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Dear Ben Carson, When A Person Has to Deny Being an Uncle Tom, It Usually Means They Are One


In a political moment when the Tea Party GOP has embraced a range of racially hostile policies and beliefs from Birtherism, to the open racial resentment of Romney's campaign, the naked discussion of Secession and a revitalization of the Neo-Confederacy, and efforts to suppress the votes of African-Americans in a return to Jim and Jane Crow, how any person of color--or sensible conservative--could support such a dying on the death bed demographically and ideologically obsolescent political organization defies explanation or logic to me.

Perhaps Ben Carson and his black conservative brethren are proverbial political kamikazes or dead enders? Regardless, his decision-making process and agency should be respected...even as the policies which he advocates for should be critically interrogated and challenged.

Ultimately, there are many ways to call a black person a "nigger." Some folks are direct, they avoid the silly-talk that is "the n-word." In your face they mutter or aim the slur.

Others using the political correct language of post-civil rights America talk about how black folks have "bad culture" and "could succeed if they only really wanted to and tried hard."

And there are black conservatives, along with their white sponsors and circus masters, who say that black people are "stuck on a plantation." Moreover, these special and anointed black conservatives are apparently uniquely positioned to interpret the drums and what the natives are really saying.

All of these examples are just myriad ways of calling black people "niggers." One can tell black people "to get the bones out their noses" like Rush Limbaugh did some years ago. Or you can have a black conservative say that other African-Americans are stupid children who are political zombies, unfit for democracy. Both proceed from the same fetid waters: to call a black person a "nigger" is to suggest that they are a second class citizen, not an equal, and somehow racially defective as compared to some ideal-type as defined by the White Gaze.

The racial chauvinism of the White Right and the Tea Party GOP makes sense as a function of crude realpolitik: the Republican Party is the party of the Southern Strategy and has embraced white racial resentment as part of its brand-name in the post civil rights era. Anti-black and brown affect is part of a political calculus that has until recently paid Republicans great political dividends.

When black conservatives echo this same logic it is contemptible and tragic. Self-hatred is pathetic. Self-hatred in the service of political attention, fame, or fortune from being the star attraction in a Right-wing human zoo by black and brown conservatives even more so.

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