Before we start: Yes THAT Howard U. The Harvard of Historically Black Colleges, The birthplace of the Civil Rights Legal Brain trust, the Alma Mater of Thurgood Marshall, and home to student body that, if recent polls are to believed, like him about the same as they like their milk; which is to say 2%.
Not the First
place you'd think would be well disposed to give the president a real warm welcome to be sure.
But apparently desperate times call for desperate measures.
Ol' Georgie is a uniter not a divider after all, and he was bound and determined to show that he was down with his African American Peeps. He'd show that nasty Kanye West he was wrong. HE did too care about Black People.
So, our hero bravely ventured out of NW DC, for a photo-op of him nodding attentively while some random black people spoke, and then he'd join them for dinner and eat their unique native foods:
It was Soul Food Thursday at Howard University last week, and many students were looking forward to their favorite meal: fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and cornbread. At lunchtime, however, students discovered that much of the campus had been locked down and that the school's cafeteria was off limits.
Apparently, many of them did not know that President Bush and first lady Laura Bush had arrived for a "youth summit" at the Blackburn Center, where the dining hall is located. Stomachs began to growl, tempers flared, and, eventually, a student protest ensued.
Okay lets pause the film strip right there for second and consider the staggering bone-headedness of the WH advance team. Whatever sycophant empty suit is currently running the WH PR dept while KR is scurrying around trying to find an alibi big enough to cover his ass; arranged a Presidential visit on Soul Food Night!
Someone was capable of thinking it was a good Idea for W to be shown proclaiming his concern and understanding for the problems facing African Americans while tucking into a big ol' mess of Fried Chicken and greens!
Holy God! I'd hate to think what would have happened if watermelon had been in season!
And then to make matters worse, W was scheduled to enjoy this sumptuous repast , during the main dinner hour while actual black people, which is to say, Howard U's own Students were locked out of the dining hall.
OH yeah, this was gonna go over well.
Fortunately, some incredibly sensitive soul came up with a Brilliant plan to calm tensions:
But the visit went from bad to worse. On a day when the U.S. Senate passed a resolution paying tribute to civil rights icon Rosa Parks, who died last week, campus security guards were telling students that if they wanted to eat they'd have to come back when the president and first lady were gone, then go to a service door at the rear of the dining hall and ask for a chicken plate to go.
Wipe your eyes a couple times, shake your head and blink really quickly. Nope. It's still there. Yes you really did just read that.
On the very day that mighty Miss Rosa was lying in state at the Capitol, on the Very Day that every Howard U student had a moment to reflect on the civil rights pioneers who had gotten them where they were today, and the indignities suffered by their parents and grandparents during segregation; on THAT day, they were told they had to go around to the REAR of the cafeteria and get food at the SERVICE Entrance.
"What is 'Exactly the Same policy used by Segregated Lunch counters in South'"? okay I'll take 'Incredibly Offensive" for $2000 Alex"
The Students, as you might imagine, reacted with calm grace and decorum to these developments:
During the protest, dozens of students locked arms around a flagpole in the Quadrangle, a designated forbidden zone at the center of the campus, and refused to move despite warnings from campus security that Secret Service rooftop snipers might open fire on them.
This was of course because Bull Connor has passed on and nobody could remember where he'd put the firehoses apparently.
And through it all Incurious George soldiered on, with the vapid obliviousness that's become his trademark in recent weeks:
What might have been a public relations coup for Bush -- a visit to a historically black college to show concern for at-risk youths -- ended up as another Katrina-like moment, with the president appearing spaced-out, waving and smiling for television cameras while students were trying to break through campus security to get to the cordoned-off cafeteria.
Wow. Wowie Wow Wow. What an unmitigated, utter DISASTER for a White House that's had an increasingly long string of them lately. Apparently Patty Fitz's little investigation had has become a 10lb bag of sand poured directly into the fine-tuned well-oiled machine that Was the White House Message Machine. Their unstoppable juggernaut has not only jumped the tracks; it's headed straight for the cliffs.
Republicans have got to be looking at that the WH in dismay and wondering "Can't anybody there (besides Karl) play this game?"
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