Thursday, July 22, 2004

I hadn't caught this column when it was originally published a few days ago, but Sylvester Brown Jr. (a liberal, independent-thinking, black columnist for my hometown St. Louis Post-Dispatch) says that Bush was right to blow off the NAACP:
When asked why he skipped the convention, Bush didn't mince words.

"You've heard the rhetoric and the names they've called me," Bush said. "I would describe my relationship with the current leadership as basically nonexistent."

Now, that's a refreshing, nonpolitical response. Basically, the president said, "Hey, they don't like me. I don't like them. Why should I kiss up to an organization that opposes my party and my politics?"

That would be a legitimate question. Another question is why the NAACP leaders even expected Bush to attend their conference given the way they've treated him.
Brown makes clear that while he'd like to see Bush booted from office, Bush would be wise to do an end-around on so-called "black leaders" in trying to attract African-American votes this fall:
I, too, worry about four more years of Bush, but I'm also sick of politics that patronize me. So I'd like to offer some advice.

To President Bush: Don't sweat the NAACP. Dust off your "faith-based initiative" plan and rework it as an "urban economic growth" plan. Target young people like Russell Simmons' Hip-Hop Summit crowd. Promote a realistic plan to establish businesses, increase home ownership and rebuild communities. Recruit Rep. Jim Talent and hire former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts, who have promoted such proposals.

Democrats: Lose the lip service and scary tales of racist Republican conspiracies. It's old and annoying.
Would that more folks from the black community would get fed up with the patronization of the Democratic Party.

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