Friday, August 19, 2011

My Brother's Keeper

I was going to try to ignore Republican Congressman and tea party darling, Allen West but he doesn't want me or anyone else to. Aside from being obnoxious and overbearing, he has settled nicely into his role as defender of all things racist, misogynist and Islamophobic. His childish taunting and name-calling has gotten him plenty of attention. To me, he always seems to be picking on women, homosexuals and Muslims and when he gets challenged on it, he sends out responses like this.

His latest stunt is comparing himself to the great Harriet Tubman who lead hundreds of slaves out of bondage. I guess all of the attention you've been getting lately for your feud with fellow Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz must have gone to your head so you decided to call out Democrats Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee. Too bad the folks on Fox News didn't call you on it. Allen West, you are not fit to hold Ms. Tubman's head scarf. You lack the dignity, self-respect and determination to even attempt such a selfless act as leading enslaved people out of bondage. Since we're talking about plantations and overseers, I'm certain you would have been in the house snitching on Harriet for trying to lead slaves to freedom. 

I don't want to be on anyone's plantation. I am neither Republican or Democrat. I find the Republican party is hostile toward women, the poor, blacks, Latinos and anyone who isn't rich so there is no way I am supporting any political party that promotes racism, vilifies the poor and thinks I can't be trusted to make decisions about my own reproductive health.

As for those tea party crazies, there aren't even words to describe their venomous, hateful ideas but West has embraced them and proudly flaunts them. His own insensitivity and indifference to others also extends to his unemployed brother, Arlan whom he sent to the Congressional Black Caucus' job fair in Atlanta.  I see you got checked by Congresswoman Maxine Waters whom you singled out for special criticism as overseer of the plantation. Your tea party friends probably encouraged you to do that, but it wasn't such a good idea, you'll see. 

And another thing, where are you and the rest of your black Republicans when one of your candidates throws around words like "tar baby" and "big black cloud" to describe President Obama? As much as you run your big mouth, you are noticeably silent then. You probably think this kind of name calling is okay because you know deep down, they aren't talking about you since you aren't a part of that plantation. You think you're special? You'll see.

I can't help but defer to a brilliant post by blogger Abagond entitled "Black People: The Republican User's Guide", which explains most black Repulicans:

“Black People: The Republican User’s Guide” (2009, 3rd edition) has, so far as I know, never been written, but it is not hard to guess some of what would be in it:

The purpose of the Republican Party is to pass laws that favour the rich and block those that do them harm. This is done mainly by:
    Keeping taxes low
  • Slowing change in society

To achieve this requires the votes of millions of Americans on election day who will be harmed by such policies. Fortunately, most voters are white racists. Take advantage of that:

Chapter 1: Divide and conquer:

The main trick is to get Americans to think race is more important than class so that they vote against their class interests.

The only thing that most voters have in common with the rich is a white skin colour. Use that to make them feel like they are on the same side as the rich. Strengthen that feeling by telling them that they too can be rich one day (even though most never will).

This divides the working- and middle-class vote, weakening it as a serious threat to Republican policy.

Chapter 2: At least I’m not black:

Paint black people as completely screwed up: poverty, drugs, crime, broken homes, bad manners, low morals, etc. Since most whites already look down on blacks and since most know so few of them, this will be easy.

You want them to feel that no matter how bad things get, “at least I’m not black”.  This allows them to accept things the way they are and not demand policies that would hurt the rich.

Chapter 3: Racialize social problems:

Crime, gun violence, drugs, poverty, failing schools, absent fathers and all the other ills of American society must either be blamed on blacks or be seen as mainly affecting blacks. That way little will be done about them, keeping taxes low.

Chapter 4: Black pathologies:

Blacks must be blamed for their own troubles.

This is extremely important. It goes beyond excusing government inaction and keeping taxes low: Blacks are the single biggest threat to keeping American society the way it is, as shown by the civil war and the civil rights movement.

Therefore black leaders must be killed, imprisoned, driven out of the country or made to look laughable.

Chapter 5: Rented Negroes:

Right-wing think tanks and news organizations should hire articulate, well-dressed blacks who are willing to:

  1. Make white people feel glad that at least they are not black.
  2. Racialize social problems.
  3. Push the idea of black pathologies.

A black face makes these much more believable and harder to argue against.

Chapter 6: Fear of a black president:

If the president is black paint him as a enemy who is out to destroy the country. Even if you have to destroy the country to do it.


Here put all those twisted numbers and misleading charts from right-wing think tank “studies”.

I leave “Black People: The White Liberal User’s Guide” as an exercise for the reader.