Deneen Borelli is a dangerous woman. Her new book, Blacklash, How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation, provides an unapologetic portrait of how government dependency has destroyed initiative, and the family unit, in much of black America.
Borelli is dangerous in the same way Sarah Palin is dangerous, or any of the other counter-symbols to left-wing orthodoxy. As a black conservative, with a sharp wit and courage to speak out, she is a beacon to others who might otherwise be too timid to break out of the confines of racial expectations.
Blacklash tells the story of how one woman who happened to be black also happened to be conservative. With race playing such a central role in our national discourse, Borelli presents a dangerous symbol to a president who will need extraordinary racial cohesion to win re-election. Beyond the symbolism, her message is even more lethal to the left: being a racial minority does not mean you have to think a certain way.
Adams: You’re a fan of the New York Rangers and follow the Stanley Cup playoffs. After Joel Ward of the Washington Capitals scored the series winning goal against the defending champs this week, he was subjected to vile online racial taunts. “Gorilla” was one of the more mild slurs Boston Bruins fans used. What does this say about the racial expectations you write about in Blacklash, both in the sense of “keeping people” in familiar places because of their skin color and, perhaps more importantly, that real racism is not confined to red states and the deep south?
Borelli: Yes, I love hockey and for many years my husband and I were season ticket holders for the New York Rangers. There is nothing more exciting than a Stanley Cup playoff game in Madison Square Garden. We have many fantastic memories of exciting games including Wayne Gretzsky’s last game and retirement ceremony. That was an amazing experience!
The comments made about Ward are clearly uncalled for and extremely inappropriate. Unfortunately, social media, especially Twitter, has become a venue for venting outrageous personal attacks about individuals. Like Ward, I’ve also been a target of personal attacks and name calling.
However, name calling is not going to stop me from promoting my views about liberty and I’m sure it’s not going to stop Ward from playing hockey and scoring goals.
Finally, I do not believe that those comments are representative of the vast majority of Boston Bruin fans or hockey fans in general. It’s a shame that a vocal few can tarnish the image of hockey fans and a city.
Adams: In the cases I brought under the Voting Rights Act, you would often see white voter cohesion at about sixty percent in racially polarized elections (meaning 60 percent of whites voted the same way), but black voter cohesion would be around ninety percent, or higher, and the cases were brought to reward blacks with a minority majority seat in a legislative body. Could you describe the cultural, economic and political influences you write about in Blacklash that produce these astounding levels (90 percent) of racial block voting?
Borelli: Clearly, the overwhelmingly black support for Democrat politicians has not served the black community well. The condition of blacks in Detroit, Los Angeles and Harlem speak for themselves. Far too many blacks see the government as an ally and become dependent on social services and liberal black politicians, like drug dealers, are more than happy to keep this population addicted to government services and dependent. This system keeps the politician in power and too many blacks dependent on one party. Monopolies are bad for consumers and voters.
Contributing to the voting monopoly is the lack of diversity in media reaching blacks – it’s an echo chamber of liberal themes and messages including inaccurate claims about conservative and Tea Party goals. Tragically, there is no counter communications effort and I’m hoping Blacklash could be the start to break the monopoly of thought in the black community.
The Republican Party should also be held accountable for conceding this voting bloc, because they don’t try to reach blacks even though most blacks have conservative values.
Adams: In Blacklash, you compare the theology of the churches you attend with Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s sermons. Do you think Barack Obama was entirely “clued in” to the messaging and racial hostility from Wright’s pulpit, and why is Wright’s particular theology so dangerous?
Borelli: I’ve attended Christian church services my entire life and I never heard any Baptist or Methodist minister or Catholic priest say anything as outrageous as Wright. I find it hard to believe that President Obama, who heard Wright’s sermons for many years, was unaware of Wright’s warped version of Christian teachings. Obama has a pattern of associating with radicals and Wright is just another example.
Adams: In Blacklash, you compare the modern civil rights movement with the noble efforts of the 1950s and 1960s. I touch on this in my book Injustice also. I am always struck by the images of the movement from that time – coats and ties, Sunday best, etc. – but also the messages of individual dignity, self-reliance and the expectation that one’s actions and character determine success. After great victories from that era, something went wrong with the movement – what caused it?
Borelli: I’m awed at the courage and conviction of Dr. King and the other civil rights leaders of that time. Their cause was based in morality and their call for justice was executed with Dr. King’s brilliant strategy of peaceful demonstrations. Tragically, the movement veered off course after the assassination of Dr. King because the void wasn’t filled with another selfless leader. Those that followed Dr. King and invoked his name became self-centered and focused on money and power instead of a righteous cause.
Adams: Are conservatives and Republicans usually too cowardly to confront racial issues head-on and articulate a competing narrative, and if so, how damaging is that surrender?
Borelli: Most conservatives by nature are not activists and they tend to think that the facts will speak for themselves. Accordingly, too many conservatives think that the black community will naturally recognize the major role Republicans played in promoting equal rights for blacks since the founding of the Republican Party. This passive approach toward the black community resulted in a huge voting bloc for the Democrat Party.
The Tea Party is the activist arm of the conservative movement and it’s adding a much needed advocacy arm to advance limited government policies. As a frequent speaker at Tea Party rallies and events, I’m encouraged by the sincere interest these activists have in trying to reach blacks with the attributes of limited government and liberty. In fact, the most asked question I get at these events is how we can recruit more blacks in our movement.
I believe Blacklash can be used as a way to reach many members of the black community. Blacks need role models and examples of American exceptionalism and my life’s journey from a Democrat to conservative activist provides a compelling example.
Adams: You write in Blacklash of the race hustlers like Jesse Jackson shaking down corporate America, exchanging cash for racial peace. You criticize particular corporations. Do you know of any corporations which have had the fortitude to stand up to Jackson’s crowd and tell them to pound sand?
Borelli: Sadly, corporate America is the punching bag of the liberal activists including Jackson. Corporate executives would rather pay the ransom than stand on principle. I’ve witnessed Jackson’s antics at shareholder meetings and encouraged management to reject his claims of racial bias.
Recently, Van Jones’ former group Color of Change’s intimidation tactics forced major companies such as Kraft, Coke and PepsiCo to end their membership with the American Legislative Exchange Council by threatening boycotts of their company’s products.
Unless corporate America finds a spine, black activists will continue to loot publicly traded companies.
Adams: I heard people inside the Justice Department excuse the New Black Panthers, and you write about them in Blacklash. Why are some people willing to dismiss the significance of groups like the Panthers but at the same time rail against white hate groups? Why the disconnect?
Borelli: Hate groups of any color should be denounced by all political, religious and community leaders. This is not a matter of liberal or conservative beliefs but a matter of right vs. wrong.
Unfortunately, the New Black Panthers are avoiding condemnation because Eric Holder’s Department of Justice seems to have a color coded justice system and because the liberal media fails to pursue this hate group like they should. The failure of black leaders including President Obama, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the NAACP to condemn the statements of hate from the New Black Panthers relating to the Trayvon Martin tragedy is deplorable.
Adams: What has the minimum wage done to the black community?
Borelli: The consequence of the minimum wage has been harmful to the black community. It’s a contributing factor to the high unemployment rate among blacks, especially the outrageously high unemployment among black teens, which has been reported to be about 40 percent.
Adams: You write “just because someone is black doesn’t mean they have your interest at heart.” Is this really a widespread assumption in the community, that skin color is so revealing?
Borelli: Unfortunately, some blacks unconditionally follow black politicians and community activists such as Rangel, Sharpton and Jackson without regard to these individuals’ self-serving agendas. The problem is these individuals have a monopoly on the messages in the black community, especially in urban areas. There is no competition for thought or leadership so these individuals can and in many ways do get away with anything.
As I write in Blacklash, President Obama’s policies have been horrible for blacks. Obama’s energy policy, for example, is designed to raise the price of our traditional forms of energy which functions as a regressive tax on low- and fixed-income hard-working Americans.
Adams: Regarding the corruption of Representative William Jefferson, you say of the Congressional Black Caucus, “it’s showing it’s true color, and it’s not black. It is the color of arrogance, entitlement, and invincibility that is not race based but bred from years of not being held accountable for their actions.” Why are they not held accountable, and in what context beyond Jefferson?
Borelli: The Congressional Black Caucus’ (CBC) single focus on progressive policies has not served the needs of the black community. The members of the CBC are not being held accountable because the black constituents in the congressional districts have a group think mentality and unfounded allegiance to their congressmen. Because there is no competition from a different way of thinking or a new approach to stubborn problems, the CBC member can and frequently do get away with anything, including ethics violations.
Adams: What would Frederick Douglass think of Al Sharpton?
Borelli: I believe Douglass would strongly oppose Sharpton’s message of victimization and government dependency for blacks. Even though Frederick Douglass personally suffered the horrors of slavery, he rose above that terrible experience to promote equality and equal opportunity for blacks through education and hard work but not through special treatment. Douglass was an advocate of self-help as the means to individual independence and self-reliance. In contrast, Sharpton propagates the myth that blacks need special treatment and government support for social advancement.
Adams: What do you hope to accomplish with Blacklash and your work? Do you want to give hope to five to twenty percent of blacks who might tend to be conservative, or do you think something bigger is realistic? Is it enough to crack the ideological monopoly, or is more possible?
Borelli: I want to use Blacklash as way to shatter the black establishment’s monopoly of power and thought in the black community. Taking advantage of liberty is the answer to social advancement in America and not government dependence.
My life story is a great example of America’s exceptionalism where anyone can succeed without regard to family name, heritage or money. I’m a nationally recognized pubic figure as a result of hard work and determination, not from my family’s wealth or connections. I hope to inspire blacks, especially young individuals, that with hard work and perseverance the sky is truly the limit.
Adams: I heard your interview about Trayvon Martin on the Sean Hannity radio show with Jesse Jackson’s daughter unwilling to condemn the New Black Panthers. You were frustrated, and said to Sean, “See, this is what I put up with.” Could you elaborate about the frustration?
Borelli: I found the resistance of Ms. Jackson to denounce the outrageous comments of the New Black Panthers appalling. I believe her failure to condemn hate speech exposes the real agenda of so-called black leaders is to escalate racial tensions so they can retain power and relevance.
Adams: In Blacklash you publish some of the hate directed toward you. Since the book has been published, can you update us with the worst hate you’ve received about the book, and tell us why it is important that people see it?
Borelli: Following Blacklash, there remains much of the same negative feedback from some. I’ve been called a sellout, black Tom puppet, slave to money, HOUSE NIGGA, self-hating Auntie Tomasina, a joke and a prostitute for Fox, and I should kill myself.
But the vast majority of comments have been very positive. My book signings have been an especially rewarding experience where I’m warmly greeted by fans and supporters. Importantly, I’ve been contacted by a number of blacks via social media who are extremely excited about the book and very supportive of my message of liberty.