Belafonte – the real house slave

By Joseph Farah

“There’s an old saying,” says Harry Belafonte. “In the days of slavery, there were those slaves who lived on the plantation and were those slaves that lived in the house. You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master … exactly the way the master intended to have you serve him. Colin Powell’s permitted 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.”

Now I’m no fan of Secretary of State Colin Powell. I have challenged him on foreign-policy matters more than any columnist I know. But Harry Belafonte’s insults are disgusting, reprehensible and betray his own insecurities and guilt.

What do I mean?

Harry Belafonte is the real house slave.

While Belafonte was making millions of dollars entertaining white folks in the 1960s, Colin Powell wasn’t living the good life. He wasn’t singing “Day-o.” He wasn’t rubbing shoulders with the Hollywood elite. He was fighting for his country in Vietnam.

Nothing was handed to Colin Powell in his life. He worked hard, studied hard, fought hard and became a general and, later, the first black secretary of state in the history of the United States. Harry Belafonte sang the “Banana Boat Song.”

Apparently, Belafonte can’t deal with the tremendous personal guilt he feels for rising so fast and far in the entertainment business. So, like so many others in the entertainment business who have accumulated vast personal wealth, he chooses to act like a slave, pretend to be among the oppressed classes, suggesting he’s still got some boot on his neck.

Let’s face it: Belafonte has never had a boot on his neck. He never will have a boot on his neck. Few of us have ever experienced the privileges and rewards this country has bestowed upon him for singing his songs.

But, in a sense, Belafonte is a captive – he is a slave.

He’s serving an outdated, obsolete, discredited ideology of victimhood, class warfare, entitlement and wealth redistribution. It’s an ideology that would make us all slaves – real slaves of the state.

Characteristically, Powell was kinder in his response to Belafonte than I have been.

“If Harry had wanted to attack my politics, that was fine,” he said. “If he wanted to attack a particular position I hold, that was fine. But to use a slave reference, I think, is unfortunate and is a throwback to another time and another place that I wish Harry had thought twice about using.”

Belafonte accuses Powell of being a sellout to his race for serving in the Bush administration. Who does Belafonte serve? Who is his master? I suggest to you it is a master far more evil than the Bush administration, far more insidious, far more fearful.

He’s the one who has sold out. Powell took a pay cut to serve his country. What has Belafonte sacrificed for his noble causes?

I’ll tell you, I’ve had just about all I can take from these entertainment industry prima donnas moonlighting as policymakers and political activists. What are their qualifications? Why do we give them the time of day? Why does our nation continue to honor them and reward them in the face of such arrogance and hypocrisy?

It’s time to stop running down your country, Mr. Belafonte. Our nation has been attacked. Our nation is at war. Honest debate and policy disagreements will always be welcome in America. But it’s time to stop practicing, what was called just a few years ago by so many of your friends, “the politics of personal destruction.”

If you don’t like it, Harry, get on the next banana boat and do us all a favor – find a new home.