I Didn’t Leave the Party, The Party Left Me
Being called a black conservative or Republican has been shocking because I always
considered myself a liberal. I never sought to be a conservative columnist. I just believed in finding the truth: to hear both sides of the story before coming to a conclusion. But what was once considered pragmatism and common sense is now seen as right wing. Many of my white readers don’t understand what it’s like to be black and not be in lockstep with the black agenda. To not want to be black and “poor” is regarded with contempt. I have been called names such as Oreo (black on the outside, white in the middle), Uncle Cracker and Frother (100% fake, 0% brother).
I wonder why more blacks haven’t broken away from the civil rights platform – but it takes people such as me to say it is okay to criticize blackness and still be black. I became tired of being the victim, i.e., the angry Negro. Tired of defending blackness for the sake of blackness. I couldn’t defend the 30-year old grandmother or make demands for handouts when I wanted to work. I discovered the mentality of blacks is no different than the poor white southerners they detest. The reason why many blacks stay poor and liberal is the same reason why many whites stay poor and conservative: there is safety in the flock and great pressure to stay with your race.
But like a woman fleeing a troubled relationship, I was driven from the Democratic Party. I’m sure that if I continued writing about being a poor Negro needing the generosity of whites, I could have landed a job with the Washington Post or New York Times. Or my writings could be compared with the likes of James Baldwin and Richard Wright.
I began finding conservatives to be more supportive than these latte leftists who were happy with minorities as long as they played the poor Negro. Then I saw the light. I worked with whites who were not condescending or fake. They praised me when I did well and criticized me when I performed poorly. We talked sports, culture, arts… and rarely discussed racial matters. Once upon a time radicalism was resisting welfare and charity. How did we collectively drift from a philosophy of self help to believing we can fail and be excused over past grievances?
Bill O’Reilly tells black people to stop smoking weed while the liberal wants to legalize it. Sean Hannity tells blacks if you get a job you might not be poor, while liberals are comfortable if you stay on welfare. Rush Limbaugh tells women if you close your legs you might not get pregnant, while liberals refuse to address the black community’s catastrophic baby mama crisis.
I don’t agree with conservatives. I just believe liberals say one thing and do another. I no longer hide the fact that I’m a black Republican. The only thing I can do is continue the proud tradition
of self-help preached by Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X before we sold our morals and principles to the Democratic Party.