Before President Barack Obama was Dr. Ben Carson, the legend raised by a single mum who rose from nothing to become the world’s most celebrated black surgeon. A folk hero. How I wish those images would stick in our minds today of the man that inspired my generation.
In May of last year, we watched Rep.Maxine Walters eviscerate Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban development as he continued to spew gibberish in front of the house oversight committee. The man came across as unprepared and didn’t want to be there. He looked subdued, unhappy and sleep deprived. We watched with shame as he tried to justify his administrative actions. We shuddered in shame how this greatest beneficiary of the American dream allegedly was making it impossible for generations that came after him. I’m not sure he was convinced in his mind that was the right thing to do but that was irrelevant. The important thing was what the Master wants and Ben Carson needed to keep his job badly. No one was sold with his pitch. Worse still, one could even hear Mr.Trump on the back end complaining about the terrible job that the “low energy’ Ben was doing.
It was really sad but I personally have no pity for the man that reached the mountain top and then opted for a free fall. To what end? He couldn’t convince anyone that he thought President Trump was the best thing that happened to America when he joined his cabinet.
Many in the black community today look at the likes of Ben Carson, the late Herman Cain, Stacy Dash and the new kid on the block, Candace Owen and be like who in the world of Uncle Toms are these people?
But in as much as it’s hard to stick with a party whose crown jewel sees you and your people as less than human, some of us actually think it’s a good thing not to put all our eggs in one basket. Things happen and the tide turns. After all the Democratic Party of today was the Republican Party of yesteryears and life constantly evolves.
The world is shamelessly notorious for rigidity of opinion. Yes, our default setting is to lump a tribe, a race or an ethnic group into one homogeneous socio-cultural demographic monolith. Nothing is further from the truth. Contrary to what we like to believe, is every black man straight? Don’t we also have the transgender, transsexual , bi and even queer in our midst? So is our shades of blackness that stretches from the Ebony model from south Sudan to a shade close to Barack Obama. Heck, we even have our chocolate-skinned black Jews of Ethiopia. Go figure.
I think part of this false narrative is reinforced by those of us who see those singing different tunes outside of the majority as a sell-out. I get it that they belong in the minority and that we are constantly irritated by their position but get over it. It’s not just about you and your people after all were we not advised to chose being kind rather than being right? I believe the reason for that is because no one knows what is right and even sometimes the line between right and wrong is blurred.
Whites are also not without guilt of this one sin. Or how else to explain that if all you have is 0.001 percent of the black gene, you are automatically black in America. Of course we are always happy to accept these brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts of ours. No qualms. But to think that white America makes no room for this hybrid of nature bothers on ridiculousness.
And so many of us have no issues seeing brothers and sisters join the other side of the political divide. After all it’s good to know your enemy from within as the one way to be better prepared. You have to convince us though that you are not there to sell us to your master and help yourself with the spoils. Thus far we are not convinced such is the case. In fact we know you could care less about us.
The problem is that when the chips are down and you don’t get your way, you fall back on us and wish that we erase that aspect of your history. You wish us selective amnesia. We believed what you said was your conviction and now have to make excuses to support what we thought you believed in. In fact sometimes you even want to gain our sympathy and try to bring up the idea of “fighting for my people”. Did someone just mention Omarosa?
As long as you are comfortable with your position, we will respect you for that. The only thing we ask of you is to please be consistent. For that’s how Klansmen earned the respect of the whole wild world.
•Dr. Agbo is the coordinator of African Center for Transparency and writes from USA. Email: email@example.com