All the Conservatives have is race
By SUSAN K. SMITH
Crazy Faith Ministries
What seems more and more clear is that the foundational principle of Conservatism is racism.
Yes, in the past they have spouted their belief in less government spending and lower taxes, but when one looks at even those talking points, they seem to be based in a belief that government spending which helps “the least of these,” many of whom in this country are Black and Brown, racism is still the seedbed from which their beliefs grow.
They are mortified that in the last election, Democrats were able to mobilize their voters to use voting methods normally used primarily by wealthy, White, older people. Absentee ballots – also known as voting by mail – has for a very long time been the trump card for Conservatives in tight races.
Democratic voters took advantage of absentee voting clearly turned the tables for the 2020 election, throwing the election to Joe Biden. And the Conservatives immediately resorted to changing laws so that in future elections, it will be more difficult for Black and Brown people to vote.
In history, White people with “conservative values” have always resented, reacted against and worked to reverse the right of Black people to vote. Conservative values seem to include an inherent belief that White people should not ever be subjected to being governed by Black people because of a belief in the inherent inferiority of Blacks to Whites. In 1898 in Wilmington, North Carolina, a coup was planned and successfully executed, designed to take the right to vote away from Black people, get Black people who had won political office removed from office, and to encourage/push Black people out of the city altogether, thereby guaranteeing that White people would maintain political power.
On that fateful day in Wilmington, white supremacists murdered Black people as well in their work to overthrow the Reconstruction-era government. Whites vowed to “end Negro domination,” according to the Zinn Education Project. The quest of those with “conservative values” seem not to have changed much.
Not all Conservatives are violent, but it seems safe to say that their values have consistently worked against supporting any policy or program that helps Black people. From public education, to health care, to affirmative action, to support of unions – Conservatives have sought to keep Black people under control, “in their place.” That they do not say these things out loud cannot be construed to mean that they are not beliefs firmly entrenched in the Conservative mindset.
All Conservatives have, it seems, is race. When they find that their policies are unpopular with the masses, they pull out the race card and play to the deep fears White people in this country seem to have of Black people. Even now, we see them stoking the fires of fear with pronouncements about the “racism” of critical race theory and how those who support it want to teach Black children to hate White children. One has to wonder if that means they are afraid that Black children will be taught to hate as so many White children have already been taught, not by an academic theory, but by their parents and grandparents and pastors.
In addition, Conservatives are working to push the narrative that Black people are committing crimes in ever increasing numbers, causing some Whites to doubt their support of the principles of the Black Lives Matter movement and instead retreat to their bunkers for fear of being annihilated by dangerous and out of control Black people.
No mention will be made of the extensive crime that is also going on in White communities.
The Conservatives, it seems, have nothing if they don’t have race; the South, or Southern mindset – is still running this country. Chattel slavery did not just hurt Black life, Black families, and the opportunity for Black people to be treated as full American citizens. It also permanently damaged the minds, souls, and spirits of Conservatives who continue to live in the myth that they are superior to Blacks, even as their actions reveal a shallowness that has been fed by White supremacy for hundreds of years.
If they were to let go of race, what would they have?
Unfortunately, I doubt we will ever get the answer to that question.
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith is the founder and director of Crazy Faith Ministries. She is available for speaking. And she is an award-winning author for her latest book, “With Liberty and Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America,” available through all booksellers. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.