- The Washington Times - Monday, August 28, 2000

Republicans prefer racial preferences too

Susan Au Allen is a remarkable lady. She is one of the few brave souls willing and able to stand up to racial-preference mongers and the liberal Asian-American establishment. As an American of Asian descent myself, I especially appreciated her outspokenness against President Clinton's nomination and appointment of Bill Lann Lee to the Justice Department's top civil rights post.
Alas, Miss Allen also is remarkably blind to the Republican Party's complicity in the continued propagation of race-based affirmative action ("Why I Am a Republican," Commentary, Aug. 18).
She writes, "In 1997, colorblind civil rights legislation, sponsored by Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Charles Canady, both Republicans, could not move toward passage because it lacked support from the Democrats in Congress. This is reminiscent of 1964. The Republicans are ready to declare once again that every person is equal under the law; we just do not have enough Democrats to join us."
If only that were true. In his book, "Creating Equal: My Fight Against Race Preferences," equal rights leader Ward Connerly reveals that Mr. Canady blamed the Republicans for the death of his colorblind campaign. "Whenever I bring up preferences, even in Republican caucuses," Mr. Canady told Mr. Connerly, "everyone looks the other way. They don't have the stomach for the fight."
The intestinally challenged include Rep. J.C. Watts, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush all of whom refuse to openly and straightforwardly champion legislation and state initiatives abolishing racial preferences. The Republican establishment kept Mr. Connerly, one of the party's true civil rights heroes, off the convention podium in Philadelphia. A Republican governor, Jeb Bush, helped perform political euthanasia on Mr. Connerly's most recent attempt to end racial preferences in Florida.
Sadly, Mr. Canady himself seems to have lost heart. As National Review's John Miller reported in December, Republican House leaders did such an effective job in the last Congress of scuttling the civil rights reform bill introduced by Mr. Canady that he hasn't bothered to reintroduce it.
Keep up the good fight, Miss Allen, but let's be more aware of and honest about who the enemies are.

Times column an unjust attack on land trusts

By implying that land trusts cheat people out of their land and extort the right of property use from reluctant farmers and ranchers, Jeff Goodson shows an appalling ignorance of land trusts and unjustly maligns the people who seek to protect dwindling open land through these community-based organizations ("Don't trust land trusts," Op-Ed, Aug. 23).
Moreover, he implies that farmers and ranchers are not capable of making sound decisions to ensure that the land they love will remain open. He paints them instead as unwitting and helpless victims surely a disservice to their intelligence and ability to choose.
Farmers and ranchers are themselves forming land trusts in many parts of the country so that they and people like them can choose to protect the land they love and have worked for during a lifetime. They do not want to see their family lands become another subdivision or mall, although they often retain rights to develop the property in limited ways.
Reducing the estate tax burden well may be one added incentive for the donation of conservation easements, but planning for and conserving the land is almost always at the heart of these decisions.
Mr. Goodson would do well to learn more about land trusts and the landowners who choose conservation before he lashes out in such an uninformed fashion.
Land Trust Alliance

International community should recognize Serbia's presidential election

The practical hindrances to free elections described in your Aug. 23 article "Milosevic's grip on power still firm as elections near" should not be viewed, as the International Crisis Group report recommends, as reasons not to recognize the election. Instead, the election should be taken for what it is, a chance to weaken and eventually remove Mr. Milosevic.
Despite the problems the article describes, a decision not to recognize the results advances Mr. Milosevic's strategy. Not only would our refusal to recognize the results dishearten the shaky alliance among Serbia's opposition, it also would give credence to Mr. Milosovic's message of extreme nationalism. If we do not recognize the elections, Mr. Milosevic's Socialist party can continue to claim the United States is afraid of the people's will and that Mr. Milosevic is the only one who can stand up to the West and protect the Serbian people. The United States will continue to be on the defensive.
By recognizing the elections, the United States can support the opposition forces without making them look like Western pawns risking their lead in the polls. As a result, Mr. Milosevic will be forced to steal the election. Let him do it. By forcing him to steal an internationally recognized election, the United States can expose him for the thug he is. This is what happened during the 1996 municipal elections, resulting in the only effective unification of the opposition and significant political gains in Serbia's cities. That's not to say the opposition will take the presidency if the United States recognizes the election, but Mr. Milosevic will lose his ace and for the first time will be on the defensive.
Michael Scardaville
Research assistant
The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies
The Heritage Foundation

Can President Mugabe's hate-driven policies be justified?

Holger Jensen's Aug. 20 Commentary column, "Mugabe confiscates future of Zimbabwe," laid out the consequences of President Robert Mugabe's hate-driven seizures of white-owned farms. Mr. Jensen, an old Africa hand, knows Mr. Mugabe; as a Newsweek correspondent in the early 1980s, Mr. Jensen was expelled from Zimbabwe after he revealed the ethnic cleansing of the minority Matabele tribe by Mr. Mugabe's infamous North Korean-trained 5th Brigade.
Strangely, however, Mr. Jensen writes that there may be some justification to Mr. Mugabe's claim that he is correcting a historical injustice. The history of Rhodesia seldom, if ever, mentioned in these politically correct times is in fact a story of the salvation of the Shona and Matabele tribesmen. In 1890, Cecil Rhodes and his pioneer column found a country where neither the wheel nor written language was known. The warlike Matabele, an offshoot of the Zulu nation, routinely slaughtered the Shona and carried off their women and cattle. The estimated population of Rhodesia was between 300,000 and 400,000.
Ninety years later, when Mr. Mugabe became prime minister, he remarked, "How fortunate we are to have inherited the jewel of the African continent." The country then had 8 million blacks and 200,000 whites, a solid infrastructure, a robust economy and food self-sufficiency. The 5,000 commercial farms that employed thousands of blacks, fed the nation and were major exporters of agricultural products were founded on the heavy red soil that the Africans shunned in favor of the sandy loams for subsistence tillage. It was only the steel plows of the white man that made the hard soil productive.
It is indeed tragic and ironic that that avowed Marxist, Mr. Mugabe, educated by Europeans, is forcing out those Europeans who built the country and its economy. Mr. Mugabe is enraged that the U.S. Senate has passed a bill to restrict assistance to Zimbabwe until certain conditions, such as the rule of law, are satisfied. But we should know that is no way to treat a ruthless African chief whose own people want him out.

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