Stanley Crouch writes for King Features Syndicate and was republished 12 May 2008 in the Opinion Pages of the Spokesman-Review. One of the first issues Mr. Crouch mentioned was Senator Trent Lott speaking before the Council of Conservative Citizens (white racists) preaching about innate white superiority. Mr. Crouch editorialized about him and hoped that the mainstream media would pick up on the fact and hound him until he was forced to resign. Obviously, that was not to be. Indeed, Mr. Crouch noted that Jesse Jackson would have gotten worse treatment as Senate Majority Leader had he wrote a column for the Nation of Islam and spoken at a gathering organized by Louis Farrakhan.
What we were to learn from Mr. Crouch was the obvious double standard of the news media itself when it chose to more heavily play up Rev. Wright’s rants in an attempt to utterly destroy Senator Barack Obama’s campaign. Gave Rev. Wright a megaphone and a stage before the National Press Club in the full expectation that Rev. Wright would go on to deliver the coup de grace to Senator Obama’s aspirations to be president. Of course, Rev. Wright felt so wounded by then by the constant exposure and controversy of his previous remarks, that he played immediately into the news media’s obviously biased hands. We did not see from the news media a desire to be journalists, to report the news. What we did see, was the news media informing Americans in general that it was still possible for “the scary other” to exist in this society. And as long as there exists “scary others,” it isn’t possible for credible black pastors to exist; and at one point, Rev. Wright was probably just as credible as any other. Or for credible black politicians to exist, even though two ran for president. And black politicians now happen to have a presence in Congress, among governors and mayors.
What we also saw was Senator Hillary Clinton undermining why former President Bill Clinton had popularity among the African-American community. Her racism became very apparent in her ambitions to bring the Clintons back to the White House in a win at all costs strategy. She might “win” and lose all respect besides. To shove away that all important “black vote” and seek out “the swing states” that was so very important to Democratic wins by November. Never mind, that what she said in Ohio (while playing up racism) was also what she would say in Pennsylvania (while playing up racism) and has since gone on to say the same thing in W. Virginia (where racism has a receptive audience). The news media has treated such naked ambitions with kid gloves even as they questioned the judgment of Senator Obama for sitting in the pews of a church where the pastor must surely have said some rancid things over the last 20 years. Now if that had not been Senator Clinton’s experience, how has she managed to do and say some particularly rancid things? Her teacher wasn’t Bill, since his father taught him that racism isn’t an acceptable attitude to have. Nor could it have been the Democratic party platform that put aside the acceptability of racism as it began signing onto civil rights for women and minorities among other progressive elements of its ideology. Even if the Democrats brought down on its head the rants of too much government when it came up with safety and health work place regulations, environmental standards, equal opportunity and etc. Yet, this was the better aspect of what made Democrats a viable party. Now, Senator Clinton wants to move in the direction that Senator Trent Lott had gone. How superior she is (more electable) because she is a white woman and can of course attract all that white vote. So? How conceivably more superior?
In 1959, when Mike Wallace did a TV documentary titled “The Hate that Hate Produced,” his focus was on the Nation of Islam and other groups that considered themselves black nationalists. The position that Wallace took was that all of these people were deeply bitter in their reactions to entrenched racial discrimination and had sunk into either a profoundly lunatic black supremacy or radical racial hostility in order to relieve the pain of discrimination.
–Stanley Crouch editorial.
Senator Clinton forgets that she isn’t president of “swing states” only and “white voters” only. That she isn’t president only of states where she won. That is, her seeking the highest office of the land doesn’t give her license to do what GW had done before her, to pick and choose “a base” of those to be catered to exclusively and at the expense of the American people. The news media hasn’t chosen to make that kind of call on that sort of judgment. They should. Because it is a far greater scandal given the last 8 years of GW and what he allowed his office to become in the pursuit of it. And it is surely an equal if not greater scandal, given the recent history of the Democratic party itself. What Crouch begins with his editorial, pulls the mask off Clinton. Even as it shames the news media for playing to naked racism in this society.