ESPN’s Stephen Smith: Black Conservatives Are Pariahs In Our Communities and It Makes No Sense

This transcript starts at 2:49 of the video:

I have profound respect for the iconic figure that is Jim Brown, what he’s done in the sports world, the political conscience that is attached to him. But what he said, I deem inappropriate. I thought it was wrong, and more importantly, I thought it highlighted something, Skip, that I told you many, many years ago — I mean many shows ago. Actually, not that many shows ago.

When it comes to the African-American community, you have a plethora of individuals. For example, the black population hasn’t given the Republican Party more than 15% of its vote since 1964. And anybody who is deemed a black conservative, I am not one of them — I’m a registered Independent, just to get that out of the way — but those that I know who are black conservatives are considered pariahs and are ostracized in our communities and it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

But this is how — this is a problem that exists within our community. Because you are from our community, everybody believes that everybody is supposed to be identical to one another and we can’t display or exercise any kind of versatility, alright, or range in our thinking. It’s a problem that we have to deal with. It’s an internal problem that exists and we’re going to have to handle it because if we don’t we’re gonna see more Jim Brown’s speaking out against more Kobe Bryant’s and we’re gonna see more Kobe Bryant’s retaliating against the likes of Jim Brown.



Stephen Smith isn’t best known for moments of quiet contemplation, but in this case he echoes a point we’ve heard from many black conservatives over the years. Lockstep insistence on political uniformity is not a good or a healthy thing for any community. He objects to the idea that being from the community means you must agree with the community on all things, and rejects the idea of african americans as a “monolithic” group.

Rejection of black conservatives whole cloth simply for the (R) they may choose to support is particularly offensive and often, as we saw last week on Hannity, an angry, ugly thing. Any voice that will speak out against demonization of black conservatives as race betrayers is a welcome voice indeed.

For background on the controversy Smith is commenting on see here. It’s about rejection of “other” … in Kobe’s case, his “other”-ness is based on his time spent abroad growing up.

(h/t RealClearPolitics)

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