None Too Civil

Civil rights leader Julian Bond, the chairman of the NAACP, made a speech at Fayettville State University in North Carolina on February 1st in which he made racist remarks the likes of which would have got a politician of pallor in very hot water indeed. Have you heard anything about this? If you get your news from major press sources such as the New York Times, you very well might not have.

Apparently Mr. Bond, speaking at the beginning of Black History Month, said, among other things, that our last two Secretaries of State, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, were “tokens”, and that “The Republican Party would have the American flag and the swastika flying side by side”.

The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto picked up the story here, but if I hadn’t been a subscriber to his witty and informative daily newsletter I would almost surely not have heard of it. Why did this not make more of a splash? The press have eagerly and correctly pounced on such speech when it comes from the right, as witness Trent Lott’s downfall after praising the vile Strom Thurmond’s segregationist voting record. But here we have the director of a major national political organization making racist remarks and calling Republicans Nazis, and nobody bats an eye. What’s going on?

The irony is that his organization is by its very name dedicated to the “advancement” of “colored people” (I discuss a related irony regarding that name here), yet Mr. Bond chooses to use an inflammatory racial slur to denigrate, if you will pardon the expression, two of the most “advanced” colored people in the nation, people who are respected and admired, yes, because they achieved much at a time when the cards were stacked against them, but mainly because of their outstanding character and capability.

Perhaps the enervating culture of victimhood in black America is losing some of its hold, and those who have ridden on its back for so long, to their own fame and profit, begin to feel their grip weakening, and are resorting more overtly to the ancient tactic of consolidating power by invoking a common external enemy. Here’s hoping that more and more of their constituents come to see the complex American culture of which they are such a vital and integral part as no longer being “external”.

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