Jacqueline Knight -- Political Princess
|| A statement that probably resulted in about a 3-4% move to Bush. Totally patronizing; completely inappropriate, but oh so typical and telling for a man who has not ONE Black on his current staff and has proposed NONE for future office.
Civil Rights Leader Stewing Over Kerry's Second Black President Comment
By Jimmy Moore
March 9, 2004
HARRISBURG, PA (Talon News) -- A civil rights leader is stewing with anger at likely Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry for claiming last week that he would not be upset if he would become the second black President of the United States.
Paula Diane Harris, the founder and president of the Andrew Young National Center for Social Change which provides legal services to the poor, said the millionaire caucasian Kerry needs to publicly apologize for his insensitive and racist comments about being a black man.
"John Kerry is not a black man -- he is a privileged white man who has no idea what it is in this country to be a poor white in this country, let alone a black man," Harris exclaimed to the Associated Press.
Kerry's controversial remarks about wanting to be the second black president were made last Tuesday during an interview on the American Urban Radio Network after virtually sealing up the Democratic nomination following his wins in last week's primary races.
"President Clinton was often known as the first black president," Kerry explained during the radio interview. "I wouldn't be upset if I could earn the right to be the second."
Former President Bill Clinton was bestowed the title "first black president" by Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison in 1998 in a satirical essay in the New Yorker magazine.
Morrison wrote at the time that Clinton "displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas."
Despite the fact that the pronouncement upon Clinton by Morrison was obviously mocking the president, the former president has used it to his advantage.
Actually, Clinton has gone on to be inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame and currently serves as an honorary chairman for the international advisory board of a $37 million national black history museum set to open in Charleston, South Carolina in 2007.
Nevertheless, the misconception that Clinton was a good president for blacks lives on, despite evidence that shows conditions for them worsened during Clinton's two terms as president in the 1990s.
Chad Clanton, campaign spokesman for the Kerry campaign, said the Massachusetts senator was simply joking and trying to illustrate that he would care about black Americans as much as Clinton did.
"This was intended as a light-natured remark about President Clinton's strong legacy with African Americans," Clanton remarked. "It is a legacy that John Kerry would like to build upon if elected president. John Kerry has a record of fighting for civil rights and as president he will continue this fight."
However, Harris said she was not amused by Kerry's choice of words.
She even chastised other black leaders who she said would rather "sit back and ignore these types of comments" instead of confronting them, regardless of the political affiliation of the person who said them.
Harris said the deafening silence from civil rights leaders when blatantly racist remarks are spoken by a Democrat is "a practice that further insults African Americans."
"It seems that all these leaders care about is their personal agendas in how a 'John Kerry' will keep up their personal causes," Harris concluded.
As Talon News reported on Monday, Kerry and the Democratic Party have recently offended many black voters who do not like the comparison of the gay activists fighting for marriage rights and black civil rights from the 1950s and 1960s.
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