March 5, 2009
POLITICS: Brazen Bigots
The place: a city in Texas
The setting: a city council hearing on a local construction project
The chair: the wife of a powerful white Republican Congressman
What happened? Black residents of the city were told to their faces they should leave the hearing. A black labor leader who argued that the project would bring in good jobs was told by the chair, "Those workers look like you; they don't look like me."
I think we all know that if this happened, it would be the end of the political careers of the Congressman and his wife; that the national media storm would swamp all other news for weeks, making the Trent Lott story look puny by comparison; that the GOP's national leadership would be compelled to offer one groveling apology after another; that liberals would raise this as a talking point in discussions of every issue, no matter how unrelated, for the rest of our natural lives.
Yet, that's exactly what happened in Detroit, only the races and parties were reversed:
UPDATE: You can watch video of the hearing here.
Speakers advocating for the deal were taunted by the crowd and cut short by Council President Monica Conyers [the wife of House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers], who presided over the hearing like an angry bulldog; whites were advised by the citizens to, "Go home."
Opponents were allowed to rant and ramble on uninterrupted about "those people" who want to steal Detroit's assets and profit from the city's labors.
A pitiful Teamster official who practically crawled to the table on his knees expressing profuse respect for this disrespectful body was battered by both the crowd and the council.
When he dared suggest that an improved Cobo Center would create more good-paying jobs for union workers, Conyers reminded him, "Those workers look like you; they don't look like me."
Desperate, he invoked President Barack Obama's message of unity and was angrily warned, "Don't you say his name here."
Democratic leaders in Congress should be pressed to answer the questions: do they approve of this? And if Conyers can't or won't denounce his wife's open bigotry in a powerful government position, how can they continue to employ him as the chairman of a powerful commitee, one that oversees among other things the equal enforcement of the law?
Yeah, that's pretty awful. Her husband should distance himself from that publicly. I still can't believe what she said.
Lead story on the nightly news for a week. Oh wait, did you say the bigots were Democrats. Turns out we don't have room in tonight's broadcast to cover that story.
The story goes a long way towards explaining why Detroit is in its current shape.
Hey liberals-care to explain why your party acted like this? Is it OK? What are you goning to do about it?
I don't think Conyers will see a problem with his wife's behavior. After all, how many white Congressmen have been allowed to join the Congressional black caucus?
You know, if only the blacks had not had white slaves or hed stopped keeping us whites down, America would be a better place.
Explanatory note to dch: "I don't beleive this. It is sarcastic."
I don't need to watch the video or read the particulars...as a recent Michigan ex-pat, as soon as you set up your hypothetical, Crank, I knew it was gonna be a Detroit City Council tale...
1. The system in Detroit is so unbelievably corrupt and disgraceful that NOTHING would shock me. Mayor Kwame was a choir boy compared to most of these clowns...
2. So, of course, that insular, talentless bunch of jerks need to invent new ways to continue to shoot themselves in the foot and drive that city into the river even faster...
3. BUT, please do not confuse the difference the roles of the races play in prejudice and power here. Yes, Detroit is probably one of the few places in the country where the council is dominated by black members, politicians and patrons, and they can run roughshod over the "other" race, but that is an aberration and as a tables-turned scenario, the party in power is exacting a bit of revenge for being completely abandoned and relegated to third-world status by white-flight. They are wrong, not only morally, but because it's fucking stupid for them to turn ANY investment away, but it's at least pitifully understandable...
Whereas, Crank's hypothetical Southern scenario would just be another in centuries-old oppression by one race completely dominating the other. It's worse.
Lee, I'm liberal, but I have as much in common with Detroit Democrats as I do with Sean Hannity, so I won't explain, or excuse it beyond what I just did...