Thursday, August 22, 2002
Equal-opportunity racists: A couple years back CBS (I think) put on a short-lived remake of the classic "All in the Family" substituting a black family in the cast. The show didn't fly, but I do remember one of the lines the lead character uttered in the promos. The new version of Rob "Meathead" Reiner accused the new version of Carroll "Archie Bunker" O'Connor of being racist. The reply: "Black people can't be racist."
It was a funny line for two reasons: First, they can; Second, the ones that are racist think the same way.
Which brings us to outgoing Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (Stoopid-Ga.).
McKinney, you may remember, is the loon who suggested that President Bush knew the Sept. 11 attacks were going to happen, but did nothing because the resulting war on terrorism would benefit his friends in the defense industry. Translated into simpler and more legal terms, McKinney accused Bush of treason.
Former judge Denise Majette (a black woman) defeated McKinney (a black woman), rather handily, in Tuesday's Democratic primary. While some press accounts have attributed McKinney's defeat to financial support to her opponent from out-of-state Jews, that may not be wholly accurate.
Instead, this letter-writer to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a different take:
Don't blame the Republicans, Cynthia McKinney --- every Democratic friend of mine, including me, went to the polls for one reason: to vote against you!
Don't blame Andrew Young --- after Sept. 11 he had sense enough to distance himself from you.
No, Cynthia, you have only to look in the mirror, paying special attention to your mouth, to see the reason for your defeat.
I don't care for President Bush, didn't vote for him, but when you said he knew about Sept. 11 but didn't tell us because his friends would benefit from a war, that did it for all of us.
Oh, and tell Daddy Billy I'm not a J-E-W either, but I couldn't blame them for voting against you in droves!
JANE BENTLEY, Decatur
Which brings us to today's New York Times article entitled: "For Black Politicians, 2 Races Suggest a Rise of New Tactics."
Still, it was the money from campaign contributors motivated by a single issue — one not directly related to problems and concerns in the candidates' districts — that allowed the challengers to get out their messages, a fact that has caused resentment from some black politicians.
"I definitely have some feelings about any outside group exerting this kind of influence in a race, and I've been receiving angry calls from black voters all day, saying they should rally against Jewish candidates," said Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Texas Democrat who is the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
"To have non-African-Americans from around the country putting millions into a race to unseat one of our leaders for expressing her right of free speech is definitely a problem," Ms. Johnson said.
So, Texas too has racist congressional representatives. To put it in context, National Review's Rod Dreher draws this analogy:
When Harvey Gantt, who is black, ran against Sen. Jesse Helms, lots of people from outside North Carolina donated to Gantt, because they hated Helms's politics. There's no crime in that. But if a white Congresswoman had told the New York Times she had a problem with "non-whites from around the country putting millions into a race to unseat one of our leaders," that Congresswoman would have been rightly denounced from the rafters as a racist troglodyte. Will that happen to Johnson? Don't hold your breath.
It's an appalling double-standard. Unfortunately, it's not one that newspaper editorial pages and the politically-correct pundits are quick to denounce.
At the end of the Times' story, Texas Rep. Johnson offers the following olive branch to Majette.
"If she comes here willing to work with us and is not skewed by the agenda of her supporters, of course we work with her," Representative Johnson said. "We all know we have to move past this."
"Not skewed by the agenda of her supporters"? Do you mean all of her constituents who voted for her? Yeah, that would be a tragedy in a representative democracy.