What if Colin had attacked Harry?

By Larry Elder

Singer-activist Harry Belafonte viciously lashed out at Secretary of State Colin Powell, calling Powell a house slave and a lackey to “master” George W. Bush. “You got the privilege of living in the house,” said Belafonte, “if you served the master exactly the way the master intended to have you serve him. Colin Powell’s committed to come into the house of the master. When Colin Powell dares to suggest something other than what the master wants to hear, he will be turned back out to pasture.”

Belafonte later got off a second round, this time pronouncing Powell “a tragic failure,” while reiterating the slave reference, presumably because of Powell’s support for possible military action against Iraq. Powell, with his customary calmness and class, dismissed Belafonte’s remarks as “unfortunate.”

Suppose some Republican, whether Powell or, say, Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., started the fight by calling Belafonte an “anachronism who keeps black people mired in the self-defeating and destructive white-man-holds-you-back-don’t-trust-Republicans mindset.”

History tells us people like Belafonte often dish it out, but when criticized, they scream like banshees and seek vengeance.

  • Director Spike Lee calls racism America’s No. 1 problem, denounces interracial black-white couples, and put dialogue in his movies that some perceived as anti-Italian and anti-Semitic. Yet when a reporter, following extensive interviews, wrote an article titled “Spike Lee Hates Your Cracker Ass,” the director threatened to refuse future interviews conducted by whites.

  • Danny Bakewell, a black Los Angeles-area contractor-activist, routinely plays a race card to win sweetheart deals from the guilt-ridden city councils, a shakedown-like tactic employed by the likes of Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton. Jill Stewart, a former Los Angeles Times writer and then New Times columnist, called him a “race-hustling poverty pimp.” Bakewell sued for defamation. Not only did he lose, but also the presiding judge ordered Bakewell to pay Stewart $25,000.

  • Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., routinely stirs the pot with race-card playing antics. Although she refuses the many invitations extended to appear on my radio show, she appeared on another Los Angeles radio show and urged listeners to disrupt my show by jamming the phone lines. Waters refers to the Republican Party as “the enemy,” and once called former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan “a plantation owner.” Yet when the head of the Los Angeles Police Commission, in a private conversation, allegedly referred to her as a “bitch,” she demanded an apology and his resignation.

  • Earl Ofari Hutchinson, a black Los Angeles columnist-activist, appears on many local and national television shows. Most recently on Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor, Hutchinson quite responsibly took Rev. Jackson and Rev. Sharpton to task for their silly attack on the movie “Barbershop.” A few years earlier, however, Hutchinson wrote a book called “The Assassination of the Black Male Image,” in which he argued that the media intentionally put on the worst possible images of black males.

    After I criticized the book as unfounded, emotional and distorted, he called me a “shock jock.” He also participated in a stealth letter-writing campaign urging angry blacks to send letters to my sponsors demanding that they withdraw support from my show. Hutchinson’s underground effort – ultimately unsuccessful in removing me from the air – nevertheless resulted in millions of dollars of lost advertising revenue.

  • Rev. Sharpton appeared as a guest on a CNN program I recently guest-hosted. After I dared question his ethics for falsely accusing a man of rape in the Tawana Brawley case, he phoned CNN executives, and threatened to sue the network and me for defamation.

  • Rev. Jackson and I, some years ago, appeared on a television program to discuss whether blacks now possess fundamental civil rights. Jackson talked about the wealth disparity between blacks and whites. I informed Jackson that wealth was not a civil right, and that as to matters like voting and equal rights, yes, blacks have, for the most part, triumphed. Jackson promptly accused me of “identifying with white males” and later cursed-out the producer for pitting me against him.

  • Rev. Jackson and Rev. Sharpton both demanded apologies from the producer of the movie “Barbershop.” Jackson, who refuses to see the film, along with Sharpton sought and obtained an apology from the producer. Not satisfied, the duo demands that the filmmakers edit out the offending passages in the video and DVD versions.

  • Defense attorney Johnnie Cochran, five years ago, entered the Abner Louima case. New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser lamented, “Johnnie Cochran will say or do just about anything to win, typically at the expense of the truth.” Cochran, race-card player extraordinaire, the man who once said, “Race plays a part of everything in America,” and likened Mark Fuhrman to Adolph Hitler, sued for defamation. A judge dismissed the lawsuit.

Apparently, angry black victicrats can’t stand the heat, yet demand an air-conditioned kitchen.