Political Correctness Attacks Black Right Wing

By Goode, Stephen | Insight on the News, January 20, 1997 | Go to article overview

Political Correctness Attacks Black Right Wing


Goode, Stephen, Insight on the News


Are conservative politics and African-Americans mutually exclusive? Groups such as the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus believe so and aren't above vitriolic blasts at blacks with conservative values.

They were examples of the coarsest kind of intolerance. But they also were much more, displaying a mean-spiritedness that would make most people blush and certainly went far beyond civility or even basic human decency. But what they actually may have revealed wasn't intended by their perpetrators: how tenuous and vulnerable the hold is that liberals and the left now have on the black community.

In December the liberal black magazine Emerge featured on its cover U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, caricatured as a lawn jockey. Inside appeared another drawing of the distinguished jurist - this time Thomas servilely was shining the shoes of fellow Associate Justice Antonin Scalia who, like Thomas, is a conservative.

Blacks cannot be conservative, was the far-from-subtle message, without being Uncle Toms. The same crude message was conveyed in mid-November by Missouri Democrat Bill Clay, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, in an open letter to his colleagues calling black Republican Rep. Gary A. Franks of Connecticut, who lost his reelection bid in November, a "foot-shuffling, head-scratching Amos 'n' Andy" and a "Negro Dr. Kevorkian who is assisting in the suicide of his own race by supporting conservative legislation that is not in the interest of black people." (For extra measure Clay, in the same letter, referred to Thomas as a snake.)

"Outrageous! Yes, that's the word," exclaims Robert Woodson, a conservative black who founded and heads the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise in Washington. But nothing new," he adds. "It means they're scared. It means they see themselves as vulnerable, and the more vulnerable they feel, the more scared they get."

Brian Jones, director of the Center for New Black Leadership, agrees. "I just shook my head [after seeing the Emerge cover]. More of the same old thing." Jones was asked if he planned a press conference to express outrage but said he decided not to "when I saw, how weak the story was."

About Clay's letter attacking his fellow black congressman, Jones says he was struck by its "irrationality. A totally gratuitous letter, unless you assume that what he wanted to do was to hurt Franks personally and put the final boot in his behind."

For Jones the attacks reveal the "intellectual exhaustion" of those doing the attacking. "All they have to offer is the same old [liberal] prescriptions. They reject what doesn't fit into their framework, and they never, never, ever examine any argument on its merits. Their message is only `pummel the messenger!'" he says.

Moreover, Woodson does not believe the attacks now are "typical" of liberal behavior, though they once were. Such meanness, he claims, "is an aberration no longer well-received by many liberals." Woodson was at the receiving end of a similar attack two years ago at the Atlanta convention of the National Association of Black Journalists when the NAACP's then-director Ben Chavis denounced him as an intellectual prostitute" for his conservatism - a charge, says Woodson, that brought on a loud chorus of jeers from the mostly liberal crowd of 5,000 and criticism by a black writer the next morning in the Atlanta Constitution.

Jones and Woodson are right on target. Denunciation of black conservatives has become more shrill - and increasingly bitter - as their numbers have grown and they have acquired a voice. Twenty years ago, Thomas Sowell was about the only name people could conjure when asked to name a prominent black conservative. Now their numbers include columnist and George Mason University economics professor Walter Williams and California's San Jose State University English professor Shelby Steele, author of The Content of Our Character.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Political Correctness Attacks Black Right Wing
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.