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Jewish World Review Dec. 26, 2000/ 29 Kislev 5761

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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Consumer Reports

Guess who's whining about Bush's Cabinet of Diversity? --
AS HE BEGINS his transition and nominates the most diverse Cabinet in U.S. history, president-select George W. Bush really can't win for losing. No matter how hard he tries -- or how fast he walks the walk -- the nemesis hordes won't let go.

At last count, Bush had appointed two blacks, two Hispanics, including one Cuban and one Mexican-American, and two women. And, of course, no one's happy.

Not Democrats, not Republicans, not women, not blacks. No word yet from Hispanics, but the transition is young. We can safely bet, meanwhile, that were this exotic rainbow Cabinet the handiwork of a Gore transition team, only half of America would be weeping into their Prairie Beer. The rest would be high-fivin' and patting their humble little hearts through the Ides of March.

Blacks aren't happy with the black appointees because they're only Token Blacks. Women aren't happy with the women appointees because they're not quite feminist enough (too coiffed?), or not pro-choice enough or, if they are, not sufficiently positioned to influence social policy.

Liberals aren't happy because it's their job not to be happy. Conservatives aren't happy because Bush is acting like a moderate (he never said he wouldn't), and they want their agenda, dammit! No choice, no affirmative action, no compromise.

Most curious among the irreconcilably unhappy are African-Americans, who, with the appointment of retired Army Gen. Colin Powell to secretary of state, should be buying confetti by the tractor-trailer load. Nope. Powell may be black, but he's one of "those."

As a black student quoted in Thursday's Wall Street Journal put it, "Any black man who rises to the rank of general in the white man's army has to be an 'Uncle Tom'."

It's true, of course, that male soldiers who rise to the top in the Army (thus far, there's only one) have to say "Yessir" a lot, but it's a military thing. Whites have to do it, too. Never mind that Powell is one of the most admired Americans of all time, a war hero and respected spokesman -- albeit rhyme-free -- for self-sufficiency and sacrifice.

Despite his humble beginnings in the South Bronx, Powell has never been a victim nor a whiner, never thrown himself a pity-party, never asked for anything but the opportunity to prove himself. Ditto Condoleeza Rice, the first female, not to mention black female, to be appointed national security adviser. What's wrong with this woman?

"Too white," they say. We might ask what that means while pretending it's not racist. That she prefers classical piano to rap music? Could we possibly make her queen?

We could have expected similar protests had Floyd Flake, an African-American minister, not withdrawn from consideration for secretary of education. Flake, like anyone else Bush is likely to select, favored vouchers, which Official Black America opposes despite the fact that 80 percent of actual blacks favor school choice and that vouchers benefit minorities more than anyone else.

Well-to-do white children, after all, are already enjoying better educations in private schools or in public schools better-situated in upper-scale neighborhoods. But certain self-anointed Black Spokesmen oppose school choice on grounds, well, who can figure?

School choice is, in fact, the ultimate affirmative-action program, as African-American Mikel Holt, author of Not Quite Free At Last, recently told an audience of parents in the South Bronx whose children attend private schools using privately funded vouchers.

But facts, as reporters well know, can sometimes get in the way of a good story. Bush so far is factually unassailable by virtue of his doing precisely what he promised: uniting by inclusion, appointing blacks, women and other minorities to positions they've never held before.

Yet almost certainly his transition and administration will be nibbled to death by dividers who can't stand prosperity, unless, of course, it's exclusively their own.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.


12/21/00: Kiss our coarse era goodbye
12/19/00: Ready to lay to rest the past and press onward
12/13/00: Court has Supreme authority
12/06/00: Legal relief: Attorneys in Florida court are welcome shift
12/04/00: When rules become flexible, children misbehave
11/29/00: Hard to forgive Dems' divisiveness
11/23/00: The answers aren't so complicated
11/21/00: The devil -- or is it really Nurse Ratchet? -- in Mr. Gore
11/16/00:In the end, the winner may be loser
11/13/00: Eliminate popular vote -- at least in Palm Beach County
11/07/00: Lesser of 2 evils? It's more like the lesser of 2 lies
11/02/00: Latest Jones' saga exposes a big irony
10/31/00: Hate-crime legislation and anti-Bush ad are flawed
10/26/00: Taking it to the streets
10/23/00: Headlines blur fiasco of family
10/13/00: Forget polls: Bush passes turtle test
10/06/00: Feminism: A cup that's half full?
10/04/00: Election-year reality check: Abortion is here to stay
09/29/00: For Gore and Hollywood, the mirror has two faces
09/26/00: Oprahfication of presidential political: It's all about feelings
09/19/00: It's not subliminal: Hypocrisy of moral outrage is obvious
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09/11/00: Do Steinem's wedding bells sound feminist death knells?
09/08/00: Grounded in her fears about flying
08/31/00: Dudettes that don't
08/29/00: AlGore wants to be his own man -- does he know who that is?
08/21/00: Dems manufacture emotions at convention
08/17/00: Hollywood divine? AlGore is miscast
08/08/00:Outreach: Good strategy and long-run policy
08/04/00: A sharp look back at the Vietnam War
08/01/00: Bush's choice of grown-up Cheney is a stroke of genius
07/24/00: Fired up and grossed out over stupid Canadians
07/20/00: Lack of judgment --- our critical flaw
07/18/00: 'Progress' for women often a step back
07/11/00: School essay watchdogs cannibalize our children
07/06/00: Youths fear marriage --- blame boomers
06/28/00: Eminem might just have a point
06/21/00: Bridging the day-care divide
06/15/00: N.Y. baby case ends up with multiracial scrambled eggs
05/31/00: The war only time wins
05/25/00: The opposite of sex
05/18/00: World War II gave us our true heroes
05/11/00: Boy Crazy! stacks deck against guys
05/09/00: Finding out where the boys are
05/05/00: A born Ms. Leader -- Barbie for prez
04/25/00: From here to paternity
04/14/00: Boys should be boys, not viewed as criminals in training
04/11/00: Oh, for a standard of what is socially, morally acceptable
04/06/00: Womyn's Contempt for Commitment --- and the bastards it creates
04/04/00: Sue-happy American society is out of control
03/30/00: Duct-taped baby serves as warning
03/28/00: Stay-home parents know that their kids need them
03/24/00: No 'Great Expectations' when schools shun the classics
03/21/00: It's common sense to restrict Internet usage in libraries
03/17/00: You want to be just a mom? For shame!
03/14/00: Colonoscopy: Important, but bad TV
03/10/00: I made a mistake about trigger-locks
03/08/00: After this school shooting, no easy target for our contempt
03/03/00: Car crash helps bridge our divide
02/28/00: Nasty politics? Americans like it down, dirty
02/14/00: College testing via Lego-building -- yeah, right
02/02/00: Bubba should spare us phony love theatrics
01/26/00: What sets off Those Who Speak for Women
01/13/00: Fools in love: Premarital counseling could help school kids
01/11/00: Who funds these studies!?
12/29/99: Grandparents' rights impinge on family autonomy
12/13/99: When did fathers become fair game?
12/09/99: Don't be stupid about at-risk kids
12/07/99: Pokemon is no substitute for a father
12/02/99: Blaming the victim --- men
11/30/99: Baby-killer's story has less-than-Precious ending
11/23/99: Pendulum swings back toward discipline, responsibility
11/18/99: Put the babies first in this mighty mess
11/11/99: Skip the applause for this baby news
11/09/99: Gore could benefit from a secret in Wolf's clothing
11/03/99: Who needs 'birds and bees' when we have MTV?
11/01/99: Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say
10/26/99: Children's needs must take priority in divorce system
10/19/99: The deadbeat dad is less a scoundrel than an object of pity
10/15/99: Bullying boys ... and girls
10/12/99: Divorced dads ready to wage a revolution
10/04/99: A father's best gift? His presence
09/30/99: Sorry, guys, Faludi is no friend of yours
09/28/99: Science's new findings: Scary future for families
09/23/99: The great blurring of need and want
09/21/99:Focus on more than baby's first 3 years
09/16/99: Commentary from kids sheds no light on day-care debate
09/14/99: Fathers' group seeks to right inequities
09/09/99: Son now has a license to grow up
09/07/99: A slap in the face of domestic violence
09/01/99: No, ma'am: Legislation on manners misses the mark
08/26/99: For better boys, try a little tenderness
08/24/99:The ABC's of campaign questions
08/19/99: Male 'sluts'
08/11/99: Language doesn't excuse bad behavior
08/09/99: When justice delayed is still justice
08/03/99: Unemployment? Not in this profession
07/30/99: It's not about race -- it's about crack babies
07/22/99: Tragedy tells us what's important
07/19/99: Study denouncing fathers sends danger signals
07/15/99:'Happy marriage' belongs in the Dictionary of Oxymorons next to 'deliciously low-fat.'
07/11/99: 'Brother Man': An American demagogue in Paris
07/08/99: Only parents can fix broken families
07/06/99: America is home, sweet home
07/01/99: Tales out of Yuppiedom
06/28/99: Men aren't the only abusers
06/23/99: Is the entire country guzzling LSD punch?
06/20/99: The voice remains -- as always -- there beside me 06/16/99:Stating the obvious, a new growth industry
06/14/99: Calling for a cease-fire in the gender war
06/10/99: We owe children an apology

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