Bush at the NAACP Convention
God lost this time. I counted: Bush mentioned God only six times in his speech
to the NAACP today. The winner was ‘faith’ — which got seven
mentions, though if you count “The Creator” as God, well, then the
Lord tied it.
Coming in right behind God and Faith, other big mentions in the First Home Boy’s
rap included: The Voting Rights Act, his family’s “commitment to civil
rights,” the “death tax,” rebuilding New Orleans and “public
school choice” and “soft bigotry.”
As the philosopher Aretha Franklin once said, “Who’s zoomin’
Let’s take it one point at a time.
Death and Taxes — Inheritance taxes apply only to those
who leave assets exceeding $2 million. Mr. Bush realized how crucial this issue
was to the NAACP. He said, “The [current] ‘death tax’ will
prevent future African American entrepreneurs from being able to pass their
assets from one generation to the next.” His heart went out to the families
of Gulf Coast flood victims who discovered that they could collect only the
first two million bucks of their inheritance tax-free. Apparently, Mr. Bush
heard that, among the 2,000 folk drowned in New Orleans, there were several
millionaires. Luckily, the rumor proved false.
School Choice — Our Voucher Salesman-in-Chief offered
the Black folk a truly exciting deal:“When we find schools that are not
teaching and will not change, our parents should have a different option…
charter schools and public school choice and opportunity scholarships to be
able to enable parents to move their child out of a school that’s not
What he meant in this statement that was nearly in English (“to be able
to enable”?) was that his No Child Left Behind Act gives all parents the
right to move their kids to better schools.
Indeed, the Behind Act does require school systems to offer that choice. In
New York, for example, a third of a million students qualify under the law to
escape poorly performing schools — but only 8,000 could do so. Mr. Bush
forgot to include the money for the moves. But hey, his parents never asked
for a handout to move him to Phillips Andover Academy.
Voting Rights Act — This was a big applause line. Bush
gloated about his convincing the White Sheets Caucus of the Republican Party
to go along with the renewal of the Voting Rights Act. But he forgot to mention
the fine print. The Southern GOP only went along with renewing the law on the
understanding that the law would never be enforced. Think I’m kidding?
Check this: in July 2004, the US Civil Rights Commission voted to open a civil
and criminal investigation of his brother’s Administration in Florida
for knowingly renewing a racially-biased scrub of voter rolls. In April 2004,
Governor Jeb Bush, of the “family committed to civil rights,” personally
ordered this new purge of “felons” from voter rolls, despite promising
never to repeat the infamous scrub of 2000. The new purge violated a settlement
he signed with the, uh, NAACP.
It also violated the Voting Rights Act. The Civil Rights Commission turned
the case over to the US Justice Department which, two years on, has yet to begin
the investigation. That’s not to say President Bush did nothing. He swiftly
replaced every member of the Commission who voted to investigate his brother.
Ownership Society — Our President was really excited
recounting how he spoke to actual Black people in Mississippi, asking how many
of them had 401(k) investment plans. Strangely, he didn’t ask them if
they had health insurance. Since Mr. Bush took office, the number of African-American
adults without it has grown to 7.3 million. That’s a kind of death tax,
too, Mr. President. Our President completed the White-washing of his record
by railing against, “the soft bigotry of low expectations. If you have
low expectations,” he said, “you’re going to get lousy results.”
Well, the NAACP never expected much from this President, and the results have
proved his point.
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