Dr. Alan Keyes is doing great damage to the Republican Party.
I’ve refrained from discussing the Illinois US Senate “race” because it seemed like a shoe-in for the Democrat candidate, Illinois State Senator Barack Obama, after the ignominious circumstances surrounding the departure of his Republican opponent, businessman Jack Ryan.
Yes, I saw Senator Obama’s keynote address to the Democratic National Convention. It was impressive, but there are a lot of guys out there like Obama—black, accomplished, polished and Democrat; Harold Ford, Jr., for one—so I wasn’t surprised to see yet another one on my TV screen, even at the DNC.
Yes, I’m aware that Obama and I share a heritage (Kenyan Luo) and a similar family history, but his political platform is in nearly direct contrast with my own political leanings. Nothing new there either.
What is new is the candidate that has taken up the Republican banner for the Senate race in Illinois: Alan Keyes.
When I first read that Dr. Keyes—a Maryland resident and, like Obama, a black man—had submitted himself for this Illinois race, I had an uneasy feeling which can be summed up by two words: 1) carpet-bagging and, 2) tokenism.
However, I was willing to see how Keyes would handle his candidacy, so I sat back, watched listened and read and I’ve come to several conclusions.
1) Dr. Keyes is a silver-tongued opportunist; a flip-flopper in the same league as John Kerry. His voice is easier on the ears than is Senator Kerry’s, but that just makes him more difficult to ignore.
He has submitted himself for office for a state in which he isn’t a resident even though he criticized Senator Hillary Clinton for doing the exact same thing. He now is setting forth a black American reparations scheme even though he has come out against such a scheme in the past.
2) Dr. Keyes is a bigot in three ways:
a) against black Americans of slave ancestry
By coming up with a reparations platform, he assumes that his advocacy of this type of policy will make him more popular with the average black voter in Illinois. He also assumes that most of them either will not have any knowledge of his former position on the subject or—most insultingly—will not care that he has “changed” his position in order to pander to the black Democrat vote.
b) against black American progeny of recent immigrants
c) against half-black, half-white Americans.
On ABC's "This Week" program Keyes suggested Obama doesn't "feel the pain" of most African-Americans because his ancestors didn't suffer in slavery.
"Barack Obama and I have the same race, that is physical characteristics. We are not from the same heritage. It's about time people started to realize there is something racist about not looking at the heritage of an individual and only looking at skin color.
(I will admit that my own ethnic pride was inflamed by this commentary.)
So does that mean that Senator Obama--of white American as well as black African heritage--knows nothing about black Americans? Was he not born and raised in the US? And does Senator Obama’s record show that he has not “felt the pain” of his constituency or is Dr. Keyes making assumptions about the "empathy" of the senator solely on the basis of the senator's ethnicity? If the latter is what Dr. Keyes is doing, he’s a bigot of the first order.
Go sit down somewhere, Dr. Keyes, and let the Democrats have this one. You’re making a national spectacle of yourself, not to mention, your party.
(Several members of The Conservative Brotherhood have been weighing in on this subject for some time now. Go check them out.)
(Thanks especially to Booker Rising for several of the links)