Freedom Rider: Harold Ford, Enemy of Black America

Freedom Rider: Harold Ford, Enemy of Black America

by BAR Editor and Senior
Columnist Margaret Kimberley

"Ford will
throw black people under the bus if he thinks it will help him."

There is nothing good to say about Harold Ford. He never
passed up a chance to proclaim hot man love for George W. Bush. He voted in
favor of the occupation of Iraq and the awful bankruptcy bill. In an idiotic
effort to get the support of redneck Tennesseans he claimed that his black
grandmother was
. He made numerous pilgrimages to the Little Rebel Club to have photo
ops with said rednecks worshipping the Stars and Bars. Ford is an enemy of
progressive ideas and definitely an enemy to black America.

The former Congressman lost his bid for a Senate seat in the
November 2006 election, but he is ambitious and he has powerful friends, so he
didn't disappear as he should have. No sooner had he lost his race than the
Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) began a cynical effort to find him a new
gig. James Carville, chief Clintonite pundit, used Ford to publicly attack
Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Dean managed to do
what Clinton acolyte Terry McAuliffe never managed to do in that same position.
He won majorities for the Democrats in the House and Senate.

No matter. Ford was their guy and Dean wasn't, so Carville
and other Clinton minions publicly called for Dean to be dumped in favor of
Ford. The ill conceived coup attempt didn't go anywhere, but Ford ended up back
in Washington as chairman of the DLC.

"The DLC
pulled the stake out of his heart and he rose again as the evil undead always

Ford is always bad news. He will throw black people under
the bus if he thinks it will help him. If he had won, his victory would have
been used to silence black political thought. We would have been told that Ford
represents a new direction for black voters, that progressive politics are
passé. Too bad the DLC pulled the stake out of his heart and he rose again as
the evil undead always do.

In a major
Ford outlined his plans for the DLC and for the Democratic party. He
described his great leap forward this way:

"As DLC chair, I will devote my efforts to six
challenges: one, keeping America safe; two, giving Americans the tools to
compete, regardless of where they live and what their parents do for a living;
holding government accountable for results; creating a hybrid economy;
promoting family and values; and ending poverty for all who work eight hours a
day, if not more."

The six points are either patently absurd, insulting or
just plain meaningless. Why end poverty only for those who work? He didn't even
mention helping the unemployed to get jobs. Ford's point is clear. There will
be no advocacy for poor people at the DLC.

 "Ford and
the DLC don't want Democrats to act like Democrats."

 The lack of mention of Iraq, minimum wage legislation,
voting rights protection and civil liberties is also glaring. In other words,
Ford and the DLC don't want Democrats to act like Democrats.

Ironically, Ford's silly speech is quite revealing. It is
easy to disparage Ford's dopey notions, but his trite words should be analyzed
and translated so that no one is fooled about the danger behind what appears to
be just harmless nonsense:

"We believe in equal opportunity, not equal
outcomes. We believe inHaroldFordStupidCNN responsibilities as well as rights, and in every citizen's
duty to give their country something back." Translation: Affirmative action is
dead. Civil rights demands are dead. Shut up, black America.

"But the challenge of our party and throughout
our history has always been not to blame, not to point fingers. . ."
Translation: We won't fight Bush.

"Every crisis shouldn't come down to a choice
between unilateral U.S. action or a United Nations that doesn't have the
strength or coherence to intervene. If an expanded and reformed United Nations
Security Council can't or won't do the job, we'll have to look for another
forum, such as a worldwide democracy coalition."

Translation: To hell with the
rest of the world and international law. To hell with the U.N. itself. The DLC
is fully in favor of maintaining the expansion of the American empire.

"Government should be responsible for making sure
everyone can afford health care; people should be responsible for making sure
their families are covered; and the health care system responsible for
delivering affordable and reliable results."

Translation: The DLC is opposed to
a government single payer health care system and will work to defeat it if it
is proposed.

"And even though the deep fiscal hole this
administration has dug will make it harder to strengthen Social Security and
Medicare for the long term, we owe it to ourselves to be honest about this
debate. We owe it to our children to be candid and frank about the real choices
before us, even if it means making some in our own party uncomfortable as we
talk about it."

Translation: Social Security is history. We will allow it to be

"Ford's allegiance to the right wing of the Democratic
party bodes ill for black politics and all progressive politics."

There you have it. Harold Ford, Jr. is one of the worst
enemies that black America has. The days when black people were pleased to see
any brown face in a high place must end. Ford's allegiance to the right wing of
the Democratic party bodes ill for black politics and all progressive politics.
When he runs for office again, don't forget his grandmother, Vera Ford. If he
was willing to lie about her, his own flesh and blood, he is willing to sink to
any depths in order to maintain his seat at the table.

Margaret Kimberley's
Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York
City, and can be reached via e-Mail at
Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.Com. Ms. Kimberley' maintains an
edifying and frequently updated blog at
More of her work is also available at her Black Agenda Report
archive page.

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