A long time going

Stanley Crouch disagrees with the civil rights establishment, and finds merit in President Bush’s appointment of Gerald Reynolds to head the U.S. Commssion on Civil Rights. Reynolds replaces Mary Frances Berry, a shrill leftist who was appointed by Jimmy Carter. In 1980, according to the Weekly Standard, Berry gave a speech praising Red China’s educational system for its successful inculcation of “what they call socialist consciousness and culture.” Inspired by the Chinese model, Berry attempted to use the Civil Rights Commission in a similar fashion. This was Rocket Man’s take on the appalling Ms. Berry.
Berry was a central figure in one of my favorite parenting moments. When my older daughter was in the sixth grade, she asked me for information about Berry. She needed to write a report on a major contempory African-American figure for black history month, and her teacher had suggested Berry as a subject. I responded, disingenuously, that it might be difficult to find much information about Berry, but that Alan Keyes (then running for president) would be on C-SPAN later in the evening. After listening to a typical Keyes oration, my daughter concluded it would be foolish to write about anyone else. I wonder how many school children ended up writing about Berry after being led to believe that she was some sort of latter-day Rosa Parks.


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