Condoleezza Rice's Mention of Rosa Parks and Lech Walesa Hypocritical.
Wednesday, February 9, 2005
Greens cite the U.S. ban on labor unions in Iraq, GOP obstruction of black votes in Florida and Ohio, Bush's admitted ignorance of the Voting Rights Act, and his opposition to statehood for D.C.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party leaders called Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's mention of Rosa Parks and Lech Walesa 'hypocritical' after Ms. Rice invoked the American civil rights figure and Polish union leader and former president in a speech promoting President Bush's 'global freedom' initiative in Paris on Tuesday.
"Ms. Rice's speech turned hypocritical when she tried to associate President Bush's dubious effort to promote freedom and democracy with Rosa Parks and Lech Walesa," said Pat LaMarche, the Green Party's 2004 candidate for Vice President. "During the past half decade, the Bush Administration has undermined everything that these two major 20th century figures stood for."
Ms. Parks' refusal to sit in the back of a bus on December 1, 1955 was a landmark event of the civil rights movement, which also fought to ensure voting rights for African Americans. In the 2000 and 2004 elections, Republican officials in Florida, Ohio, and possibly other states allegedly obstructed and disqualified thousands of African American votes. In its infamous Bush v. Gore decision that handed the White House to Mr. Bush in 2000, a politically biased Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution guarantees no national right to vote.
Mr. Walesa led the movement for free trade unions and democracy in Poland in the 1980s. During the current U.S. occupation of Iraq, Iraq administrator Paul Bremer has maintained Saddam Hussein's ban on labor unions. (See "Assault on the Labor Movement in Iraq" by Ralph Nader http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0628-14.htm.) The U.S. has imported workers to Iraq, opened up Iraqi business to foreign (i.e., U.S. corporate) ownership, and enacted other policies that have caused widespread unemployment in Iraq.
Greens also note the Bush's Administration's numerous assaults on the freedoms and protections of the U.S. Constitution and on international law, as well as its record of widespread abuse and torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib <http://www.gp.org/press/pr_10_28_04.html>.
"What makes President Bush's vision of global freedom and democracy even more fraudulent is his recently revealed ignorance of the Voting Rights Act and his opposition to statehood for the District of Columbia," said Gail Dixon, member of the D.C. Statehood Green Party and former member of the D.C. Board of Education. "The President confessed his unfamiliarity with the Voting Rights Act, one of the most important pieces of 20th century legislation, during a recent meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus."
"At the same meeting, he confirmed his adamant opposition to statehood for D.C. -- Mr. Bush's backyard -- where the majority African American population is denied numerous rights that other Americans enjoy. Congress and the White House wield power over D.C.'s laws, policies, and budgets, and have rebuffed District residents' pleas for democratic self-government and voting seats in Congress," added Ms. Dixon.
Congress passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to enact the 15th Amendment's guarantee that no person shall be denied the right to vote on the basis of race or color.
2004 Green presidential candidate David Cobb led the recount efforts in Ohio and New Mexico after widespread evidence of election manipulation in those states. The D.C. Statehood Green Party has campaigned for self-governance and statehood for the District of Columbia since the party was founded (as the D.C. Statehood Party) in 1970; the platform of the Green Party of the United States endorses statehood for D.C.