Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Triumvirate of Political Tokenism: Romney Picks Allen West, Tim Scott, and Jen Carrol to Lead His Black Folks Outreach Efforts

Artur Davis. Allen West. Mia Love. It would appear that a bumper crop of black right-wing coconuts Oreos bootblacks new age double black face race minstrels political tokens are apparently in full bloom.

What a cornucopia of black and brown Tea Party delight! Can we buy them by the bushel?
Mitt Romney's campaign on Wednesday announced its Black Leadership Council, chaired by Reps. Tim Scott and Allen West. The council will "help facilitate dialogue between Mitt Romney and respected leaders who provide unique expertise, experience and knowledge on a range of issues impacting black American communities," according to the campaign.
In all, I guess any black guy would do. Given that Mitt Romney is polling at zero percent among African-Americans, Allen West and company can do no great harm (I still would have preferred Beetlejuice for the position) to his chances with black folks. Given his habit of sending fried chicken to the Congressional Black Caucus, West's position with Romney's campaign may actually increase turnout among Right-leaning, racially resentful white Independents and conservatives. Romney is playing a very deep game after all; never forget that fact.

[Although this does beg a math and polling methodology question, is it possible for a candidate to receive negative support in a survey and thus to measure below zero?]

As we have discussed here on WARN many times, Black conservatives have a lucrative gig--they are the professional "best black friend" that every white conservative needs when they get caught race-baiting, playing in the feces of white racism and throwing such metaphorical scatology about, or saying racist things against people of color.

Being a black (or brown) conservative is also a de facto welfare and subsidy program for a good number of professional right-wing race hustlers. When underemployed, in need of money, or a boost in one's career, a black person of otherwise mediocre/suspect talent can decide to "come out" as a black Republican. The riches and attention soon follow: a good freak show or novelty act can always find work.

In another life, I would decide to switch lanes and join up with the Tea Party GOP. My swerve would involve a public revelation about how Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh spoke truth to power and made me realize that I had been a slave on the evil Democratic Plantation.

Suffering from false consciousness, I at first retreated from the bright sun that loomed outside of the Platonic cave. When my eyes adjusted to the light of Right-wing conservative white populism I realized that the Republicans were my friends.

I then would tattoo Ronald Reagan's kind face on my back, write my own version of Conscience of a Conservative, and start the Black Folks for Barry Goldwater Superpac. I would laugh all of the way to the bank after a lucrative book deal and a series of one hour specials on Fox News.

Apparently, my get rich quick black conservative hustle is not uncommon. Writing for New York Magazine, Ann Friedman is already onto my con and I hate her for it. Damn her prescient insight:
Almost every political writer I know who isn’t a straight white man has made the joke at least once: If I ever need a major operation or find myself in serious debt, I’m selling out and going conservative. There’s a tried-and-true formula for this: Rise to a moderate level of success as a liberal-leaning writer, politician, or commentator. Drop out of the spotlight for a few months or years, then reemerge as a beautiful conservative swan, disavowing everything you said in your liberal ugly duckling days. You were just brainwashed, you’ll say, following the script. Now you know the truth: that everything you have, you have because you worked for it yourself. Sure, straight white politicians cross over, too — but to far less effect. In a party full of Clint Eastwoods, who’s going to sit up and take notice when there’s one more?
As I offered up here in my open letter to a lost soul black conservative who is doing her best to mouth vomit the talking points of Mitt Romney and the neo-John Birchers, Friedman has also identified the psychological needs and moral deficits that often drive a person of color to join a political movement and party that has nothing but utter contempt for non-whites:
I understand why the GOP elevates non-white Republicans so quickly. But what about the candidates themselves? Are there benefits to being a token? The workplace provides a helpful analogy: Think about your experiences with older women in male-dominated professions, women who are used to being the lone female in a pack of bros. They’ve earned their spot in the social order both despite and because of their gender. It’s both a badge of honor and a rarefied role they have to protect — which may be why, in my experience, they can be cold to young female newcomers who stand to threaten their status as an exception.

And I get it. At least, I think I do. Sometimes people (almost always men) will tell me that I’m “not like other women” — meaning I’m aggressive, I make dick jokes, I drink whiskey, stuff like that. I usually roll my eyes and say something like, “Lots of women are witty” (true), or “All of my lady friends drink Jameson” (mostly true). But I confess that, deep down, I get a little thrill to be distinguished from the pack. Based on that, I can imagine how good it feels to be Artur Davis or Mia Love right now. To be the venerated exception that proves all of conservatives’ rules. 
Ann Friedman has outsmarted me. Is it still possible for me to have a lucrative change of heart by joining up with the Republican Fox News Break in Case of Emergency Water Carrier Negro Brigade? Or has that ship sailed? How would you write the script?


Plane Ideas said...

When can we expect Obama to create a Black Leadership Council?

makheru bradley said...

The Re-thugs have blown it again. They should be showcasing the real talent they have available, such as Nicki Minaj: "I'M A REPUBLICAN VOTING FOR MITT ROMNEY, YOU LAZY BITCHES IS F---ING UP THE ECONOMY."

Along with Jimmy “JJ” Walker, LL Cool J, 50 Cent, The Rock, Don King, and The Mailman. And where is Paul Ryan’s Black sister-in-law?

They may even have a shot at the Rev. William Owens and the Coalition of African-American pastors, who say:

“We are deeply saddened to admit our once strong pride in the president has turned to shame. He has drifted—‘evolved’ as he puts it—away from the common truths we have traditionally shared. As fellow Christians and African-Americans, we ask President Obama to stand with the black church on the word of God and evolve again back to the common sense Biblical view that marriage is the union of husband and wife.”

parvenu said...

First of all Chauncey even though Ms. Friedman may be onto the frame work of the hustle, I bet she doesn't have the necessary sepia skin tone to carry it off in person. What we are witnessing with "conservative blacks" has its roots in the old "Patron/Client" politics that was popular in the early 20th century. This political arrangement defined the political relationship between voters residing in the black ghettos within America's largest cities and the white downtown city hall political machine. In this arrangement the white boss of the Downtown political machine would select one powerful black man who is well known in the black ghetto, and that person would be tapped to become the white political machine's "official" representative in the black community. All business between the city government and the black community would then be channeled through the selected "Client". Under these conditions the boss of the downtown political machine would be officially designated as the "Patron".

The selected "Client" would have one singular responsibility to his "Patron" boss, and that was to deliver the vote out of the black community exactly as directed by the boss "Patron". In return for this powerful position, the "Client" would be offered extremely profitable ventures by the "Patron" boss. The "Client" would given control over things of high value within the black community such as liquor licenses, and arrangements for purchasing vacant property being held by the city for small sum tax liens.

Fast forward to the 21st century and the political landscape has dramatically changed. Likewise the "Client/Patron" relationship still exists but the downtown political machine has been replaced by ideologically driven plutocratic billionaire cabals. This arrangement in the current scheme uses the personal physical properties of the "Client" as a prop in their political theater which is played out on the national stage as directed by his/her billionaire "Patron".

Also the other change to the traditional "Client/Patron" game is that the "Patron" no longer "selects" a "Client" from within the black community. Rather enterprising appealing black persons groom themselves in order to become of interest to one of the billionaire Patrons. By publically speaking the "ideologic language" of the plutocratic billionaires, the respective black "conservative" is actually auditioning for the attention of any member of the cabal.

Anonymous said...

You're on the money about these conservatives. Doing anything for money is the American way. Spewing talking points isn't he hardest thing in the world. We even have a media that enables it.

Artur spent all of that time in his district bsing. He didn't have the damn sense to attempt to build his state party. I wish I knew what kind of witchcraft had him thinking he could be governor of red Alabama. The conservatives in Alabama make Gingrich look like Barney Frank.

chaunceydevega said...

@Thrasher. Never. And he shouldn't.

@MB. I knew you had a sense of humor.

@Parvenu. The patronage model works on both sides of the aisle.The question is how can we make sure that working class and middle class people get their fair share across the color line?

@Vic. Help a brother out. How can I work this hustle?

Plane Ideas said...

I like the notion of a Black Leadership Council given the dire state of affairs in the our communities since Obama refuses to acknowledge our issues for fear of offending the white electorate.

I remain amaze how so many in our community want to stay invisible and not push our agenda the patronage model is irrevelant but just affirms my point of how we create this false barriers for ourselves

Plane Ideas said...


Why not? I believe in the utility of an idea even when it's origins are suspect like this construct from Romney/GOP

chaunceydevega said...

@Thrasher. A black leadership council would be as effective as the congressional black caucus. Obsolete. It also sounds like it could be used in a DC comic book to rival the Justice League or LOD.

Plane Ideas said...

The CBC are elected officials a Black Leadership Council is not accountable to the fickle electorate you are not at the comic con anymore,lol,lol

More importantly this could really be a powerful vehicle and conduit for the president to really make a real time difference with a focused Black Agenda..

These are perilous times for our community ( time permitting read Steven Gray's narrative in Salon) we need to do sometime instead of being sideline critics

chaunceydevega said...

@Thrasher. Black politics through traditional legislative organs is dead. Sorry.

Plane Ideas said...


Whose taking about old paradigms??? I am suggesting a presidential powered strike force that commands policy and agency to get things done

Come on CD expand your vision employ your nerdness :-)

makheru bradley said...

Mitt Romney is on a roll. Per a BET News survey released last week Mitt now has 2 percent of the Afrikan American vote.

The POTUS does not need a Black Leadership Council. He has Al Sharpton. But if you really want to get your voice heard, then “step in the line, can you spare a dime; step right on up, drop a buck.” Mars Blackmon and his friends will make sure your views are represented.

Razor said...

With your arrayed blend of serious skills and having shown even some creative genius flashes in the area of fiction (think of Bro X Squared) you would make a mint.

chaunceydevega said...

@Razor. Cool, appreciated. Brother X Squared does have a life of his own. Perhaps he needs to come around more often? When I get that mint I will take you out for drinks when you come through Chicago.

Plane Ideas said...

Clearly the more advocates with direct links to Obama is a good look for the community..

makheru bradley said...

How can you cry “racism” when Mitt is down with Minaj: “You lazy bitches is f---ing up the economy." More importantly is white supremacy the reason why Romney has been able to reduce what was once a 6 point Obama lead to a virtual tie in the polls?

If so, Romney's strategy must be working and we can expect to see it piled higher and deeper.

If Obama is counting on Maddow, Sharpton, and MLHP to counter this he's up sh^t creek.

What does Iceberg Slim have in his "shock treatment" playbook comparable to 9/15? A Gulf of Tonkin Incident in the Persian Gulf?