ARRA News Service
ARRA News Service facebook page  
News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
    Home Page

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Black Conservatism in America Today

IR Editors Interview Chidike Okeem: The debate on the state of conservatism in the Year of Trump has too often missed one important perspective: that of the African American conservative. In order to provide a forum for the true diversity of opinion within the broader conservative movement, we present an interview with Chidike Okeem, writer at VoiceofChid.com, to hear his thoughts on the principles, heroes, and misrepresentations of black conservatism.

IR: How do you begin a conversation with an African American progressive about the merits of conservatism? What’s your elevator pitch?

Chidike: One of the fallacies that black progressives promulgate about black conservatives is that we have nothing to conserve except historically oppressive structures. Black conservatism is often presented as an ideology that is about protecting and preserving white supremacy. This argument is absurd. Black conservatives believe in the preservation of institutions that have been important to black life and survival, such as the nuclear family, the church, and the community. Although conservation is an important part of the black conservative worldview, it is not about the protection of pillars of oppression. Where demonstrably immoral structures exist, the black conservative cannot ethically justify attempting to look for the positive aspects of such structures. The black conservative is justified in subverting and seeking to dismantle oppressive systems. The conservation mind-set of the black conservative applies only to constructs that are both moral and salubrious. The notion that conservatives of African descent must look for the positive aspects in the apparatus of white supremacy is a caricature of black conservative thought.

Aside from the idea of conservation, black conservatism can also be understood as a stringent rejection of the Afro-pessimistic perspective that typifies black progressivism. As one of the key features of modern black progressivism, Afro-pessimism is essentially the belief in the permanence and omnipotence of white supremacy. It is this Afro-pessimism that makes black progressives constantly downplay the racial progress that has occurred in the United States. Afro-pessimism also leads to the promotion of black helplessness in the face of white supremacy. Genuine black conservatives, by contrast, have a viewpoint that focuses on optimism and the belief in the indomitability of the human spirit. Black conservatives believe in the human capacity for greatness and the ability to thrive—with or without the actualization of perfect racial harmony.

IR: You were born in Nigeria and raised in London. How has your experience of these two places formed your understanding and experience of conservatism?

Chidike: Many Nigerians are philosophically conservative, even though that conservatism does not necessarily translate to votes for right-wing parties in the West. Although I am a Nigerian, I identify much more with my Igbo ethnicity. Igbos are ferociously conservative. Aside from the famous entrepreneurialism of Igbo people, which led to the sobriquet “the Jews of Africa,” Igbos are notoriously individualistic. There is a popular adage in Igboland: “Igbo enwe eze.” This translates to “Igbos do not have a king.” The point of this adage is that Igbos are fiercely democratic. While other tribes can be easily led by a potentate who dictates what commoners should and should not do, there is no one man capable of dominating the Igbos with kingly pontifications. This brand of individualism is fundamentally conservative. Immediate parallels between the Igbo philosophy on governance and the Lockean perspective opposing “the divine right of kings” can be drawn.

As a result of the aforementioned individualism baked into Igbo culture and my Christianity, I always grew up philosophically conservative—even if I did not always have the vocabulary needed to express the niceties of my worldview. It is also important to note that my local library while growing up in London was the Marcus Garvey Library. That library was the place where I spent most of childhood and early teenage years. It was my second home. While frequenting a black library named after one of the most consequential black conservatives in history certainly does not guarantee that a young black boy would grow into a black conservative adult, it certainly adds an interesting piece to the puzzle of the social conditioning that led to my philosophical development.

IR: How would you describe the relationship between a black conservative philosophy and conservatism in America today?

Chidike: The relationship between black conservatism and mainstream conservatism in America is deeply problematic. Not only is black conservatism viewed as subordinate to mainstream conservatism, but it is wholly ignored when black conservatives do not engage in the performative anti-black rhetoric many mainstream conservatives enjoy. As long as mainstream conservatives continue to be titillated by anti-black rhetoric coming from the lips of black people, there can never be a harmonious relationship between black conservatism and mainstream conservatism in America. As I have posited in previous essays, there are solution-oriented and fame-oriented black conservatives. Fame-oriented black conservatives are the cartoonish characters promoted in mainstream conservatism.

Being an outrageously anti-black “black conservative” like Sheriff Clarke gets one money from mainstream conservative organizations and pathetically obsequious profiles in mainstream conservative publications. Being a “black conservative” writer like Jason Riley, who incessantly pens anti-black pabulum for white conservative audiences, means one gets rewarded with comfortable writing gigs. Mainstream conservatism incentivizes black conservatives to become anti-black cartoons; it does not incentivize thoughtful black conservative thought. It takes a strong person to resist the blandishments of mainstream conservatism and speak the truth irrespective of whose ox is gored. There are few people with such courage.

IR: You mention on your “About” page that a “black conservative” tends “to be identified as a self-hating person who is simply a puppet for white conservatives.” Are “white” and “black” conservatisms reconcilable?

Chidike: Mainstream conservatism—as it currently exists—and authentic black conservatism cannot cohabit. They must be separate movements. As it stands, mainstream conservatives have no use for solution-oriented black conservatives. This is something that could conceivably change in the future; however, it should not be something that solution-oriented black conservatives wait for.

IR: Many are concerned about the rise of alt-Right and nationalist white supremacy movements. If these groups are indeed on the rise, how should we resist them?

Chidike: In order to resist white supremacy, the truth needs to be told about the movement. First, people need to be serious about understanding white supremacist stratagems. The fact that “alt-right” has even become a name that is used for white supremacists shows the power of their propaganda. White supremacists are experts at what I call nomenclatural shapeshifting. White supremacists used to be comfortable being called white supremacists. When the phrase “white supremacy” was sufficiently anathematized, they switched to “white nationalism.” The shift was so seamless that some people today still erroneously believe there is a fundamental ideological difference between white supremacists and white nationalists. Because white supremacy under the label “white nationalism” has been attacked successfully, white supremacists are now using the term “alt-right.” In many ways, the ideology of white supremacy operates like a deceptive for-profit college. When people start finding out the truth about the ideology, white supremacists surreptitiously change names in an effort to rebrand and save their image. There is no ideological difference between the Ku Klux Klan and the alt-right. The only difference is one of packaging—and media outlets are often complicit in this repackaging.

In order to resist white supremacy, conservatives need to be honestly self-critical. Mainstream conservatives have the tendency to pretend that every unflattering remark made about conservatives is a liberal invention. Mainstream conservatives are embarrassingly incapable of self-reflection, and it is the reason why the movement cannot attract and keep genuine superstars. Hucksters and opportunists rise to the top of mainstream conservatism because mainstream conservatives never want to listen to people who tell them the unpleasant truth.

One major truth that mainstream conservatives must address is that they have coddled white supremacists and promoted white supremacy. Rather than pretending as though this is only an allegation from lying liberals, it is time for conservatives to tell themselves the truth. The heads of National Review, for example, fire writers every few years for “going too far,” but they never ask the question: “How did so many white supremacists get on staff in the first place?” When has National Review ever addressed Buckley’s support for Jim Crow in the South? Mainstream conservatives think issues should be swept under the rug, and the only time one should discuss race is to point out that the Democratic Party was the party of Jim Crow. It never occurs to them that although racism does not have a permanent political residence, liberal Democrats have largely resolved their issues with overt racism. Conservative Republicans cannot say the same.

Jason Richwine is another example of the right’s coddling of white supremacists. Richwine is an alt-right figure who was plucked from the fringes to work as a policy wonk at the Heritage Foundation. Although Richwine does have a PhD from Harvard, why would any respectable conservative organization choose a white supremacist to work as a policy wonk? Conservatives cannot keep hiring white supremacists to work at leading think tanks and magazines only to turn around and pretend not to know why conservatism is associated with white supremacy. It is intellectually dishonest to do so, but this is what mainstream conservatives have done for years.

The best way for mainstream conservatives to resist white supremacy is to produce self-critical leaders—not self-promotional swindlers. Mainstream conservatives need to assess carefully the various ways they have coddled and promoted white supremacy. There is a reason why white supremacists choose to associate with the right. Rather than pretending that linking the mainstream right to the alt-right is merely liberal slander, mainstream conservatives need to be much more truthful to themselves.

IR: Many on the left associate any form of “conservatism” with white supremacy, because the principles of Western civilization that conservatism aligns with are perceived as inextricably linked to slavery and colonialism. How do you respond?

Chidike: Unfortunately, while this line of argument is wholly fallacious, it is the kind of reasoning that conservatives have fostered. The dogged refusal of mainstream conservatives to meaningfully distance themselves from noxious characters is why this perspective persists. In any event, the notion that white supremacy and conservatism are a package deal is logically unsupportable.

Racism is not baked into either conservative or liberal philosophy. While liberals have largely dealt with overt racism on their side, the idea that liberals can simply wipe away their history of racism—as if the history was written with a dry-erase marker on a whiteboard—is risible.

The historical racism of liberals cannot be disputed. Margaret Sanger was a liberal, and she was a racist eugenicist whose vision for Planned Parenthood was the extermination of the black race. Woodrow Wilson was a progressive Democratic president who literally caused the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan by showing the racist film The Birth of a Nation in the White House in 1915. There is no plausible argument that can be made that Wilson was representing a conservative worldview. For all the talk of LBJ being a liberal Democratic civil rights hero, very little attention is paid to the fact that he was an arrant anti-black racist who recognized the political opportunity in civil rights for blacks, but he did not genuinely believe in racial equality.

Liberals enjoy engaging in the rhetorical prestidigitation of claiming that the parties switched places, so all the good policies promoted by the Republican Party are really attributable to liberal ideology. By contrast, conservatives, they argue, are responsible for everything negative about American public policy. However, any serious look at American history reveals that racism is not something that can be understood as a liberal or a conservative phenomenon. It is something that is a deep part of the history of the nation. The notion that support for slavery, colonialism, and/or racism can be found exclusively on the left or on the right is a partisan charade.

IR: Who are some of your heroes past and present?

Chidike: This is an interesting question. I have many influences, but it would be best to limit it to three major ones.

Thomas Sowell is definitely one of my influences, but I must make an important distinction. Sowell’s books are far superior to his columns. I stopped reading Sowell’s columns before he retired because they were extremely disappointing, and I did not want to lose respect for him. Comparing Sowell’s books to his later columns is the perfect example of how mainstream conservatism deteriorates the production of brilliant black minds. Also, Sowell’s decision to blurb white supremacist books, most notably White Girl Bleed a Lot by Colin Flaherty, was among the worst decisions of his career. I find that those who enjoyed Sowell’s columns in the last years before his retirement were likely not serious readers of his books. Any serious reader of Sowell’s books would notice the conspicuous difference in quality between his books and later columns. My sneaking suspicion is that Sowell made the calculation that his intellectual legacy would be judged on the basis of his sensational books—not his mediocre, hacky columns. Sowell’s books are some of the most life-changing texts I have ever read; they were hugely influential to my philosophical and intellectual development.

Carter G. Woodson is also one of my influences. His book The Mis-Education of the Negro is one of the most important books I have ever read. The book gives people like me the blueprint of how to be a free-market advocate and pro-black at the same time. What I adore about Woodson is that he was not just pro-black in the American sense, but he had a deep understanding of the achievements of Africans. Moreover, he understood that publicizing these achievements is integral to achieving racial equality. Woodson shows that belief in the power of markets does not have to coincide with self-hatred and anti-blackness. It is curious that Woodson is an ignored thinker on the black right. That is probably directly attributable to the prominence of fame-oriented black conservatism and the scarcity of solution-oriented black conservatives.

Lastly, Chinua Achebe, the Father of African Literature, is also one of my influences. While Achebe did not identify as conservative and was resolutely leftist, there is no Igbo writer who came after Achebe who can honestly claim not to have been inspired by him. His critiques of racism, colonialism, and white supremacy were exceedingly powerful, and they have influenced my writings and worldview considerably. While he is justly celebrated internationally for his literature, his nonfiction essays are brilliant. I read them constantly and always find them to be sources of great inspiration and wisdom.
--------------
The Intercollegiate Review (IR) is published by Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) and is dedicated to advancing the principles that make America free, virtuous, and prosperous. ISI shared this article with the editor of ARRA News Service.

Tags: Black Conservatism, in America Today, Intercollegiate Review, Intercollegiate, Studies Institute, interview, Chidike Okeem To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 2:45 PM - Post Link

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home


national debt
Don't miss anything!
Subscribe to the
ARRA News Service
It's FREE & No Ads!

You will receive a verification email
& must validate you subscribed!

You Then Receive One Email Each AM
With Prior Days Articles / Toons / More


Also, Join us at:
Facebook.com/ARRANewsService


Recent Posts:
Personal Tweets by the editor:
Dr. Bill - OzarkGuru
#Conservative #Constitution #NRA #GunRights #military 22 yr #veteran #professor #Christian #ProLife #TCOT #SGP #CCOT #schoolchoice #fairtax Married-50+yrs #MAGA


Action Links!
Arkansas State Senators
AR State Representatives
Arkansas Governor Office
Arkansas Attorney General
Bankrupting America
US House of Representatives
US Senators
Family Research Council
GrassFire
NumbersUSA
Ballotpedia
Judgepedia
Sunshine Review

Facebook Accts - Dr. Bill Smith
Pages:
ARRA News Service
Arkansans Against Big Government
Alley-White Am. Legion #52
Catholics & Protestants United Against Discrimination
End Taxpayer Funding of NPR
Overturn Roe V. Wade
Prolife Soldiers
Project Wildfire 4 Life
Republican Liberty Caucus of Arkansas
The Gold Standard
US Atty Gen Loretta Lynch, aka Eric Holder, Must Go
Veterans for Sarah Palin
Why Vote for Hillary (Satire)
FB Groups:
Arkansas For Sarah Palin
Arkansas Conservative Caucus
Arkansas County Tea Party
Arkansans' Discussion Group on National Issues
Blogs for Borders
Conservative Solutions
Conservative Voices
Defend Marriage -- Arkansas
FairTax
FairTax Nation
Arkansas for FairTax
Friends of the TEA Party in Arkansas
Freedom Roundtable
Let's Mine AR Lignite NOW!
Pro-Life Rocks - Arkansas
Republican Network
Republican Liberty Caucus of AR
Reject the U.N.

Patriots
Exchange
Links

Request Via
Article Comment

Links to ARRA News
A Patriotic Nurse
Agora Associates
a12iggymom's Blog
America, You Asked For It!
Americans for a Free Republic
America's Best Choice
America's Whatchtower
An Ol’ Broad’s Ramblings
ARRA Twitter
As A Matter of Fact
As The Crackerhead Crumbles
Baaad Media!
Black & Right
Blogs For Borders
Blogs for Palin
Blow the Trumpet Ministry
Boot Berryism
Cap'n Bob & the Damsel
Chicago Ray Report
Chuck Baldwin - links
Citizen Pamphleteer
Common Cents
Conservative Hideout
Conservative Observer AZ
Conservative Voices
Conway Real Deal
Defeat Obama's Agenda
Diana's Corner
eGOP News
Florida Pundit
Franklin Online Outreach
Freedom For US Now
Free Zone Media Center
For God and Liberty
Garland County Republicans
Greater Fitchburg For Life
Guns and Religion
Lasting Liberty Blog
Liberal Isn't Amy
Liberty's Lifeline
Maggie's Notebook
Marathon Pundit
Monkey in the Middle
NASA Satellites
No Runny Eggs
Okie Campaigns
Our Voices Arkansas
Patriot's Corner
ProLifeBlogs
Publius Forum
Randy's Roundtable
Real Debate Wisconsin
Religion and Morality
Right on Issues that Matter
Right Reason
Rocking on the Right Side
Saber Point
Saline Watchdog
Secure Arkansas
Sentry Journal
Sultan Knish
Teresamerica
Stop Obama Satire & Cartoons
The Arkansas Patriot
The Audacity of Logic
The Blue Eye View
The Bobo Files
The Born Again Americans
TEA Party Cartoons
The Conservative Citizen
The Foxhole | Unapologetic Patriot
The Liberty Republican
The Lid
The Looking Spoon
The Maritime Sentry
The O Word
The Path to Tyranny Blog
The Real Polichick
TOTUS
Truth About Obamacare
Twitter @ARRA
Warning Signs
Women's Prayer & Action
WyBlog

Editor's Managed Twitter Accounts
Twitter Dr. Bill Smith @arra
Twitter Arkansas @GOPNetwork
Twitter @BootBerryism
Twitter @SovereignAllies
Twitter @FairTaxNation

Editor's Recommended Orgs
Accuracy in Media (AIM)
American Committment
American Culture & Faith Institute
American Enterprise Institute
American Family Business Institute
Americans for Limited Government
Americans for Prosperity
Americans for Tax Reform
American Security Council Fdn
AR Faith & Ethics Council
Arkansas Policy Foundation
Ayn Rand Institute
Bill of Rights Institute
Campaign for Working Families
Center for Individual Freedom
Center for Immigration Studies
Center for Just Society
Center for Freedom & Prosperity
Citizens Against Gov't Waste
Citizens in Charge Foundstion
Coalition for the Future American Worker
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Concerned Veterans for America
Concerned Women for America
Declaration of Am. Renewal
Eagle Forum
FairTax
Family Research Council
Family Security Matters
Franklin Center for Gov't & Public Integrity
Gingrich Productions
Global Incident Map
Great Americans
Gold Standard 2012 Project
Gun Owners of America (GOA)
Heritage Action for America
David Horowitz Freedom Center
Institute For Justice
Institute for Truth in Accounting
Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Judicial Watch
Less Government
Media Reseach Center
National Center for Policy Analysis
National Right To Work Foundation
National Rifle Association (NRA)
National Rifle Association (NRA-ILA)
News Busters
O'Bluejacket's Patriotic Flicks
Open Secrets
Presidential Prayer Team
Religious Freedom Coalition
Renew America
Ron Paul Institute
State Policy Network
Tax Foundation
Tax Policy Center
The Club for Growth
The Federalist
The Gold Standard Now
The Heritage Foundation
The Leadership Institute
Union Facts



Blogs For Borders

Reject the United Nations

Adopt Our Troops in Prayer


Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11

FairTax Nation on FaceBook
Friends of Israel
Blog Feeds
Syndicated - Get the ARRA News Service feed Syndicated!
ARRA Blog Feed

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Add to The Free Dictionary

Powered by Blogger


  • How To Exchange Links!
  • Comments by contributing authors or other sources do not necessarily reflect the position the editor, other contributing authors, sources, readers, or commenters. No contributors, or editors are paid for articles, images, cartoons, etc. While having reported on and promoting the beliefs associated with the ARRA, this blog/site is not controlled by nor funded by the ARRA. This site/blog does not advertise for money or services nor does it solicit funding for its support.
  • Fair Use: This site/blog may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material as provided for in section Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Per said section, the material on this site/blog is distributed without profit to readers to view for the expressed purpose of viewing the included information for research, educational, or satirical purposes. Any person/entity seeking to use copyrighted material shared on this site/blog for purposes that go beyond "fair use," must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
  • © 2006 - 2017 ARRA News Service
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.