Remarkable documentary shows trials of black conservatives in a liberal world
We often hear blacks complain about the struggles they deal with as a minority group in the USA. We hear that blacks are being oppressed by a system that holds them back because of their race. Some of their so-called "leaders" are telling them they can't make it in America due to the lack of opportunities for "people of color." When someone, black or white, disagrees with that antediluvian contention, he's likely to be branded as a racist. Yes, even if you're black and disagree with a white that racism is universal, you'll be deemed a racist. It reminds me of a comment made recently by Candace Owens, a conservative pundit and political activist, who also happens to be black. "The most ridiculous criticism of me is when I'm referred to as 'a black white supremacist,'" Owens said.
That raises the question of what's it like to be a minority within a minority. That's a struggle conservative blacks deal with constantly. With a plethora of race-baiters on left-wing news programs, blogs, and mainstream media in general, it takes a lot of courage to cross the color line and stand up for what you believe in. Whether you're a prominent black entrepreneur, athlete, movie star, or politician, your future could very well depend on what side you take in the pigmentation war. Whites who disagree with race-hustlers are simply labeled as a modern version of Bull Connor. Blacks who disagree have been referred to as "Uncle Toms," a reference to Harriet Beecher Stowe's famous 1852 novel Uncle Tom's Cabin.
In order to put the race issue in perspective, some conservative black leaders collaborated on a documentary film that speaks to the issue of independent thinking in the black community. When Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden was interviewed by a black liberal radio host named Charlamagne, Biden said, "You got more questions, but I tell ya, if you have a problem figuring out whether to vote for me or Trump, then you ain't black." It's those types of comments that make it clear that Democrats think they own the black vote. Larry Elder, conservative talk radio host, attorney, bestselling author, and political commentator, rejects that idea. To disseminate the message that blacks have the right and duty to think for themselves, Mr. Elder executive produced and co-wrote a documentary entitled Uncle Tom.
My wife and I were invited to the world premiere of the film on June 19, at a private reception at The Marq in Southlake, Texas. The date of the first showing is significant because June 19, which is known as Juneteenth, is celebrated as the date that blacks were emancipated from slavery in 1865. The invitation-only guest list included Mr. Elder and several prominent Republicans from Texas and across the country. After a VIP cocktail reception in Legends Hall at The Marq, where many of the film's participants met with guests, we were ushered into the large ballroom for the viewing. About 200 people were comfortably seated at tables of ten as Mr. Elder and director Justin Malone took to the stage for the introduction of the 106-minute film. The evenly mixed gathering of blacks and whites gave the impression that we were all part of a historical moment in time. It also made me wonder, as I so often have, why there is so much hostility between the races.
The movie delivers a message that, according to Elder, illustrates "the grief that people who are black and conservative get for just saying that they're not Democrats." Directed by Texas native Justin Malone (Undocumented, Hurry Up and Wait, The Bus Stop), Uncle Tom features Elder; Colonel Allen West, former congressman and current candidate for chairman of the Republican Party of Texas; Herman Cain, successful entrepreneur and 2012 Republican presidential candidate; Candace Owens; Dr. Carol Swain, conservative television analyst and former professor of law and political science at Vanderbilt University; Thomas Sowell, economist, author, and senior fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University; and Jesse Lee Peterson, host of The Jesse Lee Peterson Radio Show, among several other prominent blacks.
"The film really is attacking the way the Uncle Tom term is commonly used to demean people that have rethought their assumptions to the Democratic Party," says Elder. "You've got people like Maxine Waters and the whole Congressional Black Caucus, all essentially saying, 'Anybody [black] who votes for a Republican is a sell-out.'" The movie also includes newsreel footage of such prominent A-list figures as John Legend, President Barack Obama, Jay-Z, and many others. Some of the black conservatives in the film emphatically make their point by wearing the "Uncle Tom" moniker as a badge of honor. "The message could not be more important or more timely," says Elder. "Why does merely questioning the black allegiance to the Democratic party make you a 'sell-out,' a 'self-loather' or an 'Uncle Tom'?"
Available at pay for view, Uncle Tom: An oral history of the American black conservative can be purchased at www.uncletom.com.