By William T. Robinson, Jr.
You are always finding an individual African American who feels that he or she can speak on behalf of all African Americans; however, they should make it understood it is merely their own personal opinions regarding issues. What is so ironic is that in several situations, the person making the statements has little connection to or association with the situation they appear to be advocating for. They often use their time with the media as a photo opt to gain local, state, national, or worldwide attention for themselves.
I apologize to those who have done their homework and are adamantly sincere in intelligently bringing attention to the social ills that are plummeting our society, especially against people who are marginalized and ignored. Too often, you have Whites with ulterior motives using African Americans as puppets to generate and promote dissension and lies. These ‘puppets’ become spokespersons for esoteric self-serving groups or persons.
My concern is that African Americans should be cognizant of suspicious groups using them as instruments to sell or promote their agendas to a large segment of gullible and sometimes racist audiences. Let’s not be naïve to the fact that we are finding more African Americans supporting agendas and policies that are primarily beneficial to select White communities or audiences, making one wonder why the African American supporter is complicit in promoting philosophies or ideologies that sometimes work against people of color or those trivialized or disadvantaged.
Today you find a handful of Blacks advocating adamantly for privileged White businesses and groups to the extent that these questionable entities don’t have to advocate for their own self-serving interests. Some would call this a ‘switch and bait’ technique. Those who consciously seek to continuously undermine and suppress people of color have perfected it. Argue if you want to, it is a commonly used arrangement that works for the most part.
Blacks who are complicit in deceiving people are either unscrupulous, devoid of integrity or are being well compensated with the lure of money, power or recognition. One can only hope it was worth it for the treasonous participants with their rationalization or just plain unadulterated greed or ignorance. I would imagine that most people know when they are being used, and therefore don’t see themselves as victims. In some cases, the participant may be genuinely ignorant of the ideas or issues they are promoting, especially when they are soliciting support from others.
Some would suggest that Kanye West is the latest pawn being used to rally support in the Black community for President Trump. It was unquestionable to a large segment of the population that Kanye was oblivious to the truth of how the majority of African Americans see the president. Or perhaps Kanye truly feels the president is all that and a bag of chips. Nonetheless, most Blacks watching his meeting with Trump literally gasped or were humiliated by the spectacle Kanye presented to president Trump and his staff. If Kanye meant to highlight prison reform and the creation of jobs for more African Americans, his message was lost in his rambling Sambo presentation lauding how his ‘Make America Great Again’ hat made him feel like a superhero. Adding insult to injury was his megalomaniac ego and his smothering of hugs to a bewildered and sneering Trump. Kanye’s adoration for Trump didn’t rally other Blacks to support Trump but to wonder when did Kanye drank the punch and if he knew he was being used.
In all fairness, it is no secret that Kanye suffers from mental illness and should be watched closely by those who claim they’ve ‘got his back’ so he won’t continue to voluntarily verbalize ignorance or allow himself to be exploited by babbling like an idiot. He was not the one to be representing Black people to a president who only took advantage of his vulnerability and ignorance.
President Trump has met with a sundry of Black organizations and groups to give the illusion he cares about or supports them. Some of these organizations included the presidents of HBCUs and a group of Black ministers. You found some Black members coming from these meeting heralding praise for Trump, even claiming he is the best president that Blacks have ever had. So much for these Blacks speaking for the African American community. Don’t be surprised if some African Americans refer to them as sellouts by supporting Trump. There is an old adage that says “if you take in a snake, don’t be surprised when he bites you.”
This article originally appeared in the Nashville Pride.