Saturday, January 22, 2005


All gloves go off, it seems, when someone goes off the Democratic Party minority plantation

Consider what Colbert King notes about the reaction to Condi Rice by members of the left:

Boxer said to Rice: "I personally believe -- this is my personal view -- that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell the war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth." Loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell the war. Ponder the weight of that statement. It comes close, at least in spirit, to the picture of Rice sketched by political cartoonist Pat Oliphant a few weeks ago. In case you missed it, Oliphant drew a big-lipped, bucktooth Rice perched like a parrot on President Bush's arm. Bush was speaking to Rice in baby talk, with Rice replying: "Awwrk!! OK Chief. Anything you say, Chief. You Bet, Chief. You're my HERO, Chief."

It's hard to imagine a more demeaning and offensive caricature of a prospective secretary of state, let alone the most senior official on the national security staff. It's equally difficult to understand what prompted Boxer to imply that Rice is little more than a diligent echo of Bush's thoughts. There's nothing in Rice's background or in her performance to suggest that she is a mindless follower of presidential orders. In fact, Rice comes across as just the opposite.

The liberal establishment, dominantly white, have said the nastiest things abouat Gonzales and Rice, that if a person from any other political persuasion would have said it, there would be huge outcries about the racism in the talk. Even though some Black activist groups have made a bit of complaint, it seems more that the left doesn't care, or backs off only slightly.

It is one things to have real disagreements on Rice and her policies, and to address that in real debate, and it's another thing to talk about her in the old racist terms which America has worked so hard to transcend. Instead of drawing on the old evil, women and minorities should consider hard what this really means to their status - and not let the old guard denigrate the levels people are actually achieving. To quote Mr. King once more:

The Boxer-Oliphant-Sylvester take on Condoleezza Rice stands in sharp contrast to the assessment offered by Dorothy Height, chair and president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women, who wrote in a letter to The Post this week: "Despite the challenges she will face, Ms. Rice's appointment is a time for women of color to smile."

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