June-July '00

Death by the
State on Trial

Notes from the Cultural Wasteland

The Good Negro

A New Kind of

(music reviews)

Social Security

Unholy Alliance:

E-Mail Us
Your Comments


Subscribe to IMPACT

Buy IMPACT T-Shirts

Back Issue Information


The Good Negro

"White conservatives like to have black people denounce affirmative action, welfare , and multiculturalism because blacks are less likely to be called racist and because it makes their platform appear more legitimate." -- Justin Roberts, author of Uncovering the Right On Campus.

I have a strong dislike for black conservatives. It is not really a dislike that originates from hatred. It is more like a dislike that originates from pity.

Seeing how the very word attracts bigots worldwide, I cannot see how some African-Americans can embrace conservatism. I have always said that African-Americans who support conservatives are like Jews who support Nazis.

Many people think of the word "conservative" as an American political term. If one took a worldly view of politics, one would see that conservatism attracts bigots globally, just like here in the US.

I remember seeing a group of white South Africans on television. I can't remember what they were complaining about, but it did have something to do with rights granted to black South Africans. I don't even remember the full name of the group, but I do remember the name contained the word "conservative."

Another thing that comes to mind is conversations I have had with black British people. They have said that the Conservative Party in Britain also attracts more bigots than other political parties.

Now, another thing I have always said is that I don't believe all conservatives are bigots. I also don't believe that all liberals love black folks. A liberal Democrat can wear a white hood just like a conservative Republican. (I know many black folks who believe Clinton might be a closet Klan member.)

As these beliefs exist in my head, I still can't fathom the idea of a black conservative, let alone a black conservative like Ward Connerly. (To give Connerly some credit, he claims to be a libertarian, but libertarians can be just as conservative as their Republican brethren.)

Many folks know Ward Connerly as the black businessman who's on the crusade to end affirmative action. He has been very successful in helping to do away with it in California and Washington. In those states, it is now illegal to base government contracts and college admissions on race and gender.

Connerly and other black conservatives have called affirmative action divisive and racist. They state that Americans should be judged on merit and not by race or gender.

I agree that Americans should be judged on merit. I really do. Race or gender shouldn't matter.

Still, I have a problem with Connerly.

I have seen too many investigative reports on TV that follow the lives of one black and one white. Always on these shows, you see the white getting the better treatment in applying for a job, buying a car, catching a taxi, etc.

Other things come to mind, too, like the fact that women still make less wages than men do for the same job; or the class-action suits against Texaco and Home Depot. (Texaco got it for not fairly promoting blacks and Home Depot got it for not fairly promoting women.)

My belief is that Ward Connerly is a pawn for those who either want to perpetuate bigotry or close their eyes to it.

Many white Americans can't deal with racism. It's too embarrassing for them to accept that members of their own race could inflict such hatred on others just because of skin color. It's also too embarrassing for some whites to realize that their own success may have benefited from white privilege. To say that they benefited from white privilege means that they really didn't work as hard as those who don't have an inherent privilege. This is not to say that white Americans aren't hard workers, but that many white Americans can't deal with the realities of their inherent privilege. It's too embarrassing.

Affirmative action is too much of a reminder to whites that members of their own race don't know how to behave. White supremacy gets a big kick in the ass. It shows that whites are just as screwed up as everyone else.

These are the people who I believe Connerly is pacifying, folks that don't want to deal with bigotry. A minority who speaks out against affirmative action feeds into the belief that the rest of those complaining negros just want a hand-out. Why don't they pull themselves up by their boot-straps like that good negro Ward Connerly?

As this good negro speaks out about the injustice of affirmative action, one can look into his past and see him for the hypocrite he is. In his younger years, Connerly filed his new business as a minority business. He did this to gain contracts. This is one of the very things he's now against.

I wonder what conservatives of all colors think of George Dubya Bush. Because of Daddy Bush, Junior got into in an elite college with a C average. After benefiting from "special privileges" himself, how can George Dubya Bush dislike affirmative action?

It amazes me how some that came from privilege always want to take away the few benefits from the disadvantaged. It reminds me of the big bully that always wants to take the small kid's lunch money.

If Ward Connerly wants to fight bigotry, maybe he should focus some of his attention on non-affirmative action institutions that perpetuate it. What are his views on the class-action suits filed against Home Depot and Texaco? Why don't black conservatives speak out against the racial profiling done by law enforcement?

And this is one thing that shocked the shit out of me!!! According to research done by the Heritage Foundation, Ward Connerly is even a rarity among black conservatives. Most black conservatives, like Gen. Colin Powell, support affirmative action. Say what?!!!

If this is true, why don't we hear the voice of these conservatives? Why are their views on affirmative action left out? Could it be that the only true good negro is the one that speaks against it?

As I still wonder how some black folks can embrace conservatism, another question comes to mind: How can they sleep at night?

Email your feedback on this article to

Make an IMPACT

Other MindPower columns by Patrick Scott Barnes: