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!