I've been saying for years that black "conservatives" are not conservative at all, but are nothing more than Republican flunkies. As in GOP lackeys. Now it turns out that they are not even Republicans.
We learn from the once consummate Republican Armstrong Williams that, after all these years of supporting just about every Republican scheme that came down the pike, he is contemplating the possibility of voting for the Colored Man, just because he is the Colored Man. Although Williams is quoted in an Associated Press article (6/14/08) by Frederic Frommer saying that he does not like Barack Obama's policies or much of anything Obama advocates, here is Williams straddling the fence, as he proves that race trumps principles.
Wasn't it those Republicans, in fact, the black ones especially, who preached so vociferously against race-based fervor? Is this yet another rule that applies only to whites? Frommer writes, "Just as Obama has touched black Democratic voters, he has engendered conflicting emotions among black Republicans. They revel over the possibility of a black president but wrestle with the thought that the Illinois senator doesn't sit beside them ideologically. "
Even the vacuous J.C. Watts, former Oklahoma Congressman, who was a political invention of a clique of white Republican operatives, and who one would expect to be ever-so-grateful for the years of undeserved sustenance, admits that he, too, is "thinking of voting for Obama." Is there no gratitude?
As millions of whites bend over backwards in an attempt to demonstrate their colorblindness and to prove their "goodness of heart," blacks are rapidly closing ranks around The Brother. On the black Republican blog, A Political Season, a blogger, Aaron, identifying himself as a "social conservative, Christian and Republican," claims that he supported Obama's primary run and plans to vote for him in November. This, despite Obama's pro-choice position on abortion. Aaron claims to be a dedicated pro-lifer. In the past, even black conservatives considered the pro-choice position a deal-breaker with any politician, but not today, and not when it comes to the Colored Man.
Whatever the differences in political commitment among these leftwing and rightwing black Obama-ites, they all share the same rhetoric – each talks about a "watershed" moment in history and the Symbolic Importance of a black man in the White House. Identity politics rule.
In truth, so many of these blacks whom the white Republicans had to settle for, in order to display some color in their ranks (e.g., Colin Powell), never moved beyond the tenets espoused by the mainstream civil rights establishment. They can be looked upon as opportunists of the moment, who are neither Left nor Right in their ideology, and are as much caught up in identity politics as the opponents they scorn.
Obama's black detractors
There is a contingent of blacks in the country, however, who are strongly opposed to Obama, but they are found on the left side of the political spectrum. Among the most dogmatic is Glen Ford, editor of Black Agenda Report, for whom Obama is not politically left enough. In stinging commentaries about Obama, Ford writes, "The candidate has been imposed on the African American polity by corporate forces in the Democratic Party, of which he is a loyal, Harvard-vetted operative," and, "He's getting help from panicked and unprincipled Black Left misleaders who contort their former politics beyond recognition in order to attach themselves, mostly uninvited, to a corporate campaign that tries to masquerade in movement clothing."
After Obama's Father's Day speech, in which he joined the vast chorus of those denouncing absentee fathers, Ford wrote, "Obama goes race-specific-negative on Black people whenever it is useful in attracting white electoral support. Otherwise, he is studiously 'race neutral.'" He called this tactic a "cynical device."
Ford claims that "African-Americans are expected to circle the wagons at the merest hint of racist threats to the candidate," and he finds blacks' attachment to Obama unreasonable. "At the commonsensical level, the entire Obama-Black folks relationship is so bizarre as to seem insane." He believes that the black leadership "has shamefully packaged Obama as a progressive, knowing full well he is not."
Obama is no man of peace, according to Ford, as he has shown in his speech before AIPAC and in his "expressed willingness to violate the sovereignty of Pakistan." In fact, he is a hawk who engages in "peace-savaging" as he "bows to imperial power and its endless expansion."
And then there's the stone-cold, unregenerate radical Larry Pinkney, former Black Panther, who, on his Black Commentator website argues against support for the candidate and the Democrats. Calling Obama "a Trojan Horse candidate for corporate America," Pinkney is unforgiving in his castigation of the current Wonder Boy, who is simply out to "bamboozle and negate Black America."
So what if he's the offspring of a Kenyan father and a white mother, Pinkney queries, ". . . as if that somehow, in and of itself, is significant or is a qualification for the U.S. Presidency." He reminds us that Obama "was raised essentially by whites," so why is he "better qualified than a politically conscious and time-tested Black American of Black parentage raised inside Black America?"
As a radical, Pinkney has little patience for the Democratic party or any other establishment party. Citing Obama's "doublespeak," he calls the candidate a "cynical opportunist," and references Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell as examples of blacks who provided political cover for wicked government policies. "Equating genuine and much needed economic, social and political change with skin color," writes Pinkney, "is absurd, cynical and enormously dangerous."
Pinkney wonders how anyone can mistake Obama for a "peace" candidate, when his positions on current and potential military engagements appear to be substantially similar to the current Bush administration. He asserts, "Obama has repeatedly stated his support for 'unilateral' U.S. military actions in other nations. He has indicated that he opposes how the U.S. is waging the war in Iraq, not the U.S. waging of this bloody, illegal, and amoral war itself."
To Pinkney, it is clear that Obama would only continue this country's "military adventurism," where "vast amounts of people in America and on this planet" are reduced to "nothing more than expendable cannon fodder." He warns black Americans not to "accept the superficial rhetoric of any candidate," including Barack Obama. "The proof of the pudding is in its taste," he contends, "not in its outward appearance."
Also writing for the Black Agenda Report is Margaret Kimberley, who charges Obama with "making a 180-degree turn because he is now the only Democratic game in town." According to Kimberley, the "change agent" is now showing his true colors and has thrown off the "thin veneer of a progressive politician." She cites Obama's flip-flop positions on legislation that legalized domestic spying and gives immunity to companies that conduct illegal telephone surveillance. She, too, is appalled by the black community's almost total support for Obama, and writes, "The level of loyalty directed towards Obama defies logic."