The Diasporist

Welcome to the Diasporist

In The Diasporist on August 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm

If you’re one of the 5% of the world that can get over the fact that I’m a black gay Republican, a simple and innocent question has probably popped into your mind; how does someone with my profile think about politics?  I will begin to answer that question here by briefly exploring each of my identities and how they intersect.  I cannot even begin to really explore such a complex subject in such a small space, and I hope to explore this area further in the future.

Let me state the obvious; I see neither law, politics, nor culture like most other black people; nor do I see it as most other gay people.  I’m sure it won’t be surprising to hear that I certainly don’t see those things as most Republicans do.  Instead, these three parts of my identity come together to form a worldview that I liken to a multicultural individualism.  I see society simply as a space where individuals reside; where people’s lives, likes and dislikes, and property are their own, not to be interfered with, judged, or challenged by any outside power.

As a black man in American society, I know well the insult and pain inflicted when the world treats you as a member of a group first, rather than as an individual.  The legacy of racial oppression in this country also informs my view of government power; that when governments are given power over more and more sectors of our lives that power can be used to any invidious end.  The solution is not necessarily to change the public mood and opinion of the day as one would flip a light switch, for this is impractical.  Rather the solution is to reduce the government’s ability to alter the course of our lives; a government cannot discriminate against me if it hasn’t the power to do so.

As a gay man in American society, I’ve learned that living your life for the approval of others is folly.  Our Maker gives us one life; one body; one soul.  As humans, we were not given these things for the sole purpose of not offending the sensibilities of others, but rather to dispense with as we see fit.  Happiness is personal, and happiness should never depend on the approval of another person.

As a Republican in American society, I know that politics isn’t what it looks like on television.  Politics is about the raw distribution of power in society – who has it, and who can exercise it.  I know I want power in our society to rest with the individual and with no other person or institution. I also know that there’s no such thing as sportsmanship in politics.  There are no extra points for making good arguments – the only thing that matters is winning.  Politics isn’t tee ball, and there are no participation points for the losing side.  Ultimately, I know that both sides, but perhaps the Republican side more, must appeal to the dark underside of this country in order to achieve the ultimate goal, which is a roll back in the power of the state to interfere in our lives.

As a gay black man in American society, I know that race and sexual orientation are not equal and that they shouldn’t be treated that way.  I also know that no matter how oppressed we might be, we as humans will always find a reason to treat a fellow person with less dignity than is deserved.

As a black Republican, I know that giving 90% or more of your votes to one political party is possibly the most idiotic version of strategic voting ever invented.   It will never be in the interests for Republicans to seriously court the black vote so long as the black community fails to give different perspectives a fair hearing.  As a gay Republican, I know that sometimes identity cannot be everything.  You agree with who you agree with.  Sometimes you have to fight for things from the inside, rather than throw up your hands, say “they don’t like me” and disengage.

This blog is called the Diasporist, because as a black, gay Republican, I often feel like a man without a land.  I’m black, but removed just enough; gay, but removed just enough; a Republican, but removed just enough to feel I am at home nowhere.   But, just like some of the peoples of the world removed from their homeland, my removal is not necessarily reason for despair, but rather reason for strength.   This blog is a place to celebrate not belonging in a box; to mouth off when necessary, and to share a view of the world from the eyes of someone who sees it just a little bit differently than everybody else.

Welcome to the Diasporist.

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