- The Washington Times - Friday, January 19, 2001

The news these days is filled with speculation about what President-elect George W. Bush must do and what concessions he must make to gain acceptance in the black community. After all, he got even fewer "black" votes than did Bob Dole and even less than the dreaded Ronald Reagan, whose policy toward blacks was accurately described as "benign neglect." Even in Texas, Mr. Bush's tally of black votes in his presidential race was less than a third of the approximately 25 percent he got in his 1998 gubernatorial race.
The consensus of pundits is that gaining the love and support of the black community will be difficult, if not impossible for Mr. Bush. This is true because honest dialogue between the races is almost nonexistent.
Never before have so many Americans been afraid to say what they are thinking. Telling the truth about race relations in America is the "third rail" of politics and journalism. One gets the impression a "search and destroy" gang of very liberal, demon-Democrats will find you, demonize you, and try to ruin your life and career if you use a word some black person somewhere might find offensive.
Because of these semantic land mines, white leaders are afraid of saying anything, no matter how warranted or fair, so they keep silent. Black leaders are not afraid of saying anything, no matter how irrational or vile, so they say it. And as the unchecked demagoguery of Jesse Jackson and Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat, becomes more inflammatory and offensive, the suppressed resentment of whites nears the boiling point.
Mr. Jackson and Mrs. Waters are such slavish lackeys of the Democrat Party that if Mr. Bush extended his hand in friendship, Mr. Jackson would bite it off at the wrist, and Mrs. Waters would bite it off at the elbow.
In his controversial book, "The Closing of the American Mind," Professor Allan Bloom, a distinguished scholar, came to this conclusion: "Affirmative action now institutionalizes the worst aspects of separatism… . Affirmative action (quotas), at least in universities, is the source of what I fear is a long-term deterioration of the relations between the races in America … and everywhere hypocrisy, contempt-producing lies about what is going on and how the whole scheme is working."
It is clear beyond rational contention that essentially all liberal solutions to race relations are based upon the assumption that blacks are inferior and incapable of competing on a level playing field. Unfortunately, black leaders are more attracted to the preferential treatment that accompanies this assumption than they are offended by it.
The end of discrimination and the assimilation of blacks into the American mainstream is no longer the goal of the civil rights movement. The goal is the exploitation of guilt and the perpetuation of a racial spoils system.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has abandoned its crusade, and devolved into little more than a special interest group soliciting favors from the government. Although liberal policies have literally shattered the black family and condemned black youth to lifelong damage from inferior, government-run, ghetto schools, the NAACP has become a servile constituency of the liberal establishment.
The minds of too many blacks have been filled with the debilitating idea they are innocent victims trapped in an unjust system, designed and run by white sexists and racists and that their individual and collective salvation can only come through the efforts of liberal Democrats, liberal Supreme Court ideologues, and, of course, self-serving black demagogues.
The mantle of victimhood is difficult to resist. It offers much, including a lot of sympathy, a sense of self-righteousness, preferential treatment, and an ongoing and comprehensive rationalization for personal failure of any kind.
How will George W. Bush deal with America's racial divide? How will he deal with the harsh reality that a well-intentioned legislative effort to assure equal rights to all citizens has deteriorated over time into a politically driven system of unequal rights based on skin color?
He could deal with blacks the same way Democrats have been dealing with them for years by pandering to their victimhood and reinforcing their hostility. He could pander by giving them everything they want and more, including universal racial quotas, and the criminalization of anti-black thought. He could offer them significant taxpayer-funded reparations as partial compensation for past injustices against long-buried black people at the hands of long-buried white people.
Mr. Bush could do these things, but he won't. His goal is not to take charge of the liberal plantation run by the Democrats, but to free blacks from it.

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