When people profit off of bad news, they won’t tell you about good news.
Here’s the good news: We are seeing a new generation of American Blacks who are better educated, more successful, more pro-business and, therefore, drawn to policy positions vastly different from those of their parents and grandparents.
The bad news: The stereotype remains that Blacks are incapable of seeing beyond the decades-old cultural mandate that says if you support GOP candidate Mitt Romney–as in the case of Stacey Dash–you are a sellout or traitor to your race.
It was encouraging to see Russell Simmons, a staunch Obama supporter, come to the defense of Dash and take the so-called Black “community” to task for their blatant racism and hate speech.
Monolithic stereotypes do not give Blacks credit for being able to augment their political views to fit changing social dynamics and differentiate, without the prism of race, what is in their best interest. They imply that Blacks are more prone to emotional, rather than intellectual, decisions.
Dash is an individual. She cannot be reduced to where she was born, what she looks like or any other fact about her. She makes her own decisions. And that’s a good thing!
If Dash should support her own people–as suggested by many outrageous comments from the ignorant class–then why can’t we make the argument that whites should support their own to look out for their best interests as well? It suggests that many Blacks are followers, incapable of taking control over their own fate, blind in recognizing their own embarrassing and unapologetic new, acceptable racism. Shattering these stereotypes is not an easy task, especially when organizations purporting to act in the best interest of Black America have turned these stereotypes into a small cottage industry.
Are a vast number of Blacks more prone to react to, rather than contemplate, the issues that have the greatest impact on their lives? Are many Blacks expressing the ugly new racism in America that many media outlets are uncomfortable in taking them to task and holding them accountable for this hate speech and dark racism? They will if we keep telling them they have to! Shattering stereotypes among many Blacks and liberals in this nation is essential to achieving social equality.
What kind of role models do we want for young people? Do we want them to aspire to a herd mentality, to going with the flow? Or do we want them to think for themselves, to ask questions? How much of the ugliness of history–the brutality, the cruelty, the racism and discrimination that have been inflicted on us–has come precisely from this mindset? Take, for example, Sen. Robert Byrd: He joined the KKK not because he was racist, but because of the political connections of doing so. He joined because so many other people had joined! The herd mentality leads us only down the path of destruction.
Those who vote on skin color just want to know one thing: What does the candidate look like? But the intelligent voter wants to know about the issues. I’m certainly not saying that all Black Democrats and liberals are mindless; I’m just saying that if Blacks wish to vote for the president, they should do it for defensible reasons based upon facts about the important issues.
I say this as someone who voted for President Barack Obama in 2008. I, like many Americans of all stripes, had an open mind to him in those days, and now, our minds are open to the reality of the actual facts. And the facts tell me that he has been a president who refuses to campaign on his record and chooses to castigate and demonize his opponent. Have you ever wondered why his campaign ads and commercials are so negative and dark? It’s because he has no proud or inspiring record to tout to “We the People. ” Many of us are still looking for the hope and change he promised as a candidate.
For that matter, do we really want a bad president to represent any community? This is what will happen when people only care about the candidate’s race. We must demand quality leadership–only we will pay the price if we don’t. No community large or small will not be respected or taken seriously; we will look to everyone else as a herd of followers, who can easily be tricked.
Dash defended her beliefs using the words of Dr. Martin Luther King. She judges her candidates based on the contents of their character. Who could take issue with that?
I commend Dash and many like her for the courage they demonstrate in these difficult times–and courage is what we should be teaching our children. She, as well as many of you, are role models for all of us.
Armstrong Williams is on Sirius/XM Power 169, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.