Skip to comments.Blacks Fear War with Iraq would Drain Resources from Social Programs
Posted on 03/17/2003 1:38:24 PM PST by chance33_98
Blacks Fear War with Iraq would Drain Resources from Social Programs
by Hazel Trice Edney Originally posted 3/17/2003
WASHINGTON (NNPA)Former Congressman Walter Fauntroy, just back from a 10-day peace mission to Iraq, says many African-Americans oppose the prospect of war with that country because it would divert resources from more important programs at home.
We know that every bomb that explodes is robbing our children and their families of five things: Income, education, health care, housing and justice, Fauntroy, a delegate to Congress from the District of Columbia from 1971 to 1990, says in an interview.
They were prepared to give Turkey $26 billion just to be able to station troops there. As a former member of Congress, I can tell you, $26 billion would wipe out the debts of all 50 states, he explains. Thats truth. The bottom line here is that the money spent there comes out of Pell Grants, Guaranteed Student Loans, Medicaid, health care and housing for the homeless. The bottom line is that we are most affected.
Fauntroy co-chaired a multi-faith group of eight American ministers who traveled to Iraq on a Prayer Pilgrimage for Peace. The trip was sponsored by the Middle East Council of Churches, an organization that encourages ecumenical fellowship in response to common social and ecclesiastical needs around the world.
More than half of the African-American population joins with Fauntroy in opposition to a war with Iraq.
A recent report by the PEW Research Center for People and the Press, U. S. Needs More International Backing, found, Just 44 percent of African-Americans favor military action in Iraq, compared with 67 percent of Hispanics and 73 percent of Whites.
The survey, conducted Feb. 12-18, was based on the responses of 1,254 people. Of those polled, 109 were African-Americans. That small sample accounts for the high margin of error10 percentfor African-American respondents. That means the actual number could be 10 percent higher or 10 percent lower than the 44 percent of Blacks said to favor military action in Iraq. Support for the war among African-Americans was even lower in another poll conducted around the same time.
An Atlanta-Journal/Zogby pollwith a margin of error of only 3.2 percentshowed 23 percent of Blacks supporting a possible war and 62 percent of Whites supporting the war, with a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points. It was conducted Feb. 6-7.
President Bush has defended any future war by claiming that not only will it help combat terrorism, it will free the Iraqi people.
When Diane Batts Morrow, professor of Afro-American Studies and history at the University of Georgia, hears Bush make his case, she thinks back to President Woodrow Wilson galvanizing the American public for World War I. He convened a joint session of Congress to seek a declaration of war against Germany. His rationale: The world must be made safe for democracy.
Now, 86 years later, Wilsons immortal words are linked to those of Bush. When President Bush is talking about bringing democracy as a gift in liberating Iraq, it probably has the same sort of hollow ring, especially when his administration is notoriously not concerned about bringing full citizenship rights to Black people in this country, explains Morrow. Bush has little credibility with many African-Americans.
Thats certainly true with Damu Smith, founder and chairman of Black Voices for Peace, a Washington, D.C.-based anti-war group.
We have experienced terrorism at the hand of the Klan, our churches have been bombed, weve been victims of police brutality and scientific experiments, says Smith. If the Bush administration wants to wage a war on terror, it could start by pulling back from actionssuch as opposing affirmative actionthat are harmful to African-Americans, he says.
While anti-war protests around the country have drawn masses of White demonstrators, the marches will become increasingly Black, predicts Nana Gyamfi, a chair of the Los Angeles-based International Black Coalition for Peace and Justice, a federation of 20 organizations.
I think that [Black] people have felt a desire to give a voice to an anti-war sentiment, but they havent felt akin to those who have been putting them on, says Gyamfi, a human rights lawyer. The coalition, which includes the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, headed by Martin Luther King III, and the Organization US, a Black cultural and social change group, chaired by Kwanza creator Maulana Karenga, is planning a Black anti-war protest in Los Angeles in Leimert Park on March 29.
On the other coast, about four weeks later, Smiths group is planning a two-day Great Black Peace March and Concert in Washington, D.C., beginning April 25. African-Americans have a reason to be concerned about whether the U.S. goes to war. Although Blacks are only 12 percent of the 18-to-44-year-old age group, African-Americans are 22 percent of the soldiers on active duty.
John Morrow, an African-American who teaches history at the University of Georgia, as does his wife, Diane, comes in contact with many White students who will never serve a day in the military.
I get sick and tired of being down here and teaching large numbers of White southern students who are middle class and well-to-do and theyre all hawks, he says.
Ironically, the clamor for war is being led by chicken hawks, people who are hawkish on the prospect of war yet were chicken or scared when they had an opportunity to fight.
Peace activists are quick to point out that President Bush joined the Texas Air National Guard in 1968 rather than serve on active duty. Vice President Richard Cheney used student and marriage deferments to avoid military service. Neither Senate Majority leader Jim Frist, Senate Majority Whip Don Nickles, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, House Majority Leader Tom Delay, nor House Majority Whip Roy Blunt served in the military.
Many top military commanders in the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrationsincluding now Secretary of State Colin Powellhave expressed reservations about going to war with Iraq.
Civilians are even more outspoken.
The opposition to this war has grown far quicker than with Vietnam, observes Ron Daniels, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, the New York organization that helped plan the ministers trip to Iraq. With Vietnam, it was three years in before you had these kinds of numbers.
Rev. Herbert Daughtry, pastor of the House of the Lord Pentecostal Church in Brooklyn, N.Y., says the delegation to Iraq got a chance to see the horror of war up close. The delegation was allowed to see some of the damage inflicted during Operation Desert Storm, the 1991 U. S. invasion.
It burned the peoples ashes to the floor and against the wall, recalls Daughtry. They put over the ashes Plexiglas so you could still see the ashes, sometimes the imprint of a body. Against one of the walls was the imprint of a bride. She had on a bridal apparel Much of the remains were children. The place is charred and you can still smell the gases and fumes.
Fauntroy says he met with Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz, a top aid to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, and asked him to comply with all United Nations resolutions.
He said that he agrees that an attack [on Iraq] would cause violence all over the globe, Fauntroy recounts. And therefore, they were going to comply [with the resolutions] but that it would take time, by the end of three or four months. Both President Bush and Secretary of State Powell argue that Iraq has had plenty of time to comply with the U.N. resolutions and are stalling for more time. The visiting U.S. ministers feel that both Iraq and the U.S. will come out losers if there is a war.
The words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have more relevance today than at any time in human history, says the petition of the pilgrimage, submitted to Aziz by Fauntroy. Either we learn to live together as brothers and sisters on this planet or we will perish together as fools.
California's debt alone is anywhere from $35 to $40 billion.
It's no contest as far as the poverty pimps, ahem, "community leaders" are concerned.
Maybe its time for Fauntroy to stop depending on Uncle Sugar, and start depending on themselves for a change. Americans are supposed to be self-reliant.
And lastly, anytime a so-called black leader equates opposition to affirmative action with 9/11 and terrorism, they've already lost all credibility and can safely be called idiots.
Really? How about getting a job like everyone else. Stop draining MY resources! Sheesh!
Whats that bumper sticker say?..."Go to work...millions on welfare are depending on you"
At least the war would be money well spent.
Defending this country is referenced in the same constitution that the idiot swore to uphold for twenty years.
This is NOT a socialist country (yet)
Needless to say, there are other more important ones, but I support the prospect of war for this same reason.
In D.C. doesn't he mean every bong or every crackpipe that explodes? Or is he talking about bombs over on H Street, N.E.?
Does D.C. still spend more per child than any other locality in the country? Money has not helped. Money won't help.
Walter, you're an idiot.
Duh. Can you say "They volunteered?"
Does this idiot think we're just doing this for something to do? Or just to deny blacks of some social program? Where DO they get these guys?
"What a ma-roon. What a ma-roon."
- Bugs Bunny
Hey, good timing! Wanna bet they'll turn it into a "Freedom for Iraq" Celebration or "Honor the Troops" day?
Heck, if that's the case, attack Europe, China, anyone, just keep fight'n.
A better title for article.
Only if you're relying on a government subsidy.
Just check an Army Infantry, Special Forces or Ranger unit and see the large percentage of whites there. Contrary to the screaming proclamations of liberals, these days whites bear the largest brunt of direct combat. Many, but certainly not all, blacks have increasingly take support jobs away from combat.
Blacks represent less than 10% of the military in direct combat roles. If the honorable Congresscritter is trying to lead me to believe that blacks are risking death in disproportional numbers, he'd better think again. Bloody poverty pimp...
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oops .. forgot about Kalifornia didn't ya ?
No, what you are seeing is: The "poor" are the masters and the working, tax paying citizens are the "slaves".
I think Eleanor Holmes Norton has rerouted some of the funding to the "Taxation Without Representation" bumper sticker program.