Texaco

Commentary by Pete du Pont

Host intro: Before the Texaco racial discrimination case slips off the front page and out of our collective memory, Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis has a word about punishment and boycotts.

Justice prevailed after Texaco agreed to pay $176 million in damages and raises to about 1,400 black employees in their racial discrimination lawsuit. A court-ordered task force will oversee future hiring and promotion policies. Progress was made.

So there was something particularly irritating about Jesse Jackson pursuing his boycott of Texaco after the settlement was made. Jackson, a publicity hound and professional nag, a man between whom and a television camera it is not safe to stand, a man who has never made anything or created any wealth, decided to go ahead with his plan to the hurt people least responsible for Texaco's crimes.

He urged his followers (ask yourself who would follow Jesse Jackson?) To boycott Texaco gas stations. And who works at gas stations? Typically, people who don't make a lot of money. Some of them are black. Who owns gas stations? Typically, small businessmen trying to get by in a competitive market. Some of them are black, too.

Jesse, wake up and smell the octane. Texaco took a multi-million dollar hit. They were punished. Taking out your self-righteous wrath on some guy pumping gas just makes you look foolish.

Those are my ideas. And at the NCPA, we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you tomorrow.

Host outro: Tomorrow, a few things to be thankful for.