On Friday I blogged about Representative Charlie Rangel’s racist comments to the a CBC Townhall meeting where he claimed to other black people in the audience that President Bush was "our Bull Connor." Since that time, the RNC has called for Democratic leaders to condemn the remarks. Have they? No. In fact, some state and national Democrats have praised them and added on to them:
The Republican request for repudiation, however, met with expressions of support for Mr. Rangel’s statement, particularly from black Democratic leaders in New York. The Reverend Al Sharpton came out in support of Mr. Rangel’s analysis, and another member of the city’s congressional delegation, Major Owens, a Democrat of Brooklyn, denounced Mr. Bush as "even more diabolical" than Connor.
Yesterday, Mr. Rangel, reached by phone, elaborated on his comments, saying he made the comparison because Mr. Bush, like Connor, had become a rallying point for America’s blacks.
"For decades in the ’20s and ’30s, black folks were killed, maimed, tortured, and lynched in the South," Mr. Rangel told The New York Sun. "And the good people did nothing about it. And then came the blowing up of children in the churches – Emmett Till, and Bull Connor, with the dogs lashing out against the young people, and the fire hoses." Emmett Till was the black teenager whose 1955 murder in Mississippi intensified the civil rights movement.
"And because of the Bull Connors," Mr. Rangel said, "the American people said enough is enough." Connor, Mr. Rangel said, "woke up the country in terms of racism, and maybe the indifference of Bush can wake up the country in terms of not having tax cuts but ending poverty."
Here is where it really gets sickening (emphasis added):
Support for Mr. Rangel’s comparison was explicit among Democratic leaders in New York City as the party’s nominee for mayor, Fernando Ferrer, weighed in. "George W. Bush and the conservative Republican policies he champions have consistently hurt working people throughout our country and our city," a spokeswoman for the candidate, Christy Setzer, said yesterday. "President Bush is an affront to the Democratic values Congressman Rangel and Fernando Ferrer share."
A prominent black activist, Rev. Sharpton, also supported Mr. Rangel’s Bush-as-Connor comparison. "I think that the statement clearly says that if there is a person that is a symbol that many blacks organize around and organize against in this generation, it would be Bush – as it was with one generation and Connor," Rev. Sharpton said. "In that sense I agree with him," he said of Mr. Rangel.
"Clearly Bush has become that, especially after Katrina," Rev. Sharpton said. "We’ve gone from fire hoses to levees."
As Rev. Sharpton expressed support for Mr. Rangel’s comments, another senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus and of New York’s congressional delegation, Mr. [Major] Owens, said he thought Mr. Rangel hadn’t taken the metaphor far enough.
"Bull Connor didn’t even pretend that he cared about African-Americans," Mr. Owens said. "You have to give it to George Bush for being even more diabolical."
"With his faith-based initiatives," Mr. Owens added, "he made it appear that he cared about black Americans. Katrina has exposed that as a big lie."
As a result, Mr. Rangel "is on the right track," Mr. Owens said. "This is worse than Bull Connor," he added.
A Democrat who represents Brooklyn on New York’s City Council, Charles Barron, concurred with that sentiment. "I think that’s an insult to Connor," he said of Mr. Rangel’s statement. "George Bush is worse, because he has more power and he’s more destructive to our people than Bull Connor will ever be."
For example, Mr. Barron said, "A KKK without power is not as bad as a George Bush with power."
"To be a racist in the richest, most powerful country in the world is lethal," Mr. Barron added. "Look what he’s doing to communities of color all over the world," the council member said of Mr. Bush. "He’s a lethal racist."
"What he did in New Orleans – I mean, that’s worse than what Bull Connor did in his entire career as a racist in the South," Mr. Barron said. "Look at these neighborhoods before Katrina hit. Bush made that community what it is. Katrina did the rest, in partnership with Bush, to deliver the final blow."
Remember what Dick Cheney said to Pat Leahy on the Senate floor back in June of last year? If I weren’t a lady, and if I weren’t inclined to keep this blog clean of curse words, I might post those same comments here and direct them towards the race-baiters quoted in the article. I have ZERO patience and NO tolerance for BS like this and it angers the hell out of me that NY and DC Demcrats will not condemn Rangel’s comments but expect Republicans en masse to repudiate inflammatory comments when they come from people in their own party. Hypocrites!
(Cross-posted at California Conservative)