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Jewish World Review Sept. 18, 2002 / 12 Tishrei, 5763

Laura Ingraham

Laura Ingraham
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Consumer Reports

What Jackson and Sharpton know about conservatives | To listen to any of the recent pronouncements of the "Reverends" Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and their acolytes, it is easy to conclude that black America is hopelessly lost to the Left. One day, the main dish on the menu is reparations. The next, allegations of profiling in the war against terror. The next, racism in standardized tests. Of course none of this talk actually helps black America, but it does keep the financial and political prospects of all race-baiters alive.

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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JWR contributor Laura Ingraham is the host of a radio show syndicated nationally by Westwood One Radio Network. Comment by clicking here.

09/12/02: The Today Show v. guns
08/27/02: Bush not attending the UN-sponsored "bash Amerika" conference!?
08/20/02: The NEA: Let the anti-American indoctrination begin!
08/13/02: Bubba's revenge
08/07/02: Bilingual bust continues its drag on our schools
07/30/02: Dems love for big lawyers=big opportunity
07/23/02: No time for vacation
07/16/02: Is Homeland Security all wet?
06/25/02: The firing season has arrived
06/18/02: Picking the next chief
06/11/02: Intelligence coup, with much more to do
06/07/02: The Bush administration's foul ball
05/30/02: Post-feminism in the aftermath of 9-11
05/23/02: The press gunning for Ashcroft
05/19/02: El Jefe basks in Carter's Light
05/15/02: Former presidents who don't understand the word "former"
05/07/02: Ozzy deified, many mortified, drugs glorified?
05/01/02: Bush: "California here I come ... sort of"
04/27/02: The good news about conservatives versus Bush
04/17/02: While the cat's away....
04/09/02: Preview of 2004: See how Dick runs!
01/29/02: A kinder, gentler human-rights violator?
11/27/01: Military tribunals provide streamlined justice
09/07/01: Scariest animal wears pants
08/17/01: Depressed after seeing uncut version of Apocalypse Now --- and for good reason
07/20/01: The other, maybe more important, news
06/22/01: Washington's pro-Bono worship is unnerving
06/01/01: Burying conservatism
05/17/01: Ashcroft's abuse of power

© 2002, Laura Ingraham