Lott's Sins Splitting GOP Along Racial Lines
New York Daily News, Wednesday,
February 3, 1999
good, there are major developments in the trouble surrounding
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott developments that are
creating dissension in the GOP ranks along racial lines.
of this column know, I have been writing a lot about the Senate
majority leader because, in my unwavering opinion, his long-time
involvement with a pro-white organization is a political scandal
that tests the integrity of the Republican Party.
story is rising slowly but surely from the shadows and should
create quite a tornado of stink when the public nose is opened.
But that will not happen until we are done with the tale of Mr.
Bill and the chubby intern. The media seem incapable these days
of covering more than one story at a time. So we will have to
as we do, very important things spinning off the Lott story are
starting to appear on the horizon, and they tell us a great deal
about why the GOP has such trouble with people who are not white,
even those who agree with some of what the party thinks.
black spokesmen are beginning to show their disgust for a party
that will not face up to the apparent bigots in its midst. The
latest example came this weekend, when Armstrong Williams, a black
Republican conservative who is a Washington talk-show host and
a frequent guest on radio and television shows, published a powerful
condemnation of Trent Lott in the Washington Times.
earlier, Williams had been a guest on Jay Diamond's radio show
here in New York, where he was bombarded with information about
how tight Lott has been with the Council of Conservative Citizens.
Williams did some research on the organization and quickly concluded
that it is racist.
denial that he had any firsthand knowledge of the group, Williams
wrote: "This was a lie. As it turns out, he has been associated
with the organization since its inception."
wrote further that the actions of high-level Republicans like
Lott explain why the party is incapable of making inroads into
so-called minority communities.
the problem," Williams went on, "is that, with the notable
exception of Republican National Committee Chair Jim Nicholson,
there has been little condemnation of Mr. Lott . . . from [his]
colleagues. The Congressional Black Caucus has remained largely
silent, and religious organizations have not been shaking their
fists in the air."
is very important, because Williams has been dismissed as an Uncle
Tom by those in the black community who oppose his conservative
views. If he is an Uncle Tom, then the Republican Party needs
to recruit as many more of his kind as it can get. It needs more
black people and more white people more any kind
of people who recognize that a person such as Trent Lott
fact that this has not happened yet is very telling. The Republicans
lack the courage to stand up in a period when Newt Gingrich and
Bob Livingston fell like two dominoes. The Congressional Black
Caucus may well have compromised itself by associating with Louis
Farrakhan's Million Man March. But what of the religious leaders?
Is this not a moral issue of the first magnitude?
again, the issue of race allows us to see our nation's shortcomings,
across the lines of color and among those who stand behind pulpits.
Copyright 1999 Daily News, L.P.