Bush League

On last weekend's Saturday Night Live spoof of the 9/11 hearings, Janet Jackson did a better Condoleezza Rice than Rice herself, who did a far superior impression of Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth dur

On last weekend's Saturday Night Live spoof of the 9/11 hearings, Janet Jackson did a better Condoleezza Rice than Rice herself, who did a far superior impression of Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth during the real 9/11 commission ass-grill than Omarosa herself ever did on her way to being blackballed from The Apprentice.

This is America now.

A nothing-to-lose singer from a whacked-out family snickering at the National Insecurity Advisor, whose intentionally steely demeanor cracked only long enough to trump her inquisitors, becomes the very model for the postmodern power-brokering Negress who's now nationally despised in the guise of a reality show contestant gaining still more visibility with every snipe from the white bitches who can't keep her underwater. Why won't she/they die?

This is the trinity of Negresses in whose laps we've dumped character judgment, international accountability and all things pitched black bitch.

Janet and Omarosa are nearly disposable but for their resilient entertainment value. But I've always said it's the "button-downed ones" who require a close watch.

Watch Rice. Watch her thumb through shoulder-to-shoulder rows of look-alike black, charcoal and dark blue suits in the same cut with identically appropriate skirts.

See Rice get repeatedly briefed by her boss's crew on what to say and what not to say during the 9/11 hearings.

Watch her in her well-appointed Washington, D.C., apartment practicing never saying "yes" as she beats her hair into perfectly flipped submission and tries not to obsess over being the first black woman since Anita Hill to testify on national television in front of a gaggle of white men, many of whom she probably has files on.

Rice spent the majority of her testimony pitched forward in arrogant poise defending the president's zealous pursuit of Saddam Hussein for the 9/11 atrocities. She did a lousy job explaining what Bush thought after he'd read classified documents. She did a worse job covering for the fact that Bush's new administration got caught unaware because no adviser came out and said, "Wait by the World Trade Center, by the Pentagon and in that cornfield."

She was vigorous, smartly time-consuming and loquacious in her answers. But Rice's greatest affront came when she didn't apologize to the 9/11 victims' families on behalf of her government.

Instead, she sat smiley-faced as commission members thanked her for her "service to the president" in their ass-grilling preambles.

Imbalance is the crack in the foundation of Bush's presidency. It's true that we shouldn't be privy to the details of every assassination sanctioned, orchestrated or sponsored by the United States. We don't need gory details of every regime change bullied by the U.S., nor do we need to know pre-raid names of terrorist cells under watch.

But we do need balance.

And the will she/won't she prior to Rice's testimony and the resulting "How'd she do?" analyses testify that the Bush Administration is out of control. It's a group so preoccupied with the spiraling mess in Iraq that the rest of us have been left unattended, some simmering and some roiling, on America's political back burner.

What's worse is that our president gives us the impression we're not supposed to be asking questions. And if we do, we should settle for lies.

Worse than being lied to is when the liars assume their audiences stupid. Since Sept. 12, 2001, America's revenge and retaliation for 9/11 have been swaddled in the American flag while President Bush, the hung-over Pied Piper, has tried assembling and envisioning an America as blindly loyal and gung-ho as his cabinet.

The true intermingling of races in America is as rare as racial truths, so Bush's appointment of Rice and Colin Powell mean little more than an exercise in futility. It's two high-post Negroes publicly reconciling their race with their patriotic duties.

Further, it's a chance to watch America ignore Rice's gender and race. Especially Republicans, who'll help a black woman git down to downplay her race and gender. They call it being "politically color blind."

And race-less she'll be. That is, until it's time for a clean-up woman — then she's Florida Evans in a Festivus for the rest of us.

And here's where Condoleezza breaks rank with Janet and Omarosa.

Janet and Omarosa will heretofore be known as the black bitches who upset America's fragile image of itself as fun loving and competitive. Janet flashed a tit, and Omarosa showed her ass.

Condoleezza emerges as the articulate American in service to her country striding hallways where black pumps of authority have never tread before. She's still one of the good ones.

Why? Because she was shrewd, poised, prepared?

In our preoccupation with House Niggerdom, blacks neglect to hold ourselves accountable. In the end, which doesn't appear in sight, when Rice and the White House (especially Bush) refuse to admit they followed the wrong trail and ended up bloodily avenging the assassination attempt on Bush's father in a regime-changing lark for invisible weapons of mass destruction and oil, they're ignoring the most crucial aspect they all initially said mattered most. They're ignoring the massive, indescribable loss of Sept. 11, 2001.

By not apologizing to victims' families and for instead acting as Bush's spokeswoman, Rice is in a league of her own.

Kathy's collection of columns, Your Negro Tour Guide: Truths in Black and White, is available in bookstores now.

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