This article was written by Toni Watkins. Toni is a friend who is on fire for what she believes in. I consider her a special contributor to Newsninja2012.com. Her twitter account is @ConservaToni
I will keep this brief because I hate long emotional elegies, but I would just like to share with you a little about myself. My name is Toni Watkins, I graduated from Agnes Scott College with a Bachelors in Africana Studies, and a minor in political science. My occupation is a political strategist. I also happen to be a conservative and closely associate with the Republican Party.
Often my “blackness” is called into question by my Black brothers and sisters because I have different political leanings than they. I could get into the historical background of the parties and how the Democratic party when given the opportunity has given Black America it’s ass to kiss, but this is not about that. While I am very familiar with the history of both parties I am not a Republican because of history. I am a Republican solely because my personal constitution and principles align very closely with the conservative platform of the Republican Party.
I am a champion of independence, self reliance and believe that government assistance has played a role in Blacks topping all of the negative statistics, i.e. prison, dropouts, teen pregnancy, poverty and the list can go on and on. Again, that is not the point of this letter, but these are reasons why I would never classify as a Democrat and remain loyal to myself.
As I stated, I am a political strategist. I chose my line of work because I know that in my line of work I’ve changed lives, and I believe in this line of work I may even be able to affect and change the world. I am a proud conservative but dare I say, I am more proud to be a Black woman in America. I could not be more proud of my people’s history and our evolution and ability to find strength and prosperity when we came, literally, from nothing. Having said that, I am not however proud of the current state of Black America. I believe that my occupation puts me in a very real place to affect the lives of my brothers and sisters, and I work with the passion and vigor that I do, because above all else I want nothing more than to see people that look like me doing well across the board, as opposed to the occasional individual.
I say all of this to say that the disrespect and hate I receive is one of the most painful things I have experienced in my professional life. I have been called a sellout, an Uncle Tom, a bimbo, a man hater, a murderer and most hurtful, a nigger because of my political posturing. What makes it worse, it is has only come from Black people. Not once has an Anglo, neither Republican nor Democrat, addressed me as as such because of how I vote. It deeply moves me and saddens me that Black people have bought into the ridiculous claim that one can not carry the metaphorical “Black Card” and not vote against the normative. My entire life I have had to fight stereotypes, but always with white people. It is very new to me to fight stereotypes within my own race. This idea that we are all the exact same and must adhere to the same beliefs and there is absolutely NO room for autonomy will surely lead to the destruction of Black America.
One of the reasons I love Black people so much is that our culture is so unique and quite colorful. But we have chosen to be the cookie cutter impressions of what we have been told to be. We are told we are an unintelligent people, so we don’t go to school. We are told we are a violent people, so we kill each other. We are told we are Democrats, so we vote Democrat. But I, a champion of Black people, a lover of Black people, a devoted servant to Black people is called “a sellout black bufoon” because I don’t want to vote for President Obama.
There is a popular document in Black History called the “Willie Lynch Letter” In this letter, Willie Lynch details how to gain total control over your slaves, in short – turn them against each other, make them fight with each other and you will have to do no more to ensure your control over said slaves. Dare I say Black America that we have been duped by the Democratic Party and we have become such loyal slaves that they don’t even have to try to control us anymore? I just may dare.
I believe that it is a blessing to be Black, even with the baggage that comes along with it and for the life of me I could not think of anything else I would rather be than a Black woman. Brothers and Sisters, let us not forget to love one another and continue to uplift each other IN SPITE of our differences. Let me be the first to tell you, THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO BE BLACK, WE ARE MORE THAN THE COOKIE CUT OUT BLACK PERSON WE HAVE BEEN CONVINCED TO BELIEVE WE ARE. We are a people of love, of pride, of joy, of strength, but now sometimes it seems like we have become a people of hate. Let me challenge you to love and support your Black brothers and sisters, the world is hard enough for us without us tearing each other apart because we see a little difference. Embrace each others differences and idiosyncrasies, but even if you don’t embrace them, do not persecute because of them.
“Lyndon B. Johnson is the head of the Democratic Party. If he’s for civil rights, let him go into the Senate next week and … denounce the Southern branch of his party. Let him go in there right now and take a moral stand — right now, not later. Tell him, don’t wait until election time. If he waits too long … he will be responsible for letting a condition develop in this country which will create a climate that will bring seeds up out of the ground with vegetation on the end of them looking like something these people never dreamed of. In 1964, it’s the ballot or the bullet.” – Malcolm X