I was a high school student when Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated. Then, he was my hero - and he remains so well over 40 years later. Much of this great man's legacy has been implemented.
To hear Professor Reed tell it, blacks are a monolithic group of people whose best interests are served when they can be recipients of redistributionist policies at the hands of big government. Let me simplify that for you: He thinks black people need welfare, and can’t make it under the kinds of free-market policies advocated by the likes of Samuel Pierce, Clarence Pendleton, Clarence Thomas and Tim Scott.
And Herman Cain.
Since Professor Reed is also a black man, I wish him well in dealing with his obvious self-loathing. But he might learn a lot if he spent a little time moving in the circles I move in. He would meet lots of highly accomplished black men and women who have pursued their dreams in the capitalist system and have done exceedingly well. They vote Republican because they understand that free-market policies open up this same kind of opportunity for others.
Imagine the new vitality in the political discourse inside black America if serious weight was given to the ideas of people like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of Transportation William Coleman and professors Walter E. Williams and Thomas Sowell?
Instead, these brilliant people, apparently including RGIII, are dismissed as “Uncle Toms” or “cornball” brothers and sisters.
Even thought I am not a Republican, I have experienced some of this same vitriol firsthand. I don’t fit into the traditional liberal box. I work for Fox News. My sons are Republicans.
I appear regularly on Fox News with strong right of center voices, like Bill O’Reilly and even consistently conservative personalities like Sean Hannity (both of whom I consider friends). I think it is great to engage the other side in the arena of ideas. I am happy to agree with them when I think they are right and respectfully disagree with them when I think they are wrong.
Many on the left would prefer if I did not appear on television with folks like O’Reilly and Hannity, spurned them socially and just called them a bunch of racists.
Back in 2007, Syracuse University Professor Boyce Watkins said publicly what many liberals had been saying behind my back for years, that I was Bill O’Reilly’s “Happy Negro.” A black radio host, on another O’Reilly show, said I should “go back to the porch,” like a mindless slave.
What can black people of good character and honest counsel do to push back against these scurrilous attacks?
I don’t think I can put it better than RGIII did in an interview with USA Today’s Jim Corbett last week
"I am an African-American in America," Griffin said. "That will never change. But I don't have to be defined by that...”