Google Doodles Finally Honors a Conservative


After all the leftists whom Google has chosen to honor over the years, including Caesar Chavez, the company has finally chosen, probably unknowingly, to honor a conservative.

It wouldn’t be likely to happen if Zora Neale Hurston had lived recently enough to write Wall Street Journal editorials, contribute to City Journal and appear on FOX News.

As it is, she’s safely obscure to most liberals and conservatives. Which makes it safe to honor her as an African-American writer, instead of a vocal activist who opposed the New Deal and all the liberal social policies that came after it, who wanted black people to win a place in the sun, instead of being paternalistically handed a special employment and education quota and a lifelong job accusing opponents of liberalism of racism.

It goes without saying that Zora Neale Hurston was a Republican. But she was far to the right of Republicans of her day. She would be even more far to the right of contemporary Republicans. That’s true of a lot of black conservatives who tend to wind up well to the right, but it would have been even more true of her.

But Zora Neale Hurston was also deeply engaged in the problems of the black community. It would have been impossible to accuse her of being an “honorary white” or any of the other slurs tossed at black conservatives. She deeply felt the pain at the lack of progress and at the way that so many in the black community sabotaged themselves and in doing so empowered white racism.

Hurston believed that black success had to be built on personal accomplishment in the face of racism, not on government intervention. History has indisputably proven her right.

Probably the best summation of her views was her letter ‘Court Order Can’t Make the Races Mix’ in response to Brown v. Board of Education.

“The whole matter revolves around the self-respect of my people. How much satisfaction can I get from a court order for somebody to associate with me who does not wish me near them? The American Indian has never been spoken of as a minority and chiefly because there is no whine in the Indian. Certainly he fought, and valiantly for his lands, and rightfully so, but it is inconceivable of an Indian to seek forcible association with anyone. His well known pride and self-respect would save him from that. I take the Indian position.”

Hurston went on to caution,

“But the South had better beware in another direction. While it is being frantic over the segregation ruling, it better keep its eyes open for more important things. One instance of Govt by fiat has been rammed down its throat. It is possible that the end of segregation is not here and never meant to be here at present, but the attention of the South directed on what was calculated to keep us busy while more ominous things were brought to pass. The stubborn South and the Midwest kept this nation from being dragged farther to the left than it was during the New Deal.

But what if it is contemplated to do away with the two party system and arrive at Govt by administrative decree? No questions allowed and no information given out from the administrative dept. We could get more rulings on the same subject and more far-reaching any day.”

Today, under Obama, Hurston has been proven to be chillingly correct.

“In the ruling on segregation, the unsuspecting nation might have witnessed a trial-balloon. A relatively safe one, since it is sectional and on a matter not likely to arouse other sections of the nation to support of the South. If it goes off fairly well, a precedent has been established. Govt by fiat can replace the constitution.”

Hurston would have known exactly what to make of Obama. It is a pity that few liberals and conservatives know what to make of her.

  • Race_Dissident

    Fascinating stuff, Greenfield. I did not know that about Hurston. And you can be damned sure the Googleites didn’t either.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      The modern slant on her is that she was a black feminist writer. Her politics are sidelined.

  • Veracious_one

    Hurston believed that black success had to be built on personal accomplishment in the face of racism, not on government intervention. History has indisputably proven her right.
    quite unlike the beliefs of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Obama Inc….

  • DogmaelJones1

    Google also ignores Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, and black educator Marva Collins, and many other blacks who just don’t fit the liberal/Democratic plantation mold.

    • Moa

      Thomas Sowell is a total legend! (as in, “living legend”, he’s that good).

  • ssohara

    I didn’t know anything about her until I saw the google doodle, but she is fascinating. She writes beautifully and with passion and conviction. I didn’t know about her political convictions but they make sense to me. Any rational person is against leftism.

  • ziggy123

    By your measure the black panthers and Malcom X were staunch “conservatives” as well. Stop the overreaching generalizations. Acknowledge Hurston for who she was – an intelligent and gifted anthropologist and author. By the way you conveniently neglected to mention her feminist ideologies – guess this doesn’t fit your mold.

    • Kenneth James Abbott
    • Daniel Greenfield

      I wouldn’t go that far though the line is there. Hurston wanted cultural independence without secession. And her writing wasn’t motivated by the obsessive racism and violence of the Black Panthers or the Nation of Islam.

      Hurston is recognized as a feminist. To the extent that it was an ideology is a much trickier question. She certainly had little in common with the victimization ideology of modern feminism.

  • David Brown


  • Glitch Girl

    Please turn your attention to run-on paragraph #3, which begins with the words “As it is…”.

    The last four words of this embarrassment of a paragraph (“of
    liberalism of racism”) would challenge the comprehension of even the
    most astutely disciplined reader. My brow wrinkled up instantly in
    reflexive confusion just trying to ascertain if what I had just read was
    a cut/paste job gone awry, a bill introduced into the California
    Legislature, or just more incomprehensible ramblings of another stoned
    intern belched from the cauldron of quotas known as the NEA. So
    horrifying is its construction that my first thoughts upon recovering
    from its stupefying effect was to wonder where the quotation marks and
    Jesse Jackson citation had disappeared to.

    One can only surmise that the wordsmiths’ talent that so capriciously
    and so evidently evaded Mr. Daniel Greenfield, the author of the piece,
    did in fact visit upon his subject – Zora Neale Hurston; and by so
    doing afforded the lesser talented Mr. Greenfield a dubiously deserved
    wage and the opportunity to become irony by his own words.