The Bush Cabinet : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

What do you think of the President Elect's first five appointees: 2 women - one black, 1 black male, and one Hispanic male? Is that diversity? And the nice thing about it is that they are fully qualified if not the best available. Of course, being anative Texan, I'm biased.

God Bless Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, December 17, 2000


Well, Rev. Paris, it has been a great weekend AND I get to agree with you on a political matter. Many feel that Gen Powell will be confirmed by acclaimation but I am sure some from the Right will come after him and be critical of his record, namely the Gulf War, Last week, Jeff Jacoby, the in house Conservative for the Boston Globe did just that. I don't see any argument against him prevailing though. We must keep these folks in our prayers as well as the new President. I know you are bias toward the native son but there is nothing wrong with that. Your point of view and facts about President Bush and Texas was helpful to this Discussion. Thank you and God Bless you. PS Iam still a Progressive (read LIBERAL) from one of the GOP's least favorite states, Massachusetts 72% for the other guy.

-- Anonymous, December 18, 2000

Earl Ofari Hutchinson responds so well to your comment. I agree with him 100%.

In Love and Light, Brenda

********************************************************************** Fear Of Bush Presidency Shakes Many Blacks


By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

While Clinton, foreign leaders and Democratic Congressional leaders, rushed to congratulate Bush, and urge cooperation with his administration, black leaders continued to rage that the Republicans Jim Crowed them at the voting booth. They warned that this would further stir black fears that a Bush presidency spells social and political catastrophe for them. Bush has tried to do his bit to calm those fears. He called Jesse Jackson and offered to meet with him about voting fraud charges. He's reiterated his campaign pitch that he's a Republican who believes in and promotes diversity and inclusion. Still, the big worry is that the blind obedience of black voters to the Democrats--they gave Gore more than 90 percent of their vote-- will render them invisible to Bush on these big ticket social and political issues.

For the complete article, please clink on the link below.

-- Anonymous, December 18, 2000

Countries in Africa are happier when a Democrat occupies the White House. Oppressed South Africans under apartheid cannot forget the oppressive Reagan during that era. And Dick Cheney is remembered for not being supportive of a resolution in 1986 demanding the release of Nelson Mandela. The question is: Is there a change in the hearts of Republicans towards Africa? Who is Bush's man for Africa Affairs? Oh yes! He's an African American. But he is still a Republican.

-- Anonymous, December 18, 2000

I fear you have been victimized by the democrats as many black folk in the US have been victimized. There are many forms of slavery, none more insideous than to be enslaved by ones desire for something for nothing, which is what the DEMS offer. Black Africans are free because they were willing to die for their freedom. Black Americans are free because they were willing to die for freedom. Black Africans and Black Americans will be free economically when they are willing to go the extra mile and do for themselves rather than asking a greedy politian to do for them. Blessings Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, December 18, 2000

In all due respect Pastor PARIS, neither the Republics nor the Democratics offer genuine economic freedom or authentic democracy to Afrikan Americans. Afrikan Americans are free when they are willing to THINK for themselves and stop doing the okey doke for an unrighteous system. As long as we continue giving our economic resources to someone else, we will continue living in a deprived and powerless state.

Cedric has legitimate concerns, which were not addressed. In fact there are many issues that concern me about the Republican Party. For instance, Affirmation Action Program, denial of women’s rights, industrialization slavery (prison system), racial profiling, immigration laws (totally unequal…ask an Afrikan or Haitian), neglect of our seniors…the list is endless. I understand that Republicans believe that “we” must take care of ourselves, seeking elimination of governmental control. If it were not for governmental intervention, Afrikan Americans would still be in physical shackles! That’s a fact. This country did not voluntarily give power and control away.

This government needs leaders who are in touch with its communities. I do not identify with the Republican Party’s self righteous, pompous, arrogant attitudes. I am a single working, mother and student whose main concern is daily existence. There are no resources for investments. I am too busy working in my plantation job for slave wages. It is the best I can do. As for the Democratics, I understand that poor people is a business. In fact, I know many external churches that received government grants to aid the needy. Welfare creates a climate of dependency that cripples community. There are NO clear answers—only choices. I choose Spirit, transcending this materialistic society. Be in the world, but not of the world.

Please do not interpret this post as my endorsement of the Democratic Party. My position is accepting the truth. American’s political system has its own agenda, which is not inclusive of (ALL) Afrikan Americans. The exceptions are the token folks---the ones who have arrived by the standards of this materialistic society. As for the ones who defy the system and call it what it is…well they either been killed or discredited. I believe that “Jesus the Christ” would fit in perfectly with the rebels. Given his history, he did not assimilate to organized religion or political systems and was murdered for his beliefs.

In Love and Light,


-- Anonymous, December 19, 2000

While two of the "first five" are of African descent, I fear that they will do very little to help out Africans and African-American. As Secretary of State, will Colin Powell be interested in the plight of Africa. Condoleeza Rice as stated that we have been the 911 for the free world. What will she do to help us heal the ills of our own country. Just because the skin says Afican American doesnt mean the heart says so. Ask Clarence Thomas.

As for Pastor Paris's claim of self-help I have this to say. For generations non people of color have had Affirmative action programs in place yet they called them by different names, legacies, old boy network and etc. In order to level the playing field we need Affirmative action programs. I don't believe that a person who is NOT qualified should be given special treament because of his skin color or heritage. Even though sons of prominent men were handed positions of power simply because of blood lines. Sort of the way George W. Bush became President. However, this idea of "pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps" is ridiculous. Have you ever tried it? You'll fall flat on your posterior. It's impossible.

-- Anonymous, December 19, 2000

A little humor...

In 1555, Nostradamus wrote:

Come the millennium, month 12, In the home of greatest power, The village idiot will come forth To be acclaimed the leader.

-- Anonymous, December 19, 2000

While two of the "first five" are of African descent, I fear that they will do very little to help out Africans and African-American. As Secretary of State, will Colin Powell be interested in the plight of Africa. Condoleeza Rice as stated that we have been the 911 for the free world. What will she do to help us heal the ills of our own country. I find the discussion very intriguing. If you will permit me, I'd like to offer a few points.
  • State and NSC are both parts of the National Security Council. Their portfolios deal less with domestic concern and more with international affairs. As such, I would have little to no expectation of their impact on domestic policy. That having been said, I bleieve that Secretary-General Powell, as one of the two most expeirenced members of this newly-formed cabinet (along with VP Dick Cheney), would offer an interesting voice of reason and counterpoint to "Republican Dogma" as it applies to doemstic policy, especially in the area of Affirmative Action. I refer you to his chastising comments at the Republican National Convention in the summer.
  • At the moment there is no effective, or universally positive, Africa Policy. After the police intervention debacle in SOmalia in 1993, I believe the current administration got gun-shy. Sending Americans to defend unknown "interests" on the Dark Continent, and to die there, just wouldn't play well on the Evening News. It will be interesting to watch what policy is formed within the first 100 days, and where the new Secetary's first three trips are going to be.
  • Your statement suggests that prior members of the Cabinet of color may have had a positive impact on the plight and fate of Black Folk. As a point of refernce I offer the following roll call and ask the question "What was their specific contribution?"
    1. Robert Weaver
    2. Patricia Harris
    3. Mike Espy
    4. Ron Brown
    5. Rodney Slater
    6. Alexis Herman

    Just because the skin says Afican American doesnt mean the heart says so. Ask Clarence Thomas.

    What we may perceive as a "less than black" heart is not necessarily what the majority culture or the world sees. As Gil Scott Heron would say, "when the revolution comes" Justice Thomas would have just as much trouble as any of us. I think we need to be careful about understanding the difference between reparations behavior and long- term equality. Ideally, America should be a Meritocracy. In practice, this Constitutional and Declarational Ideal has never fully matierialized. Both the pursuit of wealth accumulation and the propagation of old line myths and paranoia have rendered the once- aquiline vision of the Founding Fathers a myopic morass of mediocre materialism.

    Our focus as Black Folk should be on continuing the destruction of the walls of separation, and on progressively educating the American masses about the reality of our shared destiny. There are no problems in isolation in this country. If there's a drug problem in Watts, it will indeed spread to Beverly Hills. If there's a crime problem in Harlem, it will influence SoHo eventually. We are no longer a nation living in European serfdom behind imagined walls of safety and security, clicking our heals like Dorothy to take us away from a soiled world to our idyllic home. We are in this together, we must live together, and we must achieve positive resolution to our shared problems together.

    For generations non people of color have had Affirmative action programs in place yet they called them by different names, legacies, old boy network and etc. Excellent point. "It 's not what you know, it's not who you know, it's who knows you" is still very operative in Corporate America. Most colleges in this country have special admission provisions for children of alumni, for example. Most people will look out for their children in their first job. One of my own early office jobs was secured by "who knows you" - in my case, a cousin in Human Resources.

    I don't believe that a person who is NOT qualified should be given special treament because of his skin color or heritage. This is where the press at large sometimes confuses "affirmative Action" with one of its legislative predecessors, "quotas." In the atmosphere of post 1964 America, it was evident that most of Corporate America was woefully behind in hiring minorities and women for "meaningful" positions. The approach of the Warren Court was to overturn this disparity through the use of set-asides and quotas. This had the positive effect of infusing cultural and gender diversity. It also had the deleterious side-effect of injecting lower-quality or unqalified performers into the arena. The latter point highlighted two consequences: 1) the corporation no longer functioned effectively in that given position; 2) the rest of the corporation constituents (employees) resented that lack of production.

    Affirmative Action today should not be about quotas, but about Opportunity and Diversity. There are many who qualify for a given position. Only the qualified should be considered, but at some point even that select group may mandate a choice. When that happens, care should be given to understanding how Diversity can enrich the corporation's view of itself, its customers, and its future. As America embraces a culture that has shifted from Pat Boone and Rosemary Clooney to one that sees Eminem at the top of the charts, Corporate cultures will be healthy to recognize the needs of its performers and the demands of its markets. Consider how IBM, as paternal and inbred a culture as there ever was, nearly reached extinction in the computer industry when it was arrogantly less than responsive to the challenges of clone manaufacturers on the one hand and software upstarts such as Microsoft on the other. The nice thing about capitalism is that complacency can leave you extinct. People with different backgrounds can bring different views to the corporate table, views and ideas that mitigate complacency and stimulate creativity. Thus, to be fully functional, to remain vibrant into the next generation, modern coporations should consider how they can strengthen themselves by embracing contributions from the fullness of America.

    However, this idea of "pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps" is ridiculous. Have you ever tried it? You'll fall flat on your posterior. It's impossible. I guess it depends on how you define connection and bootstraps. Certainly Bill Gates had the advantage of coming from a well-to-do family in Seattle. But what about Ross Perot? Ralph Nader? JC Watts? Condoleeza Rice? Jesse Jackson? Bishop Ingram?

    I think there's still room in our lives for hard work and the fruit it produces. Yes, it definitely helps to have connections, but we should always strive to do what we can for ourselves. My high school's motto was Palma Qui Meruit Ferat - "Let him who earned the palm wear it." I think it's still applicable today.

    -- Anonymous, December 19, 2000

  • As an ex-Pentagon staffer and one who has worked with both General Powell and Condi Rice in the late 80s, I know firsthand that their committment to racial equity in this country is genuine and "solid as a rock". Their convictions are based on both merit and out-reach. Efforts to exclusively measure black loyalty in terms of affirmative action are unnecessary and counter-productive. These outstanding Americans need not be concerned about the "blackier than thou" preoccupation of insular reactionaries like Jesse Jackson Sr., Kwiesi Mfume, or the irascible Rev. Al Sharpton. Demonizing Associate Justice Thomas will not, repeat will not, make any appreciable dent in the fundamental problems and challenges for black folks in the US. Justice Thomas is the most influential black public official in the US by virtue of the office he holds. As heretical as this may sound he is not the enemy!! The sooner we as blacks come to grips with this existential truth the better off we will be. I would highly recommend that the Thomas-bashers take time to carefully read his opinions before making scatalogical comments and relying on the tactics of personal destruction. Dissent should be encouraged in an democracy but ideological conformity is an instrument of totalitarian thinking. QED

    -- Anonymous, December 19, 2000

    Jerryl, I interpret your list of Black Cabinet members as an example and not the entire list. Important missing figures of course would be Former Transportation Secretary William T. Coleman [Ford Administration] and HHS Secretary Louis Sullivan [Bush Administration], UN Ambassador Andrew Young [Carter Admin] and fmr Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary [Clinton Admin.]. What is commonly overlooked is that a black in the Clinton Admin would have been in line to become Secretary of State when Warren Christopher resigned in 1996. When Christopher was appointed to the top job in 1992 his deputy was the Honorable Clifton Wharton. Dr. Wharton is a former Ambassador, President, I think of Michigan State University and prior to 1992 President and CEO of the largest publicy controlled pension program in the US, TIAA-CREF. Regrettably Dr. Wharton [2nd black to receive an earned Economics Ph.D. from the Univ. of Chicago, circa 1955] was forced out of his position by the "Honorable" Warren Christopher in less than two years and his opportunity to become Secretary of State was eliminated. So, Madeline Albright gets promoted from UN Ambassador to Secretary of State and a more deserving candidate gets pushed out the door of his Foggy Bottom office. Surprisingly, there was no reaction from insular reactionaries like Mfume or Jesse Jackson over Dr. Wharton's midnight sacking. I suppose its OK for white Dems to diss a brother but by the Grace of God don't let a Republican do it or it will be Hell to pay. I have no doubt if this was to happen in a Republican admin we will be inundated with cacaphonous calls about racial insensitivity. Actually an "Africa Policy" has been in place by the Clinton Admin and its chief architect is ironically one of Condi Rice's former Stanford students Susan Rice [no relation]. Susan Rice, fmr Rhodes Scholar and daughter of the 2nd black Federal Reserve Governor, Emmitt Rice, currently serves as Secretary of State for African Affairs. She leaves no distinguished achievement partly due to the US's inability to curtail huamn rights abuses in Sudan and Mauritania and sub-par economic growth records in sub-Saharan Africa. By the way a belated congrats to you and Brenda for her new pastoral appointment. QED

    -- Anonymous, December 19, 2000

    "Ask not what your contry can do for you, but what can you do for your country." May I suggest that General Powell was not nominated to be Secretary of State because he is of African descent but because he is the best qualified. His African descent speaks well of President Elect Bush since he thought it not robbery to nominate such a person to fill the second most important position in this nation. General Powell will help black folk by being a role model, an example of what one can accomplish through hard work, good moral values, and trust in God. Ditto for Ms. Rice. I have always thought that we just wanted to be judged by the content of our character and hired the same way. It is time for us black folk to stop looking for what someone is doing for us, we must do for ourselves. For example, if you aspire to become the CEO of a major company, then start your own company and build it into a major company. Some will say that not all can do that, and that is true for both black and white. My basic position is that we have opportunity. We just have to get out of that slave mentality which looks for the master to do something for us. Pastor Paris

    -- Anonymous, December 19, 2000

    Bill, you were exactly right about the cabinet list. I had a temporary distraction, as someone interrupted my train of thought (then and now! :-)). In adition to Andrew Young, State Department veteran Donald McHenry followed him at the UN.

    I am also inclined to agree with your view of Justice Thomas. I think it's important to understand what his legal view and judicial review means for all of us in general, and for Us in particular. Here's an interesting thought: with a Republican administration coming in, a charge of "you don't like Black Folk" staring the President-elect in the face, and Chief Justice Rehnquist 76 years old, whom do you think President Bush will consider to eventually replace him as Chief Justice? (Historical note: Justice Rehnquist was appointed to the court by Nixon in ~ 1971, and was appointed Chief Justice by Reagan ~1986).

    -- Anonymous, December 19, 2000

    After reading the quote of Nostradamus posted by Sister Brenda Sutton, I find it funny indeed, but not the least bit humorous that someone who lived nearly 500 years ago could, in one sentence, surmise the truth about our situation more accurately than many of the comments I have read here today. I find myself totally disenfranchised by a government who didn’t think enough of my vote to count the votes of all he people--although my state was one in which I hope all of them were counted. I am not the least bit appeased by a person who looks like me and declares boldly to be a Europeanist, whatever that is; or fails to understand why affirmative action was and is necessary even though they benefited from the same. Nor am I happy with one who looks on my fate and says neither a yea nor a nay. The fact remains that 50 percent of the voters are not being represented in the government soon to be inaugurated, a fact which might have changed had all the people been heard and their votes truly and accurately counted. However since they were not, we shall never know and are split right down the middle. Jesus said. “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” Matthew: 12:25. It is my prayer that He alone will bring us together because, in my opinion, nobody in Washington, or anyplace else in our country either can or will.

    -- Anonymous, December 20, 2000

    "European serfdom" is my observation of many of our nation's communities. Sometimes it seems that there are enclaves so closed and isolated that I am reminded of medieval France and Prussia (or Germany?). I see neighborhoods where people draw up and cut themselves off to some defree from the outside world. In those situations, there only "contact" becomes television. And I am very concerned about leaving perceptions of Who We Are in the hands of Hollywood and the Late Night News (both offer bleak pictures).

    True Afirmative Action still begins with us. THose who have knowledge, access and control must continue to pave the way and create opportunities and access for those who don't. We must pass on what we know to our youth, to our successors. We must continue to move forward, effectively and consistently, with the resources that are available to us.

    -- Anonymous, December 20, 2000

    Brother Robert; You are quite correct about the comic relief provided by Nostradamus. While the famed medieval French prognosticator was vastly overrated he cannot be faulted for making bold, albeit many erroneous forecasts. But then again what do I know since my credentials only confer me the status of being an "idiot savant" :-)

    Brother Jerryl; I believe the current composition of the US Senate will make confirmation of the next three Supreme Court judges [replacements for Rhenquist, O'Connor & Stevens] extremely interesting. I believe the candidates will be 2 neo-conservative Justices and one neo-Liberal. Scalia will most likely be promoted to Chief Justice [needed to appeal to his "right" constituents] and joining him will be newbies like Judge Richard Posner [8th Circuit of Appeals], Elizabeth Dole [all 13 female US Senators should support her nomination] and my personal choice, Harvard Law Professor Randall Kennedy. If Bush takes my advice and picks Kennedy, fmr clerk of Justice T. Marshall, he will get an erudite legal scholar who is critical of racial profiling and has written widely in the area of crime and law enforcement. Kennedy has also been one of the leading critics of the much-maligned jury nullification thesis. Last and perhaps most importantly he is my homey [upper northwest DC near Takoma Park] and black like me :-) If my slate is presented I believe 60-70 Senators would endorse this package. Celebrated Harvard Law Professors Alan Dershowitz and Laurence Tribe would not like it but who cares. They are simply angry that Gore's loss means they won't be even considered for this coveted position.

    -- Anonymous, December 20, 2000

    Bill, interesting analysis on candidates for the Supremes. I generally like it, although I am surprised that Libby Dole would be considered. Is this the same Dole who ran for president (ever so quietly)? I was not familiar with her prior judicial experience. I only know her from her two stints in the cabinet and American Red Cross.

    Speaking of conservatives, what has become of Alan Keyes?

    -- Anonymous, December 20, 2000

    I have not made up my mind yet regarding the appointments that are mentioned in this thread. For I do not know what impact they will make on our country. They may all be well intentioned to help people of color, but they still have to deal with a republican controlled congress that wants to put forth a very conservative agenda. There are programs that Bush will have difficulty getting through. Gov. Racicot of my state of Montana is republican and is being considered for a cabinet position. Though he is not a person of color I have worked with him and he is a wonderful man. White supremacists activity in Montana has always been high, and previous governors were always silent. Gov. Racicot spoke out and made it very clear that the supremacist groups were not welcomed and would be prosecuted. When I started my human rights organization in response to the KKK coming to my town, he was the first to come on board and offer help. When my daughter was in a coma for a month he called the hospital every day personally in washington D.C to check on her and helped make arrangements to fly her back to Montana by air ambulance. He has taken heat from the "good ole boys" for working with african- americans in the state. He is a christian and a very good man! Colin Powell has made it clear that he is proud of his African- American heritage and that the plight of black people is a major concern of his. I feel confident he will advocate for Black people. We can discuss cabinet positions and pro and cons of being republican or democrat but the bottom line is that God is in control!! The most important cabinet of all is the one God made. And it is composed of Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, Angels and the priesthood of all believers. Let us not be bothered by human appointments but let us rejoice that we have a spiritual cabinet that can affect the hearts of all in public office. During this holiday season let us pray for our leaders.

    -- Anonymous, December 20, 2000

    Governor Raccicot was one of the few reasonable voices during the recent Florida electoral debacle. I looked forward to his thoughtful commentaries and insight. I also recalled the Governor's critical but timely comments about how Washington was also complicit in creating a political scenario which resulted in the horrific fires which engulfed the Rocky Mtn States last Summer. His concern for Denise's daughter during her medical crisis was testimony that he put his words into action. He will make a terrific Cabinet appointee.

    After re-reading my Supreme Court list I have decided to rescind the Dole recommendation and replace it with Texas judge Alberto Gonzalez. Jerryl makes a good point about her "silent" election bid and her legal experience is average at best. The selection of Gonsalez would be historic since he would be the first Hispanic to serve on the US Supreme Court. Senate opposition would be minimal. Posner, Gonzalez, and Kennedy would fulfill the Bush vision about reaching out to all members of society.

    -- Anonymous, December 20, 2000

    Well Bill we just got the word on the news that gov. Marc Racicot has declined Bush's offer to be attorney general. He said that his family was his priority and he wants to stay in Montana. Personally I am so happy he is staying in Montana! We need him. He just signed into law that gay and lesbians cannot be fired from state jobs. He did that today. Though he is the out going governor he is still working hard. He made sure that people could not be fired from state jobs because of race or sexual orientation or disability. There was no such protection on the books. He has also said he will continue to work for human rights in the state. He would have been a compassionate attorney general.

    -- Anonymous, December 21, 2000

    The Gov. of Montana has declined. The other word is Rev. Floyd F. Flake may be appointed Education Secretary.

    -- Anonymous, December 21, 2000

    Is it true that the Revernd Floyd Flake turned down the Bush cabinet offer of Education Secretary? I know he is not a registered Republican, bu does that have anything to do with his deciion?

    -- Anonymous, December 28, 2000

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