A whole lot of air blew through D.C. last week, not unlike the hot air that usually blows through.
On Saturday, September 20, two days after Hurricane Isabel swept through
the Washington region, leaving hundreds of thousands with no electricity,
undrinkable water and many with no homes at all, I watched Mayor Anthony
Williams being interrogated at a news conference by a group of mostly black
residents in Northeast Washington. They wanted to know why they still had
no power. Then I remembered Representative Sheila Jackson Lee’s recent comment
that hurricane names were too “lily white.” She recommended that the organization
tasked to name hurricanes be more “inclusive” of black names.
You heard me right. This “staunch defender of the Constitution,” “Hailed…by
the Congressional Quarterly as one of the 50 most effective members in Congress,”
(all according to her web site), apparently has the kind of time on her hands
to search for racism in the naming of hurricanes. “All racial groups should
be represented,” she said, according to The Hill. Memo to Sheila: Hurricanes are unwelcome, deadly things.
On its face, the sheer buffoonery of it all seems harmless. But look deeper
and you’ll find the sad absence of rational thought and the contemptible
presence of triviality. While the high school graduation rate for black students
hovers at 51%, and the illegitimacy rate in the black community holds steady
at 70%, and nearly 6 out of 10 felony-murders are committed by blacks, Jackson
Lee has found the silver bullet, if you will: She thinks it’s a good idea
to name destructive, devastatingly deadly storms after little “Keisha, Jamal
Idle hands truly are the devil’s workshop.
The congresswoman and her ilk in the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) expect
to be taken seriously while blowing hot air. Jackson Lee’s own colleagues
may be laughing behind her back, but the consequences of such inane drivel
for the next generation of young blacks are not funny. Impressionable youth
are witnessing a sad throng of aging, obsolete civil rights professionals
pander to the lowest elements of human nature and play into the very racist
stereotypes they denounce. Heartbreaking.
What could she have been thinking? That black children watching “Hurricane
Denzel” wreak havoc in their neighborhoods would gain higher self-esteem?
That seeing a family member lost in a flood brought on by “Tropical Storm
Tanisha” would fill them with racial pride? Once again, a black “leader”
has embarrassed me in front of my friends.
Jackson Lee could not only raise the self-esteem of young blacks; she could
actually engender strong moral values and good character in those lacking
such qualities. But she’d have to make a few changes first.
This “Seventh-Day Adventist” voted against banning the murder of the unborn,
calling partial birth abortion a “sensationalized phrase, specifically designed
to inflame individuals,” and that the “hysteria” over banning a procedure
in which a baby is partially delivered then murdered is “unnecessary.” A
good start to building self-esteem in young people would be to teach them
respect for unborn life.
This self-styled “Queen” and her comrades voted NO on school choice for children
in D.C. Allowing parents to choose schools with high expectations and standards
for kids would provide an excellent opportunity for building self-esteem.
But while passionately “pro-choice” in all matters infanticidal, Jackson
Lee is vehemently anti-choice in all matters educational. Slavishly devoted
to radical feminists and beholden to corrupt teachers’ unions, she and other
black liberals remain dupes for white Democratic elites.
As I watched Mayor Williams being grilled that Saturday afternoon, my imagination
ran wild (as it often does when I watch too much TV). I pictured him explaining
to the righteously indignant citizens that “crews were doing their best to
clean up debris scattered by Hurricane La Shawn, one of the most damaging
storms in the history of the United States…” In my mind I could see the CBC
standing en masse before television cameras -- as they do with predictable
regularity -- castigating the “racist” World Meteorological Organization
for giving the worst storm in the history of the country a “black” name.
Memo to Sheila: Honey, I’ve always dreamed of seeing my name in lights, but not like this.
A freelance writer and former liberal, La Shawn's work has appeared in the Washington Post, Washington Times, and Philadelphia Inquirer, among others.