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Taking a splinter out of your brother’s eye with a 2x4 in yours

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Last week I saw a political cartoon that confirmed what I had been thinking about the raping of public and private funds. The cartoon showed an American couple watching television coverage of the looting going on in Iraq and the billions taken by Saddam Hussein.

Then beside them it showed American corporations taking billions from citizens, and giving them to Halliburton, Bechtel, Parsons, and others to rebuild Iraq after the war. Then on Friday night on ABC’s Nightline, Ted Koppel ran a segment on contracts issued to companies to rebuild Iraq without having to go through a bidding process.

If that was not enough, Sunday night’s 20/20 had a section of their program dedicated to the rebuilding of Iraq by Republican supported corporations without any scrutiny from congress. Dick Cheney formerly ran one of these companies before he became Vice President. He had no experience as a CEO.

Even though he is not president of the company he earned over $180,000.00 from them last year. These contracts are so confidential and classified that not even congress knows about them until they have been awarded and they cannot be reversed.

The point that gets me about all of this is that we are so busy pointing out the splinter in other’s eyes while we have a 2x4 in ours. We holler that other governments or dictators are stealing their people blind. We holler that other governments do not allow for openness, when conducting business.

We holler about other governments suppressing dissenting opinion. We holler about other governments not allowing their minority population to fully participate in decision-making opportunities.

Yet we look the other way when millions of dollars are given to corporations without going through a competitive bidding process. The same government people who says there is nothing wrong with that, are the same ones who say “set-aside” contracts for Blacks are unconstitutional. Those are the same ones who say it is wrong to give any kind of consideration to Blacks seeking access to public colleges and universities, while agreeing that Blacks have legally been denied access in the past.

These are the same people who say it is all right for a company like Enron to steal from its employees and stockholders without government intervention. These are the same people who will keep Blacks out of colleges yet take them into the Army and send them off to fight in an unclear war.

These are the same people who are saying you are a traitor to your country if you speak out against international policy. And everyone knows Black Americans are not supposed to interfere with foreign policy even though much of the world we are dealing with are people of color. This is the same mistake Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. made when he stuck his nose into the Viet Nam war issue.

This is what exiled Eartha Kitt and Paul Robeson when they criticized the United States government.

We as Black taxpaying citizens must continue to voice our opinions on these issues because we clearly understand these double standards from our collective historical experience in this country.

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