In his address to the Republican Convention, General Colin Powell said that it was awful that Republicans would give breaks to corporations but didn't push affirmative action in colleges. He said they gave breaks to big corporations, but they didn't have the guts to take away college education from qualified whites and give them to affirmative acting blacks.

This idiotic statement, of course, made perfect sense to Republican Firsters, whose only interest is the Party over country, culture, race or family. Actually, Powell could have given them the finger and they would have cheered.

Colin Powell represents a half a century of hopeless and destructive pursuit of the "Negro" vote. He also has something else Republicans worship -- he wore a uniform. And, of course, all respectable conservatives worship liberals. It is, after all, the liberals who condescend to call them "respectable."

He's black, he's liberal, and he's got a uniform. The Republicans would love to kiss him on all four cheeks.

Last week I discussed the one instance where affirmative actors were criticized for being incompetent. In Philadelphia, a boy was being beaten to death in the suburbs while people made more and more frantic 911 calls for help. Operator after operator, each one black, acted bored and hostile, said he would call it in, and didn't. A few were fired.

I have never heard such an affirmative action scandal reported again, and I won't. The General Powells of the world don't like it, so respectable conservatives will compete to condemn it more loudly than their liberal heroes.

Powell and his Republican kiss-ups can stand up and cheer. I am told that, according to an "Investigative Reports" rebroadcast on the A&E network Tuesday at 10pm, September 5, 2000, the emergency operators who were fired have been reinstated with full back pay.

I will not comment on the rumor that W's Secretary of State is going to give them medals.