Republicans: Black To The Future

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[Beneath The Spin]

I hate to be cynical, and I certainly hate to drag the issue of race back
into the public debate while President Obama and literally millions of
Americans of good will are working so hard to put this ugly issue behind us,
but where I come from we believe in calling a hat a hat.

The fact is, the Republican Party's selection of Michael Steele as the very first
Black chairman of the Republican National Committee in its 153 year history, just
reeks of political manipulation.

But I'm virtually certain that my Republican friends are going to say, "We
just can't win–first you criticize us for not being inclusive enough, now
you're criticize us for electing a Black man as head of the party. Exactly
what do we have to do to make you happy?"

Well, I can't answer for the rest of America, but I can answer for myself.
What I would personally like to see is a Republican Party that includes
minorities, not use them–and I think that's exactly what's going on with
Steele–he is being used, even though it's with gleeful delight on his
part–but that's exactly why the effort is going to fall flat on its face.

One of the Republican Party's biggest assets is also its greatest
liability–its clumsiness. The party leaders are so out of touch with any
reality other than the acquisition of power and wealth that they're totally
oblivious to how transparent the elevation of Steele actually is.

But their lack of finesse is also they're greatest asset, because many people
in this country (and I'm sure I'm going to hear from them) simply refuse to
believe the Republican leaders are so dumb that they think they can fool anyone
with such a ploy, so they accept the gesture as sincere.

But anyone with an ounce of sense can see that this is a gimmick.
Republicans were defeated so badly in the last election, and Obama is so
popular, that they figure Black must be the political flavor of the season,
so they went out and "got them one"–it didn't matter who, just long as his
skin was dark. But again, they're so politically jaded that they're
completely out of touch with the American people.

The American people didn't elect President Obama because he's Black, they
elected him because he demonstrated that he was an intelligent, competent,
statesman. He was also elected so overwhelmingly because for the past eight
years the Republican Party has clearly demonstrated that it was overflowing
with corruption, incompetence, and greed. So while it's hard for the RNC to
believe, for the very first time, we had an election that was based strictly
on the issues and relative competence, and not race.

But back to the RNC's failure to understand the American people. If part of
the Republican calculation was that by making a Black man head of the
Republican Party it's going to help their numbers in the Black community,
they're going to be sadly disappointed.–in fact, they've hurt the Republican
brand even more.

If they'd ever taken the time to truly get to know the Black community, they
would have known that the only thing more toxic to Black people than a flat-out
racist, is a Black conservative, with the notable exception of Colin Powell–because
we suspect he's not truly conservative, just loyal.

Most Black people have very little use for Black conservatives. It's not
that we disagree with everything they say, but because we're suspect of the
reasons they're saying it.

Without exception, every Black conservative I've come across is an opportunist.
Their conservatism tends not to be so much grounded in their actual philosophy as
it is an opportunity to gain exposure. They realize that conservatives are looking high
and low for Black people who will step forward to validate their views towards the
Black community.

So they gleefully allow themselves to be used in return for personal wealth,
position, and notoriety. Clarence Thomas is a case in point. There is no way that a man of his
renowned level of mediocrity should be sitting on the highest court of this land--he shouldn't even be allowed to sit in traffic court. But due exclusively to his willingness to validate the conservative view of Black America, he's been given one of this nation's highest honors.

Thus, most Black people look upon Thomas precisely the same way as White American's look upon
a man guilty of treason against the United States--and other Black conservatives are not far behind.

Why? Because most of these people would have voted against the Civil Rights Act for their own personal
gain if they'd had the chance. And to demonstrate how transparent they are.

Thomas took the unprecedented action of lobbying his colleagues to accept a meritless challenge
to Barack Obama's eligibility to become president, but he didn't say a word as the Supreme Court
literally appointed George Bush president after the 2002 election.

People like Thomas tend to be self-serving, and wholly lacking in character. Black people have suffered
with a long history of such people, going all the way back to slavery. These were the very same people
who would inform on slaves who were trying to escape to freedom: "I don't know what's wrong wit him, boss.
Ya jest can't get him to appreciate nothin' you do for us. What he needs is a real good beatin'. Want me to do it?"

But I guess one could say, that's a gross generalization. How can you justify putting that baggage on Michael Steele?
Well, a Wikipedia article points to some of his activities during his 2006 run against Benjamin Cardin for the Paul
Sarbane's U. S. Senate seat:

"The Washington Post reported that on election day the Steele campaign arranged for buses of low income people from Philadelphia to distribute fliers at polls. The flyers contained incorrect information, including a statement that Michael Steele was endorsed by prominent state Democrats and African American leaders who had not, in fact, endorsed him. The homeless people were falsely identified as volunteers although they were paid, and the campaign funds used for this purpose of hiring the homeless were not timely or properly reported or attributed to the campaign".

Then, "Just prior to beginning his campaign Steele defended former Gov. Bob Ehrlich's decision to hold a $100,000 fund-raiser at a country club that did not have any non-white members, saying that the club's membership's policies were "not an issue" because "I don't know that much about the club, the membership, nor do I care, quite frankly, because I don't play golf.'"

See more Black Star columnist Wattree’s articles

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