What you do with success is what matters
Dawn Turner Trice
November 29, 2004
In last Monday’s column I wrote about a discussion I had with a good friend.
She wondered why many of us in the African-American community aren’t all that thrilled about National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice being asked to be our next secretary of state.
In the column I gave my thoughts on why I believed Rice’s ascent hasn’t inspired our collective imagination.
Rice will be the first black woman to become secretary of state if she is confirmed, yet our response to this extraordinary achievement has been about as enthusiastic as the response to the re-election of the president who nominated her–that is, 89 percent of voting blacks aren’t so tickled.
Sly: An apology, not to Rice
John ‘Sly’ Sylvester
November 30, 2004
Every once in a while, the words I use on my radio program seem to create a controversy that takes on a life of its own. This time, the focus has been on my use of the term “Aunt Jemima,” referring to Condoleezza Rice, President Bush’s nominee for secretary of state.
I’m concerned that I have offended many African Americans by using a crass term to describe an incompetent, dishonest, political appointee of the Bush administration. I apologize. I know the term “Aunt Jemima” is not complimentary to African American women who have worked so hard, and yet, receive so little from our great country. I will Sylvester not, however, apologize for pointing out that while Rice has clearly enjoyed the American dream, she has allowed herself to be used as a black trophy by an administration that is working so hard to deny that dream to other African American women.
What many blacks and white liberals have never figured out is the fact that the Civil Rights movements was such a tremendous success that even conservative American political movements accept “blacks.” Instead of whining and screaming “race traitor” at anyone who isn’t left of center, they should treat them like any other Republican or political opponent. You don’t hear anyone screaming anti-Semitic epithets at the Jews in the Bush administration.