Op-ed submission by Project 21
In his book “It’s OK To Leave The Plantation”, C. Mason Weaver said the next logical step for the civil rights movement is the rise of a black conservative movement. Weaver, a black conservative, former congressional candidate and public speaker, says that hysteria, angst, crime, family breakdown and many other ills facing America today are prophetic of the progressive agenda. It was not Weaver’s opinion that black conservatives could solve all these problems overnight, but at least black conservatives could be counted upon not to perpetuate the failed progressive ideas and programs that created this mess in the first place.
Weaver also wrote, “There has always been two sides to the civil rights movement, violence and non-violence. From the suffrage movement to Nat Turner to the Abolitionist and Toussant L’ Overture, we have always had a choice in this struggle. If you followed Dr. Martin L. King’s way or Malcolm X’s, the choice was still non-violence or violence. However today’s choices are different and alarming. This nation seems to be dividing itself into violence and passive victims. The violence is towards our own people, and the passiveness is toward those leading us back onto the plantation of hopelessness.” Weaver wrote this over a dozen years ago. How have things changed since then?
On one hand, there is the Obama Administration and a progressive majority in Congress that is working fiercely to enact as many new big-government policies as possible. On the other side, the tea party movement grew out of opposition to Obama’s overspending, overregulation and a foreign policy that overlooks dangerous threats to our national security.
I have written and spoken on these very issues in the time since Weaver’s book was published. It is clear to me and other free-thinking blacks that the constant mantras of “give us more,” “feed us,” “we cannot make it without your help” and “you owe us something” that is championed by progressives have all worn out their welcome.
It is often said we should give hope, peace, change and prosperity a chance, which is what independent conservative thought represents. So, give conservatism a chance!
In his book, Weaver also wrote, “It is time to evaluate our communities and our decisions. Forty years ago we decided government handouts, welfare, job training and birth control assistance were needed in our communities. Well, it is time to check on this noble mission and evaluate its progress. We have faithfully given our vote to one party and it is time we look at what we have received for our loyalty. We have blindly followed self-appointed leaders in social, economic and political ideology; lets see if it has benefitted us.”
Again, Weaver hit the nail on the head. It is evident that our loyalty and trust have been used and abused over the years by progressives and those who claim to speak for black America. I have long labored to introduce free-thinking blacks to the idea of becoming more politically independent and leaving the political and social plantation run by the progressive movement. We must not allow any political movement or party to take us for granted.
Go to a tea party with an open mind. Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi control the bully pulpit. People owe it to themselves to hear the opposition — free of the filter of a media that seems all-too-wiling to provide a negative portrayal of the tea parties.
As a black conservative, I know that fighting the stranglehold progressives have on black America presents a long and uphill battle. I also know that too many of our own have vested interest in maintaining the status quo and seeing to it that nobody escapes from the plantation.
I am also comfortable with the fact that I am seeing more and more black Americans across this great nation who are waking up and realizing that — as Weaver said — it is OK to leave the progressive plantation. But, most of all, they are realizing it is in their best interest to do so.
Jimmie L. Hollis is a member of the National Advisory Council of the Project 21 black leadership network.