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RACISM AND COWARDICE
By David Podvin
Senate leader Trent Lott has called for an Internal Revenue Service review of
the N.A.A.C.P. Lott insists that the group is an “arm of the Democratic
National Committee”, and should lose its tax-exempt status.
understand why the racists in the Republican Party are determined to destroy the
N.A.A.C.P., you need only look back to the week before the 2000 election. Many
polls showed that Bush had a seven to ten point lead. The National Rifle
Association was preparing a massive get-out-the-vote drive that was expected to
sink Gore in the Midwest. Almost all of the pundits were predicting an Electoral
College landslide for Bush. The G.O.P. candidate was so overconfident that he
spent the last day of the campaign on an ill advised journey to California,
trying to run up the score instead of focusing on more closely contested states.
day later, George W. Bush had lost the election. He was ultimately able to steal
the presidency, but the Election Day shocker left Republicans traumatized. What
the hell had happened?
reviewed the results, they now know. The N.A.A.C.P. happened. Despite all the
ignorant braying by pundits about how blacks didn’t really like Gore, and
about how blacks would never support a ticket with a Jew on it, and about how
blacks were overcome by apathy, there was a hugely successful voter drive by the
N.A.A.C.P. that resulted in a stunning increase in the African American vote.
that’s just counting the ballots that the Republicans were not able to
disqualify through illegal machinations. It does not include the tens of
thousands of blacks who were unlawfully removed from the voter rolls in Florida,
or the countless others across America who were turned away from polling places
by Rehnquist-style G.O.P. thugs.
N.A.A.C.P. was the hero of the 2000 campaign. Chairman Julian Bond and President
Kweisi Mfume organized and executed the most effective voter mobilization effort
in the history of the country. They made the Democratic Party competitive. They
pulled Al Gore into the lead. They helped elect Democratic Senators across the
country, especially in tight races like Michigan and Washington. They made a
huge difference in House races, and in state and local contests.
were a Republican nightmare come true.
a result, they must now be destroyed.
better to begin the jihad than Senator Trent Lott? He is an unapologetic member
of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a pro-slavery group that believes
America’s biggest problem is “race mixing”. Guess whom they want to remove
from the mix?
is also a member of the Council For National Policy. This organization is the
Klan in pinstripes, a supposedly respectable group of conservative activists.
But, as with everything that Trent Lott touches, the C.N.P. reeks with the
stench of racism. It honored Dinesh D’Souza, who has authored books that
explain why blacks are inferior. Its members include many racists, including
R.J. Rushdooney, who teaches his followers that the enslavement of black people
is God’s will. Not was God’s will. Is God’s will.
Lott refuses to associate with liberals because he disagrees with them. He
chooses to associate with R.J. Rushdooney.
would think that this would make him an irresistible target to counterattack
when he declares war on this nation’s premier civil rights organization.
would be naïve.
mainstream media has long been extremely comfortable with Trent Lott and his
bigoted fellow travelers. A P.B.S. documentary showed Governor George Wallace
standing in the schoolhouse door to prevent blacks from integrating the
University of Alabama. Wallace was next seen receiving a warm and fraternal
reception at the National Press Club in Washington. Ronald Reagan, who is
revered by the corporate press to the point where dissenting views of him are
not tolerated, kicked off his 1984 reelection campaign in Philadelphia,
Mississippi. This was a place renowned for only one significant historical
event: the K.K.K. slaughter of three civil rights workers. The symbolism was not
too subtle for the Klan to perceive; they immediately responded by endorsing
Reagan for reelection.
media will not rally to defend the N.A.A.C.P. against Lott’s racism, because
human beings do not confront positions with which they agree.
leaves it up to the Democratic Party to do battle with Lott.
Democratic Party stood gutlessly by while the Republicans legally maneuvered to
exclude African American votes in Florida. Even when witnessing the
politician’s lifeblood - their own voters - being eliminated, the gutless
Democrats failed to respond. The same was true when the Congressional Black
Caucus sought to get one (1) Democratic Senator to support their challenge to
stop the illegitimate inauguration of George W. Bush.
Democratic Senators – fifty cowards.
course, there’s more to it than that. The Democrats have done a cost/benefit
analysis and have come to the rationally immoral conclusion that they can take
the black vote for granted. After all, in 2000, the Democrats were only really
promising the African American community one thing – that Democrats would not
govern with the racist malice of Republicans. That was good enough to generate a
huge groundswell of black support, so why should calculating politicians promise
more than is necessary in order to get their votes? The thinking is this: Why
alienate racist blue collar voters who are receptive to the Democrats’
economic message by appealing to African Americans who are going to vote
is a calculation that is too clever. The biggest cache of available votes exists
among the vast number of Americans who choose not to participate because they
don’t see a political party that is deserving of their support. They need to
be shown that the Democrats stand for something admirable.
ideal starting point is to immediately stand up to Lott. The Democratic Party,
from Chairman Terry McAuliffe on down, should land on this racist demagogue like
a ton of bricks. They should announce that they will not tolerate his cynical
attack on the N.A.A.C.P. They should declare that their top legislative priority
is to insure all Americans have the right to vote and have their votes counted.
They should demand that the budget includes the nine billion dollars that are
necessary to guarantee that every precinct in America has state of the art
optical scanning voting equipment. They should explain that, if spending
hundreds of billions of dollars on munitions is justified in order to protect
democracy, then spending nine billion dollars on reliable voting machines is
justified in order to have democracy.
Gore was so afraid of being perceived as “too pro-black” by white
suburbanites that he silently watched as his most loyal constituency in Florida
was cheated out of their right to vote. If the Democrats want to become the
majority party - if they want to deserve to become the majority party - than
this kind of cowardice must end.
must be willing to risk losing the votes of those who are hostile to African
Americans. They must be willing to pay a price in order to do the right thing.
From a moral standpoint, Democrats must be willing to unflinchingly fight Lott
and the other G.O.P. racists who want to gain electoral advantage by depriving
minorities of equal access to the ballot box. From a self-serving standpoint,
Democrats need to sober up and realize that abandoning your core constituency is
not really the shrewd thing to do.
the Democrats just do what’s right, then they might be surprised to find that
taking a principled stand against racism is not the electoral poison that they
fear it to be.
is not a black issue. Those of us who are white and who vote Democratic have
everything to lose when our political allies are deprived of their rights. If
African Americans in Florida had been allowed to vote without interference from
scheming Republican bigots, then the White House would now be the residence of a
man whose I.Q. exceeds the speed limit.
Johns was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s predecessor at the Dexter Avenue
Baptist Church. Reverend Johns said that, in America, “it’s always nigger
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