Thursday, February 22, 2007

Colin & Condi

About a year ago, I asked some folks if they thought Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice have gotten a pass when it comes to criticizing The Administration's policies and statements.

I think they have - particularly from the Black community.

I've heard a ton of people criticizing Bush and Cheney. I've heard plenty of calls for Rumsfeld's resignation. There seems to be plenty of blame to go around. Yet somehow, I've hardly heard a word of criticism directed at "Colin & Condi" - relatively speaking, anyway.

I'll say it right out. I think it's because they're Black.

I think that a lot of US had high hopes for such high profile, high ranking Black government officials. We wanted them to succeed. We wanted them to be noble. We wanted them to be shining examples of US doing right.

What *I* think we actually got were a couple of people who were too blind to see or unwilling to expose the hypocrisy of this Administration and how many of their actions contradict so-called American values and philosophies.

Instead of admitting this, I believe many of US were in denial and kept making excuses for them.

"Well, Bush must not be listening to them."
"Well, they don't really have anything to do with what's going on."
". . ." (silence)

Or sometimes, we're deafeningly silent. And, to me, that's among Colin & Condi's most obvious offenses. They didn't stand up, break ranks, and say to this country and this world, "This is wrong!"

People act like voices of dissent provide the lion's share of our enemies fuel and fire. No. They've got plenty of motivation. They don't need our help and they certainly won't dry up and blow away if every U.S. citizen, official, and media representative pretended to get behind a single policy or plan-of-action.

I'd like to conclude this little rant by addressing that last element: the media.

In a recent News & Notes podcast, I heard the host, once again, referring to Secretary Rice as "Condi." Interestingly enough, I never hear people referring to Bush, Cheney, or Rove as George, Dick, and Carl. To be fair, they also don't have four-syllable names, but it seems obvious, to me, that there's something particularly familiar about "Condi."

"Condi" sounds like one of your sorors, co-workers, or family members. It sounds like someone you like and respect. It does not sound like someone you would skewer with the same fiery criticism that we direct at others who support and encourage Administration policy.

I think it's a small, admittedly inconclusive sign of the broader issue.

So, the way I see it, we're all (including me) complicit in this disappointing display of discrimination. It's time to take the blinders off and recognize that bias, then deal with it appropriately in all areas.

Powell may be gone (though occasionally publicly critical of Administration Policy) but Rice is still there.

If we want to fuss about the different treatment that Obama gets from the media and the masses, then we need to rise above such political hypocrisy, ourselves.


Miz JJ said...

I think Colin has been a bit critical of the administration since retiring, but in my opinion most people know he was a patsy. As for Condi she is completely delusional. Honestly, when I read her article in Essence I was floored. She refuses to admit any failures on the part of the administration. She even said that Bush handled Katrina well. Say what? Well, given she was out shoe shopping when it was happening what can you expect her to say.

DJ Black Adam said...

I don’t know, but here in the Chi, the African Americans I know (who are predominately democrats) have nothing but harsh criticism for Condi and Colin. More so Condi that Colin, and with Condi, they feel that she is cut from the same cloth as “W” and Cheney.

The difference is, as secretaries of state neither of these individuals were or are instrumental in what is going on in Iraq on the ground, that is clearly the DoD and the President (and VP’s) fiasco.

Keith said...

Condi is playing her role and supporting her boss. Is it kind of like being a cook on the Titanic and standing next to the captain in a show of undying support? Sure it is. Is she crazy for doing so? Sure she is. But I don't think it's becuase she doesn't know what's going on, I think it's because she's loyal to a fault, like a golden retriever. As for people staying away from critcizing her because she's black, I don't think that's even possible. Lots of people hate black people for no reason at all and are not afraid to say it. Pardon all the metaphors and similes, but it's like sending the receptionist at Enron to prison. Condi's power is non-existant and everyone knows it so they focus on the people in power. Regardless of what she says or does she has made history... Powell is a punk. He shouldn't be allowed to talk politics in public.

West, thanks for stopping by my side of the blogosphere. I'll be swinging by yours again soon.

West said...

re: "As for people staying away from critcizing her because she's black, I don't think that's even possible. Lots of people hate black people for no reason at all and are not afraid to say it."

I hear you, but I'm not just talking about "Lots of people." I'm talking about Black people.

We're the ones, as far as I'm concerned, giving Colin & Condi a pass.

911 said...

If you think condi is getting a pass now....what until she throws her hat in the political arena for dolo...she's going to be buried. Funny thing is I think she will distance herself from her former "Regime". 1

West said...

I guess we'll see, 911.

I'm wondering if her gender plays a role, at all.

I'm sure there are folks who give her a pass and folks who are too hard on her simply because she's a woman.