The Mess in Mississippi : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Senator Trent Lott's self-inflicted political crisis represents an important reminder about race and political reality in the "New South." The Senator apparently forgot the wise advice given to his Biblical namesake about the dangers of "looking back". Yet, too often politics, like Hollywood entertainment, becomes obsessed with distractions and peripheral issues of importance.

While the media frenzy is focused on Lott's nostalgic comments about the old south, several southern historically black colleges, Morris Brown College in GA and Mary Holmes College in Lott's home state of MS quietly last week received notification that their accreditation credentials were being revoked. Regardless of whether Lott's mea culpa is sincere the fact remains that the future for many of the students in these "New South" schools is independent of Lott's political fate. Why aren't members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) speaking with a loud voice to save these schools? Is Lott more important than educating and nurturing young black minds? Intersting to note that Rev. Jesse Jackson and other prominent black clergy are quick to reject Lott's apology and accelerate calls for his resignation from the Majority Post. Ironically, the black community with the exception of a handful of dissenters (you know one)insisted that Jackson remain a key player in American politics despite his personal peccadilloes and acknowledged admission of marital infidelity. Interesting how we become comfortable with double standards when the issue is "skin not sin".

Senator Lott's personal political quicksand is a self-evident truth. In addition, many of the Senator's Republican accusers are disingenuous in their reprimands and attacks. It would be a mistake however to conclude that the attacks against Senator Lott represent a bipartisan pogrom. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the CBC are unequivocal in their calls for censuring the senior Mississippi Senator. GOP reformist leaders in contrast simply would like to see Lott demoted in terms of political stature. Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Some of our alleged leaders are displaying a similar form of inattention by ignoring the fundamental issues and remaining fixated on less-important matters. QED

-- Anonymous, December 18, 2002


Dear Professor Dickens,

Once again you have made a cogent argument. Your commentary is filled with so many themes. In reference to Mr. Lott's impolitic statement, I agree with congressman Robert Scott from Virginia who said that we shouldn't be so concerned about what he said but instead watch how Mr. Lott votes on confirming judges who have a poor record on civil rights in the coming months. Quite frankly, I see this whole media circus as just another example of the " blood sport" of American politics. You and I both know that there are just as many democrats who are racist in their attitude towards us black folk in America.


-- Anonymous, December 19, 2002

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