Who You Callin’ Uncle Tom?

Just because I disagree with the conventional black political thinking does not make me a sellout. And I’m not any less black than you.


Black folks shouldn’t have their “black card” revoked just because they don’t share the opinions or conventional political views of the black community.

There is a troubling trend emerging in the black community relative to our freedom of speech and the right to dissent. I have been attacked and vilified, marginalized by some because I call for lower taxes and less government spending, and God forbid I try to talk about a strong national defense or disagree with President Obama’s handling of any particular issues. The smears come in a flood.

Just look on my recent Fox piece published on The Root or any other nasty vitriol coming, mostly, from black folks.

To be attacked or shunned for disagreeing (on occasion) with the black president, whom I voted for, campaigned for in Virginia (despite being a lifelong Republican) offends me deeply. I am proud of the Obamas, what they represent and what they’ve accomplished and no disagreement on policy will ever change that for me. And to have those policy disagreements escalate into racial name-calling is utterly ridiculous and a huge step backward.

While it is nothing new for black people to question each other’s loyalty to some idea of racial fealty, it seems to me to be more commonplace that we have come to see each other as “not black enough” or as “sellouts,” “Toms,” “House Negroes,” just because we disagree. And if those disagreements involve President Obama or his policies—then the scorn only intensifies. Then we become “Negroes gone rogue.” Some of us have come under attack for deviating, however slightly, from the Obama view of the world. Tavis Smiley, Bill Cosby, Michael Eric Dyson, Julianne Malveaux, Cornel West, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. (well he did go a bit too far with the “cut his nuts off” comment last year).