Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Harry Belafonte

"Belafonte only achieved widespread attention for his political views, however, in 2002, when he began making a series of comments about President George W. Bush, catalyzed by Belafonte's disapproval of the Iraq War.

During an interview with Ted Leitner for San Diego's 760 KFMB, in October 2002, Belafonte referenced a quote made by the American civil rights era icon Malcolm X [3]:

There was two kinds of slaves. There was the house Negro and the field Negro. The house Negroes, they lived in the house with master, they dressed pretty good, they ate good 'cause they ate his food and what he left... In those days he was called a 'house nigger.' And that's what we call him today, because we've still got some house niggers running around here.

Belafonte used the quote to characterize both former and current United States Secretary of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, both African-Americans, as "house slaves" for serving in Bush's cabinet, which he implied was racist, and for their refusal to stand against the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He was implying that, by going along with Bush's plans, the two were only serving the cause of their "master". He repeated the charge on an interview on Larry King Live. Powell and Rice both responded, with Powell calling the remarks "unfortunate" [13] and Rice saying "I don't need Harry Belafonte to tell me what it means to be black." [14] The comment was brought back up in an interview with Amy Goodman for Democracy Now! in 2006. [4]"

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