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December 13, 2002

Lovers vs Fighters

trent lott has become an easy target. i don't think he's going to get knocked over, because this is really just his second strike in public, the first being his dalliance with the CCC. although there is plenty of evidence to suggest that his head is in the wrong place it would take a bit of sleuthing to find where the rubber meets the road. this is not the kind of sleuthing that is going on. i take a lot of pleasure in his being knocked around, especially now that bill bennett has joined the fray. but this should really be about what legacy segregation really had, not what lott says about it.

the only people really interested in depths of lott's depravity for something other than political horsetrading are the 'special interests'. which makes an ugly point about the republican majority and their constituency. lott has stepped in it, and people who fussed about his prominence in the first place are not being interviewed in depth.

to my eyes, the elephant in the corner here is the legacy of white-flight private schools in the south - all founded around the passage of brown. just like its lack of union labor, this is the legacy of southern politics designed to keep blacks poor and uneducated. today public schooling in the state of georgia is horrendous, and the prices for private schools are going from rediculous to outrageous. it's not as bad as the 92nd street y, but it is where segregationists voted with their feet. now everybody is paying the price. so what does it take to stop the separate and unequal trend? it brings you right back to vouchers and republican policies on public accomodations.

you *can* look at the kind of issues like environmental racism that cynthia mckinney harped upon many years ago and draw lines. you *can* look at issues like manipulation of taxes to defund public services in poor and black areas. you *can* look closely at the kind of newly allowable discrimination exemptions bush will give to federally funded religious groups. you *can* draw attention to the legacy of the dixiecrats, but then you will have to indict the boiling frog of rightward public opinion. you would have to ask just why is it that *this* kind of republican is leading the party. does anyone really want to do this, or would americans just wish it all went away with an apology?

it seems to me that you can't have it both ways. if you feel that lott is getting a raw dose of 'pc' backlash and character assasination, then you'll have to look at what his philosophy brings to the republican party, and the effect of that on real people. in other words you should have some hardball tests for lott's thinking. this has become a litmus test for what 'racism' is and what the punishments for it are. so far the answer seems to be 'loose talk' and 'harsh words'. bfd!

Posted by mbowen at December 13, 2002 02:38 PM

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