Walter E. Williams

Dr. Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's national security adviser and now his secretary of state nominee, has been the subject of nasty, demeaning and disrespectful cartoons and commentary. Some of the worst has come from people like Julian Bond, chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, who said on TV's "America's Black Forum" that he agreed with "The Boondocks" cartoonist Aaron McGruder's characterization of Dr. Rice as "a murderer." A lead article in Black Commentator said, "Condoleezza Rice is the purest expression of the race traitor. No polite description is possible." Those kinds of attacks by blacks have emboldened guilt-ridden white liberals to join in as seen by the recent cartoons of Pat Oliphant and Garry Trudeau ("Doonesbury").
First, let's look at a few of Dr. Rice's credentials. She holds a doctorate from the University of Denver. While senior fellow at the prestigious Hoover Institution, she taught courses in Stanford University's political science department. Later, she served as the university's provost. Dr. Rice is a recognized expert in Soviet and Eastern European countries, and she's fluent in Russian. She landed her job as national security adviser not because President Bush was trying to pay off a black constituency and not because Bush had an affirmative-action policy; her qualifications got her the job.

 If Dr. Rice is confirmed by the Senate, she will hold the most important Cabinet office not only because she'll direct the president's foreign policy but because she'll be third in the line of succession should the president and vice president become incapacitated -- the first two are the speaker of the House of Representatives and president pro tempore of the Senate.

 Being 68, I lived at a time when the idea of a black Cabinet official was little more than a pipe dream. Robert C. Weaver's 1966 appointment to the Department of Housing and Urban Development made him the first black Cabinet officer. Since that time, there have been other blacks appointed to high office. None has encountered the vicious attacks visited on Dr. Rice and Gen. Colin Powell, and what's worse, the most vicious attacks have come from their fellow blacks.

Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
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