Exhibit A - Text of a phone message left by Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, for The Beltway Beat this week:
"This is Congressman Rangel. . . . The quote you assigned to me in a recent Beltway Beat column is probably the dumbest thing I've heard of. I don't know where the hell you got the Willie Lynch story, but it would be helpful if you checked it out and find some way to say you made a mistake."
Exhibit B - Text of a speech, as it appears in the Congressional Record, attributed to "Hon. Charles B. Rangel of New York in the House of Representatives, Monday, July 25, 2005":
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to alert my colleagues of a dangerous condition that threatens the health of our society - the destruction of the black family. The black family has yet to recover from the destructive effects of slavery.
"In 1712, British slave owner Willie Lynch was invited to the colony of Virginia to teach his methods of keeping slaves under control to American slave owners. Almost 300 years later, the techniques that he prescribed seem to have not only been successful in controlling slaves, but lasting as a means of weakening and destroying the black family."
As Rangel read in our column earlier this week, the "Willie Lynch" he cited is an urban legend based on a document widely circulated via the Internet in recent years.
His office later called us to say that the congressman does now recall his statement and he stands corrected.
LOOK IN THE MIRROR
As expected, there has been much reaction to Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, blaming a fictitious British slave owner for being behind today's destruction of the black family.
Gene Williams writes: "As an American of African descent, 70 years of age, I can tell you who is responsible for the breakup of the black family. Charlie Rangel and the far leftists in the (Congressional) Black Caucus, the leadership of the Democratic Party and those so-called 'educators' who keep black children in the public school system.
"Oh, I don't want to forget the NAACP, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or the ersatz academics like Cornell West and Michael Eugene Dyson. These individuals and organizations keep our people angry, ignorant and locked into a state of perpetual victimhood. They are despicable and destructive."
John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on Townhall.com and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .
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