Re: Tim Scott , Conservative 'Tea Party' Republican
"A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy. The extreme right wing down here (in South Carolina) finds a black guy to be senator and claims he's the first black senator since Reconstruction and then he goes to Washington, D.C., and articulates the agenda of the Tea Party."
~ Rev. William Barber II, President of North Carolina NAACP ~
The above quote by Rev. Barber of North Carolina reflects a feeling/viewpoint that many of us progressive wing folks and independents have been struggling with for some time. The continual rise of the black conservative movement with a continuum that is blurred or well defined, dependent on the subject matter .
There is the far right which includes the above Senator Tim Scott, Star Parker, Larry Elder, Armstrong Williams, Herman Cain, Allen West, Shelby Steele, Ben Carson, Alveda King and others. The latter are the most aggressive and insensitive when it comes to the socioeconomic arenas and their impact on black people. They spew out phrases like 'welfare mentality', with no consideration or lip service given to the exceptional number of white people who are taking advantage of entitlement programs and engage in anti-social activities.
The culture of poverty lends to many of the dysfunctional behaviors and need based programs that they assign to black folks. There is no distinct racial group that dominates this culture. Their attacks are usually very personal and scathing to black folks who advocate for the oppressed. The onus for the suffering of many people of color by the justice system, big business and other societal systems are placed squarely on their shoulders.
The conservatives offer excuses for the injustices that dominate the daily newscasts. Somehow it is always something that black folks are doing that result in these injustices. Mr. Thindwa on the 'Credibility Gap of Black Conservatives' provides a splendid analysis on "How Black Conservatives Hurt Their Cause" .
Dr. Adolph Reed, Jr. a few years ago also wrote an interesting article titled "The Puzzle of Black Republicans". Although these articles aren't current, their message rings true today. This racial shaming by the conservatives is laden with class bias as well and intertwined with a animus and group loathing that leaves one to distrust their viewpoints for they reek of self-interest at the expense of the group.
There is one other point of contention with this group and their mindset which is the accusation that the majority of blacks suffer from a "herd mentality". They like to cite that Frederick Douglas and Martin Luther King were Republicans which is so disingenuous.
Dr. King was dealing with the Dixiecrats aka Southern Democrats which would make the Republican party the lesser of the two evils and Frederick Douglas' Republican Party was a far better choice than the Dixiecrats who were fighting for the system of slavery and states rights. It is historically documented that when Lyndon Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Bill, he indicated that the south would go Republican and the Dixiecrats joined in droves and what we have now is a right wing and tea party mentality under the banner of the Republican party.
The GOP of the Jack Kemp ideology has been sidelined and silenced. The sad truth is that many of these Black Republicans have joined forces with the ideologies of Dixiecrats/Tea Party folks and have been rewarded handsomely for their loyalty and their attack dog tactics on black leaders and the populace who believe in giving people a viable helping hand and not just a handout.
BTW: I must say that I've encountered black folks and scholars whom I admire who will provide a caveat before they list their concerns about Black (Right Wing) Republicans. It goes like this normally, they recognize that 'one side doesn't have a monopoly on truth...so, I do give the conservative side the benefit of the doubt'. Well...I don't for the stakes are higher now and there are forces that have been so distressed by a Black Presidency (although a moderate one) and a browning of America that I fear an aftermath of a 3rd Reconstruction is on the horizon.
The First Reconstruction after slavery was abolished and the Second Reconstruction after the Civil Rights /Voting Bills were best predictors of what we are experiencing now with a significant increase of conservative blacks jockeying to keep what they have by joining forces with the right wing conservatives.
You might find the article written by Egberto Willies on the debate Ta-Nehisi Coates had with Shelby Steele on reparations interesting. Those viewpoints expressed by the latter keep forward thinking people up at night!