With Eliza Doolittle McBride having succumbed to the Peter Principle, Milwaukee's right wing king/queenmaker Charlie Sykes has begun to work on his next project, one James Harris.

Harris has started to get The Treatment. Sykes and other conservative talkers link to his blog regularly. WTMJ-AM has given him a weekly Sunday night radio show. Now he's showing up as a guest on Sykes's Sunday TV show.

And what is it that makes Harris so special in the eyes of Sykes and Company?

He's an African American conservative who writes things like this:

Will things ever get better in the inner city?

My response: Sure they will. When the civil rights generation that allowed this crap to happen either repents or dies.

Strong words I know, but let’s get real, the civil rights generation and their now antiquated notions of race and power have created the atmosphere of abuse that grips the inner city of Milwaukee.

Anti-poverty agencies, affirmative action, welfare and forced segregation are all products of white guilt that have enabled many black Americans to race hold instead of compete, improve and join mainstream society.

Now they are not interested in joining the mainstream. Now many inner city blacks demand charity while they reject responsibility...

We don’t need more black leaders! What we need are hard working moral individuals who value God, community and character over useless emotional rhetoric and black separatist idealism. Forty years of tree shaking has gotten us what? Has taken us where? Are black people better of today then they were in 1967?

(That should be a campaign slogan but it would only work if a Republican used it.)

As a people, black Americans’ collective mentality is forty years behind the times. Do the math. Somewhere in the 1960s, Americans of African descent chose the wrong road -- the road to dependency, whether it was dependency on government or dependency on so called black leadership.

Or, better yet, this rant on Alderman Michael McGee Jr:

Now that McGee has been deposed, people will eventually start to talk. Especially when they are sure that McGee is gone for good (or at least twenty years). It’s no different than the Russians’ love for Stalin, the Cubans’ love for Castro, or the Iraqis' love for Hussein. The politically abused tend to love their abuser, but once free they spit in the dictator's face.

McGee is a thug and he turned his district into a “thugocracy.” ...

The word on the street is that “Michael has done a lot for his constituents and for the constituents of Milwaukee.”


“He was a good man.” “ He stood up for the community.” “He returned my calls…”


This is why the NBA shouldn’t let fans select the All-Star team. Fans are blindly stupid.

So what if he did some good things! What do McGee’s good deeds have to do with the price of tea in China?


Is Harris suggesting that McGee "fans" who live under "thugocracy" should not be allowed to vote, because they have shown themselves incompetent by voting for McGee in the past?

Or does it just sound that way?

His dismissal of, and contempt for, what he calls the "civil rights generation" is stunning for its lack of recognition about the gains that have come in the last 40 years, and the many black Americans who have joined the mainstream that was posted off limits to them before that generation of leaders brought about change.

Things are not rosy in the central city. But blaming those who have spent their lives fighting for positive change won't make them any rosier.

It will help Harris maintain his place on the Up escalator in Sykes-WTMJ circles. There is nothing the right (white) wing likes better than a black conservative who is willing to say the things they would like to say themselves, but dare not.

It is always a risk to comment across racial lines, as it is for this white guy to say anything about Harris. Who knows how this commentary will get twisted?

But it's pretty clear what's happening, and you have to hope that he will be able to see how he's being used -- and not by people whose cause is to right the wrongs he sees in the central city, but who will use those wrongs -- and Harris himself -- for their own political ends.

He has already suggested a slogan for a Republican candidate, although he might be susprised at the answer to whether African Americans are better off than they were in 1967 -- at least among those who remember Milwaukee in 1967.

Sheriff David Clarke is someone who would be very comfortable with Harris's rhetoric. Clarke, another conservative black voice, also has been used by Sykes and Co. to advance their view of the world; he even got talked into an embarrassing campaign for mayor by the wingnuts whispering in his ear.

They're no doubt whispering again as the 2008 election nears. Maybe Harris could hone his message while working on Clarke's campaign.

That would prepare him -- and maybe give him a dose of reality -- for his own career in politics as a Republican candidate for something. Whether Harris has any political ambitions or not, it's a good bet the Republican recruitment welcome wagon will be stopping at his home.

The GOP is always looking and ready to exploit a black conservative, in the hope that even a losing campaign will pry a few African-American votes away from the Democrats and maybe provide the margin of victory in another race. Corey Hoze was the latest sacrificial lamb, in a 2004 Milwaukee Congressional race in which he didn't even survive the GOP primary.

It will be interesting to see if Harris succumbs to the flattery, or will see through it and just enjoy the ride he's already getting.

UPDATE: Harris goes after Barack Obama, and Ken Mobile of Mobile's Take finds Harris "long on rhetoric, short on facts." As usual.

Submitted by xoff on