July 24, 2004

Urban Legend

Bush speech to Urban League on the money...

Bypassing the rankly partisan NAACP, President Bush pitched compassionate conservatism to the National Urban League on Friday.

There are different schools of thought on Bush and the black vote. The first is that American blacks, voting 90% Democrat, are a waste of time and effort to court by Republicans. The other, that attempts to improve Republican results have everything to gain, and nothing to lose.

We subscribe to the secondary camp. If Bush can establish a comfortable lead, he could in a masterstroke make a bold reach for black American votes. Pitching independence and self determination - self-employment, strong faith, school choice - there is an opportunity to regain a notable share of the black vote.

Until then, black votes remain a cakewalk for the Democrat party...

Posted by MEC2 at 03:27 PM

July 13, 2004

Junk Bond

Bush downgrades Bond, NAACP to junk status...

The chariman of the NAACP made the Bush administration's case for it when he again attacked the President and demonstrated that he didn't put the 'civil' in civil rights.

Many opinions have come forth regarding the President's decision not to address the NAACP - though not all review the real reasons for it. The administration is still stung by the James Byrd ad ran by the NAACP in Texas during the 2000 election. The implications in the ad were enough to turn Bush off to the NAACP permamently.

And then there's Bond. Dragging down the relevance of his organization along with the level of the discussion, he frequently conflates the Confederacy, the Taleban (Taliban for those so inclined), and the Republican party as birds of a feather. While this may rile up the diehard soldiers in their fight against The Man, it reveals a lack of depth both in understanding and communication. By design? Possibly - use Mfume as the diplomatic hand to seem reasonable, and Bond as the sword hand to attack, to exact the highest political cost from the administration, regardless of what it does. Bond's remarks don't further dialogue, don't enhance discussion, and frankly don't reflect anything but what passes for discourse on the left - vitirol, venom, and vituperation. It's all junk, all the time from Mr. Bond.

Bush is right regardless of his choice - choosing to confront them, can be seen as bold and resolute. Choosing to ignore them can be seen as dignified and above-the-fray. That said, the sooner the Republican party looks outside traditional Democrat-friendly organizations to interface with black America, the better. They have a message that will appeal to black families - strong faith, keep what you earn, school choice - but this will never filter through traditional organzations that have become ensconced as power players and permanent facilitators of grief and envy.

Maybe we were wrong about Don King - at least he's a start...

Posted by MEC2 at 02:13 PM

July 03, 2004

Phat Albert

Hey Hey Hey... Bill Cosby's got more to say...

Bill Cosby has once again addressed sensitive issues facing the black community, this time in comments at an event commemorating the Civil Rights Act.

As with his comments during the commemoration of Brown v Board of Education, Cosby harshly criticized domestic violence, educational ignorance, and the violent, misanthropic, self-destructive trends ravaging the black community, especially in impoverished areas.

And once again, Bill Cosby is right. He's not saying something that hasn't been said before as the American blank community struggles with new challenges and changes facing them. He is, however, adored and well known in the predominantly white media culture, which is why his comments receive so much air time.

At the root of his complaints lies the concept of personal dignity, and what has become of it in the black community. The civil rights movement was marked not by violent demands for change - but by passive demonstrations of basic human pride and dignity in the face of hatred and ignorance. Rosa Parks didn't spray paint the bus and light it on fire, she demanded just to sit with dignity. Dr. King didn't raise his fists against those who oppressed him, he just walked upright with dignity that was irrepressible. The movement succeeded because it showed the rest of America not a violent backlash, but the dignity of people in the face of unacceptable conditions and intimidation, who refused to lose that dignity, that personal pride and belief they were indeed worthy of respect and equality before the law.

At each event this year, Cosby has upbraided those who take for granted that which came at such a grievously high cost. It is a shame that those who fought for integration and educational opportunity see their efforts lost in high dropout rates and a failure to learn. It is a shame that those who faced hoses and dogs and an unchecked power under the color of the law in order to secure equality before the law now face such high rates of crime and domestic violence.

An interesting question is - does white America have a place in the discussion?

Posted by MEC2 at 07:48 PM

May 22, 2004

Hey Hey Hey

Bill Cosby's got something to say...

The man behind Fat Albert took an opportunity at a Brown v. Board commemoration to decry failing language and cultural mores in the black community.

Cosby's remarks are right on the money - though certainly not tactful. But tactfulness has given way to correctness, and Cosby used his humor and stature to cut through to the heart of the issues.

Playing Dr. Huxtable on The Cosby Show, Bill managed to bring the middle/upper class black family into the popular culture's mainstream. Prior, most black cultural television figures were somewhat single track - from shows The Jeffersons, Good Times, Diff'rent Strokes etc. Cosby presented a black family at the height of success that didn't rely on a histrionic black jive-talking character with wild mannerisms to be successful. The Huxtables were a family like any other, and were a black American family, but in a manner that never excluded one for the other.

Part of Cosby's complaint about language in the modern black community is in stark contrast to the Huxtables - who were erudite, articulate, and cosmopolitan. But he's correct - as apologists for illiteracy in functional English define illiteracy as an inner-city 'language', the result is a Balkanization of not only the black community but society at large. Those unable to communcate effectively with the rest of society will find very limited opportunities.

Cosby's started a dialogue that is overdue in the black community - on crime, on race politics, on Ebonics, on what it is to be a black American in the 21st century. You could do worse than emulate Bill Cosby - black or white.

Posted by MEC2 at 12:05 PM

March 27, 2004

The Race Card and Richard Clarke

Hmmm... got any spades? Go Fish...

Ann Coulter's latest column comes on the heels of remarks made by Robert Novak insinuating a racial component to Richard Clarke's testimony and writings regarding Condoleeza Rice.

This kind of attempted political shiv job is uncalled for - it's patronizing to Rice, and ineffectual to boot - no comments released by Clarke have any racial overtones whatsoever, and to create them from wholecloth to toss more dirt on Clarke's burial mound looks desperate.

Richard Clarke is a political zombie - he moves and is animated like the living, but his career is indeed dead. This kind of incendiary, ancillary charge just keeps him from his long political sleep a little while longer...

Posted by MEC2 at 07:12 PM