Looking out: Interchangeable

Issue 

Looking out

Interchangeable

"The last Republican who actually did something good for African-Americans was the so-called 'Great Emancipator', Abraham Lincoln. It should be noted that the good he did was motivated by his party's need for political expediency — not its (or his) sense of human decency." — Irving Elmer Bell.

The following question is directed to particular African-Americans. Of course, you know who you are. If a man has a well-known history of molesting children, would you knowingly allow him to baby-sit your little girl or boy?

I know your answer to that question is "no", yet with amazing frequency as of late, certain ones among you have allowed your children to be photographed with President George W. Bush. It is as if you do not know or care that he uses each photographic opportunity to ingratiate himself to people of colour.

Let us be honest here: George W. Bush continues to promote and support political initiatives that unmistakably and energetically deprive most children of colour of safe, good schools. In my opinion, such promotion and support amount to a sick kind of politically motivated child molestation.

Black children in America, for the most part, routinely get only crumbs and scraps from the Republican party's global corporate table. When your children are photographed with Bush, you are creating visuals that convert into potential votes for him and his corporate cronies (here read "industrial pimps"). Allowing your children to be used in this manner is akin to pandering for Bush's Republican White House of prostitution.

The Bush family has a long history of using African-Americans against African-Americans.

As I write this, the Republican party is testing the political water with talk of running its national security adviser, Condolezza Rice — a woman of colour — against Democrat Barbara Boxer — who is not a woman of colour — in 2004. One need not be a political scholar to know that Bush will trot out Colin Powell for his choice of vice presidential running mate in his upcoming reelection bid in that year.

Do not be fooled by Bush's skillfully posed photographs. Please do not forget how many people of colour had their votes nullified in Florida, or that the president's brother is governor of that state. Remember, too, that a Bush was in the White House when "the Negro", (more commonly know as "Uncle Clarence Thomas"), head-scratched and shuffled his way onto the United States Supreme Court.

I leave you to ponder the old adage that one picture is worth a thousand words. It requires little imagination or extrapolation to realise that in this example, "words" and "votes" are interchangeable.

BY BRANDON ASTOR JONES

[The writer is a prisoner on death row in the United States. He welcomes letters commenting on his columns (include your name and full return address on the envelope, or prison authorities may refuse to deliver it). He can be written to at: Brandon Astor Jones, EF-122216, G3-77, Georgia Diagnostic & Classification Prison, PO Box 3877, Jackson, GA 30233, USA, or email . Jones is seeking a publisher for his collected prison writings. Please notify him of any possible leads. Visit Jones' web page at .]