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.
Herman Cain is the National Chairman of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute. He is the former president and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc., and currently is CEO and president of T.H.E. New Voice, Inc., a business and leadership consulting company.
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