by Max Brantley
The Democratic Party of Arkansas is going to line up an array of Democratic officials by the statues of the Little Rock Nine at the Capitol at noon tomorrow for a presentation to the co-chairs of the Little Rock observance of the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High School.
I'm guessing the party will make a substantial financial gift, say $25,000, to the committee to defray costs of the observance. A number of prominent black Democrats will be in attendance. Could this kind of symbolism hurt the party in election efforts next year? Don't think so.
It's not too late for the Republican Party of Arkansas to contribute, too, though they'd have a hard time finding black Republicans in Arkansas public office to attend the news conference.
There's historic irony here. A Republican president delivered on the constitution's promise in 1957, over a resistant Democratic governor. The current Republican president -- his policies and judges rapidly dismantling affirmative action and policies that encourage integrated schools -- is expected to shun the Little Rock ceremony Sept. 25. Top Democratic presidential candidates and a former Democratic president will be on hand. Talk about symbolism. Has somebody reminded G. Bush that he carried Arkansas twice?