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The Post Racial Society? Not for Harry Alford

July 21, 2009


This is Harry Alford.  He is the CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.   Recently Mr. Alford had a verbal altercation with senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), over his assertion that the new Cap and Trade legislation will cost jobs and lost wages for American workers.  Senator Boxer tried to refute his claims by citing the support of other black organizations to the bill.  Let’s just say that Mr. Alford took exception to her line of defense:

I’m not quite following senator Boxer’s reasoning here.  Is she implying that all black organizations think in lock-step with one another, so Mr. Alford’s opposition runs counter to black monolithic thought?  Or is she honestly quoting other Black leaders just as a counter to Mr. Alford’s political ideology?  Hmmm… what does Bill O’Reilly think? Mr. Alford appeared on the O’Reilly Factor last night to discuss the confrontation with senator Boxer.  Here are some excerpts of the interview:

O’REILLY: All right, but they say Cap and Trade and all the green windmill stuff and all the stuff that they want to do will create more jobs, will help all Americans – including African-Americans – and you seem to object to their point-of-view.

ALFORD: Well, we got the Charles Rivers Associates Group to do a study for us. They’re a very reputable group. And it showed that, in the end, if this Cap and Trade hustle were to be delivered to the American people, in the end we would have 2.3 million less jobs than we do now. It does not make sense to have less jobs, higher cost of energy, and still the world is in the same predicament carbon emission wise.

O’REILLY: All right, so your position kind of mirrors my position. It’s interesting. Now, you’re not an ideological group, the Chamber of Commerce, right? I mean, you’re just a business-

ALFORD: Nonpartisan, nonpartisan, not for profit. We espouse capitalism and entrepreneurship.

O’REILLY: Okay. So now, you’re presenting your objection – which I think is [an] absolutely valid objection – to the Cap and Trade – you call it a “hustle,” I call it “Cap and Con.” So we’re pretty much on the same page. And Boxer, in order to debate you, puts up the NAACP, a liberal group, who thinks that Cap and Trade and the other green industries is just terrific. Now, you say that’s a racial deal. Explain that further.

ALFORD: It was pure race. It was like down there in Mississippi back in the bad old days when one black preacher would rise up against the big boss. He’d go find another black preacher to fight against that black preacher. You know, it was ugly. And she jumped, she opened up a mud pit that I wasn’t going to jump into.

O’REILLY: Well, you shocked her. You stunned her with that analysis. And she had no answer to it. She kept saying he’d be proud, he’d be proud. I mean, it was almost comical. But you stunned her because I don’t think, Mr. Alford, and maybe you see it differently, I don’t think Ms. Boxer had any intent to bring racism into the debate. She just wanted to win the argument and said, “Well, look, I’ll use the NAACP, I’ll take it out of context to throw the guy off his game.” I think that’s what she was doing.

ALFORD: Actually, Bill, I think it’s her persona. I don’t think she can help herself. When she gets caught up in a rut like that or up against the wall, race comes out. You know, she’s the brainchild of Anita Hill attacking Clarence Thomas was Barbara Boxer. You go back to Election 2004 and all of that garbage against Ken Blackwell, the secretary of state of Ohio, saying he rigged the election, that was Barbara Boxer.

While I think Bill O’Reilly never misses a chance to exploit the shortcomings of liberals in any capacity, this exchange between Boxer and Alford is troubling to me.  It didn’t quite sound like political ideology over race in my opinion.  Then again, I’m not privy to the inner most thoughts of Barbara Boxer, and I would stop short in calling her a “racist.”  With that said, I would like more of an explanation from her about her intent.

The days of identity politics never seem to die, even in the post racial society.  I am shocked though, that senator Boxer didn’t lobotomize Mr. Alford for repeatedly referring to her as “ma’am.”

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