Despite repeated calls to the offices of members of the Congressional Black Caucus, almost all CBC members refused comment on inquiries by the conservative African-American leadership group Project 21 on Rep. Bill Clay's (D-MO) November 15 six-page letter characterizing outgoing Rep. Gary Franks (R-CT) as a "foot shuffling, head scratching 'Amos and Andy' brand of 'Uncle Tom-ism'" and a "Negro Dr. Kevorkian, a pariah, who gleefully assists in suicidal conduct to destroy his own race." Of the members who did respond to Project 21 inquiries, not one was willing to condemn Clay's letter. In a general broadside against black conservatives, Clay wrote: "These barbarous Gladiators roam the country like 'boll weevils' searching for a political home among bigoted whites anywhere that so-called 'uppity' blacks need a thrashing. Advocating destruction in their path of everything decent and just, these nomads trivialize the historic civil rights struggle of this century for the expressed purpose of enhancing their personal financial status... The goal of this group of Negro wanderers is to maim and kill other blacks for the gratification and entertainment of -- for lack of a more accurately descriptive word -- ultra-conservative white racists." Clay ended the letter with the following: "Rocks left un-turned provide an ideal environment for all manner of unsavory creatures to grow... the voters of the 5th Congressional district of Connecticut turned over Gary Franks' rock. But don't be fooled, there are other rocks in our path and our challenge is to allow the cleansing light of day to shine underneath them." Project 21 member Emanuel McLittle, Editor-in-Chief of Destiny, a magazine that often features black conservative writers, said "It's an example of their cowardice that the Black Congressional Caucus is unwilling to condemn Clay's letter. I'm not surprised that their behavior differs when the bigotry is on their side of the aisle." Project 21 member Deroy Murdock, President of Loud & Clear Communications, a New York City public relations firm, addressed the controversy in a November 22 Washington Times op/ed, saying in part: "We should discuss our differences reasonably as mature men and women, just as white people do. But ad hominem attacks that reinforce racial stereotypes do David Duke's work without his having to break a sweat." Murdock's op/ed reviews other intolerant attacks by the left against minority conservatives in recent years. For a copy of Clay's letter, a copy of Mr. Murdock's article or an interview with a Project 21 member, contact Arturo Silva at 202/543-4110 or [email protected]
A poll of young people by the non-partisan group Third Mellennium has found that faith in Medicare's long-term solvency has shriveled to the point that, by a 53% to 34% margin, a majority of Americans aged 18-to-34 believe that the TV soap opera "General Hospital" will outlast the Medicare system. The poll, conducted by Republican pollster Frank Luntz and Democrat consultant Mark Siegel, reveals that only one third of young Americans believe that Medicare will exist by the time they retire. Sixty-six percent of young people believe Medicare coverage should be based on need, 70% support offering seniors incentives to join HMOs, and 59% support offering seniors Medical Savings Accounts. Two years ago, Third Millennium commissioned a survey that found that nearly twice as many young adults believe UFOs exist as believe Social Security will exist by the time they retire (46% vs. 28%). Says Third Mellennium's Executive Director Richard Thau: "Clearly, UFOs would beat out Medicare, too." A copy of the poll's results are available. Contact Richard Thau at 212/979-2001 or [email protected] or visit Third Mellennium's web site at http://www.thirdmil.org.
Matias F. Travieso-Diaz of Shaw Pittman Potts and Trowbridge described alternative methods for resolution of claims by U.S. and Cuban nationals against the Castro government for the expropriation of assets after the Cuban revolution. Travieso-Diaz argued that these outstanding claims will need to be addressed promptly after Castro finally falls from power because 1) "U.S. laws arguably require resolution of U.S. claims before the embargo on trade with Cuba is lifted..." and 2) "the Cuban government will need to resolve outstanding expropriation claims to foster stability, expedite privatization, and encourage private investment..." Travieso-Diaz reported that international law allows for compensation for the value of lost land, but said that Cuba's GNP is less than the total value of the confiscated property. Furthermore, he said, repossession of Cuba's assets is not a preferred option because Cuban citizens have lost private property, too. Travieso-Diaz then discussed other options, including a $.40 on the dollar no interest settlements and return of property with issuance of state securities, tax breaks and other incentives to encourage economic growth. Travieso-Diaz distributed a 13-page paper he has written "The Resolution of Expropriation Claims Against Cuba," which provides background on this issue and discusses options in more detail. Contact Matias F. Travieso-Diaz at 202/663-8142 or [email protected]
Shepherd Smith of Americans for Sound AIDS/HIV Policy delivered on presentation on the philosophy of "Harm Reduction." This term is used in the medical community to describe techniques for reducing risks from alcohol and drug abuse and promiscuity. However, Smith said, techniques in use by Harm Reduction advocates include advocacy of techniques such as handing out clean needles to drug addicts and condoms to those practicing non-monogamous sex while eschewing promoting of abstinence from drugs, sex & alcohol. Contact Shepherd Smith at 703-471-7350.
Scoop is published by The National Center for Public Policy Research to provide information about the activities of the conservative movement. Coverage of a meeting or statement in Scoop does not imply endorsement by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Copyright 1996 The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints of articles in Scoop permitted provided source is credited. ###
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