Let’s be clear about one thing. You can be Black, Republican and sane. While we may often disagree with the GOP on matters of public policy, particularly its far-right wing, we know that many Black Republicans fervently believe in the party’s fundamental economic and social message. However, Alan Keyes defies rational behavior in his exuberance to demean anyone and anything Black that does not conform to his warped sense of American identity. Where Justice Clarence Thomas is misguided in his construction of the Constitution and application of justice, Keyes is simply irrational and behaves as if there are some underlying psychological issues affecting his judgment.
If you don’t know, Keyes is the ultra Black conservative who makes Pat Buchanan look like a liberal. Keyes fancies himself a super-patriot, defender of all things American and denouncer of all things Black. His primary occupation seems to be running for public offices for which he has no reasonable chance of winning, whether it’s the Senate in Illinois or for President of the United States. His campaigns have been one continuous rant against the liberal establishment; his mythical enemy that provokes delusional outbursts from Keyes that is painful to watch and provokes as much pity as it does anger from his detractors. In one of its low moments, MSNBC wasted air time giving Keyes a program that mirrored his warped perspective.
Now it seems Keyes has taken to insulting President Obama, claiming he does not recognize Mr. Obama’s election as legitimate and refusing to acknowledge him as the nation’s leader. Keyes further claimed that the United States will “cease to exist” if Obama is not removed from office. Like so many other ignorant Obama critics on the far-right fringe, Keyes questions the President’s birth certificate and U.S. citizenship. It is a tired ploy that reveals the depths of racism and the extent of Keyes’ self-hatred. Of all the cards to play, Keyes, who possesses a doctorate, plays the one that appeal to the lowest common denominator of the Republican’s conservative base.
Alan Keyes is an embarrassment to himself and the Republican Party. His ramblings only serve to further distance Blacks from the GOP. Black Republicans, in particular, should be tired of Keyes’ grandstanding and camera mugging. For the casual observer, Keyes becomes the face of Black Republicanism against the silence of more measured, reasonable and rational Black voices in the party. The GOP’s leadership should make every effort to exile Keyes. While new party chair Michael Steele, the first Black to lead the Republican National Committee, claims he is constructing a “big tent” he need not preside over a circus act. The quicker Steele makes it known to Keyes that his tirades have no place in the party, the sooner Blacks will take seriously the new chairman’s claim that he is serious about making its membership more inclusive.
By appearances, Mr. Keyes is clearly angry. We suspect it stems from his repeated failure to get elected to office. For someone who claims to speak for the masses of conservative Americans, he doesn’t seem to notice that voters do not believe he is worthy of election. His repeated campaigns have made him a caricature, a cartoonish figure that amuses white conservatives and embarrasses those that know better. This is the same man who disowned his own daughter because she is a lesbian. His act has grown tired over the years and his latest rant proves just how disturbed he has become.
While whites who espouse patently racist views are quickly denounced, we tend to take a pass when Blacks sow the seeds of hate against us. Well, we don’t subscribe to that behavior. We not only believe in airing our dirty laundry, we intend on actively washing it in public and hanging it out to dry. Alan Keyes is a demagogue, a fanatic, and his recent remarks warrant condemnation.