Wednesday, April 23, 2008

McCain's Minstrel Show

Today hundreds of secret service agents are snooping around the Xavier campus, looking under benches through their mirrored sunglasses, talking in their microphoned lapels, and just standing with arms crossed looking smug. John McCain is scheduled to have a town hall meeting here tomorrow at noon. Someone on his campaign no doubt felt that pictures of McCain shaking hands with the revered president of Xavier Norman C Francis, and having large numbers of African American college students clapping after McCain talks about reform would be a good thing, especially if he is up against "not black enough" Obama. Post-Katrina New Orleans represents the failure of the U.S. government towards African Americans more than any place on earth. So on many levels, I am glad he is coming here. I wish more politicians would.

If I were going to see Senator McCain's song and dance show, which I'm not, and if given the chance, I would have walked up the microphone and said:

Senator McCain, welcome to the Xavier campus and to New Orleans. I appreciate that you are trying to reach out to demographics not likely to vote for you by coming here and by going to Memphis on the 40-year-anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, where you apologized for your opposition to making Martin Luther King Jr Day a national holiday, and 8 years earlier, when you apologized for saying that you saw the Confederate Flag as a symbol of heritage rather than a symbol of hate. But if I may try to solicit another apology, or get an explanation, why did you vote against the 1990 Civil Rights Act? Don't all of these things enhance you with one of your demographics, the kind that wouldn't vote for you if you had fathered a Black baby?

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