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A Response to Those Interested in My "Hannity and Colmes" Appearance

By Mario Giardiello


After receiving over one hundred e-mails regarding my appearance on "Hannity and Colmes" Friday night, I would like to apologize for not being able to respond to each writer individually. I am therefore writing a response to those who had legitimate concerns about my comments.

First of all, let me state now I do not approve of Mr. Jacksonís behavior. In fact, I think it is wrong and a bad example for the Black community and for America in general. However, I felt it inappropriate for me to divulge this opinion because it would have been playing into Mr. Hannityís game.

Many Republicans are bashing Jackson, not because they care about the moral fiber of this country, but because they fear his ability to bring Black voters to the voting booths. They are trying to taint his reputation and diminish his power (as if he needs any help with this). My main point that I tried to stick to throughout the show was the need to get out of our politiciansí personal lives and focus on the issues.

Second of all, everyone knows what I mean when I say the phrase "Uncle Tom." If this is a term that is foreign to you, it is not my job to brush you up (or Mr. Hannity) on social references that describe a specific population in this country. I did not refer to anyone specifically as an Uncle Tom; rather I described Jesse Jackson as just the opposite -- a courageous man who stands up for the disadvantaged and refuses to be bullied by white racists.

And yes, in my mind there tends to be more Republicans that fit the "Uncle Tom" bill than Democrats. Mr. Hannity knew exactly what I meant. For those of you who were offended by this comment, I am confused. I was confronting racists directly and Blacks who enable their actions. It amuses me that those who e-mailed me to say they were offended by this comment usually followed it up with a blatant racist comment like "why donít you stop pandering to the Black community and worry about your own kind," and "that is the problem with Blacks, they are lazy and want nothing but hand outs."

So, Mr. Hannity, as you can see, you are in familiar, if not righteous company.

Oh, and for those of you who really do not know what "Uncle Tom" means here is a working definition: a contemptuous term to describe a Black man who toadies to white men. Any Black man who is constantly telling the poor that "Colin Powell can do it, why canít you?" is an Uncle Tom in my subjective eyes. These people do not understand the difference between classes, and do not understand the cycles of poverty, addiction, and abuse that is prevalent in the inner cities and that is perpetuated by racists in this country.

Thank you, if not for your support then for you interest in my views. For the many liberals that support me I assure you I will continue to work for the disadvantaged and give the powerless a voice.

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