Thursday, December 12, 2002

Lott, Republicans, and African-Americans. The story that Drudge linked to tonight should finish off Trent Lott by no later than sundown on Friday. Lott, it seems, helped lead an effort to keep black students out of his fraternity at Ole Miss. Segregation now, segregation forever! Meanwhile, Lott's friends at the racist Council of Conservative Citizens have finally updated their website, and they've got a really spiffy contribution from one Michael Andrew Grissom, the author of such tomes as Southern by the Grace of God, The Last Rebel Yell, and Can the South Survive? Grissom writes:

Lott may never have meant, as happily charged in the press, that we would have been better off with a segregationist President, but I wish he had. It is true, and it is time someone says so....

Politicians, who make the laws, have submitted to the black agenda, and we see an increasingly socialistic government as a result. In other words, give up your liberties quietly or be prepared to suffer ignominy. There is no fight left in the white public sector. That is why we saw immediate disavowals and apologies from Trent Lott.

Thanks for sharing, Michael.

Meanwhile, I got several e-mails today from people who thought I was too easy on George W. Bush, reminding me of Bush's appearance at Bob Jones University during the 2000 presidential campaign, among other things. To which I say, Come on. I mean, I like to think I'm a fairly unstinting Bush critic, but I really don't think the man has a racist bone in his body. And I would believe that even if Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice were not among his closest advisers.

But it's true that the Bushes have a complicated relationship with race. As Franklin Foer observed two years ago in the New Republic, the Bush family is forever baffled at their lack of African-American support, believing they should be judged by what's in their hearts rather than by the conservative policies they support, many of which blacks rightly perceive are not in their interests. Foer writes:

In fact, the Bushes' problem on race isn't that they're insincere; it's that they're overly sincere. They're so convinced of their personal decency that they expect it to trump the deep, long-standing ideological differences that separate their party from black political opinion.

Foer's piece mainly traces Jeb Bush's efforts to do away with affirmative action in Florida. But you can see George W. in it, too. In many ways, his faith-based initiative was a way for him to reach to black ministers such as the Reverend Eugene Rivers. But, as John DiIulio wrote in his astounding letter to Ron Suskind, Bush ended up letting it fall apart in the name of appeasing "the most far-right House Republicans."

Faced with the choice between doing the right thing and doing the political thing, the Bushes have invariably chosen the latter. Unfortunately, that hardly makes them unique.

No comments: