When youre standing on one side of the fence, it is extremely hard to see the perks of being on the other side. As a Democrat, it is hard to figure out why anyone would vote Republican and vice versa. Especially blacks. As a student on a black college campus, it is nothing short of taboo to be in support of the "Republican Mavericks" these days.
There are lingering stories of undercover Republican students who are too cowered by the near-extremist support of Barack Obama to make their political views public. These stories are always told with disbelief and dismay as shocked liberals squirm at the thought of these traitors.
What is it like to be a traitor to your people? For some such as Clarence Thomas, it may be slightly disturbing but a bit less so since his position is for a lifetime. For those like Colin Powell, the pressure mounts far too high and you just quit while youre ahead. For others, such as Condoleezza Rice, who realizes that she is on her way out of the only house that could protect her from the ill will of her people, now is a great time to lament over the lack of black individuals in her area of work.
For those who are young, unestablished, and surrounded by Obamamania, it is a daunting thought just to put a McCain-Palin bumper sticker on their car. But, we must analyze peoples impetus for identifying with certain political groups. In some cases, it comes down to a pivotal decision: are you going to align yourself with the person/party who best represents your views, or are you going to align yourself with those who would be most beneficial for the larger group of people with whom you identify?
For example, you are black and your family makes at least $300,000 dollars a year. You live in a white neighborhood and have been in private school all your life. Youve never benefitted from social programs, you are a devout Christian who is against gay marriage and abortion and perhaps your parents even work for a company like BP or Halliburton. It is, undoubtedly, in your best interest to vote Republican. They best represent your moral code and way of life.
So do you disregard these personal advantages because they want to cut funding to the programs that benefit lower-income blacks? Do you disregard these personal advantages because the number of young, black single mothers would increase exponentially if abortion was against the law? Do you ignore these personal advantages just because the money that could be used to improve our inner-city schools is instead being funneled into Iraq?
Of course not.
And of course, there are many black Republicans who fit none of those characteristics except that they are conservative and hold conservative moral values. Economy is not as important to them as religious rights. Should they be deterred from their path because of economic values?
Now, the liberal-minded, middle class black youths may not be able to imagine these sort of black individuals, but they really do exist. And should they have to be stuck in a vacuum of self-interest and social conscious? Is that fair? Or is it the same as expecting white people to be in favor of abolition or of desegregation when these institutions are clearly in their favor? These are the sort of questions that we encounter all of the time in life. Take one for the team, or achieve personal glory?
Whatever we decide, however we align ourselves, we cannot always expect others to see from our point of view, no matter how distorted we think theirs to be.
To those living in the conundrum of conservative and colored, now is the time be proud or rethink your allegiance. Confucius said, To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice. Speak what you believe, walk the line you think rght and put your bumper sticker on. Whose bumper sticker that will be is up to you.