Sunday, June 29, 2003
I hate Maureen Dowd. She's sooooo bitter and snide and on top of her nails-on-a-blackboard attitude she's just freaking illogical.
"What a cunning man Clarence Thomas is.So what she's saying is that no black person is allowed to criticize affirmative action because they wouldn't have achieved anything without it? (nicely insulting) And of course white people can't criticize affirmative action because we don't understand, or we're secretly racist. That's very neat. Also notice that it's impossible for black people to be sincerely conservative or republican. It's a cynical calculation on their part and they're used as tokens by the party. Remember how Powell and Rice were called "House Slaves?" Because, of course, a republican couldn't have appointed a black person to be Secretary of State or National Security Adviser based on their qualifications.
He knew that he could not make a powerful legal argument against racial preferences, given the fact that he got into Yale Law School and got picked for the Supreme Court thanks to his race.
The dissent is a clinical study of a man who has been driven barking mad by the beneficial treatment he has received.
It's poignant, really. It makes him crazy that people think he is where he is because of his race, but he is where he is because of his race.
Other justices rely on clerks and legal footnotes to help with their opinions; Justice Thomas relies on his id, turning an opinion on race into a therapeutic outburst.
In his dissent, he snidely dismisses the University of Michigan Law School's desire to see minority faces in the mix as "racial aesthetics," giving the effort to balance bigotry in society the moral weight of a Benetton ad. The phrase "racial aesthetics" would be more appropriately applied to W.'s nominating convention in Philadelphia, when the Republicans put on a minstrel show for the white fat cats in the audience.
So why, despite his racial blessings, does he come across as an angry, bitter, self-pitying victim?
It's impossible not to be disgusted at someone who could benefit so much from affirmative action and then pull up the ladder after himself. So maybe he is disgusted with his own great historic ingratitude.
When he switched from a Democrat to a conservative as a young man, he knew that he would be a hotter commodity in politics. But he also knew that it would bring him the scorn of blacks who deemed him a pawn of the white establishment — people like Justice Thurgood Marshall, who ridiculed Clarence Thomas and others as "goddamn black sellouts" for benefiting from affirmative action and then denigrating it."
"Rice later shrugged that remark off. "If Harry Belafonte wants to disagree with my political views, that's fine," she said to CNN's "Late Edition" host Wolf Blitzer Sunday. "But I don't need Harry Belafonte to tell me what it means to be black." No, she probably learned that when she was growing up in segregated Birmingham, Ala. She was 9 years old when haters bombed a black church there in 1963, killing one of her classmates and three other little girls.I am so sick of the rigid conformity that the liberal democratic left demands of its adherents.
But black experience does not count for much with those who define blackness by how close your views line up with theirs.
Powell and Rice understand this. Powell called Belafonte's slavery reference "unfortunate" but still considers the performer to be a friend, despite their political differences. So goes the high road.
It is both disappointing and revealing to hear Belafonte lapse into such mud-slinging against two of the country's most respected African-Americans for committing an unusual sin: failure to think like Harry Belafonte.
Belafonte's barbs are revealing because they seem to be aimed at the success Powell and Rice have experienced in helping to make the Republican Party a more hospitable-looking place for black Americans. For critics like Belafonte, our civil rights as African-Americans apparently cannot include the right to be complicated."
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How interesting. I wish her all the luck in the world.
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