Group-think threatens country's freedoms

November 05, 2005|By GREGORY KANE

Let's do it this way:

We are no longer the United States of America. We are the U.S.S.A. - the Union of Stalinist States of America.

The Constitution is banished, which means that that nettlesome Bill of Rights no longer applies. Anybody uttering anything offensive about select racial, ethnic, gender or sexual-orientation groups will be sent to re-education camps, indoctrinated and forced to apologize publicly. Ditto for anyone who strays off the path of group-think.

This country isn't the U.S.S.A. yet. But given what's happened in the last couple of weeks, we're well on our way, at least in the area of race politics.

Fisher DeBerry might not have known that before the U.S. Air Force Academy's football game against Texas Christian University last month, but he sure knows it now. The head coach of my favorite college football team (I am an Air Force veteran, you know) saw his team hammered. The final score was TCU 48, Air Force 10. DeBerry said he immediately knew what the difference was.

"It's very obvious to me the other day that the other team had a lot more Afro-American players than we did," DeBerry said, "and they ran a lot faster than we did. It just seems to be that way, that Afro-American kids can run very, very well."

Oh, there's a boodle of things for me to say about that one, not the least of which is that DeBerry apparently never saw me run when I was between the tender ages of 18 and 22. He has also apparently never heard of Ed Podolak, the Kansas City Chiefs running back who, in the 1971 American Football Conference championship game against the Miami Dolphins, played the finest game at running back I've ever seen.

Podolak is white. Well, at least he looked white when I saw the game in 1971.

But DeBerry's defenders say that Podolak is the exception, that black running backs do run faster than white ones and that there hasn't been a white running back to lead the National Football League in rushing for years. To some, DeBerry spoke the truth.

It didn't matter. DeBerry was found guilty of not genuflecting to the reigning gods of racial group-think. Within days, he issued a public apology.

But apologizing isn't for everyone. Some folks can be more racist, more bilious and far more incorrect than DeBerry has been accused of being AND GET AWAY WITH IT. And no one knows that better than news blogger Steve Gilliard, who is only one of black America's hordes of racial loyalty police.

Gilliard has decided that Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele comes up short in the racial loyalty department. Late last month, Gilliard posted a picture of Steele on his blog that showed the lieutenant governor in minstrel makeup. The headline accompanying the picture read: "Simple Sambo wants to move to the big house."

The bee in Gilliard's bonnet is Steele's not criticizing Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s holding a fundraiser at the Elkridge Club. Gilliard added that the photo was "an accurate depiction of Steele's groveling, lackey behavior," according to a story by Sun reporter David Nitkin.

"It is 2005," Gilliard continued, "and such an institution [as the Elkridge Club] should not exist, nor should a governor with as many black people as the state of Maryland attend a function at such a place. My point is that politicians like Michael Steele insult us, use us as whipping boys and then run to their white supporters to show how loyal they are. The suffering and problems of black Americans are beyond their concern."

Republicans condemned Gilliard's remarks. So did some Democrats. But other Democrats, while not using language as harsh as Gilliard's, did tell The Washington Times that Steele's values and political philosophies aren't the same as those of the majority of black folks.

That's actually a reason to praise Steele, not criticize him. Well, it would be a reason, if group-think hadn't sunk its clutches so deeply into much of black America's leadership, both elected and unelected.

Diversity of opinion is supposed to be a good thing in a free society. But apparently, some black Maryland Democrats think that either all black people think alike or that all black people should think alike.

Compare that notion with DeBerry saying, "Afro-American kids can run very, very well." DeBerry merely crossed over into Silly-land. Those black leaders who've grown comfortable with the notion that all members of a racial or ethnic group should and must think alike have crossed over into, to put it bluntly, Nazi-land.

Gilliard's "Sambo" attack on Steele and the Nazi-think of some black elected officials in Maryland are far worse than what DeBerry said. But don't expect any public apologies from either Gilliard or those leaders until about half past when hell freezes over.

greg.kane@baltsun.com

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