Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

When Liberals Feel Forgotten, Senator Delivers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

When Liberals Feel Forgotten, Senator Delivers

Article excerpt

LET ME RENOUNCE and repudiate Danny Staples, a white Democrat from Eminence who made a racial slur against state Sen. William "Lacy" Clay, a black Democrat from St. Louis.

This is something I've been wanting to do for quite a while.

Ever since an aide to Louis Farrakhan made horrible and hateful remarks about Jewish people in a speech late last year, and especially since Farrakhan criticized the speech but stood up for the "truths" his aide had uttered, black politicians and black columnists have come under great pressure to renounce and repudiate Farrakhan and his organization.

Most have readily complied.

But white politicians and white columnists have been left out in the cold. Except for a few fringe people who go around in sheets - and these people have already been renounced and repudiated - most white people, even the vile ones, have become far too canny to utter the kind of ridiculous remarks about black people that Farrakhan's people make about white people.

In the old days, we white liberals had an easy out. We could renounce and repudiate anybody who used "code words."

For instance, "law and order" were code words. So were "local control of schools."

So if a conservative talked about "law and order," we could renounce and repudiate him. If he said he was in favor of "local control of schools," we could say he was actually just against busing, and then, of course, we could renounce and repudiate him.

But then a strange thing happened. Black people began talking about law and order. They pointed out that it is the black community that suffers most from crime. And not only did black people start talking about local control of schools, they said they were in favor of it because they were against busing.

This put us white liberals in a terrible spot.

Who was there to renounce and repudiate?

Of course, when you need somebody to say or do something really stupid, you can usually count on a state legislator.

So earlier this week, state Sen. Danny Staples came through for us. The Legislature's Joint Committee on Corrections was in New Florence. Staples was introducing the members of the committee at a public hearing. …

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