May 16, 2005


Convert worries Democrats (Donald Lambro, 5/15/05, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

City Councilman Otto Banks, the biggest vote-getter in Harrisburg, Pa., held a campaign fundraiser in the Pennsylvania state capital Friday with the help of Republican National Chairman Ken Mehlman that sent new fears rippling through Democratic ranks.

Mr. Banks, 33, a political newcomer, stunned Harrisburg's black community when he left the Democratic Party in March to become a Republican, starting what Mr. Mehlman and other Republican officials say they hope will become a realignment trend that will consign the Democrats to permanent minority status.

Mr. Mehlman said Friday that he met with Mr. Banks before the party switch and promised that if he joined the Republicans, "I would go up to Harrisburg and help him raise money for his campaign. This is a priority of mine, to bring more African-Americans into the party of Lincoln. I'm committed to doing it in many ways."

The crowd of 60 or so who attended the buffet breakfast, which featured Mr. Mehlman and raised $22,000, included many of Mr. Banks' black supporters, among them clergymen. "It was a very racially diverse group of people, about half white and half African-American," said Josh Wilson, the state Republican Party's communications director.

Mr. Banks was little-known outside Harrisburg before he joined the Republican Party. But that switch, and Mr. Mehlman's high-profile role in his re-election campaign, have deepened concerns among Democratic leaders such as campaign strategist Donna Brazile, who worry that they are losing their base.

"I thought that by now Ken would run out of gas [with his black outreach efforts], but it's clear to me that he is serious. He is reaching out to elected officials, trying to convert some elected officials,? Miss Brazile said. ?This is another sign that Republicans this time around will not ignore the African-American community."

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 16, 2005 10:20 AM

There's no Humbert's Peak, either.
There will surely be a peak in oil production, someday, but to get it named after you, shouldn't you be able to predict when that will occur, in the right decade, at least, or even the right century(!), for goodness sake ?

A few days before telling The Washington Times that "This is another sign that Republicans this time around will not ignore the African-American community", the rather charming Ms Brazile told that "The Republican Party outreach is purely symbolic", and that "African-Americans should dismiss this annual rhetorical ritual coming from the Republican Party."

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at May 16, 2005 3:32 PM

There's nothing wrong with 'outreach' so long as it does not betray core principles. A GOP that supports racial preference has no reason to exist.

Posted by: bart at May 17, 2005 7:31 AM

Actually, that was its founding principle.

Posted by: oj at May 17, 2005 8:35 AM

OJ, how's that?

Posted by: bart at May 17, 2005 9:10 AM

You'll recall the Civil War and Reconstruction? But we left the job undone.

Posted by: oj at May 17, 2005 9:33 AM

Giving people equal rights is hardly racial preference, nor is compensating people for past injury to them.

You would not call compensation by Germany to Holocaust survivors or by the US government to Japanese-Americans forcibly evicted from their homes, farms and businesses during WWII, 'racial preference' would you? And if you would, then perhaps it would be advisable to consult a dictionary.

Posted by: bart at May 17, 2005 9:39 AM

Of course they're racial preferences, specifically designed to compensate for past racial oppression.

Posted by: oj at May 17, 2005 10:14 AM

They are compensation of specific victims for specific injury, no more a 'preference' than a judgement against any other tortfeasor.

You find me a living slave from 1865 and I'll happily support his compensation. But I see no reason to support giving someone born in 1964 in Brooklyn a preference over me simply because of his skin color.

Posted by: bart at May 17, 2005 10:28 AM

we never paid the debt. It's still owing.

Posted by: oj at May 17, 2005 10:59 AM

What do you mean 'we', paleface?

At the time the 'debt' was incurred, my ancestors were in Alsace, Germany and Tsarist Russia. And slavery no longer exists in America, does it?

Posted by: bart at May 17, 2005 11:35 AM

Its effects do. Jews were allowed to immigrate naturally and reaped the benefits in succeeding generations. Blacks were originally not and suffered the unique consequences.

Posted by: oj at May 17, 2005 12:03 PM

If you believe that one, read pretty much any halfway-decent book on Jewish history in America, like Howard Sachar's work. Discrimination,including during the immigration process, against us, as against Catholics and others was a feature of American life until the end of WWII. Do you propose compensating everyone? I could use the money.

As for 'paying a debt' to Blacks. What do you think food stamps, welfare, and Medicaid are?

Posted by: bart at May 17, 2005 12:08 PM


Discrimination doesn't make any difference. Slavery did.

Posted by: oj at May 17, 2005 12:38 PM

Spoken like a true WASP, the ultimate exploiter class in America since Jamestown. When you tell your kids to voluntarily cede their college acceptances, professional school places and employment to Blacks, then, maybe, you have the right to talk.

We've had two generations of racial preference in America, isn't that quite enough?

The debt ended with the death of the slaves. Should Germany pay my cousin, Wolfie, because they put his now-deceased mother in a slave labor camp during WWII? Of course not.

Thus in either case, the debt is dead or it's been well paid long ago. It's time to discontinue this anti-democratic, racist and anti-American practice.

Posted by: bart at May 17, 2005 1:12 PM

No, it obviously hasn't been enough.

No, it didn't have the same effect as slavery.

Yes, it is time to end it, with a one time lump sum settlement.

Posted by: oj at May 17, 2005 1:20 PM

Slavery is slavery.

The deficiencies of the American Black community, whether genetic or cultural, after over 40 years of racial preferences, quota, subsidies and other largesse from the taxpayers of this nation, are their problem, not mine. It's time to cut the cord, sink or swim.

What do 40 acres of Oklahoma farmland and a mule go for these days?

Posted by: bart at May 17, 2005 1:31 PM

No, it isn't. Historical slavery was a rather beneficent institution that enable conquerors to assimilate the defeated. Modern chattel slavery was particularly harmful precisely because it was never intended to integrate the enslaved into regular society.

Posted by: oj at May 17, 2005 1:37 PM

The Spartans didn't incorporate the helots into society. The Romans didn't integrate the slaves into society, in fact the society got integrated in large part into the slaves as the economy of the Later Roman Empire collapsed, small farming collapsed and people voluntarily chose slavery over starvation. The Athenians declared their immigrant populations either slaves or as metics and gave neither any political rights.

So the slavery that Hitler imposed on Jews and Slavs was a 'rather beneficent institution?' Are you nuts?

Posted by: bart at May 17, 2005 5:50 PM

That was modern slavery, based in Darwinism.

Posted by: oj at May 17, 2005 8:08 PM

So since both Wolfie's mother, Esther, and the ancestors of the current American Black population were both victims of to use your term 'modern slavery' then Wolfie and the descendants of antebellum slaves should both be compensated. If anything, Wolfie deserves compensation more, because he knew his mother, she wasn't some ancestor in one's past. The nexus between him and slavery is far closer.

Your argument defeats itself.

Posted by: bart at May 18, 2005 10:11 AM

Who's Wolfie?

Posted by: oj at May 18, 2005 10:51 AM

As stated above, my cousin.

Posted by: bart at May 18, 2005 11:54 AM

If he's a descendant of African-American slaves he'd get his share of the compensation package.

Posted by: oj at May 18, 2005 11:58 AM