Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Black Conservatives and the Tea Party movement


As some of you are already aware, I was interviewed by Valerie Bauman from Associated Press for an article on black conservatives and the Tea Party. The article can be found here.

In order to provide more opinions, AP obviously did not use all of my answers. So I would like to use this post to flesh out my opinion.

I guess I should start by stating why I participate in the Tea Parties. I attended my first Tea Party last year on April 15 in New York City. I went because I felt spending in Washington had gone from bad to insane. I remember toward the end of the Bush administration, I called, faxed and email my representatives to tell them not to vote for TARP. Yet it passed anyway. When Obama came into office, the big bailouts and wild spending only seemed to have accelerated. Again, I called my representatives and found nothing but a deaf ear.

Faced with even more spending and Congress members who ignore their constituents, I felt something more than just phone calls, faxes and emails were needed. The Tea Party tax day protests seemed like the next logical step. So, I went to a Tea Party. 

Being black and opposing the first black president’s policies was obviously not a popular thing to do in the black community. However, as I stated in the article, I did not believe in throwing away my beliefs just to be popular. 
"You have to be honest and true to yourself. What am I supposed to do, vote Democratic just to be popular? Just to fit in?" asked Clifton Bazar, a 45-year-old New Jersey freelance photographer and conservative blogger.
My belief is that the current policy of "spending our way out of debt" is a disaster in the making. As a nation we are well beyond the point where we can reasonably pay off our debt. Should I completely ignore the obvious hardship we are buying ourselves so that I can maintain racial solidarity with Obama or should I stand up for what I truly believe to be right? 

The issue of racial solidarity is becoming a major issue for black conservative Tea Party goers, because of the media’s hyper focus on racism in the Tea Party.  The media has focused its attention on the tiny number of crackpots at the Tea parties and have tried to portray them as an example of the whole tea party movement.  As a result many in the black community believe that the Tea Parties sole purpose for opposing Obama is because he is black. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I have attended three Tea Parties thus far and will attend my fourth on April 15. What I have observed first hand is that the vast majority of people at the Tea Parties are basically everyday folk who are concerned about a disconnected Congress and a president whose policies are a recipe for disaster. Many of them, like myself, have never ever been politically active before. These people are basically your neighbors, coworkers, friends or family. There really isn’t anything special about them.

Now I need to make something perfectly clear, because I am sure some lefty will take me out of context, I am not saying that there are absolutely no racists or kooks at the tea parties. Every political protest has its nuts. Just look at this recent leftwing anti war rally in California. Are we to believe just because there were anti Semites and 9/11 Truthers there, that everyone at the anti war rally is a Jew hating conspiracy theorist?  Of course not, and the same goes for Tea Parties.

Finally there is an aspect of the Tea Parties I wish the black community would explore. It is the concept of coming together around our issues rather than around political parties. Currently, the black community has no true political voice because we have been placed in a Catch 22. On one hand we are told not to vote for Republicans because they are all racists, on the other hand the Democrats repeatedly fail to solve any of our issues.

It be far better to unite on our issues and only support those individual candidates that have a proven record of solving our problems, regardless of which party they may come from. Think about it black America, isn’t it time we effected our own change?

19 comments:

Lisa, An American Mom said...

Congrats Clifton on being quoted! And second, I think you make excellent points here! I am attending my 2nd tea party next week and am super excited to meet up with other regular citizens who just want to take our government back to fair representation and the principles of the Constitution. Go Tea Partiers!

victoria_29 said...

thank you very nicely stated. I was at a tea party in Huntsville, AL on Sunday-the left wing reported that only blacks present were either vendors or performers, neither of which was true. Cries of racism are becoming like the boy that cried wolf.

moon816 said...

WoW that was good!

Anonymous said...

Saw you quoted in the AP story that I read on Breitbart and found your blog through Google. Thank you for taking the time to fully flesh out your views beyond the quote they ran. You seem pragmatic in your views and I wish more Americans in general would stand up for what they believe. I hope you haven't received a bunch of backlash or hate
mail for your views. I look forward to reading your future posts.

Clifton B said...

Lisa:

Thank you and be sure to come back here and share your Tea Party experience!

Clifton B said...

Victoria:

You are so right about the boy who cried wolf scenario. I think if this keeps up real charges of racism will get swept under the rug and the chances of America electing another black president will grow slimmer.

Clifton B said...

Moon816:

Thank you!

Clifton B said...

Anonymous:

Thank you for finding me. While my views maybe pragmatic at times, I openly admit that they come from a conservative perspective. As far as hate mail goes, that is what the delete button is for.

I look forward to your future comments.

Big Daddy in NC said...

Your story has mirrored my own. I never protested anything, until now. When I told people I was going to a Tea Party rally, the first one in the area, people looked at me like I was crazy and that all I would see were crazy people. Instead, I found Americans from all walks of life who were very concerned about the future of the country especially for their children and grandchildren. I will be going to the next April 15 Tea Party protest and will continue to go, until things change. Thank you for your blog.

iowac said...

Well said, love it, Americans need to stop letting the media, and the politicians tell us who our allys and enemys are on the politicial floor. If all would come to the Tea Parties, they might find that there is more we all agree on than what we dont agree on.

Samuel Gonzalez said...

Cliff

I was going to lay into this slanted article on my blog, when I see a quote from my fiend. Brother, the writer of yet another hit peice against the Tea Party movement. The premise of this article was another to delegitamize the Tea Party movemnt as being a fringe movement when it is not.

I was at the same Tea Party you were last April. You weren't the only African American there and I wasn't the only Lation. But, the mdeia always tries to protray not only Tea Party but Republicans and Conservatives as jut being White. That's another false preception the Obama media wants to put out there.

What the article should have reported is the explosion of Black Latino Conservatism, that's the real untold story! Also, another untold trith is how slavery is alive and well in the minfs of Blacks who are afraid to live out their Conservatism, not by Tea Party members, but by other Blacks who are still afraid to leave the plantation of the mind abd their original enslavers of Black people-The Democrat Party.

Where's the AP articel on that?
The Last Tradition

http://www.youtube.com/user/ImprovEverywhere said...

Clifton, Excellent post, and thanks for the expanded answer.
I, for one, never accept a quote from the AP as accurate since they often go out of their way to pick the least flattering view of anyone that does not toe the 'official' party line. Unfortunately, finding the complete original interview is often next to impossible. Thanks for making it easy this time.
I look forward to being a regular reader.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on being quoted, Cliff! What brought me to this blog over 3 months ago was the honest, no-nonsense and refreshing view you bring to the issues we are currently confronted with.

I have not been to a Tea Party or any other political event, and have no plans to do so, simply because of the fact that I am not much of a joiner. That's just me.

However--I look for ANY opportunity to squash political myth-making and stupid comments from my fellow Americans of African descent and every other heritage. People just have to be helped to understand what time it really is.

I'm respectful about what I say to others, but I decided a long time ago that I'm through being intimidated by others' reactions to my not being a fan of big government, out of control spending and the ridicule and attempts to marginalize "the folks" out here, doesn't matter if it's on the Right or the Left, I'm gonna call it out.

Keep up the great work and I'll keep doing my best out here to stay informed and be a responsible American citizen at the ballot box and everywhere else.


AMERICA RISING
November 2010

Clifton B said...

Big Daddy in NC:

The story we share seems almost universal when I go to a Tea Party. Almost everyone was just going about their business and then Washington went off the chain.

Like you I plan to keep attending and keep speaking up.

Clifton B said...

iowac:

It looks like you are getting your wish. Did you see that recent poll where more Americans agree with Tea Party views than with Obama and Congress?

Clifton B said...

Sam:

I find it so funny we were both at the same Tea Party at the same time. Who knew?

The media always plays down minorities at conservative events. Yet they are right there in plain view. When I met Gov. Chris Christe it was at a LATINOS for Christie event. Whites were clearly the minority. Of course there wasn't a single media in sight.

You are right about the ideological enslavement of blacks to the Democrat Party. I have faith though. Sooner or later blacks will grow tired of having the same issues un-addressed decade after decade.

Clifton B said...

Improv Everywhere:

I am glad I could fill in the blanks for you. I too am not a fan of AP's reporting, but Valerie Baumann was fair in her questioning.

Clifton B said...

Anonymous:

You do us proud. Far too many of us are simply afraid to disagree with the majority. Thankfully people like you help to set an example that having your own voice is OK.

OBIT2010 said...

Well, SO MUCH for the ideal that the Tea Party is nothing more than a group of white folks Who want to oppose a "black" president!
The Tea Party is a HIGHLY DIVERSE group of poltical activist! They consist of blacks,whites,democrates,republicans,conservatives, libertarians, and even a few liberals who see this administration and this Congress as going to far.

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