From BlackVoices — In a C-Span show called “The Washington Journal,” a caller raised eyebrows by stating that too many black people are calling in to the show. The caller, a guy named “Bill,” who is a North Carolina Republican, stated that C-Span should change their name to “Black-Span,” because “if they [African Americans] are only 10 or 12 percent of the population, there’s no way they seem to be 80 percent of your callers.”
Bill, who actually doesn’t sound like a dumb person, goes on to say that “Every one of ’em [African Americans] thinks that Obama is Jesus Christ and they don’t like when anybody criticizes him.”
I listened to Bill’s comments carefully, because I didn’t think he was coming out of left field. Bill’s theory was that it wasn’t an accident that so many of the C-Span callers just happen to be black. He speculated that he and other conservatives would grow tired of watching C-Span if they didn’t make changes to the callers that were allowed to get through the line. One could easily write Bill off as just another North Carolina yahoo who doesn’t know how to keep his mouth shut. In fact, that’s probably what he is, to a point. His language certainly fails the test of political correctness, and his use of broad generalizations is incredibly problematic.
But when we take a deeper look at Bill’s comments, we can notice the following:
1) Bill’s thoughts are not uncommon, especially in places like North Carolina:There is quite a bit of latent racial hostility all throughout the country toward theAfrican-American community and President Obama. Much of this hostility is thinly disguised as a populist movement. The truth is, though, that Bill was one of the few conservatives brave enough to say some of the things that millions of others are thinking.
2) Bill is right that African Americans are in love with Obama: I don’t believe in falling in love with a politician. It’s like falling in love with a corporation or writing poetry for your pimp. The truth is that African-American support for Obama crosses the line of objective analysis and goes in to the category of idealistic fascination. That is the recipe for disaster in American politics, since our unconditional support significantly weakens our negotiating position with the White House. That’s why the fight between Al Sharpton and Tavis Smiley might actually be a good thing for the African-American community.