Tell me you wouldn't cross over to the side of the street if you saw Tavis Smiley walking toward you at night.
Sure, a lot of Republican presidential candidates missed last night's Republican minority issue debate. But saying that it was some sort of putdown of people of color would be like saying that Bill O'Reilly being surprised that a black restaurant, um, didn't "market to their clientele" the way he thought they would, was somehow racist.
I, for one, think of neither as racist.
Ignorant, yes. Racist, no.
Racist would be like hauling Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson on to your show to demonstrate how unracist you are then go on to tell them what the problem is with Blacks in America. To Bill O'Reilly, next to "more fathers in the house," the African-American fix would be for Jackson to join Bill in castigating MediaMatters.
Perhaps, Bill was right and those who chose not to appear at the debate - New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Sen. Fred Thompson, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney - are just afraid of blacks. But while host Tavis Smiley could have been packing, he really does appear to be one of those nice Blacks, not to mention, pretty articulate too.
You begin to wonder why any African-American, other than Alan Keyes (who for some reason materialized on the candidates' stage), or Latino, would vote for those who "had a scheduling conflict."
If I were cynical, I might say that the reason those Republican candidates didn't appear at the debate was because the primary process is where a candidate plays to his base to get nominated...and their base would rather their favorite not kowtow to them there coloreds.
And that is even more scary than dinner at Sylvia's.
<em>Disclaimer: Steve Young is author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" (www.greatfailure.com)and his "All The News That's Fit To Spoof" appears in L.A. Daily News opeds every Sunday (www.dailynews.com/steveyoung), right next to Bill's...really</em>