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Colin Powell, Bush-Man or Black Man?

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  • Colin Powell, Bush-Man or Black Man?

    Colin Powell: Bush Man Or Black Man?
    By Courtland Milloy
    Sunday, July 29, 2001; Page C01


    A recent letter from Secretary of State Colin L. Powell to Dorothy Height regarding U.S. participation in the upcoming World Conference Against Racism began charmingly enough.

    Powell had scratched out the formal, typed salutation to "Dear Dr. Height" so that it read "Dear Dorothy" in his own handwriting.

    "We remain deeply committed to working toward a successful WCAR that, as you suggest, advances a better understanding of the factors contributing to current-day racism and intolerance," Powell wrote.

    That part sounded like Powell talking to a friend, a powerful black man reassuring a respected black woman who serves as chairman of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.

    But in other parts of his letter, which was a response to Height's request that Powell lead the U.S. delegation to the conference in South Africa next month, Powell was unmistakably secretary of state, sounding more like a Bush man than a black man.

    "However, we are increasingly concerned that the WCAR may instead focus on divisive regional issues, thereby preventing the Conference from addressing the larger issue of racism affecting all societies," Powell wrote.

    One of those "divisive regional issues" is a proposed discussion of reparations for slavery in the United States. Another is a proposition equating Zionism with racism.

    Of all the diplomatic dances that America's first black secretary of state has performed so far, none has ever caused him to step on the toes of his fellow blacks.

    In fact, Powell won much praise for making the African continent his first tour abroad and for participating in an international AIDS conference, despite objections from some of the more conservative members of his own Republican Party.

    During the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia last year, Powell courageously tackled the thorny subject of race and impressed many in the audience with a strong defense of affirmative action.

    "Race still casts a shadow over our society," he noted. "Despite the impressive progress we have made over the last 40 years to overcome the legacy of our past, it is still with us."

    He went on to tell the convention:

    "We must understand the cynicism that exists in the black community, the kind of cynicism that is created when, for example, some in our party miss no opportunity to roundly and loudly condemn affirmative action that helped a few thousand black kids get an education, but you hardly hear a whimper when it's affirmative action for lobbyists who load our federal tax code with preferences and special interests."

    Although blacks voted 9 to 1 against the Bush-Cheney ticket in November, the worst that blacks had to say about Powell was that he had joined the wrong party.

    Now, President Bush's administration has put Powell on the spot by signaling that the United States may pull out of the racism conference, in part because participants want to address some of the same issues that Powell brought up in his convention speech.

    It is odd to see him in the position of seeming to protect American sensibilities against tough talk on race, which he has personally never shied away from.

    In a meeting last month with Mary Robinson, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Powell said that "serious work" needed to be done to remove the issues of reparations and Zionism from the discussion, which he said put the conference "in danger of becoming mired in past events."

    In her letter to Powell, written on July 9 and co-signed by Barbara Arnwine, executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Height stressed the importance of taking racial history into account.

    "We urge the United States to adopt policy positions at the WCAR that seek to advance an enlightened understanding of both the historic and contemporary factors contributing to current day problems of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance," she wrote.

    Powell's reply, dated July 20, contained no guarantees on that matter. So, for now, the only solace to be found was that a secretary of state had at least taken the time to write back.


  • #2
    I am Black Voted For Bush!!

    Hector,
    I am a Conservative Black Republican...

    Comment


    • #3
      How can you be a conservative Black Republican?

      Dear Speaker,
      I was priviledged to attend the American Family Conference in Washington D.C. during the inauguration of George W. Bush. I went with a group of so-called 'Conservative Black Republicans.' We spoke in depth about issues concerning the Black community, but I came to the conclusion that 'Conservative Black Republicans' turn the other cheek when it comes to racism, especially from their own party members. It is not a coincidence that J.C. Watts and Gary Franks have been the only Black Republican congressmen in the past ten years. The Republican Party doesn't even support their own Black constituents. One of the 'Conservative Black Republicans' is a politician in the city that I reside in. I live in Mitch McConnell country who happens to be a very influential Republican Senator as you well know. But this man, the only Black Republican running for city alderman in Louisville who had his opponent literally beat, never received an endorsement from the local Republican party and that was the turning point in him not winning the election. I thought about joining the Republican Party because of their stance on Gay Rights and Abortion, but their stance on race relations is pathetic. That is why I don't understand how any Black man in America can be a Conservative Black Republican. It is hard just being Black.

      your brother and servant,

      Min. Hector Falu-Muhammmad

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How can you be a conservative Black Republican?

        Originally posted by MinFaluMuhammad
        Dear Speaker,
        I was priviledged to attend the American Family Conference in Washington D.C. during the inauguration of George W. Bush. I went with a group of so-called 'Conservative Black Republicans.' We spoke in depth about issues concerning the Black community, but I came to the conclusion that 'Conservative Black Republicans' turn the other cheek when it comes to racism, especially from their own party members. It is not a coincidence that J.C. Watts and Gary Franks have been the only Black Republican congressmen in the past ten years. The Republican Party doesn't even support their own Black constituents. One of the 'Conservative Black Republicans' is a politician in the city that I reside in. I live in Mitch McConnell country who happens to be a very influential Republican Senator as you well know. But this man, the only Black Republican running for city alderman in Louisville who had his opponent literally beat, never received an endorsement from the local Republican party and that was the turning point in him not winning the election. I thought about joining the Republican Party because of their stance on Gay Rights and Abortion, but their stance on race relations is pathetic. That is why I don't understand how any Black man in America can be a Conservative Black Republican. It is hard just being Black.

        your brother and servant,

        Min. Hector Falu-Muhammmad
        Listen to yourself holy $#!t.
        as if being a black republican were a sin.

        you have been brainwashed bro.

        that is why i hate all religions.
        they have never helped humanity at all.

        Comment

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