Congressman Charles Rangle (D-NY) is a smart man. He must be because he has served in Congress for thirty-five years. But his recent remarks comparing President Bush with Bull Connor – an enduring symbol of racism and segregation – is divisive, has no basis in fact and is meant purely to scare blacks away from considering the Republican Party and its ideology. Some of Rangle’s constituents likely applauded this extreme and unsound comparison. Many people throughout the country, though, were insulted by his failed analogy, which assumed they are stupid enough to agree with it.
President Bush invited to his cabinet two Secretaries of State – Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice – who happen to be black. On his cabinet sits a black Secretary of Education, Rod Paige and a black Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Alphonso Jackson.
Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales are Hispanic. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta are Asian. Bush has approved more funding for historically black colleges than Bill Clinton – who author Toni Morrison dubbed our “first black president” – ever did. And Bush supports school choice and charter schools, as does the mayor of Washington , D.C. , who happens to be black, as a way for black kids and all kids to escape some of the public schools that have failed them.
But woe be to conservatives if we dare cite examples of success like Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Rod Paige. Holding these men and women up as exemplars of achievement who overcame adversities and barriers always invokes the wrath of well known celebrities. One such celebrity, singer Henry Belafonte, rode his banana boat this summer from Hollywood to Atlanta for a voting rights demonstration. There he denigrated all blacks working in or at times gathering with the Bush Administration as “black tyrants.” Belafonte’s intent, of course, is to prevent blacks tired of singing his “Day-O!” refrain from leaving the Democratic plantation. The objective is to keep people from thinking for themselves.
Unfortunately, the EDR strategy works on far too many people. But, there is hope! Fortunately, EDR does not work on everybody.
A twenty-one-year-old black man named Yusef sent me an e-mail recently, saying that he had just read my latest book, “They Think You’re Stupid.” Here is the direct quote from Yusef’s e-mail to me:
“After reading the first chapter, I thought to myself, I’m ignorant. I grew up in a less than desirable rural area, and through the powers that be, i.e. my mother, I turned out literate, articulate, and on the path to being equipped for the changing world ahead. However, I had sadly mistaken my philosophies and personal views on politics, which I thought were based on fact. I am a rhetoric citizen and my mother, like most parents, was the rhetoric breeder.”
Yusef is not ignorant, because he can “connect the dots” when given the right information. Most people can.
But the race baiters, class warfare mongers and groupthink generals do not want people to have the right information. They want all people, not just blacks, to stay, as General Honore so eloquently puts it, stuck on stupid.
The recent controversy over Bill Bennetts’ argument ad absurdum statement is another example of those who pounce on any opportunity to fan the flames of extreme racial rhetoric to sustain the racial divide, and throw mud on anyone with a conservative political ideology. I know Bill Bennett, and he is not a racist. Bull Connor, the original George Wallace and Lester Maddox were racists and they were all Democrats. That’s an inconvenient fact of the past the spreaders of EDR would rather you did not know.
When more people get “unstuck on stupid” by looking at the facts of an argument instead of believing the breathless and bombastic rhetoric of the left we will be able to close our nation’s racial divide, education divide and economics divide. Closing these divides will make us a stronger nation and unify us around fighting the real enemy of blacks and whites and all Americans: namely, extreme Islamic terrorists. The terrorists don’t want to divide us; they want to kill all of us.
Sadly, too many of today’s liberal leaders want to lower the bar of political discourse and progress set so high by those who actually had ideas and dreams and made them realities. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not resort to EDR to stir up the worst feelings in people for a short-term political gain. He challenged our nation’s shortcomings with inspired leadership to bring out the best in people. That made all of us better and our nation even greater.