Archive for the ‘African American’ Category

Republican National Committee Chairman candidate Michael S. Steele Castigates Republican Party “Country Club” Mentality

November 19, 2008

Republican National Committee Chairman candidate Michael S. Steele castigated Republican Party leadership Tuesday for having a “country club” mentality and being out of touch, and said if he is chosen to represent the party, he will help transform it into an inspiring choice for young and minority voters.

 
 Michael S. Steele

“Let’s just be very frank about it. What the party’s got to do is get its head out of the clouds and out of the sand and recognize that the dynamics politically and otherwise around them have changed,” said Mr. Steele, during an interview with reporters and editors at The Washington Times.

“The coalitions are very different from what they were 25 years ago,” he said.

By Jon Ward
The washington Times

Mr. Steele, 50, who in 2002 became the first black lieutenant governor of Maryland, talked at length about how the Republican Party can recover from an election in which Democratic President-elect Barack Obama won traditionally conservative states, such as Virginia and Indiana, largely because he drew huge numbers of first-time voters to the polls.

Mr. Steele blasted the Republican Party’s lackluster effort in recruiting those same new voters, especially minorities.

“The problem is that within the operations of the RNC, they don’t give a damn. It’s all about outreach and outreach means lets throw a cocktail party, find some black folks and Hispanics and women, wrap our arms around them ‘See, look at us,'” he said.

“And then we go back to same ole’, same ole’. Theres nothing that is driven down to the state party level, where state chairmen across the country, to the extent they dont appreciate it, are helped to appreciate the importance of African-Americans and women and others coming and being a part of this party, and to the extent that they do appreciate it, are given support and back up to generate their own programs to create this relationship.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov/18/steele-
criticizes-country-club-gop/

There Are Republicans That Can Challenge Obama With Kristol Clarity

November 16, 2008

It’s 2012 and President Barack Obama is running for re-election. He has had a moderately successful presidency, no big scandals, no big failures and a few triumphs. The big, global success of the Obama administration? A handsome African-American and his handsome family in the White House. What Republican will run against him with any hope of success?

By Arnold Beichman
The Washington Times
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My candidate to oppose Mr. Obama’s second term bid is William Kristol, 56, editor of the Weekly Standard (circulation 84,000). Add to that distinction a Harvard doctorate, if you will. Plus an equally weighty consideration, a record as a Republican Party champion. In other words, an intellectual of the center-right who could stand up to Mr. Obama, a center-left intellectual. If visibility is wanted, Mr. Kristol is a regular commentator on the Fox News Channel and is a New York Times op-ed columnist. In other words, he’s great with the laptop and great on the tube and knows the issues forward and backward.


Mr. Kristol’s quarter-century career in government service is outstanding. It began as chief of staff for then Education Secretary William Bennett in the Reagan administration, then as chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle under the first Bush administration. He then moved into idea projects dealing with the GOP’s future, based on what he called a “Contract with America”:

“The fact that government is no longer going to be so generous with taxpayers’ money may be Scrooge-like, but it strikes me as rather responsible behavior. For too many years, some liberals have felt they were doing good by generously spending taxpayers’ money. Now Americans want to take a much harder look at what really does good and what does harm.”

Mr. Kristol is not joined at the hip with President Bush. When the White House nominated Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court, he spoke up in one of his harshest criticisms of the administration:

“I’m disappointed, depressed and demoralized. … It is very hard to….

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http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/
2008/nov/16/to-be-kristol-clear/

Obama has unwittingly enhanced his image as the African American candidate

March 24, 2008

By Robert D. Novak
The Washington Post 
Monday, March 24, 2008; Page A13

Barack Obama‘s speech last week, hastily prepared to extinguish the firestorm over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, won critical praise for style and substance but failed politically. By elevating the question of race in America, the front-running Democratic presidential candidate has deepened the dilemma created by his campaign’s success against the party establishment’s anointed choice, Hillary Clinton.

In rejecting the racist views of his longtime spiritual mentor but not disowning him, Obama has unwittingly enhanced his image as the African American candidate — as opposed to being just a remarkable candidate who happens to be black. That poses a dilemma for unelected superdelegates, who as professional politicians will settle the contest because neither Obama nor Clinton can win enough elected delegates to be nominated.

Superdelegates, though they were inclined toward Clinton as recently as three months ago, now flinch at the idea of rejecting Obama. They fear antagonizing African Americans, who have become the hard-core Democratic base. But what if national polls continue their post-Wright trend and show Obama trailing both Clinton and Republican John McCain in popular support? The Obama strategists’ hope of reversing that trend depends on whether his eloquent race speech, which he continued to reprise on the campaign trail all week, can overcome videos exposing his pastor’s demagoguery.

Thanks to proportional representation, which was enacted as part of radical Democratic reform a generation ago, no candidate can replicate George McGovern‘s nomination victory in 1972 by capturing winner-take-all primaries. It is not possible for Clinton to score large enough victories in the remaining nine primaries (starting with Pennsylvania on April 22) to move ahead of Obama in delegates or the accumulated popular vote. Those goals became unreachable with the apparent Clinton failure to force a revote in Michigan and Florida.

That means Clinton must convince superdelegates that Obama is not electable — validating this judgment by a neutral Democratic leader: “It was a great speech, but it cannot overcome the powerful [Wright] video.” Since Obama’s race declaration, he has fallen behind McCain nationally in various polls and trails by as much as eight percentage points in Rasmussen tracking.

In head-to-head tests with Clinton, he is two points behind in Rasmussen tracking and has slipped in other surveys, though he is still leading. Polls in Pennsylvania taken before Obama’s speech Tuesday showed that Clinton’s narrow lead had expanded to double digits, and private surveys since then indicate the margin is growing.

To combat that, the Obama high command privately contacted superdelegates Friday to report that his Pennsylvania and Indiana polling numbers have “come back” (without specifying by how much). Obama agents are also trying to minimize the distinctiveness of his embrace with Wright by distributing photos and letters showing Bill Clinton‘s contacts with the Chicago preacher in 1998, when the president was wooing friendly clergymen in his campaign against impeachment.

The problem for Obama is that furor over Wright has reached beyond voters normally interested in political controversies. Over the past week, I have been asked repeatedly by non-political people about Obama’s connection with Wright’s tirades. In the process, Obama’s political persona has been altered — transformed from Harvard Law Review to South Side activist, as described by one friendly Chicago politician.

The Clinton campaign has shied away from official comment about Wright. But in off-the-record talks with superdelegates, Clinton’s agents claim that the connection casts doubt on Obama’s electability. Furthermore, one Democratic operative who is inclined toward Obama warns that the issue will be raised in much harsher terms by Republicans during the general election campaign. In last week’s Clinton conference call with the media, senior adviser Harold Ickes questioned “whether Senator Obama is going to be able to stand up to the Republican attack machine.”

The consensus among knowledgeable Democrats is that Obama will win over enough superdelegates to clinch the nomination before the national convention in August, partly because of fear about the consequences if he does not. But one longtime associate said this of the Clintons in private conversation last week: “They will do anything — anything — to get nominated.” That reminder deepens the Democratic dilemma.

Racism concerns no stranger to pulpit

March 21, 2008

By Jennifer Harper
The WashingtonTimes
March 21, 2008

The tone and ferocity of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.’s comments about American racism which came to national attention last week may not be typical in many mainstream black churches. The content — concerns that racism persists — still surfaces at many pulpits, however.
Jeremiah Wright greeting President Bill Clinton during a 1998 prayer breakfast at the White House, to which Clinton had hand chosen Wright to attend.

Jeremiah Wright greeting President Bill Clinton during a 1998 prayer breakfast at the White House, to which Clinton had hand chosen Wright to attend.

“Inflammatory rhetoric is certainly a minor approach to congregations within black Christian circles. That rhetoric needs to be criticized. But the larger agenda Reverend Wright is pointing to, the deep frustration over racism, is a common theme preached at black churches across the country,” said Anthony B. Pinn, a professor of religious studies at Rice University.
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“The topic is viable. The rhetoric is not,” Mr. Pinn added.
“No one can rationally attribute to an estimated 56,000 black American churches the comments of a black pastor in a black church which is a member of a white liberal denomination — the United Church of Christ,” said the Rev. Eugene F. Rivers III of the Azusa Christian Community in Dorchester, Mass.
“Everyone gets the point that those quotes were indefensible and over the top. Everybody gets that,” he said.
Supporters say that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is misunderstood.
Rev. Jeremiah Wright
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Mr. Wright, who recently retired from the 8,000-member Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, has been family pastor and spiritual guide to Sen. Barack Obama for years. .
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Mr. Wright’s sermons have included stark references to racism. In a highly publicized speech Tuesday, Mr. Obama affirmed his friendship with his pastor but repudiated his extreme opinions.

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http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080321/NATION/961532533/1001

A Speech That Fell Short

March 19, 2008

By Michael Gerson
The Washingon Post 
Wednesday, March 19, 2008; Page A15
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Barack Obama has run a campaign based on a simple premise: that words of unity and hope matter to America. Now he has been forced by his charismatic, angry pastor to argue that words of hatred and division don’t really matter as much as we thought.
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Obama’s speech in Philadelphia yesterday made this argument as well as it could be made. He condemned the Rev. Jeremiah Wright‘s views in strong language — and embraced Wright as a wayward member of the family. He made Wright and his congregation a symbol of both the nobility and “shocking ignorance” of the African American experience — and presented himself as a leader who transcends that conflicted legacy. The speech recognized the historical reasons for black anger — and argued that the best response to those grievances is the adoption of Obama’s own social and economic agenda.
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It was one of the finest political performances under pressure since John F. Kennedy at the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in 1960. It also fell short in significant ways.
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The problem with Obama’s argument is that Wright is not a symbol of the strengths and weaknesses of African Americans. He is a political extremist, holding views that are shocking to many Americans who wonder how any presidential candidate could be so closely associated with an adviser who refers to the “U.S. of KKK-A” and urges God to “damn” our country. .
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Obama’s excellent and important speech on race in America did little to address his strange tolerance for the anti-Americanism of his spiritual mentor.
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Take an issue that Obama did not specifically confront yesterday. In a 2003 sermon, Wright claimed, “The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color.”
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This accusation does not make Wright, as Obama would have it, an “occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy.” It makes Wright a dangerous man. He has casually accused America of one of the most monstrous crimes in history, perpetrated by a conspiracy of medical Mengeles. .
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If Wright believes what he said, he should urge the overthrow of the U.S. government, which he views as guilty of unspeakable evil.
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If I believed Wright were correct, I would join him in that cause.
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But Wright’s accusation is batty, reflecting a sputtering, incoherent hatred for America. And his pastoral teaching may put lives at risk because the virus that causes AIDS spreads more readily in an atmosphere of denial, quack science and conspiracy theories.
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Obama’s speech implied that these toxic views are somehow parallel to the stereotyping of black men by Obama’s grandmother, which Obama said made him “cringe” — both are the foibles of family. But while Grandma may have had some issues to work through, Wright is accusing the American government of trying to kill every member of a race. There is a difference.
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Yet didn’t George Bush and other Republican politicians accept the support of Jerry Falwell, who spouted hate of his own? Yes, but they didn’t financially support his ministry and sit directly under his teaching for decades.
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The better analogy is this: What if a Republican presidential candidate spent years in the pew of a theonomist church — a fanatical fragment of Protestantism that teaches the modern political validity of ancient Hebrew law? What if the church’s pastor attacked the U.S. government as illegitimate and accepted the stoning of homosexuals and recalcitrant children as appropriate legal penalties (which some theonomists see as biblical requirements)? Surely we would conclude, at the very least, that the candidate attending this church lacked judgment and that his donations were subsidizing hatred. And we would be right.
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In Philadelphia, Obama attempted to explain Wright’s anger as typical of the civil rights generation, with its “memories of humiliation and doubt and fear.” But Wright has the opposite problem: He ignored the message of Martin Luther King Jr. and introduced a new generation to the politics of hatred.
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King drew a different lesson from the oppression he experienced: “I’ve seen too much hate to want to hate myself; hate is too great a burden to bear. I’ve seen it on the faces of too many sheriffs of the South. . . . Hate distorts the personality. . . . The man who hates can’t think straight; the man who hates can’t reason right; the man who hates can’t see right; the man who hates can’t walk right.”
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Barack Obama is not a man who hates — but he chose to walk with a man who does.