Uppity

According to certain self—proclaimed leaders in the House of Representatives, if you are black, hold a political office, and have a healthy respect for carrying out your constitutional duties in spite of what that might mean for the electoral fortunes of the Democratic Party, you are a traitor to your race and shame should be heaped upon you until your dying day.

This is the message that was sent yet again to one black man in particular last Thursday from the Democratic side of the floor of the House of Representatives. That man is Kenneth Blackwell, the secretary of state of Ohio. Blackwell happens to be black and he also happens to be a conservative who has a promising political future in the Republican Party. Congressional Democrats, though, circled the wagons to see that yet another black conservative was branded as 'controversial' and straying from 'correct' kind of thinking.

Last Thursday, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California registered their objection to the counting of the Ohio electoral vote during the recitation and official re—election of President George W. Bush. Because one member of the House and one member of the Senate objected, debate on the floors of the House and Senate floors ensued, and votes were taken in each chamber on agreeing to the objection. Boxer was the only senator who voted to uphold the objection, and a scant few (31) in the House voted in the affirmative. Such was the preposterousness of the exercise that 132 members didn't even bother to vote.

As the 'debate' dragged on and delayed the inevitable election of President Bush, it became clear that the primary target of Democratic invective was Blackwell, who was mentioned 149 times to the President's 109, according to the http://frwebgate5.access.gpo.gov/cgi—bin/waisgate.cgi?WAISdocID=367577258868+0+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve  Congressional Record.

Democratic members charged Blackwell with every conceivable offense. Blackwell, according to the knights of racial and political thought, conducted a sham election in Ohio, purposely shut out black voters in urban areas, and (gasp) upheld regulations concerning new voter applications that were improperly filed. It was surprising, in retrospect, that Blackwell was not blamed for causing it to rain in certain areas on Election Day. As Peter Kirsanow points out, http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/kirsanow200501100742.asp however, the scores of election lawyers and bipartisan committees looking into the Ohio results found no problems out of the ordinary.

Rep. Maxine Waters of California called Blackwell 'partisan' (what secretary of state is not?) and she was 'ashamed' to say that Blackwell is black. She was also ashamed to declare, 'an African American man has failed to follow even Ohio's election procedures, let alone procedures that comply with Federal law and constitutional requirements. Our ancestors who died for the right to vote certainly must be turning over in their graves.'

What is it about black conservatives that give such pause to the likes of Waters, John Conyers, Jesse Jackson, Jr., and many in the mainstream media who continually deride the efforts and ambitions of those who share a common heritage, but not a political outlook? The venom directed toward Blackwell by leftists is not unique, and presupposes that individual blacks are incapable of thinking for themselves, are incapable of forming a political thought without having it directed to them from the Congressional Black Caucus on high. Nobody uses the word because of its embarrassing historical baggage, but Blackwell and other black conservatives are guilty of the crime of being 'uppity.'

A shameful recent example is the attitude toward incoming Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. A political cartoon by Pat Oliphant portrayed Rice as a bucktoothed parrot held aloft by President Bush as Rice says 'Anything you say, Chief!' Cartoonist Ted Rall infamously called Rice a 'house nigga' and a lefty Wisconsin radio host called Rice 'Aunt Jemima.' All of this, and nary a word was spoken by the 'liberal' Congressional Black Caucus. Is it really too much to ask of Conyers or Jackson to stand up and denounce this sickening racism directed at Rice and others like her? Are they really afraid that any defense of a political opponent who overcame major obstacles to rise to prominence will mark them as Uncle Toms?    

When leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus complain about disenfranchisement or the conspiracy against African Americans as they did on Thursday, just remember that they only mean some, not all. Until the Democratic Party has leadership that truly cares about the welfare of all citizens, their talk about protecting the rights of traditionally underrepresented groups is just talk, and disingenuous at that. Pity the black man who has a mind of his own. There is no room for him in the Democratic Party as presently constituted.

Matt May can be reached at matthewtmay@yahoo.com; his website is mattymay.blogspot.com

According to certain self—proclaimed leaders in the House of Representatives, if you are black, hold a political office, and have a healthy respect for carrying out your constitutional duties in spite of what that might mean for the electoral fortunes of the Democratic Party, you are a traitor to your race and shame should be heaped upon you until your dying day.

This is the message that was sent yet again to one black man in particular last Thursday from the Democratic side of the floor of the House of Representatives. That man is Kenneth Blackwell, the secretary of state of Ohio. Blackwell happens to be black and he also happens to be a conservative who has a promising political future in the Republican Party. Congressional Democrats, though, circled the wagons to see that yet another black conservative was branded as 'controversial' and straying from 'correct' kind of thinking.

Last Thursday, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California registered their objection to the counting of the Ohio electoral vote during the recitation and official re—election of President George W. Bush. Because one member of the House and one member of the Senate objected, debate on the floors of the House and Senate floors ensued, and votes were taken in each chamber on agreeing to the objection. Boxer was the only senator who voted to uphold the objection, and a scant few (31) in the House voted in the affirmative. Such was the preposterousness of the exercise that 132 members didn't even bother to vote.

As the 'debate' dragged on and delayed the inevitable election of President Bush, it became clear that the primary target of Democratic invective was Blackwell, who was mentioned 149 times to the President's 109, according to the http://frwebgate5.access.gpo.gov/cgi—bin/waisgate.cgi?WAISdocID=367577258868+0+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve  Congressional Record.

Democratic members charged Blackwell with every conceivable offense. Blackwell, according to the knights of racial and political thought, conducted a sham election in Ohio, purposely shut out black voters in urban areas, and (gasp) upheld regulations concerning new voter applications that were improperly filed. It was surprising, in retrospect, that Blackwell was not blamed for causing it to rain in certain areas on Election Day. As Peter Kirsanow points out, http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/kirsanow200501100742.asp however, the scores of election lawyers and bipartisan committees looking into the Ohio results found no problems out of the ordinary.

Rep. Maxine Waters of California called Blackwell 'partisan' (what secretary of state is not?) and she was 'ashamed' to say that Blackwell is black. She was also ashamed to declare, 'an African American man has failed to follow even Ohio's election procedures, let alone procedures that comply with Federal law and constitutional requirements. Our ancestors who died for the right to vote certainly must be turning over in their graves.'

What is it about black conservatives that give such pause to the likes of Waters, John Conyers, Jesse Jackson, Jr., and many in the mainstream media who continually deride the efforts and ambitions of those who share a common heritage, but not a political outlook? The venom directed toward Blackwell by leftists is not unique, and presupposes that individual blacks are incapable of thinking for themselves, are incapable of forming a political thought without having it directed to them from the Congressional Black Caucus on high. Nobody uses the word because of its embarrassing historical baggage, but Blackwell and other black conservatives are guilty of the crime of being 'uppity.'

A shameful recent example is the attitude toward incoming Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. A political cartoon by Pat Oliphant portrayed Rice as a bucktoothed parrot held aloft by President Bush as Rice says 'Anything you say, Chief!' Cartoonist Ted Rall infamously called Rice a 'house nigga' and a lefty Wisconsin radio host called Rice 'Aunt Jemima.' All of this, and nary a word was spoken by the 'liberal' Congressional Black Caucus. Is it really too much to ask of Conyers or Jackson to stand up and denounce this sickening racism directed at Rice and others like her? Are they really afraid that any defense of a political opponent who overcame major obstacles to rise to prominence will mark them as Uncle Toms?    

When leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus complain about disenfranchisement or the conspiracy against African Americans as they did on Thursday, just remember that they only mean some, not all. Until the Democratic Party has leadership that truly cares about the welfare of all citizens, their talk about protecting the rights of traditionally underrepresented groups is just talk, and disingenuous at that. Pity the black man who has a mind of his own. There is no room for him in the Democratic Party as presently constituted.

Matt May can be reached at matthewtmay@yahoo.com; his website is mattymay.blogspot.com