What Bush Must Do

By Page, Clarence | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 30, 2006 | Go to article overview

What Bush Must Do


Page, Clarence, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


The last time George W. Bush addressed the NAACP, he was a candidate in 2000. A few months later, the organization was broadcasting an attack ad that implied the Texas governor supported the truck-dragging murder of a black man in that state by two white men.

After that affront, Bush spoke to the National Urban League and some other black groups but not to the NAACP until this month.

In the meantime, he and the NAACP engaged in a five-year game of make-believe: The NAACP pretended Bush had no reason to feel all that insulted and the Bush administration pretended that he had nothing to gain by talking to the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Both were wrong.

Republicans have work to do if they want to reach more black voters; the president knows it. Bush called for "a new founding," the completion of the civil rights movement's dreams and of the ideals laid down by the nation's Founders. He could begin by addressing a thorny topic he conspicuously has omitted from his speeches: the growing crisis of young undereducated black men. …

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