Star Parker

Racism was once an important issue in this country. Martin Luther King Day reminds us of the time and the struggle. Unfortunately today, a once-important issue has been so politicized and exploited, it has been cheapened into meaninglessness.

The character attacks by Sen. Edward Kennedy and his Democratic colleagues on Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito is a good example of this.

The contingent of Democratic senators, with no substantive arguments to question the stellar credentials of Alito, chose instead to smear him, and of course the brush that liberals predictably reach for in smear operations is racism.

The allegations that Alito's brief encounter more than 30 years ago with the Concerned Alumni of Princeton, an organization supposedly unsympathetic to affirmative action, point to his being a closet racist were quickly shown to be absurd. Aside from the far from clear issue of whether the organization itself had racist leanings, investigation into attendance records and minutes showed Alito absent and unengaged. Alito himself, hardly able to remember his involvement, recalled that the organization possibly appealed to him because it opposed the banishment of ROTC from the Princeton campus.

Racism is a serious charge and I certainly would oppose the appointment of a racist to the Supreme Court or to any court.

But the issue here was and is not whether Samuel Alito is a racist. It is obvious he's not, and these Democratic senators know that. The issue is public posturing to cast aspersions on a man's character in order to undermine his confirmation prospects. The race card was pulled out as another tool from the character assassination toolbox used for this end.

It is no wonder that, according to a just released poll from the Pew Research Center, a whopping 14 percent of the American public is paying very close attention to the Alito confirmation hearings. The public sees the hearings, and increasingly the general proceedings of government in Washington, as a side show and have better things to do with their time.

Only about a third of those polled felt that either party governs in an "honest and ethical way." Regarding the scandals currently in the news in Washington, 81 percent of the public feels that lobbyists bribing members of Congress is "common behavior."

The performance by Kennedy and his colleagues at these confirmation hearings provides good evidence as to why the American public is as cynical and disaffected as it is regarding its public officials.

From my perspective, the behavior of the Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee conducting the hearings is more characteristic of racism than anything that could be remotely attributed to Alito.

If they truly cared about the issue and about the plight of blacks they wouldn't be casual in using racism as a political tool to further another agenda, and they would be paying attention to the real problems in the black community.

Even liberal black commentators are starting to understand that the problems in the black community today stem from family breakdown and destructive social behavior and not from racism. When have we heard from Kennedy on these problems?

As Sen. Tom Coburn pointed out regarding the hearings, they are really about Roe v. Wade. Alito's impeccable credentials are irrelevant to the Democrats. They just want a judge who will provide assurance of upholding the current liberal abortion regime.

However, there's no way that a rubber stamp on Roe v. Wade is a pro-black stance.

Black women constitute 7 percent of the American population yet account for almost 40 percent of our abortions. The abortion scenario in America today is one of white liberals rolling out the welcome mat for black women to destroy their babies. Black America is destroying itself under the encouraging and approving eye of white, liberal, elitist America.

About 400,000 black babies are destroyed each year. Thirteen million have been destroyed since the Roe v. Wade decision.

Why isn't Kennedy thinking about this rather than grasping for ridiculously tenuous claims to smear Alito and brand him a racist?

Blacks, as well as all Americans, need courts that are not about politics but are about law. We need judges who preserve the integrity of the constitution and who will protect life, liberty, and property.

Despite scurrilous behavior on the part of Senate Democrats, prognostications are that Alito will be confirmed. Good news for Americans who care about integrity and good government.


Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.