Friday, July 22, 2011

Allen West and Black Conservatives

You may have heard about the tiff between Representative Allen West (R-Florida) and Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.(D-Florida) If not you can read about it here.  In short , DWS criticized West's support for Medicare cuts, given the high number of seniors living in his district and West went ballistic, firing off this email.

From: Z112 West, Allen
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 04:48 PM
To: Wasserman Schultz, Debbie
Cc: McCarthy, Kevin; Blyth, Jonathan; Pelosi, Nancy; Cantor, Eric
Subject: Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman-Schultz
Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige. You are the most vile, unprofessional ,and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!
I am bringing your actions today to our Majority Leader and Majority Whip and from this time forward, understand that I shall defend myself forthright against your heinous characterless behavior......which dates back to the disgusting protest you ordered at my campaign hqs, October 2010 in Deerfield Beach.
You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!
Steadfast and Loyal
Congressman Allen B West (R-FL)
Now this is pretty pathetic because it shows among other things that West is incapable of taking criticism without reacting personally. It was pretty over the top behavior for someone who is supposed to be a cool calm leader. But ok. Congress has seen worse. But West wasn't done of course. He went on the Mark Levin radio show where he saw fit to drop these words of wisdom.

The thing that really most aggravates me is that there's this double standard in that the people on the hard left can continue to attack conservatives -- and especially minority conservatives and female conservatives. But yet when all of a sudden you stand up and say you will not tolerate this any more, then they claim to be a victim, which I find to be absolutely laughable...People who are black conservatives — I grew up in the inner city, strong values, came from a strong military family and background — (and) what we do is we totally invalidate the liberal social welfare policies and programs...“I’m a threat because I’m the guy that got off of their 21st Century plantation. And they cannot afford to have a strong voice such as mine out there reverberating and resonating across this country. And even more so, they’re not used to anyone that says ‘I’m going to fight back against you.’ That is absolutely reprehensible to them.
Whoa....wait a minute there Nat Turner.
Aren't the defining characteristics of Black conservatives supposed to be personal responsibility and a belief that racism either no longer exists or is so small as to be not worth bothering about? I mean that isn't what we hear all day every day from such conservative icons as Shelby Steele, Walter Williams, Ken Hamblin, Ward Connerly, Clarence Thomas, Star Parker, Thomas Sowell and others?
Hmm. Ok I guess I get it now. I really do.

  • If you have to wait six years for a promotion that whites get in three...
  • If you have discovered that you earn less than some whites with worse education....
  • If you constantly have your work checked and double checked for mistakes you never made..
  • If you have a sneaking suspicion that you're never in the room when the really important decisions are made at work...
  • If you can't get a business loan despite having a great plan, great credit and great assets but see that whites get one despite having less of these requirements
  • If you are stopped and harassed by the police because the car you drive is too nice...
  • If it takes you a year or more to find work after being laid off because interviewers have a different response to seeing you in person than hearing you on the phone...
  • If homes for sale or rent are suddenly "taken" when you show up to look at them
  • If you are turned away from a club or restaurant because there are already enough people that look like you inside
  • If you are a little irritated and concerned about pictures of the President as a pimp, a witchdoctor or an ape being seen as humorous by certain elements in society
  • If you move into a neighborhood and like mushrooms "For sale" signs start popping up
  • If you are driving with a white friend and are stopped by the police because they are concerned for the white friend's safety...
then obviously you just need to work harder my friend and stop whining. Being Black has NOTHING to do with your issues. Man up!!! Stop being a crybaby!!!!
But if you are a Black Conservative and someone disagrees with you, well OBVIOUSLY they're only doing it because you're Black. Those racist so-and-so's!!!! The nerve of them slavemasters!!!! And you should definitely go ahead and use offensive and charged references to lynchings and plantations.  Let the chips fall where they may because simply disagreeing with your ideas is JUST LIKE whipping escaped slaves. Oh the humanity!!!!

Whether it's Herman Cain claiming Jon Stewart mocked him because he's Black or Clarence Thomas referring to "high tech lynchings" or the ubiquitous black conservative references to "democratic plantations" or comparing some social program or discussion as being just like slavery, black conservatives too often use racially charged language both as a sword to attack their rivals and as a shield to prevent legitimate debate. Most disgustingly the ONLY time Black conservatives ever even appear to consider the possibility that racism still exists is when someone criticizes them or opposes them politically. Victimology powers! Activate!!!!!

And I hate to break it to West or Cain or any of the other clowns that traffic in this stuff but guess what? Your family wasn't the only black family to deal with slavery, segregation, discrimination, etc. Millions of other black families throughout the diaspora did as well. So let's stop pretending like you did everything by yourself. Black people in 2011 America are in a better position than we were in 1951 America precisely because many Black (and other) people struggled and died.

And that brings me to the final point. Look I myself have some conservative ideas on some issues. There are indeed honorable conservatives of all backgrounds. I think they're wrong on most things but people can agree to disagree. 

The problem with Professional Black Conservatives is that they are usually used (or in some cases disgustingly eager) to give cover to the most rancid reactionary right wing views, often (IMO) because they have personal issues to work through. Many Professional Black Conservatives have little interest in attracting black people to the conservative side of the aisle. Rather their primary concern appears to be buck dancing for white conservatives and assuring these white conservatives that racism is long gone. Making comparisons to slavery on EVERY FREAKING ISSUE that comes up or running for martyr status anytime someone offers criticism won't attract black people to your cause. It would work just as well as a Jewish conservative constantly telling Jews that supporting (insert social program or idea here) is like taking the fast train to Auschwitz or that Jewish liberals are like kapos at Treblinka while Jewish conservatives have escaped the Democratic death camp. It insults my intelligence and makes me very angry....

What's your take?
Was West out of line?
Is it possible for everyone (black/white/left/right) to tone down and/or remove slavery metaphors and comparisons from modern political debate?
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