The Uncle Tom Dilemma

Are Blacks Like Colin Powell Asking African Americans to Sell Out?

"Why is my lawsuit all of a sudden frivolous?" Sharpton retorted.

"Because Jim Nicholson has done more to reach out to the black community, for the Republican Party, than [anyone] I can think of in the last 20 years. He should be rewarded for that, not penalized with a frivolous lawsuit."

"You have a candidate that is not serving the interests of black people," Sharpton claimed.

It was sad to imagine the militarist pulling a Trojan elephant through Harlem.
illustration: Patrick Arrasmith
It was sad to imagine the militarist pulling a Trojan elephant through Harlem.

"You better tell the 27 percent of blacks and the 46 percent of Latinos that because he [George W. Bush] has a black and a Latino constituency."

"Yeah, he kills them," said Sharpton, alluding to the condemned men put to death under Bush's watch.

"Last time I checked," Innis scoffed, "Al Gore was in favor of the death penalty and Bill Clinton stopped his 1992 campaign to execute a retarded black man."


Uncle toms' dilemma or not, Niger Innis intends to spread the message that he is proof the Republican Party under George W. Bush welcomes blacks. Innis recalls that after listening to Bush's acceptance speech, he boarded a bus loaded with Texas, Utah, and Ohio delegates. "They were all white," he emphasizes. "It was so warm with enthusiasm that I said, 'Let's start a chant to kill some time while going back to the hotel.' I chanted, 'No more Gore!' Everybody joined in, 'No more Gore!' " Niger Innis is nobody's minstrel, but it's hard not to speculate about what white mischief his Republican audience might have been thinking. Former Manhattan borough president Percy Sutton once said: "They want a negro who doesn't mind being a puppet, so long as the flashlight is properly diverted from the strings."

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