Divide and conquer
Maxine Waters sends message of blame, not hope
Friday, the Student Conference on National Affairs will host California Congresswoman Maxine Waters. She will give a speech entitled "Social Fragmentation and Race, What is the Future?"
Although Waters has first-hand knowledge about the country's social problems and poor race relations, she has not done much to alleviate the situation. Waters tends to attack problems with money and excuses, and many people accuse her of adding to America's racial disharmony. She has even developed a reputation for abrasive language.
SCONA and Texas A&M would be better off bringing a speaker who can offer the audience ideas and solutions, rather than complaints and accusations.
Referring to the Democratic ticket at the 1992 Democratic Convention, Waters said, "This is the last time I support an all-white anything." Following the Rodney King riots, Waters said the rioters were acting under "black rage" and could not be held responsible for their actions. This sort of comment does not comfort the families of those who were killed, nor does it alleviate social fragmentation.
Jared Cordts, a representative from SCONA, said Waters has been a vocal figure on issues such as the O.J. Simpson trial and allegations of the CIA aiding the influx of drugs into inner cities.
By focusing on allegations of CIA drug ties, Waters again demonstrates her tendency to blame others. At issue are charges that the CIA encouraged the sale of drugs in cities such as Los Angeles to help finance overseas operations. Since Waters is calling for a congressional inquiry, she has removed the focus from the drug users who are destroying lives and neighborhoods.
Waters even blamed her own district's violence on U.S. involvement in Operation Desert Storm. She said urban gang members could not be expected to stop fighting if America's leaders were waging battles. Her opponents responded by saying citizens could not be expected to take back their neighborhoods from the urban gangs if the allies would not take Kuwait back from Hussein.
It is obvious that Waters is proficient at identifying problems and, in many cases, creating or excusing them. But she has not been successful solving them.
Waters' favorite solution for any problem seems to be government funding. She has supported sending huge amounts of federal money into the Watts Corridor and other disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Taxpayers have seen this money literally go up in flames when rioters torched homes and businesses. Her constituents need real solutions, but Waters has failed to provide them. Race relations cannot be solved with a blank check.
Waters supported more net-spending increases than any other member of last year's Congress. Even though the nation's economy is suffering and its debt is climbing, Waters voted for over $100 billion in new spending last year.
She has prevented citizens from regaining control of their situation by making excuses for her constituents and implying they can only be helped by government intervention.
The only solution to our deteriorating social structure is accountability. When people begin taking responsibility for their own neighborhoods and acknowledge their own problems, then we can work together to make things better. This won't happen as long as people feel their neighborhoods belong to the government and their problems are caused by the CIA.
Waters' own actions demonstrate a lack of accountability. While her constituents suffer from a poor economy, Waters continues to support new spending and higher taxes.
Aggies have already seen enough of this attitude and have nothing to learn from Waters. Students say Aggie spirit is dying because of fraternities, two-percenters and the freshmen class. Administrators blame problems on off-campus tutors, low salaries and the results of budget cuts.
California, Congress and this campus need a good dose of responsibility and action. Unless Waters is going to bring specific solutions and not just a laundry list of grievances, she can never hope to have a positive impact on Friday's audience.