The Race Relations Sham
June '98

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.

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 happening. 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 Africa.

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.

Lee Hubbard can be reached by e-mail at

written by
Lee Hubbard

For interview requests, questions or comments call Lee Hubbard at (415)671-0449 or e-mail him at
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.

Go Back To Political Directory

Go Back To Davey D Homepage

Political Message Board

[home] [chat] [conferencing] [updates] [what it is]
[politics] [contests] [opinion] [links/photos] [media]

this site is produced by Davey D in association with eLine Productions