December 19, 2005

A Rough Few Days for Civil Rights and Race Relations, with a Whiff of Sanity

Filed under: Economy,General,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:45 pm

If You Can’t Get Your Way, Intimidate

From Thursday’s Political Diary (not available on web; bold are mine):

Mob Rule in Michigan

The Rule of Law took a beating yesterday in Michigan, where an appellate court order to place an initiative banning racial preferences on the 2006 ballot was ignored by a state elections panel.

The state’s Board of Canvassers blinked in the face of 250 howling high school students and failed to do its sworn duty by clearing the measure for a vote. “Partisan politics and mob rule were the order of the day,” was the lead sentence in this morning’s Detroit Free Press description (link added by BizzyBlog) of the circus.

The board’s four commissioners were preparing to vote when protestors from the pro-preferences group, By Any Means Necessary, began yelling: “They say Jim Crow. We say, hell no.” About 50 students began marching on the board, knocking over a table before local Lansing police could stop them. Other protesters began stomping their feet, with one yelling at Paul Mitchell, an African-American commissioner, “Be a black man about this, please!” The board adjourned for two hours only to be faced with more catcalls when they reconvened.

When the vote was finally taken, the two Republican appointees voted to place the measure, known as the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, on the ballot. They noted that backers of the proposal, which would ban the use of racial and gender preferences in university admissions and state hiring, had gathered far more than the 317,757 signatures needed. But Mr. Mitchell voted no, and Doyle O’Connor, the other Democratic appointee, refused to vote. He gave credence to the arguments of the critics in the room by saying that the “Michigan Civil Rights Initiative petition was crafted in a racist fashion with the intent to deceive people.” Three votes were needed for the measure to secure ballot access, so a court may have to hold the board in contempt or order the initiative on the ballot itself.

“This has been a victory of mob rule,” said Chris Thomas, director of elections for the Michigan secretary of state. “Never before have I seen such absolutely incredible and unprofessional behavior from lawyers urging this disruption. They used these children as pawns.”

….. We’ve come a long way since 1964, when the late Hubert Humphrey stood on the Senate floor and told his colleagues that if the civil rights bill contained “any language which provides that an employer will have to hire on the basis of percentage or quota related to color, race, religion, or national origin, I will start eating the pages one after another, because it is not in there.”

Four decades later, supporters of racial preferences imposed by government agencies have lost battles to retain such quotas in liberal states like California and Washington. Now some of them are intimidating Michigan public officials with demands that they tear up the law and block legal efforts to establish the color-blind society that Martin Luther King envisioned…..

It’s time to look at the videotape and make arrests for, at a minimum, disorderly conduct. And it’s a good thing Mr. Humphrey is not alive, because in today’s climate he would eating a lot of pages.

Eagles Quarterback Ripped by NAACP Chapter President

Here’s evidence that the real struggle for black equality is over. J. Whyatt Mondesire, head of the Philadelphia branch of the NAACP has nothing better to do than criticize Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Donavan McNabb:

Normally this column talks very little about sports because the games that grown men play pale in comparison to the great issues of racism, politics, social calamities, health crisis’s, war and peace, etc. which gives us plenty of fertile territory to explore and pontificate about.
However, this week I felt compelled to offer some personal thoughts about your horrific on-field performances this season because at their core there is a lie you have tried to use to hide the fact that in reality you actually are not that good. In essence Donny, you are mediocre at best. And trying to disguise that fact behind some concocted reasoning that African American quarterbacks who can scramble and who can run the ball are somehow lesser field generals than one who can summon up dead-on passes at a whim is more insulting off the field than on.

Fortunately, sane leadership in the NAACP stepped in:

The chief executive officer of the NAACP criticized the president of its Philadelphia branch Thursday for racially charged comments made about Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Bruce Gordon, who heads the Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, issued a statement calling McNabb “a great quarterback, an excellent role model and a class act” and said he intended to apologize for denigrating remarks made by Philadelphia chapter president J. Whyatt Mondesire.

Don’t think that other black athletes didn’t get a message here: Be careful what you say. Shut up and play.

Tavern Owner Caught in the Crosshairs of the PC Police

The sign says “For Service, Speak English.” If you missed the excitement a few days ago, go here (“Thought Police 1, Bar Owner 0″) to see the trouble this has caused him. Also, check out this recent update: (“Thought Police 1, Bar Owner 0; Bar Owners Showing Solidarity–1“)

A Whiff of Sanity

Actor Morgan Freeman suggests that Black History Month is a waste (“I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history”), and that we should simply stop describing ourselves as white, black, etc.

I second that emotion.


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