What Black Democrats Could Learn From a Town Drunk

I recently came across an opinion piece written by CNN Contributor Roland Martin entitled ‘Romney smart to speak to NAACP‘.

In the article, Martin presents his rationale for why such an appearance could be advantageous to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee and the Republican party in reaching out to black voters. However, in digesting Martin’s hypothesis, I find that there are several points on which I disagree with him, not the least of which is the statement “...it’s time to emancipate the GOP from its hostility toward African-Americans.

“Hostility”? Really?

Taken on the whole, Martin’s perspective is not at all surprising as he is merely regurgitating the time-tested liberal meme that the small number of black Republicans is directly attributable to a deliberate and concerted effort on the part of the GOP to create and foster an environment of animus between Republicans and blacks. In other words, the Republican party is no longer the inclusive party of Abraham Lincoln, but an exclusive party composed of only white people and for white people only; not necessarily because it has been proven to be inherently racist or discriminatory, mind you, but simply because there are more whites than blacks. 

So, essentially, what Martin is proffering is that racism is now not only behavioral, but numerical.

Uh-huh. Makes perfect sense.

Martin is representative of most black liberals who will not hesitate to point to racism as the sole reason, no, scratch that – excuse, for why there are not more blacks in the Republican party than there are currently, and with good reason. Let’s face it. This race-based stratagem has proven quite successful for liberals over the years, as upwards of 96 percent of black voters remain utterly immovable in their support of the Democrat party, despite the continued lack of empirical evidence that such devotion, a love-affair lasting over half-a-century now, has been of any material benefit to them.  

Now, I make no pretense to know Roland Martin personally. I’ve never met or spoken with the man. But, from the little I have read, I perceive him to be a fairly intelligent person (notwithstanding his Twitter gaucherie which earlier this year garnered him a brief suspension from CNN. But, I digress.)

In asserting that the GOP somehow is answerable for whatever degree of acrimony that may or may not exist between the party and blacks, perhaps Martin has failed to comprehend that, by definition, ’emancipation’ has to do with a person being enfranchised from what was a forced enslavement, whereas, ‘hostility’ speaks to a manifest attitude that is willingly expressed by one person toward another of his or her own volition. All of this begs the question, how can an individual, much less a political party, be held accountable for “emancipating” someone from an “attitude” which they themselves have chosen to adopt? Is it not the responsibility of the person harboring such a temperament to assuage themselves of it?

You see, the genesis of emancipation is not the act of becoming free, but the desire to beAnd even then it is only the beginning. Possessing the desire to be free – and subsequently acting on it – is an individual not an organizational or corporate responsibility. This philosophy is best expressed, I believe, in the words of former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass who said, “I prayed for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”

Imagine for a moment that Roland Martin (yes, ascot ‘n all) and Frederick Douglass are slaves together on the same plantation. 

Instead of trying to assure Douglass that his prayers had already been answered by virtue of the innate, God-given mental and physical gifts and attributes he currently possessed, a sycophant like Martin would probably have tried to persuade Douglass to sit tight on the plantation for another twenty years, incessantly filling his mind with excuses about why he couldn’t and shouldn’t risk escaping to freedom on his own. If he would just be content with his current predicament and continue to do what his overseer told him, in time the “Great Government Freedom Pumpkin” would one day descend from the heavens, and the change which Douglass so desperately longed for all these years would miraculously come to pass.

Sound familiar? It should, because that’s exactly the kind of “Hope & Change” fairy tale President Obama and his Democrat minions would have blacks believe.

Think about it. 

For Martin or anyone else to suggest that the burden lies with Mitt Romney and the GOP to remedy politically what is essentially an attitudinal issue is missing the point.

Emancipation is necessary only where bondage exists. And though a decision to disencumber one’s self from a yoke of Democrat peonage may very well result in expressions of hostility on the part of those left behind – and undoubtedly it will – the fact is that the benefits of doing so far outweigh the risks involved. The anti-slavery abolitionists of the 1860s as well as the Civil Rights leaders of a century later are a testament to this.

Speaking of emancipation, particularly in the context of Roland Martin’s comment, I can’t help but be reminded of the old television series The Andy Griffith Show and the character, Otis Campbell. You remember Otis. He was Mayberry’s likable town drunk who, as inebriated as he was – and he was always inebriated – would invariably have the presence of mind to avail himself of the keys to his jail cell and let himself out.

Democrats are a lot like Otis.

They want to keep blacks drunk on the hyperbolic moonshine that the Republican party is racist and that their struggles in life are all the fault of rich, white conservatives whose sole reason for existence is to “keep the black man down.” All the while knowing that the keys to blacks’ sobering up from their progressivism-induced intoxication are well within their reach. No, even closer than that. Within them. They need only decide to take ownership of their own existence, step off the Democrat plantation and apply themselves.

But, alas, what then would liberals like Martin do?

Try as he might to camouflage it, the hypocrisy of people like Martin is clear. Even if the number of blacks in the Republican party were to increase, it would serve only provide them with more targets to label as “Uncle Tom” and “sellout”. So, in reality, his criticism of the GOP is patently disingenuous because, trust me, the last thing a liberal like Martin wants to see is blacks renouncing the Democrat party and thinking – and voting – for themselves. (Hence the title of this blog.) 

Though its gesture toward Romney is nothing more than superficial, if not an outright set-up, I am nonetheless pleased that he has accepted the invitation to speak to the NAACP next month. And when he does, I pray he will avoid the usual trap of trying to endear himself to an audience which, to be quite honest, couldn’t care less what he has to say. Which is exactly why Romney needs to throw caution to the wind and be courageous enough to tell them to their faces exactly what they need to hear (though they may not want to hear it): the Democrat party continues to take black voters for granted

Oh, and for the Roland Martins of you out there who want to fall back on the expedient and worn out defense that the Republican party “hasn’t done a good enough job of reaching out to blacks”, I say stop making excuses and waiting around for someone else to come and “reach out” to you. Instead of listening to biased pundits like Martin, be proactive and find out for yourself what the Republican party is actually about which, perhaps to your own surprise, has an historically deeply-rooted relationship with black Americans.   

I found this to be true years ago and have never looked back.

Emancipation is not always the result of someone else showing up to liberate you. Oftentimes it is the result of a volitional decision to liberate yourself – like Otis.

You already have the keys.

Use them.

DBH

2 thoughts on “What Black Democrats Could Learn From a Town Drunk

  1. Hope Mr. Romney takes your advice….but he probably won’t..I’m sure he has some “adviser experts” who have no idea what you are talking about. If it weren’t for the bold encouragement of Kim Wade, probably neither would I. God’s best to you, sir..

    Like

  2. JEH

    You never cease to leave my silently applauding, my friend – with your eloquence and insight and passion. People already have the keys, they need but use them. Wow. Quite a concept, and how true!

    Like

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