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The 27-year-old Houston, in Ebony’s 1991 interview, admitted being called “too white” hurt her: “‘Picture this,’ she says. … ‘You wake up every day with a magnifying glass over you. Someone always is looking for something — somebody, somewhere is speaking your name every five seconds of the day, whether it’s positive or negative. …
“‘And don’t say I don’t have soul or what you consider to be ‘blackness.’ I know what my color is. I was raised in a black community with black people, so that has never been a thing with me. Yet I’ve gotten flak about being a pop success, but that doesn’t mean that I’m white. … Pop music has never been all-white.’”
Black Republican Michael Steele was a lot older than 27 when, during his 2002 Maryland campaign for lieutenant governor, he was derided as “Simple Sambo” and depicted as a black-faced minstrel. At a gubernatorial debate, Oreo cookies were distributed by the opposition. The Washington Times later wrote: “Delegate Salima Siler Marriott, a black Baltimore Democrat, said Mr. Steele invites comparisons to a slave who loves his cruel master or a cookie that is black on the outside and white inside because his conservative political philosophy is, in her view, anti-black.”
You don’t have to be black to demean a black Republican.
The tea party supported Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., a black man who denounced Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats, and urged them to “get the hell out of the United States of America.” Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., a white man, said that West is “not representative of the African-American community.” About West, a former Army colonel who saw action in Iraq, Moran insultingly said: “(West) just seems clueless now that he has climbed aboard ship. He’s climbed this ladder of opportunity that was constructed by so many of his ancestors’ sweat, sacrifice, blood. You know they did everything they could for his generation to be successful. But now that he’s climbed on board ship, instead of reaching down and steadying the ladder, he wants to push it off. You know — ‘I’m up here, if you’re not with me, too bad.’”
So, a white Democrat — whose party hasn’t carried the “white vote” in nearly 50 years — tells West, a black Republican, that he is not “representative of the African-American community.”
Bet Whitney could relate.
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