Friday, June 28, 2013

An “Illiberal” Liberalism: Why Black Folk Can’t Get Ahead

While many people are loyal to a single news outlet in their homes, my wife and I take in a considerable amount of daily news from a variety of viewpoints – domestic and foreign, liberal and conservative, and much more.  A few nights ago, Fox News featured an audience of articulate African American citizens who identified themselves as “conservatives.”  What caught our ear was host Sean Hannity’s teaser for the show: he announced that African American conservatives “don’t enjoy freedom of speech” in their own country.  With our curiosity piqued, we tuned in.

As we listened to the audience describe the disdain they had experienced from fellow African Americans for their conservative affiliation, we realized that, experientially, we had much in common with them.  We don’t subscribe personally to either the conservative or liberal ideology; we have as many agreements with both as we have disagreements. 

Yet with few exceptions, one thing remains fairly consistent: when we express our disagreement with the prevailing “liberal” agenda, we’re often tagged with the same epithets that leftists use to besmirch these conservatives.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

For Whom Will Tomorrow’s Bell Toll? Thoughts On Paula Deen

"A word once spoken can never be taken back..."

So goes the old African proverb, wisdom no doubt gleaned from a lesson that was learned the hard way.

Last week, we all watched the train wreck that resulted in Paula Deen’s removal from the Food Network. Ms. Deen will appropriately have to answer for her workplace atmosphere – she is singularly responsible for the conditions in which her employees worked, and for their treatment while there. If the allegations are true, then feeling shame, remorse and regret for her actions is, in this case, appropriate.*

The deeper problem with Ms. Deen’s story is that the court of public opinion doesn’t exact justice. It cries for vengeance. I wondered, along with several friends, what would happen if people demanded that we be held responsible for the careless words we’ve spoken in the past?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Taking Back the Black Church From Yvette Carnell

Last week, Huffington Post contributor Yvette Carnell published “Why Black Liberals Need to Take Back [The] Black Agenda From The Black Church.”  In it, the founder of the Breaking Brown media hub felt she “made the case” that the Black Church had outlived its political usefulness, and should take a back seat to Black liberals in driving the Black political agenda.  In response to strong criticism from her readers, she released a subsequent article to bring some definition to the large brush strokes with which she painted the Black church, its history and shortcomings.  On her media site, Ms. Carnell promised that this is just the beginning of a larger analysis she will deliver on the Black church, and its relation to current Black politics.

Her writings left us with a few questions: Did she indeed ‘make her case’ regarding the Black Church in these two articles?  Further, what do we need to know about her approach as she presents her forthcoming critique?

Let’s think through her argument together.