In this post-racial society that was ushered in with our half-black, half-white president, I am shocked – SHOCKED! – that race is being used to prevent a candidate from keeping his office in the Detroit area. Those angry, old white men are beating up on a black man again!
Wait a minute! REWIND!
It’s angry black women who are attacking Rep. Hansen Clarke for not “being black enough”.
Clarke is running against two black women, Mary Waters and Brenda Lawrence, and two white men, state Rep. Gary Peters and Bob Costello. After participating in one debate this election cycle, he says won’t do any more because the racial rhetoric is too intense.
For instance, a racially charged robocall was also reportedly released in the district this week claiming that Clarke was “not black.” Furthermore, Waters previously told the Detroit Free Press she’s the only black resident of Detroit in the race.
And he nails what happens when racism is used to divide and control the constintuency:
“Our region has been so divided based on race it’s actually undercut our economic growth,” Clarke explained. “The only reason we’re the only metro area in the country without mass transit is these politicians want to play race all the time. The costs have been enormous on us.”
“When people believe they’re going to be hassled because of who they are as a person they don’t want to live in that community…Nobody wants to live in a neighborhood where they feel their kids are going to get hassled and threatened and jeered. No employer wants to do that either.”
Instead of continuing to divide voters, Clarke explained he wants to bring everyone together as a multiracial candidate. His mother was Episcopalian, his father a Muslim, and he’s a Roman Catholic.
“You want to talk about race mattering? It does matter. We have young black kids who can’t read who are going to prison in droves, costing us billions of dollars, wasting these young men’s lives, and depressing our economy, robbing us of their contributions. That’s what we need to focus on.”
I seem to remember echoes of the same “not black enough” with other dark-skinned folks, too. Condoleeza Rice was one:
HANNITY: But there is a demographic issue that we cannot ignore, and that is in almost every election, African-Americans, about 90 percent, vote Democratic. And many close friends of mine that are conservative that are African-American are called the most horrific names. What do you make of that phenomena? You were called horrific names. Harry Belafonte comes to mind.
RICE: Yes. And I always told everybody, I’ve been black all my life. You can’t tell me what it means to be black, I don’t need you to tell me what is it to be black. And so, I simply ignore it. And actually, I would say to people that think blacks have to think a particular way, you are the one who is actually prejudiced. If you were looking at somebody who was white, you would not say well, you have to think a particular way. And so if you look at somebody who is black and you say that about them, then check your own prejudice.
As I was growing up, I was taught that “being black” meant that you had dark skin, not that you had to think a certain way, live your life as a victim, or be content being told how to live your life in return for your vote and a promise of a minimal standard of living. Allen West certainly doesn’t think so, even though the darkness of his skin is being called into question as well.
I am glad that are people like Alfonzo Rachel
Preach it, Zo! And I hope more of our dark-skinned brethren continue to stand up to the stereotypes and lead the way for everyone to learn to think for themselves, instead of simply voting and thinking as their parents and their culture has taught them to do.
Then, perhaps, the Democrats will quit taking their votes for granted. THAT will give them real power. They won’t be taken for granted, then.