Faith-based path to the jailhouse
Anti-war Lite, and Hard-core
Trojan Horse TV




Poor Trent Lott - disowned. The GOP has wrapped him in his own soiled blanket and dropped the orphan in the back alleyways of history, claiming they never knew the boy. Trent, who? say Republicans, as they wave a dirty rag, claiming to have wiped the slate clean.

The GOP's faith-based funding juggernaut will resume with renewed aggression in the New Year, packaged as the cornerstone, pro-Black program of a born-again Republican Party. What George Bush wanted to say on December 12, in Philadelphia, before he was interrupted by the Trent Lott unpleasantness, is that the main historical victim of discrimination in America is - religion! It is the script that his henchmen have been reading all year to audiences of Black ministers. God needs some affirmative action, and His clergy require federal contracts.

In January, faith-based bribery legislation will re-emerge with a vengeance in both houses of Congress. It is by far the most ambitious plan ever devised to destroy the Black political consensus. As we wrote last week in "Trent Lott Furor Threatens Faith-based Bribery Scheme":

Politically connected churches are to be awarded federal contracts to perform social services, setting in motion a permanent patronage system tied to the party that made the payments possible - the GOP. Ministerial allegiances would be expected to change, overnight, splintering the Black voting bloc.

The commentary struck a chord with Aubrey J. Howard, CEO of Midtown Mental Health Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Mr. Howard has a nose for cooked books.

Funding church based programs should be challenged, as it is a conflict between church and state. Additionally, I can say factually, being involved in lending money for churches, a lot of ministers will go to jail when they are required to comply to federal accounting standards. If African American ministers accept funds, they will be the most scrutinized and made examples of as poor managers.

Last week we asked, Who is going to defund the Right Rev. Dr. Greedygut, once he has been rewarded by the GOP with a social service contract? In light of Mr. Howard's letter, we might better ask, Who is going to bail out Rev. Greedygut, when the vote-buying frenzy is over and the investigations begin?

Dr. Bruce Prescott is Webmaster of "Mainstream Baptists," the online journal of the progressive branch of Southern Baptists. He found 's commentary useful:

Your editorial on Trent Lott threatening Bush's faith-based bribery is brilliant, insightful, and dead on target. I posted a link to it on the website of the Mainstream Baptist Network's news page:

The journal is based in Norman, Oklahoma.

From Maryland, medical doctor Cuthbert Simpkins, writes:

Outstanding, informative commentary on Trent Lott. We need a revolution in the church to upgrade the education, integrity, Afro-centricity and quality of our ministers. Also we need to develop a religion that serves our needs. The present dogma keeps us ignorant.

And another doctor from Maryland, Salisbury's Ron Jarrett, believes that is good medicine.

Thank you for a wonderful breath of fresh air. I may not agree with everything you say, but you say it so well, that it is clearly worth my time to see what's on your mind. I am not a strongly religious man but the more I read your publication I am reminded of the phrase, "They shall know truth, and the truth shall set them free." I am sure from your literary talents that the both of you could make a lot more money working on a white man's dream. Which makes it all the more refreshing to see two brothers working on a dream of their own.

On the other side of the Lott controversy, however, there were strong tactical reasons for keeping him in office. And that is, if all of the Republicans were pushing for him to go then perhaps we ought to be pushing for him to stay. They weren't pushing for him to go because he is and was an avowed racist, virtually the whole of the Republican Party is that, they were pushing for him to go because his leadership presence and support of their racist positions politically lets the world in on what their real agenda is.

It was heartening to learn that our reprint of the article "Strom Thurmond's Black Daughter" actually put a smile on a face named Thurmond. Writer B. Thurmond is Black, proud, and anything but rootless.

I enjoyed the article on the offspring of Strom Thurmond. Today I will meet with family to begin research for a family reunion. My father's family originated from Edgefield South Carolina and my maiden name is Thurmond. I am certain that I am a descendent from the Thurmond Plantation.

A great people arose from places just like that.

Anti-War Lite, Hardcore

A swarm of new visitors roamed and rustled around our pages, last week, thanks to a posting in CounterPunch, the indispensable political resource published by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair. Our piece, "Anti-War Hard Core & Anti-War Lite: Privilege, comfort and fear cause schisms," was, in part, designed to

express the most extreme irritation at the nasty little people who, not content to simply do something useful by organizing as many folks as they can against Bush, feel it necessary to badmouth the organizers of October 26's demonstrations. At minimum, 100,000 and 50,000 people protested in Washington and San Francisco, respectively, against the wishes of the corporate media, which virtually boycotted the events. By proving that the opposition was capable of mounting an effective popular response to the Bush administration's war hysteria, the organizers may well have changed the course of history and saved countless lives.

Our complaints were directed against The Nation's David Corn and others who seem to believe it is more important to wage tiny turf wars than to turn out masses of anti-war demonstrators. It is a tendency among the white left that many Blacks find repulsive.

CounterPunch's tentacles reach into strange and foreign places to find interesting expatriates like Mick Collins, who writes to us from Paris.

I thought you might want to set things straight between Harry Belafonte and Malcolm X.

When Mr. Belafonte recently referred to Colin Powell as a 'house nigger', a White House nigger at that, who exists at the whim and pleasure of the Man - though he may not have actually used the 'n' word - as being separate and apart from the rest of us 'field niggers' who live to see the Man dead and buried and our birthright returned to us, he was ripping off Malcolm for a distinction that he made back in the day when all colored folks weren't always that active in their own liberation - and it might well apply to your 'Antiwar Hardcore' and 'Antiwar Lite' distinction.

And as much as I'm with you all in stopping this war, I think it imperative to realize this war has been continuous since WWII--and you really must work something about the 10 year (and still ongoing) war in Balkans into your critique (You know, No Yugoslav ever called me 'Nigger'!), and only altered its forms and means of destruction from bombing, invasion, sanctions, war crimes/reparations trials, back to bombing and invasion.

Joan Lee, of St. Charles, Missouri, also found by way of CounterPunch. She's lost patience with the "brats" (our term) who chatter from the sidelines of Anti-War Lite.

Several friends and I participated in the Oct 26 march in D. C. sponsored by the ANSWER group, etc. It was a marvelous experience, despite the criticism we all had to endure from the American Prospect, the Nation, and other supposed progressive magazines.

In my opinion, a full 80% of the people there had no affiliation with any of the sponsor groups, nor did they plan to form any, but all of us will be eternally grateful that theses folks had labored so long and hard to make the event happen. It was l00% better than anything the pontificating purists could have arranged. I wrote them all expressing my dismay and none even had the courtesy to respond. Too bad, eh?

Again, thanks for the great article.

Ron Jacobs is a contributor to CounterPunch. He also sometimes reads the Lite stuff.

Thanks for the commentary Antiwar Hardcore and Antiwar lite. I agree with your perspective and believe it to be the primary sentiment among those who aren't in the Corn, Berube, Gitlin, etc, camp.

Trojan Horse TV

Our December 12 commentary, "America's Black Rightwing Forum: The grotesque devolution of a Black news program," caused quite a stir in African American journalistic circles. Richard Prince's Journalism column, part of the authoritative Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism in Education, noted that ABF "claims that it is seen in 80 major television markets across the country - reaching 70 percent of U.S. TV households. However, the show's Web site doesn't say how many of those markets show it in the wee hours."

Even the wee hours are too much exposure for a program that showcases Armstrong Williams and Niger Innis as commentators, moderated by the closet conservative Juan Williams. Pat Buchanan and other white Rightists drop in regularly to dispense opinions on what purports to be "the only credible weekend news source for African American perspectives on national issues."

For the last two weeks, ABF's featured guest has been Margaret Cho, the Korean-American comedian.

Harriet Matthews has had enough of ABF.

You have made me feel that I'm not completely out of step, or consciousness. I have been expressing those very same views for years, but have been made to feel that I'm just too bitter!! Thanks for putting America's Black Forum in perspective. I stopped watching it because it made me nauseous.

Life has its bitter pills, but we've got a New Year coming. Keep writing.

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Issue Number 22
December26, 2002



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Other commentaries in this issue:

Commentary 1
Lott, Thurmond and Duke: Three Kings Bearing Gifts - Lessons to re-learn from the holiday "festivities"

Commentary 2
Hip Hop and the Hard Right: Media-made illusions of power by BC Co-publisher Glen Ford

George Bush Blacked-out, Africa must wait - U.S. seized Iraq corporate client list - Rich man’s "strike" in Venezuela

African Venezuelans fear new U.S. coup against President Chavez - Written by Professor Alejandro Correa of Barlovento, Venezuela with assistance from Willie Thompson, Professor emeritus City College of San Francisco

Commentaries in Issue 21 December 19, 2002:

Commentary 1
Trent Lott Furor Threatens Faith-based Bribery Scheme Program to woo Black clergy at heart of turmoil

Commentary 2
Anti-War Hard Core and Anti-War Lite
Privilege, comfort and fear cause schisms

Black Rightwing Forum’s "media whores"... Lott uproar should have come sooner... Harvard graduates troubled by commentary... Bush-Cheney "pirates" are treasonous

Trent Lott’s racist momma... Preachers on the take... Poor insufficiently taxed... Non-existent benefits abolished

Strom Thurmond’s Black Daughter - Common knowledge about a "special relationship"
By Ken Cummins

Guest Commentary
By Dr. David Graham Du Bois

You can read any past issue of The Black Commentator in its entirety by going to the Past Issues page.