L in the Southeast

L in the Southeast
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
November 04
Retired PR Director
I am a retired Public Relations professional who now writes purely for fun and catharsis. I covered most of my memoir-type pieces in the first three years here. Lately I have dabbled in politics, current affairs, pop culture and movie reviews. Life is my muse.


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OCTOBER 10, 2012 1:01PM

Backlash from Black Americans

Rate: 29 Flag


Stacey Dash flap


It used to be a kind of “family” secret.  Before Twitter and Facebook, we were able to keep the intra-community ugliness under wraps, more or less, while we shot each other with poison arrows via the grapevine.

Stacey Dash, star of the 90s hit movie, Clueless, announced her support of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney last Sunday.  The beautiful actress of African American and Mexican descent appears to have been dumbstruck by the negative reaction to her choice by some African Americans on Twitter. 

Superstar actor Samuel L. Jackson tweeted:

"Wait, did Stacey Dash Really endorse Romney today?! REALLY????! Is she CRA...........??!"

Non-celebrities weighed in with similar thoughts:

"You're an unemployed black woman endorsing @MittRomney. You're voting against yourself thrice. You poor beautiful idiot," tweeted one critic.

"Wait stacey dash is voting for romney? you get a lil money and you forget that you're black and a woman. two things romney hates," tweeted another.

 "Still clueless," quipped another.

You see, there is a large segment of the black community that believes all black people should think, act and believe alike.  Obviously, that belief is held by many African Americans from all social and economic strata.  They don’t care how important you get, how much money you amass or what belief system appeals to you more; if you are black, you support blacks, period.

Stacey Dash has a net worth of $8 million, according to a Forbes list.  She has spent about half of her 46 years living and playing among the Hollywood glitterati.  It is not hard to imagine why fixing the economy would be at the top of her criteria when it comes to choosing the recipient of her presidential vote.

For me, it is hard to imagine that she wouldn’t be equally concerned about social issues.  Stacey wasn’t born with a silver spoon (or foot) in her mouth, hailing as she does from the Bronx.  But, hey, this is America and in America ALL Americans have the right to think and choose whichever way makes them comfortable.  For Stacey, it seems, she’d be more comfortable with Romney for the next four years because she believes he knows how to fix the economy.  It’s not like she didn’t vote for President Obama four years ago. 

In a lot of ways, an independent thinker has a rough row to hoe in the black community.  When I decided to marry my WASP, Reagan Republican second husband, I was not oblivious to the snickers, sneers and whispers behind the brown hands of some of my black friends.  I just chose to ignore them, something I learned to do early on in order to survive in a sometimes hostile community.

Just as Kermit the Frog of Muppet fame croons about it “Ain’t Easy Being Green,” it takes a strong set of gonads to go your own way among some African Americans.

Before I started working full-time for a living, I was free to focus my political energies entirely on social justice issues.  After spending a few years working my way up the career and salary ladders, economic issues began to rise on my list of priorities.  Much like everyone else around me, I was eager to retain the things I worked so hard to get. I listened far more carefully to arguments for financial stability and I bristled at the thought of yet another percentage point of tax.

Enter the disparaging term “sell-out.”  The same people who marched and ranted against the Establishment in the name of equal access to opportunity for minorities, now turned on me for getting that access and wanting to keep it.

Yes, I will admit to being suspicious of black conservatives.  I don’t quite understand their priorities.  I wonder if they understand fully their dubious welcome among the conservative base.  Are they delusional?  Or is it that they are hopeful?  Perhaps just selfish.  All such thoughts do cross my mind.

But, doggone it, men and women of all colors and creeds have given their lives and continue to do so in order for Americans to have the right to think for themselves and speak their own personal truths.  Stacey Dash should be able to publicly support anyone she chooses without being attacked. 

Then again, that, too, is part of what it means to be free.  America, the beautiful.

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She certainly has the right to be mistaken about which candidate will more likely improve all of our lives. The nastiness is a sad reflection of our fractured cultural ethics.

I agree with you certainly about the general assumption that everyone in some demographic votes a certain way. I mean, it's ridiculous - people are different, no matter what their race, gender, income, religion etc. Still, the fact remains that tens of millions of people will vote for Romney and every one of them, to my mind, is ignorant. Not that I'm a fan of Obama's either - but Romney is so clearly everything that is wrong with this country, wrapped up in one little suit - that to be voting for this guy, defies all logic and sense.
Jon: She has the right to be mistaken...lol...well put.

Kate: As you know, I am in complete agreement with you about both Romney and the electorate. The President has his issues, too, but he still sees things closer to the way I do than the alternative. I'd rather gamble on him for another term than risk a travesty with Romney at the helm.
Never heard of her. Guess I'm clueless.
Kind of deflates that whole "Well of course, they're gonna all vote for him just because..." schtick though doesn't it?
I agree with you in theory, Lezlie, but...ANYBODY who would support Romney for anything but early retirement from the public stage is crazy -- even fellow plutocrats, even the very heart, the nucleus, the 1% of the 1% of the oligarchy, the head oligarchist himself or herself. Wanna know why? Because a Romney presidency would spell doom for the middle class, worldwide, and when the middle class is gone the whole damned system will crash and burn, and Cormac McCarthy's depressing book The Road, will become prophecy realized. I am dead serious, unfortunately.
I share your passion, Matt, you know I do. I'm just not going to jump on the woman for being stupid. As Jon says, it is her right to be stupid.
"Stacey Dash should be able to publicly support anyone she chooses without being attacked. "

So, is Stacey thinking for herself, or is she stupid and incapable of thinking for herself?
UncleChri: If you are asking me, I say she is thinking for herself and coming up with an unfortunate conclusion, one that I happen to think is stupid.
I'll defend to my death her right to vote for the wrong candidate.
It's an argument I've used against evangelists: I reserve the right to be wrong.

She has that right. However, if you make a choice, you take the heat. That she should have to make her case is perfectly fair. Put another way: It is fair game to call her an idiot but not necessarily to call her a traitor. Certainly in terms of class, if she's wealthy it is within reason that she should identify wealthy. Looking at these comments, they don't call her out for being a sell-out, they call her out for being clueless. Truth? They're right.

What being Black means in this case is that it is widely assumed within the Black community that She Should Know Better. Unless she's been awfully sheltered, she should. Most Black people I know, for obvious reasons, are very familiar with what racism looks like, even when it is disguised as something else. (Like a birther movement.) It's analogous to my having a very different take on antisemitism than a lot of Lefties on OS do. So, for Black people to look at her and go "This is a guy who doesn't treat any of your groups well" is sensible. I'm not, incidentally, saying Romney's a racist. However, he belongs to a party that tends to believe that we should proceed on the assumption that racism doesn't exist in order to be fair, not understanding how unfair a stance that is or, in some cases, not caring.
By the way, I of course agree with Matt (CM). I've said that stuff myself since I came to OS, starting with my very first post.

And I STILL don't understand why no one prominent in the Democratic party is saying this loudly and conspicuously.
Kosh: I see your point. You see the tweets above as challenges rather than attacks. It is similar to something that happened recently. I noticed a local neighbor with whom I am friendly had "liked" Romney on Facebook. She has always been coy about her politics in person, so this gave me an opportunity to let her know I saw her preference. I sent her a message on FB: "Really? Tell me why?" Under any other circumstances she would have answered immediately. This time, nothing. So what am I supposed to make of that? Did she feel "caught?" Is she unable to state her reasons for supporting Romney?

I wrote this because Stacey is on record as being shocked by the response.
Im glad to see you weigh in on this topic. Whoopi went off about it on the View this morning. http://theview.abc.go.com/video/hot-topics-stacey-dash-gets-backlash-tweet I want to live in the world fifty years from now when they look back on this as the end of the racial bias. We aren't there yet.
Perversity can be very seductive, but I personally think Mitt is mean--even though he has a face that looks like it belongs on Mount Rushmore.
Z: I was watching that. It triggered this post. The thing about racial bias is that it goes both ways and I think people lose sight of that. I wish I could foresee the end of this nonsense within the next 50 years. At the moment, I just don’t.

Sarah: He is a good-looking man, but his words and actions speak much louder.
I thought the left was "Pro-Choice"? I wouldn't call this a war on woman but, it certainly is a battle.
she should be free to speak, everyone should. but that doesn't mean you have to respect what she says. if you despise her for what she says, say so.
"You see, there is a large segment of the black community that believes all black people should think, act and believe alike."

There's a large segment of the white community that swears all also believes black people think, act and believe alike. That's called projection, because those white folks do think, act and believe alike -- and they vote like a school of fish.

They will be voting for Mitt, too, regardless of the fact that most of them consider him a heretic, a member of a religious cult, and regardless of the fact that his policies will increase their tax burden, while reducing services. So, one can reasonably argue that poor and middle class whites who vote for Republicans are equally as clueless as Stacey Dash.
Conversation quite some time ago with a very good friend from the black community,

ME:"Well, they got the right to take that side if they want to ..."

HIM: (cutting me off mid-sentence) "F%*# That!!!!"

nuff said
You've pretty much covered the argument very well . I doubt that Dash believes she has much clout with the African American vote. I think she probably feels a little neglected, may be sad or a bit lonely...who knows. However, we are talking about her now!

Aversion to integration is racism whether it is black or white. Yet, when an African American roots for the Republican agenda, she/he is not only betraying her/his race but also betraying the entire civil rights movement, the working class, humanity in general, and most of all, Jesus.

I have people ask me, "Why are you so mad at Obama? Win or lose will make no difference in your life" My answer is this. Obama has a very rare chance to stand up for the working class, better the world, and build himself an unprecedented legacy. Obama showing strength is a victory to humanity. I (personally) feel betrayed by any African American who supports the present Republican agenda, and I have no sympathy for them. Excellent post, Lezlie. R
" For Stacey, it seems, she’d be more comfortable with Romney for the next four years because she believes he knows how to fix the economy..." Back in Texas they say that money talks and BS walks. Just about anybody with $8 million in assets is very likely to be inclined to vote for Romney. "God bless the child that's got her own..." ;-)
If I may be permitted a correction...

So, one can reasonably argue that poor and middle class whites who vote for Republicans are EVEN MORE clueless than Stacey Dash -- after all, someone with her net worth could reasonably argue she's voting her self-interest by voting for the Lord Protector of Obscene Wealth.
Wow, so never can a black person vote Republican-what a country. If you are not rich, you are clueless, if you are then, you are just looking out for yourself. That is beautiful.
I never give a celebrity endorsement an ounce of gravity, but she put it out there and getting feedback was invited. It would be rude to criticize invited guests.

The provocative thing isn't her endorsement, as I assume she's just too uninformed to be aware of why knowledgeable people, especially blacks, find the idea of a black conservative an act of self immolation. She has no idea that the conservative movement was built on racism, in support of Jim Crow, and has never abandoned that sentiment in total. In fact, it's been resurgent over the last 4 years with the Tea Party, gaining prominence in the GOP primary with audible dog whistles and in GOP states with voter suppression.

But she probably doesn't know any of that, so if Stacy Dash wants to endorse Romney and the neo-confederate wave he's riding, we should affirm her right to cast her 3/5ths of a vote, even if criticizing it is acceptable.
Jay Richer: Thanks for your comment.

al loomis: I suppose that is the broadest meaning of the concept of free speech.

Tom: I’m glad you said that. I was thinking that as I wrote this, but decided to keep it simple. I cannot fathom why anyone who thinks through the issues would vote for Romney. I also tend to think they are clueless about where he and his party will take us. There is always a down side to freedom.

Oahusurfer: EXACTLY!

Thoth: Ms. Dash received a personal phone call from The Numbers Guy, himself after her tweet. He called her courageous. I call her ignorant for not going beyond her own personal agenda, if that is in fact what she is doing.

jmac: …”Mama may have; Papa may have…”

Tom: Thanks.

Paul: I have a feeling that Ms. Dash is naïve at best and undereducated at worst. Her endorsement will not mean a thing to either side.
Good post, Lezlie. I agree, she has every right to support Romney, but I just don't get it. I just don't. ~r
Kosh touched on something: she put her endorsement out in public through social media. If you air your opinion publicly, you can't act surprised at any blowback. If she had aired her opinion only in private to friends and then one of them went public, or if she was just some unknown person rather than the star of a major movie, then she would have a reason to be shocked.

When I post anything in public, whether it is on an OS blog or on Facebook, I am fully aware that some people will disagree and that some may do so belligerently, and I take that into consideration before I hit "post." If I don't want to deal with someone vehemently disagreeing with me, I have the option to be quiet. That doesn't mean that Ms. Dash doesn't have a right to be upset with some of the harsher comments, but she can't act surprised by it.
Sandra Fluke goes to a Catholic institution and demands birth control and she is a hero, Dash exercises her 'choice' and she is at best naive. Amazing.
PS: That is not a partisan statement about Ms. Dash. Hollywood lefties get harsh comments all the time about their political beliefs, and they are fair game for it.
stacey got the right to be muddleheaded as do we all
under this glad flag waving over us.

this is troubling but hardly fatal:

" large segment of the black community
that believes all black people should think,
act and believe alike. "

we whites kinda got that too i guess.

there are many of us, and we are of every nationality

german italian scottish english welsh russian & whatnot.
me i am german.
makes me as daddy george, 100 percent german said once,
"ach we germans, the niggers of europe"
also he had some damn idiot theory about
south germans. we being south, me to not forget it.
ah yikes.
blacks gotta get big heads.
they already got em , i know from my adventures among em.
god dang em,
i wish i could say.
dispense with the freakin drama and start makin yer voice known.

oh well i am white and a big Uriah heap i guess haw.
Jay Richer apparently didn't read the news the day Rush Limbaugh referred to Sandra Fluke as a "slut."
Joanie: Neither do I.

Cranky: I’ll bet she understands that now.

Jay: That’s a rather odd comparison.

James: …”dispense with the freakin drama and start makin yer voice known.” I can get behind that.
A quick review tells me I have skipped my buddy alsoknownas. So sorry -- sometimes I just screw up.

aka: I'm not surprised you haven't heard of Ms. Dash. She was in a teeny-bopper, bubblegum movie that I'm quite sure you wouldn't have seen if somebody had a gun to your head. :D
It reminds of that story of Charles Barkley when one of the Bushes or maybe Dole was running. He told his wife he was voting Republican and she demurred, saying "But they're just for the rich." Barkley replied "Yeah, but we're rich".
I'm surprised so many in the black community are so willing to vote for Obama. Last I saw, black men made 50 cents to the dollar compared to whites. We have over 2 million Americans in prison, many of them young black men. We have a "justice" system that preys on poor black people. The unemployment rate in the black community is double that of whites. What has Obama done for the black community. Not to mention that he is bombing poor black and brown people across the globe.

I suggest the black, brown and white communities should look at Green Party candidate Jill Stein rather than another vote against their own interests.

What gets me is that yes she has the right to say who she supports. You also have the right to think and even say she is stupid. Some of the tweets that I saw were just short of death threats and wishing she would kill herself.

Even if you have the right to say something about her comments, why would you? Does it make you feel like a bigger person to say vile things about someone? Come on! How many times have you been told that just because you have the right to say something maybe you are better off to just keep you mouth shut? I really wonder about the mental stability of some of the people to said things to her. Maybe one of our local doctors would chime in with why.

It's funny. I always went to your area. Now that I want to, I never go. When I do however, I intend to ask you to be my dinner date. At which time I will offer you my arm, walk you to the door of someplace and hold it open for you, and if you will go with me, I won't care what people tweet. :)
r, very much, Thanks, Lezlie.
Well gee, with such hi-profile conservative black people, like Thomas, Cain, that insane congress-crittur from Fla (West?), why would anybody be currently surprised that there is no perfect cohesion in the black community? Where is there ever perfect cohesion? Most of us disagree with everybody else on almost everything at all times...
so, the theme of some comments seems to be that she has the right to make the "wrong" choice.

let me extend this idea - the people cursing her out and accusing her of being a traitor to her race have the right to display their hatred and ugliness without any tsk-tsking too, right?

You see, there is a large segment of the black community that believes all black people shouldn't vote for racists.

The only difference between the Republican Party and the KKK is the thread count of their sheets.
" The thing about racial bias is that it goes both ways and I think people lose sight of that."

You mean it's a Zero Sum situation because black Americans had white slaves?
Rated and shared. Very well written and insightful.
This is a really, really interesting perspective. I guess what disappoints me is that, regardless of your race/religion/sexual orientation, you would choose money as a priority. Money is important, that I definitely know - but to make that the thing that determines who you'll vote for is kind of scary, in my opinion.

Thank you for this extremely intelligent and interesting take on this issue. I thought this was a great post.
L -I am full of odd comparisions- Here Ms. Dash was called a House N##% for voting for whitey and Sandra Fluke went to a Catholic School and railed against the lack of free pills.
Dash got bashed for not knowing her place.
Fluke got hero status for knowing where she was and bashing it.
Count me among the ones who don't get how a black person could endorse Romney. Or a woman, or a gay person, or a Latino (except for the Cuban repubs of Florida), or anyone without a job, or a low paying one, etc. It's Joe the Plumber syndrome, wanting to identify with a class you are not a part of. The Republican Party has for years based its political fortunes at least partially on a years-long demonization of blacks. I for one would not forgive them just for that, not to mention how their policies affect the majority of the poor. Perhaps knowing that race is determinant of class, some of us are cannot comprehend how successful non-whites seem to think they are no longer typed by race, and race issues no longer affect them.
So well written. An excellent essay about something not much talked about. R
However we disagree, this IS a democracy and she should tell Samuel L. Jackson, who I happen to like as an actor, to kiss her ass.
Thanks for this post. Well said, and stated. Politics brings out the worst in us.
What do you find mysterious about the fact that liberals praise those who share their views and vilify those who don't?

Not to put too fine a point on it, but conservatives do exactly the same thing.

No, it's not OK. Telling her she's wrong is fine. Telling her she's clueless is fine. Telling her that the's a House N----- is not fine.

I have to agree. It's not a bad endorsement because she's Black, it's a bad endorsement because she's American.
This article stated that "Non-celebrities weighed in with similar thoughts..."
What it failed to mention is that Stacey Dash is also a non-celebrity. lol. Who cares what she said. Clueless is "so 1995" #AliciaSilverstoneVoice
Seriously, who cares what people’s opinions are on politics. Politics shouldn’t be persuaded by anybody’s opinion, celebrity or not. What matters is the substance of the candidate and what they represent
This white woman does not understand why ANY woman can support Romney/Ryan. As for either one of those men's appearance. I was taught to believe that your actions are much more important than your looks...."pretty is as pretty does".
Let's cut to the chase, shall we? Stacey Dash is just another House Nigger.
If Dash is free to publically support Romney, then you can't diss people who disagree with her position from saying so. She didn't have to go public, that was her choice. She obviously felt that her "celebrity" might sway some votes. She could just as easily keep her voting preference to herself. Why should I care who she is voting for? Other than to say that anyone who actually votes Republican and buys into their way of thinking, top down, everyman for himself, I am not my brother's keeper, is delusional.
I absolutely love how you ended this.
I agree, she has every right to vote for whomever she wishes -- but by the same token, the right is there to say, "Why?"
...which is different than heavy judgment because she is black *and* conservative, to clarify...
That old phrase about not worrying about what others think, gets deeper and more profound for me year by year.
I hope Ms. Dash has a thick skin.
Please forgive me for not following up on your comments. It seems OS has decided I don’t need to get an email notification of new comments anymore.
Abrawang: LOL!

Seer: On the surface, it seems so exotic to strike out against “the system” and endorse third party candidates. But ask yourself, what would happen in Washington if Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson were to win? If we are willing to live through four more years of utter chaos while the REALLY NEW president built his or her government, then fine. I just don’t think the country can afford four more years of the kind of nonsense that went on in Congress these past four years. Obama is not going to raise taxes on small businesses that make less than $1 million, according to what Biden said last night. That woman needs to make sure when she makes her decision, she makes it based on the most recent version of the facts. Of course, they may change…like tomorrow. :D

Alaska Progressive: Thanks for your input.

Catnlion: Thanks to the ubiquitous Twitter, people are popping off before they give any thought to how their flippant remark will play – good or bad. I’m no doctor, but I am a student of psychology. A lot of those people are jealous of Ms. Dash’s success and lash out childishly. Others envy her beauty. How many women have you heard say (supposedly jokingly) “She is so pretty and thin. I hate her!”
If we ever do have that dinner together, we just might get our 15 seconds of notoriety. As if anybody would even notice around here. It would be no big deal to anybody I know, anyway.

Kim: Thank you!

Myriad: Ha! That last sentence cracked me up.

B.O.: No one should be cursing anyone out. I have not seen any messages that called her a traitor to her race, but if there are, they are overreacting and showing their ignorance, IMHO. They have the right to say their hateful and ugly things, but they also open themselves up to whatever blowback they get.

David: Ok.
David: That isn’t even almost correct.

Simply American: Thank you!

Alysa: Money is the lifeblood of the American life-style. Apparently, for a lot of people, it matters more that they keep (or get) their money than it is for all Americans to be given the opportunity to do the same. Thanks for your great comment.

Jay: As someone who has been called that name, I find it highly offensive, even when repeated. You are still comparing apples and oranges, though.

Sirenita: I don’t get it, either. Maybe Ms. Dash just isn’t smart enough or well-informed enough to think her way past the GOP rhetoric.

Jaime: Thanks!

Scanner: That’s what I would do under the same circumstances.

Mime: …but the worst in us seems to be the driving force in today’s America.

Mo: Thanks for your comment.

LSD: Our parents must have been somehow related.

David: Nice.

simplevalues: Your point is well-taken. Especially the last sentence. :)
Stewart had a piece on the Black Mormon Voter the other night, kind of funny way to address the community divide. I think that part of democratic freedom is not becoming the demographic you are assigned to but the one you aspire to be. I am just glad she is actually voting, and thinking about it.
It's quite correct.

And here's why --

Hey, the Pub mill is not without its uneasy pitch, roll , sway ... the acid back splash does bite at the larynx of most staring from the shore ....
Yes, she has a right to remain clueless. I hope her endorsement doesn't sway too many similarly clueless people.
Any African-American who votes for a party that in 2012 defends slavery is Beyond Clueless.
I gotcha. You gotta luv this shit. Liberals make it possible for us to "choose" our beliefs, and speak them, so those who want to shut us down or don't see their own greed can carry on.

U gotta luv Clint, for example, he makes millions upon millions as a working class hero so he say fuck you to the miserable bastards to promote his new movie and they don't even squak.

I don't know "Clueless" or this actress but the irony is hillarious. From the Bronx, no less.

Hey, congrats on the EPs. Look like u found an editor who gets you, and you deserve it. You've been a consistent, professional contributor for a long time. But tell me, if you get r&f are you gonna go anti-blogger?

"Conservatives" like "Ben Sen" believe that "Freedom of Speech" means what they say is above criticism.

if i'm a "conservative" what the hell are you?
"I know you are but what am I?" is awfully tired Sen Sen.
Mr. E.:

I don't call people who are hetrosexual "breeders" thereby demonstrating my heterophobia, and I don't throw shit when I'm so full of it.

Get a life kid.