AN OPEN LETTER TO THE UNITED STATES HOUSE of REPRESENTATIVES
TO THOSE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WHO VOTED TO IMPEACH PRESIDENT WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON:
Dear Congressional Representatives:
I received a letter dated January 14, 1999 from my congressional representative, Howard Coble, 6th District, North Carolina, in response to my many calls regarding the impeachment of President Clinton.
I mulled over and prayed about both his letter and my need to respond, yet again, to your collective lack of understanding and callous indifference to the views of others. I am outraged by your public posturing and consider your votes for impeachment to be an act cowardice.
What angers me most is your attitude of arrogant superiority and self-righteous hypocrisy. This whole process isn’t about sex, lies and telephone tapes, it’s about power, who has it, who keeps it and how it is used. Implicit in that concept is the politics of race and place. Fear of exposure dictated that you, acting as a body, find a marketable vehicle to hound our President out of office lest he succeeds in fostering a more representative government.
For more than a year, I have been traumatized by sleaze, lurid tales of illicit sex, and descriptions of consensual sexual acts so explicitly defined I have been both fascinated and repulsed. Speculation about the private lives of President and Mrs. Clinton borders on voyeurism: all courtesy of my own government! Not cable television or X-rated movies, but good ole Uncle Sam. My hard earned taxes at work.
And you have been right there in the mix: you, Kenneth Starr, and Henry Hyde, among others. Tell me, please, what distinguishes Mr. Hyde from Mr. Clinton? Could it be that because he [Hyde] is an old white male Republican that he is excluded from the same harsh treatment rained down on our President? I have never voted for any candidate running for public office on the basis of his or her sex life. In fact, the only sex life that interests me is my own.
For much of this past year, I have endured this tasteless, tacky and politically damaging debacle to destroy Bill Clinton with growing alarm. Over time I have come to realize the benefit of this troubling and harrowing drama. My eyes have been opened: this whole sorry and sordid mess is yet another disappointing demonstration of how far we, as a nation, have to go in learning to live together as fellow citizens and neighbors.
The underlying tenet here is the fear of the browning of America and how it will impact one of the last bastions of [white] male domination: the federal government. Since this country was founded on the concept of power and privilege for white folks only, it must be scary to see non-whites moving into arenas from which we have previously been excluded. It must be unbearable to accept them as key players with the authority to develop policies that will benefit the whole nation instead of a select few. Not to worry, though, gentlemen (may I call you gentlemen?) this is not your world and you are not in control, regardless of what you believe. Change is inevitable, life is dynamic, not static; time waits for no one.
I am ashamed of you all; angry with you and committed to your collective defeat come 2000. I cannot afford to be represented by anyone so soulless and indifferent to my concerns. You see I am an African American woman and I vote.