Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Democratic Color

Remember the “Aunt Jemima” jeers by so many Democrats (and not just Deaniacs, either)? Those were very troubling to me, especially as they were just one example of a pattern: any black in a prominent conservative, libertarian, or Republican (especially!) position is routinely subjected to this treatment.

The latest example is one I just heard about this morning, thanks to an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal. It’s by Ted Hayes — a Southern California legend, a tireless and effective activist for the homeless, lauded far and wide. Ted happens to be black. And he happens to be a conservative Republican, and a strong supporter of George W. Bush. He had this to say in this morning’s paper:

From the WSJ’s "Prejudice” ($), by Ted Hayes:

American blacks who are affiliated with the Republican Party are vigorously vilified by Democrats, especially black Democrats. Uncle Tom, sell-out, Oreo — the list of slurs is long.

But it is not only insults. I am the founder and director of a unique, progressive homeless facility in downtown Los Angeles, known as the Dome Village. Yet the 35 men, women and children and their pets who call the Dome Village home are being “evicted” from privately owned property after 12-and-a-half years — apparently on account of my political beliefs and activities. You see, though I am a leading homeless activist, I am also a conservative Republican and a strong supporter of President Bush.

Here’s how the situation played out. Recently, I was invited to address a local Republican Women’s Club; my landlord read an article in the local paper reporting on the event. Soon after, I received a notice raising the Dome Village rent from $2,500 a month to $18,330. Shocked, I inquired as to the seriousness of the change and the property owner blurted out that the cause of our “eviction” was “because you are Republican.” He said that as a Democrat, he was tired of helping me and the Dome Village. In other words, let the homeless be damned.

And people think the Democrats are the party of compassion and tolerance.

Ted goes on to give examples, including the example I cited of Condoleeza Rice. Then he issues a call to action:

These conservatives are attacked not because of the validity or judicious consideration of their views but because those views are supposedly heterodox for American blacks. Yet it is my opinion that many black people in the U.S. are politically and philosophically conservative — and many are in fact actually closeted Republicans, fearful of persecution by friends, business associates, society clubs, school mates and even churches.

It is time for American blacks to have a conversation about the phenomenon of Democrats persecuting black Republicans. Why is this happening? What is it that the Democrats don’t want black folks to understand about Republicans? What is it that the Democrats don’t want black folks to know about Democrats? And how is it that we have come to this point — after having endured so much — where we have ourselves curtailed the freedom of political expression through the threat of retaliatory consequences?

"What is it that the Democrats don’t want black folks to understand about the Republicans?” Interesting question, that.

I’d like to see Ted lead that national conversation, and I hope he succeeds in provoking its beginning…

1 comment:

  1. In the old blog, Anonymous said:
    How awful is that! Words fail me as they must you. I wish I could think of a 'primer' sp? to send free to all black families to help them understand the slow burn they receive from all the 'giving' programs initiated by (mostly) democrats. All of these are not giving, but taking away things such as using your own thinking powers to think through what happens to families when they are on the dole etc. Sigh, I just get so mind boggled anymore I give up on saying anything but articles like that one really grate on my innards. love mom