The Race Relations Sham
President William Jefferson Clintonís panel on race ended its final
meeting last week to a quiet death. This ending was a far different cry
from the much-talked about opening, when the panel was assembled in
Washington last year. The panel led by Dr. John Hope Franklin went
around the country holding feel good town hall meetings that basically
amounted to a bunch of hot air.
Lee Hubbard can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
In fact, the "conversation on race" was a sham from the beginning. One
of the glaring weaknesses from the start was that everyone on the panel
was basically from the same ideological bent. Although there were a few
republicans and a majority of democrats on the panel, everyone on the
panel was basically a liberal. Now I ask, how are you going to have a
conversation with such a serious topic of race, when everyone is cut
from the same cloth?
That isnít a conversation, it is a monologue. A real conversation
would have taken place with people from different ideological views
including Black Nationalist and white conservatives talking about the
problems. That is a way to have a conversation. It makes no sense to
talk to someone that agrees with you on every issue. Second of all,
racism in the United States is a social pathology that has primarily
been a white problem. I donít know why, but it has. I wouldíve had the
panel deal primarily with this pathology. I would have had the panel go
and question white politicians, white intellectuals, white business
leaders, and white religious leaders. One of the first questions I
would have had the panel ask why do you do the things that you do? Why?
I call the "conversation on race" a sham, because if this is the best
they can do, they need to let the topic die a quick and merciful death.
Some within the black community have made ending racism a task, but I am
sorry to say that racism will be with us. It wonít end in my youthful
lifetime. The only thing that we can do is to try minimizing it, and
making sure it doesnít impede on our daily lives. If it does, we have
to spotlight it, fight it back and keep on moving.
Clintonís race commission symbolizes his policies when they come to
race. I call it symbolism over substance. In fact, if this is the best
he can do, he needs to leave it alone. All we need to do is study his
actions in regards to race during his presidency.
First and foremost, when Clinton ran for president he went to a Jessie
Jackson banquet, with Sister Souljah present and publicly humiliated her
and Jackson. He did this to show white voters, that he could put black
folks in place. Then while on the campaign trail he flew back to
Arkansas to witness the execution of a brain damaged black man. This
was his Nixon like tough on crime spill.
Later on, while he was president, he went in front of a black church in
Memphis and talked about morality in the black community, but yet, he
has his own morality problems in the oral, excuse me Oval Office. Just
a few months ago, he went to Rwanda and apologized for the genocide that
took place, saying he wish the U.S. would have acted sooner. But yet
when the genocide was taking place he didnít even acknowledge it was
There are some that may say, "He apologized for slavery in Uganda."
Yeah this is nice, but the only problem is, none of the Americanized
Africans that were brought to these shores came from Uganda. Anybody
who has cracked open a history book knows that most Americanized
Africans came from West Africa. Uganda is in the eastern part of
I am amazed at how so-called leaders black leaders have given Clinton
such a pass. It amazes me. We all know that if this would have been
George Bush or a Republican president that would have done some of the
same things that Clinton has done, Jesse, the NAACP and every other
imaginable civil rights group would have been all over them.
But no. As long as Clinton says he will protect affirmative action
with his "mend it donít end it" policy, the civil righters will give him
a pass. Meanwhile, I am still grappling with what "mend it donít end
it" means. I used to see government sponsored Affirmative Action as
kind of a reparation package for slavery, and the terrors that took
place in the segregation era.
That was until I found out that almost 80 percent of the beneficiaries
of Affirmative Action are white women. Now I have never read of white
women getting lynched, or hosed down because they were white like it has
happened to black folks?
I am seriously starting to question affirmative action in the way it is
currently construed. Most white women, who benefit from Affirmative
Action in government contracting, are fronts for their white husbands.
I am still puzzled by the fact that black leaders donít point this out.
I donít see how a program like this can "uplift the race" as Marcus
Garvey would say.
I guess this is what (rainbow) coalition politics is all about. You
concede your rightful demands until every one else takes advantage of
them. After you look around, everyone has benefited from a program
except the people the program was supposed to help.
Maybe Ward Connerly was right in his twisted logic. And speaking of
Ward Connerly, he has taken his minstrel show on the road, as a regent
on the University of California system, to order a review of all Black
and Ethnic studies classes. He said he wants to review these classes to
see if they have any academic merit. I donít have a problem with him
doing this, as long as he doesnít discriminate and orders a review of a
whole series of departments. He should look at Women Studies, Queer
Theory, Western Civilization and U.S. History, just to name a few.
In fact I would start with U.S. History. In my educational career, I
have suffered an endless amount of brainwashing as a result of U.S.
History. It took me a few years to snap out of this indoctrination.
When you get in some of these classes, the only thing that you read in
regards to black people is that they were nice docile slaves, and that
they had a civil rights movement. There is almost a 100-year gap
somewhere along the road.
In U.S. history, you donít learn about the debate and controversy
between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois, the two people and
ideologies that have shaped black thought up until today. You donít
learn about the first woman millionaire in the United States Madame CJ
Walker. You donít learn about and all of the great black trailblazers
who helped develop this country.
Although some Black and Ethnic Studies go too far with unfounded
theories, I see Black and Ethnic Studies as a counter balance to some of
the propaganda in academia. I hope while Connerly performs this review,
I hope he can sit in on one of these classes. If he does, I know he
will probably learn something, and I hope he can bring Clinton with him,
so he can learn a little something to.
For interview requests, questions or comments call Lee Hubbard at
(415)671-0449 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
Look at your nearest
newsstand for his profile on Latrell Sprewell in the premiere issue of
the Source Sports magazine and his profile on Ishmael Reed in the
April/May issue of American Visions Magazine.
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