Pan Africanism : Bush and Colin

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by NNQueen, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    United States
    Feb 9, 2001
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    As we approach another presidential election in the fall of 2004, and the current Bush administration is vying for another term in office, maybe we should revisit some of the earlier and current reports on his activities during his first term and see if it will make a difference to some in terms of who they vote for in the fall.

    "Bush Errs by not sending Colin Powell to the World Conference on Racism in 2001"

    "Why? Government officials say the United States is put off by the efforts of some delegates to equate Zionism with racism. I don't believe that's the main reason. The real touchstone for Bush is the planned discussion of reparations for slavery — a hot-button domestic issue he doesn't want probed on an international stage. While the Zionism issue strikes at the heart of Israel's existence, the reparations question roils the disingenuous efforts of Republicans to court black voters.

    For nearly 175 years, the U.S. government was an accomplice in the enslavement of millions of blacks and the oppression of generations of their descendants. During slavery, Congress passed laws designating where slavery could exist and mandating the return of runaway slaves; the Supreme Court ruled that blacks had no right to citizenship, and presidents acquiesced to these decisions. After slavery, Congress failed to pass an anti-lynching law for more than half a century while thousands of African-Americans were strung up by white mobs; the Supreme Court put in place for nearly 60 years a "separate but equal" ruling that permitted "inherently unequal" treatment of the descendants of slaves, and, again, a long line of presidents did nothing.

    The Bush administration believes that by refusing to discuss the sordid history of the U.S. government's support of slavery and its ugly aftermath, it will stifle the domestic debate over reparations.

    A better strategy would have been to send Powell to the racism conference. Despite the conservative company he keeps, Powell has unabashedly acknowledged the harm done by slavery and its racist progeny — and the debt this nation owes their victims.

    "There are those who say, 'Well, you know, we can stop now. America is a colorblind society.' But it isn't yet," Powell said in a 1996 commencement speech at Bowie State University. "There are those who say, 'We have a level playing field.' But we don't yet. ... There are those who rail against affirmative action. They rail against affirmative-action preferences. ... There are those who do not understand that the progress we have achieved over the past generation must be continued if we wish to bless future generations. And so, Colin Powell, he believes in affirmative action," Powell told the largely black audience."