Allen West: The hunt for black conservatives

“I always knew it would have to be a black president who was approved by the elites and the media, because anybody that they didn’t agree with, they would take apart.” —Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

On February 25, 2012, the headline read: “West: I’m Black by Birth Not  by Choice” and it was front  and center on a blog called The story covered an interview I supposedly gave John King on CNN. It featured  quotes in which I appeared to reject my black identity and admit shame about who I was. It included a really oddball photo of me as well. You can imagine the outrage and hate e-mails sent my way. Old friends still serving in the military called in disbelief. Even my own relatives picked up the phone to ask, “How could you?”

The only problem is, it never happened. There was never an interview with John King on CNN, and the so-called quotes had no quotation marks. But way, way, way at the end of the “story,” there was a little disclaimer indicating that this website’s content was purely satire. Now, how many people do you think noticed the disclaimer, let alone read it? And do you think either CNN or John King took the time to step forward and dispute the story or call out Nah! Of course not.

The point of the piece was to attack my character and, in the words of Justice Thomas, take me apart. I’ve lost count of the stories attacking my honorable service in the military and characterizing me as a war criminal—despite my honorable discharge. Because I like to ride a motorcycle and I occasionally wrote columns for an enthusiasts’ magazine, I’ve been called a misogynist. It’s frankly appalling. But if you read Saul Alinsky’s  Rules for Radicals, you’ll see this is tactic number twelve: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize  it.” Tactic twelve has been enthusiastically employed by the white liberal media and their black gatekeepers. The sad thing is, these shenanigans really seem to work—and what does that say about the general population?

I remember how in the film The Hunt for Red October, the US and Soviet Atlantic submarine fleets were seeking a state-of-the-art submarine. Now it’s “the Hunt for Black Conservatives.” We are relentlessly pursued by the entire fleet of liberal progressive media and elites. And their target is not limited to modern conservatives. For generations liberal historians have tried to destroy the legacy of Booker T. Washington. Why is it that any philosophy in the black community that differs from the established liberal canon is viciously attacked?

In 2013 a plainspoken yet astonishing man by the name of Benjamin Carson dared to break a taboo at the National Prayer Breakfast. In the presence of His Majesty President Barack Hussein Obama (and with cameras rolling), this brilliant pediatric neurosurgeon had the guts to challenge the dogma of the “community organizer” and question his brand of progressive socialism. Not surprisingly, after Dr. Carson’s comments were broadcast across the nation, the hunt was on. Carson was immediately attacked and scrutinized for simply exercising his right to free speech.

However, what I find most disconcerting about this and other attacks on black conservatives is the manner in which the black community itself stands by and does nothing when white liberal progressives demean conservative blacks. In fact, some black folks even promote it. During my reelection campaign in 2012, the opposition ran an advertisement depicting me with a gold tooth and boxing gloves punching white women,  including a senior citizen, and stealing money from black families. Now, imagine if conservatives had run an advertisement like that against a black Democratic member of Congress? You wouldn’t hear the end of it. In my case, however, there was no outcry from the usual suspects, such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or Ben Jealous. As a matter of fact, when NAACP Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Washington Bureau Chief Hilary  O. Shelton was asked about the advertisement in a TV interview, he replied, “I thought they made him look rather nice in a suit.” Excuse me?

Deneen Borelli wrote about the overt practice of demonizing blacks who don’t toe the progressive line in her book, Blacklash. She provides countless  examples of the duplicitous hypocrisy of the Left, always crying racism against  those who oppose their agenda and the twenty- first-century economic plantation.

In 1991, during his nomination hearings, the future Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas took an unrelenting media beating that he described as “a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for  themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen  to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the US Senate rather than hung from a tree.”

Today the hunt for the black conservative leads to a metaphorical tree, but the end goal is still death—career death. This relentless pursuit comes from the very same political party that gave the  black  community the  Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow  laws, literacy tests, poll taxes, and literal lynching. In 2004, during the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, syndicated political cartoonist Jeff Danziger depicted then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice as a barefoot wet nurse. Danziger had Rice speaking  like Prissy, Miss Scarlett’s uneducated maid  in Gone  With  the  Wind, saying, “I  knows  all about  aluminum tubes! (Correction) I don’t know nuthin’ about aluminum tubes.” Where was the outcry  from  black leaders? Where were the protests and calls for Danziger to be fired and for all the papers running the cartoon to issue an apology?

All we heard at the time were crickets. Yet President Obama and the white liberal progressive media cried racism when UN Ambassador Susan Rice was challenged about her claims to the American people that the  September 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi was simply a protest about a YouTube video that got out of hand.

There’s nothing subtle about this, and there’s no doubt the hunt is on. Just ask Harry Alford, Ken Blackwell, Deneen Borelli, Janice Rogers Brown, Herman Cain, Jennifer Carroll, Ben Carson, Ward Connerly, Larry Elder, Michel Faulkner, Niger Innis, Alphonso Jackson, E.W. Jackson, Kevin Jackson, Alan Keyes, Alveda King, Mia Love, Lenny McAllister, Angela McGlowan, Rod Paige, Star Parker, Jesse Lee Peterson, Michael Powell, Tim Scott, K. Carl Smith, Thomas Sowell, Michael Steele, Shelby Steele, Lynn Swann, Tara Wall, J.C. Watts Jr., David Webb, Armstrong Williams, Walter Williams, Crystal Wright, and many others. They will tell you plainly that the attacks, the vitriol, and the disdain with which they must contend are unending. But we shall not be deterred from the fight.

The Left must destroy black conservatives because it cannot afford to have freethinking, independent-minded black Americans. If we begin to pull away from the dependency society and stand for the fundamental principles that once made us a proud community, the Left loses.

But when the Left wins, our community loses. The result of such blind loyalty is that many black voters have come to resemble Vladimir  Lenin’s “useful idiots.” They make up an electorate that is completely taken for granted, and no one even bothers to listen. Why is it that a tiny special interest  group  can push  gay marriage,  but the  black  community stays  mired  in record unemployment? How is it that the Hispanic  lobby can force an executive order on immigration  policy, but the president relaxes the work  requirement standards on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), essentially keeping  the  dependency  class growing?  Why isn’t there a strong voice addressing the issue of education in the black community? Why would there be, when one of President Obama’s first actions in 2009 was canceling the Washington, DC, school voucher program while sending his daughters to tony Sidwell Friends School?

Why don’t the media address these issues?

Because as Justice Thomas said, the elites want someone who believes as they do—someone who supports progressive socialist policies. Nothing has changed since nearly two hundred years ago, when the Left supported W.E.B. Du Bois against Booker T. Washington.

The problem for leftists today is that they no longer face individuals who just fade away and stay in the shadows. When I travel across the country, I meet more and more blacks who come up and shake my hand in agreement. A new generation of young black conservatives is emerging. You find them hanging out with Andrew Simon and Richard Ivory at Hip-Hop Republican. You see young bright  lights springing  up on college campuses—people like Nicholas  Buford, a sophomore at Valdosta  State University, and Langston  Bowens, a fresh- man at Hillsdale College. I’m deeply encouraged by what I am seeing. Just as I believe there’s a conservative resurgence in America in general, so shall it be in the black community.

The hunt for the black conservative is on, but slowly the hunter is becoming the hunted. In his superb documentary, Fear of a Black Republican, Kevin Williams delivers a spot-on analysis of a movement that is growing. There may not be a wholesale shift in the  black community, but if we have enough movement, it  will make a difference. The mainstream media have a clear tendency to recruit other blacks to denigrate and demean black conservatives. The mainstream media have sought to disrespect and deny the existence of black conservatism, but they’re losing the  battle—and they realize it. Heck, the fact that this book is being published is another counterstrike against the liberal progressive media. I fully expect it to be ignored or mercilessly picked at.

But as I’ve said, the soul of our souls is conservative. The big lie that has resulted in the twenty-first-century economic plantation will be exposed and defeated, and our community will be restored. Black conservatives are fighting back. Though our numbers may appear small, we have the tenacity of the three hundred Spartans. We are making a stand, and “we shall overcome,  someday.”


Excerpted from Guardian of the Republic by Allen West with Michele Hickford. Copyright © 2014 by Allen West. Excerpted by permission of Crown Forum, a division of Random House, LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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