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GOP 2nd Tier Show up Before Black America

September 28, 2007

The following are excerpts of a conversation between Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West, originally airing September 18 on PBS’s Tavis Smiley show:

West: He might as well just be niggerizing us openly, you see what I mean? 

So let me ask you right quick, since you went there, it’s in the news
today, so it’s a good question to ask. It’s been announced by PBS that
four of the Republican candidates have told us, at the moment, at
least, that they’re not going to be at our debate September 27th in
Baltimore. We asked them to reconsider; we think it’s a lost

Mr. Thompson, Mr. Giuliani, Mr. McCain, Mr.
Romney. What do you make of those four Republicans deciding not to come
to an opportunity to talk to Americans of color? 

I just think it’s a grave mistake; it’s a bad judgment. You hope that,
of course, it doesn’t express what many believe, which is that it’s the
basic pattern Republicans party. They’ve been able to push Black folk
to the corner; they thought somehow they could appropriate enough
slices of brown to go along with their predominantly White followership
to win.   

I think the Republican Party is in such deep crisis
that in fact it will lose, because it can no longer mobilize enough
brown. It can’t reach out to Black, and therefore, they have very
little to say. I applaud brother Huckabee and the others who are
willing to come, but the Republican Party is in deep crisis. We wonder,
where is Condoleezza Rice at this moment?   

Where is Clarence
Thomas at this moment? Where are all the Black Republicans who talk
about a Republican party being so fair and willing to embrace a variety
of different people? Let’s hear their voices, as it were. But most
importantly, what I love about what you’re doing, though, brother, is
that we have got to take the higher moral ground.   

We’ve been
saying for a long time Republicans, for the most part, you’re
unconcerned and indifferent to poor people and working people, and
people of color. And indifference is the one thing that makes the very
angels weep. Show us that you are wrong. By not showing up, they’re
telling us we were right in the first place.

Read or listen to the entire interview here:

A-men Dr. West.  A-men.

After watching the replay of the debate this morning, I came away with the following notes:

It escapes me how Giuliani, Romney or McCain would have added anything substantive to the debate. Though their absence was strikingly visible (especially since their empty podiums were situated at center stage), the tenor of the debate was decidedly outside of their collective strengths.  What is Giuliani’s record working with the black community on the issues of health care, capital punishment and affirmative action?  If you use his time as the Mayor of New York, I don’t here the angels singing his praises.  The same for Romney and McCain.  Frankly, unless the debate is centered around Iraq, Terror or Immigration the Republican front runners are less than enthusiastic about the conversations.  And Fred Thompson – please.  What a waste of a candidacy.

But that’s enough about the absent members of the GOP Presidential candidates.  Just a couple of notable moments in this debate.

Alan Keyes:
From what I can tell, every social ill and injustice plaguing these United States is because the family isn’t together.  No, racism, classism and blatant injustice have nothing to do with them.  Note his answer to the first question in the debate:

Lucille Victoria Rowels: If you are elected president in 2008, what positive and significant legacy, if any, will you leave for Black Americans?

Keyes: I would hope that the most important legacy of my administration
would be to remind people that in spite of all the talk, I don’t
believe there is this deep divide between Blacks and whites in America.

I believe that we are, in fact, part of one nation and one
community, and that we stand together right now in danger of our
rights, because the core of that community is not race; the core of
that community is not money. The core of that community is the moral
consensus that we are all created equal and endowed by our creator,
God, with our unalienable rights that we have the right in our policies
and in our laws to honor and respect the creator, God.

And as a practical matter, I would want to see that unity, that
moral understanding restored where it is most important — in the
education of our young by adopting an approach to education that
empowers every parent in this country to send their children to schools
that reflect their faith and values…

Ok Alan, it’s answers like this that made your contest with Barack a "no contest".

Gov. Huckabee:

Huckabee to his credit did very well.  He did not go out of his way to shade the truth of this countries racist tendencies.

Cynthia Tucker: Governor, I want to ask about race and unemployment.

In 2006, the unemployment rate of Black high school graduates —
that’s high school graduates — was 33 percent higher than the
unemployment rate for white high school drop outs. What do you think
accounts for that inequity?

Huckabee: Cynthia, part of that is it is that there is still
racism in this country, and the opportunities aren’t the same. Some of
it has to do with the fact that there are people who unfortunately
still look at a person’s face and their skin, and that’s something that
government can’t change, but leadership certainly can speak to.

One of the things all of us need to be aware of is that there isn’t
an equal opportunity for every American yet. There just isn’t. We could
say there is, but it’s not true.

Straight shooting from the GOP.  Mine eyes have seen the glory! 

Read the full text of the debate or watch segment by segment here:

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 1, 2007 4:13 AM

    I’m definitely not here to canonize him, but Gov. Huckabee comes off as someone who’s honest and has at least thought about things, even in the foreign policy realm. He would be the toughest GOPer in a general election, if he can somehow win the nomination, that is.

    As for the Big 4, I read a good article, it might have been by Earl Ofari Hutchinson, which basically said that of course they wouldn’t go, they are making a political calculation, to play on the quiet racism of the Republican base. It seems so sad and misguided for them to do it from our viewpoint, but it basically reinforces what we already knew.

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