Gene Demby race reporter
Thoughts

If Ben Carson Likes Trump, Is He Racist?

(A guest post by “The Average White Guy”)

Being the average white guy that I am, you can imagine the flood of sweet emotions that flowed from my belly this afternoon as I heard a story on NPR‘s “All Things Considered,” which was about a study that explores “the links between politics and racial bias.”

The description of the story says,

A new study looks at the link between racial bias and the Tea Party. Researchers found that people who looked at images of Barack Obama that were edited to make his skin look darker were more likely to express support for the Tea Party.”

Now I’m not going to be so stupid as to suggest that there are no white people who hate president Obama because he is black. Believe me, I’ve met a few of them myself. But it is so aggravating to be told by Gene Demby that the reason I myself hate Obama is because he is a black man.

Gene Demby, You Don’t Know Me.

You strike me in your reports as one of those black guys who sees a racist under every bush; you seem to come across sometimes as a guy who easily stereotypes whites based on preconceptions that seem to have nothing to do with the way I think or with the beliefs I hold.

I don’t hate Obama because of the color of his skin. It stuns me how many black people seem to want to reduce every issue down to the single issue of how it affects black people, how whites treat black people, who whites see themselves as white people. Says Mr. Demby,

We’ve done a few stories on whiteness in our current political moment. Whiteness is a thing that is becoming explicit in people’s understanding of themselves as white. So it sort of makes sense that here’s this guy who’s the president of the United States. He’s incredibly prominent.

For the first time in the history of the country, he is not a white person. He’s sort of the avatar of this demographic change. And so he animates and activates a lot of anxieties around whiteness becoming explicit.

I will admit I have a strong dislike for the man. But it’s not because he is black. It’s because of what he is doing to the country. I’m not sure why, but based on your frequent racial biases, I would bet that you might find that hard to believe. That’s ok. I have a similar disdain for Hillary Clinton, and it’s not because she is female. But you’ll probably want to try to sell that story to everyone else. I could expect you actually believe this to be the case. I feel sorry for you if you believe that, though. And let me ask you a question:

Did You Vote For Obama Because He Is Black?

I am stunned at the number of black people who insist that I would vote against Obama because he is black; but when I ask if they voted for him because he is black, they insist it is not because of his color, but because of his policies. It’s funny how in their minds, blacks can vote objectively but white people can’t. Is that racist thinking?

Mr. Demby, Have You Ever Heard Of Alan Keyes?

You look like a youngster to me, Mr. Demby. So maybe you were too young to be aware of a time when a guy named Alan Keyes wanted to run for president back in 1996 and 2000. It was back in the days of Bill Clinton. I wanted Keyes in so bad, compared to the white guy, Bill Clinton. I really did. Does that surprise you?

Let Me Make A List For Your Response

Let me make a list of some guys I think would make outstanding presidents, and any of whom I would vote for in a heartbeat – over Obama, Clinton, McCain, Bush (senior OR junior) and even over Trump (especially over Trump).

Ready?

Alan Keyes. Ben Carson. Tim Scott. Thomas Sowell. Colonel Allen B West. Clarence Thomas.

Should I go on? Or do you begin to see a pattern here? It’s not an exhaustive list. I could add Trey Gowdy, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and a host of others. But that would confuse the issue. Please don’t miss the point of the list.

I know you’re “color-blind” in your thinking. You’re black, after all. And we all know that blacks can’t be racist. But did you notice the list? Notice what they all share in common?

They’re all CONSERVATIVE. Did you notice that?

Oh yeah. They’re all… Never mind. You can figure this out. I will even give you a picture.

CarsonScottSowellWestThomas

There are a LOT of black people in the Tea Party. Maybe you missed that; maybe, like Jesse Jackson, you don’t really think “they’re black enough.” The relatively low proportional content of blacks in the Tea Party doesn’t mean they’re racist. It means blacks don’t always agree with their policies. But they’re not going to change their policies to make blacks feel “welcome.” They want to get ALL people – black, white and green – to understand that conservatism is the only way to save the country from slipping into a moral abyss.

EVERYONE is welcome at the Tea Party – if they agree with their ideology and vision for the country – one nation, UNDER GOD, with liberty and justice for ALL.

But while I toss out names, let me throw another at to you.

Ever Heard Of Booker T. Washington?

Booker Taliaferro Washington was an American Author and an advisor to several American presidents in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was a republican. (Yes, Virginia. There have been black republicans before.)

Booker T has an amazing quote that testifies greatly against the Black Lives Matter movement and other members of the “black grievance industry” like Hillary Clinton, Jesse Jackson and the reverend Al Sharpton. Booker once said…

There is a class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.

Now if a white guy were to say that, you might have a race war on your hands these days. But Booker T has a pass on this one because he is “one of you.” Or maybe he isn’t. Maybe, as Jesse Jackson said about Obama before he was elected, “he’s not black enough.”

Are You A Racist, Mr. Demby?

It seems the likes of Jesse and Al seem to think you’re not really a black man unless you think like them – as if you have exclusive claim to a special “underclass” title; and any black man or woman who doesn’t agree with you is a sellout – an uncle Tom.

Is that you? Do you recognize that I even exist? A white guy who, like Martin Luther King Jr., longs for a day when

people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. (M L King)

But from my side, we are constantly dogged in the conversation by the fact that in situations like Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, where the only scars on George were on his face and the back of his head, and the only scars on Trayvon were on his knuckles, we have a president who decides to bring in the whole weight of the federal justice department and to use it as a soapbox for giving his lectures about how Trayvon could be his son.

This president is the most racially divisive president to fill the White House in the last 50 years. Do you have any sense of how many federal cases have been made over perceived “white on black” injustice, immediately dragging in the full weight of the justice department for federal investigations? How many “black on white” crimes have gotten the same treatment?

You have the privilege of living at a time where we have a black president, a black attorney general and a justice department headed up by a person of african-American descent. And yet, you insist that it ain’t over until it’s over. Sorry, but you still want to take every issue that Trump raises and every issue that resonates with me and squeeze it through your very flat and one-dimensional sausage-grinder, spitting out little “racist cakes” at the other end of the line that don’t look like me at all. They look like your prejudiced concept of what “every white man” thinks.

But it’s not me.

Illegal aliens in the economy are enough of a drain to pull the whole country down. It has nothing to do with color. It has to do with economics. While you might want to think this country is big enough to welcome everyone from everyone and let them all partake at the trough that is public assistance, the grim reality is that the system cannot afford it. It’s NOT about race. It’s about not overloading the lifeboat to the point where we all drown. But all you see is color.

And while you might not think much of religion (I don’t profess to know if you have any strong religious beliefs or not) there are many of us who recognize that it’s NOT hard to figure out the motives of the shooter in Orlando. He TOLD US what his motives were for shooting up gays in a night club were. He said he was doing it in the name of ISIS and in the name of ALLAH. HE was acting on his firmly held radical Islamic beliefs. If you want to pick up the narrative that it wasn’t that,  and that it must have been something else, and that this kind of behavior doesn’t represent “true Islam,” then we are worlds apart on why we want controls and better screening of the Muslims entering this country.

But it’s not because I’m racist. And you don’t  know me.

Put your thinly disguised racial prejudices aside and please try to see that maybe, just maybe, it’s about ideology.

And get to know me.

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OpenLetters

An Open Letter To Donald Trump From A Reluctant Fan

NOTE: THIS post is from a while ago. (In fact, it is from before the 2016 elections.) But I think it speaks volumes to the fact that my initial hunches were correct about him. I took this down a while back but have decided to put it back up again, unedited. I will also be writing an update soon. (Soon, as in before the election.)

This has truly been the first U. S. election cycle in my adult life where I’ve really been fascinated, amused and bewildered more than I’ve had a clear sense of what to make of the process, let alone how to feel about the prospects for the future.

Like him or hate him, you can’t deny that “The Donald” has truly swept through this election cycle with a lot of “influence.” He is a master at baffling and aggravating the media, and it doesn’t even appear to be calculated so much as second-nature to him to flourish in the controversy.

Why I’m Writing This Letter, Knowing He Will Never See It

I’m writing this “open letter” to Donald Trump more for the church because I’m more baffled by how the evangelical Christian community seems so divided on this issue of whether or not we should be supporting this guy. I recognize that some of my brothers and sisters in Christ don’t agree with me about whether a vote for Donald instead of Hillary or Gary is the wisest move to make. I can’t condemn them as ungodly or unspiritual. But I do consider them unwise. Quite frankly, though, it’s hard for everyone to see it sometimes, for all the bad “signal-to-noise ratio” right now.

Hoping to unite the church and unify our vision about where we should be wanting God to take this country, I’m writing to verbalize what I believe are some collective thoughts from those of a similar mindset to mine. I don’t presume to speak for everyone. But I do think I speak for many.

So here is what I would say to The Donald if I ever had the chance to do so. And for my readers, I would ask you to please hear that this is my heart about the situation as much as I can articulate it. I hope it helps us all to focus on where God needs our hearts to be in this matter.

Dear Donald;

I truly doubt whether you’ll ever see this letter, let alone give it much time or consideration. You’re a busy man and I don’t presume to have the right to take up much of your time.

It’s not that you don’t care.

Actually, I truly believe you do care. And when I say that, I actually do so with a wee little bit of inside knowledge.

You see, I happen to have a casual connection to a gentleman who I consider a friend – a man of character and with a common heart for Jesus, who is in the entertainment industry and who says he knows you personally. As a result, I’ve heard a couple little tidbits of your personal side that others might not know. People sometimes talk about the concept of “six degrees of separation.” As it turns out, between you and me, there are a mere two degrees of separation. I was partly won over to you by how this gentleman speaks of you from a more personal basis.

I Understand Why Many People Like You

Having heard some things, I will say that you remind me of a man who fits a description that I’ve heard used once before about my father: you’re mister crunchy on the outside and mister marshmallow on the inside.

Sir, please know that everything I’m saying here, I’m saying with the firm conviction that YOU are the man for the job. There is no doubt in my mind that, given a choice of the options available for anyone voting, you are straight away the only guy who seems to come anywhere near acknowledging the real issues that are threatening the very culture and fabric of our society and threatening the freedoms we hold so dear.

You’ve got a charisma about you and a presence when you walk into a room that cuts to the chase and gets down to business. And with the low attention voter these days, that is important.

My concern, when I saw things coming down to the wire between you and Ted Cruz, was that he seemed to have more appeal to those in the evangelical church; my fear was that he didn’t have the charisma to be able to get the attention of the guy on the street compared to you, when it came to defeating Hillary. My thought was that if Cruz won the primary, Hillary would win the election. But you connect in a way that Ted just cannot seem to do.

The media machine is stacked against the conservatives. The media is awash in political correctness and infiltrated by connections to and corruption from the current political establishment. As such, they’re hell-bent against you.

Yet, you’ve confronted that issue head-on. You know how to play the media like a bad fiddle. Your fans love it. Remember that day you announced you were going to discuss the birther issue, and then you had twenty minutes worth of the best of the best of the military brass singing your praises about national security? That day was priceless. You had them in knots. You played their game against them and won that round. Your fans were in stiches with laughter and glee.

You played it well. Good game, sir.

But I’ve also never seen the leadership of the evangelical church so divided over a candidate in my life. And quite frankly, some of the arguments I’ve heard about why people shouldn’t vote for you stagger my imagination. I think James Patrick Riley nailed it when he discussed this issue as a religious spirit.  As James says, Max Lucado is a great example of what sure feels like hypocrisy. James writes,

Max leads what he calls a “red state” church, but Max has a maxim:  ”I don’t want anybody to know how I vote.”  Max does this to make sure the Democratic voters in his church, the ones who support abortion on demand, Islamo-pandering, and class warfare are not made to feel uncomfortable.   However, Max recently broke his neutrality pledge when Donald Trump called a bimbo a bimbo. According to Max:

I would not have said anything about Mr. Trump, never — I would never have said anything if he didn’t call himself a Christian. It’d be none of my business whatsoever to make any comments about his language, his vulgarities, his slander of people, but I was deeply troubled … that here’s a man who holds up a Bible one day, and calls a lady “bimbo” the next.

Think on that for a moment. Max closes his eyes to another “Christian,” Barack Obama, who stands foursquare for the slaughter of millions of unborn babies, at your expense, but Donald Trump called a lady a “bimbo?”  Intolerable!  Unthinkable!  Impolite! Time to engage the Pharisee warp engines.

I’ve quite frankly always been baffled by church people who are offended by other people’s language. First Corinthians says “love is not easily offended.” I could stand up in the middle of a lot of these congregations and say “the whole damn country is going to hell in a hand basket” and many of the people in that group would be more offended by my use of the word “damn” in that sentence than they would be grieved about the state of the country that prompted me to say it.

I, for one, am not like that. Your language doesn’t offend me. Quite frankly, it doesn’t offend a lot of us; probably because (and I don’t want to offend you, sir, but…) I see you as kind of “rough around the edges” as far as having learned Christianese. I do believe you’re a Christian, though perhaps new to the experience. But I give benefit of the doubt. Even if you’re not, you, like people such as Michael Savage, certainly seem to appreciate the value of religious freedom and the need to fight for that for the country.

I WANT TO SAY TWO THINGS TO YOU, SIR.

And I hope you can hear my heart as I do so. I want to tell you why you have my vote; and I want to offer you some advice, if I can, from my view as a voter, with you knowing I say it as someone who would already vote for you.

THIS IS WHY YOU HAVE MY VOTE

You have my vote because you seem to be surrounding yourself with people who hold values similar to the ones I think need to be embraced to save the country.

No one knows the future, and since I don’t know all of your heart, I can’t know for certain that the pro-life position you seem to have adopted of late isn’t just a sham to get yourself in good with the evangelical voter. You speak spontaneously enough about these issues that you don’t sound like you are anything but genuine in your desire to support the kind of things I think need to be supported.

You Seem To Really Want To Do What You Say

You are surrounding yourself with people with proven track records in the right direction; your list of supreme court picks you would likely suggest seems to be pretty solid and constitutionally sound. Given the alternative that has been consistently demonstrated by Hillary, I would say you are a slam dunk for a guy like me.

You aren’t afraid to say that the emperor has no clothes.

I like that in a politician. You don’t seem to be worried about political correctness AT ALL. While everyone else seems to tiptoe around the reality that letting multiple thousands of Syrian refugees into the country with a demonstrably failed vetting process is a bad idea, you go full force into that problem and when you are confronted about it, you are not afraid to double down on your position. People admire the fact that you’re a straight shooter.

Your Concerns Resonate With Many In The Evangelical Community

Sir, there are many, many of us who recognize the problems with the porosity of the southern border, the failed education system, the bowing to special interest groups to buy votes so the democrats can enshrine themselves in the permanent establishment class and all the hypocrisy and cronyism that plagues politics these days. We recognize that free trade isn’t a bad thing but that unfair trade deals are very bad indeed. When you speak of these issues, this is what we hear.

I’m not afraid that you’re an outsider. I believe that you recognize you can’t do it alone and so you seem to be surrounding yourself with people who will do well to guide and direct you as the president.

I’m sure there will be many like Max Lucado who disagree with me. But it’s what I see. Given the choices today, you are really the only choice if this country is not to descend into a godless, totalitarian dictatorship.

AND NOW (FOR THE STICKY PART) CAN I OFFER SOME ADVICE?

Sir, you ALREADY have my vote. Please take note of the fact that you have already won the hearts and minds of a vast portion of the population. And please hear this advice though that perspective.

The fact of the matter, sir, is that I would feel a lot better about you as the future president and would be able to defend you more enthusiastically if you did the rest of your campaigning from the perspective that you already have it in the bag.

Quite frankly, I’m a little embarrassed when I have to defend your positions against a backdrop of the constant media spotlight on things you say that you don’t have to say. Sometimes, less is more. And beyond a point, you do more harm than good when you go after your opponents with efforts to make sure everyone understands just how bad the people are who throw mud at you and try to throw you under the bus.

PLEASE, JUST DON’T DO THAT ANYMORE.

Please (for the good of the country) continue in this debate cycle, this campaign cycle and the rest of this race with the attitude that you already have this in the bag. Please change your tone from having to prove you are right about your enemies to be one of speaking as the leader of both those who like you and those who do not. And speak to what must be done more than you speak to how they’re trying to stop you.

Once you get to office, that will be behind you. You will need to just get the job done. The enemies will still be there. And you’ll have to work around them.

I’m not saying you should not proceed as if there is no fight; I’m saying to proceed as if you have the assurance that there are many like me who will turn out in droves this election (though many of them may never have voted before) because your message resonates with our understanding of what hangs in the balance.

But please don’t cloud the resonance of your message with the noise of your need to constantly defend all the reasons you dislike your opponents and the prattle of assassinations on their character. You must be above this. It’s beneath the dignity of the president I truly hope you will soon become.

If you can develop the mindset that you are already governing; if you can speak to the American people with a mindset that you’ve already won the election – and based on the poles, it seems to be the case – then you will win over the hearts and minds of all the Max Lucados of the world, and you will win this election. This mindset will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Be Presidential – NOW – Even Before You’re President

“For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.” You will always have your friends and your enemies. Your friends will try to look past your flaws and lovingly point them out to you if you will hear them; your enemies will continue to rearrange their prejudices to justify all the reasons they hate you.

But as far as it depends on you, you need to see yourself as the president. You can no longer continue to act merely as the watchman on the wall for the problems with the bias in the media. You need to govern from the campaign trail (and if you can see this, you will have more influence). You have a higher role now – even now, while you are still campaigning – of pointing out not merely what is wrong, but what your vision is about what you are going to do to make it right.

Your role as president will not be to punish those who besmirch your name; we’ve seen enough of this in the last eight years, and it’s ugly.

Your role will be to rule over all the people wisely, even as they cannot see how critical the decisions are that you are making and how much you are making those decisions for the benefit of all – even for the benefit of those who will always hate you.

Unlike Hillary, who seems to pander to whoever she needs to pander so she can get the power to turn the country into her own seat of power, the people who believe in you see that you truly love the United States. We see that you truly want to make it great again. We believe what you believe about what it will take. And we have your back. We pray for you to succeed.

But we want a presidential candidate who looks and walks and talks like a PRESIDENT. Please rise above the rhetoric and give us the best of yourself. Strive to focus on the greatness that can be brought out of the average guy on the street if he’s given a chance.

Strive to become a man who displays the kind of character we want to brag and boast about.

Sir, God does not deal with us merely by our history but from His view of us from our destiny. We want to see you this way too. Based on the climate, we believe you are the best – perhaps the only – chance we have to turn the country around. We want to believe in you. Please honor us with your best as we head into this future together, upholding you in prayer, and cheering for your growth into becoming a true man of God to lead the nation in truth and justice.

We pray for you and humbly ask you to continue to strive to become the kind of man that inspires us want to become a better country.

And THAT is truly presidential.

Regards,

The Cognitive Man

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