Monday, August 1, 2011

Colorful Talk

I came across a post last week (thanks to a facebook friend) that I wanted to share here. It’s the story of a black woman who converted to conservatism. It sounds like a religious conversion, and in a way it is. Her name is Providence Crowder, and her story is here: Her conversion included these discoveries as she became a thoughtful adult. 

Providence Crowder
Upon a closer examination of my party, I learned that most of the Democratic Party’s platform stood against many biblical moral standards. Generally, they rejected the biblical definition of marriage and they overwhelmingly supported abortion. I learned that more often than not, when I voted for a Democratic candidate, I was voting against my family values. That troubled me greatly and I began to question my loyalty to the party; and after I began to make my way through college and learn a little about economics, I discovered that the Democratic Party’s economic policies were detrimental for not only black Americans, but for all Americans! 

I was very troubled during the last presidential election to learn that well over 90% of black voters chose Obama—who violates their family values and the economic principles that will lead to prosperity for blacks and all Americans. It’s difficult to conclude that there was any significant reason beyond his color, because his principles simply don’t match anything like a majority of Americans, and certainly not 9 of every 10 blacks [it was blacks in California that put Prop 8 over the 50% needed to pass]. There were some other elements in the election that affected many non-blacks as well. The concepts of “hope” and “change” were so misty that many voters filled in the blanks with their own concepts without even realizing this new face hadn’t ever said that he held their worldview. It was a mistake encouraged and augmented by MSM, so while it is regrettable (and many do regret it now), it wasn’t a surprising one-time phenomenon. 

But polls show that, even with falling approval numbers in all other demographics, Obama enjoys pretty much the same 9 of 10 blacks approving of him and the job he’s doing. I find this more that just a little troubling. 

Color just isn’t something I spend a lot of time worrying about. While I feel racism coming at me from blacks, this is usually from public figures, not people I come in contact with in my private life. (Even though I live in Houston, Sheila Jackson Lee fortunately isn't my representative, and no one takes her seriously.) I live in a very diverse neighborhood, and any blacks who live here among us are middle class and share many of the same values as the rest of us. And their background isn’t particularly more deprived than the immigrants and their posterity from Viet Nam, India, Pakistan, Palestine, Colombia, Norway… (that’s just our cul-de-sac).  

For someone descended from northern European blonds, I have a surprising amount of melanin, as my mother and grandmother, as my son Political Sphere and his daughter. We think the dark caramel color is beautiful. Last year daughter Social Sphere was lamenting that she didn’t get the “tan genes,” so Political Sphere sent her a pair of “tan jeans” for her birthday; she was only semi-amused. Political Sphere also has almost black hair and dark brown eyes, so he has frequently been asked by friends what ethnicity he is. People most often guess Hispanic, but sometimes Asian, Indian, Greek, and once even black (mainly because they wanted their pick-up basketball team to all match, so they just called him black, and he said fine).  

The point is, other than aesthetic appeal, skin color just doesn’t mean very much—to us. But that is not to say that I understand what people who do feel prejudice against them because of color are feeling. By chance of birth (and that’s pretty much all), I am descended from Americans who never owned slaves. As far back as I am aware of genealogy in every line, there are simply no slave holders, back several centuries. So I won’t take on that burden. 

My daughter-in-law, on the other hand, comes from a long line of historic Texans, and among them were slave holders (including some intermarrying so that she seems to be related to everyone in her small town, regardless of color). That doesn’t make her personally a slave holder, and it hasn’t given her a financial advantage either. So, as long as her heart isn’t that of a slave holder, and neither have been her ancestors of the past century-plus-decades, should she be hated for her heritage? That seems as unfair to me as any other accident of birth. I’m with Martin Luther King in looking at content of character, rather than color of skin. 

But, I recognize that there is some taboo against someone of my fortuitous birth to advise on the issue. So I am hoping that those who do have the “moral authority” granted by birth, who have also developed appropriate character, can have the needed influence. They face a fair amount of pressure, name calling, and ostracism from others who share their melanin levels, but fortunately they have a lot of courage and often a great sense of humor, qualities which elevate and enlighten us. 

Here are a few I’ve been paying attention to, who have converted and learned to speak well—to everyone: 

  • Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court Justice (loved his memoir My Grandfather’s Son)
  • Thomas Sowell (author of Basic Economics, and regular columnist)
  • Walter Williams (another brilliant economist I quote almost weekly, and regular columnist)
  • Michael Williams, Texas Railroad Commissioner, currently running for Congress (not my district, so unfortunately I don't get to vote for him), more info here:
  • Kevin Jackson, author of The Big Black Lie, internet broadcast The Blacksphere (find it on facebook)
  • Alfonzo Rachel, ZoNation on
  • Sonja Schmidt, Left Exposed on
  • Herman Cain, businessman and presidential candidate
  • Allen West, Congressman from Florida, and possible presidential candidate
  • Larry Elder, talk show host and Townhall columnist
  • Star Parker, CEO of Center for Urban Renewal and Education and regular columnist (her current piececurrent piece is good: "The Poor Are Not Poor Because the Rich Are Rich":

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