This column was written by Demetrius Minor
"You’re a black Conservative? Wow, you’re a rarity.” I’ve heard this and similar responses over the course of my life. This indicates that there is a cultural stereotype that exists in the mindset of many people. So what does it exactly mean to be a black conservative?
There are many dimensions to this questions. It is a matter of boldness and courage—not with white America, but black America. When blacks found out that I voted for George W. Bush and that I was not supporting Barack Obama in 2008, I felt like I was one of the thieves one the cross next to Jesus during his crucifixion. I was criticized for betraying the black culture and appealing to whites. When I informed liberal blacks that I refuse to pledge my allegiance to the Democratic party because of historical precedent or because it’s politically convenient, I was instantly a target. I have been labeled an “Uncle Tom” and accused of “sucking up to white people.” I was momentarily distraught at the fact that i was being demeaned because my political thought and ideology was different than from what many black people expected it to be. But I quickly embraced the power enabled to me by being a black conservative: Freedom. Freedom from the notion that I have to vote a certain way or be aligned to a political party without knowing the reason why. Freedom to express myself, despite the backlash or lack of support I may receive from my own race. Freedom to embrace the fact that my knowledge and stance on conservative principles is due to the fact that I refuse to enslave and bondage myself to a party that, in my honest opinion, has done nothing to enhance my freedom or well being. Freedom to also know that there are also many other like-minded African Americans who have also entrenched themselves in the fight for conservative principles.
To anyone who wants to deny the fact that black conservatives are a target, they are simply not living in reality. Black conservatives are targeted because they defy the status quo and ignore the stereotypical imagery of blacks being one-dimensional and not having an open mind. With that said, I am not playing the “victimization” card. Despite the harsh treatment I have personally witnessed and experienced, I am proud of my conservative ideology and I absolutely have no regrets.
The reaction I have received from whites concerning my conservative stance has been quite interesting. There have been some who have ignorantly labeled me a Democrat because I am black. Ignorant assumptions always informs you of a person’s intelligence. However, I would say that more whites have embraced me being a conservative than blacks. Does it make me feel uncomfortable or isolated among black liberals/Dems? Absolutely not. Friendship can always transcend political thought.
The most accurate way to describe being a black conservative is that you know you will face a battle: mainstream media, stereotypes, black liberals. That battle is overcome by freedom and choice. I made the choice to be a conservative. No one forced me. No one persuaded me. I did my very own soul-searching and I am satisfied with the conclusion. Also, I feel very PROUD to be a black conservative. I am not a victim. I am a warrior, and I am not alone in the world of black conservatives.
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