Ann Coulter, the woman who makes her money with silly soundbites, decided to offend half the world by stating that "our blacks are better than their blacks," referring to conservatives vs. liberals. I wasn't surprised to hear this kind of banter from Coulter, who is smart enough to know how to sell books by saying things that most decent human beings would not. Sadly for poor Ann, she is an embarrassment to serious conservatives, but all the while seems content engaging in the political promiscuity of a woman desperately seeking out her next gig.
"Nanny Annie" Coulter's remarks (which make her sound like a character from "Gone with the Wind") also spoke to the peculiar fight between liberals and conservatives, who are trying to toss around the black community like two pimps arguing over a prostitute. Rather than adjusting their platforms to fit issues that matter to Black America, each party is only able to point out the fact that they believe the other group abuses Black people more than they do. In that regard, neither conservatives nor liberals are innocent when vying to put Black folks on their own plantation.
When Coulter makes reference to "her Blacks," which include the always entertaining Herman Cain, she is referring to Black folks who embody the values that Coulter and her friends believe to be true. When someone like Cain attempts to genuinely lead the party in a different direction, he is spit out like a sex offender at a debutante ball. An example is when he challenged Rick Perry over the "niggerhead" controversy and was quickly told to sit down and shut up. Political analyst Yvette Carnell described things beautifully when she said, "The rendering of black people as the ornaments of diversity, rather than incarnations of it, is one of the essential reasons why blacks clash with conservatism."
So, all of the conservatives jumping to defend Herman Cain only stand up for him when he does what he's told, not when he represents an independent black voice that has been wired for true leadership. Almost nothing that Cain brings to the conservative side of the table represents anything other than a puppet-like recitation of the ideals that Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity already embody, and this puppy dog paternalism is exactly what one expects to hear in a racist society. When Colin Powell, another conservative, attempted to help shape the direction of the Republican Party, he too was attacked and chastised for not knowing his place.
Ann Coulter's reference to "our blacks," is an interesting, powerful and extraordinarily telling statement. Ann Coulter's remarks, while certainly designed to get ratings for a TV show, actually capture the essence of what happens across the board in American politics. Both liberals and conservatives love playing the tacky and insulting game of Black political ownership, so I can't say that Coulter is alone in her condescending view of the second class citizenship of the African American community. African Americans are like customers at McDonald's who are told to choose between the Happy Meal and the Value Meal, but never allowed to go into the kitchen to cook the food they want to eat.
At the end of the day, I don't want to be one of Coulter's Blacks or one of the Blacks under ownership of the Democratic Party. We belong to no one and we deserve to have the freedom and liberation that we've been seeking for the last 400 years. Black American politics must grow beyond the task of simply choosing the better pimp and any party that isn't seriously committed to pursuing racial equality through deliberate and progressive action is just speaking the same old fluff.
Follow Dr. Boyce Watkins on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrBoyceWatkins1