Thursday, November 19, 2009
I make no bones about my political affiliations. I'm a proud liberal who is no longer a registered member of the Democratic Party, partially because of my disdain with how the party as a whole handled the daily underhanded racial assaults on Barack Obama during last year's push for the Democratic nomination. But I'm also unaffiliated because I don't by any means vote in lockstep with Democrats. I have, and will continue to vote for Republicans on the local level.
The recent news that onetime Maryland Republican governor Bob Ehrlich is considering mounting a challenge to incumbent Democrat Martin O'Malley (the real like Tommy Carcetti from HBO's The Wire) means I'll be voting GOP come 2010. The guy is the best person for the job, and you should vote for the best person regardless of whether their name is followed by a D or an R. Living in a relatively moderate state with few of the racial shenanigas associated with the GOP nationally makes this a far more palatable thought.
That said, as disillusioned as I am with the Dems, it still puzzles, and in some ways fascinates me, to hear Black (or as they'd prefer to be called, "African-American") Conservatives explain why they ryde or die with a party that seems to insult their race at every turn. I honestly just don't get it. Sure, voting for the best guy for the job makes sense. But asserting that black folks voting for the Democrats 90% of the time is the cause of all that ails Negro communities just smacks of lazy, shortsighted plantation thinking.
Let's take a look at a recent case study of this strange phenomenon of Negro curiosity, compliments of Fox News Channel, and that noted bridger of racial divides, Mr. Glenn Beck.
Case #1 - The "I'm Conservative Because I Was Ostracized For My Beliefs As A Poor Child Growing Up In The Ghetto" Card Is Played.
Note to Charles Payne, and all Black Conservatives playing the "I was ostracized because I talked White" card: Negroes please! Your pass has been revoked.
The kids clowning you for carrying a briefcase to 3rd grade weren't "liberals", they were children. I seem to hear this whole "liberals don't value education and hard work" line of nonsense aped by Black Conservative after Black Conservative, as if to suggest that the black community's anti-intellectualism is a political thing, rather than symptomatic of an American problem, period. To me, I see this "Black folks won't accept me, so I'll become a Republican and show those broke Negroes a thing or two" rationale as being intellectually lazy and borderline elitist. It seems like a convenient way of announcing to White Conservatives "I'm not like the rest of those lazy Negroes although I grew up in the same neighborhood. I can speak good English and I'm non-threatening. Unclutch your purse, and please, pleeeasse let me date your daughter." Can we please leave childhood scars out of the equation? They are of no relevance to arguements about why the GOP is "better" for blacks, and just make you look like a sucker who's still mad cause Shaniqua passed you over for that football player when you asked her to the prom. Get over it, already.
Case #2 - The Democrats Haven't Done Anything To Help Black People? Well What's The GOP Done?
I also disagree with this assertion. The same party that says time and time again that the gubb'ment should be less involved in peoples lives says that Black folks would be better off if only they'd vote for Republicans? Really?
I hate the "Liberal policies make Negroes eternal victims who suck off Uncle Sam's teet" narrative more than any other Conservative talking point. It seems to suggest that Black people can't do for self, think for self, or rationalize for self, but that the Grand Ole' Party can do all these things and magically rescue Black folks from themselves if only we'd quit voting for the Democrats year in and year out. But what does the GOP present as proof that they'd somehow do better, other than vague arguements for "free market capitalism". "Free market capitalism" isn't keeping Se'Quan off the corner. "Free market capitalism" isn't stopping Jamaal from shooting Ray Ray. "Free market capitalism" isn't stopping Keyshia from opening her legs. And neither is any other "policy" like ending abortions or pushing for marriage preservation that the GOP advocates. Black folks will be saved when Black folks decide we want to save ourselves. Neither political party has the power to do that, but at least the Dems aren't pretending to be paternalistic. And BTW, is it merely a coincidence that black poverty is still largely concentrated in the very Southeastern states where the GOP's base resides, and where Republicans also have a lock on elected positions? Just food for thought.
Case #3 - Black Republicans Just Aren't Generally Very Cool People.
With all due respect to my main main Adinasi (who is a fellow Nupe, and thus the coolest brother on the planet), Black Conservatives have a hard time attracting other Black folks to the party because they just aren't all that likable. The folks on this Glenn Beck special seem to be a room full of dicks who probably don't get much love in the cluuuubbb, or in the barbershop (notice all those weak tapers and shape-ups, these guys definitely go to SuperCuts, not AfrosCut), and cornball chicks whom most brothers wouldn't be bothered with.
If you think I'm kidding, how come 99% of the "Black Female Conservatives" you see on TV have traditionally white surnames? I'm not saying there's a connection here, but I'm not saying there isn't one either. Generally speaking, these folks still seem to be a wee bit ostracized socially as adults, which I wouldn't doubt has some bearing in their political affiliation. Even if Shaniqua don't love you, Michelle still thinks "you be Da' Man!"
That's gotta count for something. I guess.
Case #4 - All Blacks Are Socially Conservative. Not!
And for the 9912th time, could we please, please, please dead this nonsense that "The Black Community" is naturally more socially "Conservative", and thus more in lockstep with the GOP's policies? Alveda King, I'm not telling you to Go. Sit. Down. out of respect for the family name. But you are pushin' it, homegirl. You really are.
Really? If this were true, why do black folks have so many babies out of wedlock, so many abortions, and so many failed marriages? To be more factually correct, the paternalistic institution known as "The Black Church" is socially "Conservative", but you'd be hard pressed to find many ways in which this bleeds over into man-on-the-street black thought. I'd challenge any talking head that continues to spit this fallacy to put down the Bible and take an honest look around. Theory and reality are not the same.
Case #5 - Black Conservatives Seldom Take The Party To Task For It's Racist Nonsense.
Curiously absent from this entire one hour clusterf*ck is the fact that the GOP does a great job of continually offending potential Black voters. Not a week goes by without some GOP operative calling Michelle a monkey, suggesting that crime would go down if we'd just abort black babies, or referring to the President as a "boy". While the Democrats have their fair share of similar nonsense (reread the first paragraph of this post), at least there are some folks within the party (ie: James Clyburn) who know when to step in and say enough is enough. When the same happens on the GOP side, Negroes practically knock themselves over in a Rush to get on TV and apologize for the offender.
Strangely, this entire hour goes by and not a single one of these grinning, "I's just so happy to be on da' TeeVee" Negroes even bothers to take Beck to task for his "Obama is racist" comment. What sort of Ghetto Jedi Mind Trick this is, I have no idea. I do, however, know that until the GOP starts checkin' itself, it is not going to make any significant inroads with Black voters. Is it no surprise that when Conservative candidates (ie: Mike Huckabee in Arkansas) do get large numbers of black votes, they're usually guys who eschew theis sort of "Us vs Them" racial politricks? I'm just sayin', you can't both offend me and expect me to put you in power. That dog don't hunt.
I apologize in advance to any Black Conservative whom I might have offended with this screed. Well, okay, actually I don't apologize. I'd really, really, really be interested in knowing how you can stand idly by and watch (and in some ways pile on) when a party more or less disparages your community for political gain (ie: Tea Party protestors, The Reagan Era "Welfare Queen" stereotype, anything uttered by Rush Limbaugh), yet still defend this party as somehow being honest and genuine in its' pursuit of black votes. What exactly has the GOP done that's so greatly benefitted black voters? Where are the success stories? Kill all the rhetoric and Us vs Them hyperbole and give me concrete examples, not talking points.
Question: If you are a Black Conservative, or even know someone who plays one on TV, please explain to me how you can hold your nose and continually support a party that is so clearly disrespectful of the community from which you come? Please show me and point me to real life examples of where the GOP's policies have affected the black community for the better. Please steer clear of talking points like "school choice", "free market capitolism", "William Jefferson", and talking about what the Democrats aren't doing. Defend your party and it's platform without the hyperbole and senseless emotionalism.
 How then, do you explain away the plight of the millions of poor Southern Conservative whites also on welfare and other forms of public assistance? What's the GOP done to reward them for decades of guaranteed votes?