Buddies: Blacks Find Common Enemy in Clinton's Foes
Cynthia Tucker, Editorial Page Editor
Atlanta Constitution, Wednesday,
December 16, 1998, page A22
© Copyright 1998 The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
Rep. Bob Barr, Georgia's leading Clintonphobe, is trying to distance
himself from the peculiar and racist utterances of the Council
of Conservative Citizens, claiming he had no idea that the council
was a group of white supremacists obsessed with the purity of
the white race.
enough, the group has not distanced itself from Barr, who delivered
a keynote address to a Council of Conservative Citizens semi-annual
national board meeting in June. The group's Web site gleefully
welcomes new friends who have learned of its existence from the
controversy surrounding Barr's speech, revealed by Harvard law
professor Alan Dershowitz, a Clinton ally, during last week's
impeachment hearings. The council forgives Barr, whom it proclaims
a "courageous individual," any political rhetoric he
must use to placate his critics.
we know whom Barr meant when he referred to "real Americans."
people still wonder about the un-yielding support President Clinton
enjoys among African-American voters, the story of Barr's address
to a white-supremacist group ought to provide clarity.
are not running toward Clinton; they are running away from the
lynch mob out to get him, recognizing that the same crew will
turn on blacks as soon as it is finished with the president. This
is just a modern-day spin on the adage: The enemy of my enemy
is my friend.
the sake of this exercise, let's assume that Barr had no idea
what the Council of Conservative Citizens stood for when he took
his place as their honored guest last summer. Let's assume he
was ignorant of the organization's views when he embraced one
of the group' s leaders to pose for a photograph.
is still this to consider: Why did the group choose Barr? Its
members knew what he stood for, didn't they? Those right-wing
extremists who are engaged in a jihad against the rest of us have
a way of picking one another out.
fevered hatred of Clinton that drives his fiercest critics (including
Barr, who first suggested the president be impeached last fall,
before Monica Lewinsky's name had hit the airwaves) is a phenomenon
that could keep a university psychology department in publication
for years. I certainly cannot explain it.
I have always suspected that Clinton's easy and natural relationships
with a number of black Americans --- perhaps his noblest instinct
--- animate some of that hatred. That is not a social standard
the wacky right wing can easily accept.
is that we find columnist H. Millard, featured on the Web site
of the Council of Conservative Citizens, offering the following
commentary on Clinton, described as "the first liberal black
seems likely that his beliefs are actually a result of his inner
black culture. Call him an Oreo turned inside out. Whether it'
s Clinton blowing some Jazz on his sax . . . or having black Vernon
Jordan as one of his closest friends or having black Betty Currie
as his secretary . . . or having Jesse Jackson over to watch the
Super Bowl . . . the picture of Bill Clinton that emerges is one
of a liberal black who doesn't like whites very much."