On of the trivial burdens of black conservatives is the extent to which they have to get over themselves. There's a special microscope for us, rather like audiences for Sidney Poitier. We ain't supposed to be so uppity. I've been thinking of a snappy answer to the stupid question of black conservative relevance.
If you're like I used to be, there would be a time in your life when you commented with ire about the condescending backhanded compliments handed to black men. It falls under the heading of the soft bigotry of low expectations. Like 'you certainly are articulate' etc. There's another side to this coin, which is the genuine extra praise given to achievement as if it were excellence - like the praise heaped on black men who are schoolteachers in the ghetto trying to knock some algebra or grammar into little black heads.
That's what we expect. Except you know how it is. A little black skin sometimes warps time and space and what is ordinary becomes extraordinary. Sometimes it is. Most of the time it's not.
And so that is my perspective on black conservatives. Sometimes it's extraordinary. Most of the time it's not. I mean, you can really go out there and make movies about Joe Clark and heap mounds of praise on this or that teacher who is plying his trade among the darker brothers. But really. That's his job. Big freakin' deal. So when I hear people who think black conservatives are all big-headed because we ply our rhetoric of 'get off the Democrat plantation' and think we're doing a great service to The Black Community - I think it's all part of the outsized praise that people get for educating black people.
Do the ghetto kids come out of the womb understanding Algebra? Of course not. It's got to be taught, forever. Those who learn and can apply it in their life - hey good. Civilization marches on. Do ghetto kids come out of the womb understanding Conservative politics and principles? Of course not. It's got to be taught, forever. Those who can learn and apply it in their life - hey good. Civilization marches on.
Do black conservatives deserve special praise or derision because they have a bat and bullhorn like Joe Clark and demand that their subjects deserve attention and respect? No. Neither do black fathers who don't beat their children.
It's just life. Get used to it.