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June 16, 2005

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Temple3

EB: How is it possible for "black conservatives" as a body to say something positive about black leaders when so few "BCs" have an organic connection to black communities? Neo-BCs have yet to bear considerable fruit for the black community, nor have they aligned themselves stylistically. And style is important. It was important for Lincoln and Roosevelt and Churchill and King and Kennedy and Reagan and Clinton and Gingrich. (Of course, most BCs would deride the black electorate as singularly stupid for being drawn to stylistic renderings in politics.) In the absence of an organic, fruit-bearing relationship, there is little else of record to link BCs and "the Black community" - except virulent criticism of a collective - BTW's legacy notwithstanding.

I will say that of the Black elected officials I have met, less than 10% would merit an investment of considerable funds to build a community. Simply, I could not put my money where their mouth is. Very few are knowledgeable about much more than lining their pockets. The longest-standing Black assemblyman in New York was booted (and re-elected, sadly) for getting undue consideration from corporations - in total it was worth less than $100k. 20 years service...$100k? Pathetic. This is the type of leadership that Blacks in the liberal camp have provided - not much. And so, the people are left with little more than style.

The tension between BCs and the broader community is that BCs have yet to frame a clear argument that justifies their positions and anything more than subsidized assaults on established Black community priorities. Of course much of what Black conservatives espouse resonates with the black community - from a social level - and especially as it relates to "within household" issues - but when it comes to the UNITED STATES government (and its satellites) restoring the balance to the Black community, BCs promote a series of absurd laissez-faire, classical arguments that their patrons have rejected in amassing their personal fortunes - and the average black man and woman (if there is such a thing) rejects BC pronouncements for the BS that it is.

BCs are not, by and large, calling for a Marshall Plan for the US. I recently read a post on the Silver Rights blog about the poor black communities surrounding the Pinehurst Country Club. Here, I believe, is where submitting to the intellectual foundations of white folks gets BCs into trouble. BCs, in order to gain ground in the hearts and minds of the black community (if that's what they want) have to be able to not only EXPLAIN this, but RESOLVE this. Liberals, can at least EXPLAIN it. But the Black conservative, generally speaking, refuses to criticize white folks for these types of situations. Why? The hand that feeds them is often white. Perhaps there is another reason, but Armstrong Williams' recent fiasco serves as an blaring example of the connection between money and ideology.

EB: I believe it is also important to talk about foreign policy here because this is another place where BCs tend to part company with the larger community - forget about "elected officials." It seems that many of the BC positions are less than authentic - and certainly not born of a recognition for the need between the members of the African diaspora. BCs principal foreign policy objective has been to preserve the status quo. This, of course, reinforces domestic economic relationships and facilitates the public-private dance between Beltway bureaucrats/businesspersons. BCs have not levied a substantive critique on the manner in which wealthy white folks move in and between government, big business, public policy foundations, etc. BCs must address, in part, their failure to EXPLAIN and RESOLVE these issues.
The explanation is important. It should not be as important as the solution, but it is a prelude to dialogue. BCs are not part of the dialogue. And here is where LKS' point about "weakness" becomes a factor. If BCs are legitimately strong, they should be able to stand in a room full of black folks and communicate their points - as well as begin to carry the day. "Strength" then is akin to (yikes) testicular fortitude, wit, guile, genius, agility, force, and deception - all the elements of "winning" a zero-sum game which meetings often times are for BCs and BLs.

It seems to me that when BCs are so roundly criticized, they must retreat to the comfort of a largely white environment to recharge their batteries. That environment might be a personal library stocked with the likes of Adam Smith and Milton Friedman - or a bar downtown - or a movie with Meryl Streep - or maybe the music of Brahms...I am being a bit facetious, but the rejection from the black community, generally speaking, is based on an organic disconnect. If BCs were committed to resolving the organic disconnect, it would be quite easily to displace the liberals. They are underfunded, disorganized and lack the will, broadly, to RESOLVE these issues.

BCs will have to develop a response that makes sense to Black folks. That response should not be the same BS that comes from liberals, nor should it be the same BS that comes from white conservatives...It should be an organic creation of a collective of like-minded men and women committed to discussing, sharing and resolving broad issues of life and death. Outside of that, BCs will always be viewed as a contemptable appendage to the most ruinous element of the American white community - paid in full to inflame and disrupt.

It doesn't have to be that way.

Cobb

Black Conservatives are like Shug Avery's new boyfriend with the fur coat. They done left the old country and there aint enough room in their new convertible to drag everybody and they mama up north. You want to step to Chicago? Buy yourself a ticket.

We don't live down south no more.

DarkStar

temple3, some good points there.

cobb, huh? your analogy don't fit. if "black conservatives" got in the car and drove, that's one thing.

to get in the car, say you stupid for staying here, stupid for not seeing things the way i do, and ignorant for challenging me, is a whole nother idea.

in a meeting today, it hit me...

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