Do you believe in Jolly Ole Saint Nick – Santa Claus? I don’t anymore, but when I was a child he was just as real to me as my family.
My neighborhood friends tried to convince me a man traveled around the world – in one night – delivering all the toys he had. Despite what they told me I continued to believe until one day I got a clue.
At 18 I registered to vote. I registered as a Democrat because that was what my parents “were.” I was always opened minded and when I voted, I voted for the best person to me regardless of party affiliation. In 1992, my first presidential election, I actually voted for Ross Perot. Over time as I entered into my adult life I asked myself, “Why am I registered as a Democrat when their liberal politics is not what I am about as an American and as a black man?”
The liberal narratives that are out there today are mostly irrelevant to me. Liberal philosophy pits rich against poor, portrays blacks and minorities as victims that need to be rescued and government as the institution that will bring forth equality for all.
Growing up I was taught by my father in southeast Raleigh that if I worked hard, took responsibility and did not make excuses I would go far. My father never went to college, but his wisdom took me far. Our liberal friends try to make victims out of minorities for past injustices and make minorities out to be simpletons that cannot improve without the assistance of government, with programs that rob from one group and give to another and with entitlements that are supposed to level the playing field.
Regardless of your race or gender, if you do not accept the black-as-victims narratives of liberals you are quickly labeled a racist. This destructive attitude has had the ironic effect of black Americans who have succeeded against all odds being labeled racist for extolling the virtues of working hard, working smart, and taking personal responsibility for their lives rather than wallowing forever in the excuse-filled swamp of victimhood and dependency.
To those liberals who want black Americans to remain forever mired in this pestilential swamp, successful black Americans who scorn government assistance represent a threat that must be stamped out. God forbid that young black Americans figure out that gang violence, drug abuse, crime, low academic achievement, high dropout rates, and through-the-ceiling unemployment rates are caused rather than solved by government programs.
Liberal policies put individuals with fingers pointing outward instead of inward. Many in the black and minority community need to look at the man in the mirror and see that the enemy is staring back at them. The spirit of racism and sexism still exist, but this is how people of all races and genders, including successful black Americans, have made better lives for themselves and their families. If black people in today’s America are victims, the bad guys are no longer just members of the KKK and their riffraff but rather also are liberals that exaggerate inequality and unfairness in American life in order to justify overreaching public policies or programs. Liberalism undermines the spirit of self-help and individual responsibility.
No party is perfect, trust me, but conservative principles and policies are the single greatest way for all Americans to prosper. We are responsible for our futures and even today our shores call out to the world seeking those that crave that future.
Terry McCann is a Durham Public Schools mathematics teacher and member of the Black Republican Committee of the Durham County Republican Party.