I wrote a piece last week about the need for the implementation of race-conscious conservatism. The piece received quite a few responses, and believe it or not, I appreciate the feedback. The goal is to start a dialogue and a movement that at its fruition, brings a stronger uprising of conservatives from what would now be considered the strangest of places.
Before any of this can truly begin, I believe it is important to address what Race-Conscious Conservatism is not. The most easy belief to dispel is that it is somehow a divisionist Marxist plot. Sorry, but not sorry, it just isn’t. There is no plot to distract conservatives with identity politics while the communists take over America. The source of the values is literally in the name, Race-Conscious Conservatism. To agree with the approach means that you agree with the basic conservative tenants of liberty and freedom, a God-given right to self defense, the belief in individual human potential and the right to pursue economic gain through the free market, and the right of every parent to choose the best educational pathway for their child.
Second, it isn’t identity politics. Identity politics is defined as “a tendency for people of a particular religion, race, social background, etc., to form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics.”. This isn’t an argument that black people should be conservative because they are black. While I personally do believe (and many studies have shown) that many African Americans are culturally quite conservative in their beliefs, this isn’t an argument for conservatives to delve into the oppression olympics just to win people to our side.
Finally, Race-Conscious Conservatism is not proposed as a quick fix or silver bullet for growing the conservative movement. There is no quick fix for the lack of the minority participation or representation from within the ranks of the conservative movement in public office. For better or worse, it takes time; and just like going to the gym to reach fitness goals, it requires a change of mindset as well as action to achieve the intended goal.
In both instances, those changes are difficult. It first requires that we honestly examine ourselves and our position to determine if our prior actions have led to the result that we desire. If the answer is no, and I argue for sake of the growth of the movement, the answer is a resounding no, then we must make a change. Change is uncomfortable and challenging. It forces us to confront a deficiency or blind spot. It demands that we acknowledge that our actions and mindset have not produced the result that we say that we earnestly aspire to obtain. However, when one wants to get fit, change is required. It does not come merely by closing our eyes and wanting really hard for the change to come, it doesn’t arrive by expecting everyone to treat you as if you have achieved your goal before arriving at the summit, and it doesn’t come by ignoring the problem until it goes away.
I propose that it’s time for a change in the way that conservatives engage with diverse populations. If we truly take the time to look in the mirror and assess ourselves, I think that we will find that the way we’ve done business hasn’t brought us the results we desire in the way of growing the movement. That’s distressing and tough to deal with, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It requires a change of mindset and hard work, but as we work together, I believe that we will see the fruits of labor come to actualization in a more meaningful and powerful way than ever before.