Jewish World Review Sept. 18, 2002 / 12 Tishrei, 5763
Despite the continued popularity of the victimization brigade among television and radio bookers, there are numerous positive signs on the horizon indicating that the politics of Sharpton and Jackson are losing ground. First came the important primary defeat of Rep. Cynthia McKinney in Georgia, then the "Millions for Reparations Rally" in Washington, attended by 990,000 fewer than a million. And let's not forget the important fact that since Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush has enjoyed the highest approval ratings from African-Americans than any Republican president - often in the 40th percentile.
The anti-Jackson/Sharpton trend continued Sunday at Michigan State, where Jackson spoke to a group of about 600 University students, in an auditorium that seated 15,000, and after the sponsoring student group predicted that 6,000 would attend (Two thousands free tickets were also made available.). In today's multicultural, multiethnic society threatened by terrorists at home and abroad, Jackson's message comes across as hackneyed and out of step. Take Jackson's remarks on Sunday when he claimed that America's democracy was 37 years-old, not 200-plus, and that "democracy as we know it did not begin in Philadelphia, where a bunch of white men wrote the laws." Blah, blah, blah. Of course while most Americans are proud of our superpower status, Jackson sees it as a badge of shame, roaring: "We are a great nation, but we have to be of service, we do not have to be superior."
That only 600 students showed up to hear Jackson may be written off to
student apathy, but I think it's much more than that. Republicans should
remember that they can't expect to have any influence in black America if
they don't try. By going above the heads of the so-called black
leadership, and directly to black neighborhoods and churches, Republicans
will have a fighting chance. School choice and faith-based initiatives
are only two of many issues that can break the ice between conservatives
and blacks. Jackson and Sharpton know that. That is one reason why they
keep beating the racism drum.
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