Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Supreme Irony

The Supreme Irony

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Oct. 22 - Forty-two years after the church bombing that killed four little girls and inflamed the civil rights movement, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice helped honor them Saturday by recalling one of the victims as a friend with whom she played with dolls and sang in musicals. On the second day of a trip to highlight the civil rights era as an example for countries struggling to achieve democracy, Ms. Rice and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw of Britain visited the 16th Street Baptist Church, where the bombings occurred, and watched as plaques honoring the girls were unveiled.- New York Times Oct. 23, 2005

In what must seem a case of supreme irony Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice honored four young girls who were murdered in 1963 at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama. I say this is ironic because Rice grew up in Birmingham and was even friends with one of the girls, Denise McNair. Yet Rice who was raised in a “middle class” home, the daughter of a Presbyterian Minister who opposed civil rights agitation is now the highest ranking person of African descent in the Bu$h administration. Like her fellow travelers who make to the “big time” Rice eschews talk of race unless it serves her own purposes. Her father was not active in the civil rights struggle during the ‘60's. Their family believed that if you worked hard, studied and didn’t cause any trouble you would be okay; never mind the less fortunate folks around you who were catching hell being dehumanized, terrorized and subjected to the gross indignities of racial caste in AmeriKKKa. The only time Rice mentions her upbringing in Alabama is when she can tie it to either her personal ability to transcend the madness of AmeriKKKan apartheid or as she did recently, to justify AmeriKKKan imperialism under the guise of bringing democracy to the so called Middle East. Today’s edition of the New York Times chronicles Rice’s visit to Alabama with Jack Straw the British Foreign Secretary, AmeriKKKa’s partner in crime in the plunder and ravaging of Afghanistan and Iraq.
The tour which included photo ops and visits to the University of Alabama as well as Birmingham ,is as propaganda campaign to promote AmeriKKKan imperialism. The press she will garner will offset some of the bad news coming out of Washington for her boss George W. Bu$h these days. Most thinking people will see through this charade and chalk it up to more Washington PR and spin to justify Bu$h’s and Blair’s war for oil and US dollar hegemony. The trip is also designed to give Rice’s image a boost at a time when Bu$h’s approval rating amongst African-Americans is at an all time low, a mere two per cent! The Bu$h cabal is hoping some of this media manufactured stardust will rub off on Bu$h, that the media befuddled yahoos will equate Rice’s status and visit to Alabama as a sign of progress and that democracy is a good thing. The problem for Bu$h is, neither he nor Rice are popular amongst African-Americans. Rice is not a rah rah black is the thing to be kind of girl. Her family eschewed racial politics and they were not supporters of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr nor the Civil Rights struggle. Rice’s contemporaries who grew up with her in Birmingham know this. So it must ring extremely hallow and disingenuous for Rice to return to talk about home grown terrorism while quoting Martin Luther King Jr as she did. I wonder what the people who knew Rice’s family back in the day, thought of her speech which was quoted in today’s issue of the New York Times, one of the administrations staunchest cheerleaders? “‘It was meant to shatter our spirit,’ she said of the bombing. ‘It was meant to say that we shouldn't rise up. Just a few weeks after Dr. Martin Luther King said, ‘I have a dream,’ it was meant to tell us that, no, we didn't have a dream, and that dream was going to be denied.’ For listeners, particularly Mr. Straw and visiting Britons, the ceremony was a reminder of how much had changed since the city of Ms. Rice's birth was known as ‘Bombingham,’ when it was inconceivable that someone from her tight-knit, middle-class, churchgoing community could rise to such prominence.” The Times goes on to point out that until recently (since the latest low poll numbers amongst African-Americans?) Rice has shunned talking about her past growing up in Alabama, “Since becoming first national security adviser and then secretary of state, Ms. Rice has not made a public display of her personal story as the daughter of a Presbyterian minister and church organist who grew up in the civil rights era. But in recent months that reticence has lifted as Ms. Rice has pressed the Bush administration's campaign for democracy in the Middle East as a pillar of its foreign policy, and it has become useful to make an analogy between what Ms. Rice calls the American ‘birth defect,’ its record of racism, and the problems faced by other countries. Her seeming reluctance to dwell on her history was cast aside for this trip, as much of Alabama welcomed her home as a kind of daughter of history.” (My emphasis) I wonder why all of a sudden for this trip she wants to talk about her expediencies growing up in Birmingham. Keep in mind her family did not support the direct action agitation of the civil rights movement. Yet she now wants to make her experiences part of the public record and equate it with the Bu$h b.s. about bringing “democracy” to Iraq as part of Bu$h’s foreign policy. A skeptic like me would say of course she would do that since her lies about WMD and the impending mushroom cloud have been exposed as total fabrications and lies. Of course she would manufacture this opportunity to promote AmeriKKKan and British imperialism under the guise of bringing Freedom and democracy to Afghanistan and Iraq because unlike most African-Americans who oppose Bu$h and his wars she is for both; Bu$h and war! This is so typical of the hypocrisy of the Bu$h administration. The biggest warmongers in the administration from Cheney to Bu$h himself all ducked serving in the military when they had their chance during Vietnam. And his Secretary of State, a black woman whose family refused to participate in the righteous Civil rights struggle of the ‘60's in Birmingham Alabama now uses that same struggle to justify an immoral war and AmeriKKKan imperialism. Talk about irony.

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