Time to be counted

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Policy debates on Haiti aside, I'm saddened by the Congressional Black Caucus' failure to reprimand the racist comments of this Congresswoman. They'd be going berzerk if a white politician said similar things and the white community would be back pedalling like mad, apologizing and rationalizing.

The black community should be the first to condemn her words. Perhaps the readers of this board have the courage. Let's hear it!

Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville) February 26, 2004

Brown: Haiti Policy 'Racist'

She calls Bush's representatives 'a bunch of white men'

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown verbally attacked a top Bush administration official during a Washington briefing on the Haiti crisis Wednesday, calling the president's policy on the beleaguered nation ''racist'' and his representatives ''a bunch of white men.''

Her outburst was directed at Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega during a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill. Noriega, a Mexican-American, is the State Department's top official for Latin America.

''I think it was an emotional response of her frustration with the administration,'' said David Simon, a spokesman for the Jacksonville Democrat. He noted that Brown, who is black, is ''very passionate about Haiti.''

Brown sat directly across the table from Noriega and yelled into a microphone. Her comments sent a hush over the hourlong meeting, which was attended by about 30 people, including several members of Congress and Bush administration officials.

Noriega later told Brown: ''As a Mexican-American, I deeply resent being called a racist and branded a white man,'' according to three participants.

Brown then told him ''you all look alike to me,'' the participants said.

Rebels opposing President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government have seized large parts of the country, demanding that he resign.

Brown told the Times-Union late Wednesday night she went to the meeting expecting it to be a gathering of the delegation, but found administration officials there, too. She accused Noriega of "an attitude" against the Haitian people, and blamed them for decades of poor hospitals and other problems.

"The meeting was about the Haitian people. They're getting ready to be slaughtered and we're not doing anything about it," Brown said.

After her comments about white men, Noriega said he would ''relay that to [Secretary of State] Colin Powell and [national security adviser] Condoleezza Rice the next time I run into them,'' participants said. Powell and Rice are black.

U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., who organized the meeting, called the comments ''disappointing.''

''To sit there and browbeat this man who is a Mexican-American and call him names, it was inappropriate,'' Foley said.

She adamantly rejected any apology or second thoughts about her words: "Absolutely not. I just want to save the Haitian people."

Brown said she later attended a White House meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus and said nothing was mentioned of her strong words.

"My constituents know me and the issue is about how our government will go around the world to Iraq and help them go into a democracy, but right off our shores we let a country go to waste," Brown said. "I speak for them."

She faulted the Bush administration for not sending a better team to help Haiti, saying the team didn't reflect the island's ethnic makeup. One official had ties to conservative former Sen. Jesse Helms, which was part of the problem, she said. She also noted Republican legislation allowed for visa for other Carribean nations, but not Haitians.

Duval County GOP Chairman Mike Hightower, a major Bush fund-raiser, said, "I am disappointed and surprised that type of language and behavior would be expressed in a public policy forum. It's not productive during a humanitarian crisis."

Asked if it would hurt her in the district, however, he said, "That's up to her constituents

Times-Union staff writer David DeCamp and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2004


I am still waiting for Fox News to apologize for putting the words "Spook" over Kofi Anan's name on their website yesterday! They did it in a most clever manner, but bad manners are bad manners no matter whom does it.

Most amusing is Noriega's comments that he resents being called a white man.

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2004

Mary, you had the chance to condemn blatant racism in the black community and didn't. Just because Fox said something offensive doesn't justfy Congresswoman Brown's hate speech.

How can any African-American complain against white racism while tolerating it among themselves? The moral authority evaporates.

Now let's try again. Who out there will do the right thing and condemn the Congresswoman's words? Let's hear it!

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2004

Oh yes, let me take the opportunity to condemn any racist actions by Fox. I'm not familiar with the incident, but if there was malicious intent, it was wrong.

Now, let's hear it!

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2004

RP you are pathetic. Your racism has a demonic grip on you. Let it go man and be the man of God you proclaim to be. This is sad, very sad. Rep. Brown's remarks while unfortunate and ill advised are a reflection of the frustration that many people of goodwill see in the double standard the United States has used against Haiti. Both Democrat and Republican administrations have sent mixed signals to that nation and both have supported corrupt leaders. And when the people of Haiti have tried to flee the corruption and poverty of their government, they have not been treated like other immigrants especially Cubans. While I would not defend Rep. Brown's misrepresntation of Mr. Noriega her message should not be ignored, those people are dying, yet RP you express no outrage and no compassion for those people. Interesting, very interesting.

-- Anonymous, February 28, 2004

Oh since we are now supposed to "stand up and be counted" (yeah right) let's be sure to beat the stuffing out of Education Secretary Paige. After all he called the largest teachers union in the nation a terrorist organization. Yeah they rank right up there with the Aryan Nation, Al-Queda, good ol boys like Tim McViegh.

-- Anonymous, February 28, 2004

Responses to Harold have ceased.

-- Anonymous, February 28, 2004

I know it's the weekend and many may not be on the board. However I figured SOMEONE would have stepped forward to condemn Congresswoman Brown's words by now.

The other day I was reading a commentary on King David's lack of action when his son Amnon raped his sister Tamar. The author said it would have been hard for David to act in light of his own sin with Bathsheba. His moral authority was gone. The Congressional Black Caucus' silence, and now this board's silence on this issue is robbing you of your moral authority on the issue of racism.

I'm reminded how some white churches were silent or openly took the wrong side during the civil rights movements of the past. In recent years some of those denominations, the Southern Baptists and Assemblies of God for example, have admitted their wrong.

Now here's an example of racism rearing its ugly head in the midst of the black community. It's not coming from a nut such as the one who has been posting on the board lately, but from a Congresswoman. And the black community is acting like the white churches of the 50's and 60's by remaining silent or defending her.

Looks like the civil rights movement did more good for the white community than the black. Since then no group in history has done more to put right its past wrongs than white America. The civil rights era woke them up to their own problems, and now these churches are about 50 years ahead of the AME!

Rev Denise Rogers, your work against racism is being diluted by your own church. You might want to direct your energies inward. Don't worry about the supremacists up there in Montana. You need to clean your own house first.

-- Anonymous, February 28, 2004

RP your witness is markedly affected by the venomous racism that you spew. You need not reply to my charges but you need to check that plank in your eye before examing anyone's splinter.

-- Anonymous, February 28, 2004

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Having read through the messages on this post I am perplexed as to what is in dispute here? Whether individuals on this board condemn hate speak or not, it is condemned! Ms. Brown, assuming her words are accurately reported - should be fired, not just for her racist, hate-filled comments, but also for lacking the character and maturity to which the office she occupies calls for.

It is an appauling, pityful and vexing thing to witness the racist speech that some have herein engaged. It is not worthy of our Church, of our Lord, or of ourselves. CUT IT OUT! Since we know that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks, I, a child of He who lives, rebuke you. Is there no fear of God before your eyes? REPENT!

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

In Love, In Christ,

-- Anonymous, February 28, 2004

Finally! My hope is restored. Thank you Ron.

-- Anonymous, February 28, 2004

RP -

I thought your hope was defined according to the great Christian hymn, 'My Hope Is Built' not corroboration of a shared idea. This is my first post since the Satanic inflitration of last week corrupted several thoughtful discussions about the US Supreme Court and the Book of Esther. I'm a late entrant to this thread but, here goes.............

The remarks attributed to Congresswoman Corrine Brown do not represent the first (nor will it be the last) time a member of the Congressinal Black Caucus (CBC) has publicly made racially offensive comments. It is ironic that Rep. Brown's "core focus" is about the crisis engulfing Haiti when it was the decision by the CBC in 1993 to pressure President Clinton to dispatch 20,000 US servicemen to provide a military escort in restoring Jean-Bertrand Aristide back to power. Since Aristide's return to office the world has witnessed a continued deterioration of economic and social opportunities, political malfeasance and continued emigration. Congresswoman Brown and others like to cast the policies of denying asylum to Haitians seeking US stay as racist yet they fail to criticize the person responsible for Haitians petitioning for asylum, President Aristide. The CBC has little to no foreign policy credibility becuase the message they condone US military forces to support black countries during crisis (Haiti, Liberia, Somalia) but reject the use of force against Iraq.

Since the CBC is defined by a modus operandi consisting of largely racial politics it has become all too common to cast most policies advanced by th GOP as racist since the accuser (CBC member)knows full well they can make such assertions with the protection of political and media immunity. Over the years Representatives Maxine Waters (D- CA), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Edolphus Towns (D-NY) and my personal favorite, former GA Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney have made regrettable public statements filled with racial innuendo yet they were spared a public backlash. White guilt and black tolerance combine to "look the other way" as long as a prominent black makes an offensive remark against someone white but it is racially taboo for a white to have a similar faux pas directed at someone who happens to be black. Consider the Trent Lott affair from over a year ago. Senator Lott made a regrettable public comment filled with racial innuendo, profusely apologized about the comment, made public concessions but still could not be spared his trip to the political gallows instigated by BOTH Democrats and Republicans. In contrast, Rev. Jesse Jackson, disregarding for the moment the infamous "Hymietown" remark during the 1984 Presidential race, practically has immunity for any race-centered remarks about Bush policies because he knows that many blacks in the US believe in the Democrats political equation (GOP = Big Business + War + Racism - Federal Government - Social Security). Only a few well-read black Americans will publicly reject the sheer nonsense of the above equation and that provides the necessary ammunition for elected officials like Congresswoman Brown to make such comments, apologize for safe cover but remain unrepentant about the "core focus" of her remarks. Trent Lott apologized also but to no avail. QED

-- Anonymous, February 29, 2004

RP, we are so thankful that you took the time in January during Martin Luther King's birthday to share what you did with the board. I find it interesting you did not find it necessary to share what you did on President's day this month? Again, you had the chance to set the record straight. Perhaps the word is H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E !

-- Anonymous, February 29, 2004

I did the same thing I did on MLK day - stuff around the house and church stuff. Pretty much the same. No mention of presidents in church that time either, just a focus on the Lord. That's what church is for. Not glorifying man.

-- Anonymous, February 29, 2004

If nothing else you are amusing and cellophane. I thank you for keeping me abreast as to how I should feel and respond.

-- Anonymous, February 29, 2004

RP, please point me to your church's website. I would like to learn more about your church.

-- Anonymous, February 29, 2004

'This is for Bill and others with lapsed memory. Exerpts taken from the December 10, 2002 NRO.

So, Monday night, faced with mounting criticism of his comments, Lott issued another apology. This time, it was, "A poor choice of words conveyed to some the impression that I embrace the discarded policies of the past. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by my statement." "Discarded policies" that's a quaint, benign quaint phrase that effectively sidesteps the real horror that was Jim Crow. The new statement itself was very nice and, all things considered, one might give Lott the benefit of the doubt if he didn't have a record, unmatched by any other current leading Republican of paying homage to a romanticized view of the "old South."

That's right. This isn't the first time Lott has been caught up in "a poor choice of words."

In a 1984 speech to the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Biloxi, Miss., Lott declared: "The spirit of Jefferson Davis lives in the 1984 Republican platform."

In 1998, it was revealed that Lott had spoken several times to the Council of Conservative Citizens, a "racialist", neo-white supremacist organization. Lott claimed that he didn't know about their philosophy, believing it to be a benign "conservative" group. In fact, he had written a regular column for the CCC's "Citizen's Informer" publication over the course of several years. It's also rare for any member of Congress to write for an outside group's publication without getting an idea of what positions the group advocates.

Furthermore, Lott's uncle popped up to say that his nephew well knew what the CCC was about. Just ten years ago, Lott praised the CCC's philosophy. A year before all this came to light, Lott hosted the CCC in Washington.

Several black Republicans (including this writer, a Republican National Committee staffer at the time) approached Lott to address the problem. He demurred. His office made it clear that the senator had said all he intended to say about the CCC.

Yet Lott plays the "image" game when he feels like it. On at least one occasion, when he was Senate Majority Whip, black staffers were abruptly summoned into his personal office to provide "color" to photos in a media profile.

Yes, maybe African Americans need to "get over" slavery and Jim Crow. But why can't Trent Lott "get over" the civil-rights movement?

Most people don't expect a 100-year old Thurmond or an 85-year-old Robert Byrd (D., W.V.) to completely escape their racist pasts. But Trent Lott is an adult baby boomer, of the same generation as the current and previous presidents. The leaders of this generation supposedly went through the '60s and supposedly learned a few things about race. That seems true of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. But Trent Lott is waxing nostalgic about the Confederacy and Dixiecrats.

For Republicans who don't want to ponder the potential ramifications of race on the party, consider that this is a man whose cluelessness extends beyond racial matters:

This is the same Trent Lott who oversaw the continual shrinking of the Senate Republican majority between 1996 and 2000.

This is the same Trent Lott who seemed oblivious that a frustrated Jim Jeffords would bolt the party, and had the Senate over to the Democrats.

This is the same Trent Lott who ticked off social and defense conservatives in 1999: As Air Force Lt. Kelli Flinn was being court- martialed for having an affair with a married man and lying about it to a superior, Lott declared that the military had to "get real." Rather than punishment, Lott felt that "at the minimum, [Flinn] ought to get an honorable discharge."

-- Anonymous, February 29, 2004

Mary, it's www.newhope-ag.com. I'm PROUD of my church.

-- Anonymous, February 29, 2004

Mary opines -

"'This is for Bill and others with lapsed memory."

Your recollection of Senator Lott's miscues are designed to show that he has a pattern of making racially offensive and stupid remarks. They are interesting but not material to the issue concerning Congresswoman Brown's public blunder. I don't suffer from amnesia about this any more than I have memory loss about similar recidivist behavior by Rep. McKinney and Waters. The point of my earlier resposne was to show that there exists a great reluctance by white liberals and black leaders in general to publicly chastise a prominent black when he/she inappropriately use race and racism when other factors better explain a particular social problem.

Before this MB was corrupted by some incorrigible thugs last week I posted an interesting comment by one of your favorite academicians, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates. In an article published by the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Professor Gates urged black Americans to take control over their own destiny and stop relying on the excuses of victimization and racism as the root causes of black inequality. "We need an attitudinal revolution among the members of the black community," Professor Gates said. "Stay in school, do your homework, don't drop out, don't get pregnant when you're 16, don't do drugs, don't sell drugs, and stop equating education with being white. . . . The Blackest thing you could be in the 1950s was an educated man or an educated woman. The Blackest thing you could be was Thurgood Marshall or Martin Luther King Jr. It wasn't a basketball player. It wasn't a football player."

When these words are expressed by a black with conservative political leanings they are quickly dismissed as being socially irrelevant. I wonder if Gates, a conservative critic, will receive the same treatment by his liberal peers. The point remains unchallenged. Congresswoman Brown will not be chastised by the liberal elite for her insensitive remarks because to do so would run the risk of them being labeled racist. Trent Lott, largely reduced to a marginal political role, is easy target and prey for opponents. Two wrongs don't make a right. QED

-- Anonymous, February 29, 2004

Trent Lott blew it and paid. He needed to. I'm waiting for Congresswoman Brown to pay, at least by being on the receiving end of some rebuking by the black community. Being turned out of office or receiving an official censure from her peers on Congress is too much to hope for.

We have a few courageous souls on this board. Are there others? Or is racism from a black person ok? Maybe it's ok as long as they feel strongly about an issue such as the Haiti situation? Or since whites have engaged in it, that makes it ok for others?

-- Anonymous, February 29, 2004

So Mary, whad' ya think of the site? Not a bad lookin' group, eh?

-- Anonymous, March 01, 2004

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