A Tale Of Senate Obstructionism

Posted: Jul 21, 2001 12:00 AM
"Senate Chairman Attacks Black Nominee," By Dubbell Stan Dird WASHINGTON, July 17 -- Civil rights activists expressed outrage over a Senate leader's threat to block the appointment of a black lawyer to a key federal post. The senator said he had "serious concerns" about the African-American nominee's renegade views, and has not ruled out placing a hold on the nomination. "The persecution of people of color who hold differing opinions from the white Senate majority is unacceptable," said the NAACP's Queasy Mfuming. "We demand a fair hearing for the nominee and condemn this partisan bullying tactic ... " If you missed that story on the front page of The New York Times this week, don't bother trying to find it. It wasn't there. That's because the obstructionist in question is ultra-liberal Edward Kennedy, Democrat chairman of the Senate education committee. Sen. Kennedy has his silk boxers in a bunch over President Bush's nomination of Gerald Reynolds as assistant secretary of Education for the Office of Civil Rights. Reynolds' great crime is thinking for himself -- and that is why the traditional civil rights crowd, which could always be counted on to cry "racism" whenever Republicans challenged Clinton nominees who happened to be black, is nowhere to be found in this unfolding tale of Senate obstructionism by Democrats. Unlike Sen. Kennedy and the NAACP leaders who pose as champions of the underprivileged, Reynolds supports school choice scholarship programs for poor black kids cheated by rotten public schools. He calls it the great "civil rights issue" of our time. As former president of the Washington-based Center for New Black Leadership, a conservative think tank, Reynolds was an outspoken critic of government racial preference programs gone awry. "Beneficiaries of affirmative action are unable to learn what the real world standards are," he said. "The system we have today is crushing. It crushes the spirit. The government should give people skills, not give them contracts." During his career as a regulatory lawyer, Reynolds has refused to watch silently as the liberal black leadership corrupted the goals of racial neutrality and equal protection under the law. "The civil rights establishment's promotion of racial preferences has had a corrosive effect upon the very ideals that made the civil rights revolution possible," Reynolds wrote in a book review for the Federalist Society. "Civil rights advocates have encouraged double standards in college admissions, helped devise federal regulations that bribe or in other ways coerce companies to hire minority employees or use minority firms, and demanded that states draw electoral boundaries so as to maximize the number of black elected officials." And Reynolds doesn't mince words about affirmative action extortionists. Explaining why white business executives are so deferential to the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Reynolds observed: "Jesse is a race hustler who makes his living shaking down corporations. Whites would rather be accused of being a child molester than a racist. Jesse's got the power to make corporate chieftains cower." Reynolds' rock-solid rejection of government social engineering and quota-mongering has members of the feminist brigade up in arms as well. The Education Department's Office of Civil Rights oversees enforcement of Title IX, the federal civil rights law which prohibits sex discrimination in education programs, including sports, that receive federal funding. Reynolds' "very dogged opposition to affirmative action is very problematic for women and girls," Marcia Greenberger, founder of the National Women's Law Center, complained. That's only because under the Clinton administration, the Title IX program was converted into a gender equity mill -- churning out rigid rules and regulations to force "proportional representation" of women in college sports by shutting down men's sports programs. "It's the biggest quota you've ever seen," Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., crowed triumphantly at a congressional hearing on Title IX a few years ago. Reynolds' views on the legality of this and other government quota programs should be aired. He deserves a fair hearing. The New York Times, always quick to condemn partisan politics over minority nominees, has yet to editorialize on Sen. Kennedy's obstructionist tactics. Rest assured, Dubbell Stan Dird is hard at work.