Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Although I am not a conservative, I must express my complete disgust at the left's inexcusable persecution (HT: Jim May) of black conservatives who have chosen to take an active role in opposing Barack Obama's collectivist political agenda.
"I've been told I hate myself. I've been called an Uncle Tom. I've been told I'm a spook at the door," said Timothy F. Johnson, chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, a group of black conservatives who support free market principles and limited government."How can you not support the brother?" What the hell is this supposed to mean? That David Webb, as a black man, is not allowed (or not really able?) to form his own opinion about what another black man says? That whatever Barack Obama happens to want, regardless of its actual merits, gets carte blanche because he is black? If so, does this go for everyone, or just blacks? What if, perish the thought, someone thinks Barack Obama is wrong about something? Could being a yes-man really constitute support, anyway?
"I've gotten the statement, 'How can you not support the brother?'" said David Webb, an organizer of New York City's Tea Party 365, Inc. movement and a conservative radio personality.
Since Obama's election, Webb said some black conservatives have even resorted to hiding their political views.
"I know of people who would play the (liberal) [sic] role publicly, but have their private opinions," he said. "They don't agree with the policy but they have to work, live and exist in the community ... Why can't we speak openly and honestly if we disagree?"
Black members of the movement say it is not inherently racist, and some question the reported slurs. "You would think--something that offensive--you would think someone got video of it," [Clifton] Bazar, the conservative blogger, said. [links edited]
The questions above are rhetorical in most cases because the charges being leveled have nothing to do with an evaluation of what is being said or why, and everything to do with enforcing a view of man as a member of a collective rather than as what he actually is -- an individual.
To see this more clearly, one need only consider what would be going on in the media were the respective positions of David Webb and Barack Obama reversed. The press would give Webb the same treatment it routinely gives Clarence Thomas and Obama would be a rising media star at the national level. Why? Because as imperfectly as Thomas advocates individualism, such advocacy is what makes him "the wrong Negro," as Thurgood Marshall once put it. Or, as Ayn Rand once put it so well, albeit in more general terms, "Racism ... is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage..."
Ayn Rand, who so thoroughly condemned racism as collectivism, allows us to better understand by doing so what Martin Niemoeller so famously also warned us about: That racism, as collectivism, endangers us all and is, ironically, not even really about race, but about extirpating the individual, whatever his appearance. This is why, today, an individualist is considered by the left as "the wrong Negro" if he's black and as good as a Klansman if he's white. This is also why, in the past, when whites were of a nominally higher social position, speaking up for racial equality carried with it the real possibility of physical harm even for them. In each case, a species of collectivism informed the opinions of the name-callers and the thugs.
This news is both extremely disappointing and quite disturbing, to say the least. But do not be lulled into complacency if your skin color or ideological persuasion doesn't happen to match that of Timothy Johnson or any of the other black conservatives featured in the story.
In the sense that the collectivist left wishes to crush all remotely individualist opposition, we are all black conservatives now.