The Multiracial Activist Newsletter
Special Alert 01 – December 1997
The Multiracial Activist Newsletter is an informational digest of news, events, new websites and other information of interest to the Interracial/Multiracial community. Published monthly, with special editions as news items warrant.
Special Alert – 01
Below is a recent press release from the RNC regarding the President’s National Dialogue on Race. I’ll forward more as other political organizations send them. One thing to keep in mind is that this national dialogue on race is avoiding the multiracial issue and will continue to do so, because an honest dialogue, including multiracials is not necessarily what this is about.
—-Original Message Follows—-
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 08:36:39 -0500
Reply-To: Sean Henry <shenry2@IX.NETCOM.COM>
From: Sean Henry
Subject: RNC/ Clinton to Powell: It was a Govt. Program!
To: Multiple recipients of list PRESSLIST
RNC Talking Points December 10, 1997
Clinton to Colin Powell: It Wasn’t You; It Was a Government Program!
As Bill Clinton took time out from fundraising to begin his “national dialogue on race,” he highlighted once more his detachment from the American people – and in the same breath insulted one of our most distinguished American heroes.
For two hours, Clinton did his best “Geraldo” imitation in front of 67 handpicked college students, civic leaders and business people in Akron, Ohio. In an exchange with discrimination opponent Abigail Thernstrom, Clinton took the opportunity to distort the truth and insult a revered military leader.
What could have instigated such an insult?
Abigail: “Americans believe in affirmative action. They don’t believe in preferences.”
Clinton: “Abigail, do you favor the United States Army abolishing the affirmative-action program that produced Colin Powell? Yes or no. Yes or no.” (Akron Town Hall, 12/97)
* The only affirmative action program the Army has is a prohibition of discrimination against anyone based on the color of their skin. The Army practices equal opportunity. The Army has no system of quotas or preferences.
Powell’s Opinion on His Own Success:
* “Equal rights and equal opportunity … mean just that. They do not mean preferential treatment.”
* “Preferences, no matter how well intended, ultimately breed resentment among the nonpreferred.”
* “Preferential treatment demeans the achievements that minority Americans win by their own efforts.”
* “I benefited from equal opportunity and affirmative action in the Army, but I was not shown preference.” (Colin Powell, My American Journey)
An Honest Debate?
* The dialogue on race was flawed from the start. It was never intended to be a true discussion between all viewpoints.
* The chairman of Clinton’s race advisory board, John Hope Franklin, stated that supporters of California’s Proposition 209 (which set in law that no one shall be discriminated against or given preferential treatment, based on the color of their skin), had “nothing to add” to the national dialogue. (Newsday,11/20/97)
* “I’m not certain what Mr. Connerly (chairman of the American Civil Rights Coalition and leader in the fight for ending preferences), for example, could contribute to this discussion.” (John Hope Franklin, 11/97)
The fact remains that the tide of opinion is running against Clinton and his lecture circuit. More importantly, Bill Clinton is wrong on the facts. The Army program that Clinton cited is a prime example of the world that people like Abigail Thernstrom, Ward Connerly and California’s Proposition 209 would bring to the rest of society.
Bill Clinton is wrong to suggest that Colin Powell became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff because of his race. Powell succeeded because he worked hard and he deserved it.
Mr. Clinton, it was him, and not a government program!
(Visit http://www.rnc.org for the latest news and information)