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VOL 3. NO. 27 Monday, July 16 - Sunday, July 22, 2001
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NAACP Chairman and civil rights silver hair Julian Bond bashed, battered and booed the Bush White House with unbridled passion and blatantly unabashed ferocity. Not that his ultra-morals-on-the-sleeve Highness and President-(s)elected didn't deserve it. Bond's stinging assertions, among a host of many during the aging organization's 92nd convention in the Big Easy, are to a great degree valid: "He has selected nominees from the Taliban wing of American politics, appeased the wretched appetites of the extreme right wing and chosen Cabinet officials whose devotion to the Confederacy is nearly canine in its uncritical affection."

Between you and I, I'm not altogether too hype about some of the features in the White House agenda. That's cool if you don't feel like subscribing to the social conservatism, the unrealistic moral expectations and litmus tests set by uptight socio-phobes. Proponents of the agenda argue it holds a strong message of individual rights and self-determination - this all, of course, at the expense of social unity and responsibility. Unmentioned are the underlying political deals, the money passed under the table from terrorizing, pale-faced ultra-conservatives into campaign coffers. The citizen's word, to which the elected official is supposedly bonded, becomes irrelevant, muffled, his/her mouth filled with a sock full of political chloroform.

Yet, it also tell us something we don't already know. While jumpstarting the base with an Energizer battery's worth of rhetorical bile, little is done (rather than said) to change the self-mutilating one egg in the basket strategy, changing the tune where we are as loyal to political labels as we are engaged in them for our self-interests. Black political strategy needs more cold-hearted, ulterior-motive, Mafia-like selfishness in it. Nothing wrong with that: a shower of Napoleon; a touch of Darwin; a dose of Machiavelli; a sprinkle of L'Ouverture and a sniff of Nkrumah could help if applied. Unnecessarily stirring the waves of resentment for the sake of authenticity and because your boy didn't win last year serves only to erode any chance at leverage in a political climate dictated by Republican intent. That's not to say a collective arse kissing is in order, nor am I saying we line up at the White House door and offer Bush a shoe shine. It's only to warn folks of impending consequences associated with outdated, clergy instigated call-&-response politics - relying on what sounds good, rather than putting faith in what can and will work.

The flashy accusations of racial impropriety and injury ranging from harassment to outright violations of human rights are merely a dangling piece in the politically charged jigsaw puzzle. It is nothing compared to the larger tug-of-war raging, hence it only distracts when it is assumed it will mobilize. However, it does reflect a widely felt frustration aimed towards a majority still bent on preserving its interest at the expense of what they perceive as the less socially and genetically endowed groups. It is a situation where various cultural or socio-economic segments of the national population conclude they are given less of a chance to control group direction and fate.

Many Whites, on the other hand, find the notion of disenfranchisement confusing, if not absurd, and belittle the efforts for "civil rights" as sermonic noisemaking. "Something to stir the Blacks" griped one, assuming that if these problems did exist - and it is their position that racism is indeed a phantom of an archaic American past - there are other ways to address it beyond resorting to polemic tongue lashings and public ostracism.

House Republican Conference Chairman and Black "Malcolm-in-the-Middle" Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK) characterized the recent flurry of insults as "far below the standards befitting an institution as storied and influential as the NAACP." Skilled White House mouthpiece Ari Fleischer observed: "I think it's another reminder why it's so important for people in this town to change the tone ... And I think that in those remarks, talking about the Taliban wing of the Republican Party, talking about canines, it's unfortunate." The point is seriously missed. Obviously, we know of many a soul who must see the nation's oldest civil rights organization crumble. We know of many individuals White, and many individuals the organization vowed to advance by its title alone, awaiting its final twist into political, ideological and financial implosion: a mayhem of "colored" incompetence. In this frantic, jittery manner, they jaunt along this ragged racial road, flirting social decay and national insensitivity, whispering rumors of its final fall ... however - the problem really lies in a chasm of perception issues and partisan dice-rolls played on both sides of the casino table.

True - racism and the 21st century insinuation of such is the phantasmal gremlin on the wing for certain delusive individuals in search of trivial answers for their own weaknesses. Imminent pleasure and short-lived stability feed the ego, helping to dismiss the aptness to differentiate between basic right and wrong.

Democracy seems plainly deceptive once the disadvantaged alleges a system of unjust proportions. It is also common sense to conclude we all differ in many ways therefore our individual versions of freedom come in different forms. Hence, the dispossessed groups' want and need for complete freedom is a belief in liberation, the latitude of which is a challenge for the majority of Americans to accept. Freedom is very relative. The formula suggests that whereas Group B has judged that Group A prevents them from spreading into comfortable suburban neighborhoods, Group A contends that at least Group B has the right to buy a home in such a place when they couldn't do so on such a massive scale less than 50 years ago.

Thus, the insanity of race is not the popularly conceived problem of Black reaction to it (as the perpetrator will have you believe), it is a problem consistent with the dominant society's inability to accept the full context of group freedom and individual freedom - regardless of race and as that group or individual, not the dominant institution, defines it. That is exacerbated by the dispossessed group not daring to accept freedom beyond set limitations. Consider for a moment that freedom is obtained, not given. It may also include the dispossessed groups' unwillingness to completely realize the dominant society's inability to comply with the full context of that shaky definition of what freedom really is.

C.D. Ellison is Contributing Writer to Metro Connection. He can be reached at againstthegrain@metroconnection.info.

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