ON INDEPENDENCE DAY, I made my usual pilgrimage to Independence Hall to listen to the speeches and observe the ceremonies. At Washington Square, diagonally across from Independence Hall, there was the annual ceremony by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolution. There I heard an incredible speech a speech about America and the Founding Fathers given by an African American whose ancestors were enslaved.
One might ask, "Why would an African American be giving a speech on Independence Day?" After all, prominent African Americans such as former Black Panther Charles Barron, pundit Julianne Malveaux, and Tennessee legislator Henri Brooks have declared their refusal to pledge allegiance to the American flag, which, in their opinion, represents slavery, discrimination and tyranny. African-American educators in New Orleans have removed the names of the Founders from schools because they were slave owners. From the media one gets the impression that the only speech an African American would be giving on Independence Day, in Philadelphia, across the street from Independence Hall, would be one vilifying the Founders.
However, this African-American, Alan Keyes, America’s premier orator, decried the trend to condemn the Founding Fathers as slave-owning hypocrites. Keyes said, "I think that we need to reflect on the contrast between a founding generation born into a world characterized by despotism and tyranny and slavery, in which those things were not considered to be unusual or even challengeable, but who though they were born into an era dominated by the philosophy and practice and institutions based upon inequality and the denial of human freedom, were wise, courageous and prudent enough to recognize the truths and plant the seeds of that liberty which would overturn the era of despotism and become the foundation for a successful struggle, even against the age-old institution of slavery."
Later that evening, I went to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and listened to actor Morgan Freeman make a speech, as part of a nationally televised reading of the Declaration of Independence by celebrities. Mr. Freeman said the Founders did not have him in mind when they wrote the Declaration, yet he was proud to be an American because the story of America is the journey to reconcile the ideals of the Declaration with the reality of American life.
Are Keyes and Freeman Oreos or Uncle Toms? These are the characterizations usually reserved for African-Americans who espouse conservative ideas or who make patriotic statements.
Contrast the speeches by Keyes and Freeman with the comments made by Barron, Malveaux, and Brooks. Which represent mainstream African-American thought? One would certainly get the impression, from mainstream media, that Barron et al. do. They are the only ones typically quoted.
I would suggest that the reason Barron, Malveaux and Brooks get publicity is that they represent the perspective of the left a perspective consistent with the philosophy of the mainstream media and the Democratic Party.
The media would have us believe that the African-American political leadership is monolithic. Certainly they fostered this impression during Attorney-General Ashcroft’s confirmation hearing.
Despite support from African-American leaders such as Michael Woodson, the media depicted the racism allegations as if they were anything other than a Democratic Party ploy to prevent Ashcroft’s confirmation. Democrats did not want to confirm Ashcroft because he was anti-abortion. It had nothing to do with him being a racist.
Similarly when some African-American leaders are criticized as not being black, the criticism has to do with their ideology. I can recall a dinner conversation with friends in which the hostess declared, " Clarence Thomas is not my idea of a black man." This was a middle-aged, upper-middle class white woman.
The left’s influence with the Democratic Party and the media is quite apparent.
At their annual convention a few years ago, Gus Hall and the Communist Party USA congratulated themselves for electing Democrat Chuck Schumer. At that same convention, the CPUSA disparaged Clinton’s impeachment and the Republican Congress.
Members of the Democrats’ Progressive Caucus routinely address conventions of the Democratic Socialists of America and the Communist Party USA.
One media example occurred after the ’94 election. Newsweek’s Evan Thomas wrote, "This is a rotten time to be black."
The African Americans criticizing America do so not because they are black; they do so because they are leftists. They are not Uncle Toms; they are Comrade Toms.