No greater injury can be done to any youth than to let him feel that because he belongs to this or that race he will be advanced in life regardless of his own merits or efforts.
Do what you can with what you have and never be satisfied.
~ Booker T. Washington
This column analyzes the state of black conservatism in America today. Black conservatism stresses traditionalism, robust patriotism, free-market capitalism and aggressive social conservatism within the context of the black church. Principally, black conservatism emphasizes personal responsibilities, irrelative of socioeconomic class and institutional racism. In the tradition of African-American politics and intellectual life, black conservatives tend to support the self-help/moral philosophy of Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) as contrasted with the activist/progressive philosophy of W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963).
For many black conservatives, the singular objective is to bring social redemption and economic success to the black community. Four core concepts of black conservatism are cited in the important book “Black and Right: The Bold New Voice of Black Conservatives in America,” editors Stan Faryna, Brad Stetson and Joseph G. Conti. They are:
- The pursuit of educational and professional excellence as a means of advancement within the society;
- Policies that promote safety and security in the community beyond the typical casting of a criminal as a “victim” of societal racism;
- Local economic development through free enterprise rather than looking to the federal government for assistance;
- Empowerment of the individual via self-improvement (virtue), conscience and supernatural grace.
In February 2008 I drafted a series of strategies and proposals for affecting a quantifiable black presence in the Republican Party, which was published in WorldNetDaily.com. Later I sent this article to all 50 Republican Political Action Committees in America and to the Republican National Committee. Here are some excerpts:
My main intent is to help the Republican Party return to being the party of Lincoln, the party of the disenfranchised, not by government largess no matter how well-intentioned, but by helping black people to help themselves. In my weekly column on WorldNetDaily, I delineate many strategies that can help the Republican Party recapture the majority black vote they once enjoyed from 1870-1932, after which time blacks left the party en masse in the early 1930s at the urging of W.E.B. Du Bois and the NAACP to vote for FDR.
Black people have voted Democrat at over 90 percent ever since that time. With your help, I want to change that tragic scenario that has so decimated the real and vested interests of black people all over America. …
The response from the RNC and all 50 GOPAC organizations? Absolutely nothing! How can the GOP reclaim the black vote if they don’t give a damn about black intellectuals like me?!
Booker T. Washington told black people they could be successful in America despite the regressive policies of Jim Crow, de jure and de facto discrimination. However, the Stalinist-controlled media, conventional black groups and most civil-rights leaders continuously disparage black conservatives as irrelevant and traitors to the cause. Progressives and liberals forget that it was the Republican Party under Abraham Lincoln that fought the Civil War (in part) to free blacks from slavery, which the Democratic Party instigated, sacrificing over 600,000 lives to keep blacks in slavery and in perpetual dependency.
Some of the key players and intellectuals of black conservatism today include: Justice Clarence Thomas, Dr. Thomas Sowell, Dr. Walter Williams, Ward Connerly, Dr. Shelby Steele, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Judge Janice Rogers Brown, Dr. Glenn Lowry, Charles Woodson, J.C. Watts, Dr. Alan Keyes, Stephen Carter, Angela McGowan, Armstrong Williams, Jesse Lee Peterson and Mychal Massie. Admittedly, there are many other lesser-known black conservatives and intellectuals including myself.
The spook who sat by the door
The paradox of the black conservative movement is that these well-known blacks are prominently in academia, law, economics, politics and society, with regular access to the media; however, the rest of us are treated as “The Spook Who Sat by the Door” or “The Invisible Man,” to coin two famous novel titles.
If you doubt that intellectual racism is rampant in America today, consider that in my life, for over 20 years, I have labored in obscurity as a constitutional law scholar, lecturer and author, yet I can’t get a steady faculty position as a law professor or college professor because of my uncompromising conservative views. Twenty-one years ago, while Barack Obama was a freshman at Harvard Law School, I was granted special permission by the dean to take second- year classes at Harvard Law. By May 1989, I took a special test and beat out every second- and third-year honors law student to become an editor at the Michigan Law Review.
I accomplished this intellectual achievement two years before being admitted to law school! Do you know of any law scholar or Supreme Court justice that has achieved these feats?
Nevertheless, President Obama’s entire scholastic record remains hidden to this day – from kindergarten, Indonesia, Hawaii, Occidental, Columbia, through his tenure as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review … and America elected this man the president of the United States?
If there will be a march of black conservatism, the GOP must ask itself why my fellow black Americans would sign up to join a party that has long ago forsaken the Reagan Revolution for political expediency and RINO Republican cowardice.
Nevertheless, the heroic ideas and transcendent ideals of conservatism and the genius of the Constitution’s framers mean infinitely more to me, to my worldview and to my life as a Christian, as a black man struggling to support his family in America, than all the power, position and privilege of mere men.
And that hope sustains me, that one day black conservatism will be on the march in large numbers to help bring our country back to American exceptionalism and back to the original intent of the Constitution’s framers.