My Open Letter to Conservatives
Conservative Black Man

Really good article about a way to view race relations in the US. The metaphor with the two guys throwing rocks at each other was an excellent way to understand how black people feel.

What I didn’t understand was why the label conservative was inserted. “Conservative” as a label is completely meaningless to me anymore. Are you an Eisenhower Conservative, a Jerry Falwell Christian Conservative, a Reagan Hawkish Foreign Policy Conservative, or a Tea Party Conservative? At one point in time, conservative meant a person who was for a balanced budget, limited foreign intervention, and strict interpretation of the constitution.

Now, I have no idea what it means. I used to think of myself as a conservative believing in a balanced budget, limited use of the military overseas, and an embrace of the New Deal ideas like Social Security, worker safety, and fair wages. Toady, conservative seems to invoke religious underpinnings, hawkish foreign policy, empowerment of the intelligence apparatus on domestic soil, and anti-immigration. You almost have to be anti-abortion, anti-government sponsored healthcare, pro-Israel, pro-intervention around the world wherever evil-doers (take your pick of the despicable-du-jour) reside to be a Republican and call yourself a conservative. But, to an Eisenhower conservative, these are not what we believed the important foundation of good government.

Maybe this article was originally written for a different audience and ended up on Medium without that context. Maybe it was the author’s way to send a message to whites without using the word whites. I guess substituting conservative was way to get a wider readership and a positive way to engage the intended audience.

Either way, a very well written piece.