Posted by: Tomas B. PhillipsJohn Quincy Adams
Let me take you on a journey. The setting is a southern slave plantation in the early 1800’s. Some slaves occasionally managed to escape to the northern free states. Slave owners did not take this lightly and in most cases captured the slave and returned them to bondage. Slaves were valuable chattel and would only be killed as a last resort.
Typically when a slave was returned the slave-owner made sure that his/her punishment was witnessed by other slaves. This public punishment was obviously intended as a deterrent. It was usually meted-out by other slaves who were often the Negro slave bosses. "Negro slave bosses" were the slaves who received special treatment by the slave-owners for in return for keeping the others in line and reporting any and all decent. Power was sometimes more intoxicating than freedom. Sure, the slave-owner could rule by gun and by lash but the successful slave-owner understood that it was better to have order maintained from within the slave ranks. These were the lessons learned from the many slave rebellions of the late 1700’s and early to mid 1800’s and it worked every time.
Now, move into the current day. The current political climate is one of Democrats and Republicans but more importantly, Liberals and Conservatives. Since the mid-1960’s blacks have been loyal devotes of the Democratic Party and its Liberal philosophy. The Democrats have been instrumental in placing a few blacks in positions of power and promoting them as leaders of the black community (Apparently blacks, like all sheep, need leaders). These individuals are required to be both Democrats and liberals which is perfectly understandable since no intelligent person actually expects an entity (the DNC) to do that which is contrary to its best interests. These so-called leaders have reaped the benefits of their positions in terms of money, notoriety and most of all, power. Their primary job is to promote the ideology of the Democratic Party and insure that the black electorate, vote the Democratic Party line en masse .
In return, their black constituents have been handsomely rewarded for their party loyalty by means of various government programs which I henceforth refer to as "favors". These favors can only be threatened if blacks fail to support their friends in the Democratic Party.
Unfortunately, there is a problem. Some blacks have started to identify with the Republican Party and even those who have not, have had the audacity to classify themselves as conservatives. What is worst, they are doing it publicly. They are writing books, columns and editorials. They regularly host and/or appear as guests on local and national radio talk shows. Occasionally they appear on television. The most recent and shocking phenomena is the fact that a few of them have actually won local, state and national elections. The current President went so far as to appoint a few of these enigmatic ingrates to key positions in his administration. How could these people be so unappreciative of the great things the Democrats have done for them?
The Democratic Party’s response has been as expected of any entity whose interests are threatened. These individuals must be shown the error of their ways. If they refuse to toe the party line they must be annihilated. No, not murdered – although you would not know this if you saw how conservatives are treated on college campuses. They have to be economically, academically and socially destroyed. These people must serve as an example of what happens to any black who voices an opinion contrary to that of the Democratic Party and the "black leadership."
Blacks belong to the Democratic Party today just as they belonged to the slaver-owners prior to 1865. Today this ownership is derived from blind allegiance to a political party. A sort of political and philosophical slavery if you will. In the 1800’s this ownership was literal and derived from the institution of physical slavery. Any attempt to challenge this reality was then and is today, met with swift and blinding action.
Despite their rather admirable level of personal achievement, "Uncle Tom" like Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice, Larry Elder and Walter Williams, to name a few, are never included among the lists of prominent or noteworthy blacks in America. This is not due to their lack of intelligence and/or public acts of moral turpitude on their part. No, it is because they promote the wrong ideology. Their names must be erased from black history and if they are mentioned, it is only to show how horrible and destructive they really are to the concept of black homogeneity. They have caused damage to the Democratic Party by suggesting that the favors it has extended to blacks have served only to perpetuate and further exacerbate the problems in the black community. They have inadvertently promoted a contravening Civil Rights (the most protean set of rights in the 20th century) agenda based not on government hand-outs and victim status, but on the idea that the less government "helps", the greater the chances for personal achievement. For some reason they believe that the duty of the government is to ensure equal opportunity as opposed to equal results.
As a side bar, I learned to ride a bicycle at an early age with the help of training wheels like many. Once my parents were convinced that I had mastered the basic idea (according to my mother this was two days after I got the bicycle) they removed the training wheels. Sure, I fell a few times but each time I fell I learned how to avoid falling the next time. I eventually corrected my moves and after three days of scrapes, bruises and a fair amount of frustration, I was riding with the best of them. My parents knew, at least instinctively, that had they continued to allow me to use the training wheels, so as to protect me from the danger of falling, I would have developed a dependence on them and as a result an unreasonable fear (aka, phobia) of ridding without some form of "safety net".
Jeff Foxworthy often jokes about the idea of child-proofing our homes. He says (jokingly of course) that his father would put a 400lbs television on a Tv tray. "Let him pull that down on his head a few times. He’ll learn. Wanna put a penny in a light socket. Try that out. Hey! Hurt like hell didn’t it. Bet you wont do that again."
The point here is that some of us were blessed to have parents who did not need advanced degrees in child development and psychology to ascertain how the human mind worked. This used to be considered basic common sense.
This idea of wanting to protect people from the pain and discomfort inherent in everyday life sounds great but it often leads to the protectee’s destruction by deadening their innate ability to use sound judgment and common sense. As alluring as it may be we need to get away from the idea that we can ameliorate life’s problems real and/or imagined, current and/or historic with a government "one-size-fits-all" program. "We need to examine whether we are helping the old lady across the street or just jerking her around," [sic] says P.J. O’Rourke.
In like manner, the favors bestowed upon the black citizenry by an all-to-caring and compassionate group of Liberals, serve only to keep the black electorate faithful to the Democratic Party by making them dependent upon the DNC and its chosen "black leaders" for their livelihood.
Notwithstanding the damage caused the "black community" by these programs, the "black leadership" faithfully does its part to convince the black electorate that conservatives are destructive. That their actions could ultimately lead to the abolition of all of the favors which have resulted from the generosity of the Democratic Party and moreover, could lead to a reversal of all civil rights legislation.
Obviously this kind of irrational fear mongering is itself destructive and counterproductive but lets face it, most people, including blacks, do not know the facts of the issues on the political, social and economic landscape today. They get their news in sound-bites on the various news shows. Do the following statements sound familiar?
Republicans are racially insensitive
The answer to rising energy prices is price-caps
Minorities perform poorly on standardized tests because the tests are culturally biased
Bill Clinton was impeached because of a private sexual matter
Bush is allowing "big oil" to gouge the public
Ronald Reagan’s social spending cuts in the 80’s did tremendous damage to minorities
Some of these statements are mendacious on their face while others may serve as a basis for reasonable public debate. The problem is that all are usually presented as unequivocal facts.
Liberals have learned what Conservatives fail to appreciate: that people respond to the sensational not the sensible. It is far more efficacious to say that your opponent is racist than to debate the merits of his argument. The former is fast and easy and places ones opponent on the defensive whereas the later takes too much time and energy. If the opponent has even a marginally valid point of view the listener might be persuaded thereby. In politics facts are not as important as emotion. If you can get the electorate emotionally involved, you alleviate the necessity of producing facts.
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
My drawing a parallel between physical slavery and ideological slavery should not be interpreted as an accusation on my part that Democrats are racist. That would be just as irresponsible and intellectually dishonest as the accusations made against Republicans and conservatives alike. For the most part I do believe that Liberals arrive at their so-called solutions from a platform of good-intentions. If you read the Communist Manifesto it is apparent that Carl Marx approached his philosophy with the greatest of intentions. I doubt that anyone believes that Marx envisioned Stalin or Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge when drafting his visions of utopia. In fact some of the worlds worst atrocities were born of good intentions in one form or another. The actors selfishly saw the "ultimate good" of their actions and rationalized that whatever pain was caused thereby was justified by the greater good of the net result. Such is the fallacy of the "politics of good-intentions". It invariably leads to elitism (The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment. The sense of entitlement enjoyed by such a group or class.) and ultimately the idea that the ends-justify-the-means.
What we cannot fail to see is that ideological slavery keeps people in bondage and robs them of the opportunity and in most cases the desire to question the veracity and sincerity of their leaders. It teaches the black electorate that their lot in life is the result of institutional racism perpetuated by the policies of Republicans. The only way to combat this is to support the Democratic Party and its appointed black community leaders.
Some of us who know better are baffled by this myopic party loyalty. The black electorate is actually more ideologically conservative than liberal yet it votes the Democratic Party line consistently and in overwhelming numbers. The majority of the black electorate generally believe (1) in school choice, (2) that welfare is detrimental to individual achievement, (3) that abortion is the taking of a human life, and (4) blacks, like most other racial minorities, believe in the value of a spiritual conscience. These belief systems are anathema to the political and social objectives of the Democratic Party and its "black community leaders".
Is the answer then, a switch to the Republican Party? I do not advocate a switch from one party to the other. That simply shifts the loyalty without addressing the problems of ignorance and indifference. As a conservative I do not believe that the GOP truly represents the interests of conservatives although it had great potential at one time. Additionally the interests of conservatives are represented to some extent by the Libertarian Party, the Reform Party, certain Independents. Which political party an individual chooses is not my concern.
What I advocate is a departure from the liberal ideology that has so plagued the black electorate by shackling it to the Democratic Party, exclusively. The black electorate will not be taken seriously unless and until it proves to the elected officials on both sides of the isle that it can vote its conscience and not just adhere to a party line. The "black leadership" should support the premise that blacks are free to vote for those who think the way they do irrespective of political affiliation. Blacks must look at the values they consider important and compare them to the aspirations of – not just the words of - those individuals who seek their support. As long as Democrats know that blacks will vote the party line without questioning its true objectives Democrats will have no real incentive to do what is in the best interests of the black electorate. They will continue to say the right things while doing nothing. They will continue to reap the benefits of the black vote, using it to push a social agenda that is destroying the black community. Blacks have to make it known that they are more than just a bloc-vote. What blacks have made unequivocally clear lately, is that when the Democratic Party says "jump!", the black leadership asks "how high?", then they sit down while their constituents do the jumping.
Blacks need to look at their history since the implementation of all of these great social programs and ask if the black-community (meaning predominantly black neighborhoods) is better, the same or worst as a result thereof. Are our children being taught basic reading, math and science? Are people more or less inclined to commit acts of violence against their fellow man? Is the state of the family better or has it deteriorated? These are just a few of the hard-hitting questions blacks should be asking themselves and their so-called leaders.
Hopefully one day, the black electorate of this country will abandon this "sheep" mentality and break the bonds of slavery that shackles them today.
If there was ever a common creed of southern slave-owners of in the 1800s’ it would have been: The only thing worst than a free Negro is one who tries to convince others that they too can be free.
Tomas B. Phillips, © 2001