31 Dec 2014 The Steve Scalise Double Standard
Project 21 member Nadra Enzi, a community activist in New Orleans, had this comment about the alleged controversy involving U.S. Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) having addressed members of a white separatist group 12 years ago while serving as a state legislator:
U.S. Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA), the third highest-ranking member of the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives, made a 2002 speech that is coming back to bite him with a vengeance! While a state legislator, he spoke to the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO, get it) — a group affiliated with David Duke, a Louisianan steeped in racial controversy.
So? I view this alleged controversy minus the histrionics for a couple of reasons. Chief among them is the double standard imposed on white conservatives.
We have a president who wasn’t disqualified from running or serving despite spending around 20 years as a congregant of Reverend Jeremiah Wright — whose race-baiting on a slow day puts to shame any of the allegedly dire implications of Scalise’s comments made to a fringe group about boring tax policy .
America is only a mere 50 years or so out of its own apartheid era, so it’s not surprising if folks are still afoot spouting “euro” or “afro” attitudes. But if Al Sharpton’s ugly record of civil rights hoaxes as well as his seemingly anti-police, anti-white, anti-Jewish and anti-American rambling hasn’t barred him from over 70 known visits to the White House, how can liberals say the Scalise story is “a big deal” with a straight face?
I notice that the local Red Cross chapter, which also had a representative speak at the 2002 EURO event, hasn’t yet been thrown under the bus. Nor has the local sheriff’s office. Neither has the Best Western hotel chain been targeted for a boycott for allowing the event to take place on their premises.
Need I also recite the excesses, misstatements and questionable audiences chosen by white liberals that did not cost them high office nor esteem to further underscore the breadth of this double standard?
The other major reason this episode is a non-issue to me is that the timing is nakedly political. It smacks of a desperate desire to upset the upcoming political landscape. Becoming the number-three man in leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives earns one serious attention and obvious enemies. Those enemies seem to want to blunt Scalise before he can do virtually anything in the job.
If Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and a staunch Obama supporter, says he “do[es]n’t Steve Scalise has a racist bone in his body,” ‘nuff said as far as I’m concerned.
While U.S. Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) said he was sorry for having spoken to the radical group EURO 12 years ago, he also noted he did not have any records from that time confirming or denying his participation or a recollection of being among what he called a “hate group.” Breaking news now suggests his foggy memories of that time, the misreporting of a blogger and the ensuing media frenzy may have caused Scalise to admit something he never actually did.
Kenny Knight, the man who booked the room where EURO held its meeting, also used the space for another meeting earlier in the day — the one at which he says Scalise spoke. Knight, who told the New Orleans Times-Picayune he was not a member of EURO, rented the room for EURO as a favor to David Duke. But, before EURO’s event began, Knight used the room for a meeting of the Jefferson Heights Civic Association.
Knight said the Jefferson Heights Civic Association is the group Scalise addressed that day — not EURO.
Knight said: “Steve Scalise did not address a EURO conference… The conference was two-and-a-half hours later.”
In an earlier interview with the Times-Picayune, Scalise said about his alleged interaction with EURO: “I don’t have any records from back in 2002, but when people called and asked me to speak to groups, I went and spoke to groups… I didn’t know who all of these groups were and I detest any kind of hate group. For anyone to suggest that I was involved with a group like that is insulting and ludicrous. I was opposed to a lot of spending at the state level. When people asked me to go speak, I went and spoke to any group that called.”
The media firestorm against Scalise came after liberal blogger Lamar White, Jr. posted about references to Scalise on a white nationalist Internet bulletin board that also spoke about the EURO event. Knight said there were no EURO banners or signs were hung during civic association meeting.
Scalise himself essentially admitted to trusting the hype when he responded to the Times-Picayune question “You don’t remember speaking at the event?” by saying: “I don’t. I mean I’ve seen the blog about it. When you look at the kind of things they stand for, I detest these kinds of views.”
So days of front-page headlines suggesting a racist link to Representative Scalise may have been a mistake. Oopsie! If it is, who’s going to step up and take the blame and what is the proper punishment for smearing the lawmaker’s reputation? Dan Rather lost his job at CBS after succumbing for false charges about President George W. Bush allegedly dodging the draft.
One thing remains salient — why was there a double standard at play?
Why, as Project 21’s Nadra Enzi pointed out, outrage over the alleged Scalise speaking event and the apparent influence Al Sharpton has in the Obama White House or President Obama’s long affiliation with Reverend Jeremiah Wright? The question begs answer more as the controversy over Steve Scalise might be turned on its head.
The next few days should be very interesting.