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The Party of Frank Ricci


Having lost both houses of Congress and the White House in two straight elections, Republicans are going through an identity crisis, its leaders holding town hall meetings to "listen" to the people.

"What should we focus on? Should we drop the social issues? How do we get the young people back?"

Such angst and soul-searching is not the mark of the leader, but the mark of a man suffering from doubt and despair.

Why is the party in trouble? Simple. Dubya got a hold of the keys, got high on neocon hooch, and crashed and rolled the family SUV.

He launched an unnecessary war against a country that had not attacked us. With his utopian No Child Left Behind scheme and his Medicare drug plan, he did his passable imitation of LBJ, and blew a hole in the budget.

Touting globalism, he presided over the loss of one in every four U.S. manufacturing jobs and ran up $5 trillion in trade deficits. He refused to defend the Mexican border against an invasion, then pushed an amnesty for the invaders.

This was no Reaganite. This was the neocons' apprentice.

How does the party reconnect with Middle America? How does it win back the Reagan Democrats who went home disgusted?

Become again the party of Frank Ricci.

And who is Frank Ricci?

He is a fireman in New Haven, Conn., with 11 years in the department, who suffers from dyslexia, but nonetheless has pursued his dream of becoming a lieutenant and a captain.

Six months before the promotion test, Ricci quit his second job. He bought $1,000 worth of the textbooks he was told to study, had a friend read them onto tapes to compensate for his dyslexia, studied every spare hour he got, and sat for the test, to compete for one of eight lieutenant slots open.

Frank made it. Frank Ricci came in sixth.

It was after the results of the test were made known that the problems arose. For, of the officers who had made the cut, all were white, except for one Latino.

Concluding the test results would, if used by the department, have an "adverse impact" on the black community, New Haven tossed out the results and called for new exams to ensure a "fair" outcome.

Thus, because he is a white man whose people came from Italy, Frank Ricci is to be denied a promotion he worked for and won, and be robbed of his American dream by the liberal bigots who run New Haven.

Had Frank Ricci and half of the other top performers been black, all would be on their way to becoming lieutenants and captains.

What is being done to Frank Ricci is exactly what was done to black folks for decades.

Great black ballplayers who might have become legends like DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig never got the chance because they were black. Black students were denied admission to prep schools, colleges and military academies because of their color.

Now, what was done to them is being done to white folks. And it is just as wrong as it was then.

In 21st century America, race discrimination endures.

All we have done is switch the color of the victims with the color of the beneficiaries. Today it is white males applying for jobs and promotions as cops, firemen, government workers, who are held back because their color does not comport with the desired "diversity."

What New Haven has done to Frank Ricci is like the U.S. Olympic Committee throwing out all the trial heat results in the 100- and 200-meter races because not a single white runner qualified.

New Haven contends the "disparate impact" of the test hurts the black community, proving discrimination. But does the relative absence of blacks in the National Hockey League prove discrimination?

If the Republican Party wants a future, it will become again the party that stands on the principle that "No discrimination means no discrimination," that stands with the victims of state bigotry, and that stands up to hypocrites like the Jim Crow liberals of New Haven.

Affirmative action began as a mandate to cast a wider net and ensure all had an equal shot. It has become a mighty engine of state injustice that seeks to remedy the consequences of past racial sins and crimes, by committing new ones.

In Michigan, Washington and California, none of them red states, majorities have voted to abolish affirmative action. Only Colorado failed in a dead heat last fall. A Republican drive to write into federal law an end to all race and gender preferences, as well as to all race and gender discrimination, is a cause whose time has come.

This is a winning issue for the GOP, for it is rooted in principle and comports with what is written on the human heart. Down deep, even liberals know that what is being done to Frank Ricci is not right.

Patrick Buchanan is the author of the new book "Churchill, Hitler and 'The Unnecessary War." To find out more about Patrick Buchanan, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at



2 Comments | Post Comment
Sir;...Get real...The republicans don't have an identity crisis... They are learning what every squeeky voiced, pimply faced Freshman learns in High School: It is hard to like yourself when nobody likes you.... At least the freshman will usually get over it...What are you going to do when just enough people have realized how much you republicans have run this society into the dirt under cover of ideology???Are you going to inflate another ideology???How far will you get pushing tax relief for the rich under cover of tax relief for the poor working man when the poor man does not get a fraction of it???Your success to date far exceeds the value of your ideology, and the only way to account for it is that democrats are slow moving and over large as targets...If you could not kick those dimwits, and they would not allow themselves to be kicked, then the game would be pretty much over...Which is to say that you narrow minded, short sighted ideologues would not stand a chance against them if they could just stay alert...Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri May 8, 2009 12:49 PM
Sir;..If I may make an additional comment, then: If you are going to make discrimination illegal; make it illegal... The fact that government bends a little to make sure our minorities are represented is for all practical purposes meaningless, if we do not count your unctuous ire...If you say no discrimination, then make every person who has a business hire with equality, and blind to prejudice...Fine if you want to get rid of affirmative action; but attack the prejudice of people with hammer and tong... Forbid it in any place holding a government licence, for every person with a corporation or a DBA...We everywhere allow discrimination, and there is no end to it...The prejudice on both sides becomes a poison, and there is no cure, and certainly, inequality of hiring elsewhere, in government jobs does not make up for the wide spread, unwarranted discrimination in all levels of society... Whites hire white...Blacks may never learn to work because they never have the opportunity in youth, and they wake every day from a dream of payday...It is not simple... Simple people think the problem is simple, and you are simple...Government is hardly the solution when it make the problem worse...If equality shall mean anything it must have the force of law behind it...Show the world you discriminate on the basis of race...Make it obvious, and lose your right to do business, or pay a fine, or go to jail... Can't find a black person who knows how to work??? Don't give up on the race...Lay off one and hire another until you find one who wants a job well enough to work for it...You justify hate...You are what is wrong with your party... You want to make republicans the party of crybabies... Don't look now, but they already are... We don't have enough millions; Waa!!! You want us to pay taxes; Waaa!!! We want all the good jobs for us white folks; WAAA Waaa Waaa!!! If everybody had enough there would be no sense in turning the tables on anyone... You want to deprive minorities of equality... What if, some day, the minorities, and their supporters outnumber you at the poles... Will you then believe in democracy as you have it: Majority Rule; or will you appeal to your court to back you up??? I will tell you this: The people are the law, good, or bad... The constitution has never reached equality even when people pledge themselves daily to it...Without the people behind it, the constitution, and the law, and the courts are mere forms that the people, if possessed with the spirit, could wipe away with the back of their hands...If you believe in equality; demand it...Only when it is demanded of the people, and given the force of law will it happen...If we cannot have equality and justice, we will instead have weakness and division...I prefer equality and justice for all...Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #2
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri May 8, 2009 9:00 PM
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