Politics

Thank God for Reverend Alfred Charles Sharpton, Jr.”Norris McDonald and the African American Environmentalist Association are on the cutting edge of environmental policy decision making.” — Rev Al SharptonReverend Al Sharpton is a state-of-the-art civil rights activist and politician. His leadership capabilities and oratory are second to none in the 21st Century. From Harlem and New York to the United States and the rest of the world, Rev Sharpton has made his presence known. His leadership will continue to influence American policy decision making in the foreseeable future.One of the Primary Directives of “liberalism” and the Democratic Party is that all members of a certain race must vote and think the same.Thank God for the Right Wing of the Congressional Black CaucusAccording to the progressive Black Commentator website: “six members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) make up the core of defectors from the historical Black Political Consensus – deviants from the CBC’s proud 36-year progressive tradition. All but Jefferson are members of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) and/or the Blue Dog Coalition:Harold Ford, Jr. (TN),Artur Davis (AL),David Scott (GA),Sanford Bishop (GA),Albert Wynn (MD), andWilliam Jefferson (LA)We need more moderate and conservative black caucus members. Actually, we need more black Republicans in the House and Senate so that the black community can benefit from the American two party system.Christine Todd Whitman — It’s My Party TooFormer EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman believes the social fundamentalists are ruining the Republican Party. She says that Karl Rove and the conservative right should not read too much into the results of the election because the victory was the smallest margin of any incumbent president ever to win reelection and no wartime incumbent has ever been unseated. She gives a good inside view of the administration’s reversal on carbon dioxide. She provides a defense for President Bush’s Clear Skies Initiative. She has an excellent chapter (Reclaiming Lincoln’s Legacy) on attracting more African Americans into the Republican Party. She also covers her perspective on serving as a woman governor and EPA administrator. Whitman makes a good case for a proud environmental tradition in the Republican Party by listing the programs and policies established by the party in the past four decades: The National Environmental Policy Act (Nixon), Clean Air Act (Nixon), Endangered Species Act (Nixon), Safe Drinking Water Act (Ford), Toxic Substances Congrol Act (Ford), Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (Reagan), Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (Bush 41), and Brownfields Revitalization Act (Bush 43). She could have also added the establishment of EPA (Nixon), Clean Water Act (Nixon) and the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (Bush 41).President Bush also signed the No Fear Act — “the First Civil Rights Legislation of the 21st Century” — that was passed to redress discrimination at EPA during the Clinton administration. Whitman seems to be amazed by the vitriol in politics, particularly the inside-the-beltway variety. It was a good read on the train from New York. Whitman Strategy Group Black Republicans Must Become Radical During the past two weeks I have had thousands of hits on my website and a multitude of emails from those who watched my presentation on C-Span Book TV.To a man and to a woman they are constantly asking, why aren’t the Republicans using your book to reach Black Voters? This is the same question that Black Republicans proposed to me as I lectured throughout the country during the past two years.Until today I had no answer. Then it came to me, if this is what they really wanted, why haven’t they proposed this question to the RNC? In retrospect, the reason may be because Black Republicans (as a whole) seem to be too passive and most do not seem to be radical enough or bold enough to tell the party what they really want. I think far too many Black Republicans and Black Conservatives are apprehensive in telling the RNC how they really feel, fearing that any criticism may be interpreted as disloyalty.As an independent radical conservative, I share some of the same values as the Republican Party. But as a fact-finding investigator and researcher who is committed to discovering the truth I find disturbing similarities in both parties. Let me share a few of them.Both parties are run by whites who do not seek the opinions of their grass root African American supporters.Both parties have grass root African Americans supporters who are afraid to offer strong constructive criticism to better the party, fearing their advice will not be welcomed or accepted. Both parties select which African Americans they want to advise them (yes men and women) rather than asking their faithful grass root African American supporters whom they would prefer.Both parties are not willing to share their wealth or their power with their loyal African Americans supporters.Both parties fail to give a fair share of their income to African American political efforts.As long as Black Republicans remain passive, fearful, and conservative in their approach to change, they will never be effective in the party or in their community. History tells us that it’s the radical, not the passive that brings about change. In 1854 the party that we know today as the Republican Party was more commonly referred to as the “Radicals”. The conservative members of their party were virtually ineffective and disrespected. Radicals like Charles Sumner, Thaddeus Stevens, Frederick Douglass and William H. Herndon emerged as leaders of the party and bought about the passage of the 13th , 14th and 15th Amendments. The conservative members of the party didn’t want to rock the boat and felt the radical members were going too far, too fast. Today there appear to be no black (or white) radical members of the Republican Party when it comes to black issues. Jessie Lee Peterson, Armstrong William and JC. Watts are the conservative passive members of the party who have not as of this date, openly criticized the party for not listening to their grass roots African American supporters nor have they criticized them for not sharing their wealth and power with them.There should have been a massive outcry within the party from the Republican Black leadership when the Bush/Cheney people and the RNC announced that they had budgeted one to two million dollars to reach black voters in 2004 (and only $1 million in 2000).There should have been a massive internal protest from Black Republicans when they learned that the RNC was selecting an African American Advisory Board without consulting with them first, to see who they would want included.Black Republicans and Black Democrats must become more radical and ask themselves the following questions:How long will blacks let the white leaders of the party select their black leaders or select who they feel should represent blacks on their advisory committees?How long will blacks allow the party to lure them to their $1000 plate dinners only to learn that the money will not be used to help them reach the people in their communities?How long will blacks allow the white leadership to merely move blacks to the sideline while they write the agenda and play the game?Loyal black members have given the Republican Party much over the years and have been ridiculed, harassed and called Uncle Tom because of their loyalty. Now it is time for them to stop saying “Yes Sir Boss” and demand a stronger voice in the Party.As a person on the outside looking in and hearing the trusted private comments of thousands of Black Republicans across the nation as they seek my counsel, it is my professional opinion that the Republicans Party is not ready to welcome blacks. First of all, their current structure shows that there is no place for blacks, particularly outspoken blacks. Secondly, they are not ready to share their wealth and power with blacks, and thirdly, they failed to acknowledge that the only reason why they had an increase in black voters in 2004, was because of the gay-rights issues, the sep aration of Church and state issues and the book Unfounded Loyalty, but not because they had a well–thought-out plan and budget to reach blacks. The Black clergy that I worked with across the nation did not tell their congregation to vote Republican because of JC Watts, Jessie Lee Peterson or Armstrong Williams or because they were impressed with a Republican plan to reach blacks. Watts, Williams and Peterson have NEVER been able to attract black voters or the black clergy to the Republican Party.The Republicans received the black vote because the black clergy told their congregations that they must take a stand on Same Sex Marriages and others recommended that their members read Unfounded Loyalty. Tara Wall of the RNC was present at the black clergy meeting in Ohio when she heard the clergy give testimonies of how Unfounded Loyalty converted members of their congregation from Democrat to Republican. However after hearing the testimonies, the RNC turned a deaf ear to the clergy’s request to use the book reach black voters. What the clergy was trying to tell the Republican hierarchy is that catching the attention of the black voter is like catching a very unique fish. You can’t use the same lure to reach black voters as you would use to reach white voters. Blacks are a different kind of fish. The lure that the black clergy recommended was Unfounded Loyalty, the Republicans decided instead to use Unfit For Command. It’s sad to note that while many are getting a piece of the political pie, Black Republicans are only getting the crumbs.Having said this, perhaps some are saying, “He’s just trying to promote the sale his book.” To the contrary, although that as an author I would like to sale many books, as a black person, I am not naive to think that any predominantly white political organization would support or promote an outsider’s book like they would their own (Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity), even though there is no other book on the market like Unfounded Loyalty. I’m simply saying if you are not bold and vocal in making your request (whether you are writing your congressman or the head of your party) no one will ever respect you or hear you. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Secretary Colin Powell are prime examples of bold radical black men.When the issue came up regarding Affirmative Action, Colin Powell stood up against the entire party and made his comments known at the Republican 2000 Convention and didn’t care what they thought about it. Colin Powell is a well respected radical Black Republican who always speaks his mind. When he resigned as Secretary of State the entire world spoke highly of him.Collectively, the Black Republicans of America should write letters to the RNC and boldly express how they feel about reaching black voters, they should express their feelings regarding who should serve on the African American Advisory Committee and they should make it known as to how much they feel the RNC should invest in African American political efforts. Black Republicans have suffered too much to be silent now. In speaking out, they shouldn’t do it because they are angry with the party, they should do it because they love the party. You may not agree with my conclusions but I would appreciate you commentsRev. Wayne Perryman doublebro@aol.com2004 Election Approximately 13.2 million African-Americans voted — 3 million more than voted in 2000. Black Vote Kerry 11,700,000 89%Bush 1,500,000 11% Total Votes Bush 58,978,616 52%Kerry 55,384,497 48%President Bush did not need the Black vote to win. Even if all of the Blacks voting for Bush voted for Kerry, President Bush would have still won. So why does President Bush have so many Blacks in high-level positions in his administration? And why do traditional environmental organizations have no Blacks in high-level positions? President Bush took 44 percent (about 3,520,000) of the Hispanic vote, up nine percentage points from 2000. The Hispanic vote increased from 6 million in 2000 to 8 million in 2004. Note that Alberto Gonzales has been nominated as the new Attorney General. Even if all of the Latinos voting for Bush voted for Kerry, President Bush would have still won. Senator Kerry would have needed all of the Black votes and all of the Latino votes for a comfortable win. The Democratic Party is now talking about doing poorly with churchgoing people, although 89 percent of Black voters — perceived as religious except for the murdering class — cast votes for Kerry. Democrats take Black voters for granted and black evangelical voters are ignored, but the RNC pampers White evangelical Christian voters. This demographic made up nearly 25 percent of the electorate and voted 4-1 for Bush. Those numbers dwarf the black turnout. Although black participation went up 25 percent, it still accounted for only 10 percent of the electorate. Former Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder won his election for mayor of Richmond with 78.6% of the vote.Percent of vote for BushState White BlackAlabama 80 % 6 %Arkansas 63 6California 51 18Colorado 57 13Delaware 55 17D.C. 19 3Florida 57 13Georgia 76 12Illinois 51 10Indiana 65 8Kentucky 64 12Louisiana 75 9Maryland 55 11Michigan 54 10Minnesota 49 12Mississippi 85 10Missouri 57 10Nevada 55 13New Jersey 54 17New York 50 9North Carolina 73 14Ohio 56 16Oklahoma 71 28Pennsylvania 54 16South Carolina 78 15Tennessee 65 9Texas 74 17Virginia 68 12Washington 46 25West Virginia 57 15Wisconsin 52 14States where breadown is available.Source: Edison Media Research & Mitofsky InternationalMedia Bias Against Republicans & Blacks On Environmental IssuesThe mainstream media is biased against Blacks and Republicans when it comes to covering environmental issues. Reporters have their pet contacts in the traditional environmental community and they blatantly favor their point of view when reporting stories. Usually, a Bush administration official’s views are presented as a prop for a pre-selected environmentalist to bash. Blacks agreeing with the Bush administration on anything, are marginilized by the media or ignored as oddities screaming from the bottom of a black hole in space. In fact, I have been told by administration officials that they tell the press about the African American Environmentalist Association’s support for many of their positions and the official asked me if the media ever calls. My reply is no. To be fair though, the Washington Post did cover our cliams of discrimination in the traditional environmental movement on the Federal Page.Robert Kennedy, Jr. gets on all the cable talk shows. I wear out my News Media Yellow Book trying to get on the shows and it is virtually impossible. Okay. He’s a Kennedy and I’m not. But the point is that he gets to spout his partisan vitriol all over the airways without a counterbalance. Same with the priint media. Between Dan Rather, CBS, big-city print media and Robert Kennedy, Jr., I don’t see how President Bush won reelection. Well I do but my liberal friends just don’t get it. One thing is for sure, media bias was clearly on display for the American public to see during the 2004 presidential election. Contrary to the wishes of biased media outlets, their unfair coverage probably helped President Bush in the end. It is the same way Marion Barry will become mayor of Washington, DC again if his health holds up. The Washington media corps with overplay their hand in trying to absolutely destroy him (show the crack tape ad nauseum) and it will make his black base support him more. Washington Times reporter Michelle Malkin has made the interesting observation about mainstream media rules regarding African American politicians, “Minority Democrats in public office are inspirational role models. Minority Republicans in public office are embarrassing sellouts.” Of course, Marion Barry is probably an exception to this rule.Anyway, with the traditional environmental community doing everything it can to paint President Bush as the ‘worst president on environment in the history of America,’ the media siding with this view and Hollywood piling on from the West Coast, it will be hard to reverese this inaccurate image . AAEA believes that an accurate portrayal of President Bush’s innovative environmental and energy recommendations will reveal a person committed to protecting the environment while promoting the economy. As a 25-year career environmenalist, I feel comfortable in providing an accurate and unbiased assessment of President Bush’s environmental policy recommendations. Many of those recommendations are some of the most innovative proposals ever presented in Washington, DC. Of course, if you are a no-growth, impractical technology promoting, my-way-or-the-highway (bike path), socialist-oriented traditional environmentalist or rich, lefty Hollywood hills celebrity, then President Bush’s policies are probably not for you. We should at least give his ideas a chance to see how they will work. The majority of American people appear to prefer the leadership of President Bush.This Article Has Been Emailed To Us Several Times So We Are Sharing It With Our Readers Tough Choices For Tough Times (USA Today)By Yolanda YoungThese are tough economic times, especially for African-Americans, for whom the unemployment rate is more than 10%. Alarmingly, rather than belt-tightening, the response has been to spend more. In many poor neighborhoods, one is likely to notice satellite dishes and expensive new cars. According to Target Market, a company that tracks black consumer spending, blacks spend a significant amount of their income on depreciable products.In 2002, the year the economy nose-dived; we spent $22.9 billion on clothes, $3.2 billion on electronics and $11.6 billion on furniture to put into homes that, in many cases, were rented. Among our favorite purchases are cars and liquor. Blacks make up only12% of the U.S. population, yet account for 30% of the country’s Scotch consumption. Detroit, which is 80% black, is the world’s No. 1 market for Cognac. So impressed was Lincoln with the $46.7 billion that blacks spent on cars that the automaker commissioned Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, the entertainment and fashion mogul, to design a limited-edition Navigator replete with six plasma screens, three DVD players and a Sony PlayStation 2.The only area where blacks seem to be cutting back on spending is books; total purchases have gone from a high of $356 million in 2000 to $303 million in 2002. This shortsighted behavior, motivated by a desire for instant gratification and social acceptance, comes at the expense of our future. The National Urban League’s “State of Black America 2004” report found that fewer than 50% of black families owned their homes compared with more than 70% of whites.According to published reports, the Ariel Mutual Funds/Charles Schwab 2003 Black Investor Survey found that when comparing households where blacks and whites had roughly the same household incomes, whites saved nearly 20% more each month for retirement, and 30% of African-Americans earning $100,000 a year had less than $5,000 retirement savings. While 79% of whites invest in the stock market, only 61% of African-Americans do. Certainly, higher rates of unemployment, income disparity and credit discrimination are financial impediments to the economic vitality of blacks, but so are our consumer tastes. By finding the courage to change our spending habits, we might be surprised at how far the $631 billion we now earn might take us. Yolanda Young’s next book is SPADE: A Critical Look at Black America. We all send thousands of jokes through e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages regarding life choices, people think twice about sharing. Please share this with your friends and family.Ruben Navarrette Jr. / Syndicated columnistLiberals don’t know what to do with nondeferential minoritiesSAN DIEGO — In the minds of many liberal Democrats, Hispanics and African Americans must seem to come in only two varieties: deferential or defective. And according to one angry caller — who was, from the sound of it, perfectly at home in a blue state — I fall into the second category. “I think you’re deluded,” he said, “and maybe insane.”I’m just guessing, but something tells me the caller would probably say the same thing about Janice Rogers Brown, who two years ago was nominated by President Bush to fill a vacancy on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Last week, Brown was finally confirmed but not before Senate Democrats and their accomplices in left-leaning advocacy groups such as People for the American Way did their best to try to paint this black conservative and California Supreme Court chief justice as an “extremist” whose views are outside the mainstream.Translation: Brown doesn’t defer to liberals. So she must be defective.By the way, here’s something I’ve noticed: When conservatives criticize a person of color, they often insult you. But liberals usually are condescending. They don’t say they’re upset as much as “disappointed” in you.And so it was that the caller was disappointed in me. What fired him up was a column I’d written about Alberto Gonzales, the nation’s first Latino attorney general. In it, I argued that liberal Democrats weren’t really interested in promoting diversity unless they get the credit for it, and that this explained their lukewarm reaction to Gonzales — an American success story whose nomination by President Bush they can’t claim credit for.It’s not that the Democrats are suddenly anti-minority. I just think they’re skittish and insecure when it comes to their own minority outreach efforts, such as they are. And so each time Bush or another prominent Republican tries to make minorities feel at home in the GOP, Democrats worry that the hold that they have on these groups may weaken and they won’t be able to do much about it.Just as they can’t do much to stop Bush from appointing Hispanics and African Americans to top positions in the Cabinet and in the federal courts, something that further frightens and frustrates liberal Democrats. And when Democrats oppose these nominees, it’s usually not because of who these nominees are or even because of what they believe. Rather, it’s because of what they represent and what it means in the grand scheme.So this is the Democrats’ dilemma. How are they supposed to market themselves to minorities as the one-and-only party of opportunity when Bush is putting nonwhite faces in high places? Better to try to paint the Republican Party as a restricted club, as Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean did recently when he described the GOP as “pretty much a white Christian party.” And minority Republicans as aberrations.I bet all this would come as news to Janice Rogers Brown, who attends church regularly. Just as I bet it would come as news to Miguel Estrada, the Hispanic gentleman who, at one point, seemed headed for the D.C. appeals court for which Brown is now confirmed — until his nomination was unfairly derailed by rank racial politics.Estrada is a top-shelf Washington lawyer who had, after coming to the United States from Honduras and graduating with honors from Columbia University and Harvard Law School, worked as an assistant U.S. attorney and an assistant solicitor general. Yet none of that prepared Estrada for the meat grinder of the judicial confirmation process. Before long, Estrada was — in an experience that must have seemed surreal to him at the time — fending off accusations from white Democrats that he “wasn’t Hispanic enough.” That was Estrada’s defect. It was also complete nonsense.I don’t see why liberals won’t say what they really mean. It’s obvious that what concerns them is not that these nominees aren’t real minorities, but rather that they aren’t their kind of minority. You know, the kind that asks for permission before they speak and makes sure that what they say falls in line with the views of their liberal benefactors.Ruben Navarrette’s column appears regularly on editorial pages of The Times. His e-mail address is ruben.navarrette@uniontrib.com