Is Only a Conservative Problem, Right ?
Larry Elder, Syndicated Columnist
Jewish World Review, Thursday, January 21, 1999
year, Rep. Bob Barr, Republican of Georgia, gave the keynote speech
before the Council of Conservative Citizens.
is the Council of Conservative Citizens? It is a Southern
organization that considers whites superior to blacks and equates
interracial marriage to white genocide. And Senate Majority Leader
Trent Lott also has ties to the CCC, where he, too, has spoken.
Mr. Lott's uncle called the senator an "honorary member"
of the CCC, a tribute Lott disputes. For what it's worth
- and it may not be much - both Lott and Barr recently denounced
the CCC's racist ideology. Even if insincere, the Lott/Barr
backpedaling is a far cry from the defiant, Jim-Crow-loving Alabama
Gov. George Wallace, who bellowed, "Segregation now, segregation
tomorrow, segregation forever."
affiliation with a white supremacist group suggests either racism,
stupidity or reckless negligence, none of which is excusable.
Politicians, pundits and newspaper columnists across the country
quite properly blast away at Barr and Lott for their coziness
to the CCC. Yes, let us all reject racial identity politics,
whether coming from the left or coming from the right.
did the decibel level get this high when then-NAACP Executive
Director Ben Chavis embraced Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation
of Islam? An accomplished demagogue, the Rev. Farrakhan
has called Judaism "a gutter religion," Adolf Hitler
"a great man" and Los Angeles Korean shop owners "bloodsuckers."
equates the NAACP, the venerable civil rights organization, with
the racist CCC. But if, by association, we assume Messrs.
Lott and Barr share the CCC's repugnant ideology, do we also draw
the same connection between the NAACP and Mr. Farrakhan?
ago, Cleveland, Ohio, hosted a national conference of black mayors,
some of whom headed towns with majority white populations.
How should the non-black citizens of those towns feel? Did
the voters in XYZ city elect a mayor to serve as a "black
mayor," or did they elect someone to fix the potholes and
handle snow removal? Rep. Maxine Waters represents a district
where Asians, Hispanics and whites outnumber blacks. Yet,
Mrs. Waters became president of the Black Congressional Caucus.
So, what is everybody else - potted plants?
Mrs. Waters accuses the CIA of playing a major role in the Los
Angeles cocaine trade, an assertion dismissed by the Los Angeles
Times, The Washington Post and the New York Times. Still,
Mrs. Waters thundered, "If it's the last thing I ever do,
I intend to make somebody pay for what they have done to my
people." My people? And the others in her
district are what, hood ornaments?
American cities, minority police officers form organizations to
protect the interests of officers of their own color. Is
it OK for white officers to do likewise? After all, many
whites abhor affirmative action, arguing that preferences sacrifice
quality, compromise public safety and unfairly deny them opportunities.
years ago, Cal State Northridge played the racial-identities game
when the school set up a debate on affirmative action. Whom
did the students invite and pay to argue the anti-affirmative
action side? David Duke. (Anybody who opposes affirmative
action is, therefore, a bigot - get it?)
ironic that the Barr/Lott "scandal" should erupt around
Martin Luther King's birthday. Today, our teachers ask schoolkids,
"How would King feel were he alive today? Would the
country be 'further along' in race relations?"
knows? But we can, with certainty, say one thing.
King would have condemned the NAACP's embrace of Louis Farrakhan
just as aggressively as he would have condemned Mr. Barr's and
Mr. Lott's dance with the CCC. King would have branded someone
who condemns Jews as unfit to be called a man of God. King would
have rejected the politics of racial identity, whether from the
left or from the right.
harsh glare of national attention on Messrs. Barr and Lott
demonstrates our national abhorrence of white racism. Let
us condemn all racism just as harshly. For the enemy remains
the mentality that favors group rights over individual rights.
majestic late Rep. Barbara Jordan of Texas once said, "We
are one, we Americans; we are one. And we reject any intruder
who seeks to divide us on the basis of race and color. We must
not allow ideas like political correctness to divide us and cause
us to revert hard- won achievements in human rights and civil
rights. . . . We reject both white racism and black racism. .
. . Our strength in this country is rooted in our diversity. Our
history bears witness to that fact: E pluribus unum! From many,
one. It was a good idea when the country was founded, and it's
a good idea today."
published as "Racism Through a Two-Way Lens," Washington
Times, Monday, January 25, 1999, page A17)