(NNPA)—It is always somewhat amusing to watch Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton hustle the Democratic Party. They appear like magic at any event even remotely connected to race and issue declarations, proclamations and platitudes denouncing whoever was responsible and predicting havoc if something isn’t done about it. Usually, the something being done ended in goodies for Brother Jesse, and Brother Al and some of their posse.
Well, it is now obvious that the two rhetorical warriors are rank amateurs compared to the Black crew now hustling the Republican Party. One can only observe in awe as Larry Elder, Gregory Kane, Walter Williams and their cohorts hustle the Republicans. When reading some of the stuff they write in their columns, it is obvious that they know exactly what their White supporters want to read.
For instance in defending Rand Paul, Elder wrote that “the well-intentioned, but misguided, passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—as applied to private conduct—sought to change not only White behavior but also their ‘feelings…’” In another column, “President Obama Doesn’t Care about White People,” Elder harshly criticizes “The media’s beloved Obama” for failing to respond with sufficient coverage of the flooding in Nashville…Perhaps the media’s indifference to Nashville is because the city is only 25 percent Black and therefore White and redneck,” he declared.
Gregory Kane wrote that he joined the Republican Party for several reasons, one of them being his belief “that what liberals and Democrats call affirmative action is nothing more than a synonym for blatant racial preferences.”
In another column Kane wrote about a personal encounter with racial profiling in which a cop was looking for a 14-year-old Black teenager who had snatched a woman’s purse. “I was five to six years older than the suspect described and carried nothing in my hands. And I was running in the opposite direction of the crime scene, not from it…Some would call what I went through an egregious example of racial profiling.” Not Kane. After being questioned he continued, “…I went on my merry way…The officer simply erred on the side of public safety…”
Then there’s Walter Williams. In a column, “Can Black America Afford Obama?” Williams exults that “Obama’s electoral success was truly remarkable. It’s a testament to the essential goodness of the American people.” However, there seems to be a limit to that goodness since Williams wrote in the same column that “Early indications suggest that the Obama presidency might turn out to be a similar to the failed presidency of Jimmy Carter. That’s bad news for the nation but especially bad news for Black Americans…I’m all too fearful that a future Black presidential candidate will find himself carrying the heavy baggage of a failed Black president.” In other words, if Obama fails those essentially good White Americans will blame all Black folks. A Black militant couldn’t have made a more accurate observation about the true state of race relations in this country. These observations bring an abundance of goodies—lucrative speaking engagements, books and articles published, membership on boards of directors etc.—to Elder, Kane and Williams. Just as Jesse and Al get on the other end of the political spectrum.
The difference is that Jesse and Al have to at least produce something concrete—getting at least a few voters to the polls, photo ops at their organizations’ annual conferences—to get their goodies. All Elder, Kane, Williams, and their colleagues such as Thomas Sowell, Amy Holmes, Star Parker. etc. have to do is be on call when their goodies’ distributors have a need for a column or television commentary denouncing some action taken by or statement made by someone Black.
(Journalist/lecturer A. Peter Bailey, a former associate editor of Ebony, is currently editor of Vital Issues: The Journal of African American Speeches. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)