An honest letter from a Liberal to me… #SOTR

I was planning on opening up my email and sharing some of the hateful missives that are a regular part of my daily conservative experience.  I still plan to.

But today, I received this well thought out note on Facebook from a moderate liberal.  I had to share it.  No liberal has ever communicated with me directly with  this much detail and thought.  So, read on.  Comment.  Share.  After I’ve thought this through, I’ll respond here as well as on Facebook.

First, I didn’t come her to fight or throw around hyperbolic accusations like racism or even classicism. I am a left-leaning Democratic liberal whose only conservative views are limited to fiscal responsibility. Stacy, I’ve done some research on you and your activism and I applaud your efforts, I truly do. Your Youtube video entitled, Why I’m a Conservative prompted this post. In this video you explained quite eloquently why you choose to align yourself with the Republican Party based on your conservative values. 

If I may, I would like to respectfully offer a theory as to why the black conservative is dealt with so harshly by the black community.

Since you created this page to prove to the MSM that you exist, I would think you’d be open to a civil discussion regarding this topic and not simply dismiss me as a “libertard” (my personal favorite characterization of liberals.)

I think it is quite careless and a bit callous to assume that any black person that dares cast a “red” ballot is an Uncle Tom. I also find it counterproductive to your cause, of enlightening more black voters to your party, to not investigate deeper into the reasons such a hurtful characterization would be assigned. 

The reality is that the post-slavery dream of the black American is quite conservative. The desire for self sufficiency and the alignment of religious beliefs with societal law have long been the foundation of the demand for equality from the black community. However, there has been an issue that has plagued our country since before its inception that makes it very difficult to stand on the side of those who champion these idealistic views.

You see, I postulate that the centrist black voter who supported President Obama didn’t do so exclusively because of his race or even the majority of his policies. I actually believe that independent or right leaning black voters are torn at the ballot box and cast their vote for the side that displays a perceived compassion for their plight.

As a black voter, it is hard to view prominent black conservatives like Allen West, Clarence Thomas, and Herman Cain in the similar light of the influential black Republican, Martin Luther King Jr. Instead they appear more to us like a reincarnated and equally antiquated version of Booker T. Washington.

MLK taught conservative values while addressing social injustices. Dr. King was a master of interweaving his dual message of responsibility to the black community and tolerance to the white community. His message was well received because he didn’t deny the uneven playing field while encouraging us to suit up and play.

As you may know, Booker T. Washington delivered a similar message of self-discipline and self-fulfillment but did so while encouraging the oppressed black man and woman to EARN the inalienable rights GIVEN to their white counterparts by the Constitution. In his book, Up From Slavery Washington actually maintained that “slavery had given blacks an opportunity to learn skills and acquire English language and Christianity.” Now I don’t for one minute think that Mr. Washington was suggesting that as black people we should be thankful for something as horrible as slavery. I believe that this statement was born from the same ideology that made him believe that White America would eventually accept a fruitful, productive, industrial black person therefore, as a race we should not demand equality, but earn it. 

On the surface that may not sound like a bad idea except that we were the only race that was force to prove ourselves worthy of the same rights given to white people by virtue of birth. In the heyday of Jim Crow, you can imagine that this was NOT a well-received view. IF water fountains and restrooms were segregated based on socioeconomic standings then Washington’s point would have been a good one. The problem was that even the wealthiest black man was still required to drink from the fountain reserved for ALL colored people. 

Having said that, I would be unfair to not assert that Booker T. Washington walked the walk! He stood firmly against the notion of sharecropping and opted instead to purchase land and built the Tuskegee Institute without subsidy from the State of Alabama. There wasn’t anything wrong with the message of Booker T. Washington, but the delivery was lost in translation. So even in celebrating his accomplishment it still comes of as anomalous. 

The conservative representatives I’ve mentioned above APPEAR to be offering that same sentiment to black voters today. They and other black conservatives are presenting only the “logical” aspects of conservatism without addressing the reality of social injustice. I saw a video of Allan West speaking to the Congressional Black Caucus and he remarked that he did not need to look to our first black president as a role model because he had the benefit of having a father in his home. His father was his role model and he in turn was a role model for his daughters. He then chastised the black community for creating that need for an external role model because by large we don’t represent the traditional family.

Though I applaud his family’s ability to offer him a stable environment to develop and grow, how do I identify with it if I didn’t have that benefit? Also, it gives the perception that his success was predicated on the fact that he was raised in a traditional, two-parent home. Since he dismissed the idea that our first black president could serve as a role model he essentially damned me and the disproportional majority of black children in single parent homes to never reaching his level of success.

Was there not a better way to make this point? Have you no compassion for the children who did not choose to be raised in single parent homes? Is there no value in applauding the president for being someone that those children could look up to? 

Since Mr. West chose to address the consequences of the problem and not offer solutions or even address the cause, he is viewed as someone who is unable to empathize with the black experience. Since his skin is black he is seen by many as someone who has turned his back on the black Americans who were not as blessed as he was. This, of course, is based PURELY on perception. However, perception is reality.

Making these assertions that racism does not plague your side of the aisle is also counterproductive. More so, pointing out the racism that exist in the Democratic Party serve no purpose in furthering your agenda. As a liberal, I’m VERY aware that racist exist in my party. I’m very aware that there are white people who cast there vote for Obama but would refuse to allow me to date their daughters. I know that and so do most black liberals. With over 90% of the black vote going to Obama, do you think we are worried about the impact that racism has within the Democratic party? Obviously not. Even if it is true that we are nothing more than sheep headed to slaughter, we do so willingly and together.

Having said that, liberals address the social injustices that affect people of color. Are their remedies always the best? No. Actually, some of them are quite damaging. I think most black liberals feel more empowered having a conversation about race then trying to convince someone that racial inequality is NOT a thing of the past. Because the most vocal members of your party and the ones who have the largest audience either deny the existence of racism, downplay the affects of racism, or exploit vulnerable and uneducated minorities, the black conservative message is muted.

See, I agree with you. I honestly believe that most conservatives are NOT racists. As a matter of fact, I think that word is thrown around way too haphazardly. I do, however think that your side has a problem silencing the bigoted and hateful comments of your most visible supporters. 

Even if I believe in fiscal responsibility, pro-life, the 2nd Amendment, or any other conservative value, it is extremely difficult for me to align myself shoulder to shoulder with people who spew venom towards people who resemble me. I can’t in good conscious support the agenda of a bigot or someone so insensitive that they cannot understand the impact of their words. 

Prominent black conservatives must be willing to stand up to the stereotypes perpetuated by the likes of Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and here locally in Houston, Michael Berry. When someone as vitriolic as Ann Coulter writes, publishes, and promotes a book regarding the black condition in America, yours should be the loudest dissenting voice. 

As a military, combat veteran, I have educated my friends with no military experience the consequences of satisfying their curiosity by asking about my combat experiences. On this subject, I essentially took them from innocence ignorance to informed compassion. I didn’t stop their curiosity but I did help them frame their questions in a way that was respectful and non-intrusive. As a black conservative, you owe it to your party to employ this method towards white conservatives who are malicious without intent.

This posturing against the damaging effects of stereotypes by the few black conservatives amongst you gives a very bad impression of your party. When Bill O’Reilly claims that President Obama won because people want “stuff” and then goes on to identify those people as Latinos, blacks, and women it doesn’t bode well for the black conservative movement. I can’t hear your claim that less government intervention will result in more economic freedom. I can’t hear it because I’ve just been called a freeloader on national television! If you are serious about answering the question why more black voters are not voting for Republicans then the next time a picture of the first black president dressed as a witch doctor is called political satire, use this platform to insist that it DOES have racial undertones.

As long as you refuse to publicly chastise the Rush Limbaughs and Ted Nugents of your party, you will never court the black vote from the left. You must insist on a plan that includes your conservative principles AND empathy towards the black condition in America be developed and widely spread throughout black communities. 

Stand strong on your principles but have a little compassion for those of us who have suffered the effects of generational oppression. With your peripheral vision, show empathy NOT sympathy for those who have now become there very own oppressors. 

See, as a devout Christian, I would never knowingly participate in abortion. However, my stance is that not everyone believes what I believe and I would rather offer an alternative (even one I don’t support) then face the reality of back alley abortions. Also, creating legislation to take away that right is the definition of government interference. While I support a woman’s right to choose I also firmly support education, prevention AND abstinence. 

In the face of overt bigotry and intolerance, you must take a stance and it needs to be visible. You don’t have to compromise your values to educate and empathize with someone who did not choose your path. Of course, you can choose to ignore the independent or middle of the road black voters who have allowed perception to dismiss the idea of ever being labeled conservative, the consequence is that your numbers will remain few and insignificant. 

Incidentally, towards the end of his life in 1912, Booker T. Washington published a an article entitled, Is the Negro Having a Fair Chance?” In this article he concluded that even the most successful black man “when compared with the the white man, does not have a fair chance.” Despite that realization, Washington never abandoned his conservative principles. We’ve come along way since then but just like Washington, we have to be willing to see the reality that is destroying our idealistic views. Just my 2 Lincolns.

28 thoughts on “An honest letter from a Liberal to me… #SOTR

  1. This was thought provoking and enlightning. I understand most of his expressed concerns. But,when he is insulted with the comments that “if you voted Obama your voting for slavery ” It means ALL people slaving for Government. Not about black slavery. We have a communication brakedown. It is so irritating that when we object to Obamas policy we are considered racist. It is very very frustrating. I dont care what color the man is. Im tired of being called a racist if I dont agree with him. It’s like saying to a black person, “if you criticize a white President your racist” It’s ridiculous and stiffles healthy debate about policy. I also don’t like who this president has aligned himself with like racist pastors or Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dunn, Valarie Jarrett etc. They are known proud communist revolutionaries. My mother always said “Tell me who you’re with and I’ll tell you who you are” The cover-ups, the class warfare,his book Dreams of my father is very revealing. It’s not the color of his skin. It’s his hate he personally holds for capitalism but denies it. Wish he would just be truthful with who he really is and what he believes.

  2. Stacy, have you written your reply to this letter. I so enjoyed reading this and really appreciate the point of view. To me it is so well written and heartfelt. It made sense to me. You? I am not intellectually top notch and takes me awhile to reach a conclusion, but I liked this so much and really am excited to read your response. Thank you.

  3. Wow, this was really good and enlightening. It’s a dialogue that needs to happen! I’ve been thinking a lot about this, because I know something needs to happen, but don’t know what. I am not a person if influence whatsoever, but feel this needs to be out there. on a local/state level, what I’ve observed is that minorities that come forward are welcomed but I’m not confident in the outreach. I live in ILLinois, and I KNOW there are more conservatives then our govt represents (look @ us now though, we just got a Dem veto proof majority in State Assembly thanks to union donations on steroids). The other issue I see is what you point out, the bile that comes from people on the left when a black person or Latino/Latina is a conservative. So, it seems it’s a two-pronged issue, how the left treats people that “defect to conservatism” and how the right says things that don’t reach people or make them feel they would be welcomed to the cause. We need to push back, on both sides. Where do we go?

  4. I’m not a great writer and I don’t frame my ideas and thoughts as well as I would like to but it’s this type of thing that could bridge the gulf between perceptions and reality.

    The author wrote “I can’t hear your claim that less government intervention will result in more economic freedom. I can’t hear it because I’ve just been called a freeloader on national television!” brings me to something I have been thinking about the last couple of days

    I hear (radio) and see (internet sites mostly) things that would paint every person on some type of assistance as a “freeloader”. We hear a story from a friend who has a friend that knows the social worker who heard about this woman who has 19 kids and drives a luxury car and has a 60″ plasma TV but doesn’t work. Or the sound bites of the “Obama-phone lady” or the “Obama-money lady” or the “I don’t have to worry about my mortgage / gas lady.” (Not singling out women on purpose it’s coincidence.) But when I really tried to analyze — those women may actually be “freeloaders” or would like to be “freeloaders” but once I sat down to really think about it I came to a conclusion that I believe 100% is the truth.

    I’m going to paint a picture of the worst stereotype: Inner city, projects (drugs, crime, not well maintained), single mother with a child, on public assistance of every flavor, not a great education. Who in their right mind wants this environment for a “government check”??? — I bet you a dollar to a doughnut that a real woman (not my fictional example) dreams of escaping her situation, building a better life, a safe place for her child to play — everything that involves the whole “pursuit of happiness” thing.

    I don’t think that the typical “J. Q. Public” (Joan / John) seek this life out. The exceptions exist of course and are played to death to illustrate to us (“conservative” types) and we feel disgusted and angry or we feel pity and think “Just get a job, or get three, you make your own way.” — when the reality is the It’s not as easy as that and takes someone much smarter then I to come up with a proper solution but I think the first step starts with compassion and as the author stated EMPATHY.

    I’m sorry for the long comment and I hope I wrote something coherent.

  5. I found this letter very enlightening. I feel encouraged and discouraged at the same time. From my perspective, as a white person, I felt a need to show or prove I wasn’t racist. I felt that was required and expected of me and that is really impossible to do. White people are born with this history on their heads and at times it is frustrating. I’m not equivocating the white experience with the black experience I’m just saying that in general we don’t know what is expected of us. I had a situation happen to me when I was a 25 year old bank teller. A young black man came in the bank he was attending the college down the street, Chapman college. It is a very prestigious college in Orange county. He had received a check for about 10,000 dollars and he wanted to cash it. When he came to my window. I went through the procedures. If the check was over 100 dollars I had to ask for ID. If the check was over 250.00 I had to get manager approval. So I called the manager and she checked it. She called the bank it was written on. She put a hold on 7000 dollars of it and got him 3000 dollars. It took about 1/2 hour. This was in the early 90′s so things were slower. Anyway, I saw the man put a comment in my comment box. When he left I checked it, it was the only comment in there and it said “White Devil pushed the manager button as soon as I walked in the door. I was shocked, embarrased, hurt , offended and I really wanted a chance to explain the true situation to him; but he was gone. The reason I relay this story is that that episode made me realise how easily we can misunderstand each other even when we think we are being perfectly clear and speaking each others language.

  6. Eeners, I do hope some group of intellects will indeed find a way to communicate better with minorities. I feel conservatism really is the best for all of us here in America. I did enjoy the letter to Stacy and the fact someone took the time to put it down in such a calm and respectful manner. Can’t wait to read Stacy’s response.

  7. The way I see it is the right, by and large, wants to just be color blind. We want to judge people by their actions and their general character. The left is the party that wants to continue to identify someone of color, by their race because it allows them to grandstand about how “inclusive” they are. How can we get over the racial divide if we, as a society, KEEP trying to classify people according to their race? It’s a chicken and egg thing. We’ll only become a post racial people when we stop identifying ourselves by our race. I would just as soon (and it would make more sense) identify myself by my manners in public. Or by the way I treat strangers. Or by the way I keep my yard clean so my neighbors don’t have to see an eye sore. Or by the way I ensure my kids don’t act the fool in restaurants. Or by the way I dress. Or by the way I say thank you when someone does something for me in public. Those are all WAY more identifying of me than my color. Because those are things I choose to do and have control over. I have no control over my race and I could not choose to “be” my color or any other color. So, why tie my identity to it? It’s more of a personal description than it is an identity. The sooner we ALL get to that point, the better off our society will be. I believe MOST of the right desperately wants to be at that point. We don’t care what your color is. We care that you love your family and you are kind to your neighbors and you respect the sensibilities of your community and you strive for whatever level of success you want out of life. We want you to be a healthy member of society. We have no interest in the color of your skin. As MLK said, we are interested in the content of your character. And that’s IT.

    I loved this email from this “liberal” person. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve tried to have with someone on the left only for it to devolve into character assassination from them to me. The right WANTS to debate the merit of arguments based on logic and reason. But that is very, very hard to do since most of the left’s opinion of people on the right is so caustic.

    I would say that the comments from the right that this person is referring to is most times in reaction to what the left says about race. Coulter’s book is actually revealing to the world the truth about racism on the left. And of course, that is interpreted as being racially inflammatory. Same with Rush. Famous example is the song he plays to the tune of Puff, the Magic Dragon. It’s called “Barack the Magic Negro”. He’s actually making fun of a term that someone on the LEFT coined after Obama was elected and it’s designed to mock how racist the left is (with a measure of mocking the idol worshiping on the side.)

    As for the argument about the left empathizing with the history of the black experience… when is the black experience going to change, if we’re always wallowing in the pain of the past? Yes, the privileges afforded the white person by birth was a significant leg up to the white baby born a scant 50 years ago. But I would say that anyone born in the past 30+ years, if they made the right choices in life, has the same chance at success in America today as anyone. With affirmative action policies, I would dare say, perhaps a bit better in certain circumstances.

    The key, though, is the right choices. I was born into poverty. Extreme poverty. I couldn’t go to college. I lived in 10 different households, from Grandparents to Aunts to a single mom and everything in between, in my first 18 years. Went to 27 schools between K and 12th grade. I was physically abused as a child. The story goes on and on. But I chose to rise up out of that life, early on. I made the choice to not get married early in life. I chose to not have kids early. I chose to work hard. I made choice after choice that would get me closer to the goal of not ending up like my family. All without one familial role model to guide me. Today, I’m very successful. I’m proud to say I’m part of that mythical 1% everyone talks about. All of that was attained with the color of my skin being absolutely no help or hindrance, either way. It was all about my choices. No matter how small your short end of the stick is, it’s all about choices now. It’s not about color. Not to say there will not be personal bigotry experiences and challenges along the way. Extra curious police stops, perhaps… etc. But heck… people considered by society to be “ugly” as well as obese people can attest to life not being fair based solely on how you look. However, there are plenty of obese and “ugly” people knocking life out of the park. But color is not one of those traits that hold people back today, all other things being equal.

    Anyway, thank you to the “liberal” who wrote this email. Wish I knew his name. I actually wish I knew him personally. I would be honored to call him a friend.

    • I agree with Orangedan. While I appreciate that the writer really sat down and took a long time to carefully write out his/her thoughts, which obviously come from a passionate heart, the assertation is still that white Republicans are racist. That is a label that I personally detest. I’m a white Republican and the adoptive mom of a black child, and I don’t think anything close to a racist. In fact, my son is a Republican teenager NOT because I want him to be, but because he can’t stand knowing that Obama supports abortion all the way up to the time of birth! He also knows enough about our Constitution that he realizes what his generation and the future generations are in for if we turn into a socialist country. It’s really tiring to be labeled a racist or intolerant whenever I don’t agree with a democrat and especially when I vote for a Republican. What I find is that the lefties are getting more and more hateful and spiteful. Even the teachers’ unions with their foul language when they protest. What a bad example that sets for the children they teach!

      Anyway, Stacy, I appreciate you printing the letter. At least he/she was kind. I didn’t feel like you were being attacked like you have been in the past. :)

  8. All good responses,I wonder if the writer cares that the governor George Wallace was a democrat,or Senator Byrd was a democrat,we have plenty of bigots all around us on both sides,even Bill Clinton told Kennedy Barack would have been delivering coffee a few yrs. ago.I admire his stance and obvious intelligence just wish he wouldn’t put liberals above conservatives in his assumptions that they care more.Conservatives tell the truth without worrying too much how it appears,liberals are far more sensitive how they appear,but they are destructive to all of us by undermining our faith and our families.Didn’t they notice that God was voted out of the DNC three times,most abortions are performed by liberal drs.,for liberal women many of them black.1/6 of our entire population has been aborted since 1973,more than likely most were future liberals as I doubt conservative women of any color abort their children.How about gay marriage?,blacks and hispanics voted it down in Cal.,white people just voted it in in my state of Maine.It sickens me,I don’t feel that any man has the right to tell GOD that he has to accept this perversion.I happen to be a white guy 62,with 2 fantastic young adult children who came into my life at 5wks.old and 10wks.old,they’re both from Honduras originally and I’m very glad that they both call me dad,We are a triracial family who are all the same on the inside.I’m sure they are more liberal than I,I was liberal when I was young too.But as you grow older you realize that you have to live within your means.You can be responsible ,conservative and have a heart all at the same time.Thank you for letting me speak,yours is my favorite site,keep it coming.

  9. This was a very enlightening letter. However, I believe the writer suffers from a case of serious cognitive dissonance…like many black democrats. Why? Cognitive dissonance is simple holding a set of values and beliefs while showing actions that oppose said values and beliefs. The writer said,
    “I think it is quite careless and a bit callous to assume that any black person that dares cast a “red” ballot is an Uncle Tom.”
    Then he proceeds to compare Allen West, Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain to Booker T. Washington….who was referred to as a…wait on it…Uncle Tom! Now me, myself, and I do not mind being referred to as an Uncle Tom because in the original fictional version of ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ he was beaten to death because he refused to tell ‘Massa’ where two runaway slaves were. He refused to be obedient to ‘Massa’ for the sake of his people. I digress…The writer believes that assuming that any black person dare cast a “red” ballot is an Uncle Tom is careless and callous yet carelessly and callously refers to popular black conservatives as Booker T. Washington’s (Uncle Tom); cognitive dissonance.
    The writer then goes on to describe Booker T. Washington message or ideology and what was wrong (it would have been a good one) with Booker T.’s ideology and later goes on to write, “There wasn’t anything wrong with the message of Booker T. Washington, but the delivery was lost in translation.” I get the writer’s point; but if there was nothing wrong with Booker T.’s message why point out the things wrong with the message…cognitive dissonance.
    I disagree that current black conservative representatives are communicating blacks earn anything from the White America. I would compare them more to WEB Dubois. If anything those black conservative representatives say that blacks can still be successful in spite of perceived social-injustices (they do happen but not nearly as much as liberal White America would have us believe) of White America; regardless whether you come from a single family home or two parent home, regardless of your socio-economic upbringing.
    Further, Allen West most surely did address a serious social issue in the black community; breakdown of the traditional family. There is an old saying, ‘the truth hurts’ but it only hurts coming from a black conservative; President Obama addressed this same social issue as well as Bill Cosby (boy was he attacked). At any rate, I would encourage this writer to research the starting point of the break-down of the traditional family in the black community beginning with Margaret Sanger and The New Deal. But wait the writer already knows that some of these policies are “quite damaging” to the black community…and yet he is still liberal…cognitive dissonance. Pro-life values and beliefs while voting pro-choice…is cognitive dissonance.
    I could go on and on because as a black conservative I hear the exact same arguments albeit not as well put from many of my friends and family. I tell them they suffer from cognitive dissonance as well. :-)

    • Cognitive dissonance, that’s an interesting diagnosis. Personally, as a liberal, my views and votes are not in conflict. I believe that legislation that takes a way a right should only be enacted if not doing so places individuals in harms way. Otherwise, I think self governance is the right way to go. To me the abortion issue is not about right vs wrong but choice vs force. So, it isn’t necessary for me to support abortion in order to support the notion of free will and choice. I know we don’t agree so I’ll move on.

      I won’t address your inference that I inferred that Allen West or Booker T. Washington are Uncle Toms. I won’t because it adds nothing to the conversation and further detracts from the point of my letter to Stacey.

      I will, however, concede (for the purposes of proving my point) that some black voters suffer from cognitive dissonance. It may explain why black voters jumped ship and joined the left in 1964. As one responder pointed out, members of the KKK represented the Dems in the senate. So what could have possibly allowed such obvious dissonance? Ah… The Civil Rights Act of 1964 written by Kennedy (D) and signed by Johnson (D).

      Look, I merely wanted to illuminate a possible theory for the disproportion between black representation on the left and the right. I wasn’t trying to pick a fight. I fundamentally do not agree with the majority of conservative principles so voting as a Republican would never serve my individual agenda. However, there are those who may agree with just enough of your views to be coaxed into crossing the aisle. Is it not worth examining the delivery of your message without changing the content?

      Your ‘truth hurts’ brand of delivery defies two very simple truths: 1. Since Kennedy, black democratic registration has climbed significantly, there may be a correlation between my grandmother’s allegiance and mine. 2. The electoral map that supported slavery is now almost identical to the electoral map that supports the Republican party.

      You are dealing with a reality with ideological means… It doesn’t work. Words have power so do the tone and inflection in which those words are delivered. Stop publicly degrading people who fundamentally disagree and start addressing the people who are willing to hear you out! When your side attacks the first man of color to ascend to a place we never thought was possible and you ignore it, it gives the impression of consent. That is just a fact.

      Barack Obama is the child of a single parent who made it to the White House. Allen West is the son of a two parent home who became extremely successful in both the military and politics. As the son of a single mother who do you think I will be more receptive to? They have the same exact message but from two different perspectives and points of perception. Are we going to deny that?

      You call it coddling; I call it outreach. You owe it to the conservative movement to help them understand why certain barriers keep the majority of black people from hearing their message. Even if you don’t agree with the barriers, you can’t be blind to them! Have you read the responses by white readers of this blog? They have questions regarding the right way to reach out to black voters and spread what they feel is the “right” way of governance. The responses from black readers are stained with the exhausted and unproductive rhetoric of intolerance.

      You spent all that time picking a part my argument and dismissing me due to a psychological impairment but never addressed the issue… How do you increase awareness and activism of conservatism in the black community? As a liberal, I was willing to offer a suggestion and you chose to deny its validity without countering with an alternative. You can wait for black voters to stop drinking the Kool-Aid if you want to but if your side’s apocolpytic predictions are right, it won’t matter soon.

      • Mr. Massey, I stand by my argument. If your personal beliefs and values align with your political beliefs by all means vote according to those personal beliefs and values. I was not trying to pick a fight with you at all. It seems you and I are looking at this situation from two different world-views. I just have one question. Why do liberals black, white, etc…get so offended if someone disagrees with their ideas? You were totally offended; at least this is the tone I sense from you email. I do not feel I degraded you I used your own words to prove my point; in my opinion you listed conflicts among your beliefs and your actions and ideology has huge impact on reality my Brother; even when suffering from cognitive dissonance. Also, re-read what I said about Allen West and Booker T Washington. There is a history of Booker T Washington being called an Uncle Tom; yet you say that you don’t disagree with premise that the Allen West’s of the world are Uncle Toms yet compare them to someone who was regularly referred to as an Uncle Tom because of his message. That was my point.

        Anyway, bottom-line conservative values are a positive for the black community; I don’t believe the message should be changed! There needs to be a cultural change. However, let’s take the two backgrounds of the President and Allen West; yes two totally different backgrounds. The President came from a single-parent home and was very successful. You can’t possibly believe he is the only successful black that has come from single-parent home. Heck, I came from a single-parent home (my mother had me when she was 12), lower-socio economic environment, gang-ridden environment and I’m pretty successful; I will complete my doctorate degree within a year. The conservative message (and I am the only conservative in my family with exception of my Grandmother recent convert) pushed a cultural change in my life. What you would like is for successful black conservatives to change their conservative message which fostered success in their lives. To what exactly? You ask, how do you increase awareness and activism of conservatism in the black community? Tell the truth! Truth, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Kennedy had written was actually spawned from the Civil Rights Act of 1875 (Republican) and when Lyndon B Johnson passed this guess who helped get it through, Republicans not Democrats. You said, “Stop publicly degrading people who fundamentally disagree and start addressing the people who are willing to hear you out!”. Sir, this is common among liberals not conservatives. I have heard some of the most vile, vicious, and hateful commentary from people on the left about people on the right; it is a common thread. Yet, when conservatives stand up and speak out we are told that we are brainless, stupid, ignorant, and yes black conservatives are call Uncle Toms, Oreos or as my Mom has called me white girl in a black body who didn’t raise me to have this crazy views. These stereotypes are outright lies. I contend that there are racist on both sides of the aisle however, in this day and age I am no ones victim. Barriers? Is there anything in this United States of America that you want to accomplish as a black man that will prevent you from doing so; even if you come from a single parent home or lower socio economic environment? I’ll wait…

  10. I am a white republican 45 year old women who would really appreciate more discussion about blacks view of politics and whites opinion of the the way the media speaks on blacks behalf. i would also like to engage in more conversation and receive clarity on this very important topic.

  11. Pingback: Martin Luther King , He’s Not … or … Equal Outcome not Equal Opportunity « YouViewed/Editorial

  12. “Empathy towards the Black Condition in America”
    This was a line used in this story. This is something I just can’t understand. No. I myself am a white man. Now, I myself am not a great writer. I am a very conservative, God Fearing, USA loving citizen of the greatest country on earth.
    There is no doubt in my mind that there is still Racism in the world today. But come on this will always be an issue we will have to deal with. However; I believe every person, Black,White,Red and Yellow have the same opportunity to be successful in this country. Work hard and be a good person is all it takes and though it may not be easy and yes you may fail at times you can always get back up.
    Now is the time for our generation to get off their asses (Pardon my French) and stop asking the government for their support. Now… Don’t get me wrong some people in some situations do need help from our government. Food Stamps, Welfare, and Medicaid are all good services offered to help the injured, the elderly, the sick, and yes even the ones living in poverty… But I question… Why are so many people living in poverty… Education is free in public schools so you can get an education and with good grades you can receive scholarships and also grants. Anyone can find a job and find success. I am a fourth generation construction worker. There are several times when I have trouble finding work. But I always manage to pull myself out of the hole. My checking account is usually right around the $0.01 mark but I always manage to make it. I do receive unemployment at times but its not very much. And that is a benefit I have earned…
    So… Would someone please tell me what race has to do with your success in the year of our Lord 2012. We are no longer in the 60s. Yes that was a terrible way of life for the people of that era. But I know this sounds harsh, But nobody owes anybody anything for the way people were in those times… If you want things to change get off your behind and make life better for yourselves. I’m not talking to black people alone… All races; Black, White, Asian, Mexican. I don’t care who you are quit complaining about our government and take care of your business.
    I am a strong believer of one Race and that is the HUMAN RACE… We can do so much and be so great if we as a country would come together as a whole and get past this division that hangs over our heads. Let’s stop with the anti Christian movement that has taken Christ out of schools and media and sports and stand up for what our country was built upon. ” All Men Were Created Equal” and ” In God We Trust” . Let’s remember… “Divided We Fall but Together We Stand”

    I hope no one takes my words in the wrong way and gets upset at my beliefs… As I said before, I am for Our Human Race and I believe everyone has the same opportunity to have success in this country. You just need to stop with the excuses and make a better life for yourself and a better future for the generations to follow…

  13. Correction Mr. Massey,

    Also, re-read what I said about Allen West and Booker T Washington. There is a history of Booker T Washington being called an Uncle Tom; yet you say that you disagree with premise that the Allen West’s of the world are Uncle Toms yet compare them to someone who was regularly referred to as an Uncle Tom because of his message. That was my point.

  14. a very healthy debate here, which I greatly appreciate. I have a question that might sound oh so overly simplistic, but it is important to me.. When Obama goes to a church that professes hatred toward a certain race, whatever that race is . and in this case it is the white race and all Jews. as is in the church of Jeremiah Wright and , Obama attended for many many years…how is this not filtered into the heart of a man? ..question number two. how is it that in the third debate, where Obama looked as though he were a master of anger. take an moment to mock another man in front to the whole world , by telling Romney ,”Romney. let me tell you here. … (and I am paraphrasing) , for I do not remember the exact words) … you dont know what you are speaking of when it comes to the military forces. .. we no longer have bayonets. we have.these pieces of equipment. airplanes .etc….. when it shows . either Obama doesnt know his military forces, OR, he simply wanted to take a moment and scorn Romney and mock him…… this is utterly disgusting and shows Obamas heart is wrong, is full of scorn and a hatred of truth, in exchange for a lie and a moment of political interest and greedy disdain. (Obama, we DO have bayonets and it would be nice if you were to humble yourself and admit that simple horrible evil tactic) God, we need help. from you. We give our all to you , for I profess to know nothing except that I am but dust , a flower slowly fading ..filled with your undeserved favor. Thank you all for letting me speak here.

  15. Very good article. I completely agree with his assessment that the average conservative has lost sight of the fact that the suit and tie, Reagan loving Republican is quickly being replaced with a nation that gets its news in sound bytes on an iPad. As a liberal, I get just as frustrated with uninformed voters who cast Dem ballots because I fear they will be asked on camera why they voted for President Obama. I cringe when the right exploits their ignorance and use it to paint the picture that all liberals lack political savvy. However, I have the luxury of the majority so it doesn’t bother as much.

    On the other hand, this gentleman is discussing a problem that I recognize even from all the way over on this side of the aisle. I have read one of the articles he referenced written by Hermain Cain attempting to “debunk the blame Bush myth”. I thank God that I choose to educate myself because the article was so well written it could have easily persuaded me that Bush had very little to with the economy the President inherited. I was actually very impressed at his attempt to break things down, albeit short of all the facts, in a manner than didn’t just repeat the paranoia cries of OPresident bama being a socialist.

    There no need to go into the inconsistencies of Cain’s argument or attempt to counter the arguments in this article. I’m guessing by now you realize I can’t be converted. However, I will say that this is exactly the point I was trying to make although it was made for a more universal audience. Since Stacey chose tomcallmthe site, Black Conservative Action. I assumed it was a place that we could discuss the politics of identity as well as other issues. I was wrong and for that I apologize.

    What I got from this article is that conservatives must make sure their message is received by the intended audiences. Business owners and so-called “wealth creators” can be addressed with qoutes from the WSJ, the average American cannot. Somehow he was able to communicate this idea better without being of accused of suggesting that the message gets watered down. Maybe my mother was tight, maybe I should have minded my own busines. I do caution you, however, that closing your mind to words spoken from someone you don’t agree with is an easy way to be misled.

    I’m often criticized by my friends on the left for listening to conservative talk radio, watching the very biased Fox News, or reading conservative blogs. I defend the act by explaining that being informed requires absorbing all forms of information.

    By the way, to the original topic of increasing black conservatism I found this article written by a conservative black woman named Starr Parker. The article, “Conservatives Can Win Over Blacks and Latinos” was published 11/09/12 on the WND. Since I fundamentally disagree with all of its content except the last sentence pertaining to outreach, instead of copying a link I’ll qoute her:

    “Conservatives must get into black and Latino communities, talk to their clergy and community leaders, and explain how conservative policies of limited government and traditional values will save their communities and our nation.”

    My sentiments exactly. I’m a combat vet of Iraq and Afghanistan and I learned a valuable lesson from both: you must bring the battle to the battleground. Personally, I hope you continue to play to your base and ostracize anyone who disagrees. I enjoy the newly adopted, old Republican values of government financed infrastructure and socially moral obligation. It’s great to be a Dem!

  16. Okay… You win. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the image of the conservative movement. Keep touting your views and maybe one day the 60 million freeloaders who voted for the President will wake up. Yes, I’m offended. Yes, I’m being extremely sarcastic. The hypocrisy of the right is blinding. It is my fault for believing that you on the right actually wanted to have a dialogue. You don’t. All of these words md you’ve yet to address the issue. I’m offended because as quickly as you have been crassly dismissed as Uncle Tom’s, you seem to have no desire to have an honest conversation about an issue that even members of your party address.

    I’ll leave you with a link that once again expresses why your antiquated message is increasingly falling on deaf ears. God Bless.

    whttp://www.ericgarland.co/2012/11/09/letter-to-a-future-republican-strategist-regarding-white-people

  17. Mr. Massey, I did I said there needs that the issues need to be addressed culturally. Similiar to Starr Parker (big fan of hers):
    “Conservatives must get into black and Latino communities, talk to their clergy and community leaders, and explain how conservative policies of limited government and traditional values will save their communities and our nation.”

    This is a cultural approach an approach you agreed with. There is no win/lose here Mr. Massey. As a country we are divided and house divided cannot not stand. I want bipartianship, both sides to come together for the good of America not just one side or that side; not just black, white, or other ethnicities. Close-minded, okay that’s fine you can call me close-minded, crass, dismissive, hypocritical, and etc. yet I will not be offended because I am not defined by your words nor am I anyone’s victim ( I think I said that before) therefore, there is no possible way you can offend :-). I am christian, conservative, republican and black and extremely proud of it; yet humble. I don’t wear my pride on my sleeve. I know this may sound cliche but I have many liberal friends a few of which I can have great dialogue without them running away from me or trying to degrade me and will answer the simple question of: Is there anything in this United States of America that you want to accomplish as a black man that will prevent you from doing so; even if you come from a single parent home or lower socio economic environment?

    Mr. Massey, I forgot and please forgive me for doing so…thank you for your service to our country. I have enjoyed our dialogue. Have a great evening.

  18. Mr. Massey, I read Mr. Garlands article and I just have three things:

    1. There is no mention of God but there is mention of evolution being hard science; I assume with this gentleman’s several years of higher education he has accepted the secular humanistic world-view of which our current higher educational systems and public educationals systems push and support. Now you consider yourself a liberal Christian, so I assume you do believe in the Creator of heaven and earth as a opposed to this gentleman (well he may be agnostic I can’t say for sure); and at least have some sort of standard to measure your beliefs and values against. Correct?
    2. I checked out his ‘About’ page and he clearly states among many things that he will not in his blog pretend that he knows that answer or pretend there is only one answer. Well, based on his post-Obama win rant he is clearly doing what he said he would not do pretend to know that answer or that his and those on the left is the only answer.
    3. And this is sooo funny because many liberals do it all the time, he says that the republican party is really mean, mocking, demonizing, insulting, angry, and defensive while at the same doing exactly what he says the republican party does. Amazing…

    Kudos to your guy…he just stereotyped an entire party and I believe about 48% of the United States of America. Okay, I’m done. I will await Stacey’s response to you.

  19. “Kudos to your guy…he just stereotyped an entire party and I believe about 48% of the United States of America.” Lol, so did yours… and it cost him an election. Sorry… I couldn’t resist.

    I’ve been obsessively studying the plight of the black conservative since stumbling upon Stacy’s FB page and now her blog. I can’t lie, it’s a fascinating phenomenon. Fascinating because I can’t help but to feel a little uneasy about the idea that any political group would have to identify itself based on race. What’s more is the rhetoric on both sides of the conversation regarding the validity of the “black conservative.”

    Both sides seem to be in this delusional mindset that the black community is this singular, moving, breathing entity. That is quite disturbing. Is it not possible that individuals within the black community vote according to their understanding of how each politician best represents his or her interest? I just refuse to accept this notion that black voters take the time to register to vote only to show up at a voting site like a zombie in a trance.

    You asked me a question that I never answered. As a black man who is educated, informed, and the product of a lower socioeconomic upbringing, I can honestly say that there are no barriers preventing me from enjoying whatever level of success I desire. I’ve never believed in the existence of the evil caricature of the “man” but I also had the benefit of being taught that I control my destiny. My unwavering belief in God reminds me that no weapon formed against me can prosper. This concept is extremely empowering. So empowering that even in the face of overt racism I am able to overcome and walk away with my dignity intact. For instance, I’ve been the victim of racial profiling. I was once pulled over and the law enforcement officer was not shy in revealing that he stopped me because I “aroused his suspicion” a phrase I’ll never forget. It bothered me, of course, but I wasn’t afraid because I had done nothing wrong. Even when he asked to search my vehicle without just cause, rather than argue that he had no right, I thought it easier to allow him to because he wouldn’t find anything. Though I knew that I was on the side of right and therefore not really in danger of being victimized by this cops bigotry, I wasn’t ready to concede to the notion that he was just doing his job. I also wasn’t under the delusion that this was an isolated event. (Side note: I noted his badge number, name, and car then filed a grievance at the police station. To me, that was much more effective then inciting a confrontation.)

    The problem I have with “black conservatives” is the notion that adopting traditional conservative principles can result in achieving a measure of success because there are no barriers to success. It’s just as silly as the notion of the left that the debt of reparations are somehow our birthright. The glass ceiling is a real barrier so are stereotypes and discrimination in the workplace. Can they be overcome? Absolutely! However, let’s not pretend it’s all in the mind of people who feel the government owes them something.

    No, I don’t think anything stands in my way but that is because I’m willing to get mine by any (legal and moral) means necessary. I’ve also used whatever means necessary to achieve the success I enjoy. I have been the recipient of social “entitlement” programs and was lucky enough to be the child of a woman who saw welfare as a temporary solution to her problem. She never lets me forget that the first day she cashed her check she promised herself that she would be vehemently working towards never having to use government funds again. It was a decision. It was a decision that was made based on her own tenacity and the availability of assistance that allowed her to be a better her and subsequently a better me.

    I think the idea that every person who calls themselves a black conservative is an Uncle Tom is just as ridiculous as the notion that every liberal or democrat is a freeloader that wants stuff. Though I defeated the generational curse of poverty, I didn’t do it alone. I had the benefit of my family, my community, and yes… the government. It’s funny, I stumbled upon a website that introduced me to a group called the Frederick Douglass Republicans. I couldn’t help but laugh at the notion that Frederick Douglass was a staunch conservative – he wasn’t. We’ve changed the definition of both conservative and liberal and now we are trying to force these historical figures into our new definitions. A true conservative would not advocate that the government create legislation to correct a social injustice. Both Douglass and King did. Yes, they were advocates for self-reliance and adherence to the Constitution but they also fought to demand inclusion in the Constitution they supported.

    I truly believe that we do ourselves and our race a great injustice when we try to separate ourselves from our strongest identifier. I was accused of speaking “proper” as a child and encouraged to speak more “black” by my peers. My first response was to disprove the notion that “black” was a manner of speech. Eventually, I learned that denying that there is a vernacular that is regionally understood by black people was not only ostracizing it was offensive. Rather than accept a ridiculous notion like “ebonics” I chose instead to admit that enunciation has not always been a “black thing” and then work my butt off to make it one.

    The problem with any polarizing message is that it seeks to remove the validity of any other message. Did social programs break apart the family unit in the black community? Yes, but it wasn’t alone. Drugs, crime, racism, and disenfranchisement were strong accomplices. To negate the fact there were black people in two-family and single-family homes that benefited from programs is akin to denying your own self-admitted past.

    As a liberal, I rarely allow anyone to make blanket statements regarding racism on the right without proof. Then, I ask them to put those statements in context. What is is the profit of identifying that racism beyond attempting to discredit the beliefs of everyone surrounding the racist? Claiming that Republicans or the Tea Party are void of racism only removes any validity your message may contain. It is the equivalent of claiming that the Obamaphone Lady is an anomaly. We both know that isn’t true.

    Personally, I think that the plight of the black community is an intimate conversation that should be had between black people. To me it is like sitting at the kitchen table and discussing bills, faith, and any other issue that effects the inhabitants of that particular home. It angered me that Stacey Dash was attacked in the media by people of color. It angered me because I felt like we put our business in the street and allowed people who have never been us to judge us. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a separatist. Quite the opposite actually. I do think that discussing my bills with my neighbor is silly because my neighbors don’t pay my bills. In the same vein, aligning myself with liberalism without understanding that black liberalism and white liberalism are two very different perspectives, is a setup to allow myself to become a victim. See, I stand by the notion that the black conservative is fighting a uphill battle because black conservatives are used by white conservatives as place holders and proof that conservatism is a universal concept. PLEASE don’t read into that the notion that I think black conservatives are weak minded or pawns. Actually, the message I get from black conservatism is that race is small component of their beliefs. I believe the average black conservative believes the notion that we are all red, white and blue! Unfortunately, it isn’t true.

    I’ll give you an example. I was a nurse in the Navy that spent most of my career assigned to Marine Corps units (the Marine Corps has not medical assets and use Navy corpsmen and nurses). We were stripped of our singular identities and told that we were not black or white but green. It was a great concept. That is until distinction was necessary:

    “Hey, where is SGT Smith?”
    “There’s two SGT Smiths which one, Light-green or Dark-green?”

    Now that may seem benign but it negates the notion that there is no difference between us. There is. There always will be. Recognizing that I’m black is not equivalent to “celebrating my race” it is consciousness of a very visible identifier. It is also a defining characteristic of my experiences here on earth. There truly are certain things that I have endured, enjoyed and experience BECAUSE I’m black.

    If outreach is truly the goal of the Republican establishment then I say good luck. I would love to see more conservatives reach out and engage with the black community without hostility or the accusation that opposition equates to life on a plantation. It would be awesome if conservatives would simply state their case in a way that doesn’t seem unattainable to the average person. It would be even better if they remembered that not everyone has the courage or tenacity to pull themselves out of their situation. Some people may actually need the assistance they are receiving. I would love for black liberalism and black conservatism to find a happy medium and return to the moderate roots from which both were born. We won’t agree on everything but we will find enough common ground to improve our position and vantage point in America. Most of all, we will be seen as individuals who can’t be lumped into a voting group based purely on race. When I turn on Fox News or MSNBC and they are suggesting that Republicans or Democrats have to find a way to capture the black, 25-38, evangelical, middle class, college educated, female vote – we’ve accomplished our goals.

    In the end Jackie, I truly enjoyed the opportunity to speak candidly about an issue that truly effects our community in a huge way. For both sides of the aisle we need to find a way to discuss the values we espouse without assumptions or allegations. We owe it to all of the men and women who fought and died for our rights to not only vote but do so with civility and an informed intent.

    It’s been real My Sistah! (I couldn’t resist)
    God Bless

    • Yes, it has been real and besides being on opposite ends of the political spectrum; you and I have a lot in common. I am a Air Force veteran; but I didn’t see the need to bring that out during our past discussion. I bring it out now because it’s just one more thing we have in common as well as having mothers who refused to retire on welfare :-)

  20. Thank you, Anthony for your point of view and to some of the responses I read from other contributors. I suspect I’m quite a bit older than you as an AA 57 year young woman. Born and raised in Harlem, NY I became an avid reader as a young girl and began studying black history by the time I was nine. During my teen years I was knowledgable enough to go toe to toe with my high school history teachers, one of whom referred to me as Angela Davis (yes, this was during the early 70′s). I was angry over the state of the black condition and completely devoured all things black (and proud). I joined community organziations and taught black children all the while observing a lack and limited consciousness demonstrated by some adults. By the time I reached 25 I began to study spiritual and metaphysical teachings which helped me to realize that human beings are more the same than they are different. Just an aside, regarding slavery, mankind has enslaved others as far back in history as one can follow.
    As such, no matter how many perceived or actual racists exist in America, it should not stop us from fulfilling our potential in whatever way we wish. Anytime, anyone spends time focusing on people who may dislike black people, we then give them power over us which then causes useless, unnecessary suffering. I’m sure our ancestors are rolling over in their grave at the idea we’d get caught up in what others think of us when, given the idignities and abuse they suffered pales in comparison to anything black people are going through today.
    I think both parties have some cleaning up to do which is why I am an Independent who leans republican when voting for candidates who promote fiscal responsibility. We ought to be pleased about any effort to wean people off the government dole as it does not motivate any people to do for self. They hardly have any government programs at all in the Carribbean and the African continent. Nonetheless, compassion always existed in the fabric of American society. In fact, black people and the church have a history of taking care of the black community. We are not a helpless people. To think otherwise is to be seen as inferior and inferior is certainly something we’re not (but at times act like). Conversely, Republicans have got to stop acting like our goverment is over bloated by only the poor and working poor. They must be just as outraged when individual and corporate greed rears its ugly head in white collar crimes which also negatively impact society.

    Finally, I say hats off to Stacy On the Right. How can we ever affect change if there are not enough blacks in the republican party to have a voice regardless of what some far right nut jobs say from time to time. You know, most of the grand wizards and the kkk were Dixiecrats/Democrats. It was the democrats who wanted to succeed from the union and maintain slavery. Unfortunately, some liberals who have good intentions actually make things worse for the very people they’re trying to help. Generally speaking, it is to the republican (and democrat) advantage to help elevate the poor because it makes for a stronger America. Take any group sports team. The star players get points and recognition but when the weaker players improve, the team wins championships. It’s time to spend a little more time playing on the Republican or Independent team!

  21. Pingback: Robert JR Graham » Be Proud of Yourself, You’ve Come A Long Way

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