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Sunday, April 15, 2007

More On Imus and Duke

When white commentators started taking on Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton over the obvious double standard of their conduct towards the Duke Lacrosse players and Don Imus not much was thought about it.

Then Jason Whitlock, a well known black sports commentator called them out. Whitlock has gotten lots of press (Little Miss Chatterbox has a good round up) and is starting to make the talk show rounds to give his side of it. But even he isn't quit as "credible" when it comes to discussing race as Jackson and Sharpton claim to be; mostly be cause he's a sports writer.

Now, Joe R. Hicks, former leader of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Southern Christian Leadership Conference has called out Sharpton and Jackson in the Washington Post with an Op/Ed piece entitled "Drop the Race Card".

Hicks, along with Whitlock, and Bill Cosby; who gets a quote in the piece; all seem to have come to a realization that while racism isn't dead in America it may not be the biggest problem facing today's African Americans.

Writers like Clarence Page and Thomas Sowell have tried to point this out for years, only to be called sell outs, and ignored by the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton. As Hicks says in his editorial:

It's no wonder that some critics, like me, argue that figures such as Jackson and Sharpton, among others of their ilk, are dinosaurs fighting only to maintain a patina of relevance.

Jackson and Sharpton aren't along in the group of dinosaurs though, labor leaders are fighting the same battle, and losing. In their case workers figured out that promotion based on productivity, not seniority isn't a bad thing. They found out that companies (for the most part) treat productive workers pretty good without a union; it's the non-productive folks who need the protection.

In both cases, though, leaders want followers to feel as though they are always victims, so they have someone to protect. Once people start figuring out that they are actually victims of the leadership, things start to change.

That's not to say that occasionally they don't get it right, like airline unions complaining about seven figure bonus' for executives while workers are taking pay and benefits cuts. But the truth is more often than not labor has become it's own worst enemy. Refusals to budge on pay and benefits pretty well destroyed the US steel industry, and certainly hasn't helped the auto industry.

Give Hicks a read today if you get the chance, it's a refreshing, and honest look, at both the Imus and Duke cases.

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