... Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives, as saying Steele has made a career of "slavishly supporting the Republican Party."
Heye said the comment, made at an event in Prince George's County last weekend, was racist. The National Black Church Initiative President, the Rev. Anthony Evans, and High Impact Leadership Coalition Chairman Bishop Harry Jackson condemned the remark.In a statement released yesterday, Hoyer said, "I should not have used that word."
"If Mr. Steele did, in fact, take offense, let me assure him that none was intended," Hoyer said. "But Mr. Steele continuously tries to divert attention from the fact that he is an unwavering supporter of the Republican agenda and of President Bush and Vice President Cheney."
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) now joins a growing list of grey haired White politicos in 2006 using inappropriate references to people of color. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and "tar baby"; Sen. George Allen (R-VA) for that notorious "M" word and past use of the legendary "N" word which torpedoed his re-election bid; and VA Senate Dem challenger James Webb for probably using the "N" word, too. Anyway - it doesn't matter because we all think differently in the comfort of our homes ...
Steele and the GOP come off as somewhat disingenuous by pressing too hard with the race talk. First: there is a risk of this tactic looking contrived. Besides, Republicans are well known for nailing Democrats on "race-baiting" - and what do you call this strategy? Second: Black Republicans/Conservatives - such as Steele - have traditionally criticized the Black political establishment for promoting an ideology of "victimization." Now, Steele struggles to paint himself as the "victim" or the "target" of White racist attitudes in the Free State. Steele should chill on this rhetoric because it will give the impression that he's deliberately avoiding a conversation on the issues and his platform.