Monday, January 18, 2010

Black conservatives? How can it be?

Last weekend Glenn Beck had a fantastic show. His entire audience was black; they were also politically conservative. After a year of being nudged every time I criticize Obama whenever there’s a black person in sight, I was thrilled to hear black people saying exactly what I’ve been saying, from the fact that you’re called a racist if you criticize Obama to the use of “African American” as a politically correct term.

Lisa Fritsch, a radio talk show host, took exception to the term “African American.” She said that she was born here in the U.S. , that her great-grandparents were born here, and that there’s nothing African about her; she’s an American. Glenn Beck always used the term “African American” during the show, and another lady said to him, “You don’t use that term when you talk to your wife, do you? It’s just a politically correct term.” When he asked, only about a third of the audience said they identified themselves as African American.

But everyone in the audience raised their hand when Beck asked if they had ever been accused of betraying their race because they’re politically conservative. One man said that you’re only black as long as you’re liberal; if you aren’t liberal, you stop being black. After one commercial break, Beck re-introduced the audience as a group of people who don’t exist. He went on to explain that the media don’t acknowledge the fact that there is a large number of black political conservatives.

One lady said that you can’t make a legitimate criticism of Obama without being called a racist. (I’d like to have heard what black people who criticize him are accused of. Traitors to their race, presumably.) Another lady said that 90% of all black people will be on food stamps at some point in their life but that the government won’t give them vouchers so that their children can go to better schools.

Something I heard over and over again on the show was that black people need to know their own history so that they won’t swallow the bill of goods that liberals offer. I was thrilled to hear that. Democrats may have at one time wanted to help black people, but anyone who thinks that giving people food stamps and public housing and making them feel entitled to handouts is certainly not doing them any favors. Gaining their favor and their vote, of course. We’ve all heard “Give a man a fish, and you’ve fed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you’ve fed him for a lifetime.” So why is it so hard to understand that giving people things isn’t helping them?

Several years ago when I was in Scotland, the G8 conference was held in Edinburgh, much to my dismay, since it attracted “make poverty history” protesters and hindered my ability to get around. There was a concert held to benefit Africa. There was a political representative interviewed on BBC, and when the interviewer asked him if he felt appreciation for the concert, he said, to the consternation of the BBC interviewer, “Not really.” When asked why, he said, “Well, I’m sure we’re going to hear some great music, but the money isn’t going to help people in any of the African countries. We’ll have a few more 4- and 5-star hotels, but that’s all.” The interviewer asked, “But won’t it at least raise the profile, make people more aware?” and the man replied, “I thought everyone already knew Africa is poor.” He went on to say, “Just give us a fair shot at trade, and then let us take care of ourselves.” I was torn between cheering for the man and rolling in laughter at the flabbergasted interviewer.

I asked a black colleague about some of the comments made on Glenn Beck’s show, but he was a liberal, so I didn’t pose the question that I always want to ask whenever someone comments (as my colleague did, and as people on the show did) that blacks historically have high moral values. My question is this: if blacks have such high moral values, why are 70% of all babies born to black mothers illegitimate? That hasn’t always been the case. Do you suppose it might have something to do with the fact that the more babies you have, the bigger a handout you get from the government? If you don’t think that’s the reason, you certainly have to come up with some explanation for that statistic if you’re going to claim high moral values.

I wish black conservatives could find more venues for making themselves heard. No one can accuse them of being racist when they criticize Obama or welfare. But I guess they’ll have to get the media to acknowledge their existence before that can happen.

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