In it for the money

For the umpteenth time I have heard the claim that black conservatives are conservative for the money it gets them. Actually, you don't even have to be a self-confessed conservative to have this charge leveled at you. Just a mere hint of conservatism and you're just in it for the money. Take this comment for example:

"Mr Williams soul may be looking back in wonder, but his hand is firmly planted in the wallet pocket of Fox News."
Posted by: arcadia at June 19, 2004 11:19 AM


This comment came from a World Magazine blog post containing this statement:
"Today, blacks have become a dependable part of the Democratic base. But black journalist and usually liberal leaning Fox commentator Juan Williams thinks that President Bush and the Republicans, if they play their cards right, could win at least 20% of the black vote."
Happy Juneteenth Day

(La Shawn Barber has a post about Mr. Williams' article with some good analysis and without the "he's in it for the money" comments.)

It would seem that any uttering of any thing that might be considered conservative or favourable to conservatives by anyone with brown skin means that that person has been bought off. Bought off by whom I wonder? If there really is someone out there paying black folk to pay lip service to Republican and conservative causes would someone please give them my name? I've yet to see a check to pay me for holding my conservative views or for voting Republican and I'd really like to get some new furniture. This message goes out to the Fund for Buying off Race Traitor Republican and Conservative Negroes, I ain't get no check yet y'all.

It is utterly insulting, and dare I say racist, to claim that a black person would only hold conservative views to get over and get paid. Come on people! Is that the best objection that you have? That all real true and authentic black people would never support a Republican or issues supported by Republicans?

John McWhorter addresses this phenomenon that he calls "the black conservative stereotype" in the afterword of his book Losing the Race: Self sabotage in black America (arguably the bible of the black conservative movement).

"In the consciousness of the black wing of what Gore Vidal has called 'the chattering classes,' there is a bogeyman figure, the 'black conservative' who criticizes the black race out of a desire to make money and be on TV, the media presumably frothing at the mouth to fete him.

Then there is the opinion that it is somehow inappropriate for me and black writers who agree with me to be paid for our work or have it publicized. Yet those making this charge have no problem with people like Nathan McCall and June Jordan getting book advances, exposure, and speaking gigs (in their case much more lucrative than anything a Thomas Sowell gets). The idea that I am suddenly a 'hustler' under the same conditions is based on a conviction--sincere, not just a put-on--that I spend my evenings poring entrancedly over my Ishmael Reed but then go out on the stump declaiming about 'victimology' to line my pockets and point gleefully at myself in a suit on
Politically Incorrect."

Apparently this 'black conservative' stereotype, and all of the ridicule that goes along with it, has been expanded to include usually liberal commentators who think that the Republican party might appeal to some black voters.

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