Saturday, August 25, 2007

Epiphany Moments or, How I Came To Think The Way I Do

For many people a Black conservative is a contradiction in terms. The liberal establishment has been very successful in convincing everyone--Whites and Blacks, liberals and conservatives--that Blacks and other minorities are the exclusive possession of the Left. So I'm sure a lot of people are wondering just how a Black woman like me came to be in the "enemy" camp. It was an osmotic process marked by what I call "epiphany moments": events and/or circumstances that clarified exactly what I believed and why.

I didn't get my ideas from my family. My parents, grandparents and other relatives were, and still are, totally apolitical. By "apolitical" I don't mean that they didn't have opinions on things, only that they didn't wear those opinions on their sleeves. However, they made it known that they liked Democrats/liberals and didn't like Republicans/conservaties. They played the role written for them by liberals. And that probably was the beginning of my transformation from unthinking supporter of liberalism to thinking conservative.

As I said, my family had their opinions. My maternal grandmother made the biggest impression on me. She was devoutly pro-life and she instilled that belief into me. As I got older I found it increasingly difficult to square my pro-life belief with voting for the staunchly pro-choice Democratic party. My views on other issues, such as gay rights and gun control, also put me into conflict with the liberal-controlled Democrats. After voting for Democrats in several elections, I finally decided to be true to myself. Why, I asked myself, should I vote for a party that didn't represent my values? Because that's what good little Black folks were supposed to do? I wasn't playing that game anymore. I was an individual and I would vote my values, my beliefs, not my group affiliation. That was my first epiphany moment, and more were to come.

Andres Serrano gets the credit for my second epiphany moment. Serrano, for those who don't know, is the "artist" who, in 1989, put a crucifix in a jar of his own urine, photographed it, and titled the picture Piss Christ. The controversy over that blasphemous piece of "art" opened my eyes to liberals' hypocrisy and anti-Christian bigotry.

When Serrano's picture hit the public square conservatives were outraged. Their outrage was intensified when they learned that the photo was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Conservatives called for NEA funds to be cut for Serrano's work. Note, they didn't call for Piss Christ to be banned from view, only that the government not pay for it. At the time I thought that was a quintessentially liberal position. After all, liberals were the ones always calling for the separation of church and state. No public money, they insisted, should be used to promote or attack religion. I couldn't think of a grosser attack on religion than Piss Christ. Yet the loudest and most vehement supporters of Serrano were liberals. Talk about a wake up call.

I felt like my intelligence was being insulted by liberals during the Serrano controversy. Not only did they accuse Serrano's conservative critics of being censors, which was patently untrue, but some of them even denied that Piss Christ was anti-Christian. I couldn't believe it. If an artist had put a photo of Martin Luther King in a jar of urine, photographed it, then titled the photo Piss Blacks, liberals would've immediately recognized it as racist. And they would've gone ballistic if the NEA had funded the photo. But when hate was spewed out against Christians, liberals thought it deserving of government aid, or pretended it didn't exist. But I was supposed to vote for liberals because of my race. No way!

And speaking of race, the shameful Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill affair sealed my liberal-to-conservative transformation. When supposedly anti-racist liberals attacked Thomas, a Black Supreme Court nominee, with unbridled vengeance I knew liberalism was a fraud.

Clarence Thomas committed the worst crime a Black man can commit in the eyes of liberals: he dared to think for himself. A conservative, Thomas was nominated for the nation's highest court by Bush the Elder. Liberals tried everything to stop the nomination; when all their efforts had failed, Anita Hill conveniently emerged to accuse Thomas of sexual harrassment. A media circus ensued. Liberals and feminists gleefully declared Thomas guilty and demanded his nomination be withdrawn. Thomas was subjected to weeks of a humiliating investigation before Congress, where his character was assassinated and his reputation shredded. When it was all over justice prevailed and Thomas took his seat on the high court.

Clarence Thomas' ordeal showed me what liberals' really think. Supposedly anti-racist, they rejected Blacks' right to think independently. Supposedly committed to justice, they convicted Thomas on an accusation alone. Supposedly fair minded and against corruption, they never questioned the blatantly political timing of Anita Hill's accusation. Supposedly tolerant, they worked nonstop to prevent ideological diversity on the Supreme Court. They practiced everything they claimed to be against. Epiphany moment number three.

There were other "e-moments" on my way to becoming a conservative but these are the biggies. If one or more of these events hadn't happened I'd be middle-of-the-road today, if not outright liberal (scary thought). But fate saw fit to bring these episodes into my life to make me what I am and I'm grateful. I am proud to be a Black conservative. I wouldn't have it any other way!


Robert Garding said...

I wish that more "Liberals" could see the things that set you on the path to conservatism, but most are so "dyed in the wool, unthinking, uncaring" conformists that they do not have the ability to use their brains for "common sense things" anymore. Very nice post, and I hope that more Liberals can see what you wrote here. I am glad to have you as a thinking conservative. If you ever wanted to write a post on my blog, I would be honored to let you.


JMK said...

Great post that chronicles a personal transformation.

I often think that both Parties play a part in a huge "Con Game" on the Electorate.

They each use hot-button issues and phrases to pluck a certain portion of the electorate to their side.

Think about it this way, if the Democrats actually rewarded their Liberal base, well, we'd already be out of Iraq, as the Democrats in Congress would've pulled the plug (they didn't) and while the GOP had the WH and both Houses of Congress the Religious Right would've had its ox gored - didn't happen, as we still have Roe v Wade on the books, no prayer in school, etc.


BOTH Parties merely tweak around the edges, because (1) the vast middle doesn't want much drastic change and (2) the truly wealthy (those who don't rely on income for the bulk of their wealth) are the ones who fund the elections in BOTH Parties.

Make no mistake, as a Conservative tradionalist, I feel the GOPs stated agenda is far closer to my own, BUT the GOP doesn't govern Conservatively any more than the Democrats govern all that Liberally.

Yes, often slight changes in policy can trigger cataclysmic shifts (financially and otherwise) for millions, but by and large, neither Party has had much stomach for major change.

As to the majority of blacks, Hispanics and Asians voting Democratic....I don't know why so many largely tradionalist people fall for the Liberal line, other than the fact that Liberals have been very effective at smearing Conservatives as "xenophobic and racist."

While it's sad that obviously still does.