Why Do Black Republicans Usually Have Such Bad Haircuts? An Important Exposé

Illustration for article titled Why Do Black Republicans Usually Have Such Bad Haircuts? An Important Exposé
Screenshot: CNN (YouTube)

Before we begin today, I believe it’s important to make something clear.

Bad haircuts/hairdos isn’t the same thing as bad hair, because bad hair doesn’t really exist. Of course, there is black-people hair. And this comes in myriad grades and textures. Certain types of this hair has been (wrongly) referred to as “good.” Naturally, if there’s good hair, there’s “bad” hair. I’m saying that there’s neither.


But, there are bad hair decisions. More specifically, bad decisions made with black hair.

These are some of their stories.

Blackrepublicandar doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like gaydar or even brokedar does, but it definitely exists. If, for instance, there’s one of those panels on MSNBC or CNN where five or six people’s heads are on screen at the same time, immediately spotting the black person who is also a conservative is like playing the most remedial version of Where’s Waldo? ever. Like basically Where’s Waldo? where Waldo’s just chillin’, by himself, in a bathtub, with a bow tie and a bad haircut.

For instance, the first time I saw disgraced Republican mascot Paris Dennard on TV, before a word even came out of his mouth, I knew something was just ... off. To a layman’s eye, perhaps, there might not have been much distinguishing him from a typical, 30-something, black man. But I knew, immediately, that he was brought on to bring a black conservative perspective. He just had that look that said “I wear flag lapels to Target.”

The black Republican look itself is culmination of subtle tells. The way he dresses, the color scheme of his clothes, and even facial expressions and enunciation patterns matter. The most reliable tell, however, is the hair. It is, very often, the hair of black men who either 1) get their haircuts at white barbershops or 2) don’t have enough black women in their lives to tell them their hair looks a damn fool.

(Also common is either a complete lack of facial hair or aggressively bizarre decisions made with the facial hair they possess.)

Let’s take former Republican Congressman Allen West, who is pictured above. He is a man fortunate enough to have a full head of hair in his late 50s. Yet he chooses to have hair like a character in a movie about space vampires. I wouldn’t even blame that on a white barber. You get that shit at Sears Auto Center, not Supercuts. That West has a black wife would seem to contradict the rule, but there are loopholes, and a black wife who is also conservative is one of them.


Just to show that I’m not singling West or Dennard out unfairly, just click on this Google image search of black Republicans. It’s a gallery of bizarre, awkward, and outright shitty decisions. An archive of “hold my beer, cut my hair.” Basically, if black men who are Republicans sincerely want to ingratiate themselves with the black community and perhaps attempt to convince some of us to join their team, they need to stop treating the black barbershop like it has cooties.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)


Denzel Washyourtongue

Speaking of shitty black republican hairstyles.