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Jewish World Review April 1, 2002/ 19 Nisan, 5762

Larry Elder

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The "B" word and disrespect | Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif. -- offended!

At a recent meeting, Los Angeles Police Commission head Rick Caruso allegedly referred to Waters as a "b-tch." Others attended the meeting, but no one confirmed or denied that Caruso made the remark.

Waters pronounced the remark "disrespectful," and urged Caruso's resignation. "If it's all right for the president of the police commission to refer to women in such a foul manner," she said, "he should never be in a position to make policy about disciplining police officers who use the same type of language."

Let's go to the videotape.

In a 1995 Los Angeles Times article by Waters, she offers a defense of rap music, despite its demeaning, graphic lyrics. "Do I like all rap music?" wrote Waters. "No, I do not. Do I like some of it? Yes, I do. I am moved by some of the stories told by rap artists such as Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dog about their lives, their families, their mothers and their surroundings. It sometimes sounds like a cry for help." So Snoop Doggy Dog's CD "Doggystyle," with a cut called "For All My Niggaz and Bitches," actually serves as the artist's plaintive cry for group therapy.

What about the use of the "B" word by Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington, D.C.? On Jan. 18, 1990, authorities filmed the then-mayor of Washington, D.C, smoking crack and attempting to sleep with a woman. When confronted by the police, the angry, embarrassed mayor said of his female companion, "I'll be G--------. She set me up. The b-tch!" After the disgraced mayor served jail time, he resurrected his career when elected to D.C. city council, before his triumphant re-election as mayor. Did Congresswoman Waters suggest that Barry's use of the "B" word indicated "disrespect" for women in general, for black women in particular? Indeed, after Barry's return to office, Waters and he worked together. If Waters condemned Barry and his remark, it didn't make news.

Did Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., demonstrate disrespect when, of the Republican party's takeover of Congress in 1994, Rangel said, "It's not 'spic' or 'nigger' any more. They say, 'Let's cut taxes'"?

Did a black former Al Gore aide, Donna Brazile, show disrespect when she referred to the Republican party as "white boys"? And what about the disrespect shown black Republicans J.C. Watts and Secretary of State Colin Powell when Brazile said, "They'd rather take pictures with black children than feed them"?

Will former California State Senator Diane Watson apologize to black University of California Regent Ward Connerly, the black man who pioneered California's initiative to rid the state of race- and gender-based preferences? Of Connerly, a black man who married a white woman, Watson said, "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 black. I said that."

To this day, black activist Al Sharpton refuses to apologize for falsely accusing former assistant district attorney Steven Pagones of rape. After a multiracial jury found him unanimously liable, Sharpton said he would not pay. Sharpton's friends eventually ponied up most of the money, but Sharpton still won't offer an apology. In the mind of the apparently sensitive congresswoman, does a false accusation of rape disqualify one from running for president, as Sharpton intends? Apparently not.

The black mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown, for 15 years California's powerful speaker of the assembly, once described a successful legislative battle this way, "We beat those old white boys fair and square." And NAACP Chairman Julian Bond described President Bush's Cabinet appointees as belonging to the "Taliban wing of American politics." Bond made the remark both before and after Sept. 11.

Apology for displaying disrespect? Congresswoman Waters once referred to the elder President George Bush as a "racist." She routinely refers to the Republican party as "the enemy." In 1973, the former Black Panther Joanne Chesimard shot and killed a New Jersey state trooper. Found guilty of murder, Chesimard later escaped from a New Jersey penitentiary and fled to Cuba. But Congress passed a resolution urging Castro to extradite her to this country. Congresswoman Waters wrote Castro a letter, urging him to keep this escaped murderer and likened her to Martin Luther King Jr., since Chesimard had been "persecuted for her civil rights work"!

Quite simply, Waters wants Caruso out. Caruso, Waters fears, intends to vote against the retention of Bernard Parks, Los Angeles' black police chief, a man Waters supports for a second term. This is local politics, period, having nothing to do with any "disrespect" toward Waters.

Too bad Caruso didn't put the alleged remark to music. Then he could say, as Waters said about Snoop Doggy Dog, the term merely signified a "cry for help."

JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of the newly released, The Ten Things You Can't Say in America. (Proceeds from sales help fund JWR) Let him know what you think of his column by clicking here.

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© 2002, Creators Syndicate