Monday, March 13, 2006

The Rise & Fall of Claude Allen ...

The recent arrest of Bush Administration top domestic policy advisor Claude Allen on charges of fraud is the latest in a sad string of events involving hard-line Black Republicans/conservatives close to the neo-con wing of the White House junta. In some ways, it was already distressing that out of the small packs of Black Republicans qualified for the $161,000/yr job, the White House picks a proud protege of former firebrand racist Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) - we emphasize proud, because Allen was known to flaunt this fact, that he was mentored by the most vicious opponent of the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday and a man who spent his entire political career getting re-elected through destructive race-baiting (it's much worse than that). And so, the President - expressing "disappointment" at Allen's arrest the other day - was famous for using Allen as a photo-op token when walking across the White House lawn. All the while, Allen used Bush as a means to some twisted political end deeply immersed in a somewhat confusing hostility towards his community. We note Allen's stint as Virginia Secretary of Health & Human Services when he denied Medicaid funding for an abortion to a pregnant African American woman who was the victim of a rape.

We're not going to pre-judge Allen on these extremely humiliating charges of petty theft and fraud since all are innocent until proven guilty. And highlighting Black conservatives is an aimless and misguided exercise right now since Black political figures of all ideological stripes have been caught with hands in assorted cookie jars. But, you can't deny, given Allen's almost Draconian allegiance to the most uncompromisingly right of conservative movements, there is some interesting irony at work here. We wonder if the man truly practiced what he preached all along. The blind can't lead the blind.