Do you know the difference between President Bush’s judicial nominee, Judge Charles W. Pickering and Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va.? Pickering – as attested to by none other than Charles Evers, brother of slain civil-rights leader Medgar Evers – fought racism and the Klu Klux Clan, while Byrd embraced racism as an officer and ranking member (complete with white sheet and hood) of the KKK.
By now, most have heard Sen. Zell Miller, D-Ga., is under fire from civil-rights activists who are demanding an apology from the conservative Democrat because of his use of the word “lynching” in reference to the Democrat opposition to judge Janice Rogers Brown.
Among the cacophony of voices is that of Wade Henderson, the director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. But the question that begs an answer is where has Henderson’s voice been with respect to the morally reprehensible and viscous ad hominem attacks on Justice Brown? Is it OK for magazines and websites to publish crude caricatures of Brown? Is there nothing wrong in publicly attempting to humiliate the exemplary justice?
Where have the voices of Henderson and his minions been while Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was made to suffer obscene ad hominem attacks? Why was it acceptable for Julianne Malveaux to say: “You know, I hope his [Clarence Thomas] wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early, like many black men do, of heart disease.” (TV talk show “To the Contrary,” 1994)
Where were the outcries when Harry Belafonte called Secretary of State Colin Powell a house slave? Why were the civil-rights activists silent while shock jocks on a Florida radio station mimicked National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in Al Jolsonian fashion?
Consider the loathsome remarks by Nina Totenberg of National Public Radio, when she said that former Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., “ought to be worried about what’s going on in the Good Lord’s mind, because if there is retributive justice, he’ll get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it [AIDS].” (Inside Washington 1995)
Can anyone truthfully name an instance under any circumstances that a Republican or conservative could make such comments with impunity? Are the aforementioned comments remotely close to Trent Lott’s, R-Miss., comments at the late Strom Thurmond’s birthday celebration?
Why is there a dearth of reporting on the duplicitous double standards by those who claim to be for minorities and women? Why doesn’t such selective moral outrage inflame the mainstream press?
In 2000, Sen. Barbara Boxer D-Calif., called the treatment of women nominated to the bench a “nightmare.” Said Boxer; “Sen. Mikulski has pointed out the long time that women and minorities have had to wait to get their day, if you will, in the Senate court, so they can take their seats on the judiciary … So we’re here today to end that nightmare … to let the people of America know how these fine women are being treated, and we are here to say we are going to focus the light on this matter.” (Sen. Barbara Boxer, press conference Sept. 14, 2000)
Yet today, she is the very face of complicity of the rabid and unethical vox populi on the extreme side of that which most America holds dear – that being fairness and equality.
But they should take note: No longer are they the defining arbiters of truth and fact. Thanks to talk radio, Fox News Channel, truth-sensitive reporters and bold uncompromising writers of opinion, America is able to view, read and hear that which they have long thought silently in their minds.
Those who would unambiguously practice selective moral outrage are being exposed on a near daily basis. Their agenda of “self-serving interests” is being laid bare before the voters.
My suggestion to them, were I so inclined, would be to look around and see if they can spot any “raphus cucullatus,” i.e., “Dodo birds,” then take a good look in the mirror and determine if they desire the same fate.