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Clarence Thomas and the Republican â€¦
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Clarence Thomas and the Republican Far Right
Undoubtedly many people dont think Howard Stern is funny, but he does have his moments. In one of his books, Stern has a picture of himself superimposed at a Nuremberg rally where he is seen cheering wildly and enthusiastically, giving the straight- arm Nazi salute to Adolph Hitler. The juxtaposition of Stern and Hitler is, of course, a ludicrous image. But when some people consider the course of Clarence Thomass career in the far right politics of the Republican Party, they may experience a similar inane incoherence.
According to a recent report by the Citizens Commission on Civil Rights, the Bush administration is pursuing policies that serve to resegregate America. The report claims there is now a judicial assault on civil rights and We may awaken from our current preoccupation with national security to find ourselves a nation more divided, less equal, and therefore less secure, than before. The report claims, These decisions have reversed the progress of earlier years and lead to a trend towards resegregating America.
The Republican convention that chose George W. Bush as their candidate for the presidency looked like a gathering of the Rainbow Coalition. Blacks on the podium discussed racism as Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanics recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the national anthem. Yet, on the floor of the convention there were only around 100 blacks out of 2,000 delegates on the floor, around 5 percent of the total.
Republicans have not been the champions of blacks in recent years when it comes to equal rights and desegregation. What, for instance, can Thomas be thinking about the close association of Attorney General John Ashcroft and the head of the DEA, Asa Hutchinson, with Bob Jones University? This school fought segregation tooth and nail. When blacks were finally admitted, interracial dating was forbidden. This institution has a policy of non-discrimination when it comes to discrimination. They hate almost everybody. They also try to bar gay alumni from the school, label Catholicism as Satanism, and call Pope the Anti-Christ.
As governor of Missouri, Ashcroft resisted segregation and affirmative action programs. He lobbied to defeat the appointment of Ronnie White to a judgeship, slandering the man by calling him pro-criminal. White would have been the first black federal judge from Missouri. According to an ACLU report on the attorney general entitled, Not Moderate, Not Compassionate, Not Conservative, Ashcroft sponsored legislation that would prohibit the use of affirmative action in federal employment, contracting, and other federal programs and activities and that as a U.S. Senator he voted to eliminate programs...to help businesses owned by women and minorities. The report states, The Justice Department defends the very programs that Ashcroft sought to eliminate-including the federal contractor nondiscrimination requirements and program- specific minority and women- owned business provisions.
Ashcroft, too, is non-discriminatory when it comes to discriminating. He doesnt seem particularly predisposed towards gays, either, trying to thwart their appointment to political office. Ashcroft has asked potential male employees if they had the same preferences as most men. He has been quoted as saying, Well, you know, I believe that the Bible calls [homosexuality] a sin and that defines sin for me. (Do you suppose Ashcroft hates Dick Cheneys gay daughter, Mary?)
What can Thomas possibly think about the links of several prominent Republicans to the Southern Partisan? This magazine has called South African blacks blood thirsty savages. The Partisan has claimed that David Duke represents the American Ideal. They praised Duke as a candidate concerned with affirmative discrimination, welfare profligacy, the taxation holocaust...a Populist for recapturing the American idea.
One author asserted that slave owners were concerned about the peace and happiness of their slaves. Another article says, Neither Jesus or the Apostles nor the early church condemned slavery...there is no indication that slavery is contrary to Christian ethics. They consider Abraham Lincoln a consummate conniver, manipulator and a liar. An edition published in 1984 discusses the sinister Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincolnan invitation to the slaves to rise against their masters.
If you are not a straight male of specific Northern European ancestry, you are in real trouble with these people. Another article said, Negroes, Asians and Orientals have no temperament for democracy. Yet another states, Italians, Jews and Puerto Ricans live in New York, not Americans. Another article claims that, The tides of immigration turned negative: were characterized by the losers of political history...the Italians and the Irish...the dull-spirited and pagan, such as the Scandinavians...and by people to whom the tenets of our republic were altogether aliens, such as the hieratic Jews.
As for the role of women, the Partisan has stated that, feminism is a revolt against God and Feminists, ethnic minorities, sodomites and other victims of the majority culture are demanding special recognition and privileged status.
Ashcroft has been quoted praising the work of the Southern Partisan. He stated that the southern revisionist must stand up for these beliefs or else well be taught that these people [confederate soldiers] were giving their lives, subscribing their sacred fortunes and their honor to some perverted agenda. No wonder the attorney general is endorsed by the John Birch Society.
Whats Thomas thinking when he hears about Bushs links to the southern apologists, such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which has been referred to as the Uptown Klu Klux Klan? The CCC claimed that Dr. Martin Luther King was a communist. (This, of course didnt keep Bush from appearing with Coretta Scott King on the day commemorating her husband to declare the great civil rights leader an American hero. Blacks constitute a valuable voting block and must be assiduously courted or disenfranchised, depending on how they are expected to vote at the polls.)
Writers for the CCC have also stated that whites are superior to blacks in intelligence, law abidingness, sexual restraint, [and] academic performance. What of Bushs refusal to take a stand on the flying of the Stars and Bars over government buildings, a flag which has extreme racial connotations for our nations blacks?
What does Thomas think of Rep. Bob Barr and Trent Lotts close association with the CCC? As Fairness and Accuracy in Media (FAIR) has pointed out, Barr was the keynote speaker at the Councils national conference and was pictured in the groups newsletter, Citizens Informer, addressing the Councils board and posing with several CCC leaders. FAIR also notes that the Washington Times and the Village Voice have both reported that Sen. Lott is a longtime member and supporter of the organization. Jesse Helms has been a featured speaker.
FAIR reports that the CCC website featured an essay titled A Call to White Americans, urging fellow white Americans to look at the faces around you: Find the faces like yours and see them as your brothers and sisters. Find the fair-skinned babies and see them as your children. Another section of their website featured a screed called Our War with one section entitled The Values of the Traditional White South That Have Been Targeted for Destruction.
As a justice, was Thomas bothered when Bush refused to grant a pardon to a black inmate, Kevin Boyd, who had spent 12 years in prison and then was exonerated when DNA proved conclusively that he could not have been the rapist?
What about the complaints by the NAACP when Bush was governor of Texas that his organization provided hardly any jobs for blacks on the construction and operation of the Texas Ranger stadium, which was paid for by the taxpayers?
Does Thomas rally behind Bushs efforts to appoint anti-civil rights judges? What of the Pickering nomination? As a law student, he had written articles in support of segregation. He intervened to try and reduce the sentence of a man who burned a cross on the lawn of a mixed-marriage couple and then fired shots into their house (never mind Pickerings lackluster, mediocre career in jurisprudence with an impressive number of reversals to his credit).
What about allegations that Chief Justice Reinquist, as a Republican operative in Arizona, challenged and harassed minorities at polling stations in an effort to intimidate them from voting?
What does Thomas think of Dick Cheney, a man who opposed sanctions for South Africa because of their apartheid policies? He was against requesting the release of Nelson Mandela from prison.
What does he think of Pat Buchanans racist screeds? In the 1996 primary, his campaign chair had to resign when his ties to white supremacists became known. What about reports of Ann Coulters anti-Semitism, her slurring of Mineta with overtones of prejudice against Asians, and her opinion that there should be racial profiling of swarthy males?
Surely, Thomas must be aware that the Republican Party is the home of the former secretary of the interior, James Watt, an anti-environmentalist and mentor to Gale Norton. He once commented, We have every kind of mix you can have. I have a black. I have a woman, two Jews and a cripple.
Then theres Jeb Bush? Does it bother Thomas that when asked by a black women, when he was running for office, what he would do for Afro-Americans if elected, that his response was, Probably nothing. What about his efforts to dismantle affirmative action programs? By now, even the mainstream press is being forced to acknowledge that Jeb and Katherine Harris deliberately planned to disenfranchise black voters. According to books such as The Best Democracy Money Can Buy by Greg Palast, Michael Moores Stupid White Men, and Jews for Buchanan, black votes were suppressed by the use of faulty voting machines in predominantly black neighborhoods, the purging of innocent people wrongly accused of being felons, faulty ballots, the relocation of voting centers days before the election without announcement, police roadblocks near minority polls to intimidate and harass blacks, and the lack of computers for voter verification at the polls.
What can Clarence Thomas think about the rampant racism that exists to this day in the Republican Party? Thomass political stance serves to deny that justice to other blacks. Having benefited from policies designed to ensure that, as a black, he would have certain advantages in gaining an education and a career to compensate for years of discrimination against his race, he would now end that benefit for other African-Americans.
Blacks in the administration of George W. Bush give the cosmetic appearance of racial equality to the Republican Party and may sucker some minorities into voting for them, but to anyone who has paid attention to the policies of Dubya and his supporters, they know that they plan to turn back the quest for equality several decades. Z