Saturday, November 27, 2004


Diversity, like Tolerance, seems only to count if it works for them....

After weeks of seeing true examples of the intolerance of those who claim to be for diversity and tolerance, I ran accross this piece by a Latino reporter, Ruben Navarette:

A Latino attorney general? A black woman as secretary of state?

Who would have imagined it 50 years ago – or even, more recently, say, during the Clinton administration? Give President Bush credit for breaking barriers that his Democratic predecessor never got around to breaking.

Just don't try telling that to white liberals who are thrilled with the idea of minorities doing well – as long as they can claim credit. If they can't, or if the minorities happen to be conservative, things can get messy.

The American people are about to get a sense of just how messy now that Mr. Bush has nominated Alberto Gonzales to head the Justice Department and Condoleezza Rice to run the State Department.

Senate Democrats don't have the votes to thwart the nominations, but that won't stop them from trying to bloody the nominees before they take office. Witness what happened 13 years ago during the confirmation process for Clarence Thomas, who went from Pin Point, Ga., to Yale Law School to a seat on the Supreme Court – but not before being subjected to what Mr. Thomas called a "high-tech lynching" for challenging liberal orthodoxy on affirmative action, abortion and other issues close to the hearts of Democratic constituencies.

As Democrats sink their teeth into the Gonzales and Rice nominations, note the condescension. Liberals can – in one breath – convey both the high opinion they have of themselves and the low opinion they have of everyone else.

I've had a taste. During a stint as a columnist at a newspaper in Arizona, I criticized a Democratic U.S. attorney for ducking a civil rights case involving Latinos. I got lots of angry phone calls and e-mails. One note that stands out: A reader asked where I'd be "without affirmative action secured for (me) by the Democratic Party."

And now Mr. Gonzales and Dr. Rice might get a taste of their own. It's nothing personal. It's about credit, and who gets it. If Mr. Bush, with these appointments, scores points with minorities, Democrats will have to face these constituencies and this question: "What have you done for me lately?"

Liberals know that, which is why they're under pressure. And people under pressure tend to say and do really dumb things. Like the left-leaning reader who e-mailed me to criticize Mr. Gonzales and couldn't resist trying to stick a big sombrero on the Harvard Law School graduate. The reader wrote: "Execution of the mentally defective? Fine with Alberto. Health and safety? You don't need no stinkin' laws ensuring a safe workplace. ... He may end up killing more Mexicans than hypertension."

Nice. I especially like the "stinkin' " line – borrowed from the 1948 film, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, in which a very Mexican-looking fellow famously boasts: "Badges? ... I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!" Now, I have to wonder: Would the reader have chosen the same words to attack someone whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower? Somehow, I doubt it.

We've already seen a whole number of racist style political cartoons against Ms. Rice, enough so that some black groups were beginning to speak out about it. Bet it gets a lot thicker here before it's over. True tolerance and understanding of diversity means people don't have to lockstep behind you. And it is a great day for growth in American when we find that people like Ms. Rice and Mr. Gonzalez can reach some of the top levels of the American government. We should be rejoicing at how the American dream of opporunity and equality actually still work, instead of dragging them through the mud as Uncle Toms and Aunt Jemimas, when it was their own hard work and smarts that got them there.

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