Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sarah Palin and the KKK Connection?



Sarah Palin's choice for attorney general once wrote a column defending the statue of a KKK figure as an expression of free speech and mocked the psychology of a college student who protested the display.

Wayne Anthony Ross has come under intense scrutiny since the Alaska Governor and former vice presidential candidate announced his nomination. His resume includes derogatory remarks about homosexuals, accusations of sexism, and bizarre comments downplaying the fallout of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. But his most controversial incident may have come in December 1991, when he penned an op-ed for the Anchorage Times, a copy of which was obtained by the Huffington Post (see below), entitled "KKK 'art' project gets 'A' for courage."

The crux of the piece, reported also by Max Blumenthal at The Daily Beast, is a defense of one particular art student's statue of a KKK figure -- created for a class assignment to "depict a monster" -- that the University of Alaska-Anchorage had put on display. In the process, Ross insisted that he was no racist. "I am a card-carrying member of the Congress of Racial Equality," he wrote. "I have never supported David Duke, and never will."

But the column was filled with racial and political insensitivities that, even in the relatively homogenous Alaska, were bound (perhaps designed) to stir the pot.

Ross repeatedly chided one particular student, Clara Bynum -- who, Ross noted, was a member of the Afro-America Student Association -- for having the gall to protest the statue.

"A 35-year-old psychology student," he writes, "Ms. Bynum was obviously letting her inner hostilities rise to the surface. Perhaps by the time she completes her psychology studies, Ms. Bynum will have the training and desire to control such emotions."

At one point, he accused her of seeking to trample on the art student's right to expression of free speech by threatening to take the statue down -- a legally provocative stance for the leading law-enforcement official of the state.

"In fairness to Ms. Bynum, her threat to tear down the KKK figure... could have been viewed as a symbolic protest against the KKK," Ross wrote. "But to achieve civil rights, we must ensure the civil rights of others. Ms. Bynum's actions would have violated the right of expression granted Mr. Hamilton under our First Amendment. Does she really believe that civil rights for one group can be achieved by trampling on the rights of others?"

Reprinted from The Huffington Post and can be viewed in it's entirety at this site.

Follow-up Note:



After weeks of losing ground, the joint body of the Alaska legislature has voted to reject Wayne Anthony Ross as Attorney General.

Our representation has debated at length Governor Palin's controversial appointment and they have been distracted from state business in the critical waning days of the session. I believe that was part of the design of the appointment.

They have denied Wayne Anthony Ross.

The Combined Vote: 23 yeahs 35 nays. DENIED.

Nothing more to read but here's the link.

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