National call

Illinois Black Conservatives Join National Call for Deracialization of Political Speech – Wirepoints

From: Matt Rosenberg

After widespread racist condemnations from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for his support for a controversial majority decision that returned abortion to the states, conservatives and black moderates released a national open letter encouraging restraint and sobriety. They are calling out those who launched “racist, vicious and ugly personal attacks” on Thomas after his supplemental majority opinion was published.

The authors and signatories of the letter make an important point: the public dialogue has been rude and racialized, and it must stop. We would add this: Failure to do so means losing sight of the issues that, in fact, affect black Americans the most. These include the failure of urban schools and criminal court systems, and the growing crime that threatens black communities. Ultimately, the tone of public dialogue must move away from cheap cries of “racism” or “selling out” whenever a white or black participant strays from elite-sanctioned analyzes and remedies. .

You already know that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot got wide national coverage by publicly and rudely insulting Thomas after the abortion decision. Our problem was with Lightfoot disgracing his office and publicly losing control of his temper for at least the fifth time – a type of failure that the University of Chicago says is at the root of too much of the city’s deadly violence. This implicitly implies the bargain we all must make for public discourse on difficult issues. We have to be civil to know how to be smart.

The organizers and signatories of the letter say the liberal values ​​of diversity and tolerance cannot be applied selectively, but must be extended to all. The letter is supported by signatories including no less than ten black Illinois, including Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor Stephanie Trussell. One of the organizers of the letter is Chicago South Side native Glenn Loury.also an economist at Brown University, and a prominent author and talk show host.

Let’s dig deeper into what really happened to prompt the publication of the open letter. Next we will hear from one of the signatories from Illinois. She is a young black stockbroker and financial advisor named Patricia Easley from Chicago’s Austin neighborhood on the city’s West Side.

With co-organizer Robert Woodson of the Washington, DC-based Woodson Center, Loury and the letter’s signers pointedly criticize a barrage of degrading racial slurs from celebrities, the Twitter verse and others at Thomas. Many have suggested that by joining a majority of tribunals whose decision angered many abortion rights advocates, he was not actually black.

For days after the court ruling, the Twitter hashtag #UncleClarence was fashionable and is still in use. The hashtag was meant to conjure up the phrase “Uncle Tom,” a longstanding epithet used primarily by black people against other black people they want to present as subservient to white people. Black actor Samuel L. Jackson joined the #UncleClarence chorus. Other Inadmissible Twitter posts collated by suggested that Thomas be assassinated or the Supreme Court be burned down. One of the Twitter arsonists — note that many posts have now been deleted — was a reporter for respected tech publication Engadget, according to This is how acceptable such rhetoric has become.

Last year a Twitter hashtag of #UncleTim was used in a ad-hoc Twitter campaign versus US Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina. The Black Republican in response to President Joe Biden’s 2021 State of the Union Address said, “America is not a racist country. “It is a mistake to try to use our painful past to dishonestly try to shut down debates in the present.”

It is telling and disheartening that for uttering this view, Senator Scott has been condemned as a traitor to his race. The reaction to Scott’s words reveals how critical the victim narrative is for those positioning themselves as racial justice advocates. The flip side is that by trying to censor counter-arguments to the black victimization narrative, they are themselves practicing an insidious form of racism by enacting that black people – in the 2020s – remain largely incapable.

As a society, city, and state, we need full recognition of black power and black self-agency to shape better outcomes.

This is where the political and racial censorship targeted in the Open Letter retards social progress. Worse still, the definition of blackness, the restriction of what it can mean, has been propagated on the campaign trail by no less a political figure than the putative leader of our nation.

President Joe Biden got it wrong in the same essential way as the critics of Scott and Thomas. As CNN reportedduring the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden told black national radio host Charlamagne tha God, … “if you have a hard time figuring out if you’re for me or for Trump, then you’re not really black .”

Contrary to this now common way of enforcing the limits of political speech for black people, the signatories of the letter write: “We, the undersigned, condemn the barrage of racist, vicious and ugly personal attacks we are witnessing against Clarence Thomas – a sitting judge of the Supreme Court. Whether calling him “Uncle Tom” or questioning his “darkness” about his jurisprudence, the denigration of this man, his faith and his character is abominable.

The letter continues, “He absolutely does not deserve the vitriol directed at him. Libel has become too convenient a tool to eviscerate those who dare oppose the mainstream agenda, especially when it comes to a black man who is a dissenter. The letter adds that some of the signatories support Thomas’ votes and opinions on the tribunal and others do not; but these are not in question. It is a matter of conduct, decency, intellectual diversity and tolerance, they argue. The letter concludes: “…to remain silent would be to implicitly condone these poisonous schemes…”

Illinois signatories other than Trussell include:

Patricia Rae Easley of Black Excellence Media; Helen Tyner, Parents for a Better Englewood; Latasha Fields, South Side lay minister and homeschooling advocate; Brian Mullins, of the Black Community Collaborative; Dr. Felicity Joy Solomon; Jimmy Lee Tillman II, Founder and President of Martin Luther King’s Republicans; and Dr. Eric M. Wallace, Freedom Journal Institute.

We reached out to Easley to find out more about why she joined the signatories of the open letter. She is a stockbroker and registered financial adviser and lives in the Austin community of Chicago on the West Side. She is in her thirties and the mother of a 10-year-old child. She is also the host of “Black Excellence Hour,” a weekly conservative radio show Sundays at 5 p.m. on WVON-AM from Chicago.

She told Wirepoints: “I think the prevailing idea is that people can just disrespect black conservatives, and we’re sick of that…people just believe they can…say what they want when they want. want it, without any responsibility. That’s what caught my attention. It’s too much.”

Easley added that unfortunately, social media can be a key driver of online vitriol like that directed at Thomas for his racial bona fide after his decision in the abortion case.

She said: “We’re in a social media environment where everyone believes they have to be ‘liked’. Everyone is hungry for “likes”. And so people believe that if they attack your character or your network, you’ll care more about your social capital than your political capital. And that’s why people attack people personally, but I don’t give a damn. I ran Black Chicago For Trump. I had a Trump sign in my backyard. On the West Side of Chicago. Yeah. So? I pay taxes. My people picked up a lot of cotton. My people harvested a lot of cotton in this country. For me to organize my front yard as I see fit.

Easley said she was a longtime member of the Chicago Westside NAACP. She represents her opinions with candor and rejects classification based on race or politics. One reason: Some national leaders of the NAACP over the past two decades have fallen prey to the same racialized instincts that some of Justice Thomas’s recent attackers have also suffered from. In the early and mid-2000s, the NAACP led Julian Bond so what Kwesi Mfume both referred to black conservatives as “ventriloquist dummies.” A new NAACP boss promised this kind of rhetoric would end, but this is not the case.

The NAACP’s nationwide green light to repeated racist attacks on black conservatives has been followed in recent years by similar attacks on President Trump. General Surgeon Jerome Adams and HUD Secretary Ben Carson, among others. All of this has made the landscape safe to try to stifle black conservatives with race-based attacks.

If Loury and Woodson’s open letter, with signatories including Black Illinois Against Political Intolerance, can help emphasize that the pigment neither prescribes nor outlaws politics, it will be for the greater good of all.

Isn’t it time we moved on?