Black conservatives Herman Cain and LaShawn Barber draw two starkly different figures despite the tendency of many black to paint black conservatives with a broad brush.
All this week, and all the next, The Black Snob is taking a look at the views of black conservatives on Barack Obama. We’re examining who likes him, who doesn’t. Who will vote for him and who won’t. So far we’ve looked at the views of Amy Holmes, Condoleezza Rice, Alan Keyes, Colin Powell, Armstrong Williams and more.
Cain is a Republican who once ran for senate and is now a talk show host. He believes in the ideals of the Republican Party but laments the fact that the party has been weak in reaching out to African Americans.
Barber is popular blogger and speaker who is Christian and staunchly against abortion rights. While she is a conservative she doesn’t hold Republicans in much higher regard than Liberal Democrats. She writes that she's disgusted by anyone pandering to her based on her race.
Cain is the familiar. The often teased black Republican, taunted allegedly for staying with a party that does not support him.
Barber is the teaser of anyone who signs on to the two-party-system. Mocking the desire of blacks to be placated by a power structure designed to fail.
And their views on Obama are just as far apart, truly getting to the core of my black conservatives on Obama series which asks, "When confronted with the bait of an attractive candidate who appeals to your heart, but is counter to you reason who do you support?" Obama is a self-made man of intellect who is no one’s victim. But he’s also a dreaded Liberal. Which would have more pull if the wanting for Martin Luther King’s “dream” of racial harmony were still supplanted in our minds? What will these individuals do when offered a black candidate who shares their skin tone, educational background and sometimes similar backstories but otherwise shares nothing else?
Let us begin with Cain.
In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Cain describes how the Republican Party dropped the ball in 2006 when numerous black Republican candidates were up for vote. He said the party support wasn’t there, dooming their candidacies to failure. Cain added that any “breakthrough” black conservative candidate is “going to have to break through on his own,” the Republican Party “is not going to push him.”
When asked about Obama’s candidacy, Cain is impressed with the ingénue, replying that Obama has a “gift of oratory.”
That's not just the ability to speak, but the ability to connect with people. But I think that he's going to be severely challenged in the coming months to put some meat on the bones.
When asked if he would support Obama, Cain continues his wishful train of thought.
I could under the right circumstances. If he showed me that he really was serious about reaching across the aisle.
While Cain has a bleeding heart for Obama, Barber is not one to be swayed by racial sentimentality. Her eyes stay steady on the game at hand and not on what she sees as racial fictions.
Barber charges that Obama is not The Great Black Hope, claiming it was the “white Liberal media” who crowned him as such. And she states this adoration of Obama on the left is based more on racial novelty than his intellect or talent.
And she finds both a little lacking.
She posits that he is only successful because he is a well-liked, media darling. She had this to say about publicity for Obama’s book, “The Audacity of Hope,” released last year before he announced his campaign.
With a fawning and easily infatuated leftist media, liberal authors don’t need to waste money paying publicists. Every major newspaper and magazine is a publicity machine, cranking out the kind of copy that would cost the author an arm and a leg if he/she had to pay someone to write it. I should be so lucky!
The man owns the current issue of TIME magazine. I mean, come on! He hasn’t done anything in the Senate to distinguish himself. He’s just…black.
Barber is a strong believer that Democrats, Liberals in particular, use their welcoming of diversity to hide the racial conflicts that still exist. Her blog posts support the argument that the Democratic Party is inherently racist, if not more racist than the Republican Party, and that the adulation over Obama by white Liberals if further proof of that racism.
She touches on this in a post entitled “Democrats in Blackface.”
Even when I was still voting for Democrats, I noticed how condescending they and other white liberals tended to be. Trying to appear comfortable around black people, they usually ended up saying something dumb. Being yourself must be difficult when you’re trying to pretend you care about or even know any black people.
In her posting on Obama’s book publicity she also wrote of Liberal whites placating blacks through Obama.
Back in 2004 when I was still working a day job at a heavily Democrat-voting organization, the word “articulate” was uttered frequently as white co-workers described Obama’s big speech at the Democratic convention. It wasn’t so much what he said, as I discovered when I read the text of his speech, but how he said it.
… He’s a liberal who doesn’t like to be called a liberal. His speech contained nothing breathtaking, groundbreaking, or worth the hyperventilating hype that resulted from it.
Barber’s hostility was much more fascinating than Cain’s dull fealty. She wrote about her disdain for Democrats, but she wasn’t much gentler with Republicans. Unlike other black conservatives who stick with the party, Barber remains politically unaffiliated. She have voted for Bill Clinton twice and she may have voted for George W. Bush twice but she makes no allusions about either's intentions.
This also from “Democrats in Blackface.”
(A)nyone who’s read more than a single blog post knows I detest when Republicans pull the courting-black-voters scheme. I don’t campaign or write for politicians, and I’m not the least bit interested in trying to persuade blacks or anyone else to vote for Republicans (I’m not a Republican, by the way). I couldn’t care less these days why 90 percent of black voters keep voting for liberals, and Republicans should stop wasting valuable time trying to get the “black vote.”
If you can’t pull in people with race-neutral ideas, don’t bother. If you have to resort to skin color pandering, pack up your stuff and go home.
Reading her sometimes angry words reminded me of Clarence Thomas’ autobiography, “My Grandfather’s Son.” Many reviewers were surprised to hear how angry Thomas was and about how much of that hostility was still in regards to racism and the racism inflicted upon him by whites--both Liberal and conservative.
If you read Thomas’ writings, a lot of it sounds none-too-dissimilar from the writings of slain black nationalist Malcolm X before his storied trip to
This mindset is considered “militant,” but it isn’t that different from conservative “revolutionaries” like Barber arguing that government programs and social welfare are destroying the black community. She is a believer in the notion that racism and Liberal largesse cannot be separated from the government that creates it.
Which brings us to Barber and Obama.
Unlike Cain, who is a Republican partisan with centrist views and is willing to still work within the system, Barber is more likely to believe in the founding principals of the US Constitution and little else.
Barber’s objection of Obama is purely based on the issues at hand. She’s not as affected by the romanticism and is focused on voting for the candidate who best shares her views.
Despite my pro-Democrat leanings, I respect people who don’t chuck their ideals for a one-night-stand in a voting booth. I’m affected by the sentiment of a black president, but I also want that black president to share my views. Racial solidarity only gets you so far with me. After awhile I’m going to go all Janet Jackson and start asking, “What have you done for me lately?”
Barber doesn’t necessarily bash Obama. But she doesn’t praise him either. She’s an anti-abortion, war hawk who thinks our immigration policy needs more stick and a lot less carrot. On paper she shouldn’t back Obama and she doesn’t.
Unless her blog is filling me with lies.
Chances on endorsing Obama? Cain, si. Barber, no.
Chances on voting for Obama? The same as before.
Side note: While I’m more than willing to agree that racism is a problem in both parties, color me perplexed about the reasoning that having a more diverse representation of blacks means the latter party is the most racist of them all.
This view doesn’t explain those black people who helped vote Obama and other blacks into office in
That, of course, lead me to two questions:
1) So the Democrats are able to pull off this coup with black people and the Republicans can’t? Because that’s typically what their party is accused of doing, accused plucking black ringers from obscurity to game the system and get them elected. I’m a Democrat and I know our party is no where near organized enough to pull that off. Just look at this current election for proof. But if for some reason this is the case, my second question is …
2) Who vetted Cythnia McKinney before she went Green?
I realize it’s hard for some people to believe, but black people vote for their representatives, not the other way around. There’s no way the Democratic Party establishment wants a viable percentage of its power brokers believing the earth is 6,000 years old, but that’s what you end up with amongst black Democrats who are more likely to be socially conservative.
Hugging up on gay people and talking about global warming will get you about one vote in Southside Chicago.
This argument rather insulting and racist in itself, the notion that black people are somehow duped by these racist, white Liberal super geniuses. Black politicians, like their white counterparts, suffer from the same degree of intelligence, savvy, flaws and corruption. This isn’t
Check back to The Black Snob all this week and next, the series concluding on April 14th.
Sunday: Amy Holmes
Monday: Condoleezza Rice
Tuesday: Ward Connerly
Wednesday: Shelby Steele
Thursday: Alan Keyes
Friday: JC Watts
Saturday: Colin Powell
Sunday: Armstrong Williams
Monday: Michael Steele
Tuesday: John McWhorter
Wednesday: LaShawn Barber and Herman Cain
Thursday: Star Parker and Eric Wallace
Friday: Larry Elder and Thomas Sowell
Saturday: Juan Williams
Sunday: A final analysis, “Who Would Clarence Thomas Vote For?”