That was an amazing bit of television.
It seems that California Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman claims to be unaware of the much publicized (other than the mainstream media) Black Panthers voting rights intimidation case. At a townhall meeting captured on video he pleads ignorance and is greeted with bellows of incredulity from constituents. If you haven’t seen it, find it here.
So Sherman’s remarks were the topic for discussion on Megyn Kelly’s Fox afternoon show yesterday. What began as a normal fair-and-balanced discussion between conservative consultant Andrea Tantaros and liberal NY Post columnist Kirsten Powers, with Kelly moderating, suddenly, well…blew up.
It is, but of course, now everywhere on You Tube, including here.
Powers had apparently not read the testimony to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission offered by J. Christian Adams, the Department of Justice whistle-blower. This did not…ahhhh…go down well with Ms. Kelly, a decidedly razor sharp lawyer.
You know that weird sensation you get when you realize those two seemingly friendly people in your vicinity — colleagues, family, friends, spouses, siblings — are suddenly and unexpectedly getting into it? Big Time? The sort of turn from “uh-oh” to astonishment to yikes to…I know I should leave but I’m afraid one of them will go Gibson? Is this really happening?
Doubtless this piece of video will have an eternal audience. Ms. Tantaros, no shrinking violet she, was doubtless simply stunned into silence as Kelly and guest Powers went at it, complete with a threat (from Kelly) to cut Powers’ mike.
One thought and then I’m running to get under the bed in case either of these two starts pounding on my television screen.
Ms. Kelly, as is well known, not unlike fellow lawyer and host Greta Van Sustern, can be sure to have read legal document X if it’s up for discussion. For whatever reason, Ms. Powers chose not or at the least seemed not to have read the documents under discussion and ventured forth at her peril.
But there’s a larger point to be made here to Powers. One that we have made a number of times in general, most recently with a column on Christian Adams, Bill Clinton, Robert Byrd and The Panther case, found here.
The point is that progressives — or liberals, Democrats, however you wish to describe the American Left — have a horrific and lengthy history on racial issues. Supporting over the decades everything from slavery to segregation to lynching to racial quotas and now illegal immigration, Powers’ philosophical ancestors and, alas, a number of her contemporaries — some of whom are running the Justice Department in the 21st century — have made it crystal clear that they judge others by skin color.
So for Ms. Powers to blithely dismiss the video of Black Panthers in some pseudo-military uniform, one with a nightstick, standing in front of a polling place indicates she has a problem much worse than not reading Mr. Adams’ testimony at the Civil Rights Commission.
I need to be crystal clear here.
I am not in the least imputing racism to Kirsten Powers. Not so and pox on those who would even imply it. But the hard historical fact is that her side is the one which used the Ku Klux Klan as, in the words of Columbia University historian Eric Foner, “a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party.” Bull Connor, the night stick wielding villain of Birmingham infamy who set the police dogs and fire hoses on civil rights demonstrators was a member of the Democratic National Committee. The left thinks in racial terms — for reasons beyond the political I confess I will never understand.
But think that way they do.
This is precisely what those Black Panthers were trying to do outside that polling place in Philadelphia in 2008. Use racism as a “military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party” just as their Klan predecessors did. There was nothing — sadly — new here. This is what the American Left has done for, as noted, centuries. They are doing it right this minute in Arizona — trying to scare Latinos as once they used race to scare whites and blacks.
Ms. Powers seemed blissfully unaware of this history, and made the appalling and sarcastic aside, in her momentary anger at Ms. Kelly, I’m sure — poo-pooing the image of a “scary black man.”
The “scary black man” with a nightstick outside a polling place of today is the “scary white man” with the hood from yesterday and possibly some “scary Latino man” from tomorrow. The point — Ms. Kelly’s bottom line — is the sentiment well expressed by President John F. Kennedy in his address to the nation calling for the resurrection of the Civil Rights laws passed by Republicans in the post-Civil War era. Laws so thoroughly eviscerated by the Democrats of the day — many of them wearing hoods outside polling places. Looking pretty scary.
“Race has no place in American life or law,” said President Kennedy. A Democrat. Who became an instant hero with many Republicans for simply, at last, putting his party on record with Lincoln in this fashion as a sitting president. Unlike, say, Woodrow Wilson, who held a private White House showing of Birth of a Nation.
This mid-afternoon televised dust-up between Kelly and Powers can hopefully serve a useful purpose to a wider audience beyond being mesmerizing YouTube..
And the combatants should go have a drink and cool off. OK, maybe a café latte would be wiser.
Have to run. There are two blonde women pounding the inside of my television screen. I’m going to watch Animal Planet now.