IF YOU THOUGHT that pictures from Palestine showing Arabs celebrating the murder and mayhem at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were contemptible, you should have been listening recently to Philadelphia’s self-proclaimed voice of the African-American community, talk radio station WHAT-1340 AM. Some WHAT listeners were ecstatic about the terrorism in New York and Washington DC. Comments ranged from "America got what it deserved," to "I’m Black, I’m not an American."
When one African-American caller rejected the notion that blacks were not American, the host, Reggie Bryant, challenged him, " if you were asked could you prove you were a citizen? " According to Bryant, blacks are not citizens because the Constitution says they are three fifths of a citizen.
Apparently, ignorance is a prerequisite for working at this station.
Contrast the attitude of Reggie Bryant and some of his audience at WHAT with a column by African-American pundit Leonard Pitts. In it, Pitts wrote about America and "my people." He wrote about the resolve of " my people. "
Clearly, Pitts considers himself an American. He and I may not be ideologically in concert, yet we are loyal to this country and we care about this country. We do not want to overthrow the current system. It is obvious from their comments that some WHAT listeners would like to overthrow it.
Previously, I wrote an article titled "Comrade Toms," in which I noted the tendency on the part of some blacks to dismiss patriotic black Americans such as Alan Keyes and Morgan Freeman as "Uncle Toms." I suggested that blacks who make a career out of complaining about America and putting it down should be called "Comrade Toms," to reflect their leftwing views.
I received some e-mail from people who said that criticizing America does not make someone a Communist. Blacks who criticize America are not leftists, they objected.
My response to them was that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck it is probably a duck.
The blacks that vilify Clarence Thomas like Julianne Malveaux who said publicly she wants Justice Thomas to die or who claim, as Charles Barron does, that America is a land of slavery, do not do so because they are enamored with America or with the present system. People who lecture at the Socialist Scholars Conference are leftists. Callers to Reggie Bryant’s talk show, such as one who said that if America were invaded she would not defend the country, are not loyal to America nor do they care about America.
Now it goes without saying that disloyalty is not unique to blacks. Obviously whites can be disloyal as well. Indeed some, such as Timothy McVeigh, cloak their disloyalty in patriotism. However, white people who have such attitudes are considered fringe thinkers. In the case of blacks, extreme America-haters such as Julianne Malveaux and Charles Barron are perceived as mainstream by most Americans. Whites and blacks alike seem to accept that blacks form a separate nation, with its own loyalties, different from those of Americans.
Personally, I do not accept the common wisdom that leftist, liberal, separatist blacks constitute the mainstream. It is only the sanctimonious twits in the mainstream media and the supercilious airheads in academia who believe and perpetuate that idea.
If we have learned anything from the Tuskegee airmen, and others like them, it is that African-Americans can, in some circumstances, be better citizens than whites. The Julianne Malveaux’s, Charles Barron’s, Henri Brook’s, as well as the Reggie Bryant’s and their callers are not representative of most blacks, anymore than Tom Hayden, Timothy McVeigh or listeners to NPR represent all whites.
Malveaux, Barron, and the callers who claim they are "black, not American, " are a fraction of a percent of African-Americans. I wonder what percentage of those Palestinians celebrating the disasters in New York and Washington represent all Palestinians, all Moslems, all Arabs?