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July 22 2019

No, Ayanna Pressley. My Conservative Black Voice Matters Too

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

Four far-left Democratic freshmen women of color in the House, who call themselves The Squad, have been vocal lately. 

From immigration at the Southern Border to race relations they are setting the tone of political discourse and it’s a divisive one.

Recently, a Squad member, Massachusetts Representative Ayanna Pressley commented during the leftist Netroots Nation conference that there is no room for people of color who vote differently, think differently, or disagree with them on issues.

Here’s what she said:

“I don't want to bring a chair to an old table. This is the time to shake the table. This is the time to redefine that table. Because if you're going to come to this table, all of you who have aspirations of running for office. If you’re not prepared to come to that table and represent that voice, don’t come, because we don't need any more brown faces that don't want to be a brown voice. We don’t need black faces that don't want to be a black voice. We don't need Muslims that don’t want to be a Muslim voice. We don’t need queers that don't want to be a queer voice. If you’re worried about being marginalized and stereotyped, please don't even show up because we need you to represent that voice."

This is insulting and wrong.

What is a “black voice”? Is it a person who sings from the same songbook of Pressley and other black elites on the left?

All black people do not think the same, nor should we. Black people are not a monolith just as women are not a monolith. We don’t all share the same experiences or view life through the same glasses. 

Independence of thought means we can agree on some issues and disagree on others.

For example, we can agree that we want every American to have the means to leave poverty but disagree on the strategy to get it done: stimulating economic growth to boost job creation vs. raising taxes to fund social programs.

And there are some areas of bipartisan agreement. We all agree that formerly incarcerated Americans need access to jobs to reduce their likelihood to recidivate want to reduce occupational licenses at the state level to make it easier to gain certifications to work.

Many black people follow the Democratic Party and left-leaning politics although socially they are conservative and fiscally they are moderate or conservative. 

As a result, blacks form reliable, solid Democratic vote registering 85-90 percent support for Democratic presidential candidates. Sadly, because of that left-leaning political leaders take that vote for granted.

This election cycle, black leaders are trying to flex their political muscle by making race relations a central issue in the race for the Democratic nomination. They have turned reparations into a litmus test. Ironically, the black community isn’t even united behind reparations. In a 2016 Marist poll, 58 percent of blacks supported the idea for reparations for African-American descendants of slaves. That means a whole lot of blacks are not being a “black voice” in supporting reparations.

Pressley's statement was insulting and intolerant. That is the position of many women on the left today.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama said in the past that “any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice.” There goes that idea of everyone speaking with one voice again. 

Our strength as a nation is our diversity of thought and unity of purpose. We can all want the best for every American and disagree on how to achieve that.

Yet, too many on the left only believe that there’s one purpose, one way to think, and one way to get things done: their way. That won’t get anything done.





Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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