Civil Rights

From invisible to victimized?

To this day, many black officeholders depend on the perception of ongoing, widespread racism in order to remain competitive in the electoral process. They underplay the dramatic improvements in economic and social status experienced by many American blacks over the last 40 years. Large numbers of their constituents, particularly those who came of age during the overt racism of the past half-century, continue to believe that the problems confronting the black lower class stem primarily from racism.

Here lies the greatest missed opportunity of the civil rights movement. These leaders never prepared for the day when God would change the hearts of the white establishment and they would have no choice but to start treating their brother with equality, fairness and justice under the law. Their entire public image, their very legitimacy as political and cultural spokesmen, was predicated on the rhetoric of a black-versus-white war. As Justice Clarence Thomas once observed, the civil rights revolution missed a larger point by merely changing the status of minorities from invisible people to victimized people.


The value of an honorary degree

One of the honorary-degree recipients at yesterday's 311th commencement at Yale University was a state Supreme Court judge from Massachusetts who was being honored for her strident defense and advocacy of same-sex marriage.

When that part of the citation was read, the audience burst into enthusiastic screaming and applauding. University President Rick Levin became quite emotional.


Free will

On the issue of same-sex marriage, reasonable people can agree that any two consenting adults can have relationships in which they can live together, sleep together, eat and do whatever they wish together; this is a free society in which free will is granted to us by our creator.

However, by simply doing these things, they do not get to redefine a foundational institution like marriage. If we begin to redefine the very pillars of our society based on political expediency, there soon won’t be anything left to redefine. We must return principles and values to our society that include being kind and respectful to everyone while not changing who we are.


President Obama’s support for gay marriage demonstrates the moral leadership America needs

The manner in which those who would be president view the basic civil liberties and rights of all Americans regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation says all that we need to know about the moral character of those who would be president of the greatest nation on earth. In asserting his belief that same-sex couples should have the right to marry, President Obama demonstrated that he is a man on the side of all Americans, not just those who are “straight.”
One of the marks of true leadership is the ability and willingness to stand up for the rights of others in the face of opposition and regardless of the political consequences one may face.


As it went with Kerry, so it will go with Obama

If I recall correctly, last year when New York Gov. Mario Cuomo celebrated the legalization of gay marriage in New York, the same week, President Obama’s support in North Carolina dropped 14 percent. Two things: As Rick Perry said about Mitt Romney, how can you change your mind as a grown-up man about things so essential to life? It is not a change of mind; it is a change of feelings. Which may be worse. By what mechanism? Do we just change who we are, simple to conform to the floating standards? It is the curse of a very large country run purely on bright lights and sensory apparatus — TV, movies, movie stars and pounding music at every turn — constantly bombarding, and leaving in the end, so little to remain between the generations; so little to remain at all. Last year Obama opposed gay marriage. Last week he was “evolving.” (Wow.) Now he has evolved. There was, at the beginning, little to this man. Now there is less.


In the ‘war on women,’ it’s time to be decisive

Let’s be clear: There is no war on women. And it’s time to tone down the rhetoric.
Neither Democrats nor Republicans are actually attacking women. Calls for government-run, cradle-to-grave policies — from either the right or the left — are bad for women and their families; but they’re a far cry from an assault on women.
Ted Nugent’s (most recent) inflammatory comments, in which he referred to Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Nancy Pelosi as “varmints,” ought to be condemned — and forcefully. This kind of rhetoric — whether it’s from Bill Maher, Keith Olbermann or Rush Limbaugh — is not only repulsive, but also distracting.


Five conservative Supreme Court men join Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, John Boehner and Ron Paul in the war against women

In my latest column, Supreme Court on trial, I initiated a new discussion about how five conservative men on the Supreme Court have joined partisan Republicans in the war against laws and programs that serve women. In June we will remember the anniversary of the infamous 5-4 Supreme Court decision discrimination defeating women opposing against Wal-mart, when the five men joined fellow Republicans against efforts to win pay equity for women and end discrimination against women. It will not help Republicans to put South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who is highly unpopular at home, on the presidential ticket with “war against women” politicians such as Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, John Boehner and Ron Paul.


‘War on women’ narrative is risky business

Despite what feminist groups would have the White House believe, playing gender politics this election cycle is risky business. Democrats are hoping that by advancing the “war on women” narrative, they can drive the conversation away from the lagging economy and voters away from the GOP.
No doubt Democrats are worried. In 2010 Republicans managed to close the gender gap for the first time in the two decades, since analysts started recording the split. It’s hard to know exactly why women flocked to Republicans during the midterm election. It may have been a function of the high number of female candidates running on limited-government platforms; it may have been the influence of the Tea Party — a grassroots movement run largely by women — that motivated more female voters to the polls. Either way it sent a shockwave through Democratic circles.


Martin Luther King: Free market reformer

I wrote this last year and thought it was pretty good, so I am reposting it this year.

Barack Obama. Oprah Winfrey. Robert Johnson. Dick Parsons. Bill Cosby. Michael Jordan. Tiger Woods.

It goes without saying that all of these individuals owe a great deal to Martin Luther King Jr., who is remembered today on the anniversary of his birth.

Milton Friedman. Friedrich Hayek. Ayn Rand. Adam Smith. Ronald Reagan. Jack Kemp. Arthur Laffer. Dick Armey.

It might be less obvious that this second group owes every bit as big a debt to King’s legacy.


‘Cruel, racist and counterproductive’

A better definition of totalitarianism might be the desire by any means necessary to get people you don’t know and don’t like to do what you want them to do.

That would be The New York Times, virtually always, in how it writes about the South; that would be Hillary in Catholic Italy at the head of the gay parade — actually, that would be Hillary everywhere where “universal values” — meaning hers — are demanded: Every land is Hillaryland. It is the Phil Spector “wall of sound” syndrome which has cast the shadow these past 50 years: Our music is louder and we will play it everywhere and relentlessly and we will wear you down. And then we will send in the soldiers and the hillbilly preachers and the ambassadors and anthropologists and at the end of the world we will send in Hillary. And that would be Michele Bachmann in her strong support for DOMA, unconstitutional by any standard. It has always been a problem in an America without walls; in the Don Draper post-war creation where America is everywhere you can see, everything you can imagine; an America where everybody walks in everyone else’s garden.