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George W. Bush and the NAACP

Today, President Bush will address the NAACP convention -- the first time he has spoken to the organization since he gave a speech as a candidate back in 2000. Bush has declined each invitation extended each year -- traditionally made to each president -- until this one.

There is also a long history of Bush-bashing at the NAACP. Former chairman Julian Bond pushed his rhetoric and bombast so far that during the last election, there was serious talk of stripping the organization of its charitable, tax-exempt status.

The reason Bush has declined has never been officially stated, but shortly after Bush's 2000 appearance the NAACP ran an ad against his candidacy.

In 1998, James Byrd -- a black man -- was dragged to his death by three white men in an obviously racially-motivated crime. In the wake of the killing, advocates pushed for a hate crimes law in Texas. Then-Governor Bush, citing his opposition to hate crime laws, vetoed the measure. (It was later re-passed by the Legislature, and his successor signed it into law.) In October 2000, the NAACP ran an its ad, featuring Byrd's daughter, denouncing him over the veto.

Bush's argument at the time was simple: he didn't see the need for yet more laws. What the three men who killed Byrd did was already flagrantly illegal. They were arrested, tried, and convicted for murder. Two of the men were sentenced to death; the third argued that he wasn't directly involved, and there was a lack of evidence of racism on his part. He received a life sentence.

Setting aside the emotional aspects of the case, it's hard to refute Bush's position. The existing laws seemed to work just fine in the Byrd case. There isn't much more the state of Texas could have done to Lawrence Brewer and John King, and the racial element was found wanting by the jury in Shawn Berry's case. Piling on "hate crimes" against these three men might have made a few people feel a little better, but would have had absolutely no effect on their ultimate fate.

And remember, this is Texas. There, the death penalty actually means something. Rumor has it they're replacing their electric chair with a couch.

I happen to agree with Bush in opposing hate-crime laws. It's simple to me: a crime is a crime is a crime. When someone breaks the law, they should be punished. Motives can come into play when it's time to determine the sentence, but I don't believe in establishing a tiered system of victimhood.

Further, I don't believe in creating "protected classes" of people. To me, that smacks of racism, of saying that certain people simply need more protection than others. That might be personal -- as someone who would be hard-pressed to find a minority group to belong to, I am bothered that the same crime committed against me is less significant than if done against another. It seems to violate the "equal protection" clause of the Constitution.

So after six years after that political low blow, Bush has decided it's time to mend fences with the NAACP. I'm hoping they don't once again spit in his proffered hand.


Comments (38)

Um... electric chair?... (Below threshold)

Um... electric chair?

It's a metaphor.Ho... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

It's a metaphor.

How about "Death Row's getting an Express Lane?"

J.

I think "electric bench" wo... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

I think "electric bench" would have worked a bit better. Couch implies some degree of comfort.

I'd be less worried about hate crimes from an 'equal protection' viewpoint as opposed to the part where the intent of 'hate' has to be proved... and normally only requires the means for such hate to exist, not actual proof of the hate.

Or could this meeting with ... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Or could this meeting with the NAACP have something to do with lessening the political damage from Hurrcane Katrina that was exploited by Chris Rock and Louis Farrakahn and that is still being perpetuated by the MSM and the Democrats?

President Bush, in his spee... (Below threshold)

President Bush, in his speech to the NAACP, stated that the "wound of slavery" is not yet healed. He announced a thirty percent increase in government funding to "traditional black colleges and universities". Government funded racism, separatism, and division of the citizenry by skin color or claimed ancestry continues to be federal policy, at the tax payer's expense. It is ironic that caucasian students have won "minority" status in the federal courts at these institutions, and have been given "preference" in admissions and scholarships. It's an upside-down, mentally-deranged, morally-bankrupt concept that needs to be eliminated if America is to achieve freedom in a water-colored purity. What was once an elevating mechanism for the debased has become a debasing mechanism for us all.

America cannot fulfill the promise of equality while making some more equal than others. Enforced inequality makes some the unwilling slave to the other, even if justification for it is sought in the wrongs of the past. Cutting this puppy's tail a little at a time has not decreased the pain of the process, and has created a reluctance to bob this dog-wagging tail once-and-for-all.

While it would certainly be... (Below threshold)
Bat One:

While it would certainly be better for all concerned if relations between the GOP, the President of the United States, and the nation's oldest civil rights organization (minus the execrable Julian Bond) were improved, the behavior of the Poo-Bah's of the race industry at last year's funeral service for Mrs. Coretta Scott King don't leave much room for optimism.

A replay of that virulent hate-fest would indicate that like the UN, the NAACP has drifted into gentrified irrelevancy. Common courtesy is not very common among those on the left.

Imagine the NAACP as a sane... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

Imagine the NAACP as a sane actor who really wanted to work for the "advancement of colored people". They would recognize that Bush is the president and that the GOP is in the majority in Congress. They would then seek to find the common ground between what would help 'advancement' and what the GOP would support. Maybe there is a lot, maybe its only a little. The NAACP would then work to get legislation around the common ground enacted. They would agree to disagree on the other issues.

The new leadership at the NAACP may provide Bush and the NAACP the opportunity to move into the future. Or if the NAACP continues to put democratic party politics above 'advancement', then this may help to drive a wedge between what the NAACP leadership and the common man the purport to represent.

Damn, twolane...., <p... (Below threshold)
yo:

Damn, twolane....,

What you said will take some time to digest into my personal philosphy and such, but I do give you serious kudos for how you stated your opinion.

Well done.

Not only does the left lack common courtesy, it also lacks the the type of eloquence I see displayed more often than not on the right.

Leadership at the naacp.<br... (Below threshold)

Leadership at the naacp.
........................

Leadership at the naacp.<br... (Below threshold)

Leadership at the naacp.
........................ Still on hold.

The only hate crime I can t... (Below threshold)
WAmom:

The only hate crime I can think of this year is the (all evidence indicates) false indictment of the Duke lacrosse players.

I think it is a serious mis... (Below threshold)

I think it is a serious mistake to give this organization of pompous leftist race-pimps the time of day.

All crimes are hate crimes-... (Below threshold)
cate s.:

All crimes are hate crimes-I don't like protected classes either.

Meh. The president of our l... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Meh. The president of our local NAACP chapter is a sex offender who only avoided being put on the list by pleading to simple assault.

It appears hate crimes are ... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

It appears hate crimes are extremely one sided. It seems to punish whites who bring racial violence to minorities. Does it work the other way? Where minorities bring racial violence to whites? Any examples out there?

Bueller? Bueller?

Do we need to put a label o... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

Do we need to put a label on crime? Shouldn't we see crime as it really is instead of seeing different shades of crime?

Hmmm.Frankly I'd b... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Frankly I'd be incredibly surprised if the NAACP treated Bush at all politely.

naacp? who cares? The Ame... (Below threshold)
moseby:

naacp? who cares? The American Twinkie Growers garner more respect...

Bill Clinton, our first bla... (Below threshold)

Bill Clinton, our first black president ... ha, ha, haaa. He spun the omission of blacks in his cabinet around by pretending to be one and laughing out load. What a clever rapist. Too bad President Bush could not have sent one of his black cabinet members. The NAACP has represented them with the most reprehensible language and they should be ashamed.

The NAACP is one of the libs largest bloc votes. Why not point their attention to blacks in the highest posts in the Executive Branch ever in history as role models. What's to loose? I don't get it.

The NAACP is one of the lib... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

The NAACP is one of the libs largest bloc votes. Why not point their attention to blacks in the highest posts in the Executive Branch ever in history as role models. What's to loose? I don't get it.

Posted by: Red Fog at July 20, 2006 04:32 PM

Red, just follow the money. If they start acknowledging the succesess of this admin., they won't have any common enemy to get millions in donations from blacks, and might have to stop holding up major corporation with threats of boycots. The NAACP is a maor fund raising organization, and the leaders don't want to give up a sweet deal.

USMC Pilot,But Pre... (Below threshold)
Red Fog:

USMC Pilot,

But President Bush undoubtably had the rapt attention of the NAACP's constituents today, not just its restitution-seeking leadership, and neglected to promote himself, the GOP, or his black appointments negotiating profoundly critical issues in the Middle East as we speak. Instead, the President was apologetic to the NAACP for the general existance of racism in the U.S. today. Why not have Condi Rice tell the NAACP donorsher definition of black power?

"Further, I don't believe i... (Below threshold)

"Further, I don't believe in creating 'Protected classes' of People" Jay, FYI, infants, the handicapped, and veterans for insatnce, all have certain protections as people that others don't enjoy. And I am sure you want to give those I just mentioned these protections. Anyway, I think I get your point; you mean people who are protected because of their RACE , correct?

Either way, your logic is flawed. If the purpose of the laws in a society is to reduce crime and protect its citizens from acts of violence, how can you be against stiffer penalties for those who commit hate crimes? This argument , that a crime, is a crime, is a crime, just doesn't cut it. Because guess what, if the victim was not of a different race, the crime would not have been committed in the first place. So hate crime laws,in truth and in fact, do act as a deterrent against crime.

If a black family is burned out of their home by one of their neighbors because they don't happen to like blacks, the arsonist should face a stiffer penalty. It's analogous to someone intentionally hitting someone with his car,as opposed to hitting someone by accident. The person who acted with malice should always face a stiffer penalty, not the one who had no intent to do harm. The point is, we have always had different degrees of punishment for crimes based on the mind set of the person committing them. Why should it be any different when it comes to hate crimes?

A previous poster wanted to know if blacks have been prosecuted for hate crimes. Not sure where you live there big guy, but in my home town, I have seen blacks prosecuted for hate crimes quite a few times.

Yes, certain types of crimes might all be hate crimes. But the motivation to commit those crimes are never always the same.


Red Fog, Dr. Rice was there... (Below threshold)
LibraryLady:

Red Fog, Dr. Rice was there today and some lovely person yelled to her "How long will you be his House Negro?" (Not my choice of words)

There is no way this President is going to please people who are determined to hate anything he does.

FN, YOUR logic is the flawe... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

FN, YOUR logic is the flawed one. Veterans are given their preferential treatment as a quid pro quo from society -- "for services rendered." Infants and the mentally handicapped or ill are also treated differently, but as such have fewer rights and freedoms. The physically challenged are given their preferential treatment as a means of compensating for their disability and give them something closer to equal opportunity.

Under which of these categories does race apply, when it comes to prosecuting someone who assaults you versus someone who assaults me? What rights and freedoms are you willing to trade for that enhanced protection?

J.

As far as increased penalti... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

As far as increased penalties based on motive... that's already taken into account, in the discretion judges have on passing sentence. Aggravating and mitigating factors are already brought into play. We do NOT need a whole new set of laws.

J.

LibraryLady:Thanks. ... (Below threshold)
Red Fog:

LibraryLady:
Thanks. Ignorance is bliss.

Field-negro:
"I am bothered that the same crime committed against me is less significant than if done against another. It seems to violate the 'equal protection' clause of the Constitution." J.Tea

You sound like a Washington lobbist for the American Bar Association. You say "So hate crime laws,in truth and in fact, do act as a deterrent against crime." I guess like electric chairs in Texas reduce the murder rate? You're just blown smoke, pal.

I remembery my Sociology pr... (Below threshold)

I remembery my Sociology professor telling me a surprising little fact: percentage-wise, there are more "hate crimes" committed against Caucasians by African Americans than hate crimes committed against African Americans by Caucasians.

But it's us damned white people that are so racist and bigoted, right?

Redfog, you have the perfec... (Below threshold)

Redfog, you have the perfect handle, because you are smoking something that has you way in the clouds.

I have no idea what you arte talking about.
Reading comprehension is so important if you are going to debate someone.

Jay, again you missed the point. I want no more protection than anyone else. But I do think if a crime is going to be committed against me because of the color of my skin, it puts me in a class that is more likely to be victimized. That's just a fact. Also, wouldn't it be nice to prevent a crime BEFORE it gets to the judge who has to decide the sentence?

field-negro:You said... (Below threshold)
Red Fog:

field-negro:
You said "I have no idea what you arte talking about.
Reading comprehension is so important if you are going to debate someone."

I didn't realize you needed me to spell it out for your comprehension. My apology.

I quoted J. Tea's remark that hate crime laws seem to violate the 'equal protection' clause of the Constitution. So, you advocate dilution of the Constitution to create nuances in the law to allow lawyers to file more frivilous lawsuites. Like suing you for your racist handle "field-negro" if you happen to be white KKK member.

You think hate crime laws will reduce crime. Show proof of this, fool. My comment translated for you: There is no empirical data showing the high rate of Texas executions reduces the state's murder rate. You said hate crime laws "in truth and in fact, do act as a deterrent against crime" but all you're really doing is blowing smoke up your own ass. Get it?

Yo Field:"A previous... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

Yo Field:
"A previous poster wanted to know if blacks have been prosecuted for hate crimes. Not sure where you live there big guy, but in my home town, I have seen blacks prosecuted for hate crimes quite a few times."

OK - Back it up "Big Guy"! Blacks prosecuted for "Hate Crimes"? Show me some links. You got something to say here, go for it. But be prepared to back it up or STFU!

SS (how fitting) I don't ha... (Below threshold)

SS (how fitting) I don't have to do damn thing but pay taxes and die. Do your own research. I dont have to prove anything to you or anyone else. But If you show me a link that contradicts what I said, I might be willing to counter it.

Redfog, again, your ignorance is on display.
What part of "field-negro" do you see as being racist? Also, I am willing to bet the you support the death penalty, but for the sake of this argument, you are throwing out statistics from Texas no less, to show that the death penalty is not a deterrent to murder.

I wont call YOU a fool, because they -fools- deserve more respect.

field-negro:Death pe... (Below threshold)
Red Fog:

field-negro:
Death penalty in any state is not proven to lower murder rates, not just hang-em-high Texas. Is that too hard to comprehend. That's long-estabilished and accepted knowledge to the death-penalty debate. Your hate crime laws "in truth and in fact, do act as a deterrent against crime" is utter hocum and all I've done is show that it cannot be supported by your remarkably shallow intellect, buddy boy .... and we have a winner to this debate and it's me!

You say "what part of 'field-negro' do you see as being racist?" Well, as I said, for the sake of your request to further debate, that if you were a KKK member, this would be a slur and misrepresentation likely to be punishable through your desired new 'hate crime' laws. Your racist moniker connotes a cotton-pickin' slave out in a field. Tell me I'm wrong. Is there a sound when a tree falls in the woods and nobody's there to hear it? Did I make your erection soft? Do you have soft hands? Are you Lee?

Yo FN:"I don't hav... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

Yo FN:

"I don't have to do damn thing but pay taxes and die."

We're waiting - pick one!

OK, fn, if you want to make... (Below threshold)

OK, fn, if you want to make assertions without backing them up, that's fine. But in the interest of equality, you shouldn't hold anyone else to the same standard.

I say that the vast majority of hate-crime prosecutions have been against white males, such as myself, and the percentage of other classifications of people prosecuted is a negligible percentage. In fact, I could probably make a pretty damned good case for discrimination, based on those numbers, that "hate crime" laws are in practice "screw the white guys" laws, and ought to be struck down as unconstitutional.

No, I don't particularly feel like offering proof. If you disagree, do your own damned homework.

And while you're at it, I don't particularly believe you're black. I suspect you're some white liberal trying to expunge your social guilt over the past oppressions your ancestors inflicted on minorities. No proof for that one, either, but I don't feel overly inclined to find any.

J.

SS, I already pay taxes, an... (Below threshold)

SS, I already pay taxes, and I suspect more than you. Sorry about the other one, I plan to be around for awhile, so I will probably beat you at that too.

Red fog, as I stated earlier, you are too ignorant to even debate. Anyone who declares himself a winner in anything is a loser. And by doing just that, you have shown your true colors.

Speaking of colors. "J", I am guessing you are a pretty smart and computer savvy guy, so it wouldn't be hard for you to see that I am in fact what, and who I claim to be. But your post is troublesome. "In fact, I could probably make a pretty damned good case for discrimination" So let me guess, you are a poor white male victim too, and thus, another "ANGRY WHITE MAN" who will go Michael Douglas any day now:) "J", Could it be that your problem with accepting me for who I am, speak more to your issues than mine? Mmmm, I think it does.

Think about that one for awhile. And BTW, I don't care to research your point, because, again, I know for a fact what I stated about my home town is true. -Read my post again- I can prove it, but dont care to. Because I could care less what you people think. And whether I prove my point or not, will not change your minds about this issue.

I learned long ago, that when dealing with closed minded people, you don't try to change their minds. You merely put forth your own argument in such a way, that a truly objective person who happens to read it, will make a logical conclusion based on the facts you present.

FN:My grandfather on... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

FN:
My grandfather once told me to never wrestle with a pig - the pig likes it and you get dirty. Sometimes I have to relearn the lessons he taught me over and over again. So "Pig" I'm through wrestling with you. Go back to whatever field you came from 'cause I'm through wrestling with you.

field-negro:Out with... (Below threshold)
Red Fog:

field-negro:
Out with the anger; in with the love. Now jump!

So, if the death penalty do... (Below threshold)
Robert:

So, if the death penalty doesn't deter crime, why have the death penalty?

Is it just so we can put poor criminals to death?




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