- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 28, 2000

Bush victory pleases some, irks others

The results are in and duly certified: George W. Bush is the next president of the United States.
Yet the Democrats still intend to contest the results. Al Gore couldn't win, tried to steal and couldn't do that either. So now he tries to overturn.
The time has clearly come for Mr. Gore to read the writing on the wall, and acknowledge what the rest of the country already knows: he lost, and Mr. Bush won.
Give it up, Mr. Gore. Pack up, go home and grow up.
East Hartford, Conn.

I've been following your paper's editorial stance on the election, and must say I'm disappointed in your lack of fairness. It is clearly George W. Bush, not Vice President Al Gore, whose appetite for the presidency has pushed the limits. He is 300,000 behind in the popular vote across the nation, and more than 20 electoral votes behind Mr. Gore without counting Florida.
It is disturbing that the state that can put either of them over the magic number of 270 electoral votes just happens to be the state governed by Mr. Bush's brother, that thousands of absentee ballots were filled in unfairly and probably illegally in Seminole County by Republicans, and that the final vote was certified by a secretary of state who is not only partisan but has a vested interest in the outcome. Something is smelly in Florida, but it's not Mr. Gore.
Duluth, Minn.

I have to laugh at Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and the rest of the Gore camp surrogates when they talk about "counting all the votes." What they really mean to say is, "to count all the votes we (the Democrats) want to count in the specified locale where we want to count them."
After all, in their minds how can this be a fair election if they lost?
Lakeland, Fla.

Columnist is right-wing puppet

Regarding Kenneth Smith's Nov. 24 Op-Ed column, "Gripe and grin," criticizing Al Gore: We know that the election process in Florida is fair. We know that the Florida Supreme Court's decision to allow the recounts with a new deadline was fair and correct. We also know that the most unfair and disgusting aspect of the events in Florida is the inflammatory rhetoric of the Republicans.
I understand that Mr. Smith is paid to write his opinion. What I do not understand is how at the end of the day he can manage to sleep knowing that his distortion of facts and events which are publicly known and televised exposes him as a right-wing puppet. He should exercise some independence and tell us what he really thinks.
Las Vegas, Nev.

America needs unity, not division. So how has Kenneth Smith helped with his column? Not at all.
Trashing either candidate will not help. The country is already so up in arms that neither candidate will be ever viewed as legitimate, no matter what.
In this situation, we will all find it much easier to respect peacemakers, not hate-mongers. Piling on more hatred is manifestly unnecessary. Enough already.
Houston, Texas

Clinton Africa policy is not a record worthy of imitation

You reported that Susan Rice, assistant secretary of state for African affairs, is worried that U.S. policy toward Africa will suffer if George W. Bush becomes president (Embassy Row, Nov. 27). Under President Clinton's "committed" so-called African "policy" the world has watched countless examples of genocide, horrific mistreatment of Christians in several countries there, enforced slavery and butcherous anarchy.
God help Africa if, as you describe Ms. Rice's wish, "the next president will build on the initiatives of President Clinton."
Of all the unmitigated gall. Mr. Clinton's and the Democrats' policies have clearly been disastrous for Africa, except their use of Nelson Mandela as their "I-feel your-pain" Democratic "African initiative" poster boy for domestic consumption here in the United States.
Literally hundreds of thousands of Africans have died in genocidal conflict, and Mr. Clinton "committed" nothing over eight years of his riotous White House party. From the outset of Mr. Clinton's regime, from the death and abuse of our troops in Somalia through ignoring the Burundi holocaust, Mr. Clinton's African policies have utterly failed, and been hideously costly.
The only reason they are now even mentioned by Ms. Rice is to stir up Americans of African descent against President-elect George W. Bush … as if Mr. Clinton or Mr. Gore are actually friends of Africa.
Cottonwood, Idaho

Black 'anti-intellectualism' is response to historical racism

Walter Williams' Nov. 18 Commentary article "Scholastic expectations" cites fellow black intellectual, Berkeley linguistics professor John H. McWhorter, whose new book, "Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America," decries "a culture of anti-intellectualism among blacks." Both being first-rate scholars, the statistics they cite (e.g., black parents' willingness to accept lower grades from their children and higher black college drop-out rates) cogently demonstrate this theory.
But Mr. Williams ignores this social phenomenon's historical origins. Was it not, after all, intellectuals, at a historical juncture when they were taken more seriously than they are today, who devised theories about blacks' racial inferiority, theories that compelled the rest of society to treat blacks differently? Professional sports and the military did not devise these theories. Blacks have distinguished themselves as athletes and warriors from the time of the "Negro Leagues" in baseball and the Civil War, if not back to Crispus Attucks, in large numbers far sooner than academia welcomed them. Nor was it entrepreneurs, who have hired blacks since the Civil War, and, starting in the 1920s, in large numbers.
Even the early slave owners knew blacks were not inferior. The first Caribbean sugar colonies used American Indian slaves, who died from the oppressive work. Next they used white European convicts, but they were unable to bear up under the work. Only black Africans were able to withstand the work requirements and perform successfully. But the early slave owners needed some kind of cover to justify slavery, which intellectuals were only too willing to provide.
The adverse conditions blacks faced in all walks of life stemmed from the intellectual establishment's ability to persuade society of blacks' racial inferiority. Is it any wonder blacks widely disdain intellectualism? Citing reams of statistics only amounts to intellectuals talking to one another, while the audience they are trying to reach flips to the sports or business pages. If they hope to reach that audience, they need to address this phenomenon's historical roots.

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