Former Florida Governor and Republican 2016 Presidential VERY hopeful, Jeb Bush, shared his thoughts about how he planned to bring black voters into his “Big Tent.” At an event in South Carolina this past Thursday, Bush said:
“Our message is one of hope and aspiration.”
But he didn’t stop there. He continued,
“It isn’t one of division and get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff. Our message is one that is uplifting — that says you can achieve earned success.”
Roughly translated from “Microaggressive Conservative Speak”,
“We want to tell black voters that they need to stop whining and asking for handouts. And that they need to start working harder to achieve success. There is no such thing as systematic racism. Blacks can actually earn their success as opposed to be given opportunities because of affirmative action. I want to use my words to uplift black voters while reserving my actions for maintaining the status quo that our precious donors want us to protect.”
But wait, maybe I’m taking Bush out of context? Maybe Bush really does understand the challenges and complex dynamics blacks face in America on a day to day basis. But then again, there is this quote from Jeb’s book written 20 years ago. Jeb’s book was titled “Profiles In Character”, in it he wrote this,
“Since the 1960s, the politics of victimization has steadily intensified. Being a victim gives rise to certain entitlements, benefits, and preferences in society. The surest way to get something in today’s society is to elevate one’s status to that of the oppressed. Many of the modern victim movements — the gay rights movement, the feminist movement, the black empowerment movement — have attempted to get people to view themselves as part of a smaller group deserving of something from society. It is a major deviation from the society envisioned by Martin Luther King, who would have had people judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin — or sexual preference or gender or ethnicity.”
Jeb tries to neutralize movements and organizations devoted to minority causes while elevating conservatism as the only answer to the challenges minorities face, which are no greater than the challenges straight white people face.
Jeb also promotes a major conservative fallacy, often used to De-legitimatize modern day black civil rights movements. He suggests that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Would agree with current day conservative messages and policies.
Yes the same Dr. King who strongly opposed the Vietnam War. Here are a few excerpts from a speech Dr. King gave to an audience at Stanford University in 1967,
“Now in order to develop these massive action programs we’ve got to get rid of one or two false notions that continue to exist in our society. One is the notion that only time can solve the problem of racial injustice.
I’m sure you’ve heard this idea. It is the notion almost that there is something in the very flow of time that will miraculously cure all evils. And I’ve heard this over and over again. There are those, and they are often sincere people, who say to Negroes and their allies in the white community, that we should slow up and just be nice and patient and continue to pray, and in a hundred or two hundred years the problem will work itself out because only time can solve the problem. I think there is an answer to that myth. And it is that time is neutral. It can be used either constructively or destructively.
And I’m absolutely convinced that the forces of ill-will in our nation, the extreme rightists in our nation, have often used time much more effectively than the forces of good will. And it may well be that we will have to repent in this generation, not merely for the vitriolic words of the bad people and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say wait on time. Somewhere, we must come to see that social progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals. And without this hard work time itself becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation. And so we must help time, and we must realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”
“Now, I would be the first one to say that there is real need for a lot of heart-changing in our country. And I believe in changing the heart. I preach about it. I believe in the need for conversion in many instances, and regeneration, to use theological terms. And I would be the first to say that if the race problem in America is to be solved, the white person must treat the Negro right, not merely because the law says it, but because it’s natural, because it’s right, and because the Negro is his brother. And so, I realize that if we are to have a truly integrated society, men and women will have to rise to the majestic heights of being obedient to the unenforceable.”
“Extremist rightists” Dr. King? Say it ain’t so? Maybe Dr. King was directionally challenged? Surely he couldn’t have talking about conservatives? Yes I know the “Rightists” were technically “Democrats” at the time. Conservatives love to point that out, as though the racist Democrats would caucus with the progressives of today versus the Tea Party Republicans. This kind of intellectual dishonesty is a hallmark of the modern day Republican party.
Jeb Bush can not relate with black voters in general, because he and black voters speak two different languages. People like Bush think all cultures should assimilate, which is another way of saying they need to “whiten up.” Far-right wing Conservatives in general are not comfortable with different cultures expressing themselves in ways they are not accustomed to. Bush and company consider characters like Steve Urkle and Dr. Huxtable to be “acceptable” prototypes for assimilated blacks. I’m not knocking those fictional characters mind you; however, conservatives don’t love those characters because of their intellect. White conservatives, like Bush, accept people who reflect their own whiteness. Assimilation is their true definition of what it means to be an American if you’re not white.
Here’s a video report from the Young Turks,