opponents in every political debate ranging from education to border security to the courts. It's time for conservatives, Republicans in Washington, and minorities with half a brain to call their bluff. Stand up. Defend your honor. Don't let it pass.
When are we going to hold our elected officials to the same standard that is expected of each and every one of us "regular people" in our everyday lives? Not just conservatives and Republicans, but all of our leaders. If we are ever to realize the Dr. King's dreams of peace and unity, we must take that step.


Anonymous Daffyd said...

Songbird, great post! As a follow-up, I think you'll like Buckley F. Williams' latest yarn. God's reply (via the Angel Fernebus, the heavenly PR Director) to Nagin's speech: "Actually, I sent Ray Nagin as punishment!"

1/19/2006 10:20 AM  

Anonymous barfkitty said...

Wow, of all the posts I've read this week about Hillary's "plantation" remarks and Nagin's "chocalate" obsession, I have to say this is the best and most complete. Nice job of tying the two together and pointing out the segregation angle, which should have been obvious but never crossed my mine. Another reason I'm glad this northern bunny has found the Texas Songbird. Keep up the good work!

1/19/2006 2:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think nagins comments were more aimed at the africamerican community to try and get them to come back home and stop black on black crimes and violense

not so much segragation like you said


1/19/2006 3:45 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

illvoter: Your right that his comments were aimed at the African-American (former) residents of NO, an attempt to get them to move back and begin the rebuilding process. However, as a white man from NO with a family that is still living in "temporary housing" (I've got a temp job, but nothing like what I had back home) in Houston, I have to say I really resent Nagin's remarks. There were plenty of white families displaced by the storm that have called NO and Louisiana home for generations, and Nagin's pronouncements seem to say that we are not welcome back. Just because of the color of our skin. I have to agree with the author; that reeks of racism and segregationism. Nothing new to NO, but it's nice to have it recognized for a change.

Charles B.

1/19/2006 4:41 PM  

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