Sunday, July 11, 2004

President Bush & the NAACP: an apology is in order

Once again, the NAACP is taking President Bush and the GOP to task. It seems Mr. Bush is about to set another precedent in that he will be the first sitting president since Warren Harding to not address the NAACP convention (The Philadelphia Inquirer points out, in all due respect to President Harding no doubt, that while he did not attend the convention, he did die in 1923).

July 10th's Miami Herald points out the rift between the President and the NAACP, noting that White House spokesman Scott McClelllan recently pointed out:

"The current leadership of the NAACP has certainly made some rather hostile political comments about the president over the past few years."

Whereas the Herald also states NAACP Chairman Julian Bond as having been quoted saying:
[Mr. Bush and other Republicans cater to a racist] "dark underside of American culture."

"They preach racial equality but practice racial division."

"Their idea of equal rights is the American flag and Confederate swastika flying side-by-side."
Hmmmm. So the President is, without explicitly saying as much, a racist. OK. Let's go back in time, to the 2000 presidential campaign, when then Governor Bush addressed the NAACP Convention. A short time afterwards, the following commercial was bought and paid for by the NAACP:
I’m Renee Mullins. My father was James Byrd, Jr.

I still have nightmares thinking about him, the day three men chained him behind their pickup truck and dragged him three miles over pavement.

I can see skin being torn away from his body.

I can hear him gasping for air.

I can feel the tears in his eyes, the struggle of his brain as images of his life painfully bang through his head as the links of a heavy chain clinched around his ankles dragging him bump by bump until he was decapitated. [pause]

On June 7, 1998 this happened to my father, all because he was black. I went to Governor George W. Bush and begged him to help pass a hate crimes bill.

He just told me no.

I'm doing this commercial to ask you to call Governor Bush at 512-X and tell him to introduce a hate crimes bill in Texas.

Let him know that our community won't be dragged down by hate crimes.

Male Voice: Funded by Americans for Equality, a project of the NAACP National Voter Fund.
No one, certainly not I nor anyone I know, would ever condone the atrocities that fell upon James Byrd. And neither did President Bush. So much so, as Governor, he supported and carried out the death penalty for 2 of the 3 animals that committed this heinous crime! And lest there be any question on why the 3rd animal wasn't given the death penalty: he gave States' Evidence against the other 2, and is serving life without parole.

Now if we were to take this commercial - variations of which appeared on TV, print and an audio version on radio, on it's face value, the understandably distressed Ms. Mullins wanted Governor Bush to pass a law that would punish a criminal ex post facto; I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but that alone is unconstitutional.

Furthermore, besides the death penalty, exactly what would Ms. Mullins and the NAACP have the state of Texas do to these pieces of excrement?

That much being said, when Governor Bush was treated in such a disrespectful and hateful manner by the NAACP -- after speaking at their convention, and is continued to be held in such contempt as witnessed by the above quotes by Mr. Bond, is it any wonder President Bush refuses to meet with such a racist organization?

I think the NAACP ought to apologize for it's racist rant against the President, and the GOP. Then and only then should the President consider speaking before their convention.

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