The president and the attorney general of the United States were both victims of racial profiling in their life. It did not prevent them from achieving their goals and becoming two of the most influential and powerful people in American history, shattering glass ceilings along the way. But it does allow them to empathize with the millions of black men that have gone through the same thing.
It is a teaching moment for America. This is not Rev. Al Sharpton or Rev. Jesse Jackson we're talking about. These are two men, Barack Hussein Obama and Eric Holder, who traveled a different path but ran into the same obstacles. Obama's and Holder’s experiences give legitimacy to the reality that so many in the black community write and talk about on a daily basis.
Now if we could only hear from some black conservatives and libertarians. Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Allen West, Clarence Thomas, Shelby Steele, Larry Elder, et al — any of you guys brave enough to share your experiences growing up black in America? Have you ever been stopped or profiled for driving or walking while black?
Black conservatives and libertarians are always so quick to criticize the Sharptons and Jacksons who roll up their sleeves, march, and fight on a daily basis side by side with those who are being constantly abused and oppressed.
They love their books and speeches on personal responsibility and the detrimental effect of federal government programs on black families, especially black men. But now is a time for them to show a little solidarity. Now is the time to tell America, as Obama and Holder just did and as Sharpton and Jackson have been saying, that sometimes being black is the only thing required to have an unpleasant experience with the law. Sometimes no matter what your ideology, when you walk into a store you might be followed or when you get on an elevator a woman might clutch their purse, or if you wear a hoodie you might come up dead.
Where are they? Have they never been profiled? Do they not have some experience they wish to share? Are they too afraid to acknowledge that their ideology didn’t stop anyone from latching their car doors?
Are they too afraid to admit that systemic bias based on past and current history trumps political ideology every time?
When the police pull you over because you are driving a nice car in the wrong neighborhood, they don’t ask if you are a liberal, progressive, conservative, or libertarian.
So black conservatives and libertarians, do you have some stories to tell? Are you afraid to identify with some of the realities of being a black man in America? Are you afraid your speaking fees and book tours in conservative America will dry up if you admit that it happened to you too?
I know that conservative America is dying to hear your reaction to Obama’s game-changing speech. However, before you begin spouting on about how disappointed you are or how inappropriate it was, can you please just answer this question?
Has it ever happened to you? Did you have the “conversation” with your kids? Did your daddy have it with you? I'd be seriously surprised if the answer is "no."