Friday, June 10, 2005

Beltway Democrats: Do you want to stop being the Doormat Party? Well, you can start the process back to respectability right now. Beginning immediately, every Democrat should be expressing outrage, in one voice, about this Bush nominee:

On May 10, 2005, the current director of the U.S. Mint, Henrietta Holsman Fore, was nominated by President Bush to be the next Under Secretary of State for Management....

Yesterday, Sen. Barack Obama grilled Fore over her previous comments in which she suggested blacks prefer pushing drugs on the street to working in factory jobs. Fore’s remarks came from a speech she gave at Wellesley University in 1987. Here’s how the New York Times covered that speech:

A Wellesley College trustee’s remark that blacks preferred pushing drugs to working in a factory has precipitated an emotional debate on this bucolic campus already grappling with charges of racial insensitivity…

The trustee, Henrietta Holsman, a 1970 graduate of Wellesley who runs a manufacturing concern in Los Angeles, resigned from the board last weekend after apologizing for her comments, which also cast aspersions on the work ethic of Hispanic and white employees. But in a letter to the college newspaper, Ms. Holsman reiterated her statement that she had trouble keeping black assembly-line workers from going "back to the street to earn more money" selling drugs…

In her lecture, Ms. Holsman also said she had found Hispanic workers to be lazy, white workers resentful of having to work with machines, and Asians, while very productive, likely to move on to professional or management jobs.
[NYT, 2/12/87]

At a time when even Republicans piously praise Martin Luther King, is there any reason why every Democrat couldn't make a point of denouncing this woman, forcefully and publicly?

That's how the Republicans do it. And if you say, "Well, Under Secretary of State for Management isn't a position ordinary Americans pay any attention to," I'd answer, "Neither is Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights." That's the position to which Lani Guinier was nominated. And Republicans made her into a household name -- and a pariah. America still knows her name, because so many Republicans attacked her so relentlessly, in unison. (Can you name the person who currently holds that position? Me either -- or at least I couldn't until I looked it up.)

Attacking this woman should be a top priority for the Democrats -- if only to serve notice to the GOP that Democrats aren't going to be doormats anymore.

(Link via Atrios.)

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