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Thursday, October 10, 2002

Harry Belafonte, best known for his little ditties about swilling rum and counting bananas,
took a jab at Colin Powell yesterday, essentially calling him a houseboy on the Bush Plantation:

In the days of slavery, there were those slaves who lived on the plantation and there were those slaves that lived in the house ... Colin Powell's committed to come into the house of the master. When Colin Powell dares to suggest something other than what the master wants to hear, he will be turned back out to pasture.

Belafonte then went on to beat on Ashcroft a little bit. Frankly, I’m prone to get my frillies in a knot anytime an African-American on the left chastises a black conservative for not being “black” enough. But this time, it’s wrong on many different levels, beyond the obvious uncletomadhominism:

Out of everyone in Bush’s cabinet, Powell has been the voice of reason. He is the least likely to say “yesmassuh” on the war. Rather than jumping on hawkwagon with the rest of the gang, Powell has consistently been on the side of careful calculation and the only one that has brought up the potential unintended consequences of war with Iraq.

Belafonte’s criticism also does a disservice to African-Americans by perpetuating the myth that black people only get ahead by kowtowing to the white man. Many black conservatives have faced this unfounded accusation, but nowhere is the folly of this position more obvious than in the career of Colin Powell. While I disagree with Powell on a number of issues, the fact is that he was the obvious choice for SoState, race or no race. He has proven his level-headed leadership time and time again and was the best candidate for the role.

Thirdly, Colin Powell is a much more reasonable role model for young black men and women. Black leaders tend to decry the lack of positive role models, criticizing rappers and ballers and their roughneck lifestyles. Well, guess what? Powell is an officer and a gentleman – a successful speaker and soldier and one hell of a leader. If I had a choice between a role model of an established statesman and a guy that sings about bananas, I know which one I would pick. But, for the sake of argument, let’s take a look at some of the things Belafonte and Powell have said on a number of topics.

Colin Powell on Venezuela:

We condemn the blows to constitutional order that Venezuela has suffered. We look to the legal authorities of Venezuela to hold accountable all who violated the law both before and during the recent crisis. And we call upon President Chavez to follow with deeds his new pledges of national reconciliation and respect for democratic principles…In a democracy, no one can be above, or outside of, the rule of law. Democracies do not remain democracies for long if elected leaders use undemocratic methods. And defending democracy by resorting to undemocratic means destroys democracy.

Harry Belafonte on Venezuela:

Matilda, she take me money and run Venezuela. Everybody! Matilda, Matilda, Oom, ba-locka-chimba!

Colin Powell on Kingston, Jamaica:

[W]e are in close touch with the Jamaican government. We have very good relations with them. I don’t have any specific programs in front of me at the moment and it’s really an internal domestic police problem that they face with respect to controlling violence within Kingston and other cities in the country.

Harry Belafonte on Kingston, Jamaica:

My heart is down, my head is turning around, I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town

Colin Powell on aviation:

Another foreign policy success is the improvement we have achieved in our relations with Europe. In waging war together on terrorism, our cooperation has grown stronger…the European Union has moved swiftly to…improve law enforcement and aviation security cooperation.

Harry Belafonte on aviation:

Senora, she's a sensation, The reason for aviation, And fellas, you got to watch it, When she wind up, she bottom, she go like a rocket!

So , if we’re choosing role models, I’ll take the one who talks about the rule of law and constitutional democracy. You can have the one that chants “Oom, ba-locka-chimba!”

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any “houseboy” yes-men in the administration. I’d say Ashcroft may be hoping for a move to the massuh’s house someday. I bet if Bush asked, Ashcroft would jump down, turn around and pick a fight with anyone. It just means that Belafonte was off-target when he picked on Powell when our Secretary of State seems to be the last hope for cautious reason in this overly bomb-happy administration.

posted by Jimmy 10:38 AM
Sunday, October 06, 2002

Eric Sunday, of the Baltimore-based punk band
National Razor does in this interview in Spore Magazine. A sample:

ES- I grew up outside of DC. DC blows, they wouldn’t let Punk bands play at any of the big clubs so I moved up here and this has one of the best scenes on the East Coast.

See, I told you. Actually, I was about to mock them when I pimped a few of their mp3s (available here) and I kind of dig these fellas. They make me want to pull out my old Black Flag LPs and find my skateboard. Also, they make me want to break something, I feeling I sometimes enjoy. Goes to show ya, it pays to google "DC Blows"
posted by Jimmy 2:31 AM

Here's my first piece of reader mail from one Ev.:

Hi Pete,

Thanks for signing up with Blogger. As you probably know by now, Blogger is a free, web-based tool that helps you publish to the web instantly.

This is just a note that you can keep around that has your username and password. If you're like me, you have a bunch of different usernames and passwords at a bunch of different sites, and you need these kind of notes when you're stuck trying to remember which goes where. If you're not like me, delete away. ;)

If you haven't already created a blog and want to, go back to blogger.com and look for the section of the page titled "Your Blogs". Then click the link that says, "Create a new blog". You will get instructions from there, and you'll be a few steps away from creating a weblog.

Thanks again for using Blogger. Have fun!


Nice! I hope Ev. is a girl. She probably is. Maybe short for Evelyn or Evita or something. I like the ladies that use winking emoticons.

posted by Jimmy 2:04 AM