I usually avoid the goings-on in the Twitterverse like the plague. But my civic duty compels me to chime in on the backlash “Clueless” actress Stacey Dash is suffering for publishing the following tweet on October 7:
“Vote for Romney. The only choice for your future.”
The way she is being pilloried by Black, White and Brown Obama supporters, you’d think she caused more embarrassment for her fellow Blacks with this one tweet than Bernie Madoff caused for his fellow Jews with his $100 billion Ponzi scheme.
I suppose this is why it came as such a shock to the White person who shared this with me that I was more bothered by her presumption that I would damn Stacey as a traitor to our race than I was by her tweet.
You can probably guess that this person is an Obama supporter who believes his contention that Romney is just looking out for rich folks. But this is precisely what provoked me to ask why she finds it so incomprehensible that rich Blacks like Stacey would vote for him. Her White face turned beet-red as she tried to answer that question without conceding the obvious; namely, that she thinks Stacey should be voting for Obama just because he’s Black. Alas, this is the kind of reverse racism that far too many Blacks have allowed White liberals to think is cool with us.
Anyway, after she recovered her color and composure, I suggested that the real wonder is that so many poor Whites seem to think that a vote for Romney is a vote for their future. After all, Obama’s policies – from reforming healthcare to creating blue-collar jobs – will benefit them far more than Romney’s (which are aimed at making the rich richer in the vain hope that their money will trickle down in the form of investments that provide jobs for the poor). She agreed.
What I did not say, to spare her feelings, is that many Black evangelicals might actually consider it their religious duty to vote for Romney. Romney’s policies – from opposition to gay marriage to opposition to abortion – are more consistent with their Christian values than Obama’s.
As I wrote in 2009, “The dark little secret is that far too many Blacks are every bit as homophobic as right-wing Christian Republicans, which Blacks demonstrated in brazen fashion four years ago by voicing moral opposition to the ordination of gay bishop Gene Robinson.”
Never mind the contradiction inherent in Christians voting on issues like homosexuality and abortion – which Jesus had nothing to say about – instead of voting on issues like caring for the sick (think Obamacare) and feeding the hungry (think food stamps), which he expressly commanded his followers to do.
(What is truly incomprehensible is that gays would vote for Romney; he not only professes a moral aversion to homosexuality but also promises to faithfully execute laws that deny gays their civil rights. But I digress.)
I’m an Obama supporter – notwithstanding that he has not done nearly as much to help poor Blacks (and Whites) as I had hoped. But I understand why it would have been politically imprudent for him to do so; and hope springs eternal that, once re-elected and relieved of the need to pander for votes, he will redeem his presidency in this respect.
It makes sense for every Black to vote for Obama – not because he’s Black, but because his polices are more progressive, humane, and in the spirit of what Jesus would do than Romney’s. As Bill Clinton delineated at the Democratic National Convention, Democratic presidents have a reassuring record of championing policies that create more middle-class jobs than Republican presidents, by far. All of which clearly belies the accusation that Blacks vote for Democratic presidents out of some congenitally slavish political loyalty.
Leave her alone
Still I say, lay off Stacey! The civil rights movement was also about giving Blacks the same rights Whites have always enjoyed to vote with their pocketbook, instead of their race, in mind.
And I’m all too mindful that the perverse nature of celebrity these days is such that, far from feeling victimized by this backlash, Stacey is probably reveling in it.
Anthony L. Hall is a Bahamian native with an international law practice in Washington, D.C. Read his columns and daily weblog at www.theipinionsjournal.com.