Unequal Rights for Haters
WHITE HATE GROUPS AND THEIR FRIENDS GET A FREE
PASS FROM THE MEDIA, WHILE BLACK HATERS ARE ROUTINELY SAVAGED.
By Ishmael Reed
January 23, 1999
Blacks get shafted, even in the billion-dollar
hate business. Black haters -- the media would include Louis Farrakhan
and Khalid Muhammad -- should organize and demand as much respect
as the media accords to white haters.
Just watch the talk shows. Every time someone
-- usually Alan Dershowitz -- brings up Rep. Bob Barr and Sen.
Trent Lott's ties to the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white
supremacist, neo-Confederate group, the hosts become nervous and
change the subject. And when Barr himself appears on one of their
shows -- he's on MSNBC as often as John Gibson is -- there's never
a peep about his role as a keynote speaker to the CCC. He's a
mainstream political figure and accorded the proper respect.
Yet even as they dismiss Republican ties to such
groups, commentators and journalists routinely blast blacks for
even a hint of race-baiting. MSNBC's Brian Williams and others
have come down hard on Clinton lawyer Cheryl Mills for using what
they described as "the race card" in her Senate presentation
Wednesday. Williams even compared her to Johnnie Cochran, whom
much of the media puts in the same category as Farrakhan these
MSNBC has become Hate Central lately. On its "Imus
in the Morning" show, Vernon Jordan is referred to as "Kingfish,"
from the old "Amos 'n' Andy" show. Recently, during
an appearance by Imus' MSNBC sister in nastiness, Laura Ingraham,
one of their companions made a joke about Clarence Thomas' penis
size (Ingraham used to clerk for Thomas). Imus admitted to a "60
Minutes" interviewer that he set aside a segment of his show
for "nigger jokes."
Yet Imus recently was the subject of a puff piece
in the New York Times, which spends a lot of column inches excoriating
black haters, while Newsweek put Imus on the cover. Among Imus'
followers are "the cognoscenti," we are told. One of
them, New Yorker editor David Remnick, shamelessly contacted Imus
when he learned that he was nominated for something called the
Imus American Book Award (not to be confused with the American
Book Awards of the Before Columbus foundation). As a result of
his fawning, Remnick was ridiculed mercilessly by Imus on Jan.
When the Rev. Pat Robertson appeared on "Meet
the Press" recently, host Tim Russert was deferential, a
little groveling, even though Michael Lind, writing in the New
York Review of Books, did a good job tracing the antisemitic links
of some of Robertson's opinions. Yet Russert didn't raise that
issue, as he certainly would have had a black hater appeared on
his show. When such blacks appear -- very rarely -- he furrows
his brow like Chucky in "Child's Play" and scolds them
about every dumb, fatuous, hateful remark they've ever made.
Laura Ingraham may be the queen of white media
hate. While at Dartmouth University, she worked for the Dartmouth
Review, edited by Dinesh D'Souza, who presided over a regular
column written in Ebonics, which used to split his readers' sides.
In January 1991, Richard Glovsky of the Anti-Defamation League
cited the newspaper for a "malicious pattern of antisemitic
acts." While at Dartmouth she secretly taped meetings of
the campus Gay Students Association, and sent copies to participants'
parents. (No wonder she loves Kenneth Starr.) In the Dartmouth
Review she denounced the GSA as "cheerleaders for latent
campus sodomites." Why doesn't MSNBC, her sponsor, give Khalid
Muhammad a show?
It's not just MSNBC. Fox's Catherine Crier gave
David Duke -- probably the next congressman from suburban New
Orleans, replacing the retiring Republican adulterer Bob Livingston
-- a respectful hearing on her show recently. To be fair, MSNBC's
John Hockenberry raked Duke over the hot coals of his racist,
antisemitic past and present on his show just a few weeks ago.
And just let a black caller on one of these talk
shows suggest that the hate ties of Barr, Lott and other Republicans
is relevant to the current debate. When a caller touched upon
the topic of the CCC on MSNBC, the host asked what it had to do
with the subject of Clinton's impeachment. Well, it might help
those who criticize African-Americans' bloc-voting for Democrats
to understand why blacks believe Clinton's critics have racist
motives for opposing him. Couldn't be just sex, because some of
them have more sex than he. And probably in more variety.
of the New York Times is right. White racism is suddenly high
fashion in this era of neo-Confederate chic and the high-tech
lynching of a president considered too cozy with the brothers
and sisters. That's the real reason the House managers want to
call Jordan and Betty Currie: to show that blacks are Clinton's
running buddies. Black men everywhere got chills when a drawling
Rep. Asa Hutchinson said he wanted to look into Jordan's eyes
and study his tone of voice. We've heard that before.
Obviously, the black hatemongers don't have it
together. They don't receive foundation support. They have to
peddle their evil wares on street corners where they are subject
to police retaliation, while the white hatemongers do their business
inside comfortable air-conditioned studios. Instead of receiving
friendly puff pieces in places like the Times and Newsweek, the
mass magazines and "news shows" condemn them. A Congress
that includes closeted Klan members passes resolutions against
them from time to time.
Suppose a black hater had said that the antichrist
is a Jew, a remark blurted out by Clinton tormentor Rev. Jerry
Falwell. Do you think that the remark would have been dismissed
with a wink and a chuckle, the way Falwell's was?
It's really springtime for white haters in America.