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"A New Slant on Racism"

Words are slippery things, and a body has to stay alert these days. The acting president, and his father before him, play games with the concept of racism. Let's clarify the matter.

Bush the First replaced Thurgood Marshall on the U.S. Supreme Court with a black man named Clarence Thomas. Many thought Thomas was poorly qualified at best. Others thought he was blatantly unqualified, and it has been proven so since. He seldom writes an opinion. He votes the way Judge Antonin Scalia votes, without bothering to give reasons. There must have been hundreds, thousands even, of black lawyers in this country who would have made better justices of the Supreme Court. But -- those of us who would have preferred a little competence have been called "racists," and told to shut up.

I spent the summer of 1967 in Atlanta -- that was the "long hot summer" of race riots all over the country. I was working for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference [SCLC] and Martin Luther King. I became closely involved, enough so that from time to time I caught myself thinking like a black person. Late one night, walking alone on Auburn Avenue, I saw a stranger coming toward me. "Any danger here?" I wondered. "Oh, no. Thank Goodness, he's a brother." The person coming toward me was a black man. Later I wondered what he was thinking, since I couldn't change the color of my skin.

While in Atlanta that summer I learned that there were scoundrels among the blacks. I became part of the group, enough so that I could spot them and deal with them as such, even though they were black and I was white. I was overcoming the racist assumption that all persons of one color, whichever, are all alike, good or bad. So, I feel qualified to state that Clarence Thomas, black as he is, does not make a good Supreme Court Justice, and to further state that such an observation is not racist.

A couple of decades later, the acting president appointed Alberto Gonzales to be U.S. Attorney General. It is now plain to see that he is incompetent and not very smart, on a par with the moron who appointed him. He supports the acting president on all issues, not the sovereign people, nor the Constitution. But people concerned about Gonzales' competence hesitate to say or do much, for fear of being called racist. Some Chicanos, who should know better, continue to support him simply because he is a Chicano.

Well, I know Chicanos. I've been married to one for almost forty years -- a very special and unusual one to be sure -- but I've been part of this huge extended family for a long time, and I worked for years with an entire village of Chicanos. So I know them. They come in all kinds, all sizes. And I know a dumb one when I see one. Gonzales is a dumb one, and should not be attorney general.

OR -- he is loyal to the acting president to the point of stupidity, oblivious to how his behavior looks to any and all others, and perhaps hiding something that would seriously damage the acting president. But if that's so, it still amounts to incompetence and perjury. Gonzales needs to go, and those of us who think so and say so are not racists.

Some people think he can't be gotten rid of because Congress will refuse to confirm any replacement the acting president could propose. There are rumors that the acting president will let him go during the Senate's pending recess, and thus his replacement won't require Senate confirmation. Some of us are willing to risk that.

And if the Senate suddenly gets fussy about its constitutional obligations, like confirmation, let them not recess. Keep a skeleton force of ten or so in town all month, rotate the obligation to stick around -- use your imaginations! And don't let the cry of "racism" deter you.

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Copyright © 2007 Harry Willson

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