Friday, July 17, 2009
A High-Tech Temper Tantrum
Meet two people who deserve one another. Sen. Barbara Boxer meet Harry Alford, Chairman of the National Black Republican Chamber of Commerce. Alford is testifying in front of Boxer's committee on the issue of climate change. He's brought with him a in-depth report on the economic impact of the cap-and-trade bill on small businesses.
Boxer then pulls out a couple of statements from the NAACP and 100 Black Men. With that set- up, watch the exchange.
Now, Barbara Boxer can't open her mouth without a condescending word coming out. Last month, she got her nose out of joint when a brigadier general called her "Ma'am," instead of "senator."
That said, I have little sympathy for Mr. Alford. He runs the National Black Chamber of Commerce. He doesn't run the "Podunk" Chamber of Commerce or the generic "national" Chamber of Commerce. Had he represented such a group, he would have been right to be offended that Boxer is just throwing up black organizations to refute his points. Is Boxer to be faulted for thinking that he's expressing a certain "black" view -- given that he runs a black group?
Realizing that he now has a "15 minutes of fame" moment, Alford then decides milk it for all it's worth:
He calls his treatment by Boer a "vile Jim Crow moment" and that it was out of "1945 Mississippi." How a successful black man in 2009 could compare having a U.S. senator use the comments of other black organizations to undermine a study he commissioned to "Jim Crow" and "1945 Mississippi" is beyond belief. Condescending? Yes? Rude and dismissive? Yep. Racist to the equivalence of separate water fountains and being randomly lynched!?!? Alford, please!
Even by the Clarence Thomas "high-tech lynching" standard, this one is pretty thin gruel (Thomas at least was having his name and reputation dragged through the mud in the confirmation hearings when he uttered that famous phrase.)