Roads—high and low


“They go low, we go high.”

Thus, did that classy First Lady, Michelle Obama, abjure us to take the high road.

Then we have Rep. Maxine Waters tempting us to the low road.

All those lunch counter sit-ins ignored.

What did it all mean?

Think of the battles to be served simple meals. Decent, civil, respectful blacks asking for service in a restaurant that refused them. Wasn’t there a legal obligation to serve orderly customers when you opened your doors to the public? Civility sacrificed on the altar of racism.

And now Rep. Waters, a black woman (of all grotesque ironies) calling for a Trump employee and her family to be confronted, insulted and denied service.

How many victims of Jim Crow spiral in their graves over this one?

How much comfort does Ms. Waters hope to extend to racists? Why does she work so hard to be Trump’s biggest asset? Is it that she wants to supplant Nancy Pelosi as the Right’s bete noir?

Life is quite complicated enough—especially under the goofy visions of our universally scorned President Donald Trump (at least in the upper reaches of intellectualism).

Our only hope lies in a Blue Wave in November that can sweep Mueller’s findings (sure to be damning) into impeachment. In such a case Trump will discover (as all his cronies—Pruitt, The Mooch, Cohen, Manafort, et alia, on and on—have) that you actually cannot resist the pressure to resign. Nixon comes to mind. Yet the conceit survives that “I can tough it out.”

Susan Huckabee Sanders and her family must be served at the Red Hen—and everywhere else—when they arrive with civility and are prepared to pay. That is what this nation is all about.

That she is a shill for what I think is a criminal enterprise means only that she must be charged when the evidence demands it but not be subjected to mindless exclusions and illegal denials of service. How can we know that it’s wrong to deny blacks at the counter yet believe it’s right to extend such idiotic and illegal cruelties to similarly situated whites.

The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

But Talleyrand had it right when, referring to a folly of state, said, “It is worse than a tragedy. It is a mistake.”

Criticizing blacks in government does not come easily to me, but the more egregious follies have to be attacked if we are to retain civility, respectability and integrity. Was the Civil Rights war fought in vain?

The Black Caucus in Congress has made serious errors. They were apologists for Rep. Charles Rangel when the evidence showed he was a grifter. Altogether too much slack is given to Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton. There is little comfort in acknowledging that blacks are human too, but a decent respect for—yes—decency, requires us to demand responsible actions even from those we’d prefer to protect and succor.

I’m very afraid that beating up on black leaders lends aid and comfort to the enemy, yet I can’t help pointing out the harm done by such as Jesse Jackson (senior and junior), Bill Cosby and O.J. Simpson—whose acquittal led to an explosion of glee in black communities across America. This burst was merely a sense of relief for getting Charley’s foot off Black America’s necks, however done or however briefly.

November beckons. I see it as our only hope. Maxine Waters is a serious obstacle (and a very appealing and convenient target) to any hopes of an overthrow of Trump. If that hope is to survive we must jettison the baggage that slows our pursuit of that goal. Waters should repent and apologize; Pelosi should quit and Democrats should walk as if they understand the Republic is at stake.

First Lady Obama was not only right but prophetic. The High Road is our only option.

What Maxine Waters did proves a wonderful illustration of a topic I recently dwelled on—the law of unintended consequences. I’m sure she meant the opposite of the results she managed to extract from the treatment of Ms. Huckabee-Sanders. Had she set out to feather Trump’s nest she could not have done a better job than she did with her diatribe.

The hour is late. Repent!

Complex struggles require carefully thought out responses, not reflexive self-indulgences.

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