- The Washington Times - Monday, May 19, 2003

‘Outlaw identity’

“Al Jolson did it in the 1920s. … Elvis Presley did it in the 1950s, and the Beatles and Rolling Stones did it in the 1960s.

“This disturbed a number of people who said, with Langston Hughes, ‘You’ve taken my blues, and my jazz, and my gospel, and gone.’

“And the taking is not over. …

“[P]erhaps the biggest story in music this year, superstar rapper/actor Eminem became the first hip-hop artist to win an Oscar for his music. …

“‘The black male outlaw identity is a commodifiable character open to all who would like to perform it,’ explains Carl Hancock Rux in the book, ‘Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking From Black Culture.’ ‘White culture watched the evolution of the hip-hop character from afar before the hip-hop character knew they were watching at all. Thus, hip-hop culture has evolved into another classic ready-to-wear American original.’”

from “Why White Stars Are Ripping Off Rap and R&B;,” in the June issue of Ebony

Citizens or subjects

“We’ve come a long way from the glory days of the civil rights movement, which culminated in the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act. These were to guarantee the full participation of black Americans in the social and political life of a nation that long treated them as strangers in a strange land.

“Unfortunately, the desire for quick results transformed affirmative action from a policy of equal treatment under the law — and punishment for its violation — to a system mandating racial representation. Pressured by calls for ‘Black Power!’ and white guilt for the sins of the past, government began treating citizens not as individuals with rights but as subjects to whom benefits or burdens were granted according to racial categories. This misplaced priority has masked a quota-driven admissions policy that simply accepts students according to racial percentages in society. …

“When asked what the black man wanted, Frederick Douglass consistently replied: ‘Give him fair play, and let him alone.’ Americans black, white, and in between, should ask no more and no less of their common government.”

Lucas Morel, writing on “Equality, Liberty and American Diversity,” in the May issue of On Principle

Not naming names

“In a key step toward unraveling the secret history of the Cold War, the U.S. Senate … released 50-year-old executive hearings on subversion and internal security matters conducted by Sen. Joe McCarthy, Wisconsin Republican.

“Having these documents available for study will be a major boon for scholars.

“Unfortunately, the send-off they have been given by Sens. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat, and Susan Collins, Maine Republican, and Donald Ritchie, the Senate historian who edited the hearings, has stirred up an orgy of media disinformation. All three have made invidious comments about McCarthy, putting a huge negative spin on the story. …

“Levin and Collins got the honor of releasing the hearings … because they were chairman and ranking minority member, respectively, of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in the previous Congress. …

“In their preface, Levin [and] Collins assert that ‘McCarthy’s zeal to uncover subversion and espionage led to disturbing excesses. His browbeating tactics destroyed the careers of people who were not involved in the infiltration of our government.’ …

“Trying to check the matter out, I called the offices of both Levin and Collins and asked if they could provide me with the names of any innocent victims of McCarthy whose careers had been ruined in this manner. Neither office could provide me with a single name.”

M. Stanton Evans, writing on “Senate Historian Clams Up When Queried on McCarthy,” in the May 12 issue of Human Events


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