Crispus

Monday, May 31, 2004

Should America Bring Back the Draft?

Today is Memorial Day, which reminded me of all the recent talk about bringing back the military draft. Of course, liberals want to bring it back not for America's defense needs but to undermine it. Ironically, their current stance -- racial minorities and the poor disproportionately get affected -- was their stance to overturn the draft back in the 1970s. Never mind that today, the average enlistee is from a household family background of $30,000-$35,000 a year -- working class, not poor. Or that many people gain upward mobility in skills and education due to military service. Or that highly motivated troops create the most professional force, as seen by Americans who choose to service vs. forced service in many other countries. The draft merely introduces slackers into the mix, and who has time to babysit them on the battlefield?

Walter Williams recently did a great article, "The Economics of the Military Draft." He calls the military draft "government confiscation of labor services." He points out that if compensation was $100,000 a year, there wouldn't be a soldier shortage. Hence, a military draft basically acknowledges insufficient wages to get people to choose service.

Williams doesn't explore this issue, but freedom is another component to this issue. The state has no right to confiscate what is dearest to us -- our lives. Where in the U.S. Constitution does the government have the duty, power, or responsibility to issue a draft? If the White House or the Pentagon is unable to articulate why it needs our labor in the War Against Terrorism or any other endeavor, then it has failed miserably and we as Americans will have failed miserably. Yet when we're truly threatened, history shows no shortage of Americans willing to fight in its defense.

"A slightly higher-though not much higher-rung of hell should be reserved for those 'liberals' who claim that man has the 'right' to economic security, public housing, medical care, education, recreation, but no right to life, or: that man has the right to livelihood, but not to life." --AYN RAND

Saturday, May 22, 2004

A Rainbow of Independent Thought, Perhaps?

Check out this ditty from AlterNet:

[Chicago's Reverend Gregory] Daniels has earned a place in history. Not because he's done anything important, but because he's brought us a quote no historian of this year's gay marriage standoff will be able to resist citing. During a Boston press conference, staged by the rightwing Family Research Council on the eve of Massachusetts' constitutional convention, the black minister pledged, "If the KKK was opposing same-sex marriage, Reverend Daniels would ride with them."

Daniels' hyperbole was appalling, but hardly unexpected. The religious right's battle plan has long centered on mobilizing black conservatives in the culture wars. The debate over same-sex marriage is not nearly the first act in the homophobic minstrel show that black conservatives like Daniels are performing. But it has arguably been the most influential – and widespread. From Boston to Atlanta, black ministers are standing in for the white right as the public face of "traditional values." And in the Bronx, Latino clergy are joining in, forming a rainbow coalition of bigotry.

Most observers have focused on how straight African Americans are responding to the rightwing's blackface performance. But perhaps more significant for gay America is the reaction of black and Latino gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people. German and Thomas may represent an extreme example, but the incongruity between their life and that of the couples who have taken center stage in the marriage debate is not uncommon in black and Latino neighborhoods.

The government shouldn't even have a say over what consenting adults do, so gay marriage is OK with me. I'd even support polygamy on the same grounds. And why is a black guy saying he'll ride with the KKK to oppose gay marriage? Can't get with ol' boy there.

However, I'm amused at a blatant assumption made in this excerpt. Why is vast black opposition to gay marriage (2/3 oppose it) considered not a reflection of genuine opposition, rooted in a religious faith? Of course, socially conservative blacks like Daniels (who are politically liberal, by the way) can't derive their views independently but must be puppets of white folks. Never mind that most black folks share Daniels' view (the KKK thing aside), so he reflects widespread community sentiment. Of course, no commentary whatsoever about the minstrel show that white gays are perpetrating by hijacking black history to promote their agenda -- inflaming black folks even further. That's more offensive to me than the misguided rants of a Windy City black minister, not to mention strategically unwise. Given the religion statistics over at Booker Rising, black Protestants appear to share most of white Christian conservatives' views on most social issues. So do many Latino Catholics. So it's hardly illogical for these groups to form alliances when their interests intersect. But of course, only liberals think.

Friday, May 21, 2004

A Prime Example

A couple of days ago, I saw another prime example of the "a vote for Bush [or Republicans] is a vote against your people." Check out how Cobb had a major hater for his "Keep It Right" piece, which discusses joint promo among black non-liberal bloggers. Bernard writes:

The other regards a curiously out-of-date notion that although 'we' often must work twice as hard for half the rewards, we ought to be 'happy nigras singing in the fields,' taking pride in devotion to ole Massa's crumb droppings. How pathetic and sad that you've given up all notions of genuine equality (at leats [sic] in terms of rewards for work) and have genuflected to the ravings of the D'nesh D'souza's, Ann Coulters, and Rush Limbaughs of the world who thought your blackified negrosity has been and is being treated too well as it is. You [sic] messege [sic] is 'Be happy with the little you are often cheated out of while others take advantage of all the opportuntities [sic] afforded them." That's not victimology; it's cold hard fact. Your cowardly position is simply a sad commentary on the state of the so-called Black right.


Boy did Bernard miss the boat! He's so blinded by his rage at black non-liberals that he ignores the fact that Cobb didn't argue this point at all. Of course, in black liberals' minds no black person can disagree with them and be conservative out of, oh say, their own independent thought.

If black liberals were truly concerned about equality, they'd place a lot more emphasis on black kids buckling down with their schoolwork, lowering the illegitimacy rate which is dragging down our stats big time, encouraging black folks to spend less and save money to start small businesses and take back our communities, rooting thugs out, and speaking out against entertainers who pimp black culture with images which negatively affect our kids. They'd be more concerned about the growing gap within Black America, as they are with whites. As Larry Elder once put it: "ask folks whether the presence of white racism or the absence of black fathers is more damaging to black communities." In 1964, it was definitely the former. Unfortunately today, it's the latter.

The black Left is so obsessed with whiteness that they can't ever be obsessed with blackness: how do we fare compared to white folks (white folks as the norm, not just examine black folks in our own right), what white folks did yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Black folks as inferior, needing handouts to improve our lives because we have no power or control. We must follow some self-appointed leader -- since elitism is ingrained in liberalism -- and shuffle our feet to another white massa (the Democratic Party) instead of the masses being our own leaders.

And of course, the only time something is important is when white folks do it. We see this mess when they promote "racism in education" over black excellence. Their approach to crime -- why doesn't lowering our crime rate and attention on the many black crime victims deserve at least as much outrage as ex-cons? Their focus on Haiti (since USA & France were behind Aristide's exit) and Iraq vs. Sudan (2 million black Christians butchered since 1983 by Arabized Muslims). Let's chase white folks all about their communities instead of building up our own. Like the NAACP and Rev. Al Sharpton worrying far more about black images on TV instead of encouraging black parents to have their kids watch much less TV and hit the books...because of course we must worry about what white folks think of our image. Black liberals are unwittingly the biggest promoters of the myth of white superiority in our communities.

Monday, May 17, 2004

"Voting for Bush is Voting Against Your People"

This is what the husband of one of my best friends told me yesterday, and my friend concurred. The husband also said, "Any black who votes for Bush should be strung up and shot" (I kid you not). Ouch!

This comment was in response to this Washington Times article that I was reading to them. They're hotly opposed to the war in Iraq, and absolutely hate Bush. In fact, awhile back my friend's husband said that he hoped the economy doesn't improve just so it would help Bush lose.

Mind you, I haven't even made up my mind about my vote -- other than it's highly unlikely that Sen. John Kerry will get it. However, I'm vacillating between voting Libertarian or for Bush. I've got several big beefs with Dubya: even though President Clinton was also asleep at the wheel, 9/11 did happen under Bush's watch; the federal deficit where he lowered taxes (good) but jacked up spending (bad) that he's now made Clinton look like a fiscal conservative; illegal immigration (one issue where I depart from traditional libertarian thought); I supported the war but the post-war planning in Iraq sucks, and a few other issues.

However, I do find it troubling that folks want the economy to go sour over presidential politics (and I told my friend's husband so). I also acknowledge some good stuff about Bush (school voucher supporter, he snagged Saddam, he takes the long view re: the War Against Terrorism, he lowered taxes) and believe he is sincerely trying to go after black votes this time. He also has a platform to work from here in getting a piece of that vote, if he actually got the word out through a Republican messenger who black folks actually like (you reading, Colin Powell? How about an ad?). I also resent folks telling me that my political choices can make me a "race traitor" and can't be based on genuine philosophical differences (and I told them so, and brought up some evangelical relatives of mine who plan to vote for Bush mainly due to abortion, gay marriage, and he's taking it to Muslims). I love my friends, but we just don't see eye to eye here.

The Fall of the Black Messiah, The Rise of Personal Leadership

On Saturday the New York Times had an article about black leadership. More specifically, the Old Guard is concerned that no dominant black leader is emerging. Perhaps if the Old Guard didn't stingily control its power, then more obvious choices would emerge. Let's not forget that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was only 25 years old when he led the Montgomery bus boycott back in 1955. Today's Young Turks, like Rep. Harold Ford, get reviled because of their more moderate ways.

The article also asks whether today's generation even needs a leader, one man (and it's always a man) who shepherds us like flock. Like the people over at Booker Rising, I must also respond no. Sure, there will always be people who lead various groups. However, black Americans now come from a variety of backgrounds. In fact, not enough attention is paid to the diversity within black American communities. Contrary to popular assumptions, we are not a monolith. Just last week, a friend of mine had to check a white Australian-born-and-raised teenager who expressed amazement about my views. "She's the first black person who I've met with such conservative (read: libertarianism vs. his socialism) views," he told my friend. My girl had to remind him that yes, we black people do come in different packages.

I believe that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was dropped from the heavens to help lead black folks to the Promised Land. Somebody had to give black people hope, remind people that they had the power to change their lives and deploy a very effective strategy to challenge America to live up to its ideals. King was the right man for the right time! However, different times call for different tactics. We should debunk the very notion of leadership. This is nothing new: both Carter G. Woodson (founder of what's now Black History Month) and Ella Baker both proposed building the leadership of the masses. The elitist days of the "Talented Twentieth" are numbered and it's high time to train folks to be leaders in their own communities, to take charge of their lives. The civil rights generation wanted a seat at the table, the post-civil-rights generation wants to own and command the table.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Air America Radio on Life Support

I thought Err America -- uh, Air America -- would at least last through December, but it may be buried by summer's end. The liberal radio network has lost its L.A. and Chicago outlets, two of America's largest markets. Its chairman, vice chairman, programming director, and sales director have all left. It has bounced millions of dollars worth of checks.

As Ann Coulter says, when folks have a choice they prefer conservatives. Looking at talk radio and cable news, Coulter is right. National Public Radio, white liberals' best friend, is partially subsidized by federal and local governments so it's shielded from true market competition like Air America. Liberals were so gung-ho to topple President Bush and take on conservative radio that they forgot to ask: do folks want this product? No surprise as libs regularly flunk Economics 101.

Air America cannibalized some of NPR's listener base. The only liberal talk radio that does well is on "urban radio" (i.e., black radio), with its tie-in to black music and cultural elements. Black folks weren't digging Air America's white-bread liberalism, token Chuck D. be damned. Latinos were missing in action. Given that racial minorities comprise over 1/3 of the Democratic Party's total ballots -- Dem operatives were behind this project -- how did white liberals figure they were gonna be successful? In both L.A. (47% Latino) and Chicago (40% black), black and Spanish-speaking stations are among the Top 2 most-listened stations in the city.

I listened to Air America a few times. I listen to both conservative and liberal radio, but Air America was irritating. Caterwauling posing as commentary, sophomoric pranks, bad technicals, etc. It's not surprising that now Air America is adding stations in places like Portland, Maine because they just can't compete with the much more exciting (and commercially viable) urban stations in the big cities.

Chicago Tribune reports that staffers were never enrolled in a health insurance plan, though Air America promised coverage and deducted health insurance premiums from their paychecks. Yes, all while Air America was promoting socialist health care. Tsk tsk, the personal ain't political. I did a Google search and there's a conspicuous mutedness from the liberal media, even though in March they unveiled Air America like it was the Second Coming...

Axing the National Endowment for the Arts

Jason Wright's piece, "David vs. Goliath: We Must Slay the NEA," is on point. After having decreased its budget by half during the Gingrich Revolution in the mid-1990s, government is again misusing tax dollars for activities best left up to the marketplace. This year, the NEA will get $121 million in taxpayer dollars. Next year, it's $139 million.

I love the arts as much as the next person, but this is an improper role for the U.S. government. These funds often go toward art that offends a ton of folks. It is also heavily biased toward the coasts, while "flyover country" gets little back to its artists while forking over much. I say, let the market handle the issue. If your art is all that and a bag of chips, then people will purchase your art. If they don't, then clearly there's no or very little market for your art. The arts were doing just fine in the 19th century, without these funds. Nowadays there are more government funds for the arts, but many arts suck more now than ever.

NEA funds should be returned back to the people where they belong and we decide which arts (if any) we'll support, and how we'll support them.

Muslim Terrorists = Ku Klux Klan?

Booker Rising news site contains an interesting Associated Press article. Yesterday Dr. Condoleezza Rice told a Vanderbilt University audience that Muslim terrorists are similar to the KKK, as both are driven by similar hatred. Everyone knows that Condi is a native of Birmingham, Alabama (aka 'Bombingham' in the 1960s) and lost a childhood friend to the infamous 1963 church bombing. Rice felt the blast a few blocks away at her own church (and other family friends had their homes firebombed) so she speaks from personal experience.

"Those terrorists failed because of the poverty of their visions — a vision of hate, inequality.... And they failed because of the courage and sacrifice of all who suffered and struggled for civil rights."

The more I think about it, the more on point Condi is here. The beheadings of Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg by Al Qaedaesque jihadists were not just because they were American, but their Jewish background. Muslims have been waging a war against blacks in Africa for awhile now. In what even the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, Sudan's Muslims are slaughtering black Christians and animists by the hundreds of thousands each year in their "Arabization and Islamization" campaign. Both Muslim terrorists and the Klan have racial superiority at their root. E.g., the Arabic word for "black" and "slave" -- abed -- are synonymous, in Arabs' psychological superiority (and let's not even get into the Ugandan children that Osama bin Laden bought into slavery during his Sudanese stint in the mid-1990s), the Klan's history against blacks and Jews is well known.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

U.S. Abuse of Blacks An Appetizer for Abu Ghraib?

Liberals are at it again. Check out this Boston Globe piece claiming that Abu Ghraib is merely "a natural extension of the humiliation that has gone on for two decades in this country," toward black folks. The writer also calls the photos the global equivalent of the Rodney King tape, and also links it to blacks in prison due to drug laws. The writer says "abuse [toward black men] is the American pasttime," yet ignores black involvement in said societal abuse (through unfortunate disproportionate involvement in crime) as it would undercut his analysis.

Tavis Smiley's show on National Public Radio also went down this road yesterday. While I believe that racism (Arabs as 'other') may be part of the Abu Ghraib mess, this is an insufficient explanation. What's missing from the analysis is the possibility that the liberal media itself shares any blame. Where's the usual liberal excuses about environment, upbringing, blah blah blah that influences how perpetrators behave? Television shows regularly cast Arabs in negative roles, when they're on TV. We've got Kill Bill I and II, Natural Born Killers, and other assorted ultra-violent movies in the mix. Videos glorify humiliation and mistreatment. Yet no commentary on how liberals have poisoned societal values, which could've been a contributing factor to Abu Ghraib treatment...

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Savagery in Iraq

Actually I should say more savagery, given that Fallujah char-drag-and-hang mess awhile back.

I'll say it again: the humiliation photos of U.S. soldiers with Iraqi prisoners are awful. They should be tried to the fullest extent of the law, because (1) it was foul; and (2) they compromised our mission. Yet let's have some context here. A U.S. soldier reported the abuse, a U.S. TV network broke the story, Americans of various political persuasions are outraged, investigations are happening, and trials are coming up. Do we see this at all in the Muslim world? No.

I just don't see moral equivalency between naked humiliation, women ordering Iraqis around, and fear of dogs as equivalent to charred bodies being dragged through the streets and then hanged from a bridge and a beheading. Let's not forget the Italian hostage who was brutally murdered. One is sadistic humiliation, the others are genuine torture. News reports say they shouted "Allahu Akbar!" (God is great) & then held Nick Berg's head out before the camera. Also notice that his Al Qaedaesque beheaders are too chicken to even show their faces in the video. Mind you, Berg wasn't a soldier but an independent contractor in Iraq to help rebuild communication antennas. He was also singled out because, like Daniel Pearl in 2002, he was Jewish.

Call or email CBS News and let your voice be heard regarding the beheading video, and its primary accomplice role in Nick Berg's death! 212/975-3691 CBS News feedback on its Internet site

For FCC reasons and to respect Berg's family, CBS and other TV networks obviously can't show the beheading video. However, demand that the networks regularly show this atrocity, at least right up to the knife to Berg's throat. America must see who and what we are up against in combatting terrorism and the clash of civilizations.

We'll see if liberals express even 20% as much outrage about this genuine torture -- especially against a civilian -- as they did the Iraqi prisoner photos. Same goes for the Euroweasels and the Middle East. Will apologies be demanded and given, investigations within the Muslim world to track down these guys? Given that I just spoke to one of my best friends (a liberal) about it, I doubt it. My friend is far more upset about U.S. presence in Iraq and the Iraqi prisoner photos, and downplayed the seriousness of tortures that our folks have faced. Or even what the Iraqi people faced under Saddam Hussein's regime. She even shouted me down when I calmly challenged her on stuff (she's my girl, but why must liberals shout their dissent?). My friend then abruptly ended the conversation, saying "I can't take it anymore."

Economic Growth in U.S. Outpaces Socialist Europe

Newsmax.com highlights that an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report shows the performance gap between the U.S. and the 12-nation euro zone has widened. U.S. growth was seen at 4.7%, up from the 4.2% earlier forecast. The Paris-based OECD cut its euro-area growth prediction from 1.8 percent to 1.6%.

No surprise here: Lower tax rates. A much smaller nanny state that coddles sloth. A free enterprise system that awards not punishes initiative, where industry competitiveness is allowed to breathe. Old Europe should've figured it out by now, but it takes awhile for Leftists to learn.

Monday, May 10, 2004

'Brown's' Benefits: Black Educational Achievement

With the 50th anniversary next week, everybody and their mama is writing about the landmark "Brown vs. Board of Education" case and the aftermath. What's in this brief article about "Brown's" benefits:

- Just 15 percent of black Americans 25 and older were high school graduates in 1952, the year the high court took the Brown case. The graduation rate stood at 79 percent by 2002, the latest year for which figures are available.

- Sixty-nine percent of black children 5 and 6 years old were enrolled in school in 1954. By 2002, 96 percent of black children ages 5 and 6 were enrolled in school.

- Twenty-four percent of young black adults 18 and 19 years old were enrolled in school in 1954. Their enrollment rate rose to 58 percent in 2002.

These are good stats, so of course we won't hear black "leaders" or intellectuals hype it up, and then further build upon our strengths to increase the good news. They yawn at good stats, and dwell endlessly on bad ones. But fact remains, W.E.B.'s "Talented Tenth" has now become the Talented Twentieth. Yet much work remains, especially given some of "Brown's" negative effects.

How well and what black children are learning are now the key issues, not access. The most irksome thing that I see in too many black children is the equation of academic achievement with whiteness. This is not part of our history! In slavery, folks would risk a beating or even death to learn to read and then teach others. Booker T. Washington, Mary McLeod Bethune, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, etc. We have a rich educational history. As John McWhorter writes in his bestseller, Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, this ridiculous viewpoint rose up around 1966. It sure isn't reflected in my grandparents' generation, and they shake their heads about it. I believe that the changes in the 1960s came "so quickly" (in terms of legislation, one after another) that our parents' generation didn't map out what it would look like to live free and be competitive. Thus at a time where we had -- and have -- the most power over our lives, we ceded control to government programs. It's had a deleterious effect ever since, and "leaders" aren't talking about the widening gap within Black America.

Education is the #2 most important item on black folks' plate, after decreasing illegitimacy which is the key root cause of most of our negative stats. We must stamp out this "education is white" nonsense! If ex-slaves didn't believe it, why do folks today? Black kids watch too much TV, and must study more. More black parents must put the foot down regarding their kids' study habits, as parental involvement is the #1 determinant of how well a child does in school. School vouchers would inject competition into the educational system, enable parents to choose schools that reflect their values and educational wishes for their children, and reduce the number of kids trapped in crappy schools where bad-ass apples disrupt everybody else's learning. Teachers' salaries should be based on merit, not seniority. This dream can become reality if we work to make it happen!

Louis Farrakhan May Hold Another 'Million Man March'

Yes, folks. Another "Million Man March" in 2005, to celebrate the 10th anniversary. The first march drew about 800,000, according to independent estimates. Min. Louis Farrakhan says:

“I’m not so much interested in a march. I’m not too much interested in gathering a million or two million men in one place – unless it is to direct those men to do that which will liberate our people...There is no reason for Morris Brown [a financially troubled black college in Atlanta] to close. There is no reason that we don’t have hospitals and clinics across this nation to service our needs. It’s the misuse of our dollars. So, I don’t see any reason to call 2 million men again, unless we’re calling them for serious work.”

I agree with the overall agenda of black economic self-help. It's high time that we move from civil rights to enterprise! Our 40 years in the wilderness, our transition, is up and the new generation is getting restless with so-called leaders who aren't addressing core issues facing us today. However, Farrakhan is the wrong messenger: his victimology streak, his erroneous statements about Jews, his support of Muslim despots, and more. While I'd support an all-male march in other areas if the messenger was different, this one seems short-sighted because black women also are critical to black economic empowerment.

Beyond his polarizing views, a 2003 Black America's Political Action Committee poll shows that Farrakhan only has 44% favorability (6% unfavorability, the rest don't know) among blacks. It would be nice if black non-liberals had taken up this mantle before Farrakhan had gotten to it, but we can take it up through other vehicles.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

How Libertarian?

Cobb's comments regarding black libertarians caused me to do some reflection. He says, "BTW, it's good to see and hear black libertarians. While I think most American Libertarians might as well be French for the amount of practical influence they have on Congressional Legislation it's always nice to hear them speak up, as they often have notable things to say on matters of economics and (of course) Liberty. And there's a good chance that black Libertarians could neutralize some of their post-modernist yuppie crap in the process..."

On the "World's Smallest Political Quiz," I scored in the Libertarian arena: 70% on the personal self-government scale and 70% on the economic self-government scale. I came across a Libertarian Purity Test, which is much more specific than the WSPQ, and took it. I scored a 42 out of 160 points. 31-50 points: Your libertarian credentials are obvious. Doubtlessly you will become more extreme as time goes on. According to this quiz, I'm beyond soft-core libertarian but not quite medium-core libertarian. I would define my views as about 65% libertarian: I'm for free trade and low taxation, believe government should stay out of consenting folks' bedrooms, oppose the military draft, and oppose government foreign aid.

I depart from most libertarians in 2 areas: anti-discrimination laws and foreign policy. I oppose affirmative action, but oppose abolishing the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. The federal government has done some good, to shield minorities from government tyranny. This is where Cobb's "black Libertarians could neutralize some of their post-modernist yuppie crap" statement about many libertarians applies.

While my isolationist streak tugs at me on a regular basis, I question whether it is relevant in a post-9/11 world. Coercion (a big no-no for most libertarians) is already involved in safeguarding freedom. As in the recent past, the future lies in expanding political ideologies and power on the global scale. Somebody's ideology will win out. I'd rather it be free market democracy than socialist democracy. Or much worse, Islamic totalitarianism where I'm forced to convert, be silent, and clad head to toe in a burqa. We have entered an era of clash of civilizations, where others are taking a long view of history while too many libertarians are not. However, I only support military interventions when it's (1) in our vital national interest, such as Afghanistan and Iraq; and (2) to prevent genocide, a la Rwanda in 1994. Mission creep adventures in places like Bosnia and Haiti or defending folks who have resources to defend themselves like Germany and South Korea, I'm with libertarians.

The Middle East: Democracy or Liberalization?

I supported the war in Iraq, despite some reservations. I saw Iraq as a threat to our national security re: weapons of mass destruction (and I'm still not convinced that they didn't exist...check out this way underreported story re: an aborted chemical weapons attack on Jordan and yet no media investigation to see if it can be traced back to Iraq). I ain't sad one bit to see Saddam Hussein gone. I don't understand why so many liberals haven't cheered his exit from the world stage, if solely due to his rampant human rights violations. Then again, it would put liberals on the same side as "big bad" America so instead they yawn.

However, I take issue with the Bush Administration's often shoddy post-war planning. One of President Bush's 2000 campaign promises was to get us out of the nation-building business, yet we're in it even more! Now he will soon roll out a Greater Middle East Initiative. He even implicitly calls all nation-building critics "racist." Some folks like George Will and National Review's John Derbyshire have responded to this critique.

Even though I want Bush to succeed, I'm very skeptical about this democracy enterprise. Democracy cannot be imposed from the outside. Coerced liberty ain't liberty! We can't want democracy in the Middle East more than Arabs or Muslims themselves. They must want democracy and liberty so much that they will put their bodies on the line for it, take initiative to make it happen. Looking at our history (American Revolution, civil rights movement, etc.) reflects this fact. Histories of other folks of various races, from Eastern Europe to South Africa, amplifies this fact. Nation-building takes away initiative, self-sufficiency, and the responsibility of societies to fix themselves.

Too often, the "neo-conservative" camp in Bush's administration also make democracy synonymous with liberalization. I mean liberalization in the classical sense: rule of law with independent courts, human rights, developing the civil society with press and dissent freedoms, etc. To sustain democracy, you must first have some institutions and cultural beliefs as a foundation. You'd think these democratic realists (the neo-cons' guiding foreign policy philosophy, as outlined by journalist Charles Krauthammer) would realize that it's often in the U.S.' interest not to promote democracy. As horrid as the Saudi royal family is, democracy in Saudi Arabia would much likelier usher in someone who makes Osama bin Ladin look like Abraham Lincoln rather than the Saudi Martin Luther King. Be careful for what you wish!

I'm on Bush's side when he takes issue with folks who believe that Arabs and Muslims have a "genetic" predisposition against democracy. It drums up Bell Curve imagery for me, so my nosehairs rise. However, there are cultural barriers here which Bush refuses to publicly acknowledge. Until there is an Islamic Reformation and Middle East Arabs (particularly Arab Muslims) come to terms with modernity, democracy as we know it just ain't gonna transform the region. It is culture, not politics, that will fuel this change. This is not racism (even though some nation-building critics operate from racist impulses), but true realism.

It will also take time, as it did in the U.S., Western Europe, and other parts of the world. One of our key goals in the Middle East should be to privately fund any homegrown efforts toward liberalization that allies with our values, and to press Arab "allies" like the Saudi government to liberalize their societies. I oppose the $40 million in government funds that the National Endowment for Democracy receives, even though I support its overall purpose. Return this money back to the American people where it belongs instead of it being a slush fund for foreign policy elites, and we citizens will fund who we wish to fund (as long as it's not groups who wish to harm our national security).

Friday, May 07, 2004

Condi's Secret Agenda

As a big fan, I gotta expose you sistah. You ain't foolin' me. Behind those steely eyes is a plan. After all, you are the quintessential Betty BAP (Black American Princess). We BAPs thrive on 5-year plans of conquering the world. At least I'm exposing you for a good reason.

How many times have we heard liberal blacks (and even whites) call Dr. Condoleezza Rice a "race traitor" or "skeeza," that she doesn't give a whit about black folks? Au contraire. Take a look at this article that I discovered on a South African site.

Now nobody -- not even the black media -- in America has covered these two appointments before the U.S. Senate, but South Africa is watching pretty closely. Jendayi Frazer, a protege of Condi's, has been nominated to be the next U.S. ambassador to South Africa (the previous ambassador resigned last year). Frazer is a former student of Dr. Rice's at Stanford University and is currently the national security adviser on Africa. She is a former assistant public policy professor at Harvard University. Constance Newman, who currently works for the U.S. Agency for International Development's Africa program, has been nominated for assistant secretary of state for Africa (the current person's term is almost up). Newman is a good friend of Rice's, and served on the National Council of Negro Women's board. Their terms may be short, unless President Bush is re-elected.

Condi is clearly tryin' to hook her sistahs (ahem, fellow BAPs) up, to diversify the international relations arena with new voices and faces. The "Talented Twentieth" (we've now outgrown the college-educated "Talented Tenth" in W.E.B. DuBois' era) aims to dig its heels further into new territory in this increasingly globalized world. It's good that more black folks are involved in foreign relations...and it shouldn't only be for Africa issues either. Why not study other parts of the world, and get involved there too if that is one's interest? That doesn't make a person less "black" for doing so. Ridiculous. If other folks can be experts about us, we sure as hell can be experts about them.

How many folks know that Dr. Rice co-founded the Center for a New Generation? It's an after-school K-8 academic enrichment program for low-income kids (mostly black or Latino) in the San Francisco Bay Area, not far from her ol' Stanford stomping grounds. Based on Antonia Felix's biography of her, educational opportunity is near and dear to Dr. Rice's heart (and in 2001, she received a National Council of Negro Women award partly due to this work). This follows her late father's extensive work with academic achievement and youth development.

These activities, and her day job, hardly show race traitordom to me. Nor is Condi out bragging about her activities, but best believe this sistah is busy implementing her stealth agenda.

Black Museums in Trouble

Last month Detroit's Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the nation's largest black museum, announced its financial troubles. This month it's Philadelphia's African American Museum, which has a $30,000 shortfall and is relying on volunteers to keep it open.

Granted, museums nationwide are struggling to compete for folks' attention in this super-options world. Folks are tightening up their wallets. Yet a couple questions nag me: why aren't black folks adequately supporting these museums? Both Detroit and Philly have enough buppies to pursue as potential donors. Where are the creative marketing strategies to draw folks from various backgrounds to these places, to increase their value to the city? Despite requests to do so, in neither instance should government (i.e., taxpayers) be stepping in to bail museums out.

Republican Contract With Black America?

Last September, Thomas Sowell proposed a GOP Contract with Black America, but without a ten-point plan. I tried building upon his idea -- I'm a libertarian independent, but want to see more competitiveness for black votes -- and even sent it to a three high-level Republican operatives back in mid-March. The goal was a vision to attract black voters in battleground states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Missouri, where a few percentage points can decide who wins the state. I never heard back from these individuals. I recently read a Zogby Poll which shows that only 6% of blacks support President Bush vs. 89% for Sen. John Kerry. I understand that the GOP wants to deploy its resources where there will be more effectiveness, but how about voter education in-between elections? Why aren't black Republicans doing this work?

Here's a piece of what I sent to the operatives. Now, I personally don't even agree with every point. However, most black Americans vote on economic issues so that was my focus:

1. Voting Rights Act reauthorization

The right to vote is enshrined in the 15th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which never expires. The Voting Rights Act serves as an extralegal measure to further boost the 15th Amendment, to prohibit poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses, etc. This expires in 2007. In honor of the contributions that black Americans have made to U.S. democracy, we Republicans will reauthorize the Act by its 40th anniversary in 2005. Meanwhile, Democrats are so out of touch that they haven't even brought up this critical issue.

2. Job retraining for outsourced U.S. workers

Pass President Bush's $250 million proposal to fund job retraining in community colleges, to help outsourced workers prep for career shifts.

3. School vouchers to escape bad schools

A 2002 Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies survey shows that 57% of blacks (70% of those with kids) support school vouchers, where parents can choose public, private, or parochial schools for their kids. Reform rarely reaches promising low-income students trapped in failing schools, and vouchers offer a chance for a safer and higher quality school environment. Meanwhile, Democrats have held a school vouchers bill hostage in Congress, ignoring black parents' concerns.

4. Reduce red tape on small businesses

Black-owned small businesses are growing at a higher rate than U.S. small businesses in general. Small businesses employ the majority of Americans, and more specifically are critical to revitalizing black communities.

5. Tax credits to low-income U.S. workers for health care

Refundable tax credits will enable uninsured Americans to buy medical coverage.

6. Expand faith-based community initiatives

Religious groups increasingly provide social services once provided by state and federal agencies. Churches are among the strongest institutions in black communities. While Democrats mock religious faith, we Republicans recognize this theology of social action and the role of religion in restoring America's moral compass in all its communities. President Bush aims to expand faith-based initiatives to include drug treatment, aid to the homeless, and prison reentry to go to religious organizations.

7. Further oppose slavery of black Christians by Arab and black Muslims in Sudan

Slavery is a violation of fundamental human rights, not to mention to lack of religious freedom in Sudan. Democrats have consistently ignored this issue, and many have even refused to work with groups seeking to end slavery. Yet Republicans in both the federal government and Republican groups have led the way on the issue in the U.S. As the political party that freed America's slaves and is at the forefront of opposing Sudan's practices, we Republicans will further work with the United Nations to eliminate this horror.

8. Personal reemployment grants for unemployed U.S. workers

President Bush proposes a pilot program to crease employment accounts of up to $3,000 grants to unemployed U.S. workers to pay for retraining, moving, and health care.

9. Tax-free lifetime savings accounts

Almost 50% of black Americans are middle class, and 76% live above the poverty line. We Republicans recognize blacks' $649.5 billion combined GDP and blacks' desire to channel their growing incomes into more wealth, through savings and investment. In building the ownership society, we Republicans support tax-free savings accounts so Americans of all backgrounds can use their money as they see fit without the current penalties that discourage savings.

10. Social Security privatization commission

This allows any American worker to invest monies in stocks or bonds. Social Security's return on investment is a meager 2%, the market 8%. Many blacks enter the workforce earlier and die sooner than other Americans. 1 in 3 black men doesn't live to age 65. Under privatization, his heirs can start a business, pay for college, or buy a home. 2/3 of blacks rely on Social Security for 2/3 of their retirement income, so more privatization means more financial security.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

USA & Sudan: Not Moral Equivalents

Apparently the U.N. believes that Sudan is morally superior to USA. On Tuesday, Sudan got a 3rd term on its Human Rights Commission. Meanwhile, USA -- a founding member of the commission -- was kicked out of the 53-member body in 2001 and then reinstated last year.

U.S. Ambassador Sichan Siv rightly called Tuesday's vote an "absurdity" and walked out on the charade. Specifically, he accused Sudan's Arab Muslim government of massive human rights violations and "ethnic cleansing" against blacks in the western Darfur region.

The Sudanese government has now responded. Osman Ismail, its Minister for Foreign Affairs, cried "hypocrisy." "The United States is one of the biggest human rights violators, whether in Iraq, or in other parts of the world," he said. "But still it assumes it is the number one protector of human rights. The United States should look first to what they are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then they can talk about human rights in Sudan."

The Iraq situation is an outrage, and I staunchly support prosecuting offenders to the fullest extent of the law. Yet for there to not be world outrage at Sudan's ascension to the U.N. Human Rights Commission yet again is beyond absurd. For Sudan to lecture the U.S. about human rights issues is beyond absurd. Let's see...the U.S. is a constitutional republic. It has freedom of the press, freedom of religion, constant assessment of racial equality, and a human rights record that's lightyears ahead of Sudan. A U.S. soldier reported the Iraqi abuses, a U.S. television station broke the story, many Americans are outraged, there are investigations about it.

Meanwhile, Sudan is a theocratic totalitarian state with no freedoms. Its Arab Muslim government slaughters the black citizenry at will while the world yawns (who cares about "niggers," especially Christian ones? Besides, this issue doesn't serve the world's fave sport...anti-Americanism). Two million folks have been killed in Sudan since 1983, hundreds of thousands of refugees are on the run, slavery still exists and rapes are a regular occurrence in this 'Arabization and Islamization' campaign. When has Sudan ever taken initiative in addressing its abuses? Only knee-jerk anti-Americanism can trump foreigners' common sense in calling these two countries anywhere near moral equivalents.

Given that almost half of the U.N. Human Rights Commission are countries with massive human rights violations (e.g., Zimbabwe, Cuba, Egypt, China, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia) it's no surprise that they gave buddy Sudan a pass. Shouldn't there be a minimal standard of decency to get on the commission? When will the U.S. get aggressive about U.N. stupidity?

Welcome!

Welcome to Crispus! This site will promote libertarian thought, infused with black American culture. The blog is named after Crispus Attucks, the former slave who was the first person to die in the American Revolution (Boston Massacre, 1770).

Attucks was born circa 1723 in Framingham, Massachusetts. At age 27, he ran away to Boston. On March 5, 1770, Attucks heard that a boy had been beaten by a British soldier with his gun. Attucks gathered 100 angry colonists and defied a group of British soldiers.

From the very beginning, black Americans have been key players in building up America not only as a nation, but as a beacon of freedom. Through both good and ugly times, blacks have been a key moral conscience to challenge America to live up to its creed. It is in this spirit that I dedicate my blog to Brother Crispus.