2000-12-23 / Columnists

From The G-Man Powell And Rice: Band-Aids For Racism

From The G-Man
Powell And Rice: Band-Aids For Racism


Hey people! President-elect George W. Bush is being praised on a number of levels for his recent Cabinet selections. With Gen. Colin Powell tapped as Secretary of State and Condolezza Rice as an advisor on foreign affairs, there is a danger that many in America will start to believe that racism is a thing of the past or that it has been driven from the roots of this country. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Don’t get me wrong folks. These selections are unprecedented, and I support them in every way. The nominees are highly educated, well versed in their respective fields, and they seem to have enormous support from Republicans and Democrats alike. However, given the circumstances in Florida concerning the black vote, one has to wonder if this is not just a clever ploy by the Republicans to offset the political fallout that is sure to surface during the onset of the Bush presidency and throughout. In other words, just because you dress up the front window of your store, it doesn’t mean that people are going to buy what you’re selling.

Again, I am happy about the appointments, but at the same time I have some grave concerns about them. I guess I would be happier about the selections if the appointees had taken the time to say, "While I accept the nomination, I do so with a heavy heart. I am fully aware of some of the practices that took place within the black districts of Florida, and it is my sincere hope that those matters will be looked into, with great detail, to ensure that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was not violated."

The fact that neither made mention of this very serious situation did not make me feel comfortable, and it looked as though their political party took precedence over their cultural legacy. I hope this was not the case because culture and integrity should never be subject to compromise, especially if you have knowledge of the black struggle in America.

Another concern I have is that both of the appointees benefited immensely from affirmative action policies, and they are working alongside someone that plans to do away with it in varying degrees. This is disturbing to me, and the Republicans seem to be sending mixed signals to the American public, if not the African-American sector of this country.

I see these political clowns, like Dick Gephart, Orrin Hatch, Trent Lott, Tom DeLay, Dick Cheney and other prominent reps from both parties, running around saying we have to accept the outcome of the Supreme Court decision and move on. Then they quickly jump to the Bush appointments in order to bolster their claims that the country is ready to embrace everyone in America. Well, I’m sick of that crap because to me what they are doing is the equivalent of giving the disenfranchised black voters of Florida their middle finger. They are ignoring a major injustice, and they should be ashamed of themselves. If they were truly concerned about embracing all Americans, they would find out, and expose, what happened in the black districts of Florida. Otherwise, it’s just one big shell game, and we all end up being duped.

I strongly believe that Powell and Rice will bring legitimacy to the Bush presidency, and they will prove to be an asset to the Cabinet and the country. Still, the people in this country, black and white, must not be lulled into thinking that the beast called racism has been slaughtered just because we have black people, and other minorities, in powerful positions at the White House. It would be foolish to believe that, and as long as Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Texaco, Goodyear, Penzoil, the Major League Baseball Managers Association, NBC, ABC, CBS and other companies are being sued, and having to pay out enormous settlements for racial discrimination cases, it is a clear illustration that the racial beast is still enjoying a bountiful feast at our expense.

In closing, I want to send special holiday greetings to all of my dedicated friends and supporters. I would like to salute the following: Maureen McNelis, G. Ayala, Carmen Josephs, the members of RDRC, Peninsula Hospital, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, the USPS, the NYPD, the NYFD, William B. James, Zandra Myers, Harvey Gordon, "Pierre", "Pepe", Toby, the readers of this column and my loving family.

Merry Christmas, and I’ll see you next week!


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