When I was on the Hill Massachusetts had a black senator.

He was a black REPUBLICAN.

He had pale blue eyes and a pale complexion.

When I went to the Hill at Union Station subway, I would walk in the Senate side and go across to the House on the trolley.

At that time, security had been tightened by our standards but couldn't compare with today's. A civilian without a Hill ID had to have his appointment checked on. Those of us with IDs had to show them and were subject to a briefcase search.

About six one morning only me and Brookes came in at the same time. Capitol Hill Police must recognize all congressman by face, so he just walked in with a greeting to the cop.

The cop, trying to be nice , said, "If you're with him, we don't need to check your briefcase."

It was six a.m. and I had been working most of the night, but I wasn't rude. I just said "NO" with an emphasis that took the guards a bit aback and put my briefcase on his guard desk pretty hard.

Good God, NO. I was NOT with a Massachusetts mulatto, but most of all, I was NOT with a LIBERAL Republican.

The policeman grinned.

There is a feeling far worse than being accused of racism. That is when someone smiles and says you have NO racist feelings.

Another reason that old respectable denial is so bad is because it is humiliating.

The person is saying that you could not be called by ANY of his definitions a racist.

It is hard for me to think of a more vicious insult than that, even being accused of working for a New England liberal Republican, and that is very, very far out there.

The charge of racist should be met with the exact words no respectable conservative ever dares to ask: "What is a racist?"