Wasserman Schultz's Racial Double Standard
by Deneen Borelli (bio)
Remember the controversy over that conservative congressman's remark that any toddler who isn't in school will likely end up in jail? Remember the liberal acrimony over this obviously racist insinuation that black kids can either shape up or be shipped off to prison?
Of course not. That's made up. Had it happened, one would have had to live on the moon not to have heard about it.
But the insinuation was made — just not by a conservative. On March 3, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schulz (D-FL) took to the floor of the House to promote "how vital early education is in the development of children" and "how 50 years of solid research has shown that early education reduces crime."
Since Wasserman Schultz was complaining about Republican legislation she alleged would cut early education funding, and since the National Center for Children in Poverty estimates that 34 percent of black children live in "poor families" (compared to just 10 percent of white children), she must have meant that, without federal aid, black kids are likely to turn into criminals.
Yet there was no outcry. In fact, President Obama selected her to run the Democratic National Committee about a month later.
There's a definite liberal-conservative double standard when it comes to race and politics, and Wasserman Schultz should be the poster child for the problem.
In July, Wasserman Schultz got on the last nerve of Representative Allen West (R-FL) when she took to the floor to denounce him for voting for Cut, Cap and Balance, a conservative debt-reduction plan. Though not mentioning West by name, Wasserman Schultz was unambiguous about her target, saying that "the gentleman from Florida" supported "protecting tax breaks for Big Oil, millionaires and companies who ship jobs overseas" by wanting to cut spending that would "increase the costs for Medicare beneficiaries."
Out of the 234 members who voted for the bill — for which West was not the author or floor manager — Wasserman Schultz specifically targeted West. Could it be that she singled out West because he's a black conservative?
Wasserman Schultz has gone after West before, most notably at a 2010 rally outside his campaign headquarters where she claimed he thought it was alright "to objectify and denigrate women."
In an interview with talk radio host Mark Levin last month, shortly after the House floor incident, West noted: "I'm the threat because I'm the guy that got off their [liberal] plantation, and they cannot afford to have a strong voice such as mine out there."
The woman is obsessed with race but not adept at dealing the race card. In June, Wasserman Schultz was forced to backtrack for using the "wrong analogy" when she told TV One's Roland Martin that state voter ID laws would "literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws" that enforced segregation and otherwise limited the rights of black Americans.
Wasserman Schultz once demanded more minority judges, saying the bench needed people who "understand what discrimination feels like." She opposed protecting military veterans from hate crimes because it would be "belittling" to blacks, gays and Jews in her district.
Liberals have never been shy about exploiting race for political gain, but Wasserman Schultz's appallingly bad technique would be comical if it weren't so irresponsible.
West has finally had enough. Two weeks ago, he called out Wasserman Schultz in an e-mail to her and congressional leaders, saying that she engaged in "heinous characterless behavior" and that "you have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady."
He's right: Wasserman Schultz was not acting in a ladylike or a collegial way when she denounced West's vote for Cut, Cap and Balance. Harsh words, but earned.
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Deneen Borelli is a fellow with the Project 21 black leadership network. A version of this commentary previously appeared in The Daily Caller. Comments may be sent to Project21@nationalcenter.org.
Published by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints
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