Recently the issue of how African Americans must vote has come up. It’s an issue embedded in race, and expectations that have no clear source yet must be lived up to for social acceptance. Ultimately, as in every election year over the last 40 years, the point is that Blacks have no choice in how they vote. It’s a conclusion that subordinates every African American into a form of political slavery.
The act that caused all this racial furor is actress Stacey Dash tweeting support for Mitt Romney. Not so unusual as many entertainers have voiced support for President Obama, like Beyonce and Jay-Z, D.L Hughley, Alec Baldwin, George Clooney, and even occasionally Matt Damon. But it would seem that Ms. Dash crossed a line.
The response to the Dash tweet has evoked calls for her to kill herself from a D.C. physician, comparison to a house slave, requests to have Dash traded from the Black race for President Bill Clinton, and innumerable slurs. Why such vitriol?
Because unlike Matt Damon, who criticized President Obama, or Conservative entertainers like Jon Voight and Clint Eastwood
Stacey Dash is Black (actually African American and Mexican).
The unwritten rule is that African Americans must be Liberal and/or Democrats. That they as a whole and as individuals must vote and speak in support of Democrats and President Obama in particular. That to do anything else is a betrayal of race, and akin to an atrocity.
So great is the backlash that even when most entertainers and celebrities of color make a statement that is out of line with the unofficial mandate they rush to reword or correct the public stance. This can be seen clearly in the Nicki Manji lyrics endorsing Mitt Romney. No less than the New York Times stood up to explain in detail how lyrics in a song do NOT equate to a view of the entertainer.
A strange position as we don’t recall the New York Times detailing how songs and movies from other entertainers do not similarly equate to support of President Obama though they may present that cause. Whether that entertainer is Black or not.
But the real question is why does the backlash exist? Why should anyone, rich entertainer or average Joe worker, have to fear stating what they believe? At what point did the only option for African Americans become Democrat A versus Democrat B?
To be Black and a Conservative or Republican is to be called a “sell-out”, or “Uncle Tom”, or “pretending to be White”. Similar slurs are used on any person of color that speaks without slang, dresses in suits or business attire, have professions, own property and/or businesses, or generally have success. Black culture emphasizes that, with the exception of entertainers, the emphasis for people of color (POC) should be on attaining the appearance of wealth and success, not the substance of it. For those that do attain such substantial changes in their life, the payback must be a support of Democrat and Liberal ideals without question.
So if you are Oprah Winfrey, for example, you support the statement that the “rich” do not pay their fair share. At the same time you are allowed to create jobs overseas (that school in South Africa) and are absolved of expectations to voluntarily pay the IRS a single dime more than your accountant can deny them. You are also free and clear of comparison to big business, though the billion dollars she is worth wasn’t inherited and her corporate reach is rivaled by few in the world.
To even notice this disparity, let alone mention it, is blasphemous. To evaluate the programs of the Obama Administration and the 13% unemployment rate among Blacks (and the 9.9% for Hispanics), concluding that the programs have been ineffective, is an act of racial traitors. To consider changing leadership away from that which is creating an unsustainable debt, in favor of a spending spree that mimics the social goal of appearing to have success without the substance, is rewarded with ridicule and personal attacks that is generally accepted as deserved.
Where is the freedom? Where is the choice? Why is it that the very people (Democrats and Liberals) who claim to empower and defend the power of POC’s to make choices are the same people to persecute those that make a choice Dems and Liberals do not like? Why is it that Dems and Liberals are the first to attack on the basis of race, against POC’s that disagree with their views like Stacey Dash, yet are the people that are the first to claim racial bias coming from Republicans and Conservatives who make no such demands on POC’s?
Is the attack on Stacey Dash unique? Not at all. Look back in time on the attacks against Herman Cain, like when Janeane Garafalo defined Cain as suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. Or the attacks against Dr. Condoleezza Rice, as identified by The Faith Based Leadership Council against Jeff Danzinger, Pat Oliphant, Garry Trudeau, the Washington Post and the New York Times.
Republicans freed the slaves, enacted the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, and was the Party to first have members of Congress that were Black – Sen. Hiram Revels (R-Miss.), Rep. Benjamin S. Turner (R-Ala.), Rep. Robert DeLarge (R-SC), Josiah Walls (R-Fla.), Jefferson Long (R-Ga.), Joseph Rainey (R-SC) and Robert B. Elliott (R-SC). Yet somehow to be Conservative and/or Republican and a POC is akin to re-enacting slavery.
When a people are given a choice that lacks diversity or reality, they have no choice. In the former Soviet Union the free elections were a choice, described by Father Alexy Karlgut as
“As every citizen of the Soviet Union knows, you were given the right to vote… there are 2 boxes to check to vote for and 2 names is given. One is Leonid Brezhnev, and one is George Ivanov…I asked my grandfather, and I was very excited to vote because we exercised freedom of choice, very excited I asked who is George Ivanov. He said that guy was dead for 30 years.”
Is this the option that is relegated to POC, especially African Americans? Are we so institutionalized that our multiple choices are Democrat or Liberal or nothing else? Is that what the 15th Amendment means in the 21st Century?
America is a nation based on the freedom of choice. To demand, or persecute a white man for making a political choice is condemned universally. To limit the choices of a woman, a Muslim, a business owner, or any citizen – publicly or privately, is tantamount to committing a crime. In fact the Department of Justice has a whole department dedicated to ensuring the freedom to vote. Yet, if you are Black, these rules and choices are obviously not applicable if you make the choice of Conservative or Republican.
Slavery is the lack of freedom. Once again, Dems and Liberals have shown that they are in favor of political slavery in attacking Stacey Dash and all others that publicly state a personal choice that opposes theirs. Not all Dem’s or Liberals, as many have stood by Ms. Dash on her freedom to choose -once the issue caught attention in the media. But the pervasive and prominent opinion remains, African Americans have no choice beyond what they are told to have.
We reject this view. We reject the thought that making a political choice in a Presidential election, whatever that may be, equates to a racial bias or transgression against a race or group of people. We denounce the thousands of personal attacks against Ms. Dash and any POC that diverges from the mainstream promotion of singular political support without regard to individual choice and preference.
The 15th Amendment did not allow freedom to choose within a singular political group. It did not promote ostracizing different views nor demand a unification of action based on race, creed or any other criteria. Blacks, POC’s and all citizens in America have choice. Only when we forget that does the nation suffer, because the best choice for all of America can never be realized when only some of the people are allowed, implicitly or explicitly, to have choice in an election.