Thursday, October 07, 2010

Black Republican Philosophy

The other day, a fellow woman of color was talking to me and she remarked that she just can't understand how black Republicans can remain silent as their political party engages in so much racist speech. I started thinking about it and maybe as a former conservative person of color, I can add a helpful perspective to this topic.

The fact that someone is the same color/race/ethnicity as you doesn't mean that you'll necessarily see them as having anything significant in common with them. Some people don't willingly define themselves as a part of a community of people of color. They see themselves as ______ first, who just happen to also be black. You can fill that blank with "evangelical Christians", "Republicans", "capitalists", "Americans" or many other labels that folks like that prefer to identify as.

A lot of it has to do with how you are raised. My own family was completely uninterested in politics, because they sought to be seen as Christians above all else. If a politician said something that was in line with their interpretation of Christianity, then they had no problem praising them, but defending a politician who was the victim of racism just wasn't their focus. Part of it is black bourgeoisie values that teach we should fight racism, not by speaking out about it, but by being 10 times better at whatever we do. We were taught to be above complaining, no matter what obstacles put before us. There were no reasons for not becoming successful, only excuses.

With a values set like that, it's easy to see why the Republican party has a certain appeal for those black people who buy into the bourgeoisie philosophy. Many of them would take issue with the idea that they sit idly by as Republicans engage in racism. They are simply more interested in accomplishing certain goals, believing that their success will prove their superiority over racists in both parties.

But that's just my two cents.

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