Notable Quotables - 10/23/1995


Let's Leave Out the Inconvenient Speeches

"Though not without controversy, it's expected to be the biggest rally ever in the nation's capital. Organizers are viewing the march as a peaceful time of atonement for African-American men, a time of reconciliation, a time of personal responsibility, and a time of healing today."
- Bryant Gumbel opening the October 16 Today, the morning of the Million Man March.

"Responding to a common problem, hundreds of thousands of black men gathered in a peaceful rally of prayer and atonement and were encouraged to go home and make a difference...very peaceful, it was a day of prayer, of song, of atonement, and one hopes of considerable action."
- Gumbel, next morning.

"It would be astonishing if this public performance of Farrakhan were to end or even minimize the controversy which he inspires in the country as a whole, but it would be a terrible mistake not to recognize that here today, he inspired many people, and in a broader sense, as one participant after another has reaffirmed, this day, at this time and this place, really did mean unity over division."
- Peter Jennings ending World News Tonight, October 16.

"Were you struck by the fact that these hundreds of thousands of men...did not come to the seat of power to ask their government for anything?"
- CNN's Bernard Shaw to U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Penn.)

Reality Check:
"Blacks should atone not for our anger, but for not being angry enough at the growing racism and incipient fascism of white America. We should atone for not developing more political independence, more cultural identity, and more control of our economy, in defiance of white power, in defiance of Jewish influence....White dreams have crippled many black children and white values have maimed many black families....In the military, we died to save European Jews in the 1940s and South Koreans in the '50s and Vietnamese in the '60s. Yet, since then, all three have taken from our community to enrich their own....We are an oppressed colony in the most imperialist nation the world has ever known."
- Former U.S. Rep. Gus Savage (D-Ill.) addressing the march, as shown on C-SPAN.

"When I grow up, and find a man of my choice, I'll produce like Mary, a man of God's divine race."
- Tiffany Jamille Mayo reading a Maya Angelou poem adapted by Louis Farrakhan, on C-SPAN and CNN.

"Did Minister Farrakhan organize the march? No, Clarence Thomas and Gingrich organized the march just like Bull Connor organized the march in 1963."
- Jesse Jackson, shown by C-SPAN and CNN.

"Whereas African black people have been forced to invest vast amounts of labor in the development of U.S. capitalism, but have never received due compensation for slavery....the Virgin Islands shall seriously explore the political status of foreign relations, reparations/repatriation issue within six months of the enactment of the resolution."
- March speaker Adelbert Bryan, shown by C-SPAN.

"In the middle of this mall is the Washington Monument, 555 feet high. But if we put a one in front of that 555 feet we get 1555, the year that our first fathers landed on the shores of Jamestown Virginia as slaves. In the background, is the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorial. Each of these monuments is 19 feet high. Abraham Lincoln is the 16th President, Thomas Jefferson the 3rd President, and 16 and 3 makes 19 again."
- Louis Farrakhan in a portion of his speech shown live by CNN and C-SPAN but not on network news shows.

"Before I leave you, a very personal question. How many times have you felt like crying today?"
- CNN's Bernard Shaw to Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-Maryland), during October 16 live march coverage.


Someone Got Released Too Early


"Black men's tension is compounded when we see how many, but by no means all, white Americans respond with apathy and outright hostility to our distress. The fashionable formula offered by white demagogues for addressing black men's monumental woes - three-strikes-and-you're-out, mandatory sentencing, and the abolition of parole - is especially vicious and destructive. As an African-American who's gone the prison route, these sinister measures make me so furious sometimes my vision gets blurred. They make me want to lash out at whites in the basest way."
- Convicted armed robber turned Washington Post reporter Nathan McCall, October 15 Outlook section article on why he would join the march.


Another Day, Another Round of Media Lies


"Republicans began pushing the last and perhaps most controversial elements of their ambitious legislative agenda yesterday, seeking to scale back medical aid for the poor and the elderly."
- Reporter Peter Gosselin in a Boston Globe story headlined "GOP Pushes Health Cuts for the Poor," September 27.

"[Clinton's] focus on GOP Medicaid cuts followed similar attacks the day before on GOP Medicare cuts in talks to senior citizens in southern Florida."
- Associated Press dispatch in the September 21 Los Angeles Times, headlined "Clinton Sounds Warning on Medicaid Cuts by GOP."

E.J. Dionne, Washington Post columnist: "No one has talked about the Medicaid cuts, which are if anything much deeper and much more significant...I think that with those kind of cuts in Medicaid, you really could do, as Steve says, a lot of damage or at least cause problems for middle class people."
Mara Liasson, NPR: "....But you know, the cuts they proposed in Medicaid are huge!"
- Exchange on CNN's Late Edition, October 1.

Reality Check:
"Far from being a `cut,' MediGrant funding represents nearly a 50 percent increase in federal assistance to help the states pay health care costs for the needy over the next seven years....On a per-person basis, MediGrants will increase the average federal grant for each person in poverty from $2,188 in 1994 to $3,263 per person in 2002 - hardly a `slimmed down grant,' as suggested in Post articles."
- House Commerce Committee Chairman Tom Bliley (R-Va.) in an October 11 Washington Post op-ed.


Pope's a Cuomo Kind of Guy


"Without naming names or even mentioning the Republican-dominated Congress, the Pope seemed to admonish the supporters of proposed laws to restrict immigration and dismantle many of the nation's programs for the poor. In doing so, he appeared to echo many of President Clinton's warnings."
- New York Times reporter Robert McFadden, October 5.

"At times, the Pope even sounded like a Democrat. His heart is clearly with the have-nots. And for that, at least, liberals appreciate his views on peace and social justice and the responsibility of rich nations to the poor....For sure, on sexual morality he is predictably conservative, and he often repeats his boilerplate message against abortion."
- Chicago Tribune reporter Timothy McNulty, October 8.


Very Unifying


"Most of the KKK has joined the Republican Party. They don't have to be there [marching]."
- Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page on the October 15 McLaughlin Group.


Yes, She Said "Popularity Control"


"The Pope's stands on issues such as, for instance, abortion, popularity control, birth control - is he aware that American Catholic women, the majority, have different views than he does on these matters?"
- Giselle Fernandez to papal envoy Mary Ann Glendon, October 8 Today.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Geoffrey Dickens, James Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Gesele Rey, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Kathleen Ruff; Circulation Manager
- Gene Eliasen; Intern