Biddle on Julia Carson

Dateline: Tue 04 Dec 2007

RiShawn Biddle has another article in the American Spectator dated 12/4.

His special report, "Carson's Last Stand," focuses on the life, career and times of Rep. Julia Carson, Indiana's 7th District congresswoman who is terminally ill with lung cancer.

Here's the link:

http://spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=12385

Biddle argues that, while Carson is dearly beloved, she really has not served well the Indianapolis district's urban poor African-Americans, who make up her largest cheering and voting block. She's an old-timey politician, he says, whose ways are part a machine that has consistently failed to deliver meaningful progress.

After quoting Marion County Sheriff Frank Anderson, who called Carson "our queen," Biddle writes:

"But for the black communities in Indianapolis she represents, the so-called queen also represents an increasingly archaic feature of America's urban political landscape: the old-school black politician who emerged during the latter half of the Civil Rights Era. Building and maintaining power through political machines, race-baiting, appeals to black pride and focusing on doling out welfare to poor constituents, this group, which includes such legendary figures as Congressman Charles Rangel of New York and the late Coleman Young of Detroit, elevated themselves into the American political vanguard. Their success, however, did little for their communities."

Biddle was fired by the Star Oct. 31 for using racially insensitive language in a blog. The Guild has filed a grievance on his behalf.

Biddle also won first place for editorial writing in the Hoosier State Press Association; winners were announced in Sunday's Star.

Much of his work has been devoted to analyzing the dropout rate among high school seniors in Indianapolis -- among the highest rate in the nation for both black and white males. He has a blog devoted to that topic:

http://dropoutnation.net/

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