Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Sole (Choice) of Black Folks

Hollywood actress Stacey Dash recently became the target of some Twitter attacks, much of it racist, in retaliation for the racial treason of having tweeted her own endorsement of Mitt Romney. In retaliation for these incendiary words: “Vote for Romney. The only choice for your future,” Dash was called, Actress-Stacey-Dashamong other things, a “jigaboo,” a “dumb bitch,” and a “TYPICAL OREO .. Voting for a white devil.”  There was also a string of tweeters encouraging her to kill herself, including a Washington D.C. PhD who is also a Democratic activist. As a result, a lot of not-so-good attention was suddenly being paid to the rarely mentioned but perfectly open secret of black racism, along with the stifling groupthink that punishes blacks who dare to think or say anything that has not been previously approved as Authentically Black.

Deadline Detroit blogger Darrell Dawsey, speaking on behalf of what he calls “the majority of black people,” means to defend the hive from the scurrilous charge of not thinking for themselves. (“Blacks Have a Right to Wonder About Actress Stacey Dash's Endorsement of Romney”).  After churlishly dismissing Dash as a “fading actress,” (as if her rights to freedom of speech or thought were a function of her box-office draw), he then falsely accuses her of “twisting . . . Martin Luther King’s words” for saying she chose Romney “not for the color of his skin, but for the content of his character.”

For the record, Dash did indeed say about Romney on CNN that “I chose him not by the color of his skin but the content of his character.” And of course Dr. King did, in fact say, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” If Dawsey sees a twist in that, he didn’t say where.

As for all the racist vileness aimed at Dash, Dawsey doesn’t justify it outright -- just avoids it by substituting the euphemism “raising race” for what everyone else recognizes as “racist comments”:

Raising race crudely in a political critique of Dash may offend -- the question that seems to have garnered the most media attention is someone asking (not all that angrily if you ask me) how, as “an unemployed black woman,” Dash could support Romney. However, raising race this way doesn’t suggest racial animus. And it’s not an attempted conscription into a hive mind, but rather a very legitimate political query.

What Dawsey is referring to is this tweet to Dash: “You’re an unemployed black woman endorsing MittRomney. You’re voting against yourself thrice. You poor beautiful idiot.”

Seeing as Dawsey sees it “a very legitimate political query” to call Dash a “poor . . . idiot” for supporting someone other than Obama, I say: Fine, let the query be posed.

Query: If Dash is an unemployed black woman right now (I have no idea if she is unemployed), isn’t it significant that she’s an unemployed black woman under the Obama administration, in office nearly four years, and not the Romney administration?

And Query: Why do black voters ignore Obama’s terrible record on overcoming unemployment across the board, and his even worse record in failing to reverse unemployment among blacks, solely in order to support his re-election?

And Query: Why would women voters want to re-elect Obama, when under his presidency the unemployment rate for women has gone up, not down?

Dawsey’s malignant slander, that “Mitt Romney has no content to his character,” hardly takes up what ought to be the only issue of Dash’s endorsement, which is whether or not Romney has shown himself to be a credible alternative to Obama to lead the country? If Romney has done this, then what right has anyone, black, white, or any other classification, to condemn Dash for making an intelligent choice of her own?

None, really. But Dawsey means to knock down the suspect thesis that the hateful reactions to Dash were driven by groupthink or reverse racism. In the attempt all he manages is to re-deploy the identical thesis in different words.  Dawsey hates Romney for being all the things that, in fact, Romney is not, (but, curious enough, that Obama actually is): “an over-entitled phony and a smarmy liar” who will say anything to win the White House. He declares authoritatively that “a vast majority of black voters see this and, thus, are dismayed by anyone who appears to be duped by his act.”

But how exactly is Dawsey so positive that a vast majority of dismayed black voters see exactly what he sees wrong with Romney, things strangely similar to the slanderous caricatures flung up by David Axelrod’s Kill Romney campaign?  Sure, Dawsey made his career as a professional writer on the Urban Black Experience. But dies that really qualify him to pronounce what’s in the minds of the vast majority of black voters? As he himself points out, there are no weekly “black meetings” where these decisions are promulgated for the entire group.  And Dawsey sarcastically observes that “black folks in Denver who disagree with Dash aren’t taking their cues from blacks in New York City or Miami.”

Probably all true. And yet, somehow black folks in Denver and Miami and New York City all manage to see the same faults in Romney as Dawsey does, all manage to be dismayed (if not outraged) in the same way at fading-actress Dash being “duped,” and all share the opinion that -- Barack Obama’s record and all measurable evidence to the contrary -- he’s absolutely one of America’s Greatest Presidents.  I’ll take Dawsey at his word that there are no “black meetings.”  But you know what?  Forty-million-part harmony doesn’t just happen without everyone singing from the same hymnbook.

And this homogenized thinking remains steady even while, for the rest of the country, approval and admiration of Romney has been steadily rising for the past month – since Romney seized back control of his own identity from the fright-mask designers in the Obama campaign.  True enough, nearly half of voters still don’t like Romney, but that’s exactly the point. People have all kinds of reasons for what they like and don’t like.  In a population of free, independent, and self-directed individuals, it’s only normal to have differences.

A variety of opinion notably not in evidence among black voters. As also is absent the element of unpredictability.  In August an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll reported that Romney had zero percent support among African Americans, something US News referred to as “a little-noticed finding.”  The story vanished in a day or two. (I heard nothing about it).  So why did these particular poll results remain little-noticed, when the whole campaign so far has been a 24-hour pre-occupation with polls, polls, polls?  How often do we see 100% agreement about candidates for election? (Okay, I do recall that Saddam Hussein won 100% in his final election in 2002).

The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll was little-noticed because a report that opinion in the black community is monolithic isn’t news. And the only reason the zero-percent story even rated the notice it got was because the liberal media got the giggles about Governor WhiteBoy being a complete wash among blacks and had to quote each other about it for a couple days.  (And then Stacey Dash had to go and ruin the shutout. No wonder everyone’s so mad!) With all the thousands of polls the campaigns pay for and all the various groups whose every mood change is of vital interest – women, Hispanics, upper income groups, retirees, college graduates, union members, unemployed mothers, illegal immigrants – do you wonder why there’s almost no discussion of polls of black voters?

Well, says Dawsey, don’t blame that on a “group-think dynamic.”  There’s no “hive mind,” no “reverse racism” (or, as we call it in English, “racism”).

To be sure, all that unexplained coincidence of opinion makes Dawsey’s defense of his proposition that “black people don’t vote for black people solely because they’re black” an uphill effort. Fortunately, he knows a short-cut through the hard part: let’s all just accept it as a given.

“It should be assumed,” he writes, “that black voters (and social media lurkers) have made up their own minds about Romney one way or the other based on their own experiences, access to information and other elements informing their world views. Most black people have concluded that he’s not good for the country and/or not good for their interests.”

But why should that be assumed? How can Dawsey tell us that “black voters have made up their own minds about Romney one way or the other,” when his whole point is that he knows “most black people” have made up their minds all one way?  That unanimity is what compelled Dawsey to take up the sword as champion of the majority’s “right to wonder about Dash” in the first place (i.e., the right to “raise race crudely” in attacks upon Stacey Dash) : just because Dash had the gall to make up her mind the other way.

Dawsey can’t seriously believe Dash has the right to go her own way -- not when he’s mocking her as “Clueless” for doing so, and then strikes the pose of Defender of the Tribe against the Traitor.



Wendy Woodley said...

Well, I'm supporting Romney for the content of his character, too, as well as a a host of other reasons. That makes at least two of us.

Dearborn Citizen said...

Mr. Clancy, I have had conversations with several black people - strangers all - who have told me they are supporting Romney to the great opposition and even hatred of their families and friends. But, this writer claims no 'group think.' If he were a logical person, he would have at least acknowledged that she was voting for the right reason, and not wrong, racist reason that most blacks are using.