This election cycle has been quite the snoozefest.
I’ve mad this observation more than once on Twitter and also in a few posts that I’ve done over at FWD Nation as well. This is an election where we lacked the novelty of an (Half)rican American candidate being the first nominee of a major party. We didn’t have the knockout brawl between primary candidates like we did with Obama and Hillary Clinton. Everyone knows what a super-delegate is this time around; we all knew Mitt Romney had this thing sowed up way before June. We weren’t waiting every week to see what a caucus or primary outcome was going to be. There was no “game-changer” with the vice presidential pick, and no candidate had to defend the theological views of their pastor.
In other words, boring.
I’ll admit, I didn’t watch the majority of the GOP convention over the past few days. Not necessarily because it was the same old platform of red meat thrown at the crowd, but between an evacuation for Hurricane Isaac and me not really giving a damn at times about it, the convention just never really grabbed my attention. Back in 2008, I remember watching both of them. I remember hearing that there were some segments of the right that were praying for rain in Denver with the open air Democratic convention. Yet, this year, Rush Limbaugh was asserting
conspiring that Obama had somehow manipulated the forecast about then tropical storm Isaac so that it could give the air of hitting Tampa and possibly ruin the convention.
I was able to catch tidbits on NPR on various speeches, of which only moved me this week: Ann Romney. She was the only person that I believe sold her husband to America. She didn’t give a me-note speech like Chris Christie did, as if to say “Come 2016, I’m your guy,” nor did she give a speech that was full of so many half-truths and blatant lies like the veep nominee Paul Ryan. Nor did she ramble, off the cuff like Clint Eastwood did last night.
But, I’m still not voting Republican.
I really think Mitt Romney is a good enough guy. But, at the end of the day, he stands for a party that doesn’t mind telling political lies, nor do they believe in standing up for the social values in which I hold. However, ultimately, the main reason is because I don’t want to be one of them.
You know, them.
I’m talking about one of those black Republicans.
Black Republicans really irk my nerves. They crawl under my skin and make me itch. I see them and I get disgusted. The rhetoric that comes from black Republicans makes me pull out my Michael Eric Dyson “blackness” rubric and far too often I end up categorizing them as being accidentally black.
#1. Artur Davis, former Representative, AL.-D
He’s one of them.
What makes the personhood of Artur Davis all the more troubling is that he actually switched parties. His first foray into politics was as a congressman from Alabama and as a Democrat. Now he never towed the line when it came to playing politics from the left however. He didn’t vote for the Affordable Health Care act, and did so in defiance of his district which was overwhelmingly Democratic and in support of it. He also broke ranks being the first (if not only) member of the Congressional Black Caucus to call for Charlie Rangel’s resignation following an investigation.
However, what makes him most troubling is how he thought that in the great state of Alabama he, being black, was going to be able to avoid the issue of race when running in 2008 for a Democratic primary. A primary. Seriously, you can be as racially motivated as you want just to get the nomination and save the race-neutral pandering for a general election.
Perhaps Davis is suffering from sour grapes with the black community because he felt abandoned when all of them who voted in Alabama went with the white candidate and defeated Davis 62-37%. And as he said chillingly in his speech this past week “my fellow Republicans, thank you for welcoming me where I belong.”
Artur Davis suffers from tokenism. Tokenism is accompanied by oblivion; completely unaware of one’s token status.
#2. Mia Love, Mayor Saratoga Springs, Utah; candidate for the U.S. Utah 4th District
Mia Love, for lack of a better image, comes off as a stepford wife, to me.
She got converted by the LDS faith when she was living in Connecticut after college, and she married the guy who converted her and he moved her out the Promised Land named Utah. There they had some children, kept it moving, and next thing you know, she’s speaking on behalf of Mormonism and she’s a black female to boot–you know the conservative answer to that Amazonian woman Barack can’t put a muzzle on who’s named Michelle–his wife!
Mia comes off as fake, as if she’s merely a pawn in a larger game. She speaks as though she knows, but knows what. She identifies more with eurocentric American values, she upholds American exceptionalism with no reservations and then she even makes the jump, as many on the right tend to do, by invoking the legacies of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King reducing their complexities to a single isolated moment of civil disobedience and one co-opted concept of what King meant when he said “I have a dream.”
She also traded out her name–as if her birth name Ludmya isn’t good enough. I have that problem with the likes of Govs. Bobby Jindal, R-Lousiana and Nikki Haley, R.-South Carolina. It’s such a throwback to assimilation it’s funny. There are tons of eastern Europeans and Jews that landed on these shores that had their names changed just to be considered “American” enough, and the same here with the Africans who arrived on these shores and were enslaved.
In an era where a politican named Rod Blagojevich can run for a state office and win (bad example since he’s in jail now) and where a guy with a throughly African name, Barack Obama, can win the presidency, I think we’re ready as a country to deal with non-Anglo-Saxon names as a part of our larger political sphere.
Mia Love suffers from surrogacy. Surrogacy is a disease where you speak with the intent of co-opting a false platform. Surrogacy is often accompanied by dillusion; this is where you actually believe the false platform that you are attempting to co-opt.
It’s problematic for me based on this one quote about the Congressional Black Caucus:
they [the Congressional Black Caucus] sit there and ignite emotions and ignite racism when there isn’t. They use their positions to instill fear. Hope and change is turned into fear and blame. Fear that everybody is going to lose everything and blaming Congress for everything instead of taking responsibility.
Yes, the CBC has a myriad of problems, but to single them out as though the other lobbyists that are on the Hill aren’t doing far more damage to this country by promoting congressional stalemates and brinksmanship on both sides that has resulted in the lowest approval rating of a Congress since it’s inception?
At least we know she has the female, Hatian-American, Mormon vote down on lock.
#3. Rep. Allen West, Florida-R
Recently, West got called on the carpet by his fellow congressman Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla. over a tiff concerning Chik-Fil-A. West actions were called into question retroactively in the wake of national movement in support of Chik-Fil-A because of the owners stance against gay marriage. Hastings said it was West’s turn to buy lunch for the CBC and he just had the food dropped off and walked out the door never to return.
That sh– cray!
Not to mention, West has aligned himself with this neo-black conservative mindset that it’s really the Democrats that are–wait for it–holding black people in bondage. Last year he made comments where he equated himself to a “modern day Harriet Tubman” that was there to lead black people off of the Democratic plantation. He went on the Bill O’Reilly Show on Fox News to make this statement.
Ever since then, he has really been on the outs with Democrats and with blacks in general. He comes off as disingenuous and beyond oblivious–he actually believes some of this stuff he speaks about. He moved from speaking about politics to taking pot shots at fellow congressional members–he called Rep. Maxine Waters, D.-Calif. a “plantation boss.” Speaking in general terms about “the black community” of which no one I know says he speaks for them, his ultimate diagnosis is that he is….
…just crazy as hell. Crazy as hell is usually accompanied by even more crazy as hell and can be contagious. It is an airborne disease that be transmitted by merely being associated with the other person. If they’re crazy as hell, you’re likely to be quarantined and considered crazy as hell as well.
West is both a token and a surrogate–and he’s okay with that. To be okay with those statuses, one must be a bit crazy. For the GOP and certainly for the Tea Party segment, West is the black face they can trot out that will say what they secretly want to say, but can’t say in a public forum lest they be chastised for being a racist. And how can they be racist if they believe in King’s “I Have a Dream” quote where, usually lifted out of context, King says “judged not the color of their skin, but the content of their character” to absolve whatever vile, xenophobic statement is about to emit from their mouths.