June 2, 1991 |
With no opposition to scramble his message, Harris Wofford yesterday unburdened himself of his liberal baggage and formally began the long climb toward claiming the title of U.S. senator in his own right. Wofford, appointed May 8 as interim senator to replace the late John Heinz, was nominated unanimously yesterday by 277 Democratic functionaries as the party's candidate for the special election Nov. 5. Because of his ties to the Kennedy administration, his civil-rights involvement and his presidency of Bryn Mawr College, Wofford has been perceived as a quintessential liberal - the kind Pennsylvania doesn't elect to statewide office.
May 31, 1991
Lee Atwater, architect of the race-baiting 1988 campaign that brought us our current president, apparently had some second thoughts about it before he died of cancer recently. Atwater had done well by doing dirt. Vowing to make furloughed black rapist Willie Horton into Michael Dukakis' "running mate," he promoted fear and racism as a winning strategy. It worked. Facing death, Atwater did not savor his success, knowing what went into it and what came out. He publicly apologized for the tactics.
May 14, 1991 |
Anyone wishing to know what life might be like if a "civil rights" bill that mandates racial quotas in the workplace emerges from Congress should consider a court case in Minnesota. A white couple, Stephen and Janet Sharp, became foster parents of a 21- month-old black female child, known as Baby D. This is unusual because, social workers tell us, they have difficulty placing children in families of a different race. But a county judge has ruled that the Sharps must give up the child to her grandparents, not because the grandparents are blood relatives, but because of a state law known as the Minority Heritage Preservation Act, which prohibits cross-racial adoptions.
April 30, 1991 |
Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder is a man in a hurry. No sooner had he been sworn in last year than he started logging frequent- flier miles across the country. Few surprises there: As the nation's first black elected governor, Wilder is a bona fide celebrity and groups from Boston to Los Angeles wanted to hear what he had to say. But Wilder used his travels to deliver an unusual message for a black Democrat - or any Democrat, for that matter. He warned his audiences that the Democrats won't reclaim the White House until they erase their image as a party of "special interests" and free-spending liberals.
December 24, 1990
In recent weeks, President Bush has been sending some troubling signals. First he vetoed the proposed Civil Rights Act of 1990. Then he offered the Republican Party chairmanship to a motormouth who caused a stir by saying the next election should focus on race-based quotas. Most recently the administration has flip-flopped over whether universities should reserve certain scholarships for blacks and other minorities. Confronted with this performance, the public has every reason to worry where the President, his administration and his party are heading - not just regarding civil rights, but the nation's broader commitment to equal opportunity for all. Part of the problem, although it's the lesser part, involves appearances and perception.
November 20, 1990 |
Racism is widely - and rightly - thought to have been a major factor in Jesse Helms' victory over Harvey Gantt in the North Carolina Senate race. But the way in which racism was important is rather different than commonly understood. Many white voters were encouraged to come to the polls by the racially tinged Helms campaign. But few people voted against Gantt just because he is an African American. Most of the voters in North Carolina who are influenced by racial considerations would probably not vote for any liberal Democrat, black or white.
February 6, 1989 |
The Philadelphia school board became the first local body to feel reverberations from the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding racial quotas when a Common Pleas judge last week barred the board from implementing its minority set-aside program. Judge Richard B. Klein issued an injunction requested by a white businessman barring the board from awarding a contract under its program that reserves at least 15 percent of all contracts for companies owned by minorities and 10 percent for firms owned by women.
February 5, 1989 |
Black mayors from across the nation yesterday criticized the Supreme Court's recent decision striking down an affirmative action program that was not specifically aimed at past discriminatory practices. James Usry of Atlantic City, president of the National Conference of Black Mayors, said the decision was demeaning to minorities and "a blow to all of our cities' programs and to the gains our people have made. " Members of the national conference's executive committee, which includes Philadelphia Mayor Goode, held a news conference at the Radisson Flagship Hotel to release a draft resolution that will be voted on at their 15th annual convention in Oakland, Calif.
November 8, 1988 |
The Supreme Court ruled yesterday in two cases that zoning laws cannot be used to bar low-income housing from white areas but also that racial quotas are illegal in public housing even when they help foster integration. Although the rulings did not establish any broad, new legal principles in either case, they are likely to affect communities and housing projects in similar situations. In the zoning case, the justices voted 6-3 to affirm a lower court ruling that Huntington, N.Y., a Long Island town of 200,000 residents, illegally used its zoning laws to confine housing for low-income families to a deteriorated area where 52 percent of the residents are minorities.
October 26, 1988 |
Now that George Bush has attacked the American Civil Liberties Union and so many others have come to its defense, it's time to look at the facts. In the past, the ACLU did make genuine contributions to the defense of civil liberties and civil rights. But that was in the past. The fact is that the ACLU has strayed very far from its old agenda to a new one of exotic left-wing causes. This agenda is fundamentally hostile to the processes of American constitutional democracy and should be rejected by thoughtful democrats of all parties.