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And the Chinese claimed the plane had landed without permission. From the get, this was stacking up to be a slightly dicey situation—China being in possession of twenty-four American servicemen and women and one of our top-tier surveillance planes (and the appropriate U. spokespeople went out of their way to note that it was a plane). After all that, Conway managed to fire back—I would safely say in self-defense—killing Williams. Twelve had threatened arresting officers' lives with some type of weapon before they were killed. Four cops were killed or wounded in making those arrests (in a period when three Cinci cops had been killed in three years). And "a couple since '95" doesn't make for much of a war cry. Nearly million in damage to the city, most of it in predominantly black areas that could ill afford economic downturn. THE NIGHT OF 4/11/01 was the worst of the rioting in Over-the-Rhine. A hole was made in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. And in my heart I don't believe all blacks cannot achieve in the absence of aid any more than I believe the best way to teach a child to run is by forcing him to spend a lifetime on his knees. In his essay ("The Manifesto of Ascendancy for the Modern American Nigger," December), African-American writer, film producer, and director John Ridley argued that rioting in Cincinnati in 2001 overshadowed the apex of African-American leadership in America: the skilled handling by then–national security advisor Condoleezza Rice and secretary of state Colin Powell of the crash landing of a U. His brave essay is the most poignant and relevant black literary work I have read since Carter G.

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The Chinese jet went down, the pilot most likely killed. Though such tough talk ignored the fact that China was a major trading partner that was doing $116 billion in annual business with the U. So, then, here was the crux of Bush Co's first international incident: Having swung his meat at China, Bush now very much had to be diplomatically shrewd while looking domestically strong in dealing with our strategic competitor. Bush turned the situation over to the highest mind on his team: Dr. That conflict would not turn out to be the obvious one—U. DICK CHENEY and Donald Rumsfeld were, are, old-school relics. Say hey to Harvey Price, who hacked up his girlfriend's daughter with an ax. Harvey got shot when he refused to surrender peaceably. I was deeply offended by your decision to publish John Ridley's rant. Moreover, since you guys would never publish a piece dividing other groups into whites versus crackers, Italians versus wops, or women versus bitches, the real question for Mr. Ridley forgets that "ascending" requires a number of factors, not just hard work and a positive attitude.

EP-3E signals recon plane had literally gotten into a tangle with a People's Liberation Army (read that: Chinese) J-8 interceptor jet off the coast of China. The American plane, with a crew of twenty-four, was badly damaged. Had dropped the Clinton-era designation of China as a "strategic partner" for the tough-talk appellation of "strategic competitor." The actual meaning of "strategic competitor" no one in the administration has ever tried to explain, but it struck the appropriately tough-talk chord in the new president's neoconservative base. But that decision, right and plain as it seemed, set up the real conflict of the event. It would be "us," elevated blacks, versus "them," those who not only hold little regard for people of color but who wish to make niggers of us all. The Blacktivists of Cinci got what they wanted: some old-school R-Card shysters doing some fire fueling with platitudes and the war cry:"Fifteen since '95."On the surface the numbers held up; at the hands of the police, fifteen black men had died since '95. Have you had a chance to meet some of the fifteen poster kids of cop abuse in Cincinnati? But for Powell and Rice there was no reaction from the greater—or lesser—black community. Energy drained by the orgy of appeasement it had been forced to offer up over Cincinnati, the best the black establishment and the national media could or would toss Dr. A dismissive act, the effect of which was to minify the significance of their accomplishment. After averting crisis, there were sure to be other achievements. We will rise to the simple obligation of taking care of our own with the same dedication we will give to improving our community and country and our world. Ridley's essay and Woodson's book should both be required reading before anyone can call himself a brother. and no criminal record (no doubt one of the "good" individuals Ridley would consider ascended), I find his simple division of African-Americans into "good blacks" and "niggers" reprehensible.

For the 69.3 percent of births they create out of wedlock. COLIN POWELL was the undisputed superstar of American politics. When he quit the military, real quick Powell became "the Get." Both parties wanted to snag him, wag him from their standard. Never mind that he was a self-made modern American hero who openly espoused the value of affirmative action. In a particularly ugly rant, Harry Belafonte infamously alluded to Powell as being a house nigger. They pulled the administration out of a Retro Guard—dug hole. "Fifteen since '95" was heard from local Blacktivists hot for justice, for whom vengeance by way of legal recourse would not do: the New Black Panthers. Only things special about them were the white-hatin', Jew-hatin' rants they could call up at a moment's notice. As a twenty-nine-year-old African-American, that article had me twisting and rock- ing in my seat.

Not responsible for the 11.8 percent rate at which they drop out of high school. She came onto the foreign-policy train wreck that was the early days of G. But she would not have to wield her intellect solo. Author of the Powell Doctrine, which states that overwhelming force makes an enemy your bee-yotch. How could any self-respecting black man want to run from the Liberal Plantation? And while Rumsfeld claimed to support the shift toward diplomacy, truthfully he was flatly told to butt out. We, collectively—not just black America but all of America that truly bought into the bromides of liberty and justice for all—we had risen. For seven days running, in the written press and the international media, and doing the rounds in the 24/7 cable-news meat grinder, it was Condi and Colin. Timothy Thomas being the fifteenth Cincinnati black man to die during an arrest or shortly after being apprehended by the cops. Another thousand or so protesters got whipped up and swept along as the Blacktivists made their way to the Cinci police HQ. African-Americans should not be vilified for feeling the same way. By the way, for those of us African-Americans who have ascended, do we get T-shirts so the rest of the world knows to separate us from the others?

Powell, whose dog-and-pony show at the UN revealed his true bent? Black America must look to that lost moment and realize that, short of a brother or sister actually being elected president, Hainan was the high-water mark of black political power.

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They are not responsible for their nearly 5 percent incarceration rate and their 9.2 percent unemployment rate. At thirty-five, barely a kid in Washington years, she was a staffer at the National Security Council. Helped mold his malapropism-afflicted worldview into a demicoherent one. Condi got herself easily appointed as national-security advisor. Then they went back to entertaining themselves with another Wayans-brothers movie. It was against such a mind-set as much as the Chinese government that Condi would have to navigate. Part of the team that cruised to victory in Gulf War I. As reported, the way forward was made emphatic to all concerned: No more useless posturing. Cheney was sent out to stump for the tax cuts Bush was shilling. The moderates had won round one of the administration wars. S.—a history of slavery, of abandoned Reconstruction, overt Jim Crow, and covert soft bigotry—a black woman and a black man were in the position of speaking for America to the world. After three hours of contained ranting, the hatin' spilled out into the streets. He is correct: Most whites don't give much thought to other whites who won't make an effort when offered opportunities to overcome their circumstances. Ridley has brilliantly illustrated how the American culture continues to foster the need for Americans to define their character through the debasement of others less fortunate.

And though they spliff and drink and procreate their way onto welfare doles and WIC lines, niggers will tell you their state of being is no fault of their own. Rice's authenticity: "Just because they are your skin folks, doesn't mean they're your kinfolks."Cute. Cheney and Rumsfeld fronted the hard line of the Hainan Incident—the cadre who saw little to no value in talk and diplomacy and wanted to get with the figurative nuclear option quick as possible. As a Caucasian who has lived most of his life in the South, I relate to Ridley's point about chronic underachievers.

If we as a race could win the centuries-long war against institutionalized racism, why is it that so many of us cannot secure the advantage after decades of freedom? Though delicatesse was the smarter play over sanctions, all the Retro Guard cared about was keeping Bush, just twelve weeks in Washington, from looking like Jimmy Carter on, say, day 239 of 444 of the Iranian-hostage thing. Insisted being American meant never having to say you're sorry. And contrary to the hawks' beliefs, the heavens didn't open and the stock market didn't drop and the commies weren't turning our wives and daughters into pleasure girls. The white establishment does not waste its time with such triviality, but it's a shortcoming that far too often seems to hinder members of the black intelligentsia.

That which retards us is the worst of "us," those who disdain actual ascendancy gained by way of intellectual expansion and physical toil—who instead value the posture of an "urban," a "street," a "real" existence, no matter that such a culture threatens to render them extinct."Them" being niggers. IF THE SITUATION were just slightly altered, Condoleezza Rice might have been, and would have made, a better Mrs. Illinois representative Henry Hyde—who is chairman of the House International Relations Committee—referred to the U. crew as "hostages," which put an ugly public spin on the benign truth. But twenty-four servicemen and women were that much closer to coming home. In the early-morning hours of April 7, 2001, Thomas was confronted by some cops looking to pop him for those warrants. Same as he'd run twice before when cops were trying to pop him. If Ridley wants to complain about established black leadership that is deaf, dumb, and blind, that's fine. However, to lower himself to the use of a word that has been deployed by whites as a form of social and political control of black bodies; a word that has preceded lynchings, rapes, and all sorts of abuses; a word that has been thrown at Ph. and janitor and jailbird alike is a slap in the face of every black man or woman who has worked all of his or her life for a day when such a word would no longer exist.

We need to start extolling the most virtuous of ourselves. Or "blinked," in the pop-culture sense of making a quick decision based on suspect intelligence. It was really just Jesse looking to shine up his image.

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