When Perceived Racism Doesn't Matter To White Liberals And Black Democrats
We cannot agree more with the gist of today's NY Post article, "Chuck And Hill Still Back Byrd Even After Racial Slur". When Senator Byrd used the word "nigger" on national television we waited, and waited and…waited to hear Black Democrats and White liberals speak out against Senator Byrd with the same amount of force with which they were opposing John Ashcroft for appearing in Southern Partisan magazine. To no surprise, no outcry came from Black and White Democratic leadership, in particular, proving once and for all, that for some, the only "R" that matters is in the word "Republican" and not the one in "Racism".
The double standard in the treatment of the two White Senators was so obvious that it was almost surprising to see how Black establishment leaders who make a living out of pointing out perceived racism were able to get away with their conspicuous silence without a single news story in a major publication pointing out that fact.
To us it was another moment that further demonstrated the manner in which the Civil Rights movement has been almost completely absorbed by the Democratic Party, much like how the Wall St. Journal editorial page and the New York Times editorial page have been absorbed by the Republican and Democratic Parties, respectively.
At the time that Byrd had made his remarks we were not far from the height of the controversy over the Ashcroft nomination. And it was so interesting for us to receive no e-mails from the numerous liberals, secular humanists, feminists, gay rights groups, civil rights advocates and progressives who had been sending us messages every day about the racial transgressions of Ashcroft and some of the other Bush nominees.
It was then, and still is now, so transparent to us, how these White groups who make up part of the Democratic Party coalition, use race issues to stir up Black voters in order to have the Black electorate and Black elected officials support causes which benefit these Whites more than they do Blacks.
In our estimation, they are no better than the numerous merchants of various ethnic backgrounds who come into the Black community and take money for their sustenance and then do nothing to help the community that these business people know should be satisfying its own needs.
It is stunning to see Black Democrats lead the effort against these "outsiders" when it comes to economics in the Black community but whom have nothing to say when the "outsiders" are various members of the Democratic Party Coalition, in the political realm, who come into the Black community and make racial arguments to rile Black voters up. They then disappear, work on issues that largely benefit Whites, and then only return to the Black community and Black leaders when, usually out of desperation, they need Black votes and opinion to shift the tide in favor of their cause.
But remember, they never support their cause(s) for the same "race-centered" reasons they present in the Black community to elicit Black support.
We always look with skepticism at Whites who come to Blacks with evidence of the racist hearts of other Whites. Usually they only approach the Black community in that manner when they want something else, other than the eradication of racism. We give them a verbal questionnaire to see how sincere they really are about fighting racism and helping the Black community. The verbal questionnaire consists of three questions: 1) Are you making these arguments in the White community? 2) Do you publicly support reparations? 3) What do you think of Minister Farrakhan?
What the first question doesn't uproot the second and third certainly will. It is amazing to see the effect, even in terms of physiology that the words "reparations" and "Farrakhan" have on White liberals, our supposed allies in the struggle.
And that is why it is only fitting that the quintessential White liberal - Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton - would be leading the efforts to support Senator Byrd in the new Democratically-controlled Senate. She and her type will always run interference for fellow White Democrats who benefit from the blind loyalty of Black voters. Rather than allow Senator Byrd to dangle in front of the Black electorate and the media who may have legitimate questions about Senator Byrd's perceived racism, she and Senator Schumer, and really, the entire liberal and even progressive side of the mainstream media, cover Byrd's political nakedness.
How Black New Yorkers can support her and Schumer (who has reportedly been the number one obstacle to BET's Bob Johnson's purchase of an airline) the way they do is beyond us.
This is the same Senator Clinton, by the way, that Blacks voted for in droves and who wouldn't be caught dead in public with Rev. Sharpton after Mayor Giuliani dropped out of the race for Senator and she had already used Black voters' disdain for Giuliani for her own political benefit. She resumed her quiet diplomacy, out of the sight of her White and Jewish supporters, who she is more responsive to, with her super private visit to Rev. Sharpton in jail recently.
With Senator Clinton's help, the ravenous wolves that ate at Senator Ashcroft's political flesh over the perception that he was racist don't say one word about Senator Byrd.
We find that peculiar considering that it is a known fact that in his youthful years, Senator Byrd was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Imagine a Republican with those credentials escaping the wrath of White Liberals and Black Democrats after using the word nigger, as Senator Byrd has.
Well, at least we now know that there are moments when perceived racism doesn't matter to those who cry foul the loudest.
If only we could get White Liberals and Black Democrats to embrace that standard when Black leaders are accused of perceived anti-Semitism.
Thursday, June 7, 2001
To discuss this article further enter The Deeper Look Dialogue Room
The views and opinions expressed herein by the author do not necessarily represent the opinions or position of BlackElectorate.com or Black Electorate Communications.