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Comments by YACCS
Tuesday, March 21, 2006

That boy lost his ever-lovin' mind

Was Claude Allen a mental slave?

Claude Allen's life sentence
Did the pressures of being a black conservative take a toll on the former Bush aide?
March 15, 2006

I WAS SHOCKED by the news about Claude A. Allen, the black former White House staffer whose rising star officially flamed out after he was arrested on charges of felony theft last week.

Not shocked that he got arrested — so many Republicans are being handcuffed these days for scams of one kind or another that it's hard to keep the names and charges straight. What shocked me was how penny ante his alleged scam was, how unbefitting a man of Allen's stature and lofty ideals rooted in the requisite conservative principles of God, fiscal prudence and anti-affirmative action activism above all else.

Getting a reported few thousand dollars worth of refunds fraudulently at small-ticket stores such as Target and Hecht's is downright anticlimactic, especially for a black man who had enough personal wealth and White House in-crowd connections to swing something much bigger — real estate fraud, dummy offshore companies. The possibilities were endless.


Here is a man who, like most black conservatives, has had to do an awful lot of personal and political rationalizing to pay dues, which included apprenticing with then-North Carolina senator and habitual racist Jesse Helms and opposing the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.


Fast-track people such as Allen are praised by conservatives for being shining examples of their race, and, at the same time, they are used in one way or another for public relations purposes and damage control during racially charged moments. .............

It's hard to imagine that such compromises and cognitive dissonance don't exact a psychological toll at some point, and Allen's alleged dabbling in crime might have been that point for him............. After a career of always conducting himself appropriately, as his mentor Clarence Thomas reportedly advised, did he finally crack under the pressure?............

What's clear is that the Bush circle and the Christian base that praised Allen the loudest are nowhere to be heard now. That's not surprising; as the transgressions of Republican officials and operatives pile up, people who were once joined at the hip are giving each other wider berths. But for a guy once embraced by all the right people, Allen sure looks lonely now.

The good professor Volokh objects.

Eugene Volokh

Why Did He Steal? Well, Partly Because He's Black: (1 comments )

That, I kid you not, is precisely what an L.A. Times op-ed from last week says. Black conservatives are bad, the theory goes; also, being conservative is spiritually bad for blacks; and that helps explain why White House adviser Claude Allen committed fraud: "It's hard to imagine that such compromises and cognitive dissonance don't exact a psychological toll at some point, and Allen's alleged dabbling in crime might have been that point for him."

Oh, and quite a charming little reference to "house Negro[es]" a couple of paragraphs before, as well — plus the old traitor-to-his-race line of "I don't support conservatism in its current iteration, and I support black conservatives even less." (I take this to mean "traitor to his race," since otherwise it makes no sense: Why would holding any view be worse if you're black, unless the theory is that somehow blacks ought not hold that view because it's supposedly bad for blacks?) When whites are called traitors to their race for supporting policies that are supposedly bad for whites, that's pretty roundly condemned as racism, and rightly so. Yet somehow condemning blacks as traitors to their race is seen by many as just fine.

Read the whole piece, if you have a high tolerance for bile and schadenfreude. And ask yourself how "progressive" it is to condemn people differently for the same views based on their race, and how progressive or factually plausible it is to argue that someone has committed fraud partly because he's black.

So I assume he's as charitable to Jews who support the Palestinians, right?

The problem is that when blacks like Allen become conservatives, they seek to harm other black people.

Blacks need government support, because of the simple refusal of many to hire black men, especially those with records. Even today, employment discrimination is an issue at all levels of employment.

Plight Deepens for Black Men, Studies Warn

Published: March 20, 2006

BALTIMORE — Black men in the United States face a far more dire situation than is portrayed by common employment and education statistics, a flurry of new scholarly studies warn, and it has worsened in recent years even as an economic boom and a welfare overhaul have brought gains to black women and other groups.

Curtis E. Brannon of Baltimore with Curtis Jr., one of the four children he has fathered with three mothers. "I was with the street life," Mr. Brannon said, "but now I feel like I've got to get myself together."

Focusing more closely than ever on the life patterns of young black men, the new studies, by experts at Columbia, Princeton, Harvard and other institutions, show that the huge pool of poorly educated black men are becoming ever more disconnected from the mainstream society, and to a far greater degree than comparable white or Hispanic men.

Especially in the country's inner cities, the studies show, finishing high school is the exception, legal work is scarcer than ever and prison is almost routine, with incarceration rates climbing for blacks even as urban crime rates have declined.

Although the problems afflicting poor black men have been known for decades, the new data paint a more extensive and sobering picture of the challenges they face.

"There's something very different happening with young black men, and it's something we can no longer ignore," said Ronald B. Mincy, professor of social work at Columbia University and editor of "Black Males Left Behind" (Urban Institute Press, 2006).

"Over the last two decades, the economy did great," Mr. Mincy said, "and low-skilled women, helped by public policy, latched onto it. But young black men were falling farther back."

Many of the new studies go beyond the traditional approaches to looking at the plight of black men, especially when it comes to determining the scope of joblessness. For example, official unemployment rates can be misleading because they do not include those not seeking work or incarcerated.

"If you look at the numbers, the 1990's was a bad decade for young black men, even though it had the best labor market in 30 years," said Harry J. Holzer, an economist at Georgetown University and co-author, with Peter Edelman and Paul Offner, of "Reconnecting Disadvantaged Young Men" (Urban Institute Press, 2006).

So when Allen spews conservative dogma, it is literally a knife in the back of black America. Which is why he's called an Uncle Tom and there are doubts about his sanity. He's worked for the most virulent racist in the post-Civil Rights Era and opposed the Martin Luther King holiday. Why should black people support him, his entire career has been treason against the black community and their needs.

posted by Steve @ 12:52:00 AM

12:52:00 AM

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