Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Black Conservatives Give Hannity Some Love

Last night I watched Sean Hannity talk to a room full of “black conservatives.” Hannity’s mission—to uncover why these folks are so hated by so many, including many other black people.

A lot of ground was covered, including whether black people can be racist (an oldie but goodie), why some black people continue to insist that others are not “black enough” (another oldie but goodie), and the alleged agenda of black liberals, including one theory that they are at war against black America, by advocating for policies that keep black folks dependent, victimized, and in failing schools.

According to the panel, black liberals don’t have the best interests of black Americans at heart—they just want to maintain their power base by silencing and demonizing black conservatives.

Hannity said that he’d Googled the name of conservative commentator Deneen Borelli and he didn’t like what he’d read. I Binged (sorry Google) her name and didn’t see anything objectionable until page 3, when some black dude back in 2009 called her a “black tea-bagging n-word,” among other things. Perhaps a Google search would have yielded more recent, incendiary results, but I don’t have time for that. I’ll go ahead and take Hannity’s word for it, because I have heard the names Ben Carson is being called.

Well, what does this all mean?

For certain it means that not all black people think alike, although really, is there any reason to believe we should? It also means that some people don’t like to fight fair, but that’s not exactly news.

Listen, I don’t know whether black liberals or black conservatives have hidden agendas, but I’ll give you my opinion of this divide, which at its core lies comments like this made by Ben Carson—

You know, I don't tend to see race and talk about it a whole lot because when I open the head up and I'm operating on the brain, that's the thing that makes the person who they are. The color doesn't make them who they are. And it's only people who are very superficial in their thinking who characterize everything by its color.

No, no, no.

This comment, along with Stacy Swimp’s announcement that he isn’t a Black American, he’s an American, period, and Erica Drayton’s denouncement of affirmative action, are like treason to some black folks, who believe that we must stick together, because if you give the man an inch he will take a mile. Put another way, some believe that if black folks start making noises like racism is no longer an issue, then we might just lose all the advances of the last forty-some odd years, because we know that white folks are tired of hearing about their crimes and are already looking for an out.

At least, that’s my theory.

Personally, I think such statements are misguided because I don’t believe a “colorblind” world is possible, and I’m not at all sure it’s desirable. And as for affirmative action, a concept most people don’t even seem to understand, enough already. Life is not a meritocracy, period. As far as I can see, nobody gets anywhere without help from somebody, and I don’t understand while we’re still getting hung up on this. Also, I’m pretty sure that anyone who is determined to believe that women or people of color are inferior is going to believe that, affirmative action or no affirmative action.

So, you can bet that I didn’t agree with everything I heard last night, but I was thoroughly engaged nonetheless, and I do think there has to be room for more than one viewpoint. 

Hannity offered to invite the panel back to talk again, more solutions than problems this time, and I’ll keep my eyes open for that.

What do you think is the reason for the divide between black conservatives and black liberals? Do you even agree there is a divide?

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