Friday, August 10, 2012

There Were in Fact Blacks Who Joined the KKK: C.L. Bryant's Speech at FreePac

I believe that ideological diversity in the black community is a strength and not a weakness. If a person makes the choice to support a political party (or not) based on their own principled positions on policy, immediate material self-interest, support of a single public policy issue, or out of respect and/or deference to a family tradition I can accept their choice. Of course, I privilege some types of political calculi over others in terms of how they represent nuanced and sophisticated considerations of matters of public concern. But, I try to respect a person's political choices, and give them the agency and freedom to stake out their own political terrain.

However, I have no use for black conservatives such as C.L. Bryant, Herman Cain, Allen West, Larry Elder, Clarence Thomas and others of their ilk. Black conservatives of their stripe consistently suggest that African Americans who are not Republicans are instead on some type of "plantation," possessed by false consciousness, or stupid and confused. History (and facts) contradict such hellish lies: African Americans have been the moral, spiritual, and ethical conscience of this nation; the ways that we grabbed "the great tocsin of freedom" from Reconstruction to the present is a wonderful example of the radically democratic possibilities in the American experience.

Bryant and his brethren made a financial calculation. They can get paid lots of money for pandering to white conservative populists. As I pointed out in a series of essays on Herman Cain "The New Age Race Minstrel," black conservatives are like a salve or the great fountain at Lourdes which simultaneously insulates white conservatives from charges of racism and legitimates white racial resentment because these characters, de facto Stepin Fetchits, are the "good negroes"--humble, deferent, subservient, and validating to the White Gaze--which white conservatives wish all black and brown folks would be.

In keeping with an earlier allusion to carnivals and flim-flam artists, C.L.  Bryant is running a great con game as he channels and performs for the white reactionary conservatives at the Freedomworks sponsored FreePac convention and rally.

Ultimately, C.L. Bryant is like a black man giving his own funeral oratory before a lynching at which he will be the "honored guest." It is freakishly beautiful. 

Likewise, the beautifully ugly uniformity that is Conservative Whiteness in the audience is worked up in an odd mix of church revival, "patriotic" gathering, and sporting event. As I am fond of saying, the people in the audience at FreePac are heirs to the folks who would have brought picnics and a nice glass of tea to a lynching not too many decades ago--and then purchased postcards of said barbarism.

[I do not make such a reference without careful and specific intent. Freedomworks is an AstroTurf group run by the Koch brothers. Their family helped to establish the racist John Birch Society, and was also connected to White Conservative Citizens Councils that opposed the Civil Rights Movement. Freedomworks also supports many retrograde and nativist policy positions that are hostile to people of color, the working classes, and the poor.]

C.L. Bryant's performance is complemented by an expose at the Right-wing muckraking site The Blaze. There Bryant explains his transformation from a "lost" black Democrat to a "saved" and "found" black conservative. His shtick even has a Paul on the Road to Damascus element to it--except the moment of revelation is Bryant's salvation by Rush Limbaugh:
After leaving the NAACP, Bryant moved to Tampa, Florida, with his wife. One day, he recalls listening to the radio in an effort to find Jim Hightower, a liberal commentator he enjoyed listening to. But, rather than finding the show he had come to know and love, he stumbled upon something very different. 
“I was flipping through the AM stations and I came across a guy by the name of Rush,” Bryant said, referring to popular radio host Rush Limbaugh. “The more I listened to this guy, Rush — there was something that he was saying that rang true to me.” 
From there, the transformation began and Bryant recognized that many leftist policies and ideals create a mindset of victimization among African Americans and others.
[Insert finger into mouth in order to induce vomiting.]

C.L. Bryant, and others like him who have decided that laying down with Power against the interests of their own community, have always been with us. They were the "colored" colonial administrators, the black slave drivers and slave catchers, and Native Americans who worked with the U.S. government to hunt down their own tribes. Some of these folks were cowards; others were self-interested materially minded utility maximizing individuals; a good number were just traitors.

History is full of these odd alliances and moments. For example, as the expertly researched book Night Riders in Black Folk History details, there were apparently African-Americans who rode with the KKK and even formed their own informal Klan groups.

C.L. Bryant and his black conservative brethren and kin can trace their ideological lineage back to those tragic wellsprings. In an era when conservatism and racism are one and the same, it vexes me how any self-respecting person of color could ally themselves with Freedomworks or any other Tea Party, John Bircher-like group. But then again, we all have a price. I hope C.L. Bryant received a pretty penny for his role as a black conservative political Judas.


jacked UP jazz said...

OK you had me at brotha man rockin white shoes

chaunceydevega said...

@jacked. good to hear from you. how are things? dude was looking nice and dandified for those good white folks at Freedomworks. You know you got's to be dudded up to do the buck dance proper.

Razor said...


I have to give it to you, you're consistently very good, but every so often you flash pure literary brillance.

While listening to C.L. Bryant's speech (the height of black-Judas-race-minstrelty), I read your short sentence-paragraph, that seemed to me, to capture the existential whole of the man and the absurdity he had reduced himself to become.

Picturing C.L. passionately preaching his own eulogy before an enthusiastic group, who are not really there to praise him...but to lynch him.....Powerful

chaunceydevega said...

@Razor. Brilliance? My good sir, what complements! It is easy to write about these clowns as they offer so much foolishness that demands comment.

But thanks--I want to make that brilliance consistent so let's keep at it.

Someone will find a way to defend his shucking and bucking.

Black Sage said...

C.L. Bryant’s speech and what he represents is a sad commentary on all of these so-called Black conservatives of this country. These morons who call themselves Black conservatives are nothing but contemporary House Negros who ranks right up there with the Benedict Arnolds of the world. On the other hand, I pity CL Bryant, because it’s obvious that he’s been hopelessly damaged by prolonged, White psychological warfare beyond repair. This man has the mind-set that clearly belongs to a different time period, circa 1800. CL Bryant has been conditioned to the point of becoming a mouth piece tool for the very people who secretly have no love for him. He’s a buffoon, an on-call idiot putting on a minstrel show for many in the audience who’d much rather see him hanging from an oak tree in a full state of rigormortis!

It’s my belief that all minorities in this country are captives to a certain extent. However, no other group is more a captive group than Black Americans. Therefore, when you see people like CL Bryant stand up and give a speech in front of a sea of Whiteness, it’s simply the manifestation of an acute case of Stockholm syndrome coming to fruition. Eventually, there will be more people like him to make an appearance during this political season.

Razor said...

I was historically ignorant of the participation of blacks in the demonic KKK as you alluded to sourcing the book "Night Riders in Black Folk History". Even worse, that some were so psychologically damaged as to form their own informal Klan group. I am still trying to process that new and disturbing information.

White Power and White Supremacy not only became a foundation for the new economic-political system, pre-codification of the slavery laws and eliminating white indentured servitude in exchange for white privilege, but was also became major component of the deal that the White Christian churches made with the devil. It was at this point that their churches made it pagan and false religion. One with two altars and two gods. False religion, false god, no matter, it was one that required human sacrifices...Native Americans and Africans and any and all other non-whites that had the misfortune of being upon the land that this god was giving them. The God of Abraham would have to accept a non-speaking role.

It appeared, and still appears, to many that the Whites have/had the right god. They certainly appeared to be blessed with the power and the gold ( especially your gold included).

My point is that White Power/Supemacy/Privilege for many white Americans is for all intents and purposes a religion. Many non-whites too worship at the False White God's altar. C.L. is not just talking to those folks in the video....he's preaching.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Plane Ideas said...

CD and I no doubt will have some bumps in the road but his genius and ability to craft words that not only articulate the essence of an issue but they also flow like a butter fly and sting like a bee ..

Words truly come alive and fly off my screen when CD is in the zone..

With regard to the issue at hand I argue there is a reason for the behaviors of backward Black people who support ideas that are against thier interest.

I opine these torture souls are wounded by the pathology of white racism recently we observe some of this behavior with those who trashed Gabby Douglas about her hair.

My question is how long does it take to cleanse this contamination? Can a community heal these fractured souls? Are we obligated to fix them? Is the ideal of a diversity of thought in our community must be tolerated even when these ideas hurt the collective?

nomad said...

"C.L. Bryant, and others like him who have decided that laying down with Power against the interests of their own community, have always been with us. They were the "colored" colonial administrators, the black slave drivers and slave catchers,... Some of these folks were cowards; others were self-interested materially minded utility maximizing individuals; a good number were just traitors."

Good. Good. Now extend this maxim and connect the dots.

Razor said...

Thrasher, you raise good questions...ones that have existed and raised since the Great Emancipation.

My thinking is that as long as there are black people who are opportunistic, weak, gullible and stupid, the kinds of persons like C.L. Bryant andother members of the Black Hall of Shame will always be with us. Those kinds of people only flow where they believe the power and the gold lies.

They frequently are people who are ashamed of their blackness and the social stigma that has historically accompanied it and/or who have accepted the false religion of Whites and believe the same false doctrines which consign blacks to a low estate. Generally, they are beyond our reach. It will take a white person to convince them that other blacks have a point...and it's now OK to go back home to their family.

Thrasher, you could have just can we recover Clarence Thomas? Do you know anyone who works miracles?

CNu said...

staymad murphy the only commenter whose vision not blurry....,

nomad said...

Tanks, kimosabe.