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Pan-African Books

Black Conservatives in the United States

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Black Conservatives in the United States

 Policy and philosophical differences, as well as differences in perceptions between black American conservatives and other blacks is the main focus of this book.
 
Why do black Republicans oppose affirmative action, although even they themselves are beneficiaries of this compensatory policy? And why do the majority of African Americans support such programs including federal intervention in many areas to help them, unlike black conservatives who are firmly opposed to such intervention?
 
How do black conservatives differ with other blacks on issues such as racism, the criminal justice system, crime, poverty, and welfare among other subjects?
 
Those are some of the issues discussed in this book.

 

Contents

Acknowledgments

Preface

Introduction

Chapter One:

Black Conservatives

Chapter Two:

Black Conservatives and the Republican Party

Chapter Three:

The Other Voices Within and Without

Chapter Four:

The Judicial System: A Black Conservative Perspective

Chapter Five:

Conservatives and the Intelligence of Blacks

Chapter Six:

Black Conservatives and Race Relations

Appendix:

Reparations for African Americans: Ten Reasons: A Response to David Horowitz

by Robert Chrisman and Ernest Allen, Jr.

Index

About the author

 

The first chapter examines the views and perspectives black conservatives share across the spectrum, and how they differ with their liberal counterparts. It is a comprehensive survey, in telescopic form, of almost all the subjects on which black conservatives have kindled the ire among their brethren across black America; issues which have also served as a lightning rod among many black voters, resulting in overwhelming support of Democratic candidates against their Republican opponents. The issues include affirmative action, self-reliance, welfare, and racism, among others.

Yet, despite the unanimity among black conservatives on those issues, there are significant differences among them on some fundamental subjects which constitute the core of the conservative philosophy. This chapter addresses this contentious subject which also raises the question: What is really a black conservative? And it attempts to answer the question whose focus on the nature of black conservatives is further addressed in the second chapter, but not exclusively so.

The second chapter examines the relationship between the Republican party and black America, and its policies towards racial minorities especially blacks. This relationship has been profoundly affected by what many blacks consider to be indifference towards their plight and well-being in a white-dominated society which still remains racist; and sometimes outright hostility towards them by a party that is seen as a bastion of white supremacy, defending and promoting white interests at the expense of blacks more than anybody else. The chapter also is an examination of what black United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas calls "the loneliness of the black conservative."

Black conservatives are members of a party that doesn't care about blacks, and which doesn't even want them as members despite professions to the contrary by its leaders. They are also rejected and even despised by their own people in the black community who see them as traitors and puppets for whites. And their membership in a party that is known for its opposition to civil rights and affirmative action has not helped their cause; earning them the unenviable distinction as "black Judas." As NAACP President Kweisi Mfume stated at the organization's annual convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 12, 2004, as reported by The Washington Times, black conservative groups are nothing but mouthpieces of the ultra-conservative movement formed and funded by white Republicans to attack and destroy blacks. As he put it:

"When the ultraconservative right-wing attacker has run out of attack strategy, he goes and gets someone that looks like you and me to continue the attacks. And like the ventriloquist's dummies, they sit there in the puppet master's voice, but we can see whose lips are moving, and we can hear his money talk....They can't deal with the leaders we choose for ourselves, so they manufacture, promote and hire new ones....(Our enemies tell them that) we are whining, that we are too liberal, that we are using the scapegoat of victimization and that we are even unpatriotic....They want to do away with many of our rights and much of the legacy of the NAACP....But those days are over and we aren't going back, so run your little right-wing media. Put a whisper here and an innuendo there. It won't work."

Such is the incendiary nature of the black conservative phenomenon across Black America, drawing furious responses from many blacks including those who are not even ideologically inclined towards the Democratic party but who know what it means to be black in a predominantly white society. And it has sometimes even led to intemperate remarks among some blacks. But the significance of such remarks can only be understood when you put them in their proper context; instead of dismissing them as emotional outbursts which amount to nothing. The answer lies in history and contemporary treatment of black Americans at the hands of the white majority who remain essentially racist.

The third chapter takes a look at a broad spectrum of perspectives on the black conservative phenomenon, within and outside the Republican party and the conservative movement, including individuals who have undergone ideological conversion but not necessarily by becoming liberals. It is also an examination of the other, or darker, side of the Republican party, as a haven for white supremacists, despite professions to the contrary.

The fourth chapter is a critical analysis of the position articulated by some black conservatives who contend that the criminal justice system favors blacks; and that whites who are victimized by blacks are ignored by the media, while blacks who are victims of crime committed by whites get media attention sometimes out of proportion to the crimes perpetrated against them. They cite the O.J. Simpson case as a typical example of this; the kind of attitude they claim has poisoned race relations and which has even led many whites to ignore crimes, including church bombings in the 1990s by white racists, committed against blacks.

The chapter also looks at the history of racism against blacks in the United States, and of the crimes committed against them, to refute this argument. It is also an examination of racism against blacks in the judicial system, and of what many blacks consider to be the callous indifference of black conservatives towards black victims of racism and their denial of racism as a serious problem not only in the dispensation of justice but in all areas of the American society, including the intellectual arena about which we learn more in the next chapter.

Are blacks less intelligent than whites and members of other races? Are there genetic differences among the races which account for the difference in intelligence especially between blacks and whites as well as members of other races who are also considered to be more intelligent than black people? These are some of the highly explosive issues examined in chapter five, and of the position taken by a number of leading conservatives, black and white, who contend that "there is something there," as Thomas Sowell put it, which explains the difference in IQ between blacks and whites as well as members of other races; an oblique reference to genetic differences as the determining factor and which some conservatives, unlike Sowell, have clearly cited as the main - if not the only - explanation for the difference in intelligence among the races.

The chapter also is an in-depth analysis and critique of The Bell Curve, a monumental study by two prominent white conservatives and scholars in which they contend that blacks are indeed less intelligent than whites and members of other races because of genetic differences; an incendiary thesis that continues to fuel debate as much as it did when the book was first published in March 1994 and became an instant best seller among whites, many of whom obviously felt they had been vindicated in their belief that they are indeed more intelligent than blacks; while rubbing their hands with satsifaction, gleefully saying, "See? I told you so!"

Probably the biggest criticism against black conservatives by other blacks is that they ignore racism as a serious problem in the American society. Some black conservatives dismiss racism outright as immaterial in the lives of black people. As Larry Elder bluntly put it: "Race relations are excellent. We all get along just fine."

Is racism no longer a serious problem in in the American society? Are race relations  really that good, so good that racism no longer plays a major role in the lives of black people as many black conservatives contend? Chapter six, which is the last chapter, attempts to answer those questions and many others, and concludes this work by saying that black conservatives are dead wrong. Racism is an enduring phenomenon in the American society and its virulence through the centuries since the founding of America has been a fundamental reality of life across the spectrum. And that will continue to be the case for a long time to come. As Professor Nathan Glazer states in his book We Are All Multiculturalists Now, the fundamental problem "is the refusal of other Americans to accept blacks."12