Friday, November 18, 2005

Definition of a Sellout

It gets no clearer than this:

For decades, Republicans have struggled to reach out to black Americans. But now in Orange County, the GOP has to reach no further than the NAACP. As of this week, Derrick Wallace, head of Orange County's NAACP, has switched parties -- to become a Republican.


Republican Party leader Lew Oliver described himself as "extraordinarily pleased," while Democratic leader Tim Shea said he was disappointed. Wallace, a construction-company exec, was candid about the fact that his business life was a big part of his decision to change."It's purely a business decision. Ninety percent of those I do business with are Republicans," he said. "Opportunities that have come to my firm have been brought by Republicans."To that, Shea responded: "I'm a little confused. Are we talking about the National Association for the Advancement of Construction Professionals -- or Colored People?"

Wallace elaborated that his "business" line of thought also referred to the NAACP. Behind many of the power desks in this town sit Republicans. And he said he wants his organization to be part of that structure. Just as importantly, he said, he didn't want people to immediately brand -- or dismiss -- NAACP concerns as synonymous with those of liberal Democrats. "I want this branch to be respected," he said.

Oliver said they already are, noting that all of the members of the GOP executive board joined the NAACP a few years back to show that they were serious about outreach. "We have taken pains to do our very best to reach out," he said. But Shea and other Democrats have long maintained that Republican talk about inclusion is little more than that: talk. They cite GOP policy after policy -- on everything from voting rights to health care -- that disproportionately negatively affects blacks.

Joining the Republican Party because you believe in its philosophy is one thing. It's uncommon, for logical reasons, for African Americans. But if one believes what the Party believes, fine. But to switch parties because the GOP is the party in power and gives you contracts -- that's the textbook definition of a sellout.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What's A Few Dead Negroes?

Did they stop looking for bodies just a month after 9/11? Don't think so. And yet, in New Orleans' Ninth Ward, undiscovered bodies are popping up all over the place.

Were the bodies buried under tons of debris, like with 9/11? No, they were just sitting in the living room of people's homes waiting not to be searched for...

On Oct 3 the search for bodies in NOLA was called off despite the knowledge that bodies remained in unsearched homes in NOLA's 9th Ward (see
previous post
) The plan was for people to call 911 if they found a body despite the fact that people were not even allowed into the 9th ward. On October 12th, parts of the 9th Ward were opened for a "look and leave." The death toll rose as bodies were found. And the lower 9th ward, perhaps the most devastated area of NOLA, will not open to residents until December.

Iraq Civil War, Step 2

Everybody getting along just beautifully in Iraq:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A prominent Sunni party has called for an international investigation into the discovery of an Iraqi Interior Ministry compound allegedly holding more than 160 detainees -- some with clear signs of torture.

The Iraqi Islamic Party, which helped broker the deal that brought a constitution to a national referendum in October, said Wednesday the detainees were mostly Sunnis and the human rights violations at the compound were part of a campaign to marginalize Sunnis ahead of next month's election.

I see thr Shia have picked up a thing or two from the U.S. about democracy.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sure George Bush Cares About Black People

Just in case we needed any more proof:

The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, which has enforced the nation's anti-discrimination laws for nearly half a century, is in the midst of an upheaval that has driven away dozens of veteran lawyers and has damaged morale for many of those who remain, according to former and current career employees. [snip]

At the same time, prosecutions for the kinds of racial and gender discrimination crimes traditionally handled by the division have declined 40 percent over the past five years, according to department statistics. Dozens of lawyers find themselves handling appeals of deportation orders and other immigration matters instead of civil rights cases.