July 23, 2004

President Bush at the Urban League

President George Bush spoke at the Urban League's national convention this morning in Detroit. He was welcomed more warmly by that organizations' attendees than the NAACP's chairman and attendees would have last week.

In his speech, the President emphasized black entrepreneurship and working toward a true two-party system within black America working to solve the ongoing problems that exist in the black community.

Does the Democrat party take African American voters for granted? (Applause.) It's a fair question. I know plenty of politicians assume they have your vote. But do they earn it and do they deserve it? (Applause.) Is it a good thing for the African American community to be represented mainly by one political party? That's a legitimate question. (Applause.) How is it possible to gain political leverage if the party is never forced to compete? (Applause.) Have the traditional solutions of the Democrat party truly served the African American community?

Does blocking the faith-based initiative help neighborhoods where the only social service provider could be a church? Does the status quo in education really, really help the children of this country? (Applause.)

Does class warfare -- has class warfare or higher taxes ever created decent jobs in the inner city? Are you satisfied with the same answers on crime, excuses for drugs and blindness to the problem of the family? (Applause.)

As I mentioned on the air yesterday, George W. Bush is far from the boogieman that so many people make him out to be. Those people would so much rather have divisiveness and derision in the community than ideas and possibilities and potential solutions. They would prefer the status quo, where an illusion of complacency leaves a bad taste in the mouths of people far and wide.

Conservatives in general, nor President Bush in particular claims to have all the solutions, but isn't it worth the time, effort and energy to discuss the possibilities and consider the alternatives?

Sadly, too many members of the "soul patrol" would prefer to vilify conservatives as the bad guys and paint them with the same sort of broad brush that so many racists have done to blacks for so many years. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, many of those "soul patrol" members don't know what compassion is. They would prefer to do wrong, just as they were wronged. They prefer to create a nefarious enemy where there is none. And they prefer to ignore and slap away the hand offered in friendship.

Posted by mhking at July 23, 2004 01:58 PM

right on the money and i wish more republicans would speak from the heart on these issues. it is obvious to me that the democrats take the votes of black people for granted and figure that as long as they continue to walk the walk, talk the talk of the stale democrat platform, they will have the overwhelming support of the black community. this irritates me to no end. i sincerely believe that the time has come for a frank discussion of full integration in this country. if the republicans led this discussion, i don't think the status quo of democrat control
would or could last.

Posted by: scott holmes at July 23, 2004 03:57 PM

I heard a few of the clips. I thought Bush was terrific. I liked his line, something like "Now Jesse, you don't have to nod in agreement THAT quick."

Posted by: Joe R. at July 23, 2004 09:34 PM

Most local news skipped Bush's questions for African American voters for coverage of protesters, but Channel 7 got Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's response. I think it deserves more attention.


Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was present and talked with 7 Action News. " I think that the absolute best statement made today was for African-Americans to ponder the thought whether or not African-Americans should be all lined up in one party, and what we get for that. I think there has to be a real cognitive discussion about that with the leaders and the communities in this country. When you talk about the President, he got 8% of the African-American vote, and he has 4 African-American people in his cabinet. Regardless of what people feel are their strengths and weaknesses, and how important they are, you have to ask the question of what he is doing for the African-American community and weigh that against when you vote for a democrat. I mean, it's a great discussion and I think that we have to have it, especially when the entire initiative in this conference is empowerment and the next wave of the civil rights movement. I mean, the African-American people really have to
have an agenda that speaks to those issues. And some of those issues may line up on both sides of the parties."

Posted by: aaron at July 26, 2004 12:59 PM
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