by Patricia L. Dickson 11/14/14
I knew it wouldn’t take long for liberal black intellectuals to weigh in on the historic election of the two black Republicans to Congress. The election of Representative-Elect Mia Love (R-Utah) and Senator Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) makes it more difficult for the liberals, mainly our esteemed black intellectuals, to continue their claim that Republicans are racist and America is still a racist country.
When I came across an article titled “She Looks Black, but Her Politics Are Red: What Mia Love’s Victory Means for the Face of the GOP” in the Huffington Post, I thought to myself, Here we go. The author, Darron T. Smith, Ph.D., certainly did not disappoint. His bio states that he is a professor and received his doctoral degree from the University of Utah in the Department of Education, Culture and Society.
Although he mentioned other black Republicans in the article, his focus was Mia Love. In an attempt to throw cold water on her historic election and to remind black people that the Republican Party is still racist, Dr. Smith claims that Mia Love is just window dressing. What I find perplexing about his claim is why it is that he and other black liberals think that the Republican Party needs tokens and window dressings. Is it something he learned from being window dressing for the Democrat Party?
This pattern of using blacks to further white interests was foundational in the emergence of American society and has been carried forth with each proceeding generation, whether blacks are used physically or, in this case, symbolically. In the end, however, her new role as a freshman GOP congresswoman serves more as window dressing for the red states and is unlikely to result in a shift of more blacks to a party that continues to relegate them to the borders of society.
The unspoken purpose of the article is to deter black Americans from even thinking of joining the Republican Party by downplaying Mrs. Love’s election as furthering white America’s interest. What exactly is white America’s interest? Smith did not elaborate on what he considers white America’s interest. He went as far as calling her election and accomplishment dangerous because it sends a false message that America is post-racial.
Instead, her accomplishment is quite dangerous for people of color, sending a message that society is post-racial when, in fact, hate crimes, police shootings of innocent and unarmed black men and boys and vitriolic online attacks have dramatically increased since the election of our first black president. Mia Love and her red political ideology do not align with the needs of black Americans, historically disenfranchised people who remain left out and left behind.
Dr. Smith repeats the same tired meme that blacks who join the Republican Party are somehow out of touch with the black community and refuse to acknowledge the racism and struggles that black Americans continue to experience today. In other words, America is still the same as before the Civil Rights Act, and there has not been any change in race relation for the past 50 years. In fact, racism has gotten worse. Black intellectuals contend that blacks are supposed to think as a group and are not supposed to see themselves as individuals. They attempt to chastise blacks who stray from the group by claiming that they are being used by whites. This is a veiled warning to other blacks not to stray.
Black Americans are the only racial group that votes in a bloc and, arguably, the only group to vote their political interests. But Mia Love, viewing herself and others through the prism of individualism, strays from the political stances that would benefit the black community as a whole, which is why a political figure like her is so compelling.
Mia and others like her are seemingly out of touch with the political realities of African Americans and what remains at stake for them. It would be a mistake to assume that all black people are monolithic and share the same political inclinations — the Pew Research Center estimates some 3 million self-identified black Americans are registered Republicans — but there has yet to be a groundswell of support for the right-wing ideology among the vast majority of black voters. Thus, for most African Americans, it appears counterintuitive that someone black, female and Mormon could possibly endorse the GOP given its history of anti-Black, anti-feminist and anti-Mormon sentiment.
Make no mistake about it: the Democrats’ recent losses have them running scared. All of their narratives (war on women, racist Republicans) appear to be losing their effectiveness. We can expect to see more anger and aggressive pushback from them in the next two years. Their base had better hold on tight, because it is going to be a bumpy rough ride as the wheels continue to come off the Democrat Party’s bus.
Patricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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