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November 1, 2004
CQ Flashback: John Kerry -- Not A Black Man After All (3/8/04)

A few days ago, John Kerry tried on the Bill Clinton approach to civil rights, noting that Clinton had sometimes been called the nation's "first black President" for his humble Southern beginnings as well as his affinity to African-American leadership, and said that he wouldn't mind being known as the second black President. Oddly enough, having a rich, white, power-born politician describe himself as black didn't sit to well with those who actually are black -- and they're not just giving Kerry disapproving glances:

The head of a civil rights and legal services advocacy group wants Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry to apologize for saying he wouldn't be upset if he could be known as the second black president.

"John Kerry is not a black man he is a privileged white man who has no idea what it is in this country to be a poor white in this country, let alone a black man," said Paula Diane Harris, founder of the Andrew Young National Center for Social Change.

John Kerry seems to think that he can simply mimic Bill Clinton and and all Clinton's constuencies will magically become his own. However, Clinton had charm and wit (and a much different background than Kerry), qualities sorely lacking in the presumptive nominee. Presuming to represent people who are quite capable of representing themselves is the height of condescension, as Ms. Harris reminded Kerry this evening. Not a particularly adept way of winning friends and support among this community, considering the long history of Democrats taking them for granted.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 1, 2004 11:00 PM

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