They've unearthed another one. At an obscure federal agency, tucked away in her new $70,000-a-year job, is Marianne Mele Hall, "co-author" or "editor" of a thin, privately published volume called "Foundations of Sand."
It is the book's thesis that one of the problems confronting America is that blacks "insist on preserving their jungle freedoms, their women, their avoidance of personal responsibility and their abhorrence of the work ethic."
Also culpable, it contends, are the social scientists who "put blacks on welfare so they can continue their jungle freedoms of leisure time and subsidized procreation."
If that strikes you as thinly disguised racism, you are wrong. It is racism that is vicious, brutal and disguised not at all.
Hall, who was confirmed a month ago as chairman of the Copyright Royalty Tribunal, says now that she really wasn't a "co-author" of the 71-page book, as she described herself on a Senate questionnaire. "I edited that work -- period," she told a reporter, as though it matters.
The crucial facts are that she is openly associated with a piece of racist trash (hers is one of three names listed on the book's cover) and that she has been appointed to office by a president whose administration manages to keep finding appointees with strange views.
Sometimes the views are merely bizarre: as in the case of the now-departed Eileen Gardner, who explained that the government shouldn't try to help the handicapped because "nothing comes to an individual that he has not, at some point in his development, summoned. Each of us is responsible for his life situation."
Sometimes they reflect a sort of conservative naivet,e, as in the case of those who dd up "constructive engagement," imagining that the South African government could be sweet-talked into abandoning its fundamental racism.
Sometimes they are reactionary, as in the case of the Reagan nominees to what has come to be called the U.S. Commission Against Civil Rights.
Even now, William Bradford Reynolds, the associate attorney general for civil rights, is deliberately stirring up racial mischief, inviting school districts to dismantle school desegregation plans long in place and trying to force city governments to reopen long-settled affirmative-action hiring programs in their police and fire departments.
Isn't it time to acknowledge that these things are not aberrations of the Reagan administration but its themes?
Isn't it worth recalling that in 1980, Reagan, the "nice guy" to whom charges of racism refuse to stick, chose to start his southern campaign swing in Philadelphia, Miss., whose chief claim to fame is that it was the site of the murder of three civil rights workers? That it was his idea, as president, to grant federal tax exemptions to segregationist schools?
Isn't it time to wonder whether it is merely accidental that the Reagan administration, in its enthusiasm for budget cutting, has proposed to cut out the Job Corps, the Work Incentive Program and the Small Business Administration, and has managed to cut to shreds the "safety net" that the affable president said he would leave in place to protect the disproportionately black poor?
By its attitudes, by its appointments and by its actions, the Reagan administration has become the most actively anti-black administration in recent memory.
It no longer suffices to look at the Marianne Mele Halls as the occasional, accidental bad apples. It's time to turn some serious attention to the man in charge of the barrel. "Isn't it time to acknowledge that these things are not aberrations . . ."