Pickett: As Lott Blunders, the Democrats Screw the Black Children
By Joseph M. Pickett
If Trent Lott were a hangman's noose, what kind of hangman's noose would he be? Nylon, polypropylene, manila, polyester, or sisal?
Twisted or braided?
What diameter and tensile strength?
Oh, and is he racist?
Almost two weeks into the media frenzy about Trent Lott's statements at Strom Thurmond's birthday party on Dec. 6, questions about Lott's opinions on race won't go away. The story is still making headlines at The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN. Even the conservative Wall Street Journal and Fox News Channel are still piling on ole Trent, who no doubt wishes he had had a car accident or a nasty case of dysentery and not made the event. Severe disfigurement, weeks of bloody stool would probably be more palatable alternatives than enduring the humiliating pummeling of his reputation on both sides of the aisle in recent days.
Let's be blunt: Lott's words were immoral, inappropriate, and politically suicidal. His statement may have even drifted over the line into racism (which is the 21 century equivalent of rape or murder if the offender is Republican). To this I say - prepare yourself - so what? Take a second to clean that coffee off your monitor. As horrible and immoral as racist comments are, they are only words. They sear the heart and soul, and that's bad, but no physical damage is done. My brother, for example, was once called a 'Rodney King motherf-----' by a delightful group of black youths in Pittsburgh for no reason whatsoever. It made him feel bad, but that was the end of it.
Racist actions by government officials, or parties, are far worse because they cause real, lasting damage that can be calculated in dollars/opportunities lost, as well as in the number of minority members currently cooling their jets in Sing-Sing for 10 to 20.
Lott's actions don't qualify. According to consultant Dick Morris, "Lott took the lead in doubling funding for historically black colleges in Mississippi." And Lott "sponsored the bill to make racially motivated arson a federal crime, broke the filibuster to get the Africa Free Trade bill passed and brokered the deal that led to a vast increase in federal Title I education aid and earmarked it for poor schools." Lott has also been very generous to Senate Democrats on many occasions, such as power sharing with them when the GOP controlled the Senate. The Democrats have thanked Lott for his generosity by cheerfully knifing him while he is down.
Lott has actually tried to do good in the black community, despite what the Democrats are portraying, who, of course, have a lot of bad policy to answer for. In fact, when it comes to blatantly racist actions that have done incalculable real damage to the black community, the Party of Clinton and Clinton cleans the clock of the Party of Bush and Lott.
Take a look at the inner cities, such as Washington, D.C, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Cleveland. Each city is dominated by liberal Democrats and are a testament to the utter, disastrous failure of liberal policies. All of them are highly populated by blacks. Most or all of these garden spots enjoy high crime, high taxes, severe gun control (where only the criminals have guns), and probably the worst of all, horrific public schools that most black children must attend because their parents cannot afford to send them elsewhere. (Bonus question time! - Which of the disastrous school systems above hasn't been taken over by the state?).
If the Democrats wanted to figure out the most efficient way to methodically destroy young black lives, they couldn't do any better than to stick black children into drug-ridden schools so awful that parents with any choice (and money) send their children to private schools.
And parents with a choice, such as wealthy politicians, do just that. It's odd. Most liberal bureaucrats who always intone dramatically about 'investing in the public schools' seem to develop amnesia when it comes time for their own kids to enroll at the local crackden/public school in the D.C. ghetto. Their kids always seem to end up at posh private schools, such as St. Albans, with leafy courtyards and leather bound volumes of Thomas Hardy in marbled libraries. And I thought Republicans had cornered the market on elitism!
Did Bill and Hillary Clinton's daughter Chelsea ever see a D.C. public school, let alone attend one? Well, her limousine might have driven by one once. Did Al Gore send his kids to Southeast D.C. for his higher learning? No way. Ted Kennedy's kids in Boston public schools? Please. Yet, which party is it that uniformly opposes school choice for working class black families, ceding to the wishes of the NEA and other competition-averse teacher's unions? If you had the misfortune of attending a D.C. public school, let me give you a hint - the name of the party that ruined your life starts with a D.
Fortunately, as Democrats, they can screw the black children, redistribute some income from the middle class to toss at the black parents, nod sympathetically and mumble politically correct phrases, and never have to say they're sorry. Nothing ever changes - the schools remain horrible, but the Democrats say the right things and spend money, so the black community continues to vote for them.
The nasty secret that the Democrats don't want you to know is this: It is the Republican Party who is trying to free blacks from the hideous inner city public schools that the Democratic Party has chained them to for decades. The Wisconsin state legislature first proposed in 1989 the first school-voucher program in the nation over the objections of the usual obstructionists (the NEA and NAACP, among them). It was passed by the legislature and signed into law by Republican Governor Tommy Thompson. The voucher movement has spread to other inner city school systems as black parents have learned the remarkable advantage that school choice brings them. Black parents have a strong ally on this issue in the Republican Party, as well as on Social Security reform and welfare reform.
Democrats know the Republican Party is courting the black vote with these smart public policies, so they have zeroed in on Lott's words to beat back the GOP with the race club. Democrats have done little for blacks over the years, and their party must have 90% of the black vote to win elections, so they savor any opportunity to demagogue on race and paint the GOP as the party of racism. Rather than debate policy ideas, they can just run the Trent Lott tape ad nauseum every election year from now until The Second Coming. Shrieking about your 'racist' opponents is so much easier than competing in the arena of ideas, which explains why liberals haven't developed a new idea in about 70 years.
People in both parties have been occasionally racist in their words over the years, but the Democrats have been decidedly racist in their policy actions, and that is a far more serious blow to the hopes and dreams of the black children across the country than anything Lott said. Despite the current sound and fury over a foolish politician's words, the real travesty is all those black adults in prison for rape, murder and robbery who just needed a chance for a decent education in the 1970s, and the Democratic Party said, screw you.
Federal Observer contributor Joseph Pickett is a full-time writer and editor in Alexandria Va. His work has appeared most recently in The Washington Times and CommonConservative.com. We invite you to visit his website.
Joseph M. Pickett
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