President Obama teaches us to address "race-based" disputes by
seating the parties involved along with Vice President Joe Biden at
his table over mugs of beer. We hereby offer candidates for 10 long-overdue
presidential "Race Beer Summits":
10) Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif., and Ward Connerly.
Prominent black businessman Connerly led California's successful
grass-roots effort to repeal race- and gender-based preferences. Then-state
Sen. Watson, a black woman and staunch affirmative action supporter,
attacked Connerly: "He's married to a white woman. He wants to be white. He
wants a colorless society. He has no ethnic pride. He doesn't want to be
9) The Rev. Al Sharpton and former prosecutor Steven Pagones.
In 1987, 15-year-old Tawana Brawley claimed that white racists
abducted, raped and sodomized her scrawling the initials "KKK" on her
with human feces. A grand jury later determined the entire incident a
complete hoax. Sharpton, however, accused then-Assistant District Attorney
Pagones of committing the crime! "We stated openly that Steven Pagones did
it. If we're lying, sue us." Pagones did. A jury unanimously concluded that
Sharpton defamed Pagones. Sharpton never apologized.
8) Jesse Jackson and Washington Post deputy managing editor
When Jesse Jackson, in 1984, called Jews "hymies" and New York
City "Hymietown," then-reporter Coleman exposed Jackson's use of the
epithets. Jackson initially challenged Coleman's credibility by denying he
said those words. Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan called the
black reporter a "traitor" worthy of death: "We're going to make an example
of Milton Coleman. … One day soon we will punish you with death." Jackson
publicly apologized to the "Jewish community," but not to Coleman. Farrakhan
apologized to neither. (The minister doesn't drink so no invitation.)
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7) Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and former President George W.
Then-Senate candidate McCaskill said, "George Bush let people
die on rooftops in New Orleans (during Hurricane Katrina) because they were
poor and because they were black."
6) Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and the New York branch of the
In 1974, 16-year-old Jay Homnick and his father attended a
meeting in New York's Flatbush area. Schumer, running for State Assembly,
spoke to an audience of local whites and Italian, Jewish and Slavic
immigrants, who wanted to remove three city blocks of Avenue K apartments.
Why? The tenants were almost 100 percent black. Schumer, according to a 2006
American Spectator article by Homnick, told the group that if elected, he
had a plan. The apartment buildings would be renovated and sold as condos.
The original tenants would be offered the right to purchase the new condos,
but these blacks would be priced out of the market.
5) Former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean, the
Republican National Hispanic Assembly and the Asian American and Pacific
Islander National Republican Association.
Dean, who once referred to the Republican Party as the "white
party," considers the GOP racist. "The Republicans are all about suppressing
votes," Dean said. "Two voting machines if you live in a black district, 10
voting machines if you live in a white district." During a meeting with the
Congressional Black Caucus, Dean said, "You think the Republican National
Committee could get this many people of color in a single room? … Only if
they had the hotel staff in here."
Republicans took 35 percent of the "Asian vote" in the '08
presidential race. The percentage of the GOP "Hispanic vote" fell to 31 in
2008, but 40 percent of Hispanic voters in 2004 punched the chad for the
4) Harry Belafonte and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
"There's an old saying in the days of slavery," said Belafonte
in 2002. "There are those slaves who lived on the plantation, and there were
those slaves who lived in the house. You got the privilege of living in the
house if you served the master. Colin Powell was permitted to come into the
house of the master."
3) Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., and the Congressional Black
After winning a district formerly held by a black
representative, Cohen whose district is 60 percent black
unsuccessfully tried to join the CBC. Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman
Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., said: "Mr. Cohen asked for admission,
and he got his answer. … It's time to move on. It's an unwritten rule.
It's understood. It's clear."
2) House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel,
D-N.Y., and Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican Party (both of whom
happen to be black).
"It's not 'spic' or 'nigger' anymore," said Rep. Rangel after
Republicans became the congressional majority in 1994. "They say, 'Let's cut
1) Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and overweight black people.
Franken once wrote a book called "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat
Idiot." The master radio host has since slimmed down. But according to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, blacks have a 51 percent higher
prevalence of obesity than whites.
Here's to hope and change with hops.