Race-baiting as Punditry


Merlene Davis, intrepid columnist/race-baiter of the Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington, Ky., delivered herself of a soliloquy the other day that includes silliness to a degree matched only by some editor’s in publishing the stuff. Concerning the voting habits of African Americans, she said, “It's a Pavlovian reaction, a learned thing, a conditioned response, a reason a majority of black folks -- who are by and large conservative -- don't vote Republican.”

Ms. Davis’s reason for that statement accrued to the actions of a handful of republicans who didn’t vote to suit her on the recent Civil-Rights renewal bill that passed both houses of a republican-managed Congress. The Senate vote was 98-0 and the House vote came in at 390-33, so the Pavlovian reaction naturally beset the black community on such a close vote as that, actually a combined 480-33. Ms. Davis says that blacks are too dumb to recognize the scope of a super-landslide plurality like that and are thus reduced to “Pavlovianism.” Amazing!

Concerning the president’s appearance and speech at the recent NAACP convention, Ms. Davis had this to say: “Instead of the strutting cowboy, sidearms shiny with notched handles, Bush portrayed a man sincerely seeking to make amends. And he needed to.” Make amends for what? Were there some African-American Muslims at Abu Ghraib…or are there some of the Right Reverend Honorable Louis (Calypso Louie) Farrakhan’s “Million More” Muslims at Guantanamo? Maybe Ms. Davis thinks Bush did the wrong thing by appointing Condi Rice as Secretary of State, when he might have appointed Jesse or Al, folks with real gravitas. They would also have provided excellent notches for the shiny, presidential side-arms.

Ms. Davis rattled on: “It was Bush's first appearance as president before the civil rights group. He had turned down five other invitations, letting it be known he didn't really like how the group's leadership portrayed him. You and I can do that.” This is what NAACP Chairman Julian Bond said in July 2001: "[Bush] has selected nominees from the Taliban wing of American politics, appeased the wretched appetites of the extreme right wing, and chosen Cabinet officials whose devotion to the Confederacy is nearly canine in its uncritical affection." Now, one wonders, why should the president not appreciate that portrayal? To be compared to Robert E. Lee can’t be all that bad. Just ask the ghost of General/President U.S. Grant. One might want to ask Bond (and Ms. Davis) what a “wretched appetite” is…maybe an affinity for overheated boilerplate straight from “Screamin Howard” Dean.

Here’s a quote from WorldNetDaily of 02 February 2006: Civil rights activist and NAACP Chairman Julian Bond delivered a blistering partisan speech at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina last night, equating the Republican Party with the Nazi Party and characterizing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her predecessor, Colin Powell, as tokens. "The Republican Party would have the American flag and the swastika flying side by side," he charged. Calling President Bush a liar, Bond told the audience at the historically black institution that this White House's lies are more serious than the lies of his predecessor's because Clinton's lies didn't kill people.

How could the president possibly resent a perfectly reasonable character assassination like that? How often does one have the privilege of being compared to Hitler and (gasp) telling lies that kill people? In light of those compliments by NAACP Chairman Bond, Ms. Davis opined, “As unpleasant as it may be, the president has to meet with a lot of folks who call him names and disagree with his policies.” Well…actually no, but the prez waited five years after Bond’s lovely thoughts in 2001 but only a few months after his latest, apparently figuring that Bond is so marginalized that he might as well make the speech and get it over with, especially since 90% of the black vote goes to democrats, and it wouldn’t matter if an orangutan was the democrat nominee. The result would be the same. Since Bond insists that Clinton’s lies didn’t kill people, one wonders what he (and Ms. Davis, of course) thinks those lies did.

Ms. Davis continued with her exercise in cognitive excellence: “Bush acknowledged that racism and discrimination still exist in America, despite what fellow party members in the House may think.” Why the lady was compelled to ascribe to the president a revelation already known by only about 285 million Americans – okay, less the infants and a handful of republicans – is hard to figure. Maybe she was making a stab at proving that the prez has gravitas and that Cheney is not the only one owning that trait. One thing is certain, to wit, Ms. Davis will see to it that racism – hers – is alive and well and stays that way, the better to keep things stirred up, hopefully for the front page above the fold.

Ms. Davis made this astute observation: “His talk was good; now we will find out if it was also cheap. We've heard promises before that disappear off political radar right after votes are counted.” She didn’t bother to mention that it was the democrat party that stood in the way of civil rights back in the 60s and before. George Wallace wasn’t exactly a republican. She also didn’t mention that the promises made by democrats to the 90% of blacks who vote for them haven’t been kept for decades.

What Ms. Davis either does not understand or will not admit is the simple fact that, especially accruing to pronouncements by the likes of Jackson and Sharpton, the civil-rights legislation was viewed as “something for nothing” in the black community…entitlements based on skin color. As one but maybe the worst result, most black households are headed by a single mother, 70% of all black newborns being illegitimate and thus eligible (along with their mothers) for all kinds of goodies, a figure that has been virtually extant for years. The fathers, undocumented, of course, have simply quit the game, but often make the scene. In 1960, before the legislation was enacted, the rate of illegitimacy among blacks was 23.6% of births, meaning that 75% of black families could be assumed to be headed by a man and wife, reduced now to 30% or less. This doesn’t mean that the civil-rights legislation was bad, then or now, only that it has been terribly misunderstood and misapplied.

It’s a shame, actually, that people like Davis don’t recognize reality…or even more shameful if they do and choose distortion over common sense in discussing it.