Citizens for Free Speech, a grassroots 501(c)(3) organization devoted to the preservation and defense of the First Amendment, strongly condemns the social censorship of conservatives in the black community.
“Being a black conservative is just natural,” says retired Army Lt. Colonel Allen West, who is also a former congressman from Florida, in the new documentary “Uncle Tom” now streaming online. “It’s what my family raised us on—faith, family, individual responsibility, education, service to the nation.”
West’s devotion to those guiding principles in his upbringing is universally lauded in conservative circles, but in large segments of the African-American culture, that devotion makes him a sell-out.
A traitor to his race.
An Uncle Tom.
“The disparaging language being hurled at black conservatives like Col. West, as well as Candace Owens, Herman Cain, and many others is reprehensible,” says CFFS Executive Director Patrick Wood. “What’s worse is that they’re not just insulting these highly successful and intelligent people to make themselves feel good; they’re doing it to shut them up.”
Wood pointed to an online post from 1990’s era rapper Snoop Dogg, made after the premiere of the “Uncle Tom” movie, picturing Cain, Owens, Terrence K. Williams and other black conservatives in a “Brady Bunch” grid, with the title “The Coon Bunch” splashed across the picture.
“The use of such a highly offensive word to describe such incredibly accomplished people is not appropriate, and it’s not accidental,” Wood explained. “It’s part of an ongoing attempt by the political Left to shame black conservatives into silence. This is an indirect assault on the freedom of certain people of color to express views that may challenge the progressive narrative.”
The anger toward—and derision of—African-American conservatives is hardly a new development, as prominent Democratic organizations have long tried to marginalize them in the hopes of keeping their stranglehold on the black vote in national elections. Predictably, the anti-black conservative drumbeat has had a chilling effect on the ability of some to express themselves freely without fear of reprisal.
In 2018, for example, Matthew Handy and Adria Barrington were in Washington DC for the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives’ summer intern program. While in our nation’s capital, Handy and Barrington soon found that their brown skin, coupled with their red “MAGA” hats, was simply unacceptable to their Uber driver, who refused to give them a ride.
“I was mad,” Handy said. “I was furious. It struck a chord with me only because we’re supposed to be accepting of everybody else but when it comes to us and our beliefs, we’re supposed to keep them quiet or hide them.
This type of shadow-censorship of black conservatives has only been amplified since the indefensible death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer in late May, as the resulting movement to unite African-Americans behind far left political organizations has ratcheted up the anger and intensity against those who refuse to toe the progressive line.
Black conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder, who co-wrote and produced the “Uncle Tom” documentary, told CFFS exclusively that ordinary black Americans have to keep their political opinions to themselves if they don’t want to become victims of the “cancel culture” popularized by the American Left.
“A black professor at UC Berkeley who purportedly wrote a letter to fellow professors condemning their near-universal belief in systemic racism and police brutality, was so intimidated and fearful that they might be fired for speaking out—despite being tenured—that they had to write the letter anonymously,” Elder stated.
“It’s not only the lack of debate, it’s the consequences for maybe just raising your hand and saying there’s another point of view, you’re going to lose your job? This is crazy!”
Wood agrees, arguing that these ongoing threats to black Americans for raising their voices to offer a dissenting opinion is a direct attack on their First Amendment rights.
“The ability to speak freely, without fear of professional or personal reprisal, has put too many conservative-minded people of color in jeopardy,” Wood concluded. “Their voices matter. All voices matter.”
For more information about CFFS please visit www.CitizensForFreeSpeech.org.
National Director of Communications