Can a person choose to be black, or a member of any other race? Science would suggest that human beings cannot select the color of their skin – beyond the extent of fake-tanning or skin-bleaching products, anyway. As progressives loosen the rules on how individuals can identify themselves in terms of sex and other biological factors, ethnicity and race are starting to emerge as the next frontier of self-labeling. Blackness is being redefined as a state of mind rather than a biologically defined skin color, and one U.K. union has released a set of guidelines encouraging students to embrace black identity – even if it doesn’t match the skin color they were born with. Meanwhile, in the U.S., black history and culture are being hijacked by open-borders advocates who wish to twist the facts in support of their own political ends.
The U.K.’s Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) recently released a report on identity and how it relates to the student body. At first, the document seems to express the usual intersectional ideas expected on college campuses, but when looking at one section of the document, you might notice that something is a bit … off. It says:
“UCU has a long history of enabling members to self-identify whether that is being Black, disabled, LGBT+ or women. UCU supports the right of all women (including trans women) to safe spaces and the continuation of monitoring that can help identify discrimination against women, men and those who identify as non-binary.”
Do you see it? Why would the union insert “Black” in a list of identities that a student could assume? In essence, the UCU is stating that any person could identify as black regardless of ethnicity or melanin content. The far left in the United Kingdom appears to be channeling its inner Rachel Dolezal. The Queen of Cultural Appropriation, Dolezal is a former National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) activist who was exposed as a white woman pretending to be black.
Using Black History to Promote Open Borders
While American progressives have not yet embraced Dolezalism, they have shown a disturbing predilection for co-opting black history to further a political agenda. Not yet advocating for whites to identify as black, they have nevertheless figured out how black culture could be a useful propaganda tool when pandering to illegal immigrants.
United We Dream, an immigrant rights organization advocating on behalf of both legal and illegal aliens, recently posted a video on Twitter promoting a school-walkout protest. The recording linked the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s to the current push for open borders, a policy that negatively affects black Americans more than other races. It depicts historical events where blacks staged sit-in protests in restaurants, marched through the streets to protest Jim Crow laws, and held walkouts to make a statement against segregated schools. Then, the video shows footage of illegal aliens and DACA recipients performing similar demonstrations. The entire production appears to be a brazen attempt to use black history to promote open borders and lax immigration policies. In essence, the group is intimating that illegals in the United States today face the same struggles as black Americans did under Jim Crow.
This is just one example of how the progressive left co-opts black history. Even the term “people of color” has been seen as a term used to lump all minorities under one umbrella. Commentator and podcaster Kira Davis addressed this issue in an article for RedState. She wrote:
“Being a ‘woman of color’ is not the same thing as being a Black woman, and yet the progressive Left has decided it is. A woman of Indian or Mexican heritage may possibly find herself coming up against some kind of discrimination here and there but it is not, nor will it ever be the same thing as what Black women have faced in this nation historically and to this day.”
Davis then explained how she resents “having to tie my heritage to that of other people who may have no history in this country prior to 40 or 50 years ago; people who don’t have communities that still deal with the fallout of slavery, Jim Crow, and the bloody civil rights struggles.” This point of view is understandable; the left’s penchant for exploiting black culture for political ends is tantamount to rhetorical blackface.
How should Conservatives Respond?
If you were to look at comments on the tweet posted by United We Dream, you would see many responses from black men upset at the blatant exploitation of black culture. They have also expressed consternation at the LGBT+ community’s tendency to glom onto the Civil Rights Movement to further its own cause.
The hard left exploits black history because the imagery involved evokes strong emotions within the American psyche. It lends a certain gravity to any issue being discussed, even if there is no real connection. In short, progressives view the black struggle as a political tool. So why aren’t conservatives screaming this from the rooftops? It is fair to say that most right-wingers have grown weary of being called racists, isn’t it? Instead of relying on weak arguments like the Democrats’ embrace of slavery 150 years ago, perhaps conservatives should focus on what the left is doing to black Americans people right now. Even more importantly, black people resent being used. When progressives engage in this behavior, they hand rhetorical ammunition to their opponents. But will conservatives use it?
Read more from Jeff Charles.