Dr. King Reflecting on the Journey

Dr. King Reflecting on the Journey
"Infamous, this day in Memphis, city of my demise."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Obama's thunder stolen - again!

It happened at the Democratic Convention in 2008, first when then candidate Obama's moment of manufactured interaction with a real American family was upstaged on stage by his youngest daughter as a live broacast of the encounter was shown to conventioneers while the rest of the Obama family stood onstage next to the big screen, following Michelle Obama's speech. Barack Obama watched the speech in the home of the typical family and his daughters hadn't seen him until he appeared on the video. His prepared spontaneity was completely spoiled by a small child whose excited outbursts upon seeing her absent father kept interrupting his attempt to appear warm and caring.

Well, it happened again. Only this time, instead of everyone's attention being focused on an adorable little girl, the country and the media focused on an amazing woman whose rushed firing by the Obama administration overshadowed the passage of a financial reform bill and Senate approval of Obama's second pick for the Supreme Court, as well as Congress finally extending unemployment benefits.

Given Shirley Sherrod's courageous overcoming of her own father's murder by a white man who was likely a member of the Klan to help save the farm of a white man acting superior while asking for her help, she should be offered more than just reinstatement in the USDA. She should be offered a position in the Obama administration as Minister of Racial Reconciliation. Her story is so human and so like that of many caught up in the hurtful memories and complexities of race relations in this country, she's a natural ambassador for the cause of actually moving past the pain toward healing.

I'm sure she will find a means of spreading her message of forgiveness and I'm equally sure it won't be as a representative of the Obama administration. Why not? She stole his thunder during a week when he made major accomplishments that became "in other news" afterthoughts in the wake of the recrimination against Sherrod, hastily followed by her firing and just as hastily followed by revelation that this woman deserves our respect, not our contempt. Despite Sherrod being told that her firing was ordered from the White House, the President absolved himself
from all responsibility and blamed the director of the USDA for acting hastily.

I believe the order to fire Sherrod came from a White House in panic mode ready to destroy an African-American woman's reputation and life without any further investigation or thought. I also believe the response would have been different had Sherrod been white. Although the anniversary of the President's calling the action of police arresting an African-American professor stupid was also this week, the Sherrod matter was one this administration wanted dispensed of ASAP. It was a
gnat that needed to be swatted out of the way, but that gnat turned out to be a wasp whose sting was sharper than anyone could have anticipated.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Cashing in Obama: A Dream Come True for the Colorstruck

Have you noticed the Obama lookalikes popping up on television lately? And I don’t mean on “Saturday Night Live.”

Among those cashing in on the Obama mystique are advertisers and producers. Examples of ads with Obama lookalikes are a couple of ads for insurance in which an agent comforts a blonde woman who’s just been in a car accident and a postal employee answers a question about shipping packages internationally, both of whom have ears like the President. Plus a new character on cable’s biggest hit, “Burn Notice,” is a younger, hipper, more coordinated, James Bond-like version of Obama.

Pre-Obama, the most famous black men tended to be dark. The bar was set by the fame of black performers Nat King Cole and Sidney Poitier who, for years, were the only major men of color players on television and film, respectively. Their popularity made the success of darker skinned performers like James Earl Jones, Bill Cosby, Richard Roundtree, Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes, Eddie Murphy, Taye Diggs, and a host of others possible. Both movie and television audiences were used to seeing black men performing on both the big and small screens, as well as live on stage singing and dancing in large musical venues, in small clubs, and off and on Broadway.

The colorstruck in the African-American community should be happy. This is what they wanted all along. The earliest movies made by and for African-Americans were almost mirror images of white films that cast dark skinned blacks in stereotypical roles: Hattie McDaniel’s Oscar-winning role in Gone With the Wind and a host of roles by Stepinfetchit and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. Only instead of whites, in films by Oscar Micheaux, the most famous of black filmmakers in the 1920s-1940s, light-skinned, high yellow, or “redbone” African-Americans played the roles normally played by whites.

A common theme was light-skinned African-American men, who were the only ones sought out by women in those movies, being supported and adored by large, dark-skinned women who’d work hard usually as maids. These women would give all their money and love to these “hunks” that eventually left them for a thin, light-skinned African-American women, but only after telling the dark-skinned, hefty women how ignorant, low-class, disgusting, and ugly they were.

Yellow Man, a play written by an African-American woman gives a modern take on this old theme. But in Yellow Man, the light-skinned African-American man who has everything that should make him successful is a miserable failure; while the dark-skinned, fat girl he grew up with and fell in love with but could never marry, is the one who ends up having a successful life. I played the female role in the two-skinned play, actually using make up to darken my face slightly since I’m almost, not quite in the light-skinned category.

Light-skin has been so valued in the African-American community, especially in women, that some strange traditions have been created. In New Orleans, people have to pass the paper bag test to be accepted in certain groups. Held next to a paper bag, the individual’s skin color has to be the same shade or lighter. Families of light-skinned African-Americans stay that way by not marrying dark-skinned people. This is a long tradition in many African-American families, common among doctors, lawyers, and other professionals.

An example is a family in my home city. The father is a doctor and his wife works in the justice system. One of their children is mayor of the state capitol and is also married to a light-skinned African-American. I knew the family of another doctor like that in Lawton, Oklahoma, where I got my undergraduate degree at Cameron University. There are numerous examples in Historic Black Colleges, including the one I attended in Texas. You always knew who the doctors and lawyers children were there.

A frivolous tradition at the school was to pictorially display the “Ten Most Beautiful Girls on Campus” in the annual yearbook. My freshman year, I was appalled to see that all ten were light-skinned, except one, who was Hispanic and not the darker, brown-skinned Hispanic either. When I became editor-in-chief of the college paper the next year, I also became president of the press club and the automatic selector of the ten girls to be pictured as the campus’ most beautiful my sophomore year.

I relished the task and immediately set about finding girls of every hue and hair texture to grace that page in the annual publication. Oh, speaking of hair texture, that’s part of the requirement, as well. Light-skinned with “good hair,” meaning hair that is naturally curly, wavy, or straight – not nappy. The photo that I created for the yearbook that year had the entire range of “blackness.” I did get a copy of the yearbook, but let another fellow PV student from Oklahoma, where I went to live with my parents “borrow” it and it was never returned.

The love of light-skin and “good hair” has resulted in some tragic situations. I have a dark-skinned, large friend who would have done anything to get her light-skinned boyfriend with naturally wavy hair to marry her. Despite being over forty, she decided to get pregnant, thinking erroneously that being a Christian, he’d do the “right thing” and marry her. He didn’t and she had two strokes during labor. She’s presently resides in a nursing home due to paralysis of her legs and her “baby daddy” is married to a light-skinned woman and has custody of their beautiful little boy who is developmentally delayed.

Father and son came to visit me out of the clear blue one day and I just happened to be waiting for a food delivery (otherwise, I’d never have answered the door) and the little boy, who was five at the time, immediately fell in love with me and I with him. I got a feeling that his father thought that since I work in the field I might be more capable of being a mother to his child than the woman he married. However, there’s a code among some women about dating their friends’ exes. I couldn’t conceive of being anything more to father and son than a good friend.

Besides, I’m not attracted to light-skinned men, no matter how wavy, curly, or straight their hair – actually, I prefer men with no hair (or if they must have hair, I find dredlocks quite attractive). I think dark-skinned men are drop dead gorgeous. Oddly, I’ve only had one semi-serious with a dark-skinned man and it ended with me swearing never to see him again because I detected that he was a possible abuser, the biggest turn-off of all for me. I’ve probably dated more white guys than dark-skinned black guys.

However, skin color is not a determiner of who I date. Neither are things like height, weight, education, or income. I’ve dated men of all races (except Asians because none have ever asked me out), nationalities, skin colors, hair textures, heights, weights (I once dated a 600 lb semi-pro bowler who was the most flexible man I’ve ever known), educational and income levels (high school dropouts to advanced degrees), occupations (from doctors to roofers), and political persuasions – yes, I’ve dated right-wing conservatives.

The last man I fell in love with (the second in my lifetime) is dark and quite small in stature, while the first love of my life is tall and light-skinned. The man of my dreams is another man who’s presently unavailable – not married, just unavailable. He’s one of the darkest men I’ve ever known (what’s called “blue black”) and he’s perfect. He lives in my home state, was the last pastor of the church my great-grandfather founded, and wears a cowboy hat and boots better than any man I know.

There is absolutely no romantic connection between this man and me. We met and talked briefly a couple of times as intellectual equals on opposite sides of the political coin – he’s a conservative. However, his present obligations preclude him from any involvement with someone other than the mother of his two children. Of course, he’s a rascal in central Texas, a preacher with two children out of wedlock – oh, my! But I respect his not marrying a woman and then cheating on her, not to mention the respect I have for him because he’s a responsible father, taking care of his children.

While this cowboy preacher is my version of the ideal man, I don’t limit my choices to replicas of him. I recently told both my sister and my bff, both of whom are divorced and want to get re-married, to stop restricting their choices to African-American men. They’re both Christian women and there is a recent trend in interracial marriages among many Christians, including many conservatives. A white conservative man I worked with whose wife died has dated and intends to marry an African-American woman.

Although he and I are friends, he’s way too conservative to ever accept ANY of my liberal views and has convinced himself (and tried to convince me by locking me in a room with him and a Republican male co-worker for a political ideology intervention) that I am also conservative and just masquerading as a liberal. I admit, I am not always on the liberal side of things, but I’m far more likely to be liberal than conservative on most issues. This brings me back to the most popular African-American man on the planet.

I was never a supporter of Obama’s candidacy for President, not because he’s not dark-skinned and my ideal, but because I felt he should have waited until he completed at least one term in the Senate before running for President and, most importantly, because I supported Hillary Clinton. However, the support of the first black President of this nation was unbelievable and, therefore, I am not surprised that the marketability of the Obama image is occurring.

I just hope that Michelle Obama will make darker skinned African-American women just as acceptable and marketable.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Whose Ass Does Obama Really Want to Kick? Rhymes With Stress

The President's testy response to Today Show host Matt Lowry's suggestion that he start "kicking some butt" seemed aimed more at the press, who he referred to as "talking heads," than at BP. Maybe he's right to be miffed. Many of the pundits that cheered him on during the campaign seem to be turning on him.

A prime example is Chris Matthews. The highly paid MSNBC political talk show host who said candidate Obama made him have a tingling feeling down his leg, said that President Obama's use of the word "ass" was "unpresidential." Other lesser knowns who once rallied behind Obama now critcize his leadership or, in their words, lack thereof in dealing with the Gulf Coast oil spill.

Even when he met their demands to show more passion when he Lowry's impertinent question, they criticzed his choice of words, not because, I believe, he went all 'homeboy' and started talking about kicking some ass; but because these turncoats know the only asses he wants to kick are theirs.

Won't You Come Home, Bill Clinton, Won't You Come Home

First, let me make it clear. I'm not a fan of Bill Clinton and never was. I have a personal, visceral, negative reaction to men who cheat on their wives which culminated in my writing a play about a female serial killer whose targets are adulterous black Baptist ministers (symbolically, my father).

However, I voted for Clinton twice because I thought he was qualified for the job of President. Given the criticisms of the present President's seeming lack of passion about the Gulf Coast oil spill (the kick ass comment notwithstanding) and failure to show compassion for its victims, one can't help draw comparisons between President Obama and President Clinton when it comes to handling a crisis. While not as inept as President Bush was in his handling of the Katrina crisis, President Obama sure could use some of that Clinton Charm right now.

I say the administration make the former president its emissary in the Gulf Coast region and watch Bill work his magic. He's a loyal Democrat, so I'm sure President Clinton would be glad to help. And while they're at it, why not get President Carter involved, as well, along with both Presidents Bush to show some of that bi-partisanship we'd all like too see in Washington. Well, if we can't get it there, why not in the Gulf Coast?

Whoever else is involved, Clinton should be the point man. No one does better in front of a camera than President Clinton convincing people that he feels their pain and will do whatever it takes to ease it. Slick, Willie.



Monday, June 7, 2010

Helen Thomas, Dead Woman Talking

Always erascible and ever irreverent, 89 year old journalist, Helen Thomas ends a stellar career in disgrace and infamy. Her crime has been judged by a jury of her peers and her sentence is death. No one will give her a lethal injection or place her in a gas chamber to breathe in noxious fumes. Her death will come more slowly and painfully than either of these methods.

She won't die from the shame of having her good name besmirched or being villified in the press. Her death will be by her own hand. She will be felled by that most evil of all executioners: retirement. Without looking at statistics, I know that many people die shortly after or before retirement.

The prospect of day after day of inactivity is fatal for many, usually men. Women seem to have other things to because most women, even those with careers, always had a second job as homemaker. It's that duty they can still look forward to after retirement. While men most likely centered their lives around work and when they no longer work, have nothing to do.

Thomas lived her life like a man in that regard. She did one thing. Work. And now that her job is no longer tenable due to a few thoughtless words, she probably won't live too long after she reaches her ninetieth birthday in August - if she makes it until then. The irony is that once she's dead all will be forgotten and forgiven and her illustrous career will be celebrated in her absence by the very peers who past judgement on this dean of journalism who walked away from her profession wearing the scarlet A of anti-semitism.

I wonder will they leave an empty chair in the front row of the White House press room in her honor?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


A One-Act Play
By G. Joyce Chatman


Quartet – two men and two women of African-American descent, in their mid-to-late 30s
who portray various roles throughout play

MARTIN – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., African-American male in his late 30s


Memphis, Tennessee, in late March, early April of 1968


Scene 1: Beale Street, the afternoon of March 28, 1968 after a march led by Dr. King that ended in a riot

Scene 2: The home of Ralph and Juanita Abernathy where Martin and Coretta King have joined them for a fried fish dinner the same night.

Scene 3: Dr. King’s room at the Lorraine Hotel the evening of April 3, 1968

Scene 4: Dr. King’s room at the Lorraine Hotel the next afternoon

[Open on “march” as Quartet members break into chatter.]
- Dr. King! They’re breaking windows
- The police are arresting looters!
- A bunch of young thugs!
- Somebody paid them to do it!
- Should we keep marching?
- Dr. King! What should we do?
[Quartet exits and MARTIN moves forward.]
Infamous this day in Memphis, city of my demise. Not since I sat in the belly of the whale that was the Birmingham jail have I know such despair. Beale Street’s blue today, corrupted by youthful greed and impoverished need. But I can’t sing the blues! I only know the words of hymns and the melodies of spirituals. This street that shared its secrets with Elvis gives me no victory, no joy, no success today. Perhaps, like him, I should have skulked through the night to come and take from you all I need and not pay the Beale, but get paid like those who loot and destroy you, oh, great bastion of the blues. (sings) “Jesus, please forgive me. This is not the fight I seek. Jesus, please forgive me. This is not the fight I seek. I’ve done all you said. Held my peace and turned the other cheek.” Take me away from here where shattered glass cracks my voice crying out for justice, but not my resolve, not my spine. I stand determined and unafraid of violence and will not foster it. Bayard, you taught me well Ghandi’s way of waging peace! The great Mahatma taught me that non-violence is the only form of peaceful resistance, but Bayard Rustin unarmed my guards. Never can I raise a hand or a fist in anger in this fight. Never can I wield a weapon or strike a blow. Never can I lead a march that becomes a riot. God, deliver me from this tempest in Memphis! This is not my march. This is not my day. Memphis, you will not steal my dream like Elvis stealing notes from Beale Street to write his own ticket and become the King of Rock & Roll. Here in his kingdom, he rules. And I cannot dethrone him in the name of justice. Were there truly grace in this land – this home of a king, but not this one so named – there would be justice. And I would not be here to endure the injustice of having my methods mocked, my nonviolent protest disrupted by violence – outrageous but not outraged. No, this violence, calculated down to the dollar, knows no anger; only avarice. And I am outraged by its lack of rage. There is no real violence here, just mindlessness. A mob of mercenaries follows me, but I will not lead them that lead me to my own destruction by their wanton willingness to compromise our cause for a few dollar bills. Beale Street has forced me to sing the blues and leave a march defeated. Not beaten, not bowed, but far from victorious. I leave today to return, armed with righteousness and real wrath that needs no violent expression. I go with God from this place of disgrace, from the land of the free fall into the depth of despair to the home of the Braves. Atlanta, I return to your welcome arms! Your sanctuary will be my respite. Your love will be my solace, my peace; be still on this Beale Street so blue – my Waterloo? No, I am no tyrant bringing down destruction, conquering through war. I am but a servant of the Prince of peace, engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience; walking in the very footsteps of my Savior. I walked in those footsteps to Selma and to Washington and they will lead me back here to Memphis.

[Quartet enters and starts talking]
- Your husband didn’t say much during dinner.
- He’s just tired. Maybe he’s feeling better since he ate.
- He sure ate a lot!
- Well, he said he wanted some fish. Come calling me talking ‘bout, “Juan, why don’t me and Ralph just buy some fish and you and Corie can cook it for us instead of us going out to eat tonight?” Funny how men are always finding things for us women to do!
- Isn’t it?
- That’s a wife’s duty – to serve her husband. Says so in the Bible.
- Here you go again, talking about Paul. Did Paul have a wife?
- No, but what difference does that make?
- A lot! How can some man who’s never been married make the rules about marriage?
[Has been standing in the center of the Quartet, but moves away for monologue and Quartet exits once he starts speaking]
I hear them talking, laughing, their chatter clutters my ears, making them itch. I know they’re talking, but I don’t know what they’re talking about; because no one is talking about what happened today. They avoid talking about it because they don’t want to upset me. But they upset me more by not talking about it- pretending none of it happened. But it did happen and there is no amount of small talk, joviality, or fried fish that can erase that fact. This day was not my dawn of triumph, neither was it my twilight of defeat. This day remained neutral in the struggle, not taking sides. These twenty-four hours are not my enemy any more than are the misguided youth who tried to shatter a dream on Beale Street and were only able to shatter glass. I do not regret this day nor can I revere it. I just remember it as a lesson in tactics and tenacity. Yet, despite this degree in strategy so recently earned, I will have no victory march in this city without great sacrifice. What more can you take? You already ravished Beale Street, leaving it a relic while your King grew rich from the music he pirated there. Perhaps it is fitting that Beale Street finally exploded in fury today after years of singing the blues for the profit of others. I don’t condone the violence, but I understand it. As a race, we have forgiven so much. But the burden of that forgiveness is a heavy one straddling our backs and pushing us down. I’m not complaining, Lord. I know you brought us here in the hold of slaveships because you had a purpose for us being here. Considering that the people who enslaved us called themselves your servants, maybe you brought us here to show them who you really are. We sure found out in those cotton fields and on those auction blocks. Yes, we discovered the Lord of Moses and created America’s first original art form to express our spirituality. Pharoah let us go, but we are still trying to get to the Promised Land. I know we’ll get there some day. My faith in the Lord tells me we’ll get there and it won’t be much longer. It’s just years, months, weeks, days away. And this day – this day in Memphis will not stop us from getting to the land of milk and honey; the promise of the American dream, my dream.

[One member of Quartet enters; he speaks, then exits]
-Dr. King, you sure you don’t want to go to the church with us?
Ya’ll go on. I need some time. [hums “In the Garden” as he prepares to pray]
Moses couldn’t come to the garden because his death had no agony. It was a peaceful passing. Were mine to be, I would not know Gethsemane. But its trees call me to pray under their branches, sit in their shade amid the cool breezes rustling through their leaves. There to make a solitary pilgrimage to my God’s throne. [he kneels to pray] Moses, I join you on Ararat. Now, I know your exultation and your terror. God, how cruel to bring us to the top but not the other side. Only such a God would let your humble servant see the fruit of all his labor, knowing he will never taste it. I thank you for this view [stands] standing on the mountaintop. I can see the future of my people, much like Moses seeing Israel with its own state. I see my people in places of power, ruling this land; making laws and enforcing them; building banks and running them; teaching in ivy league schools; managing Fortune 500 companies; owning, managing, and coaching major sports franchises; dominating the armed forces as generals and admirals; filling the House and the Senate and even the White House – my people in high places- higher than any mountain ever scaled by man. Lord, let me rest on the mountaintop for all eternity, like Moses, watching my dream unfold into full-fledged reality. It was not one man’s dream, but the dream of all humankind. You gave me the vision, now they will have the reality – those future generations who come after me and live the dream. Mountain, I must leave you and your forward vision. I return to Gethsemane to pray [kneels] and I will leave there in peace – ready to face the fate that awaits me. [Quartet re-enters and walks over to MARTIN]
- Dr. King! They’re asking for you at the church. They want you to speak! Come on, I’ll take you! [Two of them rush out]

[Pacing back and forth when Quartet comes in]
Where have you been all day, Andrew?
- You know I was in court all day.
You’re supposed to be where I can reach you! [laughs and picks up pillow and hits him with it]
- Hey, don’t hit me with that pillow! [others stop singing and grab pillows and hit him] Ya’ll stop! [one member of the quartet turns to MARTIN]
- Dr. King, we’ve got to get ready to go.
All right, go on outside so I can get dressed. [Quartet exits] Lord, I feel like getting dressed for battle! I know we’re just going out for dinner, but I feel good- better than I’ve felt in a month. I feel so good, I hate to see the sun go down. I want that sun to keep shining and the moon to just keep still tonight. This should be a night without darkness – one that shines for all eternity. God bless this day as it turns toward twilight and let it end in peace. I know this day is a special day and will be remembered as will this great city for its part in today’s history. It was one single day that brought infamy to Memphis, so let this day bring it glory. Let this day be a day of rejoicing and recompense forevermore. No more weeping and wailing in Memphis! Oh, they’re still singing the blues on Beale Street and its distortion in Graceland, but tonight we’ll be singing hymns of joy in this beautiful city where poor people stand united. Memphis, the bell of the South, God gave you this day to make history. Historical times are not new to you. You’ve had your place in the history books, but you are about to write a new chapter in those same books whose pages are smeared with the blood of those whose history they record. Let this latest chapter be bloodless, oh great city. And if blood must be spilled to provide ink to write your story, let it only be a drop. Lord, I feel like marching to Zion! [exits, then, suddenly, a gunshot is heard offstage]

Friday, January 15, 2010


Every Rush Limbaugh listener who calls himself or herself a Christian or who knows how to spell the word has an obligation to let this hater know that he has crossed the line and will be smote for his insensitive and uncaring remarks. His telling charitable Americans not to give aid to Haiti because the President might benefit politically just goes too far in the interminal partisan war being waged in this country. Regardless of feelings about President Obama, the spirit of generosity that is an integral part of the American spirit should not be damped down in this political war.

Limbaugh's callousness and lack of sympathy for a country in peril is appalling. President Bush still gets credit for his efforts to stop AIDS in Africa and he should, even from people like me who didn't vote for him. Likewise, I did not vote for President Obama, but I support his efforts to help the Haitian people. How could any human being not want to help this devastated nation? This is a global effort and leaders of every nation that can provide aid are asking their people to support all efforts to help Haiti. President Obama, to his credit, went beyond partisan lines to ask former President Bush to join former President Clinton to lead efforts in this country, making him a class act and making Limbaugh look like the heartless hatemonger he is.

Christians, unite! Smite this man!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Democrats Are Racist? No Kidding!

A new tell-all behind-the-scenes of the Democratic 2008 primaries has exposed some racially tinged comments made by prominent Democrats - namely Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and former President Bill Clinton - about then Senator Barack Obama. Having not read the book, I don't know who Reid's comments about Obama's un-Negro appearance and speech to. However, Clinton reportedly told deceased Senator Ted Kennedy that a few years ago Obama would have been serving them coffee.

Somewhere somebody got the idea that racism and racist speech is limited to the GOP. Democrats owned slaves too. They also segregated blacks from whites, not just in the South but in the North as well. Even among some of the most liberal Democratst there are probably some remnants of long-held stereotypes about race. I'm sure if the authors of Game Change had dug deeply enough they'd have found similar comments by other political icons including the now deified Ted Kennedy.

Of course the GOP political machine is at work making political hay out of information published just in time to further stall Reid's efforts to get a healthcare bill passed. Out for revenge for what was done to Trent Lott, they'll play this for everything it's worth. Of course our race neutral president will stay out of the fray unless pressed by the media to comment or maybe he'll just have another beer summit. Or maybe he'll get smart and take a tactic similar to the one taken by Toledo's newly elected mayor when the former called the dark-skinned man who was then the city's fire chief King Kong. Although he did not publicly repudiate the mayor, the fire chief retired and took a job as Ohio's Fire Marshall for two years before running for and winning the office if mayor as an independent.

Maybe the lesson to be learned from all this is that neither political party is free of racism in one form or another, although the Democrats' record on supporting and passing Civil Rights legislation makes any comparison to Lott's wish for no change in the status of blacks in America to Reid's preference for blacks who he thinks look and sound white ludicrous. Political correctness has disallowed people their personal and private biases which are no one's business unless they are used to influence or make public policy. I think both Reid's and Clinton's records show this not the case whereas not many Republicans have voting and legislative records that show support for civil rights.

The mistake blacks make is thinking people have to like us to do what's right. Had we not thought this, the majority of us would not have turned against Bill and Hillary Clinton during the primaries because they expressed biases they've probably always had but that never stopped them from supporting Civil Rights and racial justice in tangible ways. If we jump everytime the media exposes some politician's private prejudices, they'll have us hopping like frogs. Better to accept the possibility that people who don't know you may have pre-conceived notions about us usually perpetrated by the media. No, white politicians are NOT our friends whether they're Democrsts or Republicans. Get over it! They're our Congressional Representatives, our Senators, our Mayors, our Governors, and our public servants - emphasis on public.