Who knows America better? Harry Belafonte or me?
Harry Belafonte, the "Day-o, day-o" singer, was visiting Venezuela with a group of American activists over the last few days.
You have probably heard the headline from this story: Belafonte, who is 78 years old, called President Bush "the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world."
Some people have said maybe Belafonte committed treason with that statement. I don't think so. Treason is actually hard to commit. You have to work at it, and you hardly ever manage to commit treason by just shooting off your mouth.
I think Harry is just a sad, old guy who used to be on TV singing, in black and white, after my bedtime. In other words, a long time ago.
I think old Harry is actually working hard to make Pat Robertson look good.
My beef with old Harry is something else. In thanking Chavez for discounted heating oil from his national oil company Citgo — which is Venezuelan for gas station — which was sent to poor Americans, especially in the Bronx, Belafonte said not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of Americans supported Chavez's revolution.
That's a whopper, and a certifiable one. Americans are not interested in Hugo's revolution, whatever that is.
Americans are too busy stuffing their 401(k) accounts and figuring out the financing on that new car or that new house or planning a vacation to someplace tropical, usually someplace that has had revolutions, a dizzying number of revolutions.
A friend, a famous leftist lawyer, once told me, "Johnny, we have to tell the young people the corporations are their enemy."
"Too late," I said. The corporations are where the young people go for wealth. They either work in one or they buy stock in one or they have a retirement plan tied to one or several or they are a corporation. In any case, it's too late. The young have figured out how to make corporations work for them.
We've seen corporations be bad boys and girls, same with the government. But anybody notice how good the economy is lately? Notice how the government appears to be stopping terror attacks?
Harry and Hugo can sell that revolution someplace, I'm sure. But not here.
That's My Word.
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