This week former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who endorsed Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012, endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. Approximately two weeks ago the National Museum of African American History and Culture in our nation’s capital dissed Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas by ignoring his existence, thereby implying that he shouldn’t serve as a role model for all blacks. If the Smithsonian Institution isn’t careful, some blacks might get the impression that black leftists are worthy of praise but those within the black community that are diverse in thought are not. It’s almost as if we’re being trained how to think by both white and black liberal elitists.
It takes courage to take a stand as a black conservative in the public square. You don’t receive accolades from BET, MTV, or the E channel for coming out of the closet as a black conservative – and now we can add the freakin’ (can you tell I’m a little upset?) Smithsonian to the list. In fact, it’s just the opposite. There’s no lifetime achievement award bestowed upon you by the NAACP; you’re more likely to be treated as a pariah by fellow blacks throughout your entire life. Nevertheless, as Dr. Laura Schlessinger used to say on her radio program, “Just because you’re the only voice crying in the wilderness, it doesn’t mean you’re wrong.”
To a smaller degree, Never Trumpers are experiencing the type of backlash black conservatives have endured for decades amongst their very own peers. Many Trumpsters are intolerant of any fellow Republican who doesn’t share their zeal or desire to vote for the GOP presidential nominee. The difference between black conservatives often despised by black Democrats and treated as traitors and the Never Trump movement, however, is that the disdain for Never Trumpers will be short lived. At some point after the election, the conservative movement will have to decide to swallow their pride and reconcile, or face losing national elections for decades to come.
I hope what you’ve picked up on in this column thus far is that it takes courage to go against the cultural grain. Militarily speaking, Colin Powell was a national hero, and he should be treated as such. Having said that, it’s difficult for me not to wonder if his endorsements for Hillary and Obama, some of the most left-wing presidential candidates our nation has ever seen, are indicative of his worldview or solely based on his desire to, dare I say it, be accepted by blacks and society after serving as secretary of state in George W. Bush’s administration. In the vernacular, he wants to keep his “ghetto pass.” Is it a stretch to imagine that Powell would prefer to be treated like a hero amongst his black peers rather than as an outcast like Justice Clarence Thomas? I don’t think so.
Colin Powell, like the rest of us, is a human being full of needs and wants. As ambitious and successful as he’s been throughout his career, it’s easy to understand why leaving a legacy relatively untainted in left-wing academia and being praised and adored by media and blacks alike would be tempting. Nonetheless, for the sake of his own conscience and peace, I hope and pray his motive to endorse left-wing Democrats is sincere, despite the fact that I emphatically disagree with their policies.
I decided a long time ago I’d live my life to the best of my ability to please God rather than people – no matter their skin color or politics. It isn’t always easy. However, speaking as a black Christian conservative myself, when you’re more concerned about having your “eternal pass” revoked rather than your ghetto pass, it’s not so hard either.